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Dec 12, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Friday's (late again) Did You Know (77)... the words of Gus Morfis:
'Jack was a performance engineer, and worked at a desk, or something like that, while I was a design engineer, and I worked on a drafting board, in design integration. This was at the time of the Northrop T-38 Talon and the F-5E fighter..'?
This is from an email to Gus in April 2014. Gus, as some of you know, went on to sell plans based on many aircraft and his style is unique to him, just as Jack's was unique. Jack's job, being a performance engineer, certainly involved data. Data and the results of Jack's favorite wing construction style were the subject of Jack's article in the March 1976 issue of RCM 'Built Up or Sheet Wings?'

This is another of Jack's short articles and we find one of the smiling Headley girls posing with one of Jack's Orange Julius (See Blog #35 )wings. The question the article asked was 'How did the weight of the aircraft compare with the wing construction method?' (Starwalt paraphrase) Jack does not try to hide his lack of love for cutting out ribs. Frankly, except for the cost of balsa, I think today's obsession with the KF 'airfoil' has its basis in the tedious task of rib cutting. Jack's all sheet wings, a common construction method for many of today's Asian sourced ARFs, uses fewer ribs than an open-bay covered wing. Jack put the question to the test with data collected and with good doses of Headley humor mixed in.

I have attached the entire artice and an enlarged section of the data chart from the article for your review.

What is the answer?
Depends on the size of the wing, but up to 300 square inches, they were about the same with only about a 20% increase in weight beyond that number.

An interesting line in the article backs up Kevin Flynn's comments to me regarding where all the aircraft that he and Jack built ended up.
'...all of the wings that spend much of their normal lives gathering dust in the garage roof, were weighed. (I've got wings up there for models I don't even remember.)'
By email, Kevin told me the two of them kept most of their models at Jack's place. I asked Lisa what became of all the models, drawings, sketches, etc. after Jack passed away. She remembered her mother finding homes for most of the stuff with other modellers. I had dreamed of a large box full of Jack's stuff that could show us many designs that we never saw, but alas. Time and necessity seems to have dispersed those items to someone somewhere else.

This will be the last blog post focusing on Jack's RCM articles. On my post calendar, there are only four more subjects listed that feature Jack's work with the Northrop Newsletter. This will take us into 2016 and I will probably shift to information provided by Lisa regarding the few items still in possession of her and her mother. Prior to this shift, I hope to find a way to post a list of all known Jack Headley work in chronological order. I have it compiled, just finding a clever way of listing it is a challenge due to the amount.

Thank you for reading along this far!

Last edited by rdstarwalt; Dec 30, 2015 at 07:12 AM. Reason: typos
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Dec 13, 2015, 02:42 AM
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Doug :

This is a good one . The series is nearing the end is it ? Too bad for all of we readers .
Dec 13, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Thanks Rick! We have to run out of material at some time.
Lisa has been scanning and sending me items from a family album. All of it is fascinating and helps fill in Jack's UK roots. I hope to share some of that here too.

She has almost no copies of any of her dad's modeling publications! A side task is to provide her a scanned copy of everything I have so she can share it with her children to let them know how amazing their grandfather was.

Having featured so many of Jack's planes, build articles of the planes can be added to the proper post. I am also thinking about featuring Kevin Flynn's work (not already posted). He had several planes to his credit that Jack did not do the drafting work on.


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