Monday, December 29, 2008

Out in Arizona.

I'm out in Arizona and Las Vegas until January 4th. I did't want you to think I'd given up on the Cub, was too lazy to post or was squirrelled away watching football. Until then, you'll just have to make do with these scenics from Arizona.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12-23-08 Cub Progress-Painting the Parts.

For the most part, we are finished cleaning parts. I thought we would never get through. After lunch Glenn ran us over to the Wood Shop and we picked up some hardwood plywood for the floorboards and the lid to the baggage cover. Then we went to the Auto Supply store to get some paint for all those parts we cleaned and blasted. Glenn gave Skyler a little dual on the finer points of "rattle-canning" then let him have a shot at it. I'll go in tomorrow (the paint should be dry by then...) to flip the parts over and paint the other side.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12-20-08 Cub Progress-Sandblasting

We spent today sandblasting the little pieces that will later get painted. Sky enjoyed this much more than solvent cleaning-he didn't break out! We took turns on the small cabinet sand blaster and while it was my turn, he went and had a lesson on covering a wing from Glenn who was starting the process on two of the Museum's Sopwith Pup wings

Over to Wicks

Glenn and I drove over to Wicks in Highland, IL yesteday to get assorted nuts, bolts, washer and screws. I was afraid it was going to be icy, but that wasn't the case, it was just windy. A quick stop at Aero in pick up the fabric and then downtown St Louis to get some leather for Glenn.

Glenn has a rotary sandblaster to use on small parts that works wonderfully. I call it the rock tumbler. Eight minutes in that and the pieces come out bright and shiny!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catching Up

Ok, back at it. We brought the steel structures home from the blaster/primer the morning I left for 8 days to go to work. I got back into town on Monday and stayed home Tuesday with my little ones. Spent today planning with Glenn, more cleaning of parts, ordering nuts and bolts from Wicks and fabric from Aero in Granite City. Tomorrow we go to pick it up and then a quick stop in downtown St Louis to pick up some leather for the Sopwith Pup's cockpit combing. We're planning on putting the fuselage on Glenn's rotissarie Saturday. Then I have to get new plywood for the floorboards next Monday and we'll start putting parts back in Monday or Tuesday.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the Road-Up to Old Rhinebeck

My friend Andy Kisela and I are out in Teterboro for the weekend. We went driving on Saturday, up to Old Rhinebeck, which we knew was closed. They had a lot of limbs down from the freezing rain storm that went through late last week. The place really looked deserted, kinda sad.
Then we went down to West Point and took the bus tour. It was an interesting place, though we only saw four Cadets. The rest must have been inside studying.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cub Progress 11-29-08 Bit's 'n Pieces

So many parts...such a little airplane.

Cub Progress 11-28-08-Benefits of Paint.

We were able to get the tires off of the wheels and a bunch of parts washed today. This picture graphically shows the benefits of paint. This is only surface corrosion (I hope) and should come off when I sandblast the parts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

11-26-08 Cub Progress-Cleaning Parts and a covering Lesson.

Sky and I spent a few hours at the airport today cleaning the small parts off in the parts washer. Sky wore safety glasses and gloves, but it is so strong smelling, he had to take a break every few minutes. We got quite a bit done, with some still to go.
Then Glenn invited him over for a covering lesson. Glenn was covering the Sopwith's Pup rudder and he took the time to explain what he was doing as he did it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cub Progress 11-25-08

Glenn and I took the fuselage, tail-feathers, door and landing gear out to Wentzville today to be sandblasted and epoxy-primed. Should be done sometime next week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cub Progress 11-24-08

I cleaned up the fabric scraps on the airframe, mainly around the rear windows today. Also took off the tailwheel and the main landing gear. Tomorrow we're hoping to take it to the sandblaster along with the tailfeathers, main gear and the door.

Cutting off the old shock cords.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cub Progress 11-23-08

What started out as a bad day when McDonalds' lost our breakfast order going thru the drive-thru turned out pretty well with Sky and I accomplishing our goals on the Cub. I got the trim system and the elevator jackscrew out along with all of the control cables. I helped Sky take the windshield mounting piece off from the boot cowl and to remove the plexiglass windows and take the fabric off of the door. Then we wheeled the fuselage out right before sunset and rinsed off all the dirt, mouse droppings and associated crud from the front of the fuselage.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cub Progress 11-22-08

I caught a flight home early this morning as I knew Skyler was anxious to go to work on our Cub. I got home, changed clothes, had him change clothes and off we went. First stop was Sears where he picked out a screwdriver set that he paid for with his own money. These are the first tools that he has bought for himself and he will always remember this.
We arrived at Creve Coeur, talked with Glenn and promptly went to lunch with the fellas.
After lunch, we started in on the Cub. I removed the brakes and the front floorboard. I took out the rear seat belt and both throttles. Meanwhile, Skyler was busy cutting the safety wire securing the stringers to the fuselage, then unscrewing them and taking them off from the airplane. Not bad for a little over an hours work as we had to return home to babysit Little Boo as my wife had an appointment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cleaning off the tailfeathers.

I spent just a little bit of time out at the airport over lunch cleaning the tailfeathers and taking the hot air box and gascolator off of the firewall. Most of the tail was fairly easy, but the previous restorer had put masking tape on some of the ribs and 30+ year old masking tape doesn't want to come off very easily. I have to go out of town Friday and Glenn doesn't get back until Monday, so I guess it'll have to wait until then.

Cub Progress 11-11-08

A lot of bending over and hard work went into the Cub today as I removed the control system, floorboards and the remaining fabric from the fuselage.

Tomorrow I'll clean the glue residue off the tail and ailerons and then it will be paint stripping and cleaning time for all the small parts.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cub Progress 11-10-08

I made good progress on getting the Cub fuselage stripped today. First, I finished stripping the ailerons. Then I took the engine block off the motor mount followed quickly by getting the motor-mount off. Then I pushed all the cables/wires/connections back through the firewall. My friend Rolla Henry came over and helped me loosen the fuel tank straps which enabled us to get both the boot cowl and windshield off. I started taking the floorboard out, but got hungry so I went home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cub Progress 11-09-08

We spent this morning taking the fabric off the tail surfaces and ailerons. Here dad helps Sky use the boxcutter to cut the fabric off a stabilizer.

Cub Progress 11-08-08

Mom and dad came into town last night for Skyler's Birthday, which is today. Dad and I went out the the airport and took out the seats, loosened the fuel supply line from the fuel tank and took off the oil tank.

Cub Progress 11-07-08

We spent the day trying to take off the windscreen, then trying to take off the fuel tank and finally settling for taking off the instrument panel.

11-06-08 Washing the Fairchild

They are almost through paving the taxiway. I pulled the Fairchild out and rinsed it off five times to try and get most of the concrete dust off the airframe. Most of it was located on the top of the airplane.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where are you? The ELT Police

I took the Cubs ELT out Sunday, checked that it was off and put it in a box on the floor. The battery expired in 1996 and I figured it wasn't good anymore.

About 12:40 am Monday morning there was a knock on our door. The local constabulary had sent one of their finest along with a Sky Nazi (CAP) Captain and his high school age underling. "Did I have an ELT or portable safety transmitter? Darn.

I went into the garage and pulled it out of the box. The switch was on. I turned it off, pulled it out of the mounting bracket and borrowing the officer's Swiss Army Knife, unscrewed the back and removed the battery. They couldn't find Steve Fossett in over a year, but they find me in 9 1/2 hours. He said they're not supposed to work when you flight into a mountain. I said, "then why even have them?"

I did find out some interesting data on them from him. 95% of all ELT transmissions are false/unintended, only 17% of crashed aircraft set off their own ELT's and best of all, this happened to a friend of mine 2 weeks ago.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cub goes to Creve Coeur.

We took the Cub out to Creve Coeur this morning. The move went very smoothly and she's now sitting in Glenn's hangar waiting to be brought back to life. She won't have to wait very long.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Great Dustbowl of Creve Coeur.

This taxiway project has gone from bad to worse. They cut the grooves/expansion joints in the concrete last week. This morning, I go out to the airport to find them blowing the dust out with industrial-strength leaf blowers. It looked like a small brushfire moving down the taxiway. The planes parked downwind, in the shadeport, got the worst of it. The were covered in abrasive concrete dust.

The hangar doors would not completely close because they hadn't cut the pin holes for the door pins yet. This is my hangar, the right side of the horizontal stabilizer, located a good 20 feet from the door.

The towel has been in place the entire time.
This is the before shot.
After removing the towel.

I'm not touching it until Glenn takes a look at it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cub Progress 11-1-08

We pulled the fuselage out into the abundant sunshine Saturday and hosed it off where we had previously removed the fabric. Under the good light we could see they had primed the fuselage, so there remains hope that there is no corrosion.

After the wash job, we took the propeller, the magnetos and the exhaust system off the engine. My friend Tim was right, this engine is just like a big lawnmower engine. We're hoping to take her out to the airport on Monday.

Almost ready to solo.

We were out in the garage one night this week and Lindsay pointed to the plane and said "airplane." I asked her if she wanted to sit in it, something she had previously not wanted to do. She nodded her shy nod and smiled, so I picked her up and set her in the back seat. I then asked her if she wanted to sit in the front seat and she said yes. I hoisted her to the front and she grabbed the stick with her left hand. I said "No honey, like this," and put her hand on the throttle and right hand on the stick.

Then she said, "Take pictures daddy." So I did.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stripping the fabric off the fuselage.

I found it terribly hard to make the first cut. I knew I had to, the fabric was 32-years old. I knew it wouldn't hurt the airplane and I wasn't afraid of the work it would take to cover her. I was thinking about my friend Dave Harsh and all the untold hours he had in this plane and that I was cutting away that history, that identity. I felt I was cutting on Dave and not the airplane.
I rationalized that now it was our airplane and it had to be done. I had Gina come out and take pictures and I made the first cut on the vertical fin. I cut the two Cub emblems off and then started down vertically. Man, there's a lotta straw/sticks and literally crap here. Oh well, it may need a couple new longerons, no problem.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Picking up the J-3

Skyler, myself and good friend Glenn Peck drove over friday evening in Glenn's pickup, pulling an 18-foot trailer. After a good nights sleep in a hotel, we were met by the aircraft's owner and my old friend, Dave Harsh. We hopped in our trucks and drove down to Harrisonville, MO. to pick up the airplane. Dave had spent most of friday washing it off and making sure there weren't any birds or snakes in the airplane, so when we saw it, it didn't look all that bad.

Glenn had us start by removing all the cotter pins from the wing and strut bolts and the control cables.We then took the ailerons off and set them aside. Then the wings and struts came off. Moving back to the tail, Glenn and Dave took the elevators off. While Skyler was setting them down, he and I took the stabilizers off, which went much easier than anticiapated and put us well ahead of schedule.

Rolling the Cub out into the sunlight, we pushed it up onto the trailer, barely having enough width for the main gear to fit. Then Dave and I watched as Glenn and Sky built the tail support piece out of 2 x 4's. Laying the wings under the fuselage, we padded them and tied them down with ratchet-straps.

The struts, ailerons, tail-feathers, four engine cylinders and all the associated hardware went into the back of the pickup. We almost forgot that cecause the cylinders were off the airplane, it had no compression, the prop would windmill once we started driving, but Glenn caught that at the last second.and secured the prop with rope to the engine mount.
Then with tears in his eyes, Dave and I exchanged huge hugs, he signed the airplane over to me, asked me to call him when we arrived home. He said it felt like he was losing his identity but it made him happy that the airplane was going to a good home.Five hours of driving later, we pulled up infront of my house and unloaded the airplane. It only took 15 minutes to get her off the trailer and into the garage.
Now the real fun starts.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Laying the drainage pipe.

Me and the little-boo went out to Creve Coeur to check on the taxiway reconstruction progess yesterday before heading to Faust Park to ride the Carousel. They were in the process of laying drain pipe down the length of the taxiway on this beautiful fall day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tearing up my taxiway.

They've started tearing up the taxiway between mine and Glenn's hangar to pave it. Seems like the maintenance on the blacktop was just too labor intensive. It should be finished by the middle of next month.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Every boy should have a dog.

With the recent passing of our eldest American Eskimo dog Nanook, Sky was wanting a dog of his own. Saturday we were able to get this Border Collie/Retriever mix for him. We've named the dog "Zemke" and he's a very good, family oriented dog.

Wings over Creve Coeur

My good friend Glenn Peck took me for another Dh-4 ride so I could get some good pictures of him flying the airplane. Al Stix, my partner in my airplane and co-owner of the airport saw this and a few other pictures I've taken and he's decided to sponsor a show of my work at a local art gallery.

Out of the time zone.

I recently had a European trip in the jet. We went to Istanbul, Turkey first. Then onto Nantes, France, Luton, England, Dublin, Ireland and then back home. Here I am having a blast during my first visit to an English Pub.


I went to the Antique Airplane Fly-In at Blakesburg over Memorial Day Weekend. I had to leave friday night because I had to go fly for work on saturday. I promise to tell you all about it, right after my friends at Air & Space do :-)