POBEREZNY P-9 “Pober Pixie” – N9PH
In response to the energy crisis in the 1970s, Paul Poberezny designed the Pober Pixie. The Pixie was to be the first in a series of economy aircraft that would meet the new demand for fuel efficiency as part of the design project entitled “Project Econoplane”. Fuel consumption for the Pixie is approximately three to three and a half gallons per hour.
The aircraft was originally powered by a converted Volkswagen engine, which was later swapped with a Limbach Model SL 1700 EA. The Limbach engine develops 60 maximum horsepower at 3550 rpm and is equipped with a single Slick 4030 magneto, a Bosch starter, and a Ducati alternator. The carburetor is a Zenith 28 RXZ, which is mounted on the rear part of the engine.
The Pixie slightly resembles the Heath “Parasol” LN, with a similar control column, basic fuselage side layout, non-compression ribs, ailerons, and general shape of the tail group. The airplane also features a J-3 style gear with external shock cords.
The Pober Pixie was built in record time; the project started in January of 1974 in EAA’s shop and flew for the first time in late July, just prior to the EAA Convention in Oshkosh. However, the aircraft had a few kinks in it and was taken back to the EAA shop to be stripped down just after the convention. Over the winter of 1974-1975, the Pixie underwent a series of improvements including the Limbach engine, a pressure-type cowling with a fiberglass nosebowl and new aluminum sides, and a Rehm 53-30 propeller. The modifications were complete by February of 1975 and had fixed most of the bugs.
The Pober Pixie was easy to fly and economical to run. It was roomy enough for larger pilots and has a cruise speed high enough for reasonable cross country trips. In many ways, the Pixie typified sport aviation; open cockpit flying, the helmet and goggle era, will never leave the aviation scene. It was the answer to many needs – not the least of which was economy.
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