Thursday, October 28, 2010

The interior


A sure sign that the great airplane-building project is almost done is the arrival of the final touch -- the interior. Yesterday, the interior arrived.

I had the seats covered a few years ago but now that the inside of the plane is mostly done, it was time to get it gussied up. Abby at Flightline Interiors in Wisconsin did the work. As with so many other purchases on this project, I selected her because she consistently gets high marks from other RV builders. I trust the RV community and haven't been steered wrong yet. I certainly wasn't this time, either. She's delightful to work with and her expertise is outstanding.

Word of mouth is a pretty effective way to keep a business going in bad times. What don't you get about that, big American corporations?

It doesn't look like much sitting in the box, perhaps, but I'm looking forward to getting it installed.


And therein lies the problem, I suppose. It's a real motivator to get the inside all put together. But before the plane can fly, it needs an inspection. And in the final inspection, anything that can be uncovered needs to be uncovered. So while it might be great motivation to get the inside all put together and looking great, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

This weekend, I'm going to get the inside all put together and looking great.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For the love of flying

I've been building my airplane for almost 10 years. This guy has been working on his for one year. I fret about whether a 1/8" gap between a cowling and a firewall is too much (it is). He, umm, doesn't.

But which one of us loves aviation more? Good question.



I don't know whether that thing is going to fly or not. In his column today, James Fallows points out that it almost doesn't matter:
But in my experience -- mainly In Ghana and Kenya during the 70s, in Southeast Asia in the 1980s, and in China these past few years -- there is a cumulatively very different and very powerful experience that comes from meeting person after person like the Kenyan aviator-aspirant. That is, people whose material circumstances and range of experience are vastly different from a typical person's in London or high-end Shanghai or San Francisco, and who objectively have nowhere near the same opportunities -- but who take their own life drama and possibilities just as seriously and can dream just as ambitiously. For instance, I am thinking of a man in his 70s in a village in western China whose consuming project is a handwritten history of life in his village, from his boyhood during the era of war in the late 1930s and 1940s, through the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s, to the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, and onward. He is someone who wears the same pants, shirt, and jacket virtually every day, because that's what he has. He is part of "the rural poor," but he has a plan and a dream.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Cowling Chronicles - Episode 3

Since last we met, I've seen the light on the finagled installation procedure of the cowling on my RV-7A project. Enjoy. Or not.