Sat Oct 17 2009

Building blitz at MRT

This morning / afternoon, a bunch of us got together at MRT to work on Craig Schneider's Rans S-19. Craig was making huge progress until he injured his back earlier this year. He ended up having a couple back surgeries before getting better, but couldn't do any work on the plane for many months. Anyway, the plan was to get a group of builders together to help get caught up. I'm not sure how much we helped, but I think everyone had fun.

Here is Craig standing next to the Rotax 912.

Craig and Greg spent some time working on fitting the seats to the floor. It was going pretty well until they found a couple of platenuts needed drilled out and flipped around. Should be simple enough since everything is pop riveted together.

From left to right, Clare Lutton, Joe Maynard, and Robert Simon chatted about various airplane stuff. Typical hangar flying. Clare has three airplanes either flying or in the works: A MiniMax (flying), A Rans S-6 (flying), and a Sonex (building). Joe just got his private pilot license this year. That sounds pretty cool, but get this...he's got over 2,000 hours as PIC. How in the heck is that? Well, he did all that time as a student pilot! Funny! Joe has also built seven airplanes. We took a few minutes to walk over to his hanger and check out his beautiful HyperLite. He did a really nice job on it. Robert has built two airplanes...a Glasstar (sold), and a Lancair ES-P. Robert is also a dog-lover and has six greyhounds right now, so we enjoyed talking about that.

Here is Greg reaming out the tubes for the lumbar support brace on one of the seats.

One of Craig's friends, Mike (on the left) came over to hang out for a bit. Mike was nice enough to show me his plane which he keeps in the main hanger. It's a Pilatus (turboprop). This plane is sweet. It seats eight including the pilot and co-pilot, has weather radar, and is certified for flight in known icing conditions. He mentioned a trip he recently took from central Ohio to Aspen, Colorado without having to stop for fuel along the way. Apparently he cruises at 30,000 ft. Dang! He also showed me a video on his iPhone of his approach on a recent trip to St. Bart's. Yikes that's a lot of airplane to be landing on such a short runway.

You can see Greg and Craig continuing to work on the seats in the backround as Joe and Clare work on fitting the lower cowl.

After helping Joe and Clare fitting the cowl, I needed to head out, but managed to get a photo of the cowl in place. It's really just roughed in, but looks cool as heck.

After spending some time with the in-laws who are in town from Dayton, I did some work on the plane. I had been agonizing over how to correct my joggle tooling through the week and even spent some time reworking the CAD drawing to see if I should remake the parts. Well this evening, I decided to just shim up one of the bending rods to see if that could correct for the over-joggled condition. I used a .032 shim which I sheared with the new shear to space up one of the rods. It worked great!

I decided to use the rest of the evening making the rest of the joggle retainers. The consistency is pretty good as you can judge from the way these stack up. There's no way I'd have been able to make them this nice using seaming pliers. Tomorrow, I'll work on trimming them to length and getting them drilled to the dog platform.