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Monday, April 8, 2013

Where have you been?

I've gotten that question a few times this winter and I have no good excuse. I guess I've just been busy. I have been working on gliders just not Cherokee II stuff so haven't had a need to post anything. We are restoring a 2-22E in the garage, Matt is working on his SH-1 fuselage, and we've had the Cirrus in and out a few times too. I have been collecting some pictures for an eventual winter summary post so here it is.

First, I'm sad to report that William Ree, the surviving builder of YYY, passed away last summer. His wife Alice sent me a nice card with his obituary and a picture of his headstone. I was just about to mail out the annual report of YYY and my adventures in 2012 when I saw his name listed in the Final Glide section of Soaring. William flew the hump in WWII and he and his brother John went on to build YYY, then the first Cherokee RM (The R is for Ree), N10124, a Tern II which was lost in an unrecoverable spin, and then a Pioneer II. I believe that all of the gliders were built in the space above the shop they had in Philadelphia.

The scale model of 373Y that was built by Al Clark has been sold to John Mears. John added the YYY lettering to the glider in preparation for last years Huntsville Aerotow. I helped him out with the sizing and placement. Looks pretty good! And no, the pilot in the glider is not a scale representation of me. He is much older.

Dick Bean sent me some pictures of a Cherokee RM that he mostly built. At the time he sold it, it was ready to cover, and went to someone in Gresham, Oregon. He is unsure if it was ever completed.

You get a really good look at the internal fuselage and wing structure in these pictures. You can see that the RM uses the same two spar design by has a plywood shear web instead of spruce cross bracing between each rib bay. I believe the RM also has a solid leading edge glued onto squared off ribs and sanded to shape.

Josh Knerr saw this Cherokee fuselage (and maybe a wing too) sitting outside of an A&P school in Vacaville, CA. While the side of the Cherokee is large enough to make a billboard, I do not recommend it be used for this purpose. I have tried to contact some people at the school but never received a reply. If anyone out there might have more info about this glider, please let me know.

Robert Vogt sent me a really nice report on the history of N8079, or at least as much as he was familiar with, being one of the original builders. I'll get its entry updated.

Steve Leonard posted a few pictures of the Leonard Annebula on Facebook. I particularly enjoyed this one. "Waiting for the towplane. Towels can make good air scoops!" he says, a little Kansas wind helps too.

I wrote an article for our club newsletter about the theoretical performance of the Cherokee based on the measured polar vs. what i've actually acheived in flight. It was mildly interesting to see the results and you can read all about it here:

Finally, Chester Mumpower got ahold of me about selling a Cherokee II project that is hanging in his grandpas hangar. I don't know any details about it but can get you in touch with Chester. He is asking $2000 OBO. Here s a picture, I have a few others:

YYY is happily sitting in its trailer, I checked on it the other day. I don't have any big flying plans for it this spring, and I will probably focus my time early in the season on the Cirrus as I'm flying it at the Region 9 conetest in Moriarty in June. There is going to be a Vintage Rally in Moriarty over Labor Day and I plan to fly the Cherokee there.

My club is hosting a Low Performance Contest in July, limited to gliders with Standard Austria SH-1 performance and lower, and handicapped per normal SSA Sports Class Regional rules. I was hoping to fly YYY in that contest but it looks like I'm going to be the CD which will be equally rewarding.

Hopefully it won't be 6 months until my next update!!

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