February, 2008

Welcome to Volume 14!

As I typed in the masthead above, it came as sort of a shock to realize that we have already been putting out this newsletter for 13 years! The way I figure it, that's about 75 issues since mid-1995, at six issues per year! So hopefully you will indulge a little bragging on my part because most newsletters don't last half that long, and some never really get off the ground. When Larry Burton died, I felt that it was important for us Celerity builders to stay in touch with each other, to help each other finish our projects. So with Dee Burton's permission, I started this newsletter for builders long before I even thought about running Mirage Aircraft. The first newsletters were of course all black and white, reproduced on a copy machine at so many cents per page. I used to purchase thousands of "Xerox" copies in a block to save money. The advent of "inexpensive" inkjet printing (that's a laugh!) didn't come until October 1997, at least on my desk. That's when I published a special issue showing the new Celerity paint scheme in color and featured a lengthy article on basic wood construction, our most popular article ever. Since then we have upgraded type fonts, layouts, graphics, and gone to a heavier (24 lb.) whiter paper for a little classier look. We have always tried to be informative, highlight our builders' projects in periodic updates, and pass along a few good jokes, plus lots of pictures. I'm always asking for input-what we receive from all of you is interesting and instructional for the rest of us. There are so many people passing up magazines and newspapers these days in favor of watching television. I believe that the circulation of mass print media is spiraling downward. However airplane builders are special people, brave individuals who enjoy and can still make sense out of a printed page--how else could they read their airplane plans? Thank you for sharing in appreciation of the printed word. I hope that we can share our printed word with you for years to come. Ed. Builder update from Matt Rix Hi Eldon, Happy New Year!!! First a quick update. I'm finally plugging along on my project at a decent clip again (10-15 hrs/wk) after settling in at our new location (I lost about a yr total by the time I commuted cross-country for 7 months and then finished the house and finally moved in).
Matt Rix has made good progress on his fuselage
Here are a few pictures including a pic of 1 of my 3 "hired hands" hard at work. She's 5, and her favorite thing to do is help Daddy with the airplane! (I'm sure it slows me down a bit, but it's a lot of fun working on it with the kids.)
One of Matt's three "hired hands" at work
As you can see, I'm test-fitting the horizontal and vertical tails along with some of the control fittings and hinges (some I've already anodized, alodined, and primed). The box it is sitting on is the crate I built to ship it in. I still haven't touched the wing except for the rough-cut 1/4" ply for the ribs. 730 logged hours so far. I'm not sure what overall pace that puts me on... Since the photos, I have covered 1/2 of the fuselage with the 1/16 ply, permanently mounted the frame 10 and 11 skins/webs and put in about 50 more corner blocks. I've also formed the laminated instrument bow. Matt Rix I looked at Matt's photos closely and it appears that he is doing excellent work. We wish him well at his new location. Dave Christensen builder update Hi Eldon, Here are some pictures of the Marathon project I took today. The Canopy is an RV-6 one I got from Van's Aircraft. The pressure recovery wheel pants are RV-8 parts I also bought from Van's.
Dave's canopy, from Van's RV, articulates forward for cockpit entry.
The canopy hinging is my own design and works great. The arms hide under the canopy frame when closed. I installed four clamps like I used on the KR-2 to secure the canopy in flight. The cowl is a "Holey Cowl" which I bought from James Aircraft. Everything else is fabricated from materials. What do you think? Dave
Van's pressure recovery wheel pants on Dave Christensen's taildragger fixed gear Marathon.
Dave is one of several builders who have opted for a Van's Aircraft canopy. Van's are a good source for various items you might need, and I believe that their prices are fair. Of course, you have to address any necessary alterations for a good fit, but these parts can still save you a lot of time and a lot of grief!
Dave's Marathon. The right wing is seen upside-down at lower right in the photo.
I'm sure there are other suppliers of cowls and canopies that can be made to fit, if any of you have experience with the other makes please fill us in. Or, if you have wisdom and/or pictures to share from your experiences building your own cowl, for example, let us know. (I don't know of any of our builders who have "blown" their own canopy.) Also, if you have built something yourself (i.e.-a cowl, canopy, instrument panel, turtledeck, etc.) we would like to hear about that too. When you share your ideas and experience with others, you have no idea how much help it is for them!
Completed panel in the Celerity prototype, showing Larry Burton's great workmanship

Instrument panel ideas from Dave Christensen

In addition to the letter and pictures above, Dave Christensen also shares some information about his instruments. Some of what he has learned is sure to be of assistance to some of you others! Dave and I exchanged several emails concerning the "V" speeds for the Celerity and Marathon, as he is ordering an ASI (airspeed indicator) and wanted to have the marks done professionally on his new instrument. Here is Dave's latest, including a nice list of all the instruments that he is planning to order. He has even provided part numbers for you, and tells about a special offer! ...and in conclusion Here's the very latest at "press time," a followup from Dave regarding his ASI: You see, it turns out that the V speeds for the Van's RV-7 aircraft are about identical to the V speeds for the Celerity and Marathon. So, in a delightful turn of events, you don't have to get a special ASI made up for your aircraft! (See, I told you that sending in your contribution can be immensely helpful to other builders! We really have to thank Dave and a few others (you know who you are!) for submitting frequent updates and photos for the rest of us to enjoy and to learn from. Ed.)

Flying humor

Just in case you guys didn't know the true difference between airplanes and women...
Airplanes can kill you quickly; a woman takes her time.
Airplanes can be turned on by a flick of a switch.
Airplanes don't get mad if you 'touch and go.'
Airplanes don't object to a preflight inspection.
Airplanes come with manuals to explain their operation.
Airplanes have strict weight and balance limits.
Airplanes can be flown any time of the month.
Airplanes don't come with in-laws.
Airplanes don't care about how many other airplanes you have flown.
Airplanes and pilots both arrive at the same time.
Airplanes don't mind if you like to look at other airplanes.
Airplanes don't mind if you buy airplane magazines.
Airplanes expect to be tied down.
Airplanes don't comment on your piloting skills.
Airplanes don't try and make you crash and burn.
Airplanes don't whine unless something is really wrong. However, when airplanes go quiet, just like women, it's a bad thing.

Model airplane, anyone?

Can you believe this one? I don't know if I dare! Could be one of those computer tricks. But then again, it seems that some builders can make anything!
That airplane looks larger than a Celerity or Marathon, so it's hard to refer to it as a "model" B-52 bomber. If anybody has any info on this thing, please pass it along. Does it really fly, or is the man holding a box of candy back there instead of the control box? And HOW does it fly? On jet power? Or huge rubber bands? I'd sure like to know the details so I can impress some other people. What's interesting to me is, it appears that the spoilers are deployed. So the question is, why would you even have operable spoilers unless you planned to fly the thing? Huh? Also, I see a couple of very thin, tall antennas sticking straight up from the aft edge of the white fuselage-top paint, which would indicate that it really is a radio controlled model! Wouldn't it be fun to watch this thing fly?!