Dr. Ken Olsen is nearing the final lap of refurbishing his beloved experimental aircraft, modeled after the 1964 Aeronca 7 ECA. When finished, Olson's "Champ" will include some parts "borrowed" from 1940s vintage Aeroncas.
The original 85 horsepower Continental engine has a modified crankcase that boosts output to approximately 100 horsepower. The engine will be housed in a new specially designed fiberglass cowling. Olson has installed modern spring steel struts for the landing gear. Wings are combination of wood spars and formed aluminum ribs.
Olson, Kennedy and Gauger are members of the Willapa Harbor Pilots Association-EAA Chapter 1528. The association supports the Port of Willapa Harbor's efforts to improve its airport west of Raymond. The association also promotes safety of flight issues while encouraging expanded use of the north Pacific County's only public airport.
The association is sponsoring it sixth annual Fly-In and Oyster Feed Saturday, August 15 from 11 a.m. To 3 p.m. Typically the fresh Willapa Bay oysters served at the fly-in attract pilots from Washington, Oregon and parts of Canada. WHPA President Jerry Gould emphasizes that local non-pilots residents are welcome. In addition to oysters, the menu will include salads and a beverage for $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.