Sun, Jul 29, 2012
It Resides With Dick Keyt In Granbury, TX
By Tom Woodward
What would it be like to own one of anything? The Hope diamond, a rare coin or a Buggatti type 41. OK there are three of those but you get the idea. Could you trust yourself to maintain the legacy of that object? Dick Keyt, of Pecan Plantation Airpark in Granbury, TX, and member of EAA chapter 983 is the keeper of such an object, the Polen special.
In 1967 Dennis Polen began working on the idea and plans for what would become an airplane who's performance would eclipse every other machine in it's class and has gone on to achieve legendary status, sort of the Bob Dylan of aviation. Dennis and his friends, without the help of corporations or funding, had plans for three aircrafts for nothing more than their own pleasure, only one being in flying status. In 1973 Dennis brought the Polen Special to Oshkosh to rave reviews and received a deluge of mail from interested people all over the world but the reclusive Polen had made his point. Sometime later Dennis fell ill and the airplane remained hidden until Dick Keyt convinced Dennis that he would be the best bearer of the torch.
Keyt is a retired airline pilot, former Airline pilot, CFI, A&P and machinist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. After a few years of lobbying, Dick persuaded Dennis to sell him the Polen Special. He has kept the promise he made to himself to keep the airplane flying but more importantly to keep the legend of Dennis Polen alive.
Here's what this magnificent airplane can do. On only 180 HP the Polen Special achieves a maximum speed of 320 mph! Using his engineering and machining skills Keyt continues to modify the airplane in search of the most efficient flying vehicle. Currently working on a new fiberglass cowl which allows sufficient cooling for the turbocharging he installed in an attempt to better his own World record in the 500KM class with a speed of of 303.5 mph. Keyt has also set up a non-profit educational foundation which stimulate innovation and strengthens work habit with practical, one on one training for young people.
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