9056 Riverside Dr. Brighton, Michigan 48116
Dateline: Peru, Indiana, October 9th, 10th, 11th, 1992.
The much sought after Maytag Catapult finally made its debut at the Hoosier Fly wheelers Fall Swap Meet.
The brainchild of engineer Paul Shelton, of Consuelo Manufacturing, Northwestern Indiana Division, was unveiled to cheers from throngs of onlookers.
The Catapult is the answer to many a collector's irritation at the small two stroke engines that raise the nape hair on a true engine man.
It was also used on various other makes besides Maytag, namely Briggs, Clinton, Tecumseh, and even a couple of lawn mowers and pumpkins.
Assistant launch technician Daryl Metcalf recorded all pertinent information: wind speed, weight, barometer readings, and flying distances for all entrants.
Distances varied from 35 feet to 70 feet depending on weight and windage.
It was purported that runners flew best, but as luck would have it, there weren't any available at the time of this demonstration to test this philosophy.
Consuelo Manufacturing has issued a challenge to individuals, groups of individuals, or clubs to compete next year at this same swap meet with their versions of a better catapult, to see if these are the ultimate distances that can be attained by mechanically launched Maytags. (Rocket or dynamite versions would compete in a class by themselves).
Consuelo Manufacturing has been around a good many years, their engine is testimony to this fact, and only recently Consuelo was paramount in the development of early synthesized instrumentation, namely the Kero-Drive guitar, that surfaced earlier this year.
This instrument was painstakingly restored and demonstrated by Rick Cheyenne at the Van Buren Fly wheelers show in Hartford, Michigan.
Who knows what else Consuelo made, but their wide range of products seem to be limitless.
Besides the Catapult, the rest of the Hoosier Fly wheelers Swap Meet was a resounding success.
Dealers and traders assembled from no less than 16 states for the event, and selling, trading, and ogling was at a frenzied pace for all three days. Sometimes it seemed like entire loads were being traded or sold before one could blink an eye, and then the trailer would be reloaded with other treasures before heading home. This is only the second year for this swap meet, but it's fast becoming the Waukee of the east.
Ken and Wendy Wolf, our hosts, were most gracious in furnishing the beef stew at the potluck dinner Saturday evening. Believe me, no one left hungry!
We'd like to thank all of our friends who helped to ready the show grounds for this event, and also to Consuelo Manufacturing for furnishing the first Maytag Catapult, which will be permanently displayed and used at the Hoosier Flywheelers Show grounds, Peru, Indiana. We'd also like to extend an invitation to everyone to come to the Show and Swap Meet next year. Bring your swappable, tradable, sellable, or even your keepers to display, and have a great weekend in Central Indiana. We even swap lies (Heaven forbid!) around the campfire at night!