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ABSTRACT:     Article about Tony Sablar's Knight Twister N2747A, first flown in June 1957. Powered by a Continental C-85FJ.
The Sablar Special
 
(From Sport Aviation (Experimenter), 02/1958, Page 5)
 
By Tony Sablar

 
Tony Sablar, 540 Ray Ave., NW, New Philadelphia, Ohio, has completed his version of the Knight Twister and now has 50 hours of flying time on it. The excellent workmanship on this aircraft is very evident from the fine photos Tony sent in. He writes:

"The ship is made following the Knight Twister plans with a few changes. It took me about five years spare time to complete, with the help of my brother Mike. All new material was used in construction, with the exception of the engine and wheels. It has a very low time Continental C-85 FJ under the cowl, which was lengthened for CG purposes.

The Sablar Special
Tony Sablar and his "Sablar Special".

The Sablar Special
Note long engine mounting required shown clearly in the picture to the left.

"I first flew the ship in June and was planning to attend the Fly-In, but the prop I used on the first flight didn't give me enough climb so I had to start looking for another one. When I got it and could fly better, I found that my oil temperature was going beyond limits. So, all flights were only about a half hour long while I changed baffles, closed and opened vents, enlarged scoops, etc. But like everything else we got her licked and now the oil temperature is normal on all flights.

"About the flying end of it, it's a dream to fly -- after you get used to it. A little sensitive on the ele.vator and fast on landing. I have flown it to many local fields and it draws a crowd and comments. It's hot -- don't get me wrong! But what experimental ship isn't til you get used to it? Now I'm not the pilot who logs 1000 hours per year - in fact I don't even have 500 hours total, nor do I give instructions to a few selected persons, as quoted in a recent issue of the EXPERIMENTER. Prior to test hopping my ship I hadn't flown for over a year and all my flying was in Cessna's and a PT-22 Ryan.

A view of the pilot's 'office.' Mounting of the Continental C-85 in the 'Sablar Special.'
A view of the pilot's "office." Mounting of the Continental C-85 in the "Sablar Special."

"On the first flight she flew beautifully, but you had to fly it -- a little work on the trim will correct this. What did this other Twister have for power that it only cruised at 110 mph -- mine cruises at 125 mph at 2400 rpm with the C-85. Top rpm's are 2800 with the present prop. If a person had the dough to fool around with props, you maybe could do better.

"As for being a forgiving ship, like I say, I'm no pro. There are things I do wrong but the ship keeps flying. I've seen most of the Twisters in this part of the country and I have yet to see one constructed according to plans. They always change something. The only thing to change -- and important -- is the CG which will change depending upon which engine you use. Any ship will require this. These small ships are touchy enough without some part-time builder, like we all are, changing the blueprints.

"If you don't mind, I would like to give some advice. I got this the hard way -- found it out myself. First to anyone building a Twister, I think the fin is offset too much on the plans. I have to hold a slight pressure on left pedal. And be careful of the throttle on take-off -- she doesn't take much to jump off. I think anyone who has tried out a plane for the first time will remember the advice he got -- some good, some bad. Take this for what it's worth.

"I learned a lot in building this ship and would like to pass a few ideas along to other fellows planning to build a plane. First, you need room! Then don't figure on doing anything around the house -- something foolish like painting, remodeling, etc. Man, you got an airplane to build!

"Then you'll need tools - not just a few hand tools either. When you buy these, make sure they are good -- junk just won't work. Know where to buy raw materials or pick up used parts. If the ship requires welding, learn yourself. I was taking my welding 30 miles away to be finished after I tacked them here, so I taught myself.

The 'Sablar Special' has outstanding workmanship of the caliber that compares with the best of them.
The "Sablar Special" has outstanding workmanship of the caliber that compares with the best of them.

SPECIFICATIONS OF THE SABLAR SPECIAL
Wing span Upper 15 feet
Lower 13 feet
Length 14 feet
Wing area 60 square feet
Empty weight 540 lbs.
Gross weight 900 lbs.
Cruising speed 130 mph
Stalling speed 80 mph
Landing speed about 100 mph
Engine Continental C-85FJ
Prop McCauley Klip-Tip 65-56
Fuel capacity 13 gals.
Color White with red trim,
black pin stripe
Prop spinner Homemade of fibreglas

"Then find someone to encourage you, push you and help you. All this I found in my brother Mike, who really went all out. Encouragement came from Emery Ersek, our local A&E. Wheels were donated by Don Sickafoose, manager of the Magnolia airport. As far as the CAA is concerned, I can't say enough for Mr. Tavetain and Joe Smith, our local agents. They were swell.

"All this, plus money - just can't get along without it! On this subject let me tell you one thing. Never start one unless you have the money to complete it at once. This idea of saving for a couple of paydays for one item is no good -- you end up taking years to complete your ship. To you fellows planning a ship this may seem discouraging, but bear in mind the satisfaction of being able to say I built it.' I would start another one tomorrow if I was able to.

"Another bit of advice - use a steerable tail wheel on these ships, plus good brakes. Don't hesitate to call on other fellows who have built them. All in all it's a beautiful ship and if constructed properly and flown carefully, will give the owner or builder many hours of fun."

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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