2008 KR Gathering at Mount Vernon, Illinois (MVN)

2008 KR Gathering at Mount Vernon, Illinois (MVN)

Colorado's George McHenry brought his newly minted KR2S this year. This one would be the one to beat when it came to the "Best KR" award.

Larry Flesner hosted this year's Gathering, as usual.

Dan Heath brought "Black Bird" for its first trip to the Gathering.

Larry Flesner and I did a little air-to-air photo shoot. I should've done this with a couple of the new guys too, but it didn't occur to me.

Jack Daugherty (right) tells Dan Freeman about his KR.

Dan Freeman brought Dan Diehl's "Ole Blue" in a trailer and assembled it for viewing. N4DD was the third KR2 built (in about 1975), and is the old flying KR.

N4DD interior.

This KR2 boat drove by, headed for an unannounced spar test (more later).

Jeff Scott flew in all the way from New Mexico again, this time showing off his recent modifications which include flaps and horizontal stabilizer lengthening.

Tommy Waymack flew in from Pine Bluff.

Dan Heath did a lot of flying around. It seems he just can't get enough!

This is the biggest piece of Mark Jones airplane to make it to the Gathering this year...his crankshaft. This is a comparison of his recently broken crank with his new one, with a Dan Weseman front bearing on the nose.

Pete Klapp discusses his building photos with Mike Hyers.

Here's a KR1 that I'd never seen before.

This is a "KR1.5" built by Ken Coddle, flown for years by Steve Bennett, and now owned by Mike Stirewalt from Santee, California. He won "longest distance" award.

Ken Jones graced us with his "Porkopolis Pig" from Cincy.

We were treated to a KR2 spar test. This boat looked like it was at least twenty years old, and it must have spent much of it out in the weather. Many of the spar verticals showed signs of separation from the spars, and there were other fitup problems. Most didn't think it would take much punishment, but we were amazed at how much the spar bent before anything started cracking...

Both of these spars were pretty straight before the load was applied. In this first stage of the test, the jack was outboard of the WAFs (wing attach fittings), and the outboard spar caps separated (due to the plywood web failing) before anything happened with the WAFs. After that, the jack was moved to the end of the center section of the spar.

The shear webbing between the spar caps was the first to go, and it still took a lot of abuse before the spar cap itself broke, right where it enters the fuselage. This was way more than 7g of force. It could be argued that the setup was less than perfect, but we all walked away with a new appreciation for the wing attach fittings and the integrity of the spar and fuselage system. If there's anything to be learned from this, it's that Birch is better than Mahogany for spar shear webs.

Most of us had never seen a live spar test demo, and it was much appreciated!

We also attempted a DynaVibe prop/engine balancing demo. Robin McDonald helped with the DynaVibe demo, since machinery balancing is his profession. It turns out that we couldn't get the DynaVibe to work correctly, but I later found out from Mike Stirewalt (who also has one) that I was supposed to push the "averaging button" to make it start taking data. Just call me stupid on that one, but that's not how I remembered doing it earlier.

I finally made good on my promise to expose N56ML in topless mode.

I think a lot of folks were amazed that the whole top of the plane would come off by just pulling a few piano hinge pins. Two more pins would have removed the front deck and canopy, but it was just windy enough that I didn't want to risk my canopy blowing away. Yep, that's it. It had nothing to do with the appearance of all the crap I have jammed under the turtle deck! Maybe next year I'll try to tidy things up under there and show that stuff off as well.

Tommy Waymack from Pine Bluff Arkansas.

Chris Gardiner showed up for the Canandian contingent. It was great to see him again, and we always appreciate the effort these guys make to fly in from so far away.

Bill Clapp showed up with plenums on his Corvair this year. Where do you guys get all these great ideas?

Larry kicked off the airframe and structure forum with a discusion clarifying how simple it is to get the spars right during construction. We also had an engine forum, where we tried to address any and all engine questions.

We packed a lot of KRs in the hangar for a Friday night.

The remains of the broken KR boat were treated to a bonfire down by the pond at the "night forum", but not before Larry and I scavenged some spruce from the spars, as well as a few WAFs. The comment was made that the only thing missing was a bunch of RV builders wearing sheets!

Larry Howell, Eric Pitts, and Rich Hartwig.

Mark Jones, Jim Faughn, Ron Willett, John Shaffer, and Mike Stirewalt. Jim Faughn took a quick break from his sailor life to drop in and visit for a while. He looked great, and was sporting a nice tan and a little "sailor" pony tail!

Dan Heath's engine installation, with Ellison throttle body on top.

Jeannette Rand and John Shaffer

It was a pleasant surprise that Robert Haines from CorvAircraft showed up, since he lives nearby.

Robert Clark flew his 1993 KR2 in from Des Moines Iowa.

Jeff Scott did a lot of flying, since he rarely gets the opportunity to enjoy flying so close to sea level.

George McHenry

George's interior

His engine is a hot rodded Lycoming 235. He flew to the Gathering at 17,500' on oxygen.

After-hours discussions at the campsite.

Jones gave a demo of his APIC navigation software, along with his laptop.

Three conspirators discuss the split of profits gained from payoffs during the KR judging (just kiddin' on that!) Mark Jones and Eric Pitts did the award judging, with results as follows:

Best Engine: George McHenry N966G (0235 Lycoming)
Best Interior: Dan Heath N64KR
Best Airframe: Chris Gardiner C-GKRZ
Best Overall: George McHenry N966G
Peoples Choice: George McHenry N966G
Farthest Distance Flown: Mike Stirewalt N335KC

Robin McDonald from New Zealand wins at "farthest traveled to reach the Gathering".

Larry Flesner gets a round of applause for his many contributions to make the KR Gathering the success that it has been lately. I know it's a lot of trouble to pull this off, so we all owe Larry a lot of appreciation for his efforts! Maybe next year he'll have more volunteers to help.

Sunday morning it was raining a little, but most of us got out before 11:00, including this two-holer. I hit about 10 drops of rain on the way out, never saw any rain after that, and by the time I got home there were dark blue skies and not a cloud in the sky.

I made it home in an hour and forty minutes, same as it took to get there. I had almost five hours on the "new" 3100 engine with front bearing at that point. The new exhaust looks like somehody ran it hard. This is right before I dumped the hot oil for an oil change.

See y'all next year!

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