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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!

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