On the Gear

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The project made a dramatic change when it came off the rotisserie and sat for the first time on it's own gear.  It took six years to get it this far and it looked about half done.  The wings would be the next goal along with the engine, instrument panel, cowl, windshield, wiring, rigging and hundreds of smaller projects that took another seven years to complete!

I assembled everything to the fuselage that was completed including the tail, bubble doors, and the turtle deck and it started to actually look like an airplane. It was now time to start the wings!  

Seaplane Preparation / Part 5 of 5

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The wings, tail surfaces, turtledeck, and fuselage were fabric covered at different times and each horizontal lower fabric covered  surface required the installation of drainage grommets. They are intended to drain away any water collected by condensation or otherwise from the lowest point in the airframe.  As an example, each pair of ribs in the wings has it’s own grommet on the bottom lowest portion of each rib bay.  An ordinary drainage grommet is the size of a quarter with a hole in it and is glued to the fabric.  Then you glue a larger diameter fabric dollie  over the grommet and then  take a soldering iron and burn a hole through both fabrics and through the hole of the grommet. If your going to put your aircraft on floats the Poly-Fiber Fabric Instructions advise you to use “Seaplane Grommets” which have a molded shroud that is open on one side.  These are mounted so the open hole or drain port points backwards thus avoiding the collection of water during take-offs and landings.

Another item unique for seaplane operations are flying dock ropes. These ropes are usually two to three feet long and hang below the leading edge of the wing tips. They help manipulate the seaplane while docking by providing a rope to grab and pull the seaplane to the dock. I reinforced the metal wing understructure and mounted 1/4 inch eyelets for the later attachment of the flying dock ropes.

The last and perhaps most costly item needed for seaplane preparation is a “Seaplane Prop”.  My 80 X 44 wood Sensenich will not survive the severe duty of water operations.  Water spray is like gravel and will quickly harm the soft wood surface. My hope is to use a Catto Composite 86 X 38 climb prop that is light weight with reinforced nickel edges .

Cleared To Land Store

A few years ago my wife Diane and I combined her expert graphic design talents with my passion for Aviation and opened our first online “Cleared To Land” store on Zazzle which is a “Print on Demand” online merchandise source that prints graphics on a wide variety of men’s and women’s apparel and miscellaneous items in quantities as little as “one at a time”. If you click on the “Store” tab on the top of our home page it will take you to 60 of our most popular product designs but there are literally 100’s of more designs if you link directly to our complete Zazzle “Cleared to Land” Store.

There you will find exciting General Aviation, Military, Aircraft Make & Models, Pilot and other themed graphic merchandise available on T-shirts, Hoodies, Hats, Ties, Totes, Mugs, Bumper Stickers, Keychains, Address Labels, and even Postage Stamps. Also, most of our designs can be personalized with Name, Pilot Rating, N Number, Airport Identifier, etc. We would also be happy to add a new design at your request.

We are always updating our store with new designs so please check back occasionally to see what’s new.