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.