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Duck Dash wings it

Heidi McKinley takes advantage of a different approach to the Great Stilly Duck Dash this year. Due to high water in the Stillaguamish River, the Rotary Club of Arlington determined that it would be too dangerous to have the scouts in canoes trying to retrieve the ducks and poured the ducks onto the ground in Haller Park instead. - SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times
Heidi McKinley takes advantage of a different approach to the Great Stilly Duck Dash this year. Due to high water in the Stillaguamish River, the Rotary Club of Arlington determined that it would be too dangerous to have the scouts in canoes trying to retrieve the ducks and poured the ducks onto the ground in Haller Park instead.
— image credit: SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON After 20 years, it's a first. The ducks of The Great Stilly Duck Dash were not able to go into the river because the water was just too high and too fast.

"We're gonna have to wing it," said the traditional Duck Dash emcee, Dale Duskin, son-in-law to the first-place winner, Ruth Yost. He did not, however, sell her the winning ticket. That was Jim Minifie.

"We don't want the ducks to drown," Duskin told the crowd.

More importantly, organizers did not want the scouts who help retrieve the ducks in their red originally designed for aircraft, and that the Subaru car company came when engineers "built a car around the engine." He cited its horizontal configuration as being better-suited for aircraft than automobiles, and noted that MPS spent two and a half years developing its own engine package around it.

Mark Kiedrowski, a consultant and test pilot for MPS, pointed out that the engine's water-cooled system and gas mileage saves pilots on fuel costs while still offering them 165 horsepower.

"It takes 87 octane fuel and can get 22 miles per gallon," Kiedrowski said. "That's better than a lot of SUVs. Most comparable aircraft consume nine or 10 gallons per hour, but at low speeds, this engine consumes 4.2 gallons per hour. Even at high speeds, it's still only 6.5 gallons per hour, and I've had it up to 186 miles per hour. It's got more air going through its intake than a Corvette."

Kiedrowski managed to log 3,300 miles on the MX1 engine in the Sportsman in six days, after its certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. He and the Maxwells expect that the aircraft to have its requisite 40 hours of flight time by the Fly-In, in time for them to take passengers up, to feel firsthand how the engine flies.

"We call it a five-bolt package, because practically all you have to do is bolt it into your aircraft by those five blots," John Maxwell said. "It takes the trickery out of it. Glasair makes the best kit and we make the best engine package. Arlington is the world leader in non-commercial utility planes."

Gwen Maxwell joked that MPS has released the first "dream liner" to fly in the state of Washington, since they named their aircraft the N-787-MX.

The Maxwells were equally complimentary of the Fly-In, with Gwen Maxwell thanking organizers for making the registration process simple and pleasant.

"They faxed me a one-page registration form and we traded a couple of e-mails," Gwen Maxwell said. "It was a piece of cake."

In addition to their own portable product placement tent, at space number 40, MPS will also be presenting two one-hour-long forums, where staff members will "tag-team" to provide information about the company and explain aspects of the engine.

"We're so happy to be located at the Arlington airport, where we have opportunities like this right in our backyard."

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