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Summertime Blues

June 7, 2013

I’m sitting here in Nashville International Airport.  I have a Miller Lite on one side of the computer and my phone on the other side.  The Sky Club is fairly lively on this Friday night.  There are others, like myself, trying to find a quieter oasis in the hustle-bustle of the airport.  It is raining out on the ramp.  Not enough to stop flights, but enough to make the ramp crews wear their raincoats.  A friendly computer at Delta just called to let me know that my flight has been delayed again.  Now it is leaving at 5:45pm, rather than the 5:15 that it is scheduled to leave.  I cannot escape the noise of a less seasoned traveler arguing with the ticket agent.  She is trying to convince him that there is very little she can do about the weather in Atlanta.

Just another summer evening in the Southeast US.  Storms are popping up all over the place and forcing air traffic to dodge and weave through it.  At around 3:45 an agent was informing everyone on the 4:15 that they had to board very quickly so that the flight could leave early.  That plan failed and the flight is still at the gate waiting for the weather to clear enough in Atlanta.

Breaks in the day like this let me take some time to turn my focus back to what is really important; building my plane.

IMG_0457Looking at the last post it certainly has been awhile since I’ve updated.  Though I haven’t updated in awhile, I have gotten some work done.  The center section is nearly done.  The short version is this, I finished putting it all together, primed what needed priming and put it back together.  I then took it all apart because I forgot to dimple something, and put it all back together again.  We flipped it over and riveted on the skin, then we flipped it back right side up.  I screwed up the outside seat ribs, F-715 L/R and ordered new ones.  They arrived at home yesterday and I am in Nashville.  There you go…all caught up.

For the most part, everything went great.  The only modification I made here was adding nut plates to the floor in the baggage compartment so that I can remove the floor whenever I want.  I may have made a mistake here.  I’ll know later as this section proceeds.

Any modification you make increases the time to build.  Counting the necessary materials, ordering them and then doing the work really increases the time.  This is why Vans suggest you build to the plans.  The removable floor, though, seemed too much like a no brainer to me.

The F-715’s were totally my goof.  I didn’t read the instructions well and forgot to make allowance for the 1/32″ gap for the skin.  Probably would never have been noticed, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

Something funny did happen during this part of the build.  I had just finished riveting the seat ribs to the center spar and had a question about something so I searched a builders website and found a good picture of what I was trying to find out.  While I was on his site I noticed something that I didn’t have.


See the piece of metal between the two ribs.  That is the support for the crotch strap for a 5 point harness.  I looked and looked for a reference to the parts in my stuff and couldn’t find anything.  I emailed the guy who’s site I was looking at and found he told me it was an extra subkit that I would have to order.  I went on Vans site and was about to order it and decided to go check my parts again.  When I got in the attic and started rummaging through my stuff I found this:


There it was.  I had already ordered it and forgot it was there.  Anyway it was pretty easy to install and didn’t take more than about an hour to get it in.  Now that it is in I dont know if I’ll use it, but it is nice to have if I want it.



From → Build Log, Fuselage

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