History of Motes’s Coot-A

Motes's Coot-A Rotary


Since early childhood William James Motes Jr. (Bill) has had a dream to fly. Early in life because of economic reasons and family obligations this was not possible. Later after retiring and all of his family were grown and finances allowed he decided to pursue his dream. Always a man to accept a challenge he first perused obtaining his Private Pilots License. His first plane was a Cesena 172 Sky hawk which he flew for a couple years before deciding he just wanted more. He considered several options but finally decided he wanted an amphibious aircraft. He lived in eastern North Carolina in the coastal area of Carteret County. Having a home on the water he wanted an aircraft that he could possibly land on the water and taxi up to his house as well as have an aircraft he could land on a landing field. He looked at various float planes but just could not find one that fit. So, always accepting a challenge and having a love for building he decided he wanted to build his own. After researching several designs he decided on a design and contacted an aircraft designer out in Longview, Washington State by the name of Molt Taylor who had designed several aircraft. The design he chose was the “Coot A”. This aircraft design was a two-seater with ample room for fishing gear or baggage. Visibility from this aircraft was so tremendous the pilot was able to see in all directions except backwards. The “Coot A” was a mid wing aircraft using sponsons extending from the hull for additional flotation elimination the need for floats. This aircraft also utilized a pylon mounted pusher prop engine. In December of 1974 he purchased the plans. This was not a “Kit” plane. Bill build and constructed over 95% of every part of the aircraft on his own in his workshop at home. Several engine options were available but because of cost and availability were not taken. Back in the 1950’s Bill had read about an engine called a Wankel Engine and felt it had great potential. After doing some research he found that the Mazda Rotary engine was basically a Wankel engine. So in the spring of 1975 he purchased a Mazda Rotary engine and the birth of the Coot A Rotary was born. Over the next several years Bill developed the rotary engine into a suitable aircraft engine equipped with a constant speed prop. Also over that same time period he finished construction of the “Coot A” aircraft and flew it’s first flight on August 2, 1980.

This Website contains information on the construction of the “Coot A” by Bill Motes accompanied by a number of photographs showing the stages of construction as well as first flight and later movement of aircraft to the North Carolina Transportation Museum located in Spencer, North Carolina where it is on display today.

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