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Ron Hoelting's dream plane
I've know Ron Hoelting for almost 20 years. This page is an overview of the time I spent building Glasair III aircraft with him and the unbelievable amount of work and dedication that went into building a truly one-of-a-kind Glasair III.
I was hired by Ron Hoelting to help him build a replacement airplane for his 1994 Reserve Grand Champion Glasair IIIĖN35HP. As we were finishing N35HP Ron decided he wanted to build a second Glasair III built from the ground up to address all the issues we came across in finishing Hotel Papa as we referred to it. I enjoyed working with Ron on Hotel Papa. The thought of doing every mod we wanted to from the beginning was a builders dream come true.
We finished reassembling Hotel Papa after being painted the night before the Arlington Fly-in July 1994. We received the kit and started on N87RH Just before Oshkosh. After the fly-in at Oshkosh in 1994 I came into Ronís shop to work that morning and found a step ladder in the middle of the shop with the Silver Lindy trophy proudly displayed on top. I didnít know we were going to have the plane judged so wining Reserve Grand Champion with Hotel Papa was an unexpected thrill. In the April 1995 edition of Sport Aviation Jack Cox wrote a nice article about Ron and the plane. He ended the article with this lineÖ
ďIf N35HP is now merely the baseline from which he will start out, then Ronís new Glasair III is going to be something to see.Ē
I made a Power Point page with that quote and displayed it on the wall in the new shop Ron built just to work on N87RH. Ronís personal drive for perfection and my desire to find a solution to every seemingly impossible goal he set carried us away on a journey neither of us would have started had we known where it would lead us. During the low points in the building project, the desire to see it through and the encouragement of comments like that of Jack Cox kept us going when most people would have given up. In fact, Ron did take a break from 2000-2007. For 7 years N87RH sat with plastic sheets covering the 6 years of full time work we carefully put into her until Ron contacted me in 2007 about starting again on a ďtrialĒ basis part-time. We quickly fell back into our comfortable working routine. I so much enjoyed working with Ron again and we were both very excited about finishing the project and seeing Ron enjoy his dream plane. That power Point page stayed up all those years until I took it down after he passed away July 23rd 2010 I have never work more closely with anyone or for as long as I had with Ron. He was a huge influence on my level of workmanship, determination and character. I canít begin to list all that I learned from working with him. I was married and had four beautiful children while working with him. He will be truly missed.
Ronís project didnít end there. While helping Ron these last years, Ron developed a friendship with my employer Brian Rossi. Brian bought the nearly completed project N87RH from Ronís now grown children with the intent to finish the project just as Ron wanted it. Replacing his own Glasair III kit with this amazing airplane Brian will complete the dream that Ron began. We will all one day see this dream become a reality. For updates on the progress please see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Kitplanes-Northwest/176227072401217
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