Man Powers Airplane With A Subaru

Thursday, September 13th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

How big is your dream? Can you fly it? About the time most people are looking for a good spot to retire, Broken Arrow's Jim Franklin started building his dream. The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports the Franklin Woodsie 1 is a dream fulfilled.

Jim Franklin has always had a dream to design and build his own airplane.

"My primary structure is Sitka Spruce aircraft,” said airplane builder Jim Franklin.

He says there are seven other different kinds of wood in it, most of it he scrounged, and the aircraft is powered by a 1985 Subaru car engine.

"I bought it out of a junk yard Subaru in Sand Springs for $100," Franklin said.

Of course he rebuilt it and refitted it to power the plane. He didn’t start the project until he was 64-years-old.

"I read everything I could get my hands on," Franklin said.

He'd always wanted to go to college and become an aeronautical engineer, but money was tight so he worked as a carpenter with his father, raised a family then retired

“Through all those years I had the dream in the back of my mind to design and build my own airplane," Franklin said.

Well, he’s done it! Jim calls his plane the Franklin Woodsie, there's not another one like it, and it took him ten years and nearly 6,000 hours of work to finish it. The plane is a two seater, Franklin says it will hold him, his wife and 40 pounds of luggage. He's flown it to Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, Texas and all around the area sight seeing from the air.

"I have a word for you fellows, if you have a dream pursue it, the end result is very rewarding," said Franklin.

The total cost of Jim Franklin's home built dream, $12,000. Now because it's powered by an automobile engine, it will run on high octane automobile gasoline.

Watch the video: The Flying Subaru