PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

Volunteer Work Day

October 4, 2008

Reported by Tom Gaylord

We had a pretty good turn out today. In addition, the flying field was packed with R/C modeler as there was a major meet going on. Huge RV campers with mobile workshop trailers and plenty of R/C models buzzing through the skies all day long! From jets to combat control line airplanes they had it all. With all the people on the field for this event, we had lots of visitors filtering through the shops and hangars all day long.

First a group of volunteers picked up rebar laying in the grass out by the museum pad so the area can be mowed. Not glamorous, but sorely needed! Thanks, guys!

The D.VII front cowl was sprayed with epoxy primer to recover from an error (mine) when we sprayed the cowl with Rustoleum metal primer last work day. That paint needed to be sealed so the work of filling and sanding the cowl smooth can continue. Two major things need to happen to get the D.VII ready for Lackland - we need to finish and fit the cowl and we need to find and install the exhaust pipes for the Ranger engine.

A group of folks went to work on Thomas-Morse wings, cleaning, repairing, and epoxy varnishing. Roger had stripped a bunch of fittings off the Tommy wing sets and they are currently being powder coated along with the Great Lakes fuselage structure. This group made great progress, completing all repairs on T-1’s top wings and getting nearly everything varnished. This group included Gary Goolsby, Tom Miller, Dave Miller, and others who drifted in and out – but these three guys were the stalwarts of the effort all day long.

Roger says we really need to finish the work on the tail surfaces - getting these items into silver dope before they sit too long and get ruined. So while we can continue making work covering the wings we need to step back and finish getting those earlier covered items advanced enough to let them sit until final painting.

Another group of folks went out to see whether the D.VII could be easily disassembled and assembled without a forklift and the group’s assessment was that it is very possible! Needs a bunch of folks though... that airplane is big, and way heavier than it looks! We had the airplane tipped up on its nose and that brought the top wing down low enough to be held by 4 - 6 people. The aileron cables were disconnected from the control column and the lower wing’s beauty panel was removed and set aside.

Later in the day the front cowl was test fitted to the D.VII and it’ll work just fine, but the work was scratching the still drying epoxy primer so the part was set aside to finish drying. Several people combed the shop and storage areas looking for the exhaust, but no luck yet!

Doug Hortvet spent his day working on the Salmson radial that powers the Curtiss Junior. Or will power the Curtiss Junior once the engine can be coaxed into running. Doug seemed to make good progress, though no attempts were made to start the thing.

Mike McMains flew in with another part for the Indian motorcycle. Mike flew down in an immaculate Citabria. Wonder what other airplanes he’s hiding at home? Al pulled a part from the Indian in an attempt to find a color match for the paint. No existing cans of paint could be found at the shop!

Derek Staha came by and was involved in almost everything at one point or another, but the focus of his trip was more documentation that he is digitizing for Roger. Derek has also arranged for a 30 ft. goose-neck trailer and truck combo to move the D.VII to and from the Lackland air show!

John Bush and Al worked on several of the vehicles today - but aside from working on that persistent flat tire on the later model ambulance I have no clue what they were doing. Lynn made another appearance today, but I wasn’t clear whether he was here for PFM or the R/C model event. Both probably? Saw Ron Marcotte about as well - but I think he was much more involved with the R/C event than PFM stuff today.

Ted Dawson and Mike McCormick spent much of their day trying to make it possible to start the Bleriot at the PFM Fall Fly-In. Roger isn’t wishing them much success as he really doesn’t enjoy flying that airplane, but that isn’t deterring Mike and Ted from fixing it so he CAN fly it if he changes his mind! Ok… that is about all I can recall of the day.  I didn’t have my camera today, so no photos.