PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

Volunteer Work Day

July 12, 2008

Reported by Tom Gaylord and Al Sumrall

Carl Canga brought sad news: long-time Team Fokker member Dick Schenk passed way late last week. He is survived by two daughters. Dick was involved throughout the Fokker Triplane project and was affectionately known as "Der Tripemeister" for his passion about the triplane project in particular. We will miss him.

The volunteer team had a good turnout with Dave Miller, Jeffery Basham, Mike McCormick, Terry Bledsoe, Al Sumrall, Sanford Swope, Gary Goolsby, Carl Canga, Ron Marcotte, Bill Walsh, Tom Gaylord, Doug Hortvet, and Derek Staha showing up to work. (I feel I am leaving somebody out... my apologies!).

Tim Miller and John Bush were not present, but have spent several days during the week at Roger's working on Thomas-Morse tail feathers.

The main work of the day involved making further progress on the Tommy parts. There is one elevator remaining to be rib stitched, and many of the parts have been taped, though a couple are still works in progress.

Roger has stated that he wants to "finish" the parts we are working one before moving on to other Tommy parts. So once we get the silver dope coats completed we'll probably move on to the wings.

Assembling Spandau ornaments

Derek stayed till lunchtime and then had to depart for a family reunion. Dave and Jeffery started their day out assembling two replica Spandau machine guns (shipped as "Metal Ornaments for Antique Aircraft"!) that will be mounted in the Customer D.VII. These units are all metal and are from a relatively new vendor in South Africa - and are these babies ever gorgeous!!!

Dave and Jeffery's biggest challenge was deciphering the South African style English assembly instructions.

Bill Walsh and I worked on the Fokker Triplane - fixing the damage done to the starboard wing-tip skid after Roger's gentle and elegant groundloop the last work day. We managed to straighten out the bent parts, but ultimately these may need to be replaced if the groundloops continue!

Tom Gaylord took the triplane's forward cockpit coaming components home to fit the padding and covers.

Terry and Mike pulled the plugs on the Cub and replaced a few of them while cleaning them all. Terry and Mike then started working on the Luscombe carb. Sanford worked on the Rearwin Sportster - ground running the engine and washing the airplane up.

Team Vehicles

Al jumped into working on the vehicle - eventually drafting Terry and Mike to solder some solenoid connections for him. I dimly recall seeing at least two of the vehicles driving around during the day, but Al was largely the sole member of Team Vehicles this day! Here's his report:

In addition to working on aircraft, Doug went out on the four wheeler and got sunburned poisoning mesquite trees. There are dozens and dozens (maybe over a hundred) suddenly growing in the airfield. I did not realize how fast they grew under these conditions. At one time I went out in the TT as I thought that he was stalled out and found myself dodging mesquite. I didn't see them till I drove out there and suddenly they were everywhere. I don't know if cutting them will be sufficient. It may be necessary to harvest them; of course, I am no expert in field maintenance. Hopefully the poisoning will turn them all brown so they can be seen better. We could use the TT for this work.

As Tom mentioned team vehicles was a bit short on the usual suspects and it was Ron Marcotte that helped me install the solenoid (Ron did most of the work and taught me some stuff--I'm good at avoiding work) but another problem arose with the wrecker. It kept blowing the fuse on the hot wire leading to the starter on the steering column. I presume we have a short of some type. The drill will be to follow the wire to the starter switch and I am guessing it might be a good idea to replace the switch. I don't think we have a major issue here, as the starter turned over the engine nicely then stopped when the fuse blew. Roger F says the wire to the starter should not be pulling that much amp? resistance?, anyway I think it will be a hunt. I will also be bringing some 30 amp fuses as the replacement fuses we tried were 25 amp.

The TT ran nicely and as always the signal corps truck is a "sweetheart". The TT's right front tire is a slow leaker so it is something we have to make sure the air pressure is right every time we want to run it. Other than that she is the strong runner that Roger said it was and she looks kind of spiffy with those green strakes. With some wheel varnish and painted grease caps she would look even nicer. Both the Signal Corps truck and the TT did various utilily functions during the day. With the heat and all, they are saving a lot of lugging heavy stuff like ladders, air tanks and such during the day saving on wear and tear on volunteers.

I hope more Team Vehicles can appear for the next workday so we can hopefully get the wrecker back in the pink as well as start and run the Quad some more. Without a "crew" I am uncomfortable running the Quad right now. I had purchased the solenoid from Tractor Supply and saw a starter button that should replace the one that is on the wrecker. It is in an awkward place in the hangar and it takes an effort to move planes out to get to it. Right now the TT and signal corps truck are in positions where they are easy to access and that really makes a difference.