Evangel 4500

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Evangel Stories

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George DeVoucalla of SIL - "My next contact with the Evangel [now low wing] was when Carl brought 4501L to Colombia to demonstrate its capabilities and introduce the new and next to final form of its evolution. The plane was a good soft field plane in spite of its weight and could work its way out of a tight spot with amazing agility.

After trying 4501L the Colombian branch of SIL opted to lease 4502L for a couple of years I believe and I had many opportunities to experience the uniqueness of this airplane. One impression I got early on was the distinct feel of a Piper PA-18 that I had flown years before. You could simple aim the plane and it would go where you pointed.

The Evangel was known as a friendly plane since it would, in some mild or choppy atmospheric conditions wag its tail like a dog and get all the back seat passengers green or otherwise. We had occasional problems with the wet wing but with frequent inspections and appropriate sealer we kept the leaks in check........One of Ron McIntosh's sons, I can’t remember which, gave it its unforgettable nickname "the banjo".

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Ray Mick - In 1963 or 1964 I met Carl Mortenson in Pennsylvania.  I was working for Lycoming.  He came to check out Lycoming's engines for the Evangel he was building.  Late in 1964 we moved to Decatur, Illinois.  After some time living in Decatur, we went up to Wheaton, Illinois where Carl was designing, developing and building a prototype.  I had taken some work clothes and after a tour asked if there was something I could do to help him.  He was surprised because most people came to talk to him about his project.  That started weekends that my family and I would spend in Wheaton.

In January 1967, Carl asked if I would join Evangel Aircraft Corporationon a full time basis.  We felt that the Lord was leading us to join this endeavor.  Thus, we worked for Evangel Aircraft Corporation from 1967 to 1974.

When you see an inspection stamp on the plane parts "REM" with a circle around the letters, that was my stamp.  I was somewhat over the shop to make the parts and assembly.  There was just a few of us working so each person did everything.  I setup the manufacturing procedures and inspection spots as if I was building a plane in my mind.  The FAA approved these procedures.  I flight tested each production plane, the first time off the ground.  After closing the plant, I came back to Michigan to be close to families and back to the automotive industry. 

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The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake Iowa, Feburary 5, 1981 and Baileys today

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Ken Bailey - "After graduation from LeTourneau College I came to work at Evangel Aircraft Janurary 1, 1974 and Leanne was a Senior at Northwestern College in Orange City. The Mortensons, Micks, Cragles, I and a few others affiliated with Evangel attended Dover Avenue Alliance Church. It was there I met Leanne and Mrs. Cragle played matchmaker. We married in 1975".

"We had a small crew of A&P mechanics who worked in final assembly and flight test.  The final assembly crew assembled the major components: wing, fuselage, tail, landing gear, and engines.  Then we finished the aircraft with installation of electrical system, hydraulics, instruments, interior, etc., everything necessary to carry it through flight test and certification and delivery.

"Bill Elton, our salesman, would impress the potential customers by taxiing to the end of the runway for take off, then do an about face and take off on the runway overrun, heading straight for power lines along the section road.  The Evangel would easily clear the power lines with dozens of feet to spare.  It was an impressive demo".

"Bill was in Venezuela visiting the Cessna assembly factory there.  He spotted an Evangel engine mount sitting on the floor of the office.  "What's that doing here?" The man who owned it had nosed over his Evangel in the mud.  They pulled the tail back down, washed the mudoff, and took off.  Five hours later, on takeoff roll, the left engine chucked a propeller blade, the engine broke loose from the mount and cowling, and cartwheeled off the end of the wing.  He managed to abort the take off and kept it shiny side up.  The engine mount had been taken to Cessna to be magnafluxed.  The story also revealed the reason why we had received a parts order for a complete cowling assembly."

"In Peru, the commercial operator there ordered a tailwheel trunnion saying his is broke...."Well, out of curiosity, how did it break?" we asked....They were flying supplies in and out of a corduroy runway and on very short final hooked a tree stump with the tailwheel.  They reported that they really liked the plane and routinely flew loads of 2000 lbs. plus full fuel.  Let's see, that puts the single engine service ceiling somewhere below terra firma".

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Jon Cadd - The Evangel was an interesting design to say the least.  It was very boxy.  It made for easy repairs with no compound curves accept the fiberglass bits, it could be fixed in the field with no special tools at all.   Lycombing IO-540′s of 300 hp each made is strong and dependable inspite of how Ugly it might have looked.   You could put a couple of drums of fuel in it. and that is all.  110 gallons always seemed a bit short for flying over so much water.  I nearly came short on a couple of occasions.  It had a useful load of around 1975 lbs but I would have traded some of that for space in the fuel tanks.

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Doug Deming of SIL - April 4, 1974 - REGULATIONS

I understood some Scripture when I checked out in the Evangel, a twin-engine airplane -- serial number 6 off the assembly line and with its designer, Carl (Mort) Mortensen.  A lesson in laws . . .. 

Regs, laws, limitations!  How they restrict us! 

Like the Peruvian law, “supplemental oxygen at or above 11,500 feet"! 

If you are like me there is a tinge of rebellion towards many laws.  In cars, the 35 mph speed limit can be bent to 37, 38, 40, even the 43 mph the police will allow!  How could David, the Psalmist, say, "I love your laws, they protect and make us wise . . .?" 

God provided laws for us, too.  He also said, "be sure your sin will find you out!" 

When younger I thought God sat in heaven with binoculars watching my every move for a "Gotcha!"  Now I understand He is saying, "Please don't sin, Doug, for it will turn around and bite you”. 

It was when I checked out in the Evangel, .a twin-engine airplane. 

Each airplane has its own "bible" -- the Pilot's Operating Handbook, or POH.  It is a law that bible be in the aircraft!  The Evangel has a thick one.  I studied it thoroughly. 

I knew almost every word in the Evangel’s "black book.". I studied each page about its systems, airspeeds and emergency procedures days before flying the airplane.  Then, my flight checks -- with the designer/creator of the airplane, Carl Mortenson. 

Carl wrote the book -- the Evangel’s POH! 

One training/service flight took us 200 miles southwest; deep in the jungle beyond the mountainous headwaters of the Pachitea River.  On the return flight, with an empty airplane, I could see abut 50 miles ahead, ominous cumulus clouds building across the river valley.  A wall of dark black rain clouds from mountain ridge to mountain ridge blocked our route.  Closer, they appeared to top out about 13,000 feet; hard rain and no visibility below them. 

Home base, Yarinacocha, and the Pucallpa city airport, too, continued to report CAVU (ceiling and visibility unlimited).  No passengers.  No load.  Just Mort and I in the twin.  I brought the throttles back reducing power on both engines.  The airspeed slowed to 129 knots -- turbulence penetration speed.  A number I memorized -- from the Book! 

Through my "David Clarks" I heard Mort ask, "Doug, what are you doing?" 

"I'm at the speed to penetrate rough weather," I sublimely replied. 

"But why at this speed?" 

I was incredulous!  "One hundred twenty nine knots is the Speed limit given in the POH for rough weather penetration!" 
  
Mort responded, "Doug, that is the maximum speed allowed!  Why don't you slow to one-oh-five knots?   It’s way above stall and far below max penetration.”  The designer and the creator of this airplane was tenderly giving me advice.  He had designed, dropped, twisted -- tested the airplane beyond its limits and then wrote the operations handbook.  Following the rulebook would protect the pilot and the airplane.  Both would have a long good life! 

A lesson!    God created us.  He gave us some Rules -- for a long, good life. 
  
Oh how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day."    Psalm 119:37

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Budd Davisson from the article "Adventure Is In The Eye Of..." - "Then, I think about turning final to mere slashes in the jungle that stretched every possible definition of “runway.” They were short (some 450 feet) and undulating and hemmed in by rocks and huge trees. Better yet, we were flying a twin: the Evangel 4500. Every bit of water in any direction was teeming with piranhas, it was jungle as far as the eye could see and all the locals wore breechclouts and carried machetes. I felt like the central character in a National Geographic article! Now that was an adventure".