Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Slowly, but surely!

We've been working away on the airplane.  Just wanted to share some pictures of what we're doing. We're looking forward to going back to Guyana with a healthy airplane :). The paperwork and the modifications for "bush plane" status are the only things left, with the bush plane 'mods' well under way. We're hoping to be done shortly*!

* shortly (short-lee): (adj.) as soon as possible; quickly, no specific time frame given.

The elevator hinge brackets were rusty... So it became a game - building forts, playing dress up, shooting guns, painting...

The insulation pads located on the front sides and belly of the plane are causing some fairly significant corrosion... It might be a type of aircraft leprosy.

Removal necessary.

Advice from Gary Roberts, a fellow GMI pilot/mechanic, was...yeah, I did it on a plane when I was about 10. Took me a week. Sorry, man. Use a heat gun.

So out with the heat machine, the plastic and aluminum scrapers and to work. Not too hot to bubble the paint, but hot enough to melt the vinyl. Pad removed, to the collection box...

Then a cleaning and final treatment of the affected areas.  A dressing application of zinc chromate primer and a "return to doctor in one year" note.

Happy that there is a fairly long-term cure to this leprosy.

(DJ didn't want to believe that it would take 40+ hours, but after at least that many, he finally admitted that it was indeed a "week-long" project.)

The floor under the airplane looks like this a lot. (And NOT because we don't clean it up!)  A lot of the work previously done on this airplane was quick and sloppy so DJ's spent a lot of time pulling out unused wires, useless equipment, and much more.  He calculates the airplane's "weight loss program" to have a useful load (pay load) gain of nearly 60 lbs.!

Organizing hardware: all the nuts, bolts, screws and scrounge

Stabilizer abrasion boots:  These boots are just one example of the many ways that God works to provide what we need.  A local mechanic in the area found out that we were wanting to put these on the plane.  He said that he had some that he wasn't going to use and donated them!

       DJ installing a new regulator for the alternator.

My paint booth for the fueling steps and nose gear conversion with the awesomely matched paint from Southern Auto Body... need a good paint match? This shop does a nice job, located right in the heart of Chaternooga!

All the parts "drying" in the office with the little space heater because the hangar was much colder than the recommended minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fueling Steps! ...and handle!

Nose gear conversion: the old, small fork and tire to the new heavy duty fork and larger tire


DJ is very excited because we're putting in folding jump seats and so he was doing some kind of measurement thing in the box.

Here are the jump seats temporarily installed so that DJ could invent this little "seat extension" and then me trying it out! Quite comfortable I'd say, just as soon as the cushions come :) The seat cushions are a huge blessing - a friend's mother does upholstery and is basically making us cushions at cost!

We'll keep posting pictures as the airplane nears completion!

1 comment:

shama said...

Good work! I'm glad to have you guys still in the area. :)