Sunday, July 10, 2011

On her feet!

Today was the last day of my summer vacation from the paying job and I was thrilled to see that we would again be enjoying cloud free skies and calm air. Before heading back to the Corporate America grind, there were a couple of things that I wanted to do.

First in line was a flight down to the mountainous deep south of Ohio to visit the Jackson Two. There were two reasons for this trip: first, I wanted to pick up some of their surplus fiberglass cloth for doing the fairing work around the canopy, and second I wanted to deliver Torsten's fuel line leak check kit to them so they could check their lines. (Surprise, Torsten! I meant to talk to you about this, but the opportunity to get two tasks done and get to fly too was too good to miss)

I wanted to get an early start since I was pretty sure that the afternoon would be another of the 90+ degree boilers that we've had all week. By flying in the morning hours I was able to enjoy a smooth ride even down at the 2,500' level. As the verdant fields of the early summer rolled by under my wings, I could see that they were doomed to lose their fight against the mid-July haze. By afternoon it would be a bumpy ride with low visibility in the muggy haze. I'd be home by then, though, so it was easy to savor the pleasant moments cruising over the flat lands of Central Ohio.

Of course, once I got far enough to the southeast to see the hills beneath me reaching ever higher, my relaxing flight was somewhat tenser as each little burble from the engine reminded me that the topology beneath me was nowhere near as forgiving as that I had enjoyed for the first half of the flight. My perusal of the scenery now had more of a purpose as I continuously scanned the hills looking for an open field to head towards if the engine were to roll over and die. I have a young, strong, and reliable engine, though, so the "what if" thinking is really more of a habit from my earlier flying days in much less pampered equipment. Still, it's a good habit to keep. One never knows.

The afternoon was set aside for the second task which was to get the RV-12 standing on its own feet. This seemed attainable since the main gear legs were already installed, leaving only the nose gear to be bolted into place. And, of course, the wheels would need to be mounted to their respective gear legs.

Installing the main wheels was easy enough, but I also decided to install the brake line fitting once the wheels were mounted. This proved to be a little more difficult since the blue fittings where nowhere to be seen. I soon struck me that I had seen those fittings quite recently. In fact, I had seen them as I was installing them into the landing gear mount blocks! Well, that was a silly mistake. The fittings that go into the mount blocks are supposed to be brass. And there they were, two brass fittings right there in the bag where I had expected to find blue ones.

So.... out came the landing gear mount blocks. Again.

With that problem fixed, it was fairly straightforward work to get the nose wheel fork mounted and the wheel in place.

So here she is, her first time standing on her own feet:

This was certainly a moment worth celebrating!


Hugo said...

Starting to look like a "real" airplane. Have you climbed in and made flying noises yet?

Torsten said...

That's ok, Dave. Did they find any leaks? BTW, I (hope I have) finished my tank (where's a piece of natural wood when you need it???) and could soon use that kit again for the tank pressure test. It will easily take a week or two before I consider the sealant to be fully cured, so no rush.

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