A NEW FRED PROJECT DOWN UNDER!
Rarely have I seen a new builder tackle building FRED with such gusto as that displayed by Brian Floate. In little over one month since receiving the plans, he has already made a great start on the metal fittings, prepared his cap strip bending jig and set up his workshop pending arrival of the spruce shipment. He has even found a shoulder harness. I’ll let Brian tell his own story:
Hello again, Matthew.
I am 79 years old, keen as mustard, and have been flying since 1968 in twins, singles, light sport aircraft and gyrocopters. I am a retired Detective Senior Sergeant of Police after 32 1/2 years service and helped to start the Victoria Police Air Wing in the 70s in hired 172 Cessnas at $20.00 per hour wet. I flew in the London-Australia Air Race in 1969 in a V-tailed Bonanza and the London-Canada Air Race in 1972 in a Piper Twin Comanche.
I chose F.R.E.D. because of looks. home storage and trailerability. It’s a great little aircraft. I am building the fuselage and wings on the verandah and the tail assembly in the wash house.
I am a widower and I live in Bundaberg, Queensland in the North East of Australia (the average temperature is 28°C). I teach portraiture and clay sculpting and beginners German at our University of the Third Age, I have just joined the Woodworkers Guild and I belong to the Bundaberg ArtSociety and the Clay Pottery Group. Currently I have a painting exhibition on at the Court House Gallery in Gin Gin, a tourist town northwest Of Bundaberg.
I haven’t got time to sit in an armchair and grow old!
As they say in Oz, “Good on ya’, Brian!” I look forward to seeing your project progress. As far as I can tell from the Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Brian’s may well be the first Australian FRED!