Ladislao Pazmany

Aviation pioneer Ladislao Pazmany (November 25, 1923 – August 21, 2006) was an aeronautical engineer, designer, builder, pilot, teacher, speaker and author.

His design engineering stretched from early model airplanes made of wood as a child in Argentina, through six decades of work on gliders, small planes, jets and missiles, both for private purchase and for the largest defense contractors in America including Convair, General Dynamics and Rohr. Contributions to the unmanned stealth aircraft were utilized in action during the Iraq war. And for Ryan, the Cloudster was his commercial contribution.

With a passion for small personal aircraft, he became recognized as a world authority on landing gear, light aircraft and flight efficiencies through his books, plans and planes: The Pazmany PL-1 and PL-2 [1], used for training, the PL-4A, a single seat VW powered, T-Tailed with folding wings; and the PL-9 Stork a ¾ adaptation of the Luftwaffe STOL warbird. He was inducted into the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Hall of Fame in 1997 for his work in Homebuilt Aircraft.

His work and reputation as an aeronautical engineer stretched across continents and touched people in very level of aviation, from government officials to young amateur pilots. [2]


The Pazmanys, a prominent family in Hungary with a rich cultural heritage, trace their ancestral roots back to the Middle Ages and to the renowned Churchman Peter Pazmany, who codified the literary Hungarian language. “Pazmany, a Jesuit Cardinal and a master of Hungarian prose, was outstanding as an orator and essayist. His writing was characterized by a vigorous and clear, though far from simple, style, and the use of popular expressions and solid argument”[3]. He led the reformation and is honored as a national figure in Hungary with the University he founded in Budapest which is still a seat of higher learning today.

Entering the 20th century, Budapest, Hungary’s capital was a cultural jewel in Europe’s imperial crown. Left, above the country’s beautiful Parliament Building gracing a curve in the Danube. It was completed just a decade before the First World War broke out in 1914. Middle, Peter Pazmany from a portrait and cast in stone in the statue that bears the family name at a church entrance. Right, the Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bridge, photographed during Europe’s Belle Epoque in 1903.

Childhood and Early Life

Ladislao’s father, Zoltan, carried on the literary tradition as a journalist and contributing writer who spoke seven languages. Following the devastation of World War I, he moved his family of wife Maria Keceli and young sons Ladislao and Zoltan from the rural enclave of Zenta to the thriving metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city in 1926. In their new house in the Padilla district, the family prospered.

Buenos Aires City Hall by Jon Gilbert Leavitt. January 24, 2008. Originally posted to Flickr as “Summer Afternoon”.

Buenos Aires in the 1920s was already a city of some seven million people, internationally aflow with Spanish, Italian, Irish, and French immigrants who contributed to its ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan character. Known as the “Paris of South America” for its many boulevards, parks, cafes, restaurants, theatres and symphonies – the city’s busy daytime commercial tempo was complimented by the emerging Latin dance rhythms of its night life. Photos – Left: Buenos Aires City Hall was renowned for its architecture. Middle: A busy day in the Calle Florida 1920. Right: Zoltan Pazmany, Ladislao’s father.

Older son Ladislao made his first model plane at age five, followed by others, and was encouraged by his father to visit the airports and trains stations.  He developed an interest in trains, planes, motors and engines, leading to his first flight in gliders at age 15. A prodigious student, the young Pazmany began teaching elementary aviation to adults while still a young man and later graduated with a degree with honors from the prestigious Escuela Tecnica Otto Krause. Ladislao continued his engineering education at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. [4]

Left: A front view of the Escuela Tecnica Otto Krause. Middle: A close up of Ladislao Pazmany from his own class photograph. Right: The Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Both schools grew in academic stature, establishing reputations, while accommodating the large student population.

The world of aviation in the 1930’s, following Lindbergh’s inspiring solo flight across the Atlantic, was alive with the individual exploits of pilots like Douglas Corrigan, Will Rogers and Wiley Post, Glenn Curtis, Howard Hughes and hundreds of others around the world – men who pushed aviation forward personally – a direction Ladislao Pazmany would also follow.

Following his experience with gliders, Pazmany’s first plane was a Piper Cub J-3 then a Cessna, becoming a pilot at only 15 years old. As the barnstorming spirit was very much alive with him and his like-minded friends, Pazmany learned to fly over the cow pastures and farmlands outside of Buenos Aires, logging hours and integrating hundreds of air hours of practical flight experience into a growing knowledge of aeronautical engineering. [5]

Career: Buenos Aires, Argentina

For nearly a decade Ladislao designed aircraft, pipelines, high tension power lines, suspension bridges, chemical and hydroelectric plants, and was an instructor at Raggio Escuela Tecnica, an aeronautical school. He also worked at Kyser, an American auto company, as head draftsman, sometimes holding as many as three jobs at the same time! [6] [7]

He worked for the Air Force of Argentina (Fuerza Aerea Argentina), Techint Engineering, the international conglomerate, and finally contributed to the wing design of the Dewoitine 7-10, a twin engine light transport by the famous French designer, who produced in the same era the South America’s first jet plane.

After the end of World War II and a decade of political, social and economic unrest, the Peron regime ended and the many restrictions on professionals, including engineers, were lifted, allowing Ladislao Pazmany to pursue the unlimited possibilities of aeronautics in the United States, with its growing economy, expanding commercial aviation, and huge cold war contracts in the defense industry. [8]

Immigration to the United States

Left: The natural geography of San Diego and its skyline from its most considered point of view on the hills from Point Loma, with the yacht clubs and bay in the foreground, and the downtown on the left and North Island Airfield at the right. Right: An F/A-18C Hornet in flight over the bay and dockside aircraft carrier.

In the 1950’s San Diego was still a small town of sunshine and sleepy neighborhoods defined largely by its military role as a strategic port. The city is home to the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and a major center of aviation since the 1920s.

In 1948 Ladislao Pazmany married Margarita Byro, a ballet dancer and an artist, also a Hungarian with similar ancestry, and with whom he had two young daughters when he arrived in San Diego, California in May of 1956. With a house downtown just minutes from Lindbergh Field, Pazmany would make a home for his family, raise his children to maturity, become an American citizen, and years later have residence and office overlooking the airport and bay. [9]

Career: San Diego, California

Convair, McDonnell Douglas, Rohr and Ryan

“In 1953, the Soviets exploded a thermonuclear device and were supposedly working on ICBMs to carry uranium and hydrogen warheads. In reaction to this, in March 1954, the Western Development Division, a special missile command agency created by the Air Research and Development Command, awarded Convair its first long-term contract for engineering and fabrication of an ICBM.” [10]

The threat of Soviet supremacy in the nuclear age heightened Cold War tensions and spurred an expansion of spending, research and building in the defense industry that would continue unabated until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In addition to the strengthening of the American deterrent, great strides were made in aeronautics that spread and applied to all fields of aviation.

Pazmany quickly earned a position at Convair, which was a division of General Dynamics, and worked on the company’s innovative delta wing designed jets, the F-102 Delta Dagger, an interceptor plane, which was known as the “Deuce” and was used in Vietnam, and the more advanced F-106 Delta Dart, a supersonic jet technology, which prevailed well into the 1980s.

During this period of some 25 years, starting with Convair and General Dynamics, Pazmany also worked at McDonnell Douglas on aerostructures and engines. At Rohr, he produced related components, including engine nacelles, thrust reversers and mounting pylons for both military and commercial aircraft.

Pazmany’s engineering talents stretched from conventional prop-driven aircraft to jets, missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned stealth craft, aero systems and parts. He earned seven patents for inventions for aircraft thrust reversers to emergency natural gas shut-off valves that activate during earthquakes.

He researched, analyzed and wrote the contractor report “Potential Structural Material and Design Concept for Light Airplanes” (NASA CR93258) in 1968, for mission analysis division, NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California. [11][12][13]

University Teaching

San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego

From his this defense work, Mr. Pazmany introduced new concepts, innovations, principles and practices as a lecturer at both the University of California at San Diego, 1979-1980, and San Diego State University, 1975-1979. Subjects ranged widely from light aircraft design, engineering and construction to larger jet, missile, and space applications. [14]

Designing the Ryan Cloudster

Pazmany then joined the legendary Claude Ryan (Lindbergh’s Spirit Of St. Louis is credited to Ryan) and his son in developing the Ryson ST-100 Cloudster, a tandem two seat motor glider that was intended for cross-country flight and was, by early 1982, the latest contribution to Ryan’s pioneering tradition in the San Diego aviation industry.

“The Cloudster is a powered sailplane or an airplane that soars, whichever you prefer. As a touring airplane, it cruises at 135 mph (75% power) using just 6 gph to yield a range of 690 miles. At lower power settings, the range can be greatly increased. Only 20% power is required to keep the Cloudster in level flight.” [15]


After only one month of arriving in the United States and getting his start at Convair a dedicated Ladislao Pazmany attended his first EAA meeting at Curtis-Wright Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The new Experimental Aircraft Association had just been founded shortly before in January 1953. Led by Paul Poberezny and a small group of aviation enthusiasts who promoted sport aviation, these pilots quickly expanded their mission to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultra-lights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft. The EAA embodied the spirit of the Wright Brothers and a commitment to personal aviation. [16]

Ladislao Pazmany would join in 1956 and parallel his work in the defense and commercial aviation industries with an energetic and lasting development of the EAA and its creed of experimental design – with plans, planes, books, networking and leadership that would quickly reach around the world.

Left: EAA President Paul Poberezny and Ladislao Pazmany enjoy a moment standing with a Pazmany PL-2 Trainer at an air show in the 1990s. Right: A meeting of homebuilders, the heart and soul of experimental aircraft at Oshkosh in the early 1990s. Ladislao Pazmany is seated in the bottom row, second to the right end. With a growing interest in aviation, availability of good plans, books and kits, EAA membership would grow into the hundreds of thousands by the year 2000.

Left: An EAA fly-in with Pazmany PL-4s in attendance at Ramona, California, around 1982.  Members tracked, collected and shared aircraft and performance information on the new PL-4A from its inception. Right: members with new PL-2 engine, and interior photo of instrument panel.

Left: The EAA chapter in Tokyo, Japan held a special fly-in event for the Pazmany PL-2 in 1970 which included lectures, inspections, demonstrations, conferences, and test flights by local members, leading to a Japanese language translation of Pazmany’s book on Light Aircraft Design. Right: A fly-in in Paso Robles California with both Pazmany PL-2s and PL-4As represented.


Left: The Pazmany PL-2. Middle: The Pazmany PL-4A. Right: The Pazmany PL-9 Stork.

The Pazmany PL-1

The EAA chapter in San Diego began a group design project that evolved into Pazmany’s own unique vision of a two-seat, side-by-side, low-wing, tricycled gear airplane that was stressed for aerobatics with a +9 and -4.5 g ultimate load factor at full gross weight and that carried all its fuel in two 13 gallon fiberglass wing tip tanks. “P” for Pazmany, “L” for Laminar, “1” for prototype. It would be quickly followed by an improved successor, the PL-2. [17]

The Pazmany PL-2

Left: Paz with a newly completed PL-2. Middle and Right: The Nagoya Air Show, Japan.

The basic configuration of the PL-2 incorporates two-place, side by side seating, a low wing of rectangular plan form, and tricycle landing gear. The overall layout is compact and light compared with some other contemporary aircraft in the same category. The structure is stressed to +6 g limit for safety and aerobatics. Aluminum 2024-T3 is the basic material. Landing gear and engine mount are made from 4130 steel tubes and plates. There are no double-curvature skins in the whole airplane. Very few formed blocks are necessary, considering that the wing and horizontal tail have constant chord.

Left and Center: Taking off on first test flight at Nagoya. Right: The PL-2 Cutaway Plan.

The wing has a 15% thickness laminar airfoil, with the single spar located at the maximum thickness. The wing is assembled as a unit to the fuselage and can be removed in approximately two hours. The wing-fuselage connection is provided by two bolts at the main spar and two bolts at the rear spar. The seats form an integral structure with the wing. Also, the control sticks and flap control lever are directly attached to the wing structure. The elevator trim is located in a center box between the seats. Aileron and flaps are piano-hinged to the bottom skin. The elevator trim is located in a center box between the seats. Aileron and flaps are piano hinged to the bottom skin. Ailerons are mass-balanced and push-pull controlled, having differential displacement. The flaps run through the fuselage and have three positions.

Top Speed: 138 mph; Stall: 52 mph; Rate of Climb: 1200 fpm; Engine: LYC-235; Length: 19.3 ft; Wing Span: 27.8 ft [18]

Putting the Pazmany PL-2 through its paces: flight photos of PL-2 at Nagoya

The Pazmany PL-2: Trainers

“Due to Pazmany’s great concern for safety his planes were used as trainers because they could be counted on, especially in the hands of young pilots-in-training to respond exactly as expected to in the requirements of flight”. [19]

Completed PL-2 trainers on tarmac, approach and take-off in Taiwan (photo taken in early 1970s)

Recommended by US Air Force personnel, Nationalist China Taiwan initially committed to build 70 PL-2s as trainers for its military flight school at Kangshan during the early 1970’s. At the time, Major-General Chao, Vice-Commander of the Air Academy, indicated that the Academy was most pleased with the results of the program, although it was still in its infancy. Major-General T. M. Lee, Commanding General of the Air Technical School, discussed the very substantial savings in airframe costs and a vital saving in training time for airframe mechanics.

Because the cost of the program was only the plans themselves “Nationalist China may have picked up the smallest bill in history for the design of a military aircraft” and Pazmany’s “yield comes largely from the satisfaction of knowing that many persons consider his aircraft the finest in its class.” [20]

With the formula set for PL-2 light airplane manufacture, for military and civilian air patrol pilot training, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Pakistan and Sri Lanka began their programs using Pazmany’s design.

As an invited guest of the Indonesian government, Ladislao Pazmany works with the Air Force officers to begin a cadet training program based on the production and usage of the Pazmany PL-2 and its aerodynamics.

Pazmany PL-4A

The PL-4A is a sport airplane intended to answer the need for a well designed, all-metal airplane which is easy to build, easy to fly, with low initial and operating costs, and folding wings so that it may be towed behind an automobile and stored at home. It is a low-wing airplane, VW-powered, with a closed or open cockpit large enough to accommodate even very large persons, and a generous baggage compartment.

A “T” tail configuration improves rudder effectiveness and prevents the stabilator from interfering with the folded wings.

In order to favor takeoff and climb performance, a high aspect ratio of 8 is used for the wing, which in combination with a large diameter, slow turning prop should provide good performance even at high altitude airports. The airfoil is the NACA 633418, which has a mild stall and a good overall performance even at “standard roughness.” The 18% thickness provides a deep spar, high torsional rigidity, and makes possible the simple, compact fittings at the wing folding joint, which are band-sawed from aluminum plate. The chord is constant at 40 in., and there is no washout. The ailerons have differential travel to minimize adverse yaw. They are hinged at the bottom skin with standard piano hinges, as in the PL-1 and 2, providing smooth airflow over the top of the “down” aileron and a good gap seal. The mass balance is concentrated in a lead weight attached to an arm extending into the wing box. [21]

Top Speed: 120 mph; Stall: 46 mph; Rate of Climb: 650 fpm; Length: 16.5 ft; Wing Span: 26.7 ft

The PL-4A won the “Outstanding New Design” and “Outstanding Contribution to Low-Cost Flying” awards at the 1972 EAA Fly-In. [22] [23]

Pazmany PL-9 Stork

The Storch is famous as the personal transport plane of German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel in the North Africa desert campaigns, and the following year of 1943 for Otto Skorzeny’s daring rescue of Benito Mussolini from captivity at Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi.

The original German Luftwaffe Fieseler F-156 Storch was an outstanding WWII airplane, designed to take off and land in extremely short distances. The Storch had a takeoff ground roll of 131 feet and a landing roll of 36 feet with 13 miles per hour head wind. The Pazmany PL-9 Stork is a 3/4 replica, with the same flying and handling characteristics as the original German aircraft. The PL-9 Stork is a professionally designed STOL aircraft.

It has a well-proven aircraft configuration designed for a number of functions such as fish spotting, forest fire detection, farm work, missionary work, etc. It features a welded chrome alloy steel tube fuselage and aluminum sheet metal/fabric covered wings and empennage. The PL-9 Stork has a cruise speed of 104 mph with a standard Lycoming O-320 150-160 hp engine. [24]

As with previous first construction planes, Mr. Pazmany consulted, advised, planned and met with the builder including a trip to the Far East to prepare for the first test flight.

The PL-9 was started in March 1990 with an extensive literature search, through books, reports, manuals and movies, from talking with former Luftwaffe pilots who had flown the Storch. For the redesign of the PL-9 Stork, maximum effort has been made to reproduce the performance of Fi-156 [25]. With PL-9, amateur builders were provided with a STOL aircraft which will please the sport pilot, the nostalgic pilot and the bush pilot.

“Pilots have always been fascinated by the Storch because it was capable of flying in and out of almost any open space and moping along at incredibly low airspeed when desired. The thought that occurs to any pilot is that one could fly the airplane with almost complete confidence that should engine failure occur, it could be landed anywhere within gliding range without fear of injury to its occupants.” [26]

The Stork is a high wing, two-seat monoplane; Top Speed: 116 mph; Stall Speed: 33 mph; Rate of Climb: 1400 fpm; Length: 24.3 ft; Wing Span: 36 ft [27]

The Pazmany Aircraft Corporation

Created in 1957, the company was the organizational, financial and legal foundation to 50 years of business activity – planes, plans, books, videos, website, PDFs, e-books, and decades of meetings, fly-ins, conventions and international travel. It remains in operation today.


From his home office and workshop Pazmany quickly set new standards in the production of homebuilt aircraft plans, with an attention to detail that became his trademark. “Homebuilt plans must show more detail than a commercial or military model because the amateur needs more guidance and is unfamiliar with aircraft shop practices,” he explained.

The Pazmany PL-2 redesign took 7,000 man hours, with a specific objective – partially derived in conversations with other pilots – a structurally sound airframe but also a sensitivity of control, utilizing primarily metal and fiberglass, have clean lines aerodynamically – and finally, it should be attractive. Twenty years later, the Pazmany PL-9 Stork would require 9,000 man hours of design before the prototype’s first test. [28][29]

Known as “Paz” to all of his friends and business associates, [30] Pazmany was an excellent pilot with over a half century of consistent air hours who continually tracked and recorded in-flight data that was used to re-formulate efficiencies, revise plans, rebuild parts and re-apply changes for flight. This was done in concert with the many brother pilots of the EAA. Results were shared and published in Engineering Change Notices (ECN) and regular newsletters for a number of years – as promised with a unique pledge by Pazmany to each homebuilder to assist, support and help them in the completion of their aircraft. [31]

Thousands of sets of plans have been sold worldwide, and planes built and flying around the world, with still more in construction today.


Light Airplane Design

This book was first published in 1963. Since then, more than 8,000 copies have been sold. Used as a text in several universities. Translated and published in Japan. It is a popular book on light airplane design. A step-by-step description of the PL-1 and PL-2 preliminary design. The reasoning behind each feature of these airplanes. No high mathematics, very easy to read. 80 pages, 61 figures, 18 tables, even some cartoons.

Landing Gear Design for Light Aircraft

This book, intended originally as a chapter in a revised version of “Light Airplane Design” book (published in 1957).  It is a compilation of data spanning more than a decade in time. In the course of design of landing gears for light airplanes, a broad spectrum of characteristics, performance.

Arrangements and related subjects were examined, evaluated and added to what would, in the space of 10 years, assume book-length proportion.

It covers: Arrangement of the Landing Gear, The Ground Loop, Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Wheels and Brakes without TSO, Brake Systems, Loads and Deflections, Main Gears, Nose Gears, Tail Gears. The book has 245 pages, 463 illustrations (113 photographs and 350 line drawings), 32 tables and 3 large fold-out drawings.

PL-8 Main Gear Design and Trade-Offs

This 38-page booklet describes the trade-offs in shock absorber design of a nose wheeled aircraft.

It is profusely illustrated (37 figures). Easy to follow, simple calculations lead the reader through the following steps: geometry, horizontal tail loads at rotation, elevator angle required for rotation, tires selection, FAR 23 design loads, shock absorber stroke, approximate sizing of main gear fiberglass spring. Calculation of a cantilever beam with varying cross section. Accurate estimate of spring deflection. Radial stresses in a curved beam. Delamination. Cantilever spring cross sections.

Calculations of an aluminum and steel springs design of an oleo-pneumatic shock absorber, estimate of air spring volume. Stress analysis of main components, weight estimates. Comparison of weights, comments on fiberglass cantilever spring problems.

Light Airplane Construction

For the homebuilder – 92 pages (8 1/2 x 11), 274 photos (mostly PL-2 construction), 37 fine illustrations, 8 tables, 37 pages of text. More than 5,000 copies of this book have been sold since its publication. This book is now used by many homebuilders (not only PL-1 or PL-2) as a guide for the construction of almost any airplane. Translated and published in Japan. Tables of Contents: Drawing dimensioning. Tools required to build a sheet metal airplane. Riveting inspection. Form blocks for sheet metal parts. Forming of ribs, frames and skins. Structural assemblies. Assembly jigs. Weldments jigs and inspection. Fabrication of plaster and fiberglass molds. Molding of fiberglass components (vacuum bagging). Forming, trimming and cementing Plexiglass transparencies.

PL-4A Construction Manual

This book has 104 pages and illustrated with 394 figures. It guides through every step in building a sheet metal aircraft. Very detailed list of tools, including their catalog numbers. Aluminum handling. How to make ribs, frames, fittings, form blocks, jigs. Construction tips. Forming of parts. Assemblies. “Pop riveting’ techniques. Fitting and drilling of Plexiglass. VW engine assembly instructions, parts list, installation photo, etc.

This book is not a repetition of Light Aircraft Construction, but a supplement, it is profusely illustrated with hundreds of photos and many sketches. As were the two previous books on the PL-1 and PL-2, it will be useful not only to PL-4 builders, but to anyone interested in light airplane construction because most of the techniques used in the PL-4 are also applicable to many other light airplanes.

PL-4A Exploded Views

This booklet contains 27 sheets 8.5” x 11″ and 18 fold-outs 11″ x 17” printed one side only on heavy paper for maximum durability and plastic comb bound for easy handling. Each sheet depicts one major assembly. All part numbers are shown. The builder can easily visualize each and all finished parts and how they go together in the assembly. This document, together with the PL-4A Construction Manual and a set of plans provides the builder with the most complete and informative package. [32] [33] [34]

International Recognition

The PL-1 and PL-2 monoplanes, and the plans and books that followed demonstrated design vision, solid engineering and an instructional dimension that established Mr. Pazmany as an authority on light aircraft design in general, and landing gear in particular. The near perfect safety record over some fifty years that is almost unmatched anywhere only underscored the value of his engineering and the high standards he set.

Pazmany’s inspired designs and activities lead to multiple listings in the prestigious Jane’s Encyclopedia, used worldwide as a reference for military, institutional, governmental and corporate customers, and an ongoing recognition in international publications – many chronicling Ladislao Pazmany’s own experience of air hours, cross checking, and data gathering of in-flight data in his planes – and from his designs. These include a book translation in Japanese, government recommendations in the Far East, and coverage of planes in Spanish language publications in Latin America.

The PL-4A has been built and flown in regions as far apart in geography and climate as Norway and New Zealand, and Pazmany PL-9 Stork enjoyed continuous publicity even before its first test flight.

Pazmany Efficiency Contest

Left: Pazmany in the cockpit of a PL-4A at Oshkosh. Middle and Right: Three views of a Pazmany PL-2 engine

Pazmany created and conducted the first real world evaluation of homebuilt aircraft for the EAA, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1970. It is still used as the standard for high quality homebuilding. While a great many people had searched for years to find some standard of airplane performance, it was Pazmany, with his scrupulous attention to detail, combined with his aeronautical appreciation of flight data that made the breakthrough.

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. [35]

Now designers, engineers, pilots and companies could address how a plane could be improved, where technique came into play, where an aircraft stood in comparison to its peers, and what are the basic performance factors that allow for results.

This was especially important in trying to compare different types of aircraft – Cubs, TaylorCrafts, and Sidewinders – with the low speed performance of the airplane-aviator combination factor as a key to the overall efficiency coefficient. And at low, minimum speed, different type of aircraft could be compared, and evaluations also made within the design concept of an aircraft by its engineers. [36][37]

The EAA Hall of Fame

Left: The designer with his plane. Middle: Shortly before his retirement. Right: Award in hand.

On Friday evening October 31, 1997, induction ceremonies were held at the EAA aviation center in the dramatic setting of Eagle Hangar of the Aerospace Museum with the inductees, their guests, and officers and directors with Paul Poberezny presiding – and honoring Ladislao Pazmany, who was present, into the Homebuilder’s Hall of Fame, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The award is based on exemplary contributions to the history, growth and development of aviation, and is accompanied by a trophy and inscription in the Hall Of Fame display.[38]

The Digital Age

In the late 90s, as the internet came alive with DSL service and e-commerce transaction capabilities the Pazmany Aircraft Corporation, helped by friends and family, begins to process the forty years of carefully kept archives – drawings, books, plans, articles, photos and a wealth of notes – that made up the Pazmany library.

Scanned and imaged digitally they would become an extensive multi-page website that would feature video, downloadable PDFs, purchasable books and plans, magazine articles, FAQ, and aeronautical data for all planes. The site was thought by many to be innovative in its informational ability, and email response was high and technical quests increased.

After a decade of online operation the site began to offer a full library of ECNs and newsletters, a plane chart and a selection of complete magazine articles, organized by plane, some dating back to the early 1960s – allowing web site visitors to make quick and direct data inquiries by their aircraft of choice.


In the summer of 1999, an ailing Ladislao Pazmany would travel to Oshkosh for the last time to attend the AirVenture, as it has now been called. Mr. Pazmany spoke to guests both formally in presentation and informally around the first showing of the now completed Pazmany PL-9 Stork, a plane that would have over hundred plan requests within its first years of availability.


Partially incapacitated by Parkinson’s disease, Pazmany, while infirmed, retained much of his acute intelligence, strong will, humor and appreciation of life, commenting, shortly before his passing, and ignoring his adversities, “life has many good things”. [39]


Left: New Zealand. Middle: Canada. Right: Japan

Early awards honored the Pazmany PL-2.

  • Dr. August Raspet Award for Outstanding Contribution to Light Aircraft Design, 1970
  • EAA Award: Outstanding contribution to aerospace engineering and light airplane design, 1970-1972
  • Outstanding Contribution to Low-Cost Flying award at the 1972 EAA Fly-In.
  • AIAA Achievement Award. Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Engineering, 1984
  • EAA Homebuilder’s Hall of Fame, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1997 [40 ]


When receiving an AIAA award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in Aerospace Engineering in 1984, Mr. Pazmany was portrayed in Achiever magazine as a “man who has pursued for over four decades, aircraft designs of perfection”. It is an ambition he compares with a classic symphony.

“The ultimate flight efficiencies blended with many components into a single machine.”

This vision of Pazmany is evident in the planes, plans, and books which guide and inform young designers, engineers, pilots, and educators – and as stated by the EAA at the time of his passing, “His work and reputation as an aeronautical engineer stretched across continents and touched people in every level of aviation, from government officials to young amateur pilots.” [41]


1. Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation 1980.
2 .EAA News “Aviation Pioneer Ladislao Pazmany Passes Away”
3. Encyclopedia Britannica. Com. Peter Pazmany Contribution to Hungarian Literature
4 .Margarita Pazmany Interview: “Early Years” March 2011
5. Kitplanes September 1996 “The Chinese Connection” By Shirley Hanson
6. Sport Aviation December 1997 “Hall Of Fame Inductions”, Ladislao Pazmany
7. Sport Aviation October 1971 “Ladislao Pazmany Designer and Builder” By Roy Gordon
8. Juan Domingo Peron : A History, Robert J. Alexander, Westview Press, 1979
9. Margarita Pazmany Interview: “Early Years” March 2011
10. U.S.Centennial of Flight Commision www.centennialof
11. F-102 Delta Dagger
13. Rohr, Inc: Private Company Information – BusinessWeek
14. Sport Aviation December 1997 “Hall Of Fame Inductions”, Ladislao Pazmany
15. Plane and Pilot February 10. 2009 “Ryson ST-100 Cloudster”
16. History, The EAA.
17. Air Progress August/September 1963 “We Fly The Pazmany PL-1” Don Downi
18. Pazmany Blueprint Homebuilder Plans Pazmany PL-2 Specifications 1968 Ladislao Pazmany
19. Margarita Pazmany Interview: “Career” March 2011
20. San Diego Union Tribune Sunday December 8, 1968 “China Gets A Bargain” By Russell Van Densburgh
21 The Pazmany PL4A By Ladislao Pazmany PDF 1999
22. Plane & Pilot: April 1973 “Pazmany VW-Engine Homebuilt” Don Dwiggins
23. The Encyclopedia of Homebuilt Aircraft. Markowski, Mark (1979). Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania
24. Aircraft Spruce : PL-9 Stork www.aircraftspruce .com
25. Sport Aviation February 1991 “The Pazmany PL-9 Stork” Ladislao “Paz” Pazmany
26. Sportsman Pilot Summer 1993 Editorial Review “Pazmany PL-9 Stork”
27. Pazmany PL-9 Stork Plane Profile 1999
28. Sport Aviation October 1971 “Ladislao Pazmany Designer and Builder” By Roy Gordon
29. Sport Aviation “The Pazmany PL-9 Stork” by Ladislao Pazmany February 1991
30. San Diego Union Tribune August 27, 2011 Obituary “Ladislao Pazmany”
31. Newsletters and ECNs :
35. Sport Aviation 1997 “Hall of Fame Inductions” 1997
36. Sport Aviation July 1974 “The Pazmany Efficiency Test, Make it Work For You” Phillip B. Groelz
37. EAA 2431, July 1970. “Airplane Efficiency Contest” L. Pazmany
38. Sport Aviation 1997 “Hall of Fame Inductions”
39 . Margarita Pazmany Interview: “LatterYears” March 2011
40. “Achievements”
41. EAA News “Aviation Pioneer Ladislao Pazmany Passes Away” August 2006


All photos are property of Pazmany Aircraft Corporation, by historical dating, source in the public domain, or credited via Wikipedia creative Commons 2.0 generic license as per location in the text.