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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fleet update

First off I took some time to update the roll call post.  Some information has changed and I added a few more pictures that have come in in the last 6 months or so.  Check it out:

N98P, the first Cherokee II to fly, has recently been sold and is heading to its new home in Idaho next week.  I'm excited that it is going to a new home and am looking forward to seeing it get back in the air. 98P was built by Frank Kerns and was ready to fly before Stan Hall's own Cherokee, N63P.

While talking to the new owner he asked about the paint scheme. All the pictures I had ever seen of 98P from its first flights were black and white. However, longtime SSA member Bertha Ryan was mentioned in the article Stan wrote about his first flight in 98P.  She was flying her kit built 1-26 on the same day.  By the way Ross Briegleb was up that day in his BG-12.  Quite a day for homebuilt soaring!  Bertha had some old slides showing 98P and sent them to me.  The first two show Stan (in the hat) and others after the first flight of 98P.

The following slide from Bertha was taken after Stan finished his first 5 hour flight in his own Cherokee, N63P.  Very cool and thanks Bertha!

We did get some more work done on 53T on Sunday.  I worked with the plane for a while getting the new trailing edge trimmed down to shape. It is looking good now.  Bad news was that I managed to break a couple ribs in the process.  Good news is that one of them was the new big rib which will be easy to replace.  Not to mention it was a little oversized anyway.  Also the existing rib that broke was the worst offender as far as being twisted from the airbrake return spring and now it will be much easier to get a nice looking straight rib in that location :)  So now I know what will be waiting for me after the holidays.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Excellent Progress

Yesterday a 5 ft long piece of Spruce arrived on the front porch.  Perfect timing since today was going to be in the mid 50's. Not bad for December!  I got to work this afternoon, starting with finishing the cuts in the existing trailing edge.  Finishing the inboard side went alright and cutting the outboard side was a breeze. Here is the trailing edge pieces cut:

Then I cut the new piece of spruce to length and laid out the scarfs for it.  With a nice sharp blade on the plane it took very little time to get the scarfs cut for the new piece.  Helps when the piece is just clamped to the bench and not flopping around on the glider with ribs in the way.

Next I started thinking about ways to get the ribs straightened out.  I also knew I was going to need to get the ribs out of the way in order to glue in the new trailing edge.  I notched some 1x2's with the table saw to act as a sort of jig for the ribs to force them into a straight-ish orientation.  It actually worked out pretty well and I think when the time comes will work alright for getting things lined up.  I also removed the vertical stiffeners and cut the trailing edges of the existing ribs in order to get them to move out of the way for the trailing edge.  Here is the jigs in place:

With the ribs able to move now I had to go get some supplies for epoxying. Namely, dixie cups and paint brushes.  Then I clamped the aluminum angle firmly in place.  It worked as a nice guide in my attempt to keep the trailing edge square and straight.  Worked out a clamping scheme and mixed up the epoxy and put everything in its place.  Then for grins I glued in the remaining bits of the false ribs so I'll have plenty of clamps to remove in the morning.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Installing Ribs

Not a lot of work done on 53T lately but Matt and I did do some work this week on insulating the attic.  Only 2 or 3 rafter widths left on that job and hopefully we will do that tomorrow!  We did do some work on 53T today though.  I bought a piece of stiff aluminum angle at The Yard Store this morning and am using it to jig together the two ends of the trailing edge on either side of the piece that I cut out.  I started cutting the scarf on one side of that gap today.  Matt worked on getting the ribs ready to glue in place with some last minute touch up.  We ran a taught line to establish where we wanted the leading edge and made sure that we had a 1.5 mm gap between the rib for the skin.

We finished up the afternoon by mixing up epoxy and gluing and clamping the 6 false ribs to the forward spar.  I have some more work to do around the airbrake before I'm ready to epoxy the real rib in place.  We will also need to glue 4 of the false ribs to the rear spar.  However our monthly glider club meeting interfered which was quite interesting.  It featured the designer of the Belite Ultralight,  He spoke at length about the recent feature of his plane on Mythbusters and the design of the craft. Very cool.

I also made it out to Harry's shop this afternoon and picked up a 4 foot square piece of 1.5 mm plywood which will be used for the new skin.  Slowly but surely I can see this repair coming to an end!