One of the nice things about having all of the sub-kits and materials necessary to build an airplane in your shop at once is the ability it gives you to skip around. After two weeks of working on the tail and control surfaces of my Subsonex project, I have those all finished, and was sort of tired doing pure metal work (measure, drill, disassemble, debur, reassemble, rivet... repeat!). So I jumped in a bunch of different tasks today, sampling a variety of materials and tasks. I mounted some tires, fitted the fiberglass ventral fin, attached the skid plate to the nose come (I don't really want to ever have to use that), and trimmed some plastic fairings to size. Continue reading "A Little of This, a Little of That"
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!"
Yup - that's a lot of ribs for one wing, isn't it? Finally, after a long delay building a new shop, we got back to work on our Xenos Motorglider project. Sitting behind me as I took this picture was our RV-3, noteworthy because it has just about the same wingspan tip-to-tip as this single wing for the Xenos. Like I said - a lot of ribs! Continue reading "A Whole 'lotta Ribs!"
The Idaho back country is a piloting Mecca, with outstanding scenery and challenges to any level of aviator. From large, relatively flat strips with low difficulty ratings to those that require you to be at the top of anyone's game, you'll find places to go that can only be reached by air. Ground-bound mortals need not apply... or they need to get a horse and be ready for a few days travel. Continue reading "The Morning is for Flying"
I have always found that the success in a highly technical endeavor that encompasses a vast sea of knowledge is not about memorizing everything that you can (although some are successful at doing it that way) - but in knowing how to get ahold of the information you need when you need it. In the old days, that meant remembering which reference book you needed to got to in order to find the specifications for a particular integrated circuit, or the allowable number of defects in a Sitka Spruce spar blank... or in knowing who to go to that had that information memorized! Continue reading "Applied Research - the Search Process"
Everyone has heard it before, expressed in various ways - you build an airplane the way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Or "you can't build an airplane - but you can build airplane parts." Or "go to the shop every day, build parts, and sooner or later, you’ll have an airplane!" Continue reading "Eating the Elephant"