The weekend of 31 January was sort of a mixed bag. Across two days I did manage to finish making most of the parts for the first two shipsets of the autoconnect funnels that join the wing and fuselage control systems. Saturday was over before it even got started when I had a minor accident in my garage and had to go down to the local ER (two towns over, actually) to get my left thumb closed back up. The worst part of that adventure was that I was out of date on my tetanus shots, and had to get a DPT booster to which I always exhibit an allergic reaction that includes about three days of aches, chills, and fever.
Sunday morning I joined Brigitta for a seven-mile walk that we've been doing with her friends; we start next to the building that used to be the worldwide headquarters of Reliable Communications Corp., walk in to the Ironstone vinyard theme park and then walk out again for total of just under 7.5 miles. As I like to do, I brought one of the pick-up sticks that we use at the Yosemite Facelift and picked up litter and recyclables on the walk; I personally believe that picking up trash is more patriotic than flying the flag. My general practice is to toss litter up onto the roadside on the way in, and then collect it in a trash bag on the way out. This time I collected 24 units of recycle, one unit being a single can or bottle. After the walk we treated ourselves to a Starbucks excursion, and then went to the hardware store to get an oversized pair of leather gloves that would fit over the bandage on my left thumb.
Sunday afternoon I was up at the shop cutting and bending the sheets of .032" 4130 chromoly steel that will become the funnels. Sunday ran sort of short, so I didn't get all that I wanted done. Specifically, I didn't get a chance to make the jig that the welder will use to attach the forks to the bottom of the funnels that will form the attachment point for the rod ends that connect the funnels to the flaperon and airbrake control systems inside the fuselage. I also didn't get a chance to make the ball bearing cups that weld onto the funnels to form the pivot points for the funnels, but I figure to do that on the lathe the following week.
Anyhow, I had to close down early to go to a non-superbowl party where we'd watch the commercials and also tune into Bruce Springsteen's twelve-minute halftime show. But a funny thing happened like in the bad old days where you'd be watching a fight and then a hockey game would break out: This superbowl actually offered up some very watchable football, and it looked for a few minutes like the underdog Cardinals would bring it home.
As I write this during the noon hour of 2 February 2009 I am mindful that today (actually, the wee hours of tomorrow morning) marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Day The Music Died, the tragic airplane crash that cut short the lives and careers of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and of course charter pilot Don Peterson. As Don McClean's paen American Pie might suggest, subtracting these vibrant young musicians from the forefront of rock and roll may have altered the entire landscape of pop music, leading directly to an entire decade of introspective, unlively, and just plain undancable music. Of course, that kind of analysis brings into question the meaning of causality, and in fact the very meaning of meaning itself. If you ask Don McClean what American Pie means (as many have), he will tell you that what it means is that he never has to work another day in his whole life.
As I've written before, some days you bite the bear, some days the bear bites you.
Only a flesh wound.
After a local anaesthetic, the skillful and genial Dr. Dixon cleanses and irrigates the gash. My younger daughter has shown a certain fortitude and lack of squeamishness when it comes to traumas like this, so she joined me in the ER to watch and take these photos.
Dr. Dixon closes the deal with ten neatly tied stitches.
Back up at the shop on Sunday I finish shearing out the funnel blanks.
Here I position one of the blanks in the brake using my .063" radius shoe.
And then crank up the brake to the pre-set stop. The first few parts took a bit of post-brake tweaking, but after that I had the stop dialed in and they came out right on angle.
Here's the adjustable stop I installed last year.
Here's the weekend haul: parts for the first eight funnel weldments. Also shown is the 120 lbf gas spring for which I'm dialing in the pivot geometry for my canopy hinge mechanism. Mindful of Brad's experience in this regard I'm starting with a gas spring of known specification and availability, and adjusting the installation geometry to suit it. That's easier and more cost-effective than locking down the pivot geometry and then buying a custom-made gas spring to suit it.
Homebuilt aviation is not for folks who don't try things at home.
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page updated 2 February 2009 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2009 HP Aircraft,
page updated 2 February 2009 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2009 HP Aircraft, LLC