Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How we all started.

You old guys remember these. We youngsters had plastic models to satisfy our aviation urges. But the real-deal is Balsa wood, flying models. Sky has started building Guillows models. Waiting on dad to come home so he could go out and be bored waiting for direction to work on the full-size Cub wasn't enough for him. I haven't helped him at all. He builds 6-thousand piece Lego kits all the time, so this should be a cinch.

Now to teach him rib-stitching...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Busy little elves working on Donnie's Christmas present.

Here one little Elf is shaking a rattle-can in preparation for me painting the instrument panel.

The same elf trys out the front seat for comfort. Need to go a little forward, she said.

Here a little elf lies on his back to tighten the straps holding the fuel tank in place.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cub Progress 11-30-09

I came back from the Thanksgiving Holiday all pumped up to work on the Cub. With the floorboards in, it's going to go quickly again for a while. I managed to find the screws and the screwholes for the trim, throttle plates, carb heat and fuel shut-off valves to fasten all of those down. I put the front seat in just to see how it fit and so I could start dreaming of making airplane noises. After I took it out, I put in the control sticks. They still have masking paper on the grips. The two rudder pedals have the springs on them but since that's where the seat goes, they are not tightened down yet.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Thanks

Taking a break from airplanes for the weekend, we drove up to my folks in Iowa to celebrate Thanksgiving. Here's what I'm most thankful for in my life. A perfect big-brother and a darling little sister-my kids.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

11-25-09 Cub Progress - Floorboards and brakes going in.

I hate Piper parts books. You try to look up the size of a bolt in the book and all it says is "Bolt". It's maddening! Nonetheless, Sky and I put in the floorboards, brakes and rudder pedals. We also got some felt insulation and put it on the fuel tank straps so they are ready to go. The control stick assembly is already assembled so it'll go in next.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Waco YKS

Went for a quick trip around the patch this morning in my Fairchild to take a few pictures of Terry Chastain's Waco YKS. It was pretty bumpy as the haze hadn't lifted yet so we called it good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A couple aerial photos.

I went flying in the Fairchild this afternoon. It was the first nice day we've had in a long time. I took these interesting flood photos while I was up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Draining the radiators for winter.

I helped Glenn pull the Canuck and the Dh-4 out Saturday morning so he could run their engines to get the radiators warm and coated on the inside with the coolant. I got to sit in the Canuck and listen to its engine idle. Then we put a big trash can underneath them and emptied the radiators of their coolant to store the airplanes for winter.

Out sick all week.

I've had a bug of some-sort all week, just getting over it now. Congested, a nagging cough that keeps me up all night, chills then sweats. Just enough to be a pain. Still kept my apetite though. Planning on getting back to work on the Cub later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Little Ballerina

The parents were invited in to watch Lindsay's Dance Class this evening. We laughed and applauded at the little tykes efforts.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Empire wants you!

A couple of Empire soldiers were out recruiting today at an Animal Rescue Halloween Party we went to down in Town & Country. They had Sky all but signed up when they learned he was under 18 and we wouldn't give our permission for them to take him to a far away planet. Beware the Dark Side!

Snow White goes to Creve Coeur's Halloween Party!

Our little Princess dressed-up for the Creve Coeur airport Halloween Party.

Where's Waldo?

I got a little bit done on the Cub on Friday. Messed with the gas tank valve fitting, took the gunky/grimy thing off of the fuel tank and bead-blasted it. It had leaked and was a complete mess. Also, primed the front seat and wheels. Fished out the tank straps out of one of the boxes and bead-lasted them also.
I was really excited when Glenn showed up that afternoon with the stencils for the side of the Standard fuselage. He must have been excited too because he had a gleam in his eye that I hadn't seen for quite a while. We unrolled the stencil, cut the two apart and took one back to the airplane. Thirty minutes later, it was all masked off and ready to paint.
When I left, both sides were painted and drying.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yellow is my favorite color...and Boo-boo Bear likes it too!

Unbeknownst to me, Glenn ame to work and painted the fuselage and gear white this morning. It was quite a surprise when I showed up to the hangar and he said to go take a look. He also said he really wanted to paint it yellow this afternoon so I needed to get my butt in gear to look for runs and loose tape edges. I found 3 runs and 2 loose tape edges which were all quickly fixed.
Late this afternoon he fired up the spray gun again and shot 3 coats of the most beautiful yellow I've ever seen.
Ps to Dave H...I was so happy I nearly cried with joy. It won't be long now!

Monday, October 19, 2009

10-19 Cub Progress - Sanding the cockpit

Finished sanding the airplane today in preparation for the white layer to be put on. We're going to put white on the airplane before the yellow to make the yellow pop and not look green with the silver underneath it. Sanding the outside of the airplane wasn't too bad but there's a lot of tubes in the cockpit so you have to bend in all sorts of contortions to get all the fabric sanded.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cub Progress 10-17 - Are we ever done sanding?

I'm beginning to think that restoring an airplane is easy. All you have to do for about 80% of the restoration is sand. I don't have fingers any more, I have flippers. My fingers have melded into them due to all the wet-sanding and pressure I've put on them in the past couple days.

First Frost

We had our first frost of the fall last night. It didn't last long as it only got down to 30 degrees and as soon and the morning sun hit it, it melted. I was able to get a few of these leaves in the shade before the warmth of the sun got to them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Puttin' silver on the fuselage and gear.

Glenn put silver on the fuselage and landing gear today. The fuselage looks great! The landing gear looks perfect! He did such a good job. I can't paint with a childs watercolors and he made this look easy.
Now comes the fun part...sanding. I can do that. I don't even mind the drudgery of that. I'll take Sky out to the airport this weekend, put on some tunes, bring a box of donuts and we'll get it done. I'm getting excited because he says it'll be yellow by weeks end.
The tail is ready to spray also. And the sheet metal parts. That leaves the wings and engine and we're flying.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Starting to cut fabric for the Standard.

Glenn has the fuselage of the J-1 Standard ready for cover. Today he cut out the fabric that will go on the fuselage.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bird Biplane

Went out to try and reshoot Ken Thomas's Bird tonight. The light went to c#$p right after we left but we hung out for a while over the prime hunting grounds and managed to get a few.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ground Fog

I had forgotten how beautiful it is to fly early in the morning. Yesterday when I pulled the airplane out of the hangar, it was still dark. Only my car headlights provided illumination as I opened the hangar door. She was heavy, nearly full of fuel and took quite an effort to get her rolling out the door.

I let the engine run at a low-power setting for 10 minutes to warm up the oil and wait for the sun to come up. I have enough night time, thank you. Taxiied out and picked up my friend and photographer Gilles Auliard and took off. It was as smooth as a baby's bottom!

This fog was in the river valley, just west of Creve Coeur airport.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dawn Patrol

Had to get up early to see these guys off this morning. And what a beautiful morning! Took off right after sunrise and had these two as escorts. I turned back just east of Lake St Louis and they continued on to their fuel stop at Boonville. They're trying to make it to Denver today.
Thanks Andrew and Mark.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Piper PA-12 Air-to-Air.

Rudy Haug's Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Football Hero

Sky came to me last night and asked if he could practice catching the football. Seems like they were playing flag football in PE Class and he wanted to make a catch and score a touchdown.

I readily agreed as I like playing catch, especially with a football and always with my son. We went out and played for about 30 minutes. He was getting tired and I pulled an old trick of my dads out of the book; he could go in after he caught 5 in a row. He made it to 4 twice but dropped the 5th one each time. I had him keep at it and it wasn't long before he caught 5 in a row.

He came floating home from school today. He had caught a pass and scored a touchdown! He scored his teams only points! I was sooooo proud of him.

This is the first thing he has practiced at to get better and it paid off. It's the first time he's been a hero. Now he wants to play catch again. Gotta go!

New license plates...ugh.

I went and got the new license plates from the Department of Nothing-logical (Motor Vehicles) today. I have to say, it wasn't too bad.

First, my wife made sure that I had everything specified in the thoughtful-reminder post card to take with me. This included tax receipts for two years, two inspection certificates, a copy of my childen's birth certificates and a drop of blood to verify that I was a red-blooded American.

Then, after having checked I had the correct size wrenches to takeoff the old plates, I drove down to "The Bureau" (sounds like a TV show). They wanted the old plates for recycling.

I lucked out and found a parking spot without having to drive round and round the parking lot for 30 minutes. I got out of the car with my trusty socket wrench and took off the front plates. I walked around to the back of the car only to discover the locknuts were rounded off (Who did that?) and the wrench wouldn't fit. Crud!

I had two choices. I could go back home and get a pliers to take off the offending rear plate or I could take my chances that the agent wouldn't care. I sucked in my beer gut and went with the latter. I gathered up the ream of paper required quickly checking I had everything, took a deep breath and presented myself to the Bureau.

I had arrived 10 minutes after they opened. I was the 12th person in-line counting the four standing at the open windows at the counter. I figured I had an hour wait...

I was surprised. The line was moving quickly. A couple of folks were there together, so I was only about fifth in the line. Next!

I apprehensively approached the window. I was greeted my a young lady with a disarming smile. "I'm here to renew my plates," I said, thrusting my handful of papers forward to her.

"Oh thanks, you have everything," she said.

"My wife is very efficient," I replied.

"Well, thank her for me. It's $52.xx. Here are your new plates," she said as she took the single old one not even mentioning the one still stuck on the car.

I walked out of there in under fifteen minutes...ecstatic.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fire-breathing Beast!

Bill Milton takes off for home in his chesty Cessna 195 businessliner. The 195's were having their yearly fly-in at Creve Coeur this year. 22 braved the rainshowers and thunderstorms to show up.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Culver Cadet

Went up with Ken and Lorraine Morris tonight to take pictures of their freshly-restored 1940 Culver Cadet. Lorraine flew my plane while Ken did the honors in the Culver. What a pretty little airplane!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/21 Cub Progress - Ironing down the tail tape edges.

Another of those boring tasks that seem to take forever but are critical to being done. I spent most of yesterday and all of today polybrushing the tail and ironing down the tape edges in preparation for the spray coat of polybrush going on later this week.