Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fixing old mistakes

Sometimes, you just have to do something.

I was hoping to get back in the air for the first time in almost two years this weekend. I've been trying to get together with a CFI to knock some rust off and get a BFR now that the FAA has said I'm OK to fly again. We've exchanged voicemails in the last month and I wasn't able to get back to him on Friday. But alas, he didn't return my call, so I'll have to wait.

It's amazing, really, what even the possibility of flying can do for your enthusiasm, so I've been paying a little more attention to the RV project this weekend.

It was only 7 degrees yesterday so I splurged and bought a kerosene forced air heater; enough to heat the garage up to around 40 degrees, which is balmy for Minnesotans at this time of year. Anything more than that and you just start sweating.

Winter for me is a time to fix old mistakes on the RV as significant progress is simply out of the question. Last winter I fixed an edge distance problem when I mated the wings. And one of my goals this year has been to fix a nuisance spring on the manual trim cable.

As you can see, hopefully, in this picture. The spring unloaded when I was installing it a few years ago

The safety wire that attaches the springs to the control arm, was of questionable pedigree, since when the spring unloaded it really only left a little bit of the spring itself connected to the wire. I'm not real thrilled with the manual aileron trim anyway, but I didn't want to use electrical here. Still, I was always suspicious of this particular arrangement.

So, today, I installed a new spring.




The spring has unfurled a little bit -- there's just nothing to be done about that, but as you can see the closed loop is still in place where the safety wire attaches. I also adjusted the length a little bit so the sticks are in the neutral position.

I'm turning my attention to the electrical system now. I've been pretty much decided I will install the Vertical Power system, cashing in a life insurance policy I sold to myself in 1976 to pay for it. When I got out of school, while waiting for my big break in show business, I sold insurance with my Dad for awhile. I was pretty good at it. Update: Nah, I'm back thinking again. If I buy it, I have to pay another $400+ for sales tax, plus I see it takes special crimpers to install. Leaning back -- again -- toward traditional electrical system installation.

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