Upcoming in Home Machinist

The Wright brothers were first with powered flight. But who supplied the power? Without Charlie Taylor, 1903 would have been just another year of glider flying.

Taylor was hired by Orville and Wilbur as a machinist and almost immediately was put to work making their engine. He started by sketching the crankshaft onto a slab of steel, drilled along the line, and then with hammer and chisel removed the excess material. Their only other power tool, a 14-inch lathe, was used to cut the bearing surfaces and clean up the rough edges.

When "the boys," as he called them, took their airplane to Europe, Taylor was frequently referred to as "the third Wright brother."

Today, Taylor is memorialized by many nations in a variety of ways. In the U.S., the highest award the FAA can bestow upon our cadre of A&Ps; is the Charles Taylor award.

Watch for "The Home Machinist" in KITPLANES for the story of the man who built the first aluminum-block engine with only a lathe and a drill press.

Senior Editor Bob Fritz is the author of the popular “The Home Machinist” series in KITPLANES along with numerous articles on a variety of subjects. He completed a Jabiru J250 kit aircraft and wrote a series about building it.

One Reply to “Upcoming in Home Machinist”

  1. I can highly recommend JetHot ceramic metallic coating to keep the exhaust system looking shiny. I had it done to the entire exhaust system on my Rotax and there is no sign of oxidation or discoloration so far. I had a similar process done to the headers of my SBC some 20 years ago and they still look good (they weren't as shiny as the modern "Sterling" finish in the first place).

    Also reduces the temperature under the 'hood'.

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