It has been almost a month since I have posted on the Garaggio. Thats mostly because it has been a month since I have been able to spend any time in the workshop. The AirVenture Cup and Oshkosh both suck up a lot of time. I was lucky to get time off work for both events, but you have to pay the piper somehow. So my work schedule is giving me very little time at home right now. Not to worry, after August I should have more time.
The AirVenture Cup and Oshkosh was a lot of fun. I again flew chase for the Polen Special in the Bonanza. It is a good thing I did. We had a heck with the Polen, it decided it wasnt going to cooperate this year. We had to stop 3 times to work on the Polen, and eventually elected to leave it behind.
The highlight of the trip was getting to ride as the GIB (Guy in back) in a Thunder Mustang. To say it is a performance machine is an understatement. I have never flown in a real P-51, I missed out on that opportunity to my older brother who pulled rank 17 years ago. Not that I am jealous. But the Thunder Mustang is a 3/4 scale replica, and is said to out perform the original due to its higher thrust to weight ratio. I believe it, the climb rate is impressive. Simply awesome.
Oshkosh and the air race always makes copious deposits into the motivation bank. This year is no exception. It also, on the other hand usually makes great withdrawals from the other bank. I spent a lot of money this year. I bought my Catto 3-bladed prop with nickel leading edges, a Vertical Power VPX-Pro unit, and a few other things. I can’t wait to install them.
In addition, I made plans to get my instrument panel CNC cut, engraved, and painted. I have made 2 instrument panels already for the airplane, and now am changing it up again. I cannot do the quality of work with hand tools that can be done on a CNC machine, and the panels that John Wilson of Laser Logic manufactures are stunning. I am at a point in my build where I want to get it flying. And I made the mistake, while in Oshkosh, of telling way too many people that it would be there next year. Things that can be farmed out for reasonable cost, like the panel cut, will help get me to that goal.
I commuted home on the red eye today and got in at 0600. That normally makes for a day of napping and non-prodcutivity. That was true today, but a friend reminded me that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Today we have to settle for a nibble on the elephant, but it is still progress.
I started back contouring the canard. I was only able to do the upper right surface. The Eureka CNC templates helped a ton. I was able to accurately trim the canard trailing edge, then work the contour down until it matched the template. I am quite happy with how it came out. At the trailing edge, there is a small imperfection when compared to the template. There is about a 1/32″ or less gap between the template and canard, but I am starting to run into structure. I cannot contour down any more, and it is certainly within airworthy tolerance. I now consider this surface at final contour, and will work on the other side tomorrow. If I am lucky, I will be able to work on the bottom surface as well. Here are a few pictures showing how the contour compares to the template.