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by Gerald J. Olenik, president,
Green Sky Adventures, Inc
This particular aircraft made it's first Oshkosh appearance twenty years ago, as a participant in the Dupont/Western Flyer design contest. It is not the design proto type, but rather, the "proof of plans" aircraft. Twenty one years ago, this "Sport Plane" as we call it today was identified as an ARV, (Air Recreational Vehicle)
At that time, designer, Ed Fisher flew the Zippy with a Cuyuna 430 dual carb engine, and a Winters 2:1 planetary gearbox. Top speed was about 110 mph
Over the next couple of years, perhaps inspired by persistence of other builders, or his own depth of knowledge of VWs, a full VW 1200 driving from the heavy end was fitted. Through, much of 1986, the aircraft was VW powered, while "debugging" flights took place.
I had been interested in the Zippy's development from the early stages. By 1986, our Rotax Service Center was in serious need of a test platform with a broad speed range to explore the effects of variable loads on small engines in general, and Rotax 2-strokes, in particular. A deal was struck with Ed Fisher, and by late fall of that year, we were flying a Rotax 503 powered Zippy Sport, enjoying it's sprightly handling and speeds to 120 mph.
The Zippy was flown to Oshkosh from NE Ohio in 1987. That year, the
design proto type, 81ZS was trailered up by Ed, and the two aircraft were
parked together on the homebuilt flightline.
Through 87 and some of 88, hours were accumulated, and the aircraft was particularly useful for oil test runs, and propeller performance evaluations. During this period, another deal was struck with Ed, and the Zippy Sport design rights were acquired. We sell a very high quality plans set at $135.
A stub axle failure in 88 resulted in some substantial damage, taking the aircraft off line till early 91, when it was relicensed with a new 43 HP Rotax 508 two cylinder 4-stroke engine.
In subsequent years, Zippy Sport 83ZS has flown with 4 other Rotax engines, and countless propellers. It has been back to Oshkosh several times.
Two years ago, at Sun n Fun, Tom and Sparky from Flightstar Hpower,
in their low key manner, grabbed me by the collar and made be take a good
long look at the HKS 700E. This makes the 9 th engine on our plane. The
excitement and enthusiasm for this new installation on our old experience
aircraft is pegged.
The HKS 700-E is the end of a 20+ year old search for "the right" powerplant for this hard working test bed. I am delighted with the performance and economy of the HKS 700-E on this aircraft.
The Zippy continues to function in it's roll as test bed with the addition of the Green Sky Adventures, Inc HACman mixture control for the HKS 700-E and Rotax 912 series 4 strokes. If you would like more information on the Zippy Sport, the HKS 700-E, or our HACman mixture control for 2 and 4 stroke applications, you are welcome to phone or email, or visit our web site www.greenskyadventures.com