Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fairchild Progress! - The Cylinder is Off!

Flying season is nearly here so Skyler and I decided to give Fiona the Fairchild a little love today. While Sky swept the hangar and vacuumed the plane of all the concrete dust that accumulated last year, I began taking the engine down so we could replace the one cracked cylinder. 7 1/2 hours later the cylinder came off the engine. Now we have to wait on UPS to bring the new gasket kit from Fresno Air Parts so we can put it back together.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Putting the turtledeck together on the Standard.

Glenn started glueing the turtledeck together on the Standard this afternoon. There's a lot of work in this puppy.

Finally old enough to mow.

Yes! #1 son is finally big enough to mow the yard!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4-22 Cub Progress - Almost done taping

I' m almost done putting f'in tapes on the airplane. Going around those compound curves inside the cockpit is, to say the least, challenging. I have two more tapes inside the cockpit and the window trim to install. I have two rib-stitches to put into the tail before I can tape it up. Then it's time to get all the bubbles wrinkles out of the tape. I got so excited today when Glenn had me put the floorboards in the airplane so we could poke the holes where the inspection covers go in the belly.

Sometimes you just need to take a break.

There are sooooo many tapes on the inside of the cockpit on a Cub. Very tedious and it doesn't look like much progress.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

My daughter got dressed up to go to church with her mom this morning and graciously allowed me to take her picture in the back yard.

4-11 Cub Progress - Starting to put on the finish tapes.

Sky's been off school for Easter Break the past couple days, so he's been a big help out at the airport. I'm still staying with my philosophy of having him do everything I do. It takes longer, but I don't care. Rebuilding this airplane is a father-son bonding project and one that the journey is more important than the destination.

The tapes are hard to put on because of the fabric itself. It's really "slick" and doesn't have any bite to it. Once we get a coat of polybrush on the fuselage, it helps but sometimes the fabric still slides off. Glenn just laughs, "Welcome to my world."

Cub Progress 4-10 - More Ironing

Spent today finish ironing the inside of the cockpit and recovering one of the landing gear legs. The leg was covered but I didn't do a great job of doing it, so I MEK'd loose the fabric and reglued it onto the gear leg.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

4-09 Cub Progress - Ironing the fuselage.

My friend Kenny Webb came out to see the Cub and lend a hand. I've known Kenny since I was 11 years old. He finished ironing down the glue joints and then I started ironing the fuselage. It's starting to look like an airplane again!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

4-04 Cub Progress - Sky trimming the fuselage fabric.

Skyler trims out around the stabilizer attach points. Have to iron the bottom longerons now and glue the bottom fabric of the fuselage on.

Cub Progress 4-02 - Covering the other side of the fuselage.

Laid out and cut out the other side of the fuselage's fabric today. The outside is much easier to cover than the inside.

Cub Progress 4-01 No April Fools Joke Here!

Finished glueing the fabric on the one side of the fuselage today. Felt like a major success when I took a step back and looked at the progress I'd made.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

3-31 Cub Progress A Good Day!

Got the stringers all in position, got the table cleaned off and started unrolling the fabric to put on the fuslage.

Monday was one of those days...

I had one of those days yesterday. Days where all you do is cut pieces of fabric/metal/wood/tubing too short. Days where the glue sticks to your fingers better than it sticks to the fabric and frame. Days when you go to weld up a piece and find you're out of acetelyne. Days when you poke yourself with the needle more than the wing fabric you're trying to rib-stitch. Days when the only thing you succeed with safety-wire is your collection of it in the trash can. And there's nothing you can do about it.When you're rebuilding an aircraft for yourself, you have more options. You can go work on another part of the aircraft. You can work thru your problems, but on days like this, it requires a lot of restraint. You can take a break, go sweep the hangar floor, go up and get a cup of coffee from the office. Sometimes, it's best to just lock the hangar door and walk away from it. They all work, trust me, I've done them all. It just depends on the kind of day you're having. If you're rebuilding an aircraft on someone else's dime, there are fewer options. They expect progress. They do not expect you to have bad days, after all you're the professional. Tell that to the gremlins. Go to lunch. Pray for five o'clock. Go home sick. Come back and do it tomorrow. (When screw holes line-up, you find your missing AN3-7 bolts and you find out you haven't glued your brush to the can in the first hour you're there.)All I want to know is, how can some days be so bad and the very next one finds you making tremendous progress? How can I not drill a straight hole one day and have them all line-up the next? How can I ruin piece after piece of fabric trying to get it to lay down right in the cockpit and have everything I cut fit right away the next morning. Someone, please tell me...The guys who do this seriously for a living have all been there. They still have days like these. How do they do it? How do they get past it? How do they not get to the point where they are so frustrated they walk away in disgust?One of the things rebuilding our Cub has taught me is to have Patience. Not patience with the part I'm working on, not with my expectations of progress for the day or week, but to have patience with the whole process. It will be done---when---it's---done. Not a bit sooner and probably a little later. As a friend of mine says, "It'll be done Thursday." He just doesn't say which one.