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Spending time with Allan Lurie.

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  • Spending time with Allan Lurie.

    Allan has donated the Dominator kit to be raffled off at Mentone this year. I first met him a couple of months ago helping to haul the kit out of his basement. He called me last week to say he had found some more "stuff", so I went over yesterday to pick it up. Allan is 92 and although physically rather frail has a mind as sharp as a tack. It took only a couple of minutes to get the box out into my van, but spent a very enjoyable 2 hours listening to Allan. He served in WWll in a Stuart light tank guarding fuel trucks heading for the front. Luckily, he said, this was in 1945. The Germans were in retreat, so his battalion drove their Stuarts across France and Germany and only experienced 1 actual day of combat. "The most exciting day of my life." They had earlier practiced firing their main gun (37mm) at a captured German tank and were dismayed to see their shells bounce off from 1000 yards. Their strategy was to use their superior speed to get behind the enemy at less than 100 yards and try to hit the treads... After the war, he attended Bradley University, graduating in 1950 with a degree in engineering. Was in the Army Reserve and got a foot in the door at Caterpillar "sweeping floors". This led to better jobs, but he soon took a significant pay cut to become an industrial arts teacher at a local high school until his "retirement". After seeing his basement and garage shops-"In there, I can build anything"- I wish I could have been one of his students. He learned to fly in 1963,bought an Aeronca Chief, and still owns an Aeronca L-16 and a Cessna 182. He got interested in Gyroplanes and attended many flying events, taking lessons in a 2 seat gyroglider. He talked of meeting Igor Bensen and Ken Brock. He wanted me to give special greetings to Ernie Boyette and Dick DeGraw and is sorry to not be able to attend Mentone. I showed him pictures of 2 manned multicopters that I had just taken at Oshkosh and he was disappointed that they didn't fly. After 2 hours it was obvious his energy was decreasing, so I regretfully said goodbye. He is definitely a member of "the Greatest Generation".
    Last edited by Richard Anderson; 08-01-2017, 08:05 AM.

  • #2
    Is he from central Illinois?
    Don Randle
    Gyroplane CFI

    "Flying a Gyro is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!"

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    • #3
      Yes. Peoria.

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      • #4
        Al used to come hang out at my hangar when I was instructing. Haven't seen him for years. Tell him I said Hi when you see him again please.

        Don Randle
        Gyroplane CFI

        "Flying a Gyro is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!"

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        • #5
          Sure thing. He was disappointed not to be able to come to Mentone and I'm sure would appreciate talking to old friends. I have his phone number if anyone wants it.

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