January 31, 2014 The beginning of...
Building a biplane is more than just building... I think ?
There's a lot of mental going on here... We can fool others but we can't fool ourselves.
I guess this can be said for anything that involves a major investment in your time. Money... you can "throw" that at anything. And it's easy to make rash decisions when spending it. Your time, on the other hand... to be continued
March 3, 2014 What's ??...
being "current" ???
The weather in the northeast has been crappy this past winter: and that's putting it mildly. And because of that I haven't flown much. Good on the bank account. Not so much for the hours flying account.
So that got me to thinking... how does one stay current ? Are the sims they have nowadays good enough to keep the rust off of your flying skills ? or is there some better way ? I've also heard that visualization is used in other sports. I'm thinking the same would be true here too; a little arm chair flying ?
for... Me, myself... if money is tight I'll take shorter hops each time I go up: instead of flying for an hour each time I'd rather (well I actually wouldn't "rather") fly for a 1/2 hour each time and fly twice as much.
Does that make sense? Is it time in the air or number of exposers, aka number times in the air ??? that is better for staying current ?
I think I'm going to put into practice a variety of these ideas to see how they work; visualization and sims along with the "as much as I can flying" flying. It's always good to keep up with the reading too.
April 18, 2014 What ??...
Life is full of "what if's". At least mine is.
Way back when... it was "What if I was a pilot?" Then it was "What if I had an airplane?" Then "What if I build a biplane?"
A friend just recently posted a photo and link to an airport for sale in my neck of the woods... now it's, "What if I owned an airport?" That would be pretty damned slick.
For one... it'd solve my issue with finding a place to work on the biplane. (not bad, eh?) It'd be one helluva "man cave"! (hell yea !!!) Great place to store all my airplanes (yea, right).
For some odd reason, all of my "What if's?" have come to pass...
Then I got to thinking... "What if developers come in and covert all 44 arcres to a housing developement?" That's one helluva bad "What if?" Not my "What if?", though. essssssssssssssssh !!!
May 8, 2014 Is it always there ???
It never leaves you...
I imagine that anything you're focused on hangs around in your head: passions are like that.
Flight has always been there, even when it wasn't... right there in front of me. When I was grounded for a year or so... I thought of it day-in-and-day-out. At work, right now, today, I'll be making calls, following up on projects... the one constant is thoughts of flying and the biplane project.
Is it an escape or reality ? my thoughts.
I've often thought (recently) if not being in the industry of flying "hurt" my life of flight? Like Richard Bach has said... it's a necessary lesson we create. I've created the life I live, free to make changes, or to tear out the pages (to paraphrase, Bach). For once tasting flight, we're never the same.
A recent snag in the buidling of the turtledeck; I decided upon a solution and I'm now looking forward to making it happen. Some of that "it never leaves you" working out a solution to the problem.
May 11, 2014 What a day...
for a T6 sighting... among other things.
It never a bad day... when flying is involved (you can debate that point with me but I'm not having any of it)
It's Mother Day and not a lot of folks out flying around. Had a 172spamcan scheduled for 10AM. Drove in from Philly and it only took me a half hour. On my way I passed a Harbor Freight and made a mental note of it...
Arrived at the FBO in Cross Keys and Adam handed me the keys and I headed out to the plane. All things checked ok so I fired her up and left the green of Spring far below.
Not much I want to say about it... How could I. The world from 900ft. Fifty-mile plus visibility... I'll let the pictures do the talking.
Swedesboro, NJ - May 11, 2014 - 900'
South Jersey - May 11, 2014 - 1000'
T6 - Cross Keys Airport - May 11, 2014 - 165'
June 14, 2014 How do you want your biplane...
Light and efficient or heavy and inept ?
My vision of lightness started when I had an interest in sailboats. I always invisioned myself with a sleek, kept-to-the-minimum sloop. A just-about unclutered top deck and the minimum-of-minimums interior. Keep it light and it'll pay off in performance.
There is a trade-off (at least in the mind of some pilots) of whether to keep your aircraft light with the bare minimum or things attached to it or to load it up with the latest and greatest gagets and a plush interior.
I guess you could toss stones at me because at the core of my biplane project I have a BIG OL' HEAVY RADIAL ENGINE. BUT... I think it stops right there !!! with the weight. Although, the front pit will have a full floor for those novices stepping into it... better to have an extra pound of floor boards than to have to make repairs to the belly fabric. My cockpit will have heel trays only.
Instruments are being kept to the minimum; altimiter, airspeed and compass in the front... not much more in the back pit except the necessary gagues and switches to start and monitor the engine.
I'm up in the air about adding a smoke system. How often will I use it and what's the weight on it?
Brakes in the back only.
Battery... just looking into that now. I've been reading a few threads about them and have come to the conclusion that, although the Lithium IRON batteries are a little persnickety... they're a lot lighter than the standard battery, they're a dry cell... among other thing. Don't over charge them and don't let them get completely dead... and you'll be okay. Edit: I just read something that has made me think otherwise...
One thing I WILL added to it, regardless of the weight, are Halon extinguishers; one for the cockpits and one for the engine. Safety first.
Covering... sheet metal up to the front pit (on the sides) and then fabric from there on back. Bubble canopy, an option for the driver's seat only.
I guess it all comes down to performance. Keep it light and it will fly a helluva lot nicer. Or... load it up with all the goodies and leather upolstery and have a puppy DOG flier.
As for me... Give me light and responsive.
Rutan is quoted as telling his staff that when they finish building a part, they must throw it up in the air for a weight test, and "If it comes down, it's too heavy".
October 17, 2014 Forcing me to...
The other day Fi sent me a message through facebook... He said he had something he wanted to send over to me. A Russian welding torch. I'm like... sweeeet !!! Then he said: "So; the torch -- it comes with a condition. I want to hear your story on how you will hook it up to your rig. It's all metric on the fittings."
No problemo ! I know a few machinists. And... I have a micro-lathe. I'll get to work on it.
It's Friday afternoon... and UPS just came with, you got it, the torch. Sa...weet ! Nice looking unit. THANKS, Fi. Much appreciated. by the way... your return address has a biplane on it... where's a picture of your Cheetah ???
Here's a shot of the set-up Fi sent. I'll keep you posted on the metric to US standards as I move along with it.