Our next Public Event is Wings & Wheels 2017, coming up on Saturday, May 6!
Wings & Wheels is an aviation oriented gathering where the Pioneer Flight Museum rolls out its unique collection of vintage planes, cars, trucks, and motorcycles while hosting a fly-in where other pilots bring in their aircraft, old and new, for one big show. Vintage car clubs have taken interest, and are an increasing and welcome presence!
Fine dining will be available on site. The Smokestack BBQ from New Braunfels is bringing out a food truck, rumors abound that Sammy from Luling will be cooking catfish, and the Sweet Treets folks from Martindale are back by popular demand in all their homemade ice cream glory!
Bonus Food Event! The Kingsbury Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Pancake Breakfast the morning of Wings & Wheels, from 6 to 10 AM. Find 'em just down the road from us on FM1104, near Hwy 90. We got you covered, no excuse not to come on out!
And as always, we need volunteers to help get ready, so come on out and lend a hand!
The next PFM Volunteer Work Days will be Saturdays, April 1, April 15, & April 29.
We'll be working hard to get ready for our big spring public event, plus the usual projects that should pique a variety of interests:
the WWI Dodd Field Hangar and Car Barn, are still "works in progress", plus
there are always aircraft and Model T's that need TLC. Please consider joining us!
- January 7, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- January 21, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- February 4, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- February 18, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- March 4, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- March 18, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- April 1, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- April 15, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- April 29, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- May 6, 2017 - Spring Air Fair!
- May 13, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- May 20, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- June 3, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- June 17, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- July 1, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- July 15, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- August 5, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- August 19, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- September 9, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- September 23, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- October 7, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- October 21, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- November 4, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- November 11, 2017 - Fall Fly-In!
- November 18, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- December 2, 2017 - Volunteer work day
- December 16, 2017 - Volunteer work day
Fall Fly-in & Picnic
by Roger Ritter
Our fall Fly-In and Picnic was held on November 9, 2013. The weather started off a bit damp, but skies cleared by 10:00 AM and fly-in visitors started to arrive. In addition, we had several car clubs drive in and put their cars on display. The Museum's vehicles were mostly running, including both motorcycles and most of the Model Ts. Both the Canuck and the Fokker Triplane were working, and both flew during the day - the Canuck several times and the Triplane once.
The Model Ts and motorcycles spent the day running around the field, with the Model Ts giving rides and being used as airport hacks to move needed people and materials between the hangars. The visiting car clubs took up a lot of the parking area in front of the hangars, and visiting aircraft filled the field.
The re-enactors were also out in force, setting up camp and giving people a taste of camp life in the early 20th century. In addition to the campsite, they also set up weapons and equipment displays to show typical military gear of that period. Another volunteer set up a table with vintage radio and audio gear.
Volunteer Work Days
October 12 and 19, 2013
by Tom Gaylord
There were two workdays in October; the 12th and 19th. The turnout on the 12th was small (more brownies for those of us who showed up!) and the weather was hot and humid. It was tolerable as there was a breeze, and rain was expected late afternoon. The day was sticky enough that everyone seemed to be moving slow. The weather on the 19th was much better and more comfortable, and the volunteer turnout was larger!
On the 12th, a small team of Canuck experts: Dave Edgerly, Dave Orloff and Kevin Monahan set about setting the valve lash on the venerable Curtiss OX-5 engine. Dave Edgerly had brought along his spark plug cleaner and started cleaning them up after they were removed. Kevin tested and set the valve lash while Dave O. rotated the engine to bring the cylinder's valves to the proper position. Most of the valves were in spec and needed no adjustment, but there were several intake and a couple of exhaust valves that needed adjustment. All were on the generous side and needed the clearance tightened back up to bring them into spec.
Dave E. noticed that there were a couple minor dings in the fuselage fabric - a small tear (approx. 1/8") apparently caused by passengers getting in and out of the aircraft, and a small tear where an aileron cable passes out of the fuselage on the port side. They may repair the tears next work day
It was also noticed that the belly fairing panel that extends aft from the radiator wasn't installed properly, its leading edge was on the outside of the radiator fairing, so "The Daves" fixed that and got that tucked in properly. After all the work was done the engine's quilt was put back over it and the edges tucked in.
Rearwin 2000C Ken-Royce
Steve Richardson started varnishing the port side upper wing panel. Painstaking work as the wings have many nooks and crannies and runs and drips of that epoxy varnish are to be avoided! On the 19th, Jerry Stark finished varnishing the wing panel.
1921 Triumph Motorcycle
Dave Edgerly is taking the Triumph to the Harvest Classic motorcycle show in Luchenbach, Texas being held on the weekend of the 19th. The bike is ready to ride so everyone pitched in to help get the bike into the bed of Dave E.'s pickup truck and get it securely lashed down.
1912 Thor Motorcycle
Kevin Monahan reports that his wife, Lori, has been helping a lot with the Thor. Kevin needed extra hands to assemble the 8 loose bearings of the front end. Then Lori assembled the rear hub on her own, no slight task with 4 loose ball bearings assemblies in the hub and the coaster brake to figure out. There are missing parts of the hub to find.
Ford Model TT truck cab
Bill Kretzmeier - No photos yet, but he reports the cab doors are pretty bad! He is going to have to blast them to clean them up. Bill says they'd make Aunt Martha a great dress - they're lacy enough. Still, Bill thinks the doors will work out OK and he is looking for a source for patch panels.
Al Sumrall reports that Team Vehicles has been concentrating on maintenance more than repair over the past month but significant upgrades and repairs have still happened. Cameron & Ian Whitaker, Lynn Howell, and Steve Penaluna have been the main mechanics/maintenance, but others have joined in here and there. The Blue Racer continues to get upgraded and several more problem areas have been resolved; the fuel line has been revamped, the fan bushing fixed (it was making bad noise) and the clutch adjusted as well as it can be (it has a weak internal spring that needs replacement). The Blue Racer has been cleaned up and looks good for the Fall Fly-In. Lastly, Cameron replaced the rear brakes of the Blue Racer with "new" ones, the brakes were so worn down that they were causing an over-travel issue in the brake/clutch handle.
The TT broke a bendix spring but an old one was found to replace it so it is working again.
The wrecker's flat tire has been repaired, the wrecker has split rims that require patience and effort but a donated "wheel splitter" from Mike Callia has helped significantly! Cameron took that tool home and fixed the flat.
IPMS Regional Model Contest
Dave Edgerly, Dave Orloff, Al Sumrall, Terry Bledsoe, and Tom Gaylord met up in Austin to sell donated model kits and t-shirts as vendors at this Regional event. The "Two Daves" had ventured out to Kingsbury on Friday to transport the boxes of models to Austin, and helped set up the event Friday evening - so they had a bit of a head start getting everything set up.
The day actually seemed fairly slow as far as sales went, but the piles of model kits were substantially reduced. All told the museum sold many of the kits, significantly reducing the pile! We sold one t-shirt and received an additional donation of some model kits, books and calendars from Bill Walsh (who also attended as a vendor - Bill is cleaning house in preparation for a move to Salt Lake City!). We appreciated Bill's donation, and wish him the best of luck in Salt Lake City. Hopefully he'll come back to Texas for a visit sometime!
Tom Miller came out on the 12th to inventory food items for the upcoming Fall Fly-In event. He decided the HQ building's refrigerator needed to be cleaned out. That morphed into noticing the interior of the main door needed cleaning which progressed to checking the exterior of the door, and then noticing that the siding was awfully dirty! Tom washed all of that! Have to say, it all looked a lot better afterwards! Great job, Tom!
Terry Bledsoe was back on the 12th cleaning house and arranging the office in the HQ building. Good to have him back on the job!
Tom Gaylord was there to inventory t-shirts to see whether anything needed to be ordered for the Fall Fly-In. Terry helped with the inventory process and the job was completed pretty quickly. Terry also measured the back room so we can start building some bookshelves and put up the books as they are inventoried.
On the 19th, Al was able to assemble his nearly complete, non-firing, replica of a German WWI infantry machine gun. Al took delivery of an infantry style canister magazine, so the weapon was set up for photos.
Volunteer Work Day
by Tom Gaylord
There were two workdays in the month; the 14th and 21st. The 14th had a smaller crew and the day was hot and humid. The weather on the 21st was excellent - turned out to be sunny and mild, and again, we had an excellent turn-out of volunteers! Activities included:
Fokker Dr.I Triplane
On the 14th the airplane was pulled from the hangar and the engine run. Steve contemplated flying the Triplane, but the winds were too variable and not aligned with the runway. Bill Kretzmeier brought along some cleaning fluid he thinks may do a good job of removing the built up castor oil on the airframe. We didn't try it on the 14th, but this potion will need to be tested on the metal and fabric parts before general use on the airplane.
The airplane has been living with a hole in the rear cockpit's instrument panel where the tachometer should reside. While the airplane has been fitted with a tach it is a more modern instrument mounted below the panel, and certainly doesn't look original!
Dave Edgerly had located two original Warner tachometers for the airplane and refurbished one to mount in the airplane. The two tachometers rotated in different directions and Dave selected the one he thought would be correct. It was also hoped that these tachs had the correct gears in them, as the modern tach reads at half speed. Dave E. and Dave Orloff mounted the original tach in the cockpit - it is a two-man job because there is a fuselage structural cross member just behind the rear cockpit's instrument panel, so to do it alone you'd need way more flexibility than the average person has!
After the tach was installed and connected the Canuck's engine was started and test run the morning of the 14th. It was discovered that Dave needs to refurb the other tach as the one they installed ran backwards, but it appears that these tachs are geared correctly as the rpm indicated seemed correct.
Steve flew the airplane in the afternoon, giving two rides; one to Ian Whitaker, the other to Mike McCormick. Dave Orloff propped the airplane each time the airplane was started and consistently got the engine running on the third flip. When cool the engine seems to turn fairly freely, but after warming up the water pump shaft starts binding with the packing, producing a vibration and some slight squeaking. The force required to turn the prop goes up significantly. However, over time the issue has been reducing. Dave notes that the engine doesn't seem to be leaking much water - certainly significantly less than before the pump was rebuilt with the updated parts, but it still leaks a little. So the plan to try and make, or find, a better water pump still looks desirable.
It was also noted that some of the rigging cables need to be further tensioned, and of course the guys would like to re-do the main gear shock cords, as well as paint the new axle. The tweaks to the main gear will likely wait until after the Fall Fly-In scheduled for November 9th.
Thomas-Morse S4C "Scout"
Steve Richardson and Mike McCormick spent some time on the 14th figuring out the issues with the T-1 and T-2 belly fairing structures. Mike has spent some time researching the issue with various museums with "original" Tommies in their collection, and most responded. There was very little consensus on what is correct and original, where the belly fairing structure starts and stops seems variable between examples.
Mike and Steve broke out the documentation available at the museum and found variations there as well, no two sources agree on where the structure starts and stops. The "trump card" was a copy of an original Thomas-Morse blueprint of the part.
Neither T-1's nor T-2's belly fairing structure matches the Thomas-Morse blueprint! The TM blueprint shows that the T-2 belly former starts in the proper place (just forward of the lower wing's front spar attachment point), but extends too far aft into the tail skid bay. Worse yet, there is no bulkhead in the structure that aligns with the proper ending point, so it can't just be cut off at the proper place
T-1's belly fairing starts in the wrong place (aft of the front spar attachment point) but ends at the proper station, the forward edge of the tail skid bay. We have sheet metal fairings that match T-1. We need to fabricate T-2 sheet metal belly fairings that match the T-2 belly fairing structure.
On the 21st, Mike and Don Craig showed up with sheet metal tools, and set about making the required adjustments to fit fairings to T-2's belly. At various points in the process both Jerry Stark and Steve Richardson assisted. The T-1 pattern forward sheet metal belly fairing intended to fit T-2 was trimmed to utilize the "correct" forward point in the belly former structure (ahead of the front spar location). The tail skid fairing was finish shaped to fit the rear of the fuselage, again, with no length modification to T-2's belly former.
Inspecting the belly former structure revealed some issues that needed to be dealt with. First and foremost, pads were glued to the rear bulkhead to provide a good surface to screw the sheet metal tail skid fairing to. There were several stringers that extended too far aft of their terminal bulkhead so these were clipped and properly shaped. Lastly, some of the stringers had sharp edges that could chafe and cut the fabric covering, so these were sanded down. All the woodwork sanded or cut was varnished. Mike wants to wait until after the fabric has been applied to determine the actual location of the fairing attachment screws.
On the 14th, Steve Richardson completed the varnishing of the upper wing panel. Next workday should see the wing reassembled and an effort made to rid the leading edge pockets of as many of the mud dauber nests as possible and prepare the wing for storage - then on to the next wing panel!
On the 21st, Tom Miller, Dave Miller and Steve Richardson reassembled the wing panel that had been in process for the past several months. An attempt was made to get out some of the mud dauber nests, trying various shop vacs and tilting the wing every which way to move the nests closer to the access holes in the leading edge. Not much was accomplished till Tom picked up a couple thin pieces of thin wood and used them as chop sticks to pluck a couple nests from the leading edge. There was still some rattling around in the leading edge when the wing panel was put back on the wall - though the access holes were covered with red duct tape. Adds a little color to the shop....
So it was time to take another wing panel down off the wall and hang the (temporarily) finished panel back onto the wall storage racks. This turned out to be quite a challenge! The only working forklift didn't quite reach up high enough and wasn't really well suited to the small working space due to its size (big, broad, with extra-long fork tines!). So 4" x 4" pieces of lumber were clamped onto the tines to add a bit of height to the forklift's reach, and Steve Richardson - the tallest volunteer present - was recruited to steady the wing as the forklift couldn't pick up the wing panels at the balance point! There were about 10 volunteers all offering opinions about up, down, watch-outs, and in & out movements. The Cub fuselage hanging from the rafters, the balcony stairs, pieces of equipment and the shop table all complicated the forklift's movements with the wing panel hanging off the tines! But the operation was successful - no damage done to either wing panel.
Tom Miller, Dave Miller, Steve Richardson, and Carl Canga started work on the next wing panel - tapping down nail heads, sanding the surfaces and gently washing the structure to prepare the panel for varnish. It was a filthy, cob-webby mess when it came down off the wall but looked pretty good at the end of the day. Carl sanded the metal wing tip bow and shot a little primer on it to help preserve the metal.
1918 Military Indian Motorcycle
Kevin Monahan reassembled the Indian's front end, assisted by Terry Doyle. There were issues with the steering stem bearings (the really old-fashioned loose ball bearing style), threads needing repair on the steering stem nut, and the fact that there was barely room for two to work on the front end, yet about 4 pair of hands were required to hold parts in place and get nuts on bolts! They persevered and got the bike back together.
1921 Triumph Motorcycle
On the 14th Dave Edgerly continued learning how to start and ride the Triumph. The handlebars are festooned with various engine control levers and all must be precisely set in order to get the motor to fire up. Dave is still learning the art!
Kevin Monahan was coaching Dave on the proper starting etiquette when they noticed a couple of problems. As the engine was turning over a scraping sound could be heard. The noise was traced to a loose primary drive chain. Kevin adjusted the primary drive chain tension - which requires that the transmission mounts be loosened and the transmission slid back in the adjustment slots. This caused the drive belt from the transmission to the rear wheel to go slack, so Kevin had to adjust that as well. This is done my cutting off a segment of the belt at the "master link" - essentially a metal clip connecting the two ends of the drive belt! The other issue noted was that the carb tickler sticks, making it all too easy to flood the carbs and make starting impossible. There was also a fuel leak at the same fitting.
So on the 21st, Kevin tackled the sticking priming plunger and the fuel leak. Assisted by Jerry Stark (Kevin and Jerry make up a team that is simply outstanding in the mustache category!), Kevin pulled the leaking pipe from the fuel tank cap fitting, only to discover that the leak was actually where the pipe was soldered into the fitting. After a couple of attempts he was satisfied he'd gotten a good solder joint and reassembled the cap. The sticking primer plunger is attached to the same cap, so Kevin and Jerry tackled that next.
It took some work to get it off the cap, and once free it seemed impossible to take the unit apart to straighten the plunger pin. Somehow, some way that pin had gotten bent and while the hole it runs in is a little wallowed out the pin would bind in the hole if depressed too far and stick "on", constantly priming the carbs and flooding the engine in very short order. Kevin's preferred repair was to remove the pin, straighten it and reassemble the unit. But as the day wore on it appeared getting the pin out was going to be impossible, so Kevin and Jerry tried straightening the pin while the unit was still assembled. The piece was clamped in a vice and judicious blows with a small hammer and punch finessed the job sufficiently. With a sigh of relief Kevin reassembled the bike!
Ford Model TT cab
Bill Kretzmeier and his grandson Kenny came out to the workday to work on the TT cab. They removed the doors and Bill took them home to address the rusted out panels and recondition the units. Bill is a member of the "In-Liners" car club (who will be visiting again during the Fall Fly-In) and seems to be mainly interested in the cars. Kenny seems more interested in the airplanes!
On the 14th it was hot so no one moved too fast. Steve Penaluna spent a lot of time airing up the vehicle's tires, and the Luscombe aircraft whose tires were very low. Team Vehicles purchased a small portable air compressor to equip the old hangar, and so far is proving to be an extremely useful tool! Steve is doing a lot of maintenance with the vehicles as we strive to get them from getting too static.
We were not able to get the wrecker's tire fixed yet or the fuel line on the blue racer replaced but we are hoping to get those chores next workday. Cameron and Ian got the wheel and tire back on Cameron's car. I think we may be losing Ian to Team Aircraft, he was walking a bit above the ground after flying in the Canuck!
Mark, Chris, and Dad Cowan came to visit on the 14th. Mark and Chris are going to be doing detailing of the Signal Corps truck now that the front suspension got tightened up by Ian and Cameron. The tailgate has rotted due to water damage so they are taking it home to replace the rotten wood. Mark will then start looking at detailing and preserving primarily the remainder of the truck's cab and body.
On the 21st, Cameron Whitaker, Lynn Howell, Bruce and Al Sumrall worked on Ts. Ian Whitaker was ill and could not come. Lynn did some evaluation of the Blue Racer's brass radiator and it appears that the suspected leak may have been in error, a good thing! The guys obtained a new fuel valve and copper tubing which will replace the current unstable fuel line on the Blue Racer. This will be done next workday. The Blue Racer starts up good - no issue there - however, it still is not running as smoothly as we would like. The transmission is still balky about shifting into 2nd gear, but for the time being Team Vehicles is still sorting the basics, trying to make the machine reliable for the upcoming Fly-In event. Things are getting better, slowly but surely!
Cameron took off the Signal Corps Truck's wheels to grease the axles and bearings, a necessary part of Model T maintenance! A new volunteer, James, brought his 1914 T over and Cameron did some tweaking for him. It will be coming to the Fly-In and is in very good shape, it even has working headlights. Bruce and Cameron did some work on their Ts, starting them up and driving around the property.
Landing Strip Prep
Charlotte Parker has been spending part of her day getting rid of "wesatch" spiny weeds and prickly pear plants from the runway. She has completed the landing strip - digging up plants and spraying with plant killer, and is moving into more of a maintenance mode.
On the 21st Dave Orloff brought along his pole saw / trimmer and spent much of the day trimming the tree branches scraping the roof of the PFM HQ trailer. He did an excellent job, trimming the branches, pulling down the trimmings and transporting them to a burn pile.
Diane Edgerly and Tammy Orloff spent the 21st in the PFM HQ going through book boxes and building the library database. They knocked out several more boxes of books.
On the 21st Tom Moore requested that the forklift be brought over and some pallets of material moved so the engines he needs for the Fly-In display would be accessible. Steve promptly got the forklift stuck in the soft ground between the buildings, so Charlotte fired up the big grader / back-hoe and pushed Steve and the forklift to firmer ground.
The effort turned into a general hangar clean-up, with Tom Moore sweeping and Billy Cheshire scraping up mud clods tracked into the hanger by the forklift and smashed down onto the concrete. Art Wilson worked on airing up the tires on the Great Lakes, while Steve moved pallets so Tom could pull out the engines on their dollies. Tom also worked on adding wheels to a Le Rhone rotary engine stand and doing some general clean-up on the motors. Overall this was a much needed task and the hangar looked much better when everyone was through!
Volunteer Work Day
by Tom Gaylord
August saw the Tri-City Flyers host a "Wounded Warrior" R/C Fly-In Benefit event on the flying field. Pioneer Flight Museum also hosted the "In-Liners" car club - a group dedicated to in-line engines and the automobiles they powered. So not a lot got done in some ways, as many of the volunteers were drafted into tour guide duties. The heat was bearable (mainly) and we had a good turn-out for the sole workday held during the month.
Not much activity on the Thomas-Morse projects in August. Mike and Don Craig did an assessment of the T-2 sheet metal fairings and panels and worked out a methodology to get the team over that hurdle. Mike says he will bring his sheet metal tools next workday and start working the issues.
Fokker Dr.I Triplane
Usually we like to fly the Triplane when we have crowds like this, but the wind was perpendicular to the runway and varied from light to moderate gusts. So the Triplane's engine was started and run for the crowd twice, once in the morning, once in the afternoon. The engine started first flip and ran flawlessly.
The D.VII was pulled from the hangar and set out on display. All the airplanes were fairly dusty - aside from the usual weather-proofing issues on the hangar someone had pulled out a large industrial fan and set it up in the hangar to keep workers cool, apparently. Turning it on immediately creates clouds of dust and dirt in the hangar. Most of the airplanes need a bath.
The Canuck was pulled from the hangar and put out on display, and Dave Edgerly and Dave Orloff started working on troubleshooting why the engine was so stiff and vibrated when the prop was pulled through. They quickly established that a few drops of oil on the water pump shaft relieved most of the problem almost immediately! So the decision was made to try and start the engine for the crowd.
Dave Orloff is about the only guy big enough to really swing that prop, especially when the motor is stiff! Dave O. set to work while Dave Edgerly sat in the cockpit and managed the controls. Dave Orloff was eventually relieved by Mike Craig as the engine showed little sign of life. Big Dave took over when Mike got wore out and was finally able to get the engine to run. Dave E. wasn't entirely happy with the engine's performance - it felt a little rough over 1200 rpm, he suspects we'll need to adjust the valves and double-check the ignition timing.
In the afternoon, Steve flew the Canuck with Charlotte as passenger, the flight being uneventful.
Steve and Roger have conferred about the troublesome water pump. Steve has a son who is an engineer, so the plan is to take the best water pump we have and have him make drawings of the existing parts, then modify the design to incorporate modern bearings, shafts, shields and seals - essentially make a better "mousetrap"! See whether that works....
June - Steve reports that the Meyers OTW is done and ready to return to Texas! Hopefully we'll see it in September! Steve would really like to get the Meyers OTW and the Ercoupe out of his hangar!!
Even after the engine swap the Ercoupe was experiencing temperature issues, so Steve has done some light engine freshening work and set about overhauling the baffling within the cowling. Steve reports that the process is nearing a conclusion and he hopes to try flying the aircraft again soon.
The Rearwin stayed in the hangar the entire day, but it was good to see that the tires continued to hold air! In fact, all the aircraft that recently had tire or inner tube work done were holding air satisfactorily.
We finally got some varnish on the wing panel thanks to Steve Richardson, Tom Miller, and Scott Blair! They finished stripping the wing to allow access to the wood and cleaned some of the accumulated dust off the wing before setting about varnishing the wing and elevator. Due to the drying time of the varnish only one side of the wing was completed.
Next workday we'll need to finish varnishing this wing panel and see how much of the mud dauber nests we can get out of the leading edges. We also need to figure out a way to store the panels that will better protect them. It'll also be time to pull another wing panel down from the wall and begin prepping it for varnish.
With the R/C event on the field and the In-Liners Club visiting Team Vehicles spent much of their time talking Ts with visitors and giving rides.
Kurt Maurer spent much of his day driving the Signal Corps truck and reports the steering / handling is vastly improved since Ian tightened up the front end. In looking into Kurt's complaints Ian found that the front axle's kingpins were somewhat loose so he tightened them to Ford's specs. Previously the vehicle would over-steer into turns - and the faster you were going the worse the tendency. Kurt reports that charming tendency is mostly a thing of the past thanks to Ian's efforts!
Cameron Whitaker and Steve Penaluna serviced the Wrecker prior to Lynn taking it out for a drive. Lynn loaded up Killer and a passenger into the truck and started out and says he got about 50 yards before it stopped running. After sitting awhile it restarted, so he believes it may have a clogged fuel filter. Lynn also removed the leaking fuel shut-off valve on the Wrecker and replaced it with a spare he happened to have in his car.
Lynn also tried firing up the Blue Racer, only to discover it has a serious radiator leak, so the car was quickly parked. All in all, almost all the Ts except for the ambulances got started and run.
Steve Freeman has a Thor motorcycle that has had a little work done on it several years ago. Kevin Monahan has taken the bits and pieces to his home workshop to finish the restoration job. The documentation with the bike indicates it is a Thor IV and is either a 1909, 1910, or 1912 model. Kevin says the serial number is upper three digits which may lean towards an earlier year of manufacture. Kevin says the engine made only 4 horse-power and has the heaviest flywheel he's ever seen on a bike engine!
Kevin Monahan repaired the dented Indian front forks. It appears the bike may have been involved in a minor accident at some point as the fork travel stops had dented the backside of one of the fork tubes. Kevin disassembled the front end and repaired the dent, reassembled the bike and it is running again.
Dave Edgerly spent some time learning how to operate the Triumph. Dave wants to take the Triumph to the annual Harvest Classic bike event in the Austin area. (Kevin wants to take the Indian, though the event is for vintage European and Japanese motorcycles!). Dave plans on trying to peddle a few T-shirts and stir up some interest in PFM.
Shop Hangar Repair
Charlotte has been having problems with one of the shop's hangar doors catching on the siding when the hangar door is opened. Terry (and Charlotte) set about tucking the siding back under the door trim and pop riveting it in place. The process entailed a forklift to gain the necessary altitude!
McCulloch 100 - Steve had an acquaintance deliver a McCulloch 100 two-stroke flat-four engine and manual to his shop in Memphis as a donation for the museum. These engines were used to power early drones. Interesting little piece of technology!
Al Sumrall bought a golf ball air cannon (M1916 37mm look alike) from an acquaintance of his so Kingsbury has a cannon now! This thing shoots both Nerf style darts (about 75 feet), and standard golf balls (about 200 yards at higher air pressures)! Al has plans to paint it up, make some functional improvements to make it work better and look more accurate - and most importantly, have fun. Al is already talking smack about shooting down R/C airplanes and setting up a target range with "German infantry & tanks".
Al reports that this type of weapon has quite a bit of historical significance. The gun was mounted in FT-17 tanks and the SPAD XII carried this gun so it has a WWI aviation pedigree also. Its WWII successors would have been the 75MM pack howitzer and the bazooka. Last US use was in the Philippines against the Japanese! Al has a link to some additional information about this type of cannon: M1916 37mm cannon
Ian Whitaker has been working on getting one of the surplus USMC Kawasaki KLR motorcycles to run and had made good progress. Kevin Monahan completed the job, taking the bike to his home shop to thoroughly clean out the entire fuel system and effect some small repairs. The bike runs great now! That long travel suspension sure makes running errands around the field quicker, easier, and fairly comfortable! Great job guys!
Volunteer Work Day
by Tom Gaylord
July saw some significant progress on the Thomas-Morse T-2 project and Steve made some progress on the Ercoupe's return to the air. Minor progress was made on the Rearwin Ken-Royce wing preservation project. The heat was bearable (mainly) and we had a good turn-out for the sole workday held during the month. However, the big news was the film crew out at Kingsbury to finally shoot their demo video!
Thomas-Morse S-4C Scout
Steve Richardson reassessed the bulkhead options for fairing mounting on the belly of T-2 and developed an alternative plan. The fuselage was stripped and then flipped over on the work stands to make working on the belly of the fuselage structure easier. Steve "filled in" the depressions created by the belly former stringers sticking out of the bulkhead at the tail end of the structure to provide a solid surface for the tail skid fairing to attach to.
An attempt was made to start the Canuck's OX-5 engine for the film crew's sound man but the engine wouldn't start. The aircraft had been sitting out all day long and appeared to be heat soaked, expanding various components and making the engine very tight and stiff to turn over. The crew covered the exposed motor with a tarp and pushed the bird back into the hangar.
One week later during the workday the prop was turned by hand and the engine was still very tight, and it squeaked when the prop was moved. This doesn't appear to be a "heat-soak" issue and will result in some troubleshooting to isolate the issue for repair - though the most likely suspect has to be the water pump shaft!
Kevin Monahan and Dave Miller, with an assist from Billy Cheshire installed the new inner tube on the Rearwin Sportster. Holding air so far!
Rearwin Ken-Royce (2000C)
Chris Hill and Tom Gaylord removed the aileron from the wing in preparation for final sanding and varnishing.
Kevin Monahan reports he is making progress on repairs to the Indian's front suspension. The dent in the tube was caused by the fork travel stop so he suspects the bike had a minor accident at some point in its life!
The shoot had originally been scheduled for June, but some of the crew's technical people were unable to make it so the shoot was postponed to July. Below are Al Sumrall's and Dave Orloff's comments on the filming process.
Al Sumrall - What an interesting and educational experience!
Dave Orloff, Dave Edgerly, Kevin Monahan, Kurt Maurer (who was also one of the actors), Charlotte Parker and I stayed on site over the weekend and really worked hard but it was both fun and educational despite the tremendous heat. We all stayed for the duration, Friday, Sat, and Sunday. We were all "dead tired" but there was no slack in doing what needed to be done. The hangar sets surprised me... but what really surprised me was how we/they managed to make things work. Even "Rusty Wrecker" will be in a scene. The signal corps truck was a sweetheart, as usual, and did everything asked of her - and the film crew asked for a lot! The 1921 Triumph motorcycle will also be in the hangar scene.
The film people were very tidy and it looked like they were never there after they left. The film crew proved to be a very professional group, though I was aware of some significant "culture" differences with the Kingsbury "natives"! There were no cooperation issues, and we were able to give them everything they needed.
At the end, during the director's flush of success (they all were very happy), I suggested that if the series was picked up FHC / VM / PFM had the ability to produce mock-ups and such (for a fee, of course) and listed the expertise and equipment available at Kingsbury. The director liked the concept as they were trying to keep as much work as possible local, and that some "sets" (like internal cockpit shots) would be needed as there was going to be quite a bit of flight / filming of actors with aircraft. Even the construction of full scale "mock up" aircraft isn't out of the question for some early aircraft.
Amazing how much work it can take for even three minutes of film. Of course, if the scenes were longer there would be more efficiency. Regardless of the outcome for the film folks, the participation by Kingsbury was a success.
Dave Orloff - So, movie making comes to Kingsbury! The whole experience was tiring, confusing, entertaining and interesting. The shop was used, as was the interior of the museum hangar. The shots of Kurt running the T thru the mud by the windsock don't capture the endless retakes, as the sun set. Tense and aggravating, especially for Kurt who was soaked (including his cigar). It was hilarious to hear the director repeatedly urge Kurt to "floor it!" as he splashed past.
Sunday's shooting was hangar-centric and we had to clear a lot of stuff out, with the help of grips from the crew. Luckily the crew also helped us put it all back! We were well fed and Charlotte was busy caring for a couple of heat-exhausted grips, one Saturday and one Sunday. Gary (the Director) made it a point to announce loudly Sunday afternoon that none of the gray-whiskered set fell out despite the heat, pointing to Kevin, Dave, Al and me to illustrate his point!
The movie crew by and large was very cooperative and respectful of us, our assets and facilities. I told them so at the end of Sunday's shooting. We also ran the Triplane for the sound man to add it to his library of sounds. He was ecstatic and took very detailed notes on the engine and airplane. We were unable to run the Canuck, as much because I was too beat to get a good throw as anything else.
I was assured that we will be able to see the finished video as soon as it is available, fingers crossed. Also there may be further opportunities for involvement if the series is a go. I'm not sure I want more of this sort of work though - I'm kinda frazzled working ten+ hours a day.
The Museum may have acquired a few new volunteers from the film crew, plus the film company made a donation to the museum, the Freeman Heritage Collection and Old Kingsbury Aerodrome and paid some extra to cover the additional cost of utilities used in making the video. Hopefully the series is picked up and more - Dave Orloff may not be ecstatic about doing more film work but it sounded fairly interesting overall!
Volunteer Work Day
by Tom Gaylord
June saw some significant progress on the museum's aircraft and Model T vehicles. The heat was bearable (mainly) and we had a good turn-out for the sole workday held during the month.
Jerry Stark continued working on T-2's metal fairings located around the fuselage. Jerry spent the day removing the belly formers to create cardboard templates to create the additional bulkheads needed to mount the fairings.
Fokker Dr.I Triplane
Steve had ordered new tires and tubes for the Triplane. Kevin Monahan did much of the work, assisted at various times by Dave Miller and Ron Marcotte. The new tires and tubes went on pretty easily, however the fabric wheel covers were a major pain. The problem was partially due to age, which had resulted in some shrinkage and fragility, and the way the covers had been constructed. There was a hem around the outer edge of each cover that had a drawstring running through it. The drawstring was tightened down inside the rim and was supposed to be trapped between the tire's clincher bead and the rim's edge. The strings were broken while removing the tires and it appeared the clincher bead wasn't securing the covers much at all, if any. Kevin ultimately had to remove all the string and tuck the cover's edges into the clincher bead, which he completed Sunday morning.
Three "clincher men" from Team Vehicles (Clint Allred, Ian Whitaker, and John Allred) put on a new inner tube for the D.VII to correct the persistent flat tire on the starboard wheel. They made short work of it and claimed it was easier to do than a Model T!! They also put a liner under the tube as it did not have one.
While the Canuck had performed well throughout the Air Fair event on the last landing of the day the main gear axle was bent. The wheels and tires were fine but that one-piece axle needed replacement. Since everything would be apart it was decided to replace the shock cords as well.
Steve had ordered new tubing to replace the axle, along with some festive shock cord in red. A veritable team of people set about the Canuck! Steve Freeman, Dave Edgerly, Dave Orloff, Billy Cheshire, Terry Bledsoe, Kevin Monahan and Dave Miller all had a hand in the production!
Replacing the shock cords is always a fun task to watch because it takes a fair amount of muscle to pull them tight enough to support the airplane! After much grunting, groaning, swearing and shaking muscles the Canuck is back on her wheels - with a notably greater ground clearance to boot! A "Good Job" to all hands for getting this done in a single day! However, the job will need to be redone as the axle needs to be painted to prevent corrosion. This will require removing the axle, cleaning it, painting it and reinstalling it along with the shock cords. The silver lining is Dave Edgerly thinks he has an easier way to install the shock cords and can achieve a more equal tension between the left and right shock cords.
Steve took the Ercoupe's prop to a shop in Arkansas and had the pitch adjusted. He has also decided the engine is not economical to repair (it was last rebuilt 46 years ago and has some significant issues!) so he has engineered a swap that will see a good C85 engine installed on the airplane. The airplane will still qualify as an LSA. The engine swap work is coming along well and Steve expects to be able to fly the airplane down to Kingsbury soon.
Team Vehicles had two workdays in June; a mini-workday with five volunteers (Clint & John Allred, Ian & Cameron Whitaker and Al Sumrall) plus the main workday with three volunteers (Lynn Howell, Al and Steve Penaluna).
Al and Lynn replaced the lost freeze plug in the Signal Corp truck's crankcase. This was accomplished fairly easily with just the intake manifold needing to be loosened to replace the rusted out freeze plug. They had the vehicle running in less than 30 minutes, start to finish.
They also did some work on the Blue Racer as the Bendix cover had loosened up and caused an oil leak. This repair is only temporary as they resorted to silicone sealant to stop the leak. Al says they need to get some lock washers for the bolts, but they may also need to do some thread repair on two of the bolt holes to make it really right. Clint and Cameron have corrected the Blue Racer's steering issues and it now "runs like it is on rails"! Lynn is still working some oil issues - some crud appearing in the oil - but the engine is running the best it ever has!
The TT and the Wrecker both have new transmission bands, and the team is getting into a real maintenance ritual. Steve did most of the maintenance performed in June.
Team Vehicles has determined that they will not be able to do the Luling parade this year, but they did take the Blue Racer to the Kingsbury VFD Fund Raiser event.
Some time ago the Museum set up a fund raiser selling bricks. The bricks could be engraved to capture memories or memorialize a loved one or an influential person and the Museum would use the bricks to build a display on the property.
Richard Smith ordered up the first set of bricks, all that had been ordered, and created a temporary display for them in front of the hangar. The bricks are still for sale and we'd like to sell more of them to allow for a nice display. The Board is considering several ideas for the permanent display, including a pad around the field's flagpole, and setting the bricks into the concrete floor when it gets poured in the old hangar.
Hog Damage on the Runway
We were expecting some Museum visitors to fly in on the workday so Terry Bledsoe and Charlotte Parker got to work repairing some bad hog damage to the runway. They completed the work, but the visitors snuck in through the front gate - they had elected to drive up!
Diane Edgerly came by to begin inventorying the library donations. She brought her laptop, set up some shelving and fired up an Excel template that is designed to catalog books! Diane reports she waded through about 100 books during the workday.
A group out of Austin wants to use Kingsbury as a location to shoot a promotional demo to try and pitch a documentary TV series to cable channels focusing on the development of commercial aviation. The demo would focus on the birth of Pan AM - which was a dark & stormy day when Juan Trippe and his good buddy Charles Lindbergh needed to fulfill Trippe's brand new contract to deliver mail from Florida to a Caribbean island. Their tri-motor got stuck in the airfield's mud, but the day was saved when a Sikorsky seaplane arrived on scene and Juan offered a deal the Sikorsky's pilot couldn’t turn down! The film makers are interested in Kingsbury for our location (convenient, rural with few modern trappings that need to be eliminated), facilities (old looking aircraft hangars), assets (mainly the Signal Corps truck which will look just like a post office mail truck with a little movie magic, as well as Terry Bledsoe's Champ project), and people (Kurt Maurer has been selected to be the post office employee driving the mail to the airfield)!
Ron Marcotte was present as the movie people went about their business in June. He said, "It was fascinating to see the level of careful planning needed before a shot can be taken. The four person team for CGI effects was there so there was a lot of detailed discussion on how to be sure the computer graphics could smoothly fit into the desired scenes. They will be converting the sky into a stormy one, inserting palm trees to get that Key West feeling and making the whole field look uneven, muddy and wet with some puddles. They want Charlotte to mow in an uneven manner to give it our field a little character. The Kingsbury Volunteer Fire Department has been recruited to make rain & puddles and they gave a demonstration of making it rain, but it was really weak looking! They have a bigger truck, but the CGI people will probably have to augment it to get the effect the movie folks want.
The hangar is an intriguing little problem, in that they seem to like the interior of one hangar but the exterior of the other hangar! They went through a lot of green screen planning so they could convince us the Fokker mail plane was in there. This will mean emptying out a lot of stuff from the hangar. This is all pretty fluid however, and there is no telling what they will eventually decide on.
The film company is planning on starting 2 hours before sunrise and working until 2 hours after sunset. They are planning on feeding 3 meals a day of course! They brought along some PVC pipe to mock up a Fokker tri-motor landing gear strut out of Terry's Champ fuselage/wheel & tire. They'll need to fab up a fender as well.
The Signal Corps truck got a break when they decided to just make a whole, vertical panel with the U.S. Mail logo that would snap into place rather than sticking letters onto the old, fragile paint. They took a chip for color matching. They'd seen Kurt Maurer in a little "Screen Test" video I shot and asked him to play the mailman. Kurt showed up in his vintage duds and impressed everyone! Wardrobe people may add a few bits such as a U.S. Mail patch or hat or something. Kurt has the part nailed, of course!”
The shoot had originally been scheduled for June, but some of the crew's technical people were unable to make it so the shoot was postponed to July.
Tom Moore continued working on his engine display - putting caster wheels on all the stands to make moving them easier.
Tom Gaylord "broke" the hangar door trying to close up the old hangar. He called for help before departing hastily for home! Dave Orloff and Terry Bledsoe fixed it - with a little persuasion from a sledgehammer! Dave says some heating / welding needs to be done to the door stops to prevent this from continuing to happen.
May 11, 2013
by Tom Gaylord
The 2013 Spring Air Fair Fly-In actually went very, very well. We'd had tons of rain in the Seguin area in the days leading up to the event and the field was soaked, but we were pretty well committed to May 11th and moving it would have been extremely difficult. Things looked grim at Kingsbury on Friday morning with all the rain that drenched the field but by noon the weather had cleared and the field started drying out. By late afternoon the guys were flying the Canuck!
The big concern was that the overnight forecast called for a 50% chance of heavy rain. However, we lucked out and while the Seguin area got plenty more rain Friday night, The Old Kingsbury Aerodrome got next to nothing in the way of rain. Saturday dawned clear - no more rain in the forecast and mild temperatures! The field had been drying out since Friday morning so it was useable for the event.
We ended up with a good drive-in crowd and more airplanes flew in than we typically have at our Spring event. We had several interesting aircraft visitors, but the coolest arrival was when the Kerrville "L" squadron arrived overhead in formation just as the U.S. flag was run up the pole with a re-enactor blowing the call on his WWI bugle. Complete coincidence, but very cool.
The Museum had only two airplanes flyable, the Canuck and the Triplane, and the runway crosswind prevented flying the Fokker! We flew the Canuck three times during the day for the crowd and ran the Triplane's engine twice.
Team Vehicles was busy during the show, displaying all the vehicles in the collection and driving most of them. Just before the event was to start the Wrecker broke down and was parked, but it was repaired and got mobile again. There were rumors it just ran out of gas! The Blue Racer was driven but the U.S. Signal Corps truck blew a freeze plug and was parked for the day - an easy repair, but there wasn't time to get it done during the event. Kevin Monahan drove both the Indian and the Triumph around the grounds periodically and Cameron Whitaker fired up the Maytag motorbike. In the afternoon Lynn Howell succeeded in getting the Nash Quad running and took it out for a drive!
There was a special display of the very "antique" condition horse drawn grader, vintage cement mixer, 1913 Model T, PFM's 1927 Wrecker and Clint Allred's 1930s Farmall tractor, all of which were in one color...rust! Despite the monotone color palette the display drew a lot of attention!
Clint also brought his 1924 Model T touring car and drove it around the grounds for the crowd. Steve Penaluna brought his 1955 Crown Victoria (which was once in a Johnny Cash video) and directed visitor collector cars to their special parking spots. Some interesting cars were brought in by collectors, including a 1915 Hudson, and several Model Ts and As.
The military re-enactor contingent was smaller than usual but they still had an interesting display. As usual they had set up a camp and also laid out a couple of blankets and placed a variety of uniforms, weapons and military gear for the crowd to see. The time period for the display was Spanish-American War through WWI. The guys who set the equipment up were very knowledgeable and one could acquire quite an education listening to the explanations about the gear and its evolution through the time period! Quite a few of the PFM volunteers were adding to the vintage flavor in their period garb and many looked downright authentic while driving the Model Ts around the property.
The event ended with Ron Marcotte making a video of a faux silent picture movie being shot featuring the Fokker Triplane, Ian Whitaker in his German officer's uniform, and Al Sumrall (plus a couple of other military re-enactors). Additional props were the vintage movie camera Ron had fabbed up at home. The improvised story line featured the capture of Lt. Von Whitaker and his fearsome Fokker Triplane by our brave troops and his subsequent escape from captivity. We'll have to see whether Ron can cobble something together out of the footage he shot! Al is hoping the flick will win a prize at the Canned Film Festival (not to be confused with the Cannes Film Festival)! Coming soon to a YouTube screen near you!
Overall the event was a success for the Museum - despite increased costs due to a t-shirt re-order (which included the new event T-shirt - which looks fabulous, by the way!) the Museum made a little money on the event.
Volunteer Work Day
May 5, 2013
by Tom Gaylord
The workday on the 5th started out with cookies, brownies, coffee and the usual morning chit-chat in the shop office. Ian Whitaker showed up with a show'n'tell box - it had an early small steam engine in it he'd found on eBay! The engine was the type to be found on an early steam powered automobile. Missing a few parts mind you, but Ian hopes to restore it to running condition!
Fokker Dr.I Triplane
The wash crew (predominantly Steve Richardson and Kurt Maurer) washed the Triplane but came up short on a cleaning fluid that would take care of the castor oil residue!
Exhumed from the hangar and walked over to the shop apron for some attention to be paid to the water pump and the airplane in general. Chris Freeman was in town for the week (and Air Fair) and his Number One Mission was to go over the Curtiss OX-5 engine and get it sorted out and then turn his attention to the airframe. The primary concern with the engine is the water pump shaft - the noise and the leaks! Roger and Steve have been talking about fitting a zerk fitting on the impeller shaft so it can be greased occasionally to prevent the noise. Chris will fix the packing to slow down the water leaks
The engine was unbolted from the mounts and moved forwards on the engine bearers so the water pump could be removed from the rear of the engine. Ordinarily the water pump is virtually inaccessible, wedged between the rear of the crankcase and the firewall.
In the week between the workday and the 2013 Spring Air Fair Fly-In Chris got a lot done on the Canuck. The water pump shaft binding issue was resolved and the water leak significantly slowed down by reworking the packing. The zerk fitting was installed, but since it, like everything else on the water pump, is inaccessible with the engine mounted in the normal position the shaft and seals were lubed with marine grease.
Once the engine's issues were addressed the motor was bolted back in place and all connections made up and Chris could turn his attention to the airframe. He double-checked all the rigging and tuned up the control cables. He also shimmed the horizontal tail surfaces to make the airplane fly a little more neutral in pitch - come the Fly-In Chris and Steve were pretty happy with the adjustments though Chris felt he could dial the airplane in a little bit better.
Steve started flying the airplane on Wednesday afternoon. He put a good 20 minutes onto the airplane, and it flew again several times on Friday, the day before the Air Fair.
Steve Richardson spent a little time working on the bulkhead form for the belly formers, mainly still working on getting the proper shape of the proposed bulkheads.
Bleriot XI, Rearwin Sportster, Fokker D.VII and Pietenpol Sky Scout
All three aircraft were washed and set out to dry in the sun. Old Pete will need some reassembly to be fit for display, and Ian set about putting it back together.
Several aircraft had their tires inflated - mainly the Fokker D.VII and the Rearwin Sportster. These two machines did not hold air for long; both had deflated by the end of the day. Steve has ordered a new inner tube for the Rearwin. Steve is also looking for replacement tires for the Fokker Triplane and the Curtiss Canuck. The D.VII will need them as well....
Steve conquered the paperwork issues and took it up for a test flight before committing to the long cross country flight from Memphis to Kingsbury! Steve reports the airplane flies very nicely, but it needs a new prop as the prop on it is incorrect - allowing the engine to overspeed. He grounded the airplane till this issue is resolved, so it won't be at Air Fair after all.
Kevin got the machine out and ran it some - made an excellent mosquito fogger! Kevin says he needs to tighten the belt drive and adjust the tension.
Kevin has started painting the fuel tanks and took the sidecar home with him to reassemble the machine. In the week leading up to the Air Fair he finished the machine and reports the bike runs very well now, clutch is smooth and takes up properly and the kick starter works!
Cameron Whitaker dove into the transmission to figure out why the tranny was slipping again. Inside he found the Kevlar lining on the transmission band shredded! He was also plucking tufts of Kevlar material out of the transmission. While the Blue Racer was returned to service for the Air Fair it apparently needs more work to really be right.
Other Model Ts
Cameron had fixed the started motor for the Model T wrecker at home and reinstalled it, and got that machine running again.
Steve Penaluna and others worked on the US Ambulance, repairing the tire and getting it mobile and back in service. The other Model Ts were started and run.
Kurt Maurer and Al Sumrall got together during the week between the workday and the Fly-In to work on LMG 08/15 parts. By the Air Fair they had added a few bits to the Fokker D.VII's machine guns, namely ejection chutes for the spent brass, and fabricated a length of the appropriate two-hole ammo belt to equip the D.VII.
Volunteer Work Days
April 13 & 20, 2013
by Tom Gaylord
April was a pretty good month at the Museum. Good weather, excellent volunteer turn-outs and lots got accomplished. Here are the details:
Thomas-Morse S4C Scouts
April 13 - Jerry Stark continued working on T-2's fairings, turning his attention the belly fairing just aft of the firewall. He started with a part patterned after T-1's fairing, and immediately ran into the same problems he faced with the tail skid fairing; the belly former evidently extends both further aft AND further forwards that T-1's belly former. Most problematical is where to attach the fairing along the trailing edge, as well as a fit problem with the fairing against the belly former as the fairing currently wants to smoothly arc underneath the fuselage while the belly former has a much flatter profile across the aircraft's centerline. Jerry consulted with Steve Freeman and the optimal fix is to add a thicker former to the belly former structure so the fairings have something sturdy to fasten to.
April 20 - Jerry and Steve Richardson worked on puzzling out the belly fairing on T-2. Jerry had made a cardboard template between the workdays and he and Steve spent a fair amount of time checking it and discussing ways to move forward. The cardboard template is to serve as a pattern to create an additional former or bulkhead in the belly former structure for the belly fairing's trailing edge to be screwed to.
Fokker Dr.I Triplane
April 13 - Mike Craig and his dad were able to make the workday so they tended to the Triplane. We were expecting a tour group of WWII vets around 10 am, and Steve was anxious to fly the Triplane early on to avoid the wind picking up later in the day. Mike and the guys pulled the Triplane from the hangar once the Model Ts were moved. The engine and airplane were checked and the motor primed and lubed. The engine was started and run up.
There was a brief delay as Steve hunted down the aircraft's paperwork, but soon the airplane was hooked up to the Signal Corp truck and moved to the north end of the runway. With the engine started Steve took off and flew the airplane for quite a while, making a series of low passes and steep turns to the left and right. The landing appeared uneventful - the initial touchdown was a little off balance, but after the tail dropped the aircraft quickly stopped pretty straight and true! It probably helped that the field was softer than usual due to the recent rains!
The airplane looked great up in the air! Very exciting that this airplane will be available at the upcoming Spring Air Fair Fly-In!!
Mike Craig is continuing his search for tires as the size he looked for is not available, just as Steve had found out! However, it appears they may have been searching for the wrong sized tires! Mike and his Dad, Don, were re-measuring the wheel's diameter and struggling with the hub sticking out and making a straight measurement impossible when Don noticed the tire's size printed on the sidewall. Yup... they'd been searching for the wrong tire size!!
April 13 - The Canuck was immobilized for much of the morning. It was trapped in the hangar because one of the Model T ambulances (the U.S. Ambulance) was stuck in gear and there great concern about possible damage if the machine were just pushed out of the way. Team Vehicles swung into action and eventually got the transmission out of gear so it could be pulled from the hangar!
The Canuck Crew put the prop back and found all the groaning noises had stopped - interpreted as a "good thing"! On Friday the motor was still whining a bit causing raised eyebrows and concern all around.
The Canuck was checked over and pulled out onto the grass beside the hangar so the radiator could be filled with water, and then the engine was lubed, started and run. Again, the motor ran strongly in the lower rev range, firing on all 8 cylinders. However, the engine wouldn't pull all the revs it should. Don Craig did some testing with his hands over the carb intakes and the consensus is that the carb jets must have some debris in them causing the engine to falter at higher rpm.
After some testing, Dave Edgerly says the engine groaning was definitely caused by the water pump, the shaft and seal were lubricated and the groaning (from vibration) ceased. Another item to add to the pre- and post- flight lubrication regimen?
Rearwin 2000C Ken-Royce
April 20 - Conservation work started on the Rearwin's wing panels which have hung on the shop's walls for quite some time now. They had received a cleaning and relocation some time ago, but we felt it was time for a serious cleaning and sealing with epoxy varnish.
Terry Bledsoe lifted Tom Gaylord up on the forklift tines to retrieve a wing panel and get the project underway. The starboard upper wing panel was outermost and easiest to get down so it was first. The wing panel was blown off with compressed air while the accumulated dust was disturbed with a rag. Only one large mud dauber's nest was knocked off the wing root rib. Looking better already!
Chris Hill and Greg Solberg took over, tapping nail heads down and sanding the upper surfaces. The cover over the fuel tank cavity was removed and the interior of that box was the cleanest looking part of the wing. Chris reported that as he tapped nail heads down along the plywood covered leading edge he could hear mud dauber nests inside coming loose and falling. Sure enough, when the wing was flipped to do the underside there was a lot of rattling going inside that leading edge! When will we ever learn to plug up openings on airplanes? And getting the nests out of the leading edge will not be easy, there are openings in the plywood covering, but they are small, on the underside of the wing, and located adjacent to solid web structural ribs - each pair of access holes runs across 4 - 5 ribs!
There are some items on the wing we want Steve to look over and give some advice on before we proceed much further. No actual varnishing was done, and at the end of the day the wing was stored back with the Thomas-Morse fuselages.
Steve Freeman reports the Ercoupe is coming along and hopes to fly it to Kingsbury for the Air Fair. In April Steve fixed the instrument panel's wiring and overhauled the carb. On to the huge quantities of paperwork to make it legal to fly!
When Kevin received the kick starter assembly (from Norway!) there were four holes missing for the rivets that fasten the assembly together. Kevin said the metal was so hard he couldn't even scratch it, so it was off to the machine shop again. The new clutch parts worked out well: pressure plate, spring holder plate and the spring screw locking plate (something we never had). Kevin says he has also finished painting the fender stays he'd made as well as the bike's headlamp brackets. Those parts have been installed and Kevin has also adjusted the rear fender to sit in the middle of the tire. Kevin has made a lever for the compression release that attaches to a hand lever on the fuel tank's right side which is used to turn the engine off.
Kevin continues working on the bondo on the fuel tanks, and also mentioned needing to get the olive drab paint reformulated, as the new stuff is obviously lighter than the paint already on the bike. Kevin is planning on taking the sidecar home to finish up the bike as a single piece.
April 13 - various Ts were started and driven, though I don't recall very many. Mostly they seemed to be pushed out of the hangar and stayed put the majority of the day.
April 20 - Team Vehicles was just three people. Cameron and Ian Whitaker, and their Fearless Leader - Al Sumrall! Bruce Roberson was there as well, working on his project car.
Cameron and Ian concentrated on installing new Kevlar transmission bands in the Wrecker. This a big job with Ts as it involves major disassembly and reassembly and is a dirty and physically taxing job in our working conditions. Cameron was successful in getting the Wrecker's transmission rebuilt but encountered trouble with the starter motor so he has taken that home to rebuild. Al expects the Wrecker to be a much improved utility vehicle by Air Fair, with its rebuilt transmission and starter motor plus the four-bladed radiator fan keeping it cool! Ian also spent some time driving a few visitors around the property in the Model Ts.
Ian also spent part of his day working on the ex-USMC Kawasaki KLR-650 motorcycle that is being rejuvenated to serve as a field bike... or "liaison" bike as the Team Vehicles guys like to call it! Ian has spent a fair amount of time getting the carb adequately cleaned out and functioning properly but he has finally prevailed and got the bike running late on Saturday evening.
Al is already fussing and worrying over "unauthorized" operators abusing this machine for "fun" rather than strictly using the bike for "real work" on the property. Al plans to fit the bike with a basket or a trailer to allow the hauling of parts and tools and such with the bike. Al feels we lose a lot of time and energy walking back and forth between the shop and the hangar (dang - some of us need the exercise Al!) and firing up cars to fetch is just overkill and energy inefficient. So beware folks! No "fun" with the motorbike!!
Property Road Sign
April 13 - Carl Canga had asked for the old road sign to be removed and the poles and roof refurbished. Terry Bledsoe took the old sign down and Charlotte has offered to scrape and repaint the poles during the week. The roof will need to be worked on next workday - varnishing the frame and replacing the shingles. Carl brought the new sign to Kingsbury - with help from Dan Siegle - and it is stored in the hangar till the 20th. The sign looks great!!
April 20th - Dave and Tom Miller spent their day refurbishing the property road sign up by the main entrance and ultimately mounted the new sign. Charlotte had not painted the uprights during the week - she had black paint while someone told her the poles should be white! Dave and Tom ultimately painted them green! They also took down the roof and took it to Luling at lunchtime to clean it at a car wash facility. When the roof had dried out they painted it black with a special paint formulated for severely weathered wood. The paint was very quick drying stuff and by the end of the day the sign had been mounted and the structure reassembled. The final product looks pretty darned good!
Drill Pipe Donation
Billy Cheshire donated some drill pipe to be used as poles for the proposed Model T shed. Terry Bledsoe is working on plans for the facility.
April 13 - Vintage Manufacturing cut two sets of replacement cooling jacket parts, and will schedule up 8 more sets. Jerry took the two new sets, plus the endplate discs from the thicker set to attempt to roll up and weld together two complete prototype jackets. Jerry may only do one, as it appears that the rear disc may have too great a diameter... might need to get these redrawn and re-cut.
April 20 - Jerry brought the materials for the cooling jackets back with questions. He was concerned the thinner end wrappers wouldn't look right so the local "Oracle", Al Sumrall was consulted. Al's opinion was it would look fine. The parts are not curling well, tending to end up more or less as octagons, however the thin metal can be finish shaped fairly easily. Still, we need to evaluate whether we need to redraw some of the parts to provide lead-in and lead-out portions to facilitate smoother curling at the ends, and perhaps additional metal on the sides to promote smoother curves on the more heavily ventilated parts. It appears the Germans machined the cooling slots in the jackets after they were already welded up into cylinders! Not sure any decisions were made, but Jerry took the materials back home with him.