It could be happening right now, while you're safely at your desk or on your couch. It happens quietly, when your guard is down. Some say it is magical, others say...demonic. What am I talking about? Migrating tools! They are stealthy, these wrenches, drills and rivet guns. You place them in your toolbox, right where they belong - and the next thing you know - there they are, right back out in the open. The phenomena is unexplained, very much like the fact that a box of clecos placed in a closet will slowly disappear... but the population of coat hangers will increase... coincidence? I think not! Continue reading "Tool Migration"
How many times have you been working in the depths of your aircraft's fuselage, a flashlight in your mouth, and a work light burning a hole in your trousers (and not providing any light while it was doing it) and wished for better lighting? I have been a cave explorer on and off throughout my life, and I'll tel you what - it was just a good preparation for working in a light airplane's fuselage! Continue reading "Light it Up!"
There are all sorts of things I would like to know, but never take the time to learn - so much stuff, so little time... So I figure that some stuff will just have to wait until I need it. Such is the case of just how you mechanize a V-tail. You have two surfaces doing the work of three on a conventional tail - two ruddervators instead of two elevators and a rudder.
The ruddervators work like elevators in that they move up and down to control pitch - but they also move more in one direction than the other when the pilot pushes a rudder pedal. The two surfaces effectively "mix" the inputs from both pitch and yaw controls. Sounds complicated, right? So... how exactly is this done?
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. Continue reading "Look Ma - No Wings!"
One of my earliest "jobs" in aviation was as an unpaid (but compensated with experience and flight time) line-boy/hangar rat. I'm sure that was the first time I washed an airplane windshield, and I used whatever goop in a bottle was thrown at me by the FBO owner. In the many decades since, I have probably used just about every chemical available to clean windshields and windows, including good old H2O, and I am still looking for the magic elixir that simply makes deceased bugs and other debris leap off the canopy when it is merely brought out of the cupboard. I am still waiting - but a new product from McFarlane Aviation Products comes pretty DAM close! Continue reading "DAM!"
No need to rush out to your doctor for the latest vaccine, unless, of course, you are living at our air park and your spouse is allergic to seeing a new airplane kit arrive! It seems that new kit starts in our neighborhood are blossoming - now doubt a follow to a successful AirVenture and economic optimism on the part of many who have been contemplating a new build. Continue reading "A Building Epidemic!"