Friday, March 26, 2010

Regaining perspective

It's a lot like flying: it's obvious that there are skills that will get rusty after an extended layoff: radio work, takeoffs (in taildraggers, anyway), landings (in anything but a parachute), and other tasks that benefit from recent practice. As it turns out, there are skills in airplane building that also suffer from lack of recent experience. As a case in point, it took an embarrassingly long time to figure out the perspective of this drawing:

It's obvious to me now, just as it may have been to you right away, but for the longest time I thought that the center section in the picture was stood up vertically. Eventually it dawned on me that it is laid down horizontally on the table, like so:

That's as far as I'm going today. I still need to read through the plans. My number one goal is to determine how far I can go before having to transfer the work from my comfortable, convenient basement out to the somewhat less so (on both accounts) hangar. From a quick read-through, it looks like there is a tremendous amount of work that gets done before the rollover structure gets built. The rollover is the first piece high enough that it will preclude removal from the basement. It gets attached as the last step before attaching the fuse to the tail cone, so it's very close to when I would have had to move to the hangar anyway.

The open question is whether I can skip over the rollover structure and tailcone attachment steps and install the rudder pedals, brakes, and the fuel lines before moving to the hangar. Those would ever so much easier to do in the basement where the lighting and tools are better.

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