Tuesday, February 21, 2012


As in "Thank Goodness it's Flyday!" Actually, it was one of those seemingly arbitrary holidays that the powers-that-be sprinkle throughout the calendar at the behest of national retail in order to provide an excuse for yet another shopping weekend. It's probably no coincidence that these things boost ad sales for the newspapers, too. Motives aside, the upshot is that the unobtainium mines were closed for the day, releasing me to pursue other, more interesting endeavors. Half the day was devoted to a Geek Squad housecall to repair an ailing laptop, but the second half was mine to do with as I pleased.

The plan was to go out to the hangar to do some work on the RV-12 spinner, but you can't get to that hangar without going past the one that houses the RV-6. I decided more or less on the spur of the moment that perhaps a little practice flight might be in order, a decision that was greatly aided and abetted by an abundance of blue sky and the blessing of light winds. Besides which, I've been hungry to try my new camera in the airplane. One of the deciding criteria in the selection of the LX5 was the alleged quickness and accuracy of the autofocus, an area where my big Olympus was notably weak. I really wanted a true point-and-shoot camera that retained the ability to take a pretty decent picture. All reports indicated that the LX5 would perform admirably, but there's no knowing until it is tried.

I think it did pretty well.

Crisp enough to tell that I left my hangar door open!

This next picture is a perfect example of the need for quick and easy. This is a picture of my neighborhood taken just as I was turning from left base to final, a fairly busy time for the pilot and thus a time best suited for no more than a momentary distraction. Notice the house in the lower-left corner: that's the one I call the Hobbit house. All that can be seen of it from the street is a concrete driveway and wall. From the air, however, it looks pretty interesting.

Yes, they actually do mow their roof!

After a twenty minute flight culminating in a surprisingly acceptable landing, it was over to the -12 hangar to put in an hour of work. I implemented Professor Pete's idea for measuring the hole spacing onto a piece of tape and using that to transfer the markings to the back plate:

Then the over-kerfed gap fillers were clamped into place:

The trusty hand drill again did a masterful job of controlled drilling:

Clecoed in place, only to be removed again for the next step:

Which is to fabricate some backing plates to add strength and to provide something to attach to the spinner, presumably:

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