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Peter Garrison test-flying the as-yet unpainted Melmoth in 1973. Yarn tufts on fuselage reveal air flow over wing. The horizontal tail was later moved to the top of the vertical tail.
Peter Garrison is an American journalist and amateur aircraft designer/builder. He was born in Los Angeles, California in 1943. He received a degree in English from Harvard College in 1965.
From 1968-1973, while living in Tarzana, California, he designed and built an all-metal, two-seat, single-engine low-wing monoplane. The design was influenced by the T-18 of John Thorp and the PL-2 of Ladislao Pazmany, both California airplane designer/builders. Garrison called the plane Melmoth (after the novel "Melmoth the Wanderer"), and, with his companion Nancy Salter, used the aircraft to fly to Europe, Japan and South America.
In 1981 they had a son, Nicholas, who also attended Harvard University. Their daughter Lily, born in 1988, attended Brown.
In 1981 he began design on a four-seat enlargement of Melmoth, the Melmoth 2. In 1982 the original Melmoth was destroyed at Orange County (California) Airport while awaiting takeoff when a landing airplane lost control and ran into it. The larger aircraft first flew in 2002. It appeared at the 2003 Experimental Aircraft Association's national meet, and was featured on the cover of August 2003 edition of Flying Magazine. It was constructed of glass- and carbon-fiber-reinforced composite instead of aluminum, and has four seats; the rear seats face aft, an arrangement that reduces the required cabin size and center-of-gravity variation. The airplane, which has retractable landing gear, large hydraulically-operated Fowler flaps and a 200 hp turbocharged engine, is based at Whiteman Airport in Los Angeles.
Peter Garrison is a free-lance writer, often contributing articles to Smithsonian Air & Space magazine and Conde Nast Traveler. He also writes two monthly articles for Flying magazine (Aftermath and Technicalities); he has written for Flying since 1968. With David Pinella, he co-founded AeroLogic, a company that creates and sells computer software programs which analyze fluid dynamics.
Mr. Garrison has 4,000 hours of flight time. He holds a single/multiengine commercial pilot license with instrument, Learjet, helicopter, seaplane, glider, gyroplane and hot-air balloon ratings.
Mr. Garrison provided the foreword of the 2002 book Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders by Daniel P. Raymer PhD.
Mr. Garrison is sometimes confused with Peter Garrison which is the pseudonym used by Craig Shaw Gardner, a prolific science-fiction writer born in 1949.
Mr. Garrison is the great-grandson of the Armenian author Muratsan.
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