HP-24 Project

Update 29 October 2007: Shelling Out

On Saturday morning I finally got around to packing up an LS1 center canopy transparency that I'd promised weeks ago. Plastic is in the mail, Ron, stand by for a tracking number. Pay the shipping and whatever you think it's worth when you try it on.

This weekend I also debagged and demolded the horizontal stabilizer skin that we laid up last weekend. It looks great. The gelcoat picked up a bunch of Sharpie lines that I drew on the mold, but I knew that was going to happen and I'm prepared to either live with them or sand them out. Still, it's a bit surprising that you can draw on a mold with a Sharpie, lay down six coats of mold release wax over the marks, and have the marks transfer onto a part laid up over the wax. Note to self: don't do that with customer parts.

The plan now is to use that skin, and its opposite, to make squish plugs for the shear webs and ribs that go inside the stabilizer.

I also finished preparations for making the lower elevator skin mold - things like the last couple coats of wax, masking off the rest of the horizontal stab mold, and stiffening up the flange boards. I also used my thumb to jam a bunch of mold release wax between the forward flange board and the plug. That's a trick I learned from Brad Hill. It keeps the tooling coat from leaking down the forward edge of the plug and leaving streaks that I have to chip off before molding the opposite side.

On Sunday morning we drove up to Lake Alpine, and spent the middle of the day walking around the lake and picking up garbage. On the way back Brigitta dropped me off at the shop, where I puttered around for an hour before riding my bicycle the twelve (mostly downhill) miles back to the house.

One interesting discovery I made this weekend is that Steve Fossett had hired Greg Cole to build the Perlan Phase II high altitude sailplane. There's been word to that effect in the grapevine for a while, but this Internet forum post seems to confirm it. I've heard from other Perlan participants that there's no more money for the program. I just hope Greg gets paid for whatever he's finished so far.

Anyhow, here's the Weekend Update photos:

Canopy, coccooned, with EPP foam ends. That's it.

Mmmmm. Crisalis plastic.

Handy tip: A wardrobe box from your moving supplies shop is 20"x24"x45" and made of good, sturdy double-thick corrugated cardboard. It'd be nice if it was a full 48", but eh, we can improvise the rest.

Some Chinese automobiles aren't this rugged.

At Lake Alpine with the daughters and the puppy. The water level at the lake was as low as we've ever seen it in about a dozen years. It was kind of spooky, what with many of the swim-out-to islands now being peninsulas along the shoreline. For some reason Panda was deeply offended by this bit of foam, and barked at it more than at anything else I can remember including myself.

GPS says the dog is under twelve feet of water.

The stabilizer skin, debagged and ready to lift.

Let's see: Coke, snips, and sardines. Let's make glider parts!

The inner surface of the lower stabilizer skin. The rectangular hole admits the T-bone fitting that is bolted to the top of the fin spar ala LS6. The rectangular feature forward of the hole is a Garolite G10 inset that the forward fitting will bolt to. The black strips are the pultruded carbon ribbons that will lie just over and under the aft shear web.

Pay no attention to the man behind the sandwich.

Two shots of the shiny side, showing better-than-expected gloss and also the aforementioned Sharpie persistence.

Wait, where's the dumpster?

Ah, there's the propane tank. All is well.

Homebuilt aviation is not for folks who don't try things at home.

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page updated 29 October 2007 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2007 HP Aircraft, LLC