After Checkride Photo

After Checkride Photo
This photo was taken right after I passed my private pilot checkride.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Auto CAD

The other day, I downloaded a free auto CAD program for my iPad. It was very easy to punch in coordinates for my stabilizer end ribs and print the form on paper. I glued this paper to some MDF board and will cut the form blocks for all of my ribs this way. I stuck the paper on with a spray on adhesive. My friend has a band saw which I can use to cut my form blocks. After I have the rest of my ribs plotted on the auto CAD, I will glue them down and go over to his shop to cut them out. I am moving very slow on the project right now. More updates will follow once I have cut a few blocks and have pics to share.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I am convinced....

My good friend, pilot and builder convinced me I can do this from the plans. I purchased some MDF board to build rib form blocks, and will find a day soon to start laying out the form block templates and rib blank templates.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"N" number reservation

I reserved N923RK as my registration number for my Zodiac. The more a look over the plans, the more inclined I am to build this from the kit. I can see how the additional tool purchases to set up the shop for scratch building the plane will absorb a good deal of the cost savings over buying the kit. At least for me it would, because I can't buy cheap tools; they just don't last as long. Stay tuned. For those interested, the N number was derived from my wedding proposal date of 9/23 and R for Ron and K for Katherine, my lovely bride.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The plans arrived the other day. I am starting to preview them and figure out where to start. I think I want to stock pile a bunch of the smaller parts, namely the ribs for the elevator, horizontal stabilizer, and the main wings. Then I plan on starting from the tail, and making the larger pieces as needed to complete each section of the plane. My current game plan includes building the fuselage last, after I have the wings and tail complete, including the flaps, trim tabs, and ailerons. I will be ordering my aluminum stock andother hardware only in the quantities needed for each section of the plane. I will spend a little more on shipping this way, but it will also allow me to spread the cost of the materials out as I can afford it, rather than piling up a huge debt to get everything all at once. Please stay tuned. I will start with cutting my form blocks next week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heavily Edited

Hi friends and family. I have completely deleted all of the photos from the CH 750 STOL because I sold the kit. I will embark on a scratch build project from plans only a CH 650 as I had originally planned to do. The photos you see are from the rudder starter kit which I assembled one and a half years ago. I decided to scratch build from the plans because it will save me a bunch of money, and quite honestly, the rudder assembly was no challenge at all, and I want this project to involve more skill and thought than just simple assembly. Granted, it will take me longer than assembling a kit, but that is OK with me. I am sure there will be a few parts of the air frame that I will choose to purchase from Zenith, like the bubble canopy for example, and any other parts that I choose not to fabricate myself. I enjoy working with my hands, especially working with metal, so I am going to give this a go. I will order my blue prints soon, and enough material to finish the empennage area next month. I am especially looking forward to making the rib form blocks and ribs, as they will be my greatest challenge in building this plane from scratch. Anyone who read my blog before may have also noted that I was planning on using a Corvair auto engine conversion for the engine for my plane. Well, I sold that engine to a fellow that is still driving a 1964 Corvair side loader truck and a 1961 Corvair Coupe. I promised my wife that if I went through with this aircraft building project, that I would use a designated aircraft engine. Since I am building from scratch and saving a great deal on the project by not buying the kit, I will be able to afford an aircraft engine, and some decent avionics. Right now, I am considering two engines, either a Continental O-200, or if money allows, a UL Power UL350iS. I am liking the idea of a modern engine like the UL, but I also like how tried and true the Continental O-200 engine is, and I have a cousin who has actually built a few O-200 engines. Please check in and comment as often as you like. Please keep it polite and civilized, as I have family and friends that read this too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rudder Kit Assembly

I cut and fit the nose skin today. I then removed the cleco clamps from the entire rudder, added a self etching anti-corrosion treatment to all of the interior rivet joints, and then riveted it together with a pneumatic rivet puller and Avex rivets. Total build time for the entire rudder assembly was 11 hours. Special thanks to my friend Bruce J. for his knowledge, support, for lending me a few tools, clecos, helping to get me started, and having a some laughs along the way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rudder spar and rib assembly

3/17/2011 I started my rudder today. My friend Bruce helped me get started. We prepared and riveted the the ribs to the main spar. Build time is 4 hours, although we were taking our time and having some laughs.