PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

March 31, 2007 Project Update

Derek and engine

The team assembled in the hanger at 9:00 AM, as usual. Members who worked during the day were; Richard Blackett, Derek Staha, Ron Marcotte, Carl Canga, Greg Solberg, myself, Mike McCormick, and "new guy", Gary Goolsby. Gary is a semi-retired mechanical engineer currently living in Georgetown, Texas and he flies a motor glider and a Grobe.

Mike went back to work shaping the wingtip skids, finishing one and working on refining the shape of the other skid. At the end of the day, Derek was drawing up the shape of the rear bracket for the wingtip skids in AutoCad so Roger could laser cut the parts.

Derek was a whirlwind of activity during the day, as his initial task was de-rusting the 80-hp le Rhone rotary engine. Parts were removed and polished and wiped down with preservative oil before being put back on the airplane. Derek then proceeded to polish the copper intake tubes and burnish the fin edges on the cylinders and polishing the valve train components! Man, the engine looks much better!!

Carl and the axle plates

Richard spent most of his day field stripping and cleaning the magneto that will be mounted on the engine. It had a decade or two of castor oil built up inside and the magneto didn't turn nearly as freely as it should. When completed the mag worked like a champ, as Roger demonstrated by sparking himself! Wow! That did get his attention....

Tom Gaylord spent part of the day assisting Derek with his engine polishing duties, assisting Richard with the mag clean-up and I repaired and refurbished the ignition brush (with a little assistance from Roger). Roger will install the ignition brush and may time the engine and install the magneto before our next trip up.

Carl worked on a variety of projects, including engine polishing, assisting Ron and Gary with the mid-wing fairings, installing the shock cord cover plates on the axle fairing, firewall bolt measuement and starting on the windscreen. Roger hopes to have proper length firewall bolts and prop hub mounting bolts by the next workday.

Ron and Gary spent their day working on the mid-wing fairings (the pieces that also stretch back to form the forward edges of the cockpit coaming). Roger riveted the components together with Ron and Gary's assistance and supervision. Ron and Gary then finished the fitting and fastening process. They then moved on to installing ammo belts into the Fokker's ammunition feed chutes.

Greg spent his day working on the top portion of the control column.

Nothing was done with the engine cowling or the interplane struts. However, I should mention that Bryan Kelly had already painted the struts light blue... they need stenciling and varnish. Also, Bryan has padded and covered the turtledeck portion of the cockpit coaming! Perhaps he'll also do us the honor of painting the mid-wing fairings and finishing the cockpit coaming work! Roger hopes to have a "skirt" welded onto the engine cowling by the next workday so we can resume finsihing work on that critical piece, as well as stencils for the interplane struts.