Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Am I on a schedule?

Hugo asked:
Are you working on any kind of a timeline on your build, or are you just letting your pocketbook dictate the speed of your build?
Neither, really. While I eagerly anticipate the completion of the plane because, well, it will be a brand new plane, I view the construction of it as a purely recreational and educational activity. I don't handle the winter months well (more on that in a  bit) and desperately need something to keep myself occupied during the dark evenings and inclement weekends that are par for the course from December to March. Even during the rest of the year, I often lack for meaningful projects to keep my hands occupied in off-work hours. Sure, I have a tentative timeline; I think it should be done in two or three years. The problem with setting any firmer schedule than that is that it makes the work feel like, well, work.  I get enough of that during the days at the paying job, thanks.  I think striving for a sane balance between airplane building and all of the other things that I do (for example, I have four game reviews to write in the next two weeks for will keep the project as enjoyable to me as it has been for this last month.

Regarding the winter season, as it stands today it's already getting dark too early for me. Experience has taught me that the early darkness of the next three months will sap my strength and initiative if I don't have something to compel me to activity. I'm starting to feel it already. As mentioned on my flying blog, I have a maintenance problem with the other plane in the Schmetterling fleet. Last night I went out to the hangar to take a drastic action - I had to drill out all of the rivets that hold the cowl hinge in place. It was the action of last resort because it will take a lot of work to repair the now enlarge holes in the fiberglass of the cowl, and once that's done I'll still need to buy, fit, and drill a new length of hinge material. Finally, it will need to be painted with paint that I don't have, and matching the color exactly will be a challenge. It took roughly an hour to drill out the rivets and get the cowl off of the airplane. By the time I had that done, it was 6:30 and already dark. Between the depression of having maimed my baby and the early darkness, I didn't have any interest in doing even the most mundane RV-12 work. In other words, I spent the evening in a funk.

Fortunately, that won't last long. I'm already thinking about which things to tackle first and what I can get done on the 12 tonight. Today I'll order the parts I need for the RV-6 from Van's and force myself to just forget about the broken airplane sitting forlornly in its hangar for a few days. Tonight, I will be back to work on the RV-12.

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