Bryan  Davies 



Eddie Brewer, EAA Chapter 182

NOTE: Clicking the images will open a large, hi-res version in a new window

Our chapter president, Dwight Smith, who is also an EAA Tech Counselor, called to inform me that he was going to perform an inspection on the construction of a very unique airplane.

When he told the type of aircraft I jumped at the chance to go along with him and view the project. The airplane is a Prowler. I have admired the Prowler ever since I first read about it in the plans & kit-built directory that comes out yearly in the KitPlane Magazine.

This aircraft is being built by Bryan Davies who is a FedEx pilot of thirty years and has lived in Memphis for twenty of the thirty year career with FedEx. Bryan is currently in the MD-11.

The Prowler did not have many builders accept the challenge! In fact, the word challenge may just be an understatement! As it turned out, the plans set is not a set of scaled drawings but rather a booklet with pages of hand drawn sketches that roughly show the fabrication of many lose parts. Also the designer of the Prowler is no longer supporting the builders and is totally out of the picture.

The kit materials include many prefabricated critical parts such as attach points, landing gear (retractable) and several parts that have been roughly formed but not to finished installation. 

This being an all-metal aircraft, has caused Bryan to expand his already wide skills base to include metal forming and shaping and even design/re-design of various assemblies. Bryan's other skills and endeavors include the restoration of his first car, a Mercury Cougar, to award winning status and a classic Honda motorcycle.

Both look show room perfect. To date Bryan has the wing fabrication completed to the final closure. He asked for some suggestions from Dwight as to the final closing process and Dwight having built an

RV-4 was helpful in this area. Bryan has completed approximately 90% of the tail surfaces and, as soon as the wing is complete, plans to begin building a jig for the fuselage.

One of the attractions of the early Prowler was that it was designed around and automotive V8 engines up to 400 HP!

However, Bryan is presently focusing on an inverted V-4 diesel power plant of 200+HP. He expects the airplane to come in around 1300 lbs. empty weight with a 1900 lbs. gross weight.

Now don't go looking around every corner for Prowlers at Sun & Fun or Oshkosh Air Venture since there have been only three flying Prowlers and currently there are none flying.

The Prowler design has been picked up by a new supplier and is currently under redesign and Bryan will probably play a vita roll in the redesign process since he is one of only a few brave souls attempting this demanding and very challenging project. He has a close working relationship with the new Prowler factory.

Hopefully this fabulous airplane will develop quickly and other builders will have the desire to build one. Thanks to Bryan for allowing me to high-lite his beautiful craftsmanship and this rare and unique airplane.