I began construction of my modified Mirage Marathon in October of 1996. I decided to make mine a traildragger rather than this model’s fixed tricycle gear. The wood, foam and fiberglass design lends itself well to modification. I modified the aft fuselage to accommodate a spring and tailwheel assembly and modified the forward fuselage to accommodate the spring main gear rather than attaching the main gear to the spar per plans. I reduced the wing dihedral to 5 degrees and tapered the fuselage cross section top to bottom aft of the firewall. The result was more of a sport plane configuration. I lowered the thrust line by 1 13/16 inches to slope the forward deck for taxiing visibility. I was able to use commercially available canopy and engine cowl by adjusting the polyurethane foam thicknesses over the wood framework. I chose a 160-hp engine and 70 inch x 79 inch pitch aluminum propeller with a 4-inch extension and a 4 into 1 custom exhaust system.
The first flight was on June 28, 2011 and I couldn’t be happier with the handling and performance of this airplane. Top cruise checks 193 mph at 2500 rpm with a 10.7 mph fuel flow. Economy cruise checks 170 mph at 2200 rpm with a 6.6 gph fuel flow. Many thanks to friends who have given help and useful advice over the years of construction.
Location: Brigham City, Utah
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