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. Continue reading "Look Ma - No Wings!"

Only One Way to Skin This Wing

There may be more than one way to skin a feline (I've never tired), but if you stray from the instructions while skinning this wing, you're going to drill yourself into a corner! The process for drilling the skin to these long Xenos wings is one of the few step-by-step procedures given in the plans, and the number of parts and the way they overlap and allow/block access means that following the steps is well advised. Continue reading "Only One Way to Skin This Wing"

Welcome to the Wisconsin State Fair

Have you ever held an event, perhaps for work, where a party is advertised for, say, three hours but everyone has left after two hours except that one lonely and annoying guy who just wants to hang with you because he has no one else to spend time with? And, you have to stay 'cause the announcement said the party wouldn't be over yet? Well, that's a bit how the kit vendors seem to feel about the last weekend of AirVenture. Continue reading "Welcome to the Wisconsin State Fair"

Building a Jet

SubSonex jet

"If you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do."
--Warren Miller

I have always enjoyed Warren Miller's ski films, not only for the beautiful imagery of snow, sky, rocks (and skiers bouncing off those rocks), but for the wonderful little pearls of wisdom Mr. Miller threw into his wry narration. I thought of my favorite of all his quotes about just "doing it" recently as we made a decision on a new airplane kit to work on in my recently completed shop. There are a lot of wonderful airplane kits and designs out there that can do amazing things, and in each of the performance categories. But ever since I got a chance to fly the little SubSonex jet a few years ago, I had this feeling that sooner or later, I was going to need another fix. And after that, another one. And then another after that... and so on. Continue reading "Building a Jet"

A Whole 'lotta Ribs!

Xenos-Motorglider-wing-ribs

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!"