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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trailer work

Tonight begins work on the trailer.  Back in May, after my Gold Distance flight, I had an accident with the trailer.  It ended up on its side in the middle of the gravel road leading to the gliderport.  Thankfully the Cherokee was pretty much OK.  A few scrapes in the paint and one puncture wound that was easily repaired.

In the mean time I started another thread on RAS about trailer brakes and finally settled on a new axle for my old trailer.  It is getting a Flexride with electric brakes.  The axle has arrived.  I've been struggling with finding a good place to do the work.  I think I've finally decided to just try to limp the trailer out to Hutchinson so we can work at Jerry's house where all of his tools, welder, etc etc are located instead of trying to cobble together the tools at a remote location.  So tonight I'm going to do my best to get a new (non twisted) hitch bolted to the trailer and do the slow drive to Hutchinson.  Then Jerry and I can spend the next few days after work fixing up the tongue/hitch and putting on the new axle.

Saturday July 3rd is the annual Kansas Kowbell Klassic Kontest.  Kowbell was started in 1962 as a way to encourage KSA members to fly cross country.  The inaugural winner was Marshall Claybourn.  Rules to the contest were published in the May 1963 Soaring Magazine and remain the same:

1) Any soaring pilot and sailplane may enter.

2) Only one flight per pilot will be eligible for konsideration, and the flight must be made on the date selected for the Kowbell Klassic.

3) The winner each year will be the pilot who makes the longest flight, as measured on US Koast and Geodetic sectional charts, from the release point to his first point of landing, as verified on a standard SSA Landing Form. In kase of any dispute on measurement of the distance, said dispute will be steeled by Indian “rasslin,” (Texas Rules).

4) The release altitude will be no higher than 2000 feet above the contest site.

5) The release point will be vertically above the contest site.

6) The Annual Klassic will be held each year on the first Saturday after the first full moon that falls on or after the summer solstice (i.e., the first point of the sign of Kancer)

7) Normal adverse soaring weather, i.e., rain, overcast sky, lack of thermal, etc shall not constitue a valid reason for postponement of the Kowbell Klassic. If the weather is unsafe for glider flight, then the next Saturday during which unsafe weather is not present shall be the date of the Kowbell Klassic.

8) A suitable trophy has been fabricated by Mickey Jensen and Marshall Claybourn, and the aforementioned trophy shall be placed in the possession of the Officers of the Kansas Soaring Association who will be charged with its annual presentation, in accordance with these rules.

9) Any person who wins the Kowbell Klassic thrice in succession shall become the permanent owner of the trophy and a replacement will be provided by the original source.

A picture of the coveted prize:

This is obviously my kind of flying.  Straight out pure distance is quickly becoming as vintage as our old gliders.  While many of the other guys in our club use this date as an annual excuse to fly free distance I spend all season practicing for the big day :)

Last year I flew about 80 miles for the contest and landed just west of Greensburg, KS.  The winner for the day, in a Ventus, flew 238 miles to Goodland, KS.  Neal Pfieffer had a good showing in his Ka-6E with a second place flight of somewhere around 140 miles.

This year I'm obviously hoping to do better.  We'll just have to see what the weather brings.  So with my trailer getting back on the road I'll probably spend next week making sure the glider is ready to go.  Also once my trailer is finished my glider can go back in it and then Leah's glider will go back in its trailer.  That will free up some much needed space in our garage so we can start working on a cedar strip canoe project. 

The latest Bungee Cord, which should be arriving about now, has a nice article from Den Barton about his progress on N10124, the original Cherokee RM, built by the Ree Brothers and Terry Miller.  Looks like the bird is almost ready for paint and Den is hoping for a mid-year completion date.  Can't wait to see it fly!

Don't get the Bungee Cord?  Join the VSA to start receiving this fine quarterly newsletter.  Not only will VSA membership get you the magazine but you'll also be tapped into the brain trust of vintage soaring in the USA.  Plus when you fly at VSA rallies you can work on silver badge legs to earn the VSA Silver Coins.  Each features three "vintage" Pterodactyls instead of the more common three Gulls.  I want a few of those suckers!

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