« Archives in June, 2005

It’s on.

OK, a lot of Nothing has happened in the past few weeks with NOTABLE EXCEPTION. Event number one, I got a ride in an RV-7, that somewhat famous taildragger known as N714D. Dan was kind enough to swap half an hour of flight time for a ride to SMO from his office, so we went up in 714D and it confirmed all my suspicions/expectations of the RV-7.. It’s a joy to fly, it’s fast, it’s as nimble as a meth-cranked ninja on Mars, and it’s rock-solid stable in slow flight. That was pretty much the last nail in the RV box. I’ve been in a couple of composite canards, which were fun, but they eat up runway in a big hurry and if you taxi on gravel, you risk taking a bite out of your prop (yes this happened to me). The RV is an airplane I feel that I can grow with. I’m not the highest-time pilot on earth, so a plane with really good power-to-weight and forgiving low-speed behavior is a definite plus.
Second event, I finished the training kit. No, you don’t get any pictures, because during the course of “learning,” I made a few errors that would have necessitated a lot of backwards steps. But what I did get out of it is a feel for aluminum construction. Not every rivet is perfect, but the more I did it, the better at it I got. There are things you just have to learn by doing, so you can see the results and attach a specific technique to each one. Rivets behave certain ways under different conditions, and it’s more than just an academic exercise. Reconciling what you read in the handbook with the results you’re getting is key. So I think now I’m up to tackling the Emp kit, when it arrives. That brings me to Event Number Three.
Third major event, and the first of hopefully a few more, is I ordered the Empennage kit. It should be here on Tuesday. I hope I have a couple of days to work on it before I get sucked into a commercial at work.
BTW, the rivet squeezer also arrived today. what fun! Of course, the sets they send are pretty much a grab bag. fortunately, I was able to manufacture a flush set from a couple of weird outsized dimple dies. All I did was grind off the point with the trusty grinding wheel and blammo. Flush set.
Eagerly awaiting emp kit.