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I knew a
secret and I kept my mouth shut.
Moreover, everyone else had kept their
mouth shut as well. I had not seen any
public mention of the private unveiling
of NemesisNXT at the Mojave, California,
Airport on June 4th 2004 at 2 PM. But I
knew it, Id received the assignment
to go there for AAFO.COM, and now, I was
in usual Bill Pearce style, confused but
on time. I figured going to the white
tent with all the people around it would
be a safe bet. Sure enough, thats
right where I wanted to be. Not one to
confine myself, I decided to stand at the
back where I would have a clear shot of
Right at 2
PM, Patricia and Jon Sharp began their
presentation. Jon started by thanking us
all for being there today. As they
introduced the NemesisNXT crew, Jon said
he had to leave to "go get
something". He said he "would
be right back."
Patricia stated that the
design for the NemesisNXT, which stands
for Neoteric eXperimental Technology, had
originally been started as a Formula 1
racer but they had already done
"that," so it quickly evolved
into a Sport Class racer. The new design
is made entirely from composite
materials, with the exception of
fiberglass used for the wing tips and
part of the vertical stabilizer. The
design went through extensive wind tunnel
testing before the first mold was made.
Patricia began to explain what they have
been doing for the past 4 years, the long
wait for the moment we were about to
experience became more understandable.
For the construction of NemesisNXT, they
decided to use an impregnated composite
material that needed to be kept frozen
until being formed. So they needed a
freezer, a big freezer. Once formed, the
material needed to be cured in an oven.
So they needed an oven, a really big
oven. Being Mojave, one might think they
could have used any hanger for that
purpose. Regardless, they acquired both a
large freezer and oven.
This left them in the
position of being able handle the
material, but it still needed to be
molded and formed into the parts that
make an airplane. Forty-seven molds were
CNC machined from High Density Foam, and
to comply with the Sport Division racing
rules of five delivered kits, enough
parts were made for those five kits.
Construction on the prototype could now
mistake, the Sharps are air racers.
Building a prototype, while also building
five additional kits would be hard
enough, but the Sharps are also in
business to make airplanes. Making their
task even more difficult, they produced
an instructional video while they
assembled the prototype to ease the task
for builders of their kits.
long years of preparation almost behind
them, it was now time for the moment
weve all been waiting for, the
unveiling, the birth of NemesisNXT. While
Patricia Sharp led the assembled gaggle
of photographers and assorted witnesses
to the hangar we expected to find the new
airplane housed in, I took delight in my
snake-like, or maybe weasel-like ability
to go from the back of the pack to the
front. I was now in position, front and
center before the closed hangar.
sounds of Pink Floyds Time began to
play over the speaker system, smoke
poured from beneath the hangar door as it
inched upwards, revealing darkness. Then,
suddenly, appearing in the middle of the
hangar, was a small pink podium topped
with an even smaller composite model of
got us, good one, now make with the
Patricia led us all into the
hangar. I maintained my front-of-the-pack
status and was now standing before tables
of refreshments. Then it happened. You
know, that smart voice and not-so-smart
voice you have in your head? Im
talking about the smart one that says
"This is NOT a good idea."
Right before the not-so-smart one says
that smart voice was saying that
something was not right; something did
not add up. The not-so-smart voice said,
"Dude, you be trippin.
Were at the front of the pack,
squished into a confined hangar with no
way to get out but through all the people
behind us. What could go wrong? Hey, have
a brownie and some punch." I then
heard a sound and consequently, that
not-so-smart voice was silent for hours
heard was NemesisNXT taxiing up in FRONT
of the hangar. All those people that had
been "behind" me now obscured
my view and didnt I feel smart.
They fooled me twice and this time, it
was "shame on me". But I knew
what I had to do! I began to push
children and old ladies, onlookers, other
photographers, everyone out of my way!
gathered mass of photographers dashed
towards the plane as though it would only
be there for 15 seconds, rather than a
few hours. As I raced past the film
photographers I told them that they
needed to change to ISO 100 film due to
the sun. Ha, that will slow them down. As
I sliced through the digital
photographers I reminded them to check
their white balance. Ha, Im the
I now stood before
NemesisNXT, or maybe it stood before me.
No matter, victory was mine. Click,
click. Move a bit... click, click. Hey,
wait a second
it began to sink
this airplane is
the next couple of hours circling
NemesisNXT, taking photos and admiring
the work. Stunning! I am unable to
adequately describe the fit and finish of
this aircraft. I will let the pictures
speak for themselves.
is a 2-place, side-by-side, low wing tail
dragger. It has retractable main wheels
and a fixed, steerable tail wheel. It
consists of molded carbon fiber Monocoque
construction. NemesisNXT wing span is 24
feet, with an area totaling 70 sq. feet,
its length is 23 feet. One document that
I have lists the weight of the plane,
while yet another says it is classified.
So, for the time being I will just list
the weight as "not much". The
power for this sleek new design comes
from a turbocharged six cylinder, air
cooled Lycoming TIO-540-NXT engine,
driving a specially designed 3-blade
stated above, the Sharps are in business
to build airplanes, and their new design
is a kit plane designed with
"Perfect Fit Technology" built
in to save the assembler time while they
build their kit advertised as being
"breathtakingly fast". Paying
attention to the very last detail, they
have provided a quality kit. Kits are
available now for $129,500.
As far as
we know, the airplane has yet to make its
first flight, so any speeds would be
purely speculation, but if looks mean
anything, as advertised, this airplane
will be plenty fast!
With all the media and
interested parties in attendance, as you
might expect, Jon and Patricia were
pretty busy, but I did manage speak with
both briefly. Jon said that
NemesisNXTs attendance at this
months Pylon Racing School at Reno
would be a stretch, but not impossible.
Only time will tell. The official public
debut is set for AirVenture 2004 in
Oshkosh, WI, at the end of July.
As I left
for home on the long drive from Mojave, I
thought ahead to September and the
National Championship Air Races at Reno.
The fury and power of Unlimited Division
will be as awesome as ever. But with the
addition of the NemesisNXT, the Sport
Class will never be the same.
information contained in the article is
to the best of my knowledge, correct. It
was obtained "on the fly" and
as such may contain unintentional errors.
My sincerest apologies if it does.