Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PZL M-15 Belphegor

The old-school Lockheed engineers designed and built the SR-71 using slide rules. They were second only to the Belphegor engineers, who used witchcraft and dark forces.

The Belphegor has long been my favorite aircraft. It kills me that there are none in the US, and it kills me that not a single one is flying. It is beyond any common logic how one could opt to restore, fly, and maintain something as trite and mundane as a T-6, T-33, or L-29 when cold-war-era jet-powered Polish biplane crop dusters are there for the taking in eastern Europe and Russia.

Were I to win the lottery, I would acquire and restore one to be used as an Oshkosh partymobile. I would install amphibious floats to further enhance it's massive ramp presence and to enable operation from lakes that would otherwise remain tranquil and serene. The chemical hoppers would be converted into refrigerated beer storage tanks for the aforementioned Oshkosh trips. Skis would be installed for the annual Skiplane Fly-in and Chili Dump up at Pioneer Field:

Although the temptation to paint it an ominous matte black with mysterious red symbols would be nearly irresistible, I would likely paint it in accurate original colors:

Alas, I do not possess the necessary funding to transform such dreams into reality. Instead, my current budget can only sustain the acquisition of an authentic flight manual and control yoke. If anyone can track these items down or acquire them for me, I will gladly pay a fair price. Just contact me at the above link.

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