Archive for September, 2010

In Flight for REAL

Not often we find a photograph of our aircraft actually flying in its combat livery.

921 in 1972

The bird above shows its tail number in larger format—87921.


If anyone thinks the slow economy is not a “trickle-down and affect everyone” theory, go back to school!  Even outfits that normally sell certain wires from stock don’t have them.  Production is slow everywhere.  But I found the wire, ordered it, and it came in finally in three shipments.

So it is off to the electrical guru for the nav harnesses.  Know its been a long time.

Had a friend in town the other day, a memer of CJAA.  Owner of probably the finest L39 anywhere!  He and I spent this Tuesday buming around and he got a chance to check out the A37.  He asked all the right questions, fuel system info, power and weight ratios, etc.  Anywho, he’s on the short list to check out in the bird when its finished.  However, for some reason, he doesn’t want to pay the fuel bill for a long period of time.  Nope.  No way!

“That thing is a dinosaur pig!” he exclaimed.

“Well. DUH!” The reason the thing is so quick is that is overpowered and light to begin with.  Enormous “off the line” dragster type performace.  Not fast, quick.

Another CJAA guy who flies the A37, Dave, says its out of the hole performance is astounding.  He really enjoys the bird.  Once flying, simple and straight forward.

A couple of weeks before I can get this harness connected and the bird “rebuilt”. I got pieces of it all over the hanger, wings, UNDER the wings, on tables, rolling carts. Everywhere. But, I should finally get it together soon.

Still looking for the Andrea Intercom micrpohone amplifier.  Trying to scarf one up somewhere. It won’t keep the bird on the ground because it will be on the copilots side.

Taking time to do it RIGHT!

Throughout a restoration like this, one has to put faith in people who have particular skills, such as radio wiring.  And it is more than a little discomforting to find the faith was misplaced.

I have finished the intercom re-wire and found everything to be in order except  for one internal microphone amplifier which needs replacement. But first I have to FIND that replacement.  Beyond that, I (we) found some poorly designed and assembled VOR wire bundles. So out it came. It is being re-wired now with new bundles and plugs, fit and installed properly.  Screw this tie-wrap assembly crap!  Correct Adel clamp securing will replace the old stuff.

While this sounds rather easy, I had to disassemble the pilot’s panel and instruments to get to the wire bundles in question.  (the ejection seats and center console radio and Ox system have already been removed for this).  Then remove some fuselage fairing in front of the windshield that is always a pain to R and R due to its 87  -832 flush screws.  One step forward, 10 steps back.  When this is completed, I hope to put everything back together and let her rip!

Can someone tell me how you can drop an Adel clamp within a limited space and LOSE IT?  How can it disappear like that?  Hours searching for a damn nut or clamp and it vanishes right in front of you. That makes (I actually keep score on this!) one Adel clamp. two 1032 nuts, one razor blade in the cockpit.  When the bird gets into aerobatics I will carry a trash bag and mini-magnet to collect the wayward articles.  Uh, copilot, would you hold it inverted for a minute while I collect this trash from the canopy?  Thanks. Now let me vacuum everything up.

It’s going to be a few weeks before everything gets back together and assembled correctly.  Jeez, I hope there are no more surpirses.  My DAR is pissed off at me!