Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And so it begins!

I woke up at about 2:30 am last night, deep in those late night, self-doubt hours when you often find yourself questioning whether you have any idea whatsoever regarding what you're doing with your life, your career, and as it turns out, whether or not you can really build an airplane. No sense stewing over it, not with the tail kit scheduled to arrive in the morning. But still... it can be hard to convince yourself of anything during those hours - it usually takes the light of day to wash away the anxiety. I muddled through the night reminding myself that I am not trying to build an airplane. No, for the sake of my sanity, I told myself that I am trying to build the tail end of an airplane. And really, that's nothing much more than an aluminum canoe, right? And I built a kayak... piece of cake!

The call finally came late in the morning: "I've got a delivery in my truck for you, I'm downtown, and I should be there in 20 minutes." Well, more accurately, I supplied the 20 minute enroute time estimate, but he didn't disagree. I had done all of the preparation that I could think of, even going so far as to make a trip to Harbor Freight (which I will grant you is not exactly a sacrifice on my part) to pick up a mover's dolly in case the truck was too large to come up the driveway. I had also pre-arranged with a neighbor to help with any lifting that might be needed.

As it turns out, the truck was able to navigate the driveway just fine:

That whole "This End Up" thing? I guess it's overrated:

I don't think the driver was used to quite as much fanfare:

He was very curious about just what was in the box such that it would generate so much interest. When told that it was a kit to build an airplane, he was curious as to how one finds the time to devote to something like that. I told him that I had plenty of spare hours since I don't watch TV.

"Well, ya gotta wife, don't ya? Doesn't she find stuff for you to do?"

Well, yes, but not so much as to be a burden.

The move from the back of the truck and into the garage was much easier than I had feared. It helped that I had plenty of neighborly assistance:

He brought a small army!

I like the big, blood red dollar sign. Ya got dat right!!

The metal work begins immediately:

The contents are very tightly and securely packed:

I hope I don't have to put everything back!

There was still a little damage, though. I think it can just be bent back into place:

Stuff is packed inside of stuff that's packed inside of other stuff:

There are five pages of packing list. Everything needs to be inventoried and placed on shelves for storage:

Even the builders manual has to be assembled. Surprisingly, at least the holes are punched in the pages for you:

At the end of the day, there is an enormous amount of packing paper to get rid of. It looks like Xmas morning! And this is only half of it; an equally large pile was still up in the garage:

Finally there was nothing left to do but one thing:

Stand there and wonder just what in the hell I've gotten myself into!! Where do I start??

The answer is simple: in the fine tradition of Schmetterling Aviation, we just get to it. It's obvious, really: Vee schtart vitt dee tail:

But before we can do that, we must finish the inventory and write down where everything is stored:


Hugo said...

"The tree which needs two arms to span its girth sprang from the tiniest shoot. Yon tower, nine storeys high, rose from a little mound of earth. A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step." Lao Tzu

I'll be following your build and hope to learn along the way, with you.

Thank-you for sharing, Dave.

Paul (@tendancer) said...

I remember watching Dan Checkoway build his RV one bit at a time, and I'm excited to go through it all again with you. Like Hugo says, thanks for sharing with us.

Torsten said...

Reading through your blog and your decision making process for various aspects of the RV-12 I am still wondering about one thing. Why is it that you chose to not prime the interior of the plane, not even the mating surfaces? No Alodine, no epoxy-based primer, nothing like that.
I'm really curious about that as I am spending a significant amount of time preparing surfaces
and spraying green stuff on shiny objects (not to mention the financial aspect of this).

Post a Comment