I asked Mahlon to send some personal info, and he sent this reply, along with a nice photo of a typical day on the job:
Went and started it three times in just under 40
minutes today (that includes the 5 minutes or so I let
it run per event). I've got the technique down pretty
good - to suck the flame into the combustion chamber,
throttle up slightly, back off the air (not pressure
but distance), increase the gas flow then air flow to
resonance. I'm also able to tune it up for max power
now as I've learned how to micro adjust the valve I'm
using. The pitch (CPS) goes up as I get the mixture
just right, it gets kind of crabby sounding if I get
too rich and slows down if I get it lean. Seems to be
throttle capable over a small range.
So, I'm 43 years old, a Physics Major, Washington
State University, Employed by the New York Air
National Guard, LC-130 Pilot. We fly the Antarctic
missions for the National Science Foundation. I love
science and scientific things like the Short Lady....
I've attached a picture of the rockets I get to
use/play with on a professional level. Each one
Produces 1,000 lbs of thrust. So that's 8,000 lbs of
pure rocket blast you're looking at. Kind of fun when
it's bolted to the airplane.
Your web site and invention has been the talk of the
pilot shop for the last two days. We're impressed...
- Skier96 Summit small.jpg
- Mahlon on the job. I have a feeling they don't turn the control yoke of these things over to just anyone who shows up. Photo Copyright 2005 Mahlon Hull - used by permission
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