Look Ma - No Wings!

Something changed radically in the shop this past week - a milestone came and passed - and so did those huge long wings for the Xenos! Notice the workbench? No wings! With the help of a lot of airpark neighbors, we had a marathon month of drilling, deburring, and riveting, and the long motor glider wings are now tucked safely in their racks, awaiting installation in the fuselage - which now comes back to center stage as we pull out the drawings and figure out where we left off. Looks like it is time to mount the tail surfaces so we can then get on to working on controls. We've left it off the gear for now, just to keep it more compact and lower for ease of access. But that might change before we know it as well - we'll see.

About all those neighbors - its great to have a good old fashioned barn raising, isn't it? Good times, good conversations, and lots of help to drill, debur, and rivet. Lots of eyes on the project as well, and everyone was empowered to call a "Stop!" if they saw something was getting missed, or if they didn't understand where anyone was going. And something nice about having builder-neighbors - they come with their own tools, and having more tools in a project like this is a force multiplier.

Now all of the borrowed clecos are back where they belong, we've cleaned up a box full of aluminum shavings, and we've reset the shop. Because, you know... there's a jet coming soon too!

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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