Chapter 23 – Prop Spinner

As I mentioned previously in my post on Rough River, that while be-bopping around the flightline with Marco looking at all the various canards it hit me that the airplanes without spinners on the back end just looked unfinished. He agreed (he agrees with just about EVERYTHING I say… haha!)

Flyable? Certainly. Lacking something? Yep, that too.

Especially when looking at the aft end of a row of Long-EZ’s with Hershey Kiss style spinners, then seeing a bird without one. Naaahh, not the look for me.

I had thought about flying without a spinner for a while until I made up my mind on this issue, but my mind has definitely been impressed upon now that I want a spinner to finish out the look I want.

But then came the questions of what/where/who/how? … followed by how much? And when?

The style I prefer is the same as the spinner Marco has on N977JT. It looks almost exactly the same as the NTX pressure recovery spinner that James Redmon made a batch of, shown here:

Interestingly, I asked Terry Lamp –builder of Marco’s Long-EZ– if he made the spinner himself? Or did he buy it from James Redmon? …. Along with a comment I made of not knowing James made these spinners circa 15 years ago.

To my surprise, Terry stated that he bought the spinner for Marco’s plane from Ken Miller. Ahhh, I thought… that made sense since in the last couple of months Ken Miller had asked on FaceBook who all was interested in him making prop spinners again. I may be slow, but I can connect dots.

I planned on contacting Ken Miller as an option for my spinner upon my return from RR.

Another option I had in mind, Klaus at Lightspeed Engineering, was apparently no longer a real option since Mike Toomey reportedly grabbed the last aluminum spinner bulkhead, one of the last few spinners, and then had to fabricate his own flow guide by using the spinner as a mold [BTW, I’m not a big fan of the rounded flow guide that terminates near the prop extension shaft vs. the flow guides that contact and cover the flywheel as the NTX flow guide does above].

One option that could possibly have been a lot cheaper was to ask Mike Toomey to make me one. But then that would have still required the machining of an aluminum bulkhead (given he even had time to do it)… too much work with my project already so far behind due to this protracted 2-year move!

Upon my return from Rough River, I contacted Ken Miller via FaceBook and also reached out to Noe Ramirez down in Mexico (who used to work for either Klaus, or Dave Ronneberg… sorry, don’t remember which one) to inquiry about the possibility of getting a spinner made.

Well, Ken said he decided not to make them since Craig Catto had started making them… (something that Mike Toomey had mentioned at RR as well).

Strike 1.

Then Noe replied and said he could, but the price, especially for shipping, would be exorbitantly high.

Strike 2.

Then yesterday afternoon I had a good discussion with Craig Catto’s daughter Nicole regarding hershey kiss style prop spinners. Since I have a Hertzler Silver Bullet prop, Nicole said they could send me one unclear-coated since I would need to cut out the prop blade notches on the spinner myself, then clear coat it or paint it.

I asked for pics and she sent me these 2 pics below… stunning and exactly what I was looking for!

If you’re on the Long-EZ and Vari-Eze FaceBook page you may have noted that Craig Catto made a post on his prop spinners about 2 hours after my phone call. They had one on hand and had closed before I could ask my last couple of questions.

I had errands to run the next morning and by the time I called Nicole, some barbaric neanderthal that goes by the name Dave Anderson had swooped in and STOLE my prop spinner (haha!!). Nah, all is good since Dave has a flying Long-EZ and needed one now. But I did place my order with Nicole for one of these stunning prop spinners.

3rd times a charm!

I’m glad I ordered it now since I do NOT want to cover up the fantastic carbon fiber pattern with paint. I will now incorporate this black spinner into my paint scheme to allow for this carbon fiber beauty to be shown in all of its natural splendor!

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