The family and I spent most of the July 4th weekend at Air Sailing, where I did a little flying and a little fixing.
On the flying front, I did two flights in the NSA 2-33, coming to terms with the clanky old bird I started in back in Portland in 1974. The first flight was a typical checkout, with turns and stalls and that sort of thing. The second flight was a simulated rope break at just over 200 feet, with a banky-yanky 180-degree turn and landing back. I found it disturbing that, even though I knew it was coming, there was still a measurable interval of cognitive activity best described as "huh?". And then, the first emergency checklist I ever learned scrolled up - Nose: Down. Hand:On dive brakes. Field:Choose suitable.
After the 2-33 experience, I launched in one of the NSA 1-36s, and spent a nice 2.3-hour flight learning once more how to thermal with a single uncompensated mechanical vario with no audio. That was a fun puzzle. Fairly late in the flight, Sergio C2 and someone else came wafting by on their way to or from Empire, flying some late-model composite ships. I never got close enough to see what they were, but they sure went fast and I sure wished that I could go with them.
On the fixing front, I finally got around to installing the R10ZZ bearing rollers on the top posts of the hangar door, making a measurable improvement in smoothness and ease of opening. I also hot-wired the electrical vario for the 1-36 that I flew so that it is always on when the battery is installed - a quick and dirty fix for the on-off switch having had its paddle broken off. When I next return, I'll solder in a new switch. I imagine that Dick Schreder would have probably done that repair while flying...
I also managed to do a spot of rock climbing on Monday. In the morning, we went to the Snowshed wall at Donner Summit, where I got totally spanked by the allegedly-5.10b called Topless Bottomless. I ended up retreating from just above the troublesome chimney with forearms toasted so bad I couldn't untie from the rope. In the evening we stopped off at Box Canyon near Bear Valley for some toproped slab climbing. And in-between, we discovered (well, actually Brigitta discovered it, or rather rediscovered it) a fine collection of bolted sport climbs that someone has recently set up on an otherwise-anonymous crag east of Ebbett's Pass.
Also, coming over the crest at Ebbett's Pass we had a nice stirring patriotic moment when we saw that someone had raised the Stars and Stripes on the top of a butte overlooking the summit. We first saw the flag from a couple miles out, so it must've been pretty big.
Here are the latest pictures of the hand-carved fuselage plug fillets under construction:
A forward-quarter view of the starboard wedding-cake stack of foam slices. This view shows how the fuselage occupies the volume of the omitted portions of the fillet slices. It's not perfect by any means, but using our rough topo model of the fuselage gave us a good head start over starting with full-airfoil slices and cutting them away by trial and error. The stair-step gaps will get filled in with microballoons when Harald applies the 1.5-inch "default radius" where the fillet contour intersects with the fuselage contour.
And here's a three-quarter view of the port fillet. You can see that there's a lot more filling and shaping to be done on the aft ends of the fillets, and especially in the cusp area. This will require a good eye for contour and a good touch with sandpaper to finish well. I have complete trust that Harald will make good work of it.
In a couple more weeks, I'll be going down to Tehachapi to do final inspection of the fillet, and to determine the separation curve between the portion of the fillet that gets embodied by the wing molds and the portion embodied on the fuselage molds.
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page updated 6 July 2004 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2004 HP Aircraft, LLC