Certainly we could have not arranged for WORST weather for our meeting this past Saturday. Fog, drizzle, low clouds and it was WAY TOO warm (give me 10 degrees versus a gloomy 45... this is winter!!) But the hospitality was great and we sincerely thank Harry Odone and Shannan Hendricks for inviting us to their hangar. Harry's talk on how this massive machine came to RNH and the amazing restoration was fascinating. It was a tale of determination and ambition mixed with a hearty dose of international intrigue. The Fairey Gannet is a marvel of 1950’s engineering prowess.
One interesting item that we all found interesting was that all of the paint stripping was done with high pressure soda blasting. The process worked amazingly well and took of many layers of paint accumulated over many years of military service. It’s a biodegradable process that eliminates working with caustic chemicals that want to eat you alive. Would you believe they used 2 ½ TONS of soda in the process.
Here’s a shot of Shannon, Harry, son Mason and hangar mascot Turbine (who is always in motion) along with yours truly.
For more information, here’s their websites:
Thanks again Harry and Shannan!!
The December issue of the RVator's Log is ready for download HERE
Bob Collins has put together a great narrative of his recent trip out East. CLICK HERE to check it out!
Local RV builder/pilot Bob Collins worked with AOPA to organize an elaborate ruse to award this year's AOPA Sweepstakes aircraft to Steve Lagergren of Litchfield, MN. Steve also owns a RV-7 and Sunday’s “secret” mission involved a contingent of club members to make this BIG surprise happen. Read about it on Bob’s blog on Minnesota Public Radio and AOPA’s website!!
RV-4 pilot John Field recently took his niece Mono for a ride in his beautiful yellow -4. She wrote him this REALLY COOL thank you note... You'll love it!!! (make all that labor worth every minute!)
RV builder Keith Ulrick is selling is partially completed RV-6 tail and wing kit. Go to the FOR SALE page for more details
Our resident RV-gadabouts Pete and Andi Howell has been off on another adventure. Click HERE for the latest......
"Twitchy" ailerons - check your trailing edges
RV-7 builder/pilot Doug Weiler finds a solution to his hyper-sensitive RV-7. Check out the Building Tips link.
Although the skies were a little on the gray side, we had a great turnout for our Summer RV gathering at Anoka County Airport. Thanks to Bernie Weiss and Pete Howell who hosted us at their hangar and arrange for the great food from Holy Land Deli. Our plan was to feature local RVs that had been painted by Midwest Aircraft Refinishing and we had all six on display! Thanks to Kris and George from Midwest who made the drive down from Hibbing to see the end result of their craftsmanship. Here's a link for some more photos.....
Happy builder Warren Starkebaum shows the RV grin after today's first flight of his RV-7. Test pilot was Doug Weiler flying from Anoka County Airport in Blaine, MN.
Cliff Peterson has put his RV-6 up for sale. GO HERE for all of the details
Some great news from Nathan Peterson.....
My RV-8 flew for the first time on June 6, 2014. I am pleased to report that nothing fell off, blew up, bent, broke melted, boiled or burned up. As a bonus, it flew nice and straight.
ECi IO-360 from America's Aircraft Engines.
Whirlwind 200RV Prop
AFS 4500, AFS (Trutrak) autopilot, GNS 430W, GPSMAP 696, GMA 240, GTX 327 all from SteinAir.
Thanks to MN Wingers Mike Hilger, Christer Stenstrom, Paul Irlbeck and Tom Irlbeck for making the long journey to Blooming Prairie to eye ball my project and steer me in the right direction. Also everyone who shared information with me and let me take pictures of their airplanes at all the RV gatherings. What a great group!
Blooming Prairie, MN
Our ever-faithful treasurer Jim Lenzmeier sent me this photo the other day taken at his lake cabin. In light of our recent meeting at Key Air with a presentation by LifeLink, I knew there must have been a back-story here (knowing that there is generally never a good reason that LifeLink shows up in your backyard, I was worried). Jim fills us in…
Doug, do I have connections or what! The boys at LifeLink dropped in to see if we were doing all right at our new cabin. Don't believe a word of that. Here is what really happened. A grandma, down about 1/4 mile from us, twisted her ankle and shattered it in a compound fracture. LifeLink was in the air not too far away as the 911 call went out. They responded and landed across the road from us! The lady was attended to by 4 EMT / nurses, transported by ambulance to the chopper and then on to Superior Hospital. We took the photo op and there you have the story behind the picture.
Our resident world traveler Pete Howell and his wife Andi were off on another adventure Memorial Day weekend. This time their study RV-9A took them to a little known scenic wonder of Indiana. Check out the Trip Log page.....
Yeah, I know it's been awhile... 17 and a half years since I opened the tail kit box, but "Dad's little geeky me-time project" wasn't even on a slow-build timeline. Something over 3,500 build hours, Just enjoying the process with mods and details as time permitted. Despite my "legendary" status, In fact I don't even hold the record at Airlake. Builder Gary Rene' took 23 yrs to finish his Celerity, so I raced ahead of him by nearly six years! Simply owning an airplane takes a checkbook and a parking spot. But there's something special about Building Your Airplane, hats off to all the guys who do that. And repeat offenders, well, you're worthy of a class all your own.
N80KD flew hands-off first flight, so I guess all that fiddling and measuring paid off, or maybe I'm just living in a world of mutually-offsetting errors. I'll take it either way. Initial stall tests breaks evenly at approx. 55 mph indicated and half flaps, couple mph faster clean. Appears all that pitot-static stuff is working fine, despite being advised my Cleaveland flush static ports "...would never work..." Further flight tests may reveal the details of any dark secrets held by Van's pop-rivet static ports. My mid-time IO-360 didn't explode on takeoff nor did the prop fly off. I guess it must think its still in its humdrum Piper Arrow, and hardly shrugged dragging me off the ground. It's obviously still very early, but nothing "good" happened on that first flight to report.
I would like to also mention much of my no-surprises first flight was due to taking advantage of the RV Flight Safety website and as much information as I could find, to include back-issues of the MN Wing's RVator's Log regarding first flights, landings, etc. Thanks Doug. I also traveled to Dallas early this year to get some dual in an RV7 with Alex DeDominicis (he's on the Van's website). It is MORE than worth it to get instruction in the aircraft you're transitioning to. That's as true for RV's as it is for jets. Thanks, Alex... As one of my early flight instructors observed, "Even a rock in a creek will EVENTUALLY absorb some moisture...".
Can't wait to finish the Phase I testing as I've already fabbed up a carbon fiber battery box to replace the steel Odyssey
box..... saving ounces! Could be another 3 knots!
Bernie Weiss just got his RV-9 back from the paint shop (Midwest Aircraft Refinishing in Hibbing, MN). What do you think? Looks pretty cool to me!!!!
Back in the "old" days of the Twin Cities RV Builder's Group (circa 1989), the choice of which RV to build pretty much boiled down to a RV-4 or a RV-6. Most of us were enthralled by the sporty -4 so the tandem 2-seater was the project of choice 25 years ago. I don't recall exactly when Noah joined the club but it must have been around 1990 and he decided to build a -4. He started the project in his shop near New Ulm, MN but progress was slow. Although his building schedule was sporadic, Noah was a fixture at our meetings. He had an inquisitive mind and always was asking questions and ready to discuss the latest aviation topics.
Over the years, we got to be good friends. He had been a private pilot since shortly after WWII and was always quick to show me pictures of his PT-26 that he owned in the 1950's. He was an accomplished attorney and served many years as a District Court Judge but he had definite passion for aviation. We often discussed the latest airline news and was always curious about my career as an airline pilot. Noah was not into email and for years he would write me these exquisitely typed, formal letters, often with a newspaper clipping, commenting on some aviation news item of the day. I certainly received at least one or two a month. Plus we had many great phone comnversations, always talking flying.
He told me of his friendship with Klaus Scherer who was a retired Lufthansa pilot living in Munich. I believe the story was that Klaus and Noah met at the University of Minnesota after WWII as Klaus was studying in the U.S. They exchanged lots of letters over the years and, through Noah's introduction, my wife and I met Klaus during a trip to Munich in 2003. A very interesting gentlemen who had been a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and had some interesting stories of the war!
Although his flying activities was waning in his later years, Noah wanted to see his RV-4 fly. So sometime around 2006, he and RV master builder Paul Irlbeck dusted off the languishing project and finished it up. Here are some photos taken during our 2007 RV Fly-In where Noah finally got to ride in his RV.
Noah and master craftsman Paul Irlbeck (I'll always remember this RV grin!!)
Noah and test pilot Tom Irlbeck
Noah flew west on January 15, 2014 at age 89. Fair skies Noah.....