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Prowler Aviation Jaguar #1

One of my all-time favorite airplanes is the Prowler Aviation Jaguar. This is the prototype or Jaguar #1.
I purchased this aircraft along with Jaguar kit #13 (partially built) in December of 2008.

Note: Throughout these web pages, anytime you click on a small, thumbnail picture, a larger hi-res version of the picture will open in a new window.

27 December 2008 - A dream comes true. I was able to aquire my favorite airplane of all time, the prototype Prowler Jaguar. The airplane had been damaged in an off-airport landing and had been in a barn (yes, it is one of those "airplane found in a barn" stories) for over 15 years. The owner of the airplane had bought it when the company, Prowler Aviation, went out of business. This person already owned Prowler Jaguar kit #13 (which is partially built) and we actually bought both aircraft. Hopefully, we will be able to get them both in the air.

Somewhere in Alabama The first step in the long journey ahead was to transport both aircraft from Jacksonville, FL to our hangar in Memphis, TN. The trip was long and hard. Click here to see some pictures from the adventure.

1 thru 10 January 2009 - After unloading, we had to begin taking inventory and organizing everything. Bryan Davies, fellow Jaguar builder, came over to help us identify parts and figure things out.

Somewhere in Alabama Click here for the "taking inventory" page with pictures.

11 thru 24 January 2009 - I was very busy at work during this time and a little under the weather as well. I didn't spend much time at the airport but I did do a lot of research. I updated the main Prowler page with additional information such as examples of the builder's manual, copies of past newsletters (The Growler) and links to other Prowler Jaguar projects. I also installed and configured a new photo gallery program on the web server. This program, Gallery2, supports searchable databases using keywords and other nice features. It is my hope to get the rich inventory of photos that we have as a group organized and posted to the site. It will be a very valuable asset. There is a link to the photo gallery on the main Prowler page.

I continued setting up the new hangar for work, moving some more tools and equipment over from the old hangar. Almost a month to the day from when we brought the Prowlers home, I felt like I was ready to begin actual work on Jaguar #1. The first step in repairing and restoring this airplane is to give it a detailed inspection from one end to the other. I decided to start at the rear of the aircraft and work forward. In order to have easy access to the tail wheel and lower fuselage, I built a tail stand to raise the tail of the aircraft to a near level flight attitude.

In order to build the tail stand, I began with a left over hunk of wood that was used to support another airplane while it was being shipped from Romania. This was a large block of wood with a "U" shape in it that was padded with a felt strip.

Somewhere in Alabama I began by putting a strap around the aft fuselage at a bulkead station and lifting the fuselage with my shop crane. I then positioned the block of wood under the aft fuselage at the bulkhead behind the tail wheel. I measured from the top of the block to floor (47 inches) to determine the length of the legs that would be cut from a 2x4.
About the time that I started sawing the legs, Bryan Davies (Jaguar #7) showed up so I put him to work with the power screwdriver. Thanks Bryan!
After putting on the legs, we installed a brace at the bottom and two pieces to serve as feet. The result was a really nice tail stand that is sturdy and safe.

Bryan had offered to help me with the assessment of both airplanes so we spent some time looking over Jaguar #13. I will write up our findings in another episode but we were pleased with what we saw. The airplane appears to be built very well, straight and true. We moved the wings for #13 to the old hangar where the fuselage was already waiting. In the coming days, we will mate the wings to the fuselage and take some more measurements.

After Bryan left to fly a trip, I went back to the new hangar. I brought the canopy for #1 with me and put it on the airplane just to make it look like a "whole" airplane and for inspiration. I cleaned up the saw dust, put my power tools on charge and headed for the house. It was cold (below 40 degrees) and windy. After about 6 hours, I had had enough for the day.

12 February 2009 - I am going to setup seperate pages for each section of the aircraft. I will update these pages when work is done on that section of the plane. Check the dates next to the links in order to determine which ones have been updated.

Center Section
Landing Gear
28 Feb 2009
Instruments / Avionics

page updated on 1 March 2009 by jrp

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