This is the home for everything related to Cherokee II Sailplanes. Email me at if you have anything to add.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gold Badge approved!

My name just popped up on the SSA's website today. My Gold Altitude made it through and hopefully soon I'll be receiving Gold Badge #2599.  Yippee!  Now on to Diamonds...

Monday, October 18, 2010

End of the Season?

I had 373Y out at Sunflower on Saturday to make our attempt at the "Last Man Down" contest this weekend.  Lift was weak but I did manage a 500 ft gain after release and then delayed settling back down long enough to get a 40 minute flight in.  I wasn't last to land however but so be it.  My former student Summer was very happy that she was able to stay higher than me in the club Ka6.  She also took off before me and landed after me.  Good job Summer!  I remember when I first outclimbed my instructor, it was (and still is) a great feeling.

Here is 373Y on the ramp at Sunflower.  Steve Leonard standing by noting takeoff and landing times for the contest.

This very well could be the end of our thermal season here in Kansas although i hope to perhaps take a trip or two to Talihina, OK this winter for some ridge soaring.

Winter projects are shaping up as follows for us:

1) Complete our cedar strip canoe
2) Recover 4653T
3) Touch up work on 373Y

Generally in that order, too.  Leah is nearly ready for her Private Glider checkride and we hope to get her a flight or two in 4653T before it goes under the knife.

373Y has a fair amount of battle scars from a good season of soaring. I think I have about 46 hours on her this year. Scratches here and there mainly from trailer rash.  Also I've noticed some bubbling on the leading edges. Consulting with Doug Stewart seems to indicate the technique I used to attach the fabric probably shrunk and partially sealed the fabric and didn't allow the glue to completely penetrate through, causing air bubbles to form.  good news is some time with some glue in a syringe should take care of them.

I received the following pictures from Jeff Stringer.  This is 871Z, built by Bill Miller and owned at the time by Len McClain, founding member of the VSA.  Len added the Cherokee nose art to 871Z.  Pictures appear to be from Harris Hill, I suspect during a VSA Rally.

That is the same nose art as 8722E.  871Z also had a clear finish on the wings at this time, which you can see in these photos.

In other excellent Cherokee news, 10124 has flown!  10124 is the original Cherokee RM, built by Terry Miller and the Ree Brothers.  The Ree's also built my 373Y.  Den Barton, Bungee Cord editor, has been working for the last year or so restoring 10124.  New fabric and paint and a sport canopy has been added.  I'm still waiting for a detailed account of Den's flight(s) and will post if I hear anything.  It looks GREAT!

 In RM related news, Matt Colclasure is working away on 1073.  Now 1073 isn't an RM but Matt is facing having to rebuild the wing so is interested in the idea of maybe making it into an RM.  He did manage to get ahold of Terry Miller but Terry has no plans sets for the conversion.  He did give Matt as much info about it as he could remember however.  If anyone out there has a set of RM plans please let me know!

Monday, October 11, 2010


It's been a few weeks so I figured I'd post an update.  I haven't flown 373Y since the Vintage rally. I did think about flying on Sunday but the weather had other ideas. I got as far as pulling the fuselage out of the trailer, getting the battery and GPS loaded up, along with cushions and parachute, and then watched the high cirrus build thicker and thicker.  Back in the trailer it went. Later in the afternoon it started raining.

The last I heard from Den Barton N10124, the original Cherokee RM, is very close to being ready to fly.  A few weeks ago I talked to him about weight and balance. I can't wait to hear about the first flight and get some pictures of the bird completely assembled.  The pictures that I've received so far and shared here look absolutely gorgeous.

Gary Flandro is working away on N8722E.  The trailing edges had gotten warped thanks to years of shrinking fabric doing their work.  Pretty common issue on an old wood glider so he is putting in new trailing edges that will be a bit stronger. 

Matt Colclasure has been working like mad on N1073, aka "Stinky".  After some inspection it was pretty obvious that all of the glue joints on the fuselage were suspect at best.  While most of us would've had a bonfire at that point Matt carefully deconstructed the fuselage and is now working on regluing all the joints with new gussets.  It appears that originally the bird had Resorcinol glue but after years of languishing either the glue had gone bad or the wood around the joint had gone bad.  Either way Matt is cleaning up all the joints, making new gussets, and re-gluing using West epoxy.  From what I hear so far he has one of the fuselage sides put back together and is making gussets for the other side, then He'll have to tie the two sides together and continue to build back up the stringers and everything.  I'm going to try to get up there to see him sometime and get some pictures of his progress.  It looks like the wings are going to need the same attention.  Matt is currently pondering the idea of rebuilding the old wings or just building a new set from scratch.  He's particularly interested (and so am I) in learning more about the Cherokee RM wing.  If anyone out there has any information on where a set of plans might be for the RM wing please let me know at