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Friday, May 7, 2010

Cherokee Updates - more work to do

Well it has been a busy week for good reasons and bad.

Im still flying high after my Gold Distance flight last Sunday.  I've replayed it a million times mentally and on See You.  Thanks to everyone for the congratulatory emails and phone calls.  It was a great flight!  Steve and I have my paperwork almost ready to go and hope to send it out on Monday.

I heard from Jason Conaway that he is starting to restore N3300T, which was built by Ron Chitwood.  I'm looking forward to hearing about his progress and helping out in any way possible.  Hopefully he can at least give me regular updates that I can pass along or maybe make some posts himself.

I had a bad day on Tuesday.  While taking 373Y back to the Gliderport I hit some fresh loose rock on the gravel road and was driving too fast.  After about a quarter mile of the trailer swaying every way but straight and me trying my best to accelerate out of the situation, the left wheel of the trailer caught the ditch and the trailer tipped.  It stayed connected to the truck.  The glider is mainly OK, there are a few scratches on the wingtips (which stayed connected) and the fuselage stayed in place.  The only damage I could see was on the left wing.  The root cradles broke free and the left wing hit the rudder control horn which has scarred the plywood leading edge. 

So now I have more work to do.  The trailer fared well.  I am now an even bigger believer in Steel Frame trailers.  It has some scratches on the Aluminum Skin and some repairs to make where the front of the trailer dragged for a few feet down the road but the box itself is not too much worse for the wear. It protected my glider well.

The hitch is a real mess though.  Twisted up pretty good and I think it might be a good opportunity to just replace everything forward of the box.  The axle and suspension are going to need replaced but hey I wanted to put a rubber torsion style suspension on it anyway.

Long term plan is to build a couple of new trailers for both 373Y and 4653T. Maybe next year by this time I'll be ready to start that project.  In the meantime I've got lots of plans.  First is to bring 4653T's left wing into town.  It suffered a little hangar rash and needs a small patch done to it.  I'll be sure to post a report and pictures.  Then, 373Y's left wing gets switched into the garage and whatever needs done to it gets done.  And the rest of the glider gets a close inspection.  Then I'm going to see if 373Y will fit in 4653T's trailer.  Either way I'll start working on 373Y's trailer right after that.  The answer to the question will determine how quickly I work :)  I'm hoping to have at least one glider flyable for May 22nd weekend which is a Kansas Soaring Association club contest weekend and both gliders ready but not necessarily both trailers for Memorial Day Weekend when we plan to go out to Ulysses, KS for a long weekend of soaring.  I plan on doing whatever I need to do to 373Y's trailer to have it ready for the Kansas Kowbell Klassic straight distance contest on July 3rd.

N1073, now nicknamed "Stinky 73", is in my garage.  I need to get some pictures posted, sorry its taken so long.  I also need to get Neal and Harry in to take a look at it and give their opinion on its condition. I'm sure that Harry will tell me its just a matter of how much time someone wants to put into it. In his mind, anything is repairable.  Some truth in that I suppose.

I've been slowly making updates to the "Cherokee Roll Call" post from way back when. It is linked at the top of the page.  As I receive pictures or bits of information I try my best to add them.  The Soaring Magazine archive is continually being expanded and once I get some time I'll try to add info from the latest set of magazines that have been uploaded.  They haven't turned on searchability past 1977 yet so I'm still waiting on that.

I've got an article for the Bungee Cord, a newspaper article for the Falls City, NE paper, at least one club newsletter article, and possible an article for Soaring about my Gold Flight and/or my recover to work on so I've got plenty of writing to do, but will try to post updates here about anything new! 

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