It's finished! Well, mostly finished... as finished as an airplane, or a paint job, can ever be. Painter John Stahr put the final touches on a number of small details, and fixed a few more spots where paint had sneaked through masking around rivet heads, all in preparation for the final clear coat on the fuselage and tail sections. Continue reading "And Just Like That... It's Done"
The fifth day started bright and early with the limbering up of the spray gun and the deployment of white - the final major color to go on the jet. John Stahr checked over the masking to make sure it was all correct before shooting three coats of the bright white that ironically will probably be listed as the major color of the airplane when filing a flight plan... "white/red/black". A short break followed to let the paint set up, then unmasking began - the jet revealed in all its basic glory. We say basic because when the masking was removed, the detailing began. Continue reading "Details, details, details..."
Work continued on the jet's paint job on Tuesday--and a long day it was. The detailed layout was completed the day before, so it was mostly a matter of masking off the various colors one at a time, using the additive process. This meant masking for the silver, then the black, and then the red. All three colors were shot with little need to worry about overspray, because once a color was shot, it was covered up - and the spots that hadn't yet received their final color were fine if they got some overspray - because they would get their color later. Continue reading "Now--In Living Color!"
With the first engine start and initial taxi testing out of the way (see and hear it below), the little jet is cocooned in the shop, awaiting the arrival of the paint master - John Stahr of Stahr Design, noted for airbrush work on aircraft large and small. And they don't come much smaller than the SubSonex! After months of back and forth design work, we've settled on a concept that we like and John is enthusiastic about. Paint jobs are always a matter of taste, and trying to please every eye is impossible - but if you look back at the airplane as you leave the hangar saying "I still like that" years later, you know you've hit the mark. Continue reading "Ready for Paint!"
OK, so you've driven the last rivet, and hung the last hinge. The airplane is ready for inspection, and all you have to do is pour fuel in and fly... it's finished! Continue reading "Graduation Day"
It's nice to have a milling machine, and even nicer to have a specific task for which it is well suited!
The flaps in the original Subsonex were manual, with a lever on the left side of the cockpit. A recent change added an electric option, and I went with that in my jet - which meant I needed a place for a flap switch. I managed to shoehorn a DPDT toggle switch into the only available space on the left side of the cockpit, but the old human factors and cockpit design engineer in me just wasn't happy with a simple toggle bat for an important switch. Continue reading "Making Chips for a Purpose!"