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!"
I worked for the Federal Government for 34 years, and back in my college days, I spent two summers as a clerk in our state department of education, so I totally get what it means to be a civil servant when it comes to following the letter of the law, and the exact text of the regulations. So I have a lot of respect for the folks that work at the Civil Aviation Registry - the people in Oklahoma City that process, record, and issue aircraft registration documents. It's because of their careful adherence to the rules of documentation that we can have clear and traceable titles to our flying machines - and such care is hard to do quickly. So it is a good idea, when registering an airplane, to get started well before you need the paperwork. Continue reading "Dotting the I's, Crossing the T's..."
When you reach the end of a project (an airplane is never really finished, so we just say "the end of a project"), you begin to ask questions about how many "things" or how much time it took. At least, if you're an engineer you ask those questions - we love to measure things. Continue reading "How Many...How Much?"
Nope, it's not just for pilots - sometimes, a mechanic or builder just needs to stick a nut on the end of a screwdriver blade to hold it in a place that their fingers just won't go. Continue reading "Hey Ridley..."