Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Update on the CallAir Project - November 2015

It's been a little over 2 years since we first cut fabric off the CallAir Cadet - the discoveries and remedies have come one after the other as this one of a kind airplane is restored. Click on the pictures to make them larger so you can see Malcolm's and Jonathan's workmanship. The project is coming along and even though it's been a long time in the making, the airplane is going to be magnificent.

On the left, the new baggage compartment is fitted in it's eventual position. Access will be from behind the rear seat. The airplane was designed as a trainer and utility airplane so there isn't much need for a large baggage space. Both pictures above show Malcolm's attention to detail in the woodwork, including a slotted pocket in the door, sized for paper charts. On the right, looking back from the firewall bulkhead, you can see the interesting control stick configuration - the sticks are curved, offset to the left, to allow room for the landing gear shock absorber spring which is perilously located under the front-center of the front seat. You don't want that baby to come loose.

In keeping with the mission and vintage (herding livestock, predator control on Wyoming ranches) Malcolm and I wanted to replicate the original configuration as much as possible - we didn't want, for example, to have external antennas taking away from the originality. Malcolm fitted a ground plane and antenna inside the fuselage to allow for communications. The wood floorboards are beautifully done (I will have to wear shoe covers). The ties between front and rear rudder pedals were originally thin strips of aluminum - we opted for tubing and rod ends for a more substantial link.

 Again, lots of detail work on the wood formers and provisions for shoulder harnesses - not original, but a must have feature.

 The key is fitting and refitting until it's just right. Note in all the pictures the extensive preparation of metal and wood and the quality of finish. I can't wait to take it to Oshkosh (2016).

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Bob White Fly In - 2015

'Tis the fall of the year and flyers of all ilk gather for breakfast at Bushnell and then head east about 35 miles for the lunch at Bob White Field in Zellwood.  Snowbird and friend Joe Dunn puts a video montage together and here's the link:

I've left the scene, having moved to "halfback" territory, the mountains of North Carolina (yankees move to Florida as they think all yankees should, then get tired of the heat and the bugs and move half-back to the uppa-yew-ess where they can see leaves change and have a little snow to complain about). 

The colors have been brilliant in the mountains this year but I do miss my Bob White friends.

Malcolm missed a week's work on the CallAir Cadet because of the fly-in but he'll be back at it with an end of the year goal for completion in mind. Wish us luck.