Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chipping away at it...

I've been chipping away at the job of getting the left wing skinned an hour or so at a time. Most of last weekend was taken up with outdoor recreation, so airplane work has been relegated to evenings after work.

Wait! Outdoor recreation?? Isn't it bitter cold in Ohio? Well, yes it is. Luckily, I've gotten pretty tolerant of the cold temperatures from having spent so many hours in the frigid hangar. Sunday dawned sunny and clear, but the morning temperature was 11F and forecast to do no better then 18F. That certainly wasn't the weather that I had been hoping for when I had scheduled my activity a couple of weeks ago, but I'd been looking forward to it anxiously for so long that postponement wasn't even a consideration. So what was this exciting thing that I was going to do? Well, I thought that I'd be trying trap shooting, something I've wanted to try forever. I had a borrowed 12 gauge Remington over/under, a box of 100 shells, and the ability to dress for and tolerate the cold weather. It was on!!

So why "thought?" What happened? It seems I didn't ask enough questions so fully understand what we were going to do. We were actually going out for a couple of rounds of "sporting clays." Me, I had never heard of it. Just in case you haven't either, here's what Wiki knows about it:

Sporting clays is a form of clay pigeon shooting, often described as "golf with a shotgun" because a typical course includes from 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain. For safety, the course size is often no smaller than 35 acres.

Unlike trap and skeet, which are games of repeatable target presentations, sporting clays simulates the unpredictability of live-quarry shooting, offering a great variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, distances, and target sizes.

A typical course consists of 10 to 15 stations, with each station presenting targets from trap machines. Usually 5 to 10 targets are shot at each station by a squad of up to six shooters for a total outing of 50 to 100 targets per person. Targets are thrown as singles and pairs. A pair of targets may be thrown as a true pair (or sim pair, i.e., thrown at the same time), as a following pair (thrown sequentially), or on report (the second clay launched on the report of the shooter’s gun).

Numerous hunting conditions can be simulated by combining various speeds and angles with different types of clay targets. Each station is unique. Throughout a course, the shooters might see targets crossing from either side, coming inward, going outward, flying straight up, rolling on the ground, arcing high in the air, or thrown from towers. The possible target presentations are limited only by safety considerations, the terrain, and the imagination of the course designer. The configuration of the stations is often changed to maintain interest for the shooters and for environmental preservation of the course.

Yeah, well, wiki isn't known for its stimulating writing style. It was far more fun than that dry description makes it sound. Still, I like the "golf with a shotgun" description; I've always thought that was the way the game should be played.

"Waggle that driver a tenth time, punk. Make my day...."

Yeah, that's the way golf should be. But it isn't, so they invented sporting clays. Whereas golf has famously been described as a "good walk ruined," sporting clays is a good walk punctuated with the opportunity to shoot at stuff. With a shotgun! I enjoyed it immensely, but I have to tell you one important thing about it: it's HARD. It probably isn't the best thing to start with if you've never fired a shotgun before.

The problem is that, unlike target shooting with a rifle, you can't tell where you missed. All you know is that the little clay pigeon blithely kept flying. You can't tell if your aim was off, if you didn't lead the target enough, or if you led it too much. You just don't know. I only managed to hit 10 out of 50 on my first round. I think before I try it again I will have to spend some time shooting at a fixed target in order to ensure that I'm at least pointing the gun at the location I think I'm pointing it. I tried to talk one of the guys into holding up a target for me, but surprisingly none of them were willing to help out.

With that having taken up most of the weekend, the RV-12 was left sitting until I got back to the paying job and had a few free hours in the evenings. I managed to get the flaperon hinge brackets riveted in using the LP4-3 rivets (they still seem a little short), but that took an entire work session. The location of some of the holes was horrid. I also sprayed a little corrosion protection on them; they will be inaccessible for inspection and/or repair once the skins are on. The RV-12 wings are insanely short of inspection ports. The only one is on the left wing and it's only there to allow access to the stall warning switch.

The next couple of nights were filled with installing the top skins. That was more or less straightforward, although getting the molded stiffener to fit down into the slot of the ribs without assistance requires a bit of finesse and patience, two qualities that I often find distinctly lacking in my repertoire.

Glittens: they work for shooting sporting clays and shooting rivets:

Little blocks of wood hold the leading edge skins up so the top skins can slide in underneath.

Getting the stiffener into the slots is probably frustratingly difficult even when you've had a good day at work.

I hadn't.

Finally in the slot!

Temps in the 30's feel almost balmy to me now:

Balmy or not, those rivets will have to wait until next time.

1 comment:

Brent at said...

Looking good Dave! Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see that thing fly!
Take care,

Brent Owens
Fellow CMH RV builder

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