12 Days of Panther Christmas – Day 2

On our second day of Christmas our true love gave to me – Two Turtle Doves and a Panther in a the Mountains for Me!

Check out this amazing shot of Will Mensink’s Panther with the mountains in the background.

Will Mensink's Panther SN014

Will’s Panther is one of my personal favorites – mostly because it reminds me of my first homebuilt love – Our Cleanex SN183SX (most of it had to do with Dan, but I loved the airplane too!)  For those of you who don’t know – Dan scratch built a Sonex and put a Corvair in it – equals the Cleanex name.  He started the project when we were dating and the maiden flight was a month before our youngest child was born.  So – she was a long part of our lives.  Something we nourished, doted over and gave time and commitment to (mostly Dan, since I was busy with wee little ones, but still…).

Cleanex N183SX

The Cleanex SN183SX was polished, like Will’s and it had a simple electric blue spinner, nose bowl and tips, with Dan’s mandatory checkerboard rudder.  Such a clean look for a Sonex.

Here is a quick pic of Dan and the kids before the Cleanex was flying.  The little one is Andrew (now 14 and in 8th grade)  The giant cheese ball is Brett – now 21, in the Navy and married.  The old Piper Tri-Pacer in the background is the first GA airplane I flew in – on my second date with Dan.

Dan and Kids in Cleanex


And what an amazing look this has on a Panther!!  Sexy lines, a polish job that is outstanding, and a smiling pilot – what else could you ask for!

Here is another photo he shared:


Here is what Will had to say about his Panther build –

“I don’t have many pictures of me with my Panther but here are two airborne shots. What do I love about building? Obviously the challenge and rewards of the build itself and becoming part of a great big family of wonderful builders are high on the list. However, my favorite part of building is one of the same things I love about flying.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said it best( paraphrased)  “I fly (and build) because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.”


PS. 105 hours and counting. First Annual due at the end of this month.”

Merry Christmas Will!

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