The Legacy of Molt Taylor
When I first met Molt in 1973, he was pleasant, at times jovial, and always anxious to please. After all, I had purchased the Coot plans the year before, and I had gone out of my way, while on a business trip to Corvallis, Oregon, to get "my ride". Only then did I realize, as I was driven around Longview in the Aerocar, and had a chance to sit in the seat of the IMP, that Molt was much more than just the designer of the Coot. As the newsletter began in 1975, our relationship strengthened, and my file containing his letters became fatter and fatter.
Molt attended the EAA convention at Oshkosh every year, if possible. His seminars were delivered with a clear, strong voice, and his opinions were so forcefully expressed that no-one questioned them. In the photo above he is explaining the advantages of a pusher propeller over one placed in the "tractor" configuration. If you study the photo closely, you might notice that while he was at it, Molt had included a discussion of the merits of the inverted V tail over the conventional V tail. By the time this photo was taken (early 1980's) Molt had spent considerable time on the IMP and Mini-IMP programs, and he had even influenced the design of the Learfan.
The caption to this photo, taken by Dick Stouffer for the Oct. 1972 issue of Sport Aviation, reads: "Molt Taylor, in chair, holds court in the lee of his popular Coot, winner of the 'Best Amphib' trophy. An old fly-in hand, Molt has long since learned to pace himself for a full week of activities. That engine nacelle holds a new 180 hp Franklin, installed since last year." After my first visit to Oshkosh in 1973, I would listen in on many of Molt's replies to other builders' questions. Thus began the Coot-builder's newsletter in 1975.