PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

Volunteer Work Day

September 12, 2009

Reported by Tom Gaylord

The day was very cloudy and rainy, with several heavy bands of rain moving through and turning the field into a rice paddy! The weather canceled the engine run recordings (hopefully we can complete that on the 26th) and may have contributed to a somewhat light turnout. Despite that, we got a lot done.

Greg Solberg spent the day at the lathe making parts. Bushings for the Indian, as well as stand-offs for the Pietenpol engine cowlings, and modifying a part for Lynn, working on the Model T engine transplant.

Tom Miller spent much of his energy sanding the Fairchild 22 vertical fin to shape, in preparation for gluing on a plywood sheath before fabric covering. Tom made a lot of progress - working by hand and eye, but ultimately it was decided to glue some pieces into select areas of the fin to make the job easier and create a smoother exterior. Earlier in the day we had discounted doing work requiring glue or dope because of the temps and humidity factors. It was a good decision overall, as the epoxy glue (with an advertised 10 minute working time) still hadn't cured sufficiently after 1.5 hours! More work will be needed on this piece before the plywood can be affixed.

A team of 3 - 4 guys lead by Bill Cheshire worked on the Pietenpol. Oil was changed, coolant was refreshed, and various components buttoned up and made ready for flight. I believe they finished all this work, but while the engine was warming up early in the day there were throttle settings where it sounded somewhat rough. Not sure what that means and whether or not it was weather related!

Lynn worked most of the day on the Model T transplant and I believe that is nearly completed. Lynn went home a little early with his allergies making him miserable.

Roger recently obtained a set of 6 Kawasaki enduro motorcycles at auction - they are former USMC machines used by the military for scouting and patrol duties. Most were overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan - and while low mileage look a little raggedy. They've been sitting around for awhile so one was brought out and was tended to by Mikey and Dave Orloff. The carb was cleaned out and they ultimately got the bike running again. I helped a bit - me and Dave tended to switch off as parts and tool runners for Mikey! Three guys elected to try the bike in the mud and puddles... none crashed! Roger is hoping these will hold some collectibility interest and can be traded for other artifacts the museum needs.

There were a couple of guys working intermittently on the Great Lakes - they appeared to work on a few cockpit items, installed "javelins" in the wing rigging (Dave Orloff did this, I believe), and maybe bled the hydraulic brakes? I failed to keep track of this work's progress. Sorry.