Ladislao Pazmany……”Paz” to all of his friends in the EAA world, is of Hungarian descent. His family moved to Argentina when he was three and he grew up and was educated there. Enamored with aviation from an early age, he built models and began flying gliders when he was 15. After obtaining a degree in aero engineering, he worked wherever engineering jobs were available in the unstable economy that prevailed in Argentina at the time.
For nearly a decade he designed aircraft, pipelines, high tension power towers, suspension bridges, chemical and hydroelectric plants, was an instructor at an aeronautics school – sometimes holding as many as three jobs at at time!
In May of l956 Paz and his family moved to the U.S. and settled in San Diego where he went to work for Convair. The following month he attended his first EAA Chapter 14 meeting and has been involved in EAA activity ever since. At Convair, he worked on F-102, F-106 and other projects…and, along the way, obtained seven patents for inventions ranging from aircraft thrust reversers to emergency natural gas shut-off valves that activate during earthquakes.
In recent years Paz has worked as a design specialist for McDonnell Douglas, has been involved in cruise missile projects, and has lectured on aerospace engineering at universities in the San Diego area.
Concurrent with his full time employment in the aerospace industry, Paz devoted his spare time to his first love, personal aircraft. He designed he PL-1, which flew for the first time on March 23, 1962, made plans available to homebuilders and wrote the book “Light Airplane Design”.
All of which allowed him to start his own business and devote more time to light plane design and development. In the late l960’s the Nationalist Chinese Air Force acquired plans to build a version of the PL-1 to serve as a primary trainer. Their prototype flew on October 26, 1968, and an additonal 35 aircraft were started that year, and 58 were completed, overall. Meanwhile, Paz had designed the PL-2, an improved version of the PL-1. The first one flew on April 4, 1969.
In the early l970’s Paz began to work on the single-place PL-4 and the prototype was flown on July 9, 1972. Plans were made available for each of the designs and they are still being built today.
Paz created and for several years conducted the Pazmany Efficiency Contest at Oshkosh – which gave EAAers one of their first real world evaluations of homebuilt performance. Paz became the chief engineer for aviation legend T. Claude Ryan’s Ryson Aviation Coproration and designed Ryson ST-100 Cloudster, a beautiful powered motor-glider that was formerly introduced to the flying world in early l977. The work Paz did designing the Cloudster’s landing gear led him to write the book “Landing Gear Design For Light Aircraft”, which has become a standard work on that subject and is on the shelf of every aircraft designer today.
His latest aircraft design is the Pazmany PL-9 Stork, a three-quarter scale version of the famous German Fieseler Storch.
When Paz’s PL-1 plans reached the marketplace, they set a new standard for detail, completeness, and accuracy and resulted in a general improvement in all other plans offered for sales. His professionalism and sense of responsibility to his customers have ultimately benefitted those far beyond the circle of his own builders.
Published In SPORT AVIATION, 1997