Originally published October 1993
Congratulations are in order for Ron and Janet Gilman, whose 1960 Beechcraft Debonair had its first flight on August 5th, 1993. Now, those of you who read this newsletter very closely will notice in last month's newsletter, that Pete Moore's Pacer first flight was listed as #4 for EAA Chapter 1000 on August 25th. What happened was, I goofed and missed writing about the Gilmans in the last issue. For you time purists out there, Pete's first flight will be #5 and Ron and Janet's will be #4. OK, with those niggling little details out of the way, let's get to the good stuff.
The Gilman's Debonair came into their lives in August 1992, and went down in March 1993 for a very intense 6 month restoration. The airframe mods include the installation of a Beryl D'Shannon one-piece sloped windscreen, and removal of many of the unnecessary antennas and probes from the exterior of the aircraft. Goodies in the cabin include a Northstar Loran, a full line of new Narco avionics, a Masten Engine Analyzer, a Horizon digital tachometer, an S-Tec 50 autopilot, and the piece d'resistance, a Kenwood CD player and stereo intercom unit. Hmmm, I have an Alice in Chains CD that ought to push that envelope a tad...
With a new paint job and interior, the Debbie has not changed empty weight by more than 10 pounds!! And the best part is the speed increase of 25 mph over the baseline, due to the decreased drag of the new windscreen and the lack of those draggy antennae. Ron and Janet can now cruise at 158 to 163 knots at 7500' / 75%, and they have been doing just that. Since first flight they have put 50 hours on the bird..not bad for 9 weeks of flying for fun! Way to go, Ron and Janet! See you at Edwards AFB next week!