We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Jim O'Hara is a member of EAA chapter 493 in San Angelo. He is a retired college professor (I believe in Aeronautical Engineering) who learned to fly when he was about 60 years old. He's now 81 years old. 15 years ago, he began construction of a 2/3 scale P-38. Using information he obtained from various sources about the P-38, he drew up a set of plans using a computer aided design program. Jim and his wife Mitzi built the entire aircraft by themselves. I've been fortunate enough to know Jim for almost the entire 15 years that he's been working on his "project." He first flew his plane in July of last year, and has just completed flying off the time (I believe it was 50 hours). He designed the plane to have a small jump seat behind the pilot for his wife. She's tiny, and it's a good thing; the jump seat doesn't have much room.
He made his first cross-country with Mitzi from San Angelo to Fredericksburg Saturday, accompanied by many of his friends from Chapter 493.
That is, without any doubt whatsoever, the most gob-smackingly, phantasmagorially marvelous thing I've seen in many a day!!
Having built this aircraft as a model (both flying and non-flying) twice in the past, and having been involved with some others' efforts in restoration/construction of full-sized aircraft, I have a pretty good grasp of what these folks have accomplished. Hard to imagine, setting out to do this, particularly at age 65 - 66, beginning (literally) from basic ground-up design, and sticking with it for fifteen freakin' years!
Jim and Mitzi O'Hara - truly, legends in their own time!
I sincerely hope they're still flying this when he's 100.
A lovely plane and a marvelous job by Jim and his wife.
The first photo bothers me a little, I could almost swear to seeing another plane about 30 years ago that was virtually identical. And that one was not a one-off but a plane, or kit-plane, you could buy.
Maybe someone will remember and comment about that.
I attended a tractor pull back in 1983 where one of the competitors had an Allison 12 cylinder installed in his tractor. At the time he said that the government still had a bunch of them stored in a warehouse out in Oakland or San Francisco and anyone with $4000 could buy one. They were still covered in Cosmoline and packed in their original crates.
The O'Haras are an amazing couple. I hope they fly around the Dallas area on occasion. I would love to see that plane in flight. It must really attact gawkers wondering what it is. The P-38 is my favorite plane from WWII and was my favorite model to build as a kid. I wonder if Jim plans to paint it OD. Notice the old DC-3 in the background of the second picture.
Remarkable effort this......as an old Airforce ground hugger I would be interested in what the power plants are....the huns would have had a problem spotting this beauty head on....maybe we could call it the 'Forked -tail devilette"......