Stewart 51 Partner LLC

2020 News and Events

January February March 2020
On Sunday, April 5th, I flew Doll for the third time since reinstalling the engine, and, departed the Pensacola International Airport for the first time in three years.  It was GREAT!

The weather was perfect for a short flight over to Destin at 5,500 feet.  We made the flight over to Destin Pass, made a left 180,  then dropped down to 4,500 feet for the flight back home.  Doll behaved beautifully, with temperatures and pressures and all systems right where we wanted them to be.
I hope to add further update material from the past three months soon.  Been busy, as have many of us.
April thru August 2020
Above, a beautiful rainbow as I am waiting for an early morning thunderstorm to move by prior to my flight to KPRN and back.

After my April flight worked out so well, I scheduled a flight the following weekend to north Alabama to stretch the flight time and visit my friend in Muscle Shoals.  I pre-flighted and loaded and fired Doll up, and, doggone, the coolant pressure gauge pegged, obviously blown out inside.  I thought through making the trip or not and, of course, had to decide to scrub the trip, and shut down.  Thus began a two and a half month interlude between flights.

After locating another proper gauge, taking the opportunity to refine the plumbing to the gauge, weather, work schedule, and all the other delays that creep in, I finally made a couple of ground runs and leak checks and got back into the air on the morning of Saturday August 8th.  Had a nice takeoff and climbout to 9,500 feet toward Greenville, Alabama.  Once leveled off, I played with power settings lower than what I normally run.  I usually cruise at 3600 Rpm, but ran the engine down to 3000 for a good bit of the flight, checking engine parameters and cruise performance at different settings.  She ran smoothly at all combinations.

Reaching just south of the Greenville Airport, I turned back toward Pensacola, dropping down to 8,500 feet for the leg back to the coast.  It was a nice flight, and it felt good to have Doll back in the air again.

I plan to commute to Montgomery and back as often as I can in Doll over the next few weeks, then ferry down to Bartow to get with Harry and Joe on a couple of other refinements to a few items.  Meanwhile, I have commissioned having exhaust shrouds for the S51's built, am close to starting construction on a warehouse building to headquarter S51 kit operations, and visited Mooney Aircraft getting the last of our cowling parts stretch formed.

I'll update again soon.

September / October  2020
Saturday, October 3rd finally brought together great weather, schedule availability, and everything else you want to fly anything anywhere.  I flew Doll up to Montgomery, landed, took some pictures of the prototype S-51 for a potential buyer, then flew back down to Pensacola.  Doll did Great!
View of Navy Whiting Field as I am on a 20 degree course from Pensacola to Montgomery.
Meanwhile, we've been working further on continued supply of parts and components, and have sent several sample parts out for pricing and fabrication.  Below, exhaust stacks and shrouds.  Further down, Mooney Aircraft has finished the last of the stretch forming of cowling and certain belly scoop parts. 
November December 2020
                Construction Underway!

We broke ground in November on our new warehouse / office, planning to finish around the end of March 2021.  This will allow us to centralize parts and kits and tooling in one location rather than the scattered storage we have been enduring.  Sometime in late-2021, you can check with us for a part and we will have to check our inventory in only one place and should be able to respond much more reliably.
Above, Curtis Wiggins laying in the plumbing.
Footings to be poured for foundation.

The drawing above is taken from one of Jim Stewart's marketing brochures of the 1990's, and shows the two place configuration that all of his kits were manufactured to be.  Jim explained that no one seemed to want the one place version. 

This drawing, from the same brochure, showed a single-pilot version.  I had wanted the single seat version, and, given I only have about thirty-seven things I need to be doing right now to move this program along, I of course decided to add pursuing the lone pilot version to make it an even thirty-eight.  For one thing, the single pilot cockpit and canopy will look even more to scale.  More on this facet as we progress.