PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

Volunteer Work Day

September 26, 2009

Reported by Tom Gaylord and Al Sumrall

We had a fair turn-out of volunteers. There were a couple of major activities during the day.

Dave Miller continued the family fascination with sanding wood. He worked (with power tools?) on continuing to shape the Fairchild 22 vertical fin. Dave had to depart at mid-day, but he made excellent progress!

Mikey continued repairing the USMC Kawasaki bikes. He managed to restore one machine to excellent running condition. Still needs some TLC and parts for full functionality, but it runs good now!

I believe some additional work was done on the Great Lakes... but I don't recall by whom or what they did. Likewise the Pietenpol is in excellent shape and ready for flight. While the weather was gorgeous, the field was still pretty soggy, so no flying was done.

The Meyers was pulled from the hangar and the Kinner radial started. Lots of oil poured from the engine while turning it over, but ultimately the engine started fairly easily! Ran fairly well, but seemed to mostly run on 4.5 cylinders, rather than the full 5! Roger says the airplane needs a full annual and some minor repairs. Terry started working on those minor repairs in the afternoon.

The Fokker Triplane and the Canuck were both pulled from the old hangar and run up - both to exercise the engines and to make sound recordings, as demos for potential Marine Corps Museum exhibits on early USMC aviation. Two early Marine aircraft were Thomas-Morse Scouts and a biplane powered by a Curtiss OX-5 engine, but in a pusher configuration. Carl Canga and Dave Orloff made recordings - Carl on a video camera, and Dave on a digital camera. Dave was able to download his recording onto Roger's PC and it sounded pretty good. Carl downloaded his video and managed to beat Dave, so he sent his DVD to the company managing the exhibits. They have received the recordings of the two engines and are delighted with them. They plan to present to the Museum Directors within a few days. They hope to have an answer within two weeks.

The Triplane received lots of attention. It was essentially inspected all over and everything was checked. The big deal was that an appropriate lead weight was made and installed within the middle wing's spar and the interplane struts were bolted back up. Ron Marcotte played a big role in this project - casting the lead weight and working closely with a team of guys who completed the installation. This means no more blue wrench on the starboard wingtip skid! Reactions were mixed... some like the wrench gone, and other decry the loss of "character"!

Team Vehicles - (actually just Lynn and Al this time) continued working on the Model T military ambulance, making more progress on the engine transplant. Several vehicles were started and moved so aircraft could be taken out of the hangars.

The US Ambulance is ready for initial engine testing, however the starter is bad (this is not an earth shattering problem--model T starters were/are always a maintenance issue). Roger is having that looked into. Lynn did a fantastic job on making from scratch and installing a bridge to compensate for the bent clutch lever coming off the transmission.

The stripped threads on the generator housing were repaired on the model TT and it is back running. It was a matter of putting in new threads on the generator housing to get it back in shape. The new threads are much much stronger than the old ones so the repair was actually an improvement. Each repair on these vehicles makes them just a bit better than they were.