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ABSTRACT:     Brief article with pictures about the Knight Twister N979 built by Anderson/Babcock (owned by E. Olaf Sundelin)based in Valparaiso, IN in 1953.
High In Popularity
(From Experimenter, 12/1953, Page 4)
By Leo J. Kohn
Photography by Leo J. Kohn

'KNIGHT TWISTER' Nose View (Photo by L. Kohn)
"KNIGHT TWISTER" Nose View (Photo by L. Kohn)

'KNIGHT TWISTER' Tail View (Photo by L. Kohn)
"KNIGHT TWISTER" Tail View (Photo by L. Kohn)

There seems to be a marked influx, in the last few years, of the famed "night Twister" [sic] into the home-built sport aircraft picture. Originally designed and built in the middle 1930's, the stubby little biplane appears to have finally reached the degree of popularity it has long deserved.

At one time, it was available in kit form, and presently is available in plan form from the original designer, Vernon Payne. The construction offers no major problems to the amateur builder. Usually, these small ships are modified to suit the builder's need or fancy, but generally, the finished product is well worth the time and efforts and money expended by the builder.

The "Twister" we are referring to in this story is the one built by Messrs. Anderson and Babcock of Valparaiso, Indiana. This little ship can be seen buzzing around the Indiana country-side almost any week-end, and undoubtedly, is a lot more interesting to observe than the modern private airplane.

Apparently the design adapts itself to a variety of power-plants. The Anderson & Babcock version gives the appearance of being a solid mass of engine, whereas the big cowl merely harbors a Continental C-85. The original "Knight Twister" had a radial engine, and bore very little resemblance to the ship as we know it today. Other versions have been powered by Lycoming, Tank and Menasco engines. There are at least a dozen "Twisters" in existence, under such names as Redfern, Barber, Effenheim, Perry, and Lowery & Roakes.

Understandably enough, the builder of a "Twister" usually does an exemplary job of it, and his pride is truly justifiable. As in the case of Anderson and Babcock, the workmanship and finish leave little or nothing more to be desired.

The registered owner of the ship is E. Olaf Sundelin, also of Valparaiso, and the ship is based at the local airport. The color scheme is all white with red trim, and blue pencil striping.

It is regrettable that we do not have any specifications available of this ship, as we had hoped we would have. Recently at an air fair at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, the little ship sustained some damage in a slight mishap. However, it will give the boys something to do this winter, and we certainly hope that we will see it around again, come next spring.

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

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