I use to come home from work, do whatever I had to do... then go work on the plane.
I use to be happy... working on it for an hour. Now... that just ain't getting it. I'm looking at an hour and saying... "Damn ! It's taking forever to get this turtledeck finished !!!" I know that I can only work so fast on a piece. There are limitations in that regard. But... if I could just wrap my head around a few pieces of this puzzle at the same time I could jump from one project to the next and put in more hours... a day, a week, a month.
I've been wanting to convert to this way of building for a long time. Must be one of those walls that you need to push through, instead of waiting for it just to happen ??? I guess.
December 22, 2013 Warm Winter days...
Over the past few weeks the weather has been beat. It was either blowing across the runway like a banchee or the ceilings were too low. Yesterday a different story (today another windy day...). It was a beautiful day for flying: 67 degrees, wind down the runway, overcast sky so that the sun wasn't too distracting, and not a whole lot of traffic.
Went up for about an hour today. There were some bumps along the way, but hey... I'm flying !
So I'm flying along and all of a sudden it feels like I'm back in the 30's... passing checkpoints flying by road map and visuals. Not sure why I thought of it... it just happended. Saw a lot of migrating birds still...
Swedesboro in the distance.
Swedesboro from 1000 feet - Dec 2013
Pond covered with birds - Woodstown, NJ.
Cross Keys Airport - Dec. 2013
January 8, 2014 Vacation from the project...
only because I wasn't around to work on it.
Panoramic View from the villa.
It's been a while since I last posted. The Chirstmas holiday and New Year's is now past... also a very long needed vacation with Andrea. Haven't been on a vacation in too many years to remember. With all the cancellations and delays from the HUGE winter storms blowing through the country, it extended our trip by two days. Going down it took us an additional day also... but that didn't extend it any.
With little to no work on the biplane over the past few weeks because of the above mentioned... it's now time to get back at it !!!
January 28, 2014 No Flying Today. It's...
cold out there !
I was down in Cape May, New Jersey for work today. Took a look out of the Cape May Convention Center and saw this... waves of ice forming on the Atlantic Ocean. It's COLD ! when ice forms on the ocean in Jersey. We've had temps in the teens for weeks (with one or two days in the 20's or 30's).
Click on image for larger photo of "icebergs".
April 11, 2014 Lomard Street...
It's a good reason...
for not building...
I've been moving... since last Saturday. A move from Mantua, New Jersey to Lombard Street in Philadelphia, PA.
Most of the stuff has been moved, except the biplane project and all my tools and work shop stuff. The good thing... I can still work on it at my old place. Just a matter of getting over to it. So... I plan on making the short trip two or three times a week and working on it on the weekends. that is... after we have the place on Lombard Street back to some semblance of order.
I need to keep moving forward on the biplane... keep feeding coal to it to keep the fires going.
Here's a photo of the new digs... before Andrea had it restored. I'll need to take a photo of the "after" and post it.
It's the one on the left.
New place with a red door.
June 9, 2014 Lomard Street...
It's a good reason...
for not building...
I've been back building and flying... The move is pretty much complete... other than the biplane project. But I'm working on it at least three days a week; putting in at least two hours each work session. It's moving along nicely.
I was up flying on Saturday. It turns out that my EAA Chapter (216) was having a two-day pancake breakfast. It's in conjunction with the celbration of their 50th Anniversary.
After I was finished flying (and it was one of the most beautiful days yet... clear as a bell and smooth to boot) I pulled the car over to the "happening" and walked on over to the hangar. Didn't see anyone I really knew (and yes, it's been years since I've regularly attended the meetings). Circled the hangar and took a look at the planes that flew in for the event. Most were gone, but a few stragglers were left. An Aeronca Chief just took off... when I was tying down the 172, I saw a red and blue Great Lakes fuel up and leave... a spam-can RV (pretty, though) sat pointing towards the door of one hanager... But off in the distance, out sitting in the grass by itself, I saw what looked like a minature AgCat.
June 28, 2014 Massey Aerodrome's biplane gathering...
It's a good reason...
for not building...
I haven't been lately... but I've been wanting to go to a small fly-in/gathering. The people/pilots there appreciate the finer qualities of small airplanes. It's my opinion, but I feel the larger events bring those who just want to see the Blue Angles, Thunderbirds, etc...
I saw a post this past week on the biplane forum about a biplane gathering down in Maryland, at Massey Aerodrome. I was thinking of maybe going down to see a few biplanes close up and hoping to meet a few of the guys from the forum. Mentioned the idea to Andrea on Friday and she thought it'd be a great idea.
We pull out of Lombard Street about 10:30am... with the traffic we hit on 95 South it was still only a 1 1/2 hours drive. We pulled up the drive to the Aerodrome and it was a park-where-you-can type of deal. A Gooney Bird welcomed us as we pulled onto the field.
Massey's is a nice grass field, 3300ft x 100ft. It harken's back to those early days. If we could see in black and white it would have been something out of the 30's.
At first glance there didn't appear to be a lot of action going on, but as we walked towards the lines of biplanes (for the most part) we saw quite a few unique examples. A pretty little, red and yellow, Kinner powered Fleet was first in line followed by quite a few bright yellow Stearmans. It wasn't long before I spotted "acropilotbret"'s Pitts. He wasn't around at the time and I don't know what he looks like. I'll have to keep an eye out for someone climbing into that Pitts to catch up with him.
One or two airplanes past Bret's was a larger biplane with a huge radial on the front of it... the sign hanging on the props said that it was a Stearman Speedwing. A 600hp engine was hanging on the business end of it. I was lucky enough to get a video of it starting up... Youtube Video
Here's a photo of it:
As we waited for Bret to appear, we walked around looking at the other arrivals to the field, and more... a cherry-red Avid Flyer, Zenith 701, WWII Grasshopper, a Stinson Voyager, a few Cub-yellow cubs, a Smith Mini tucked away in a hangar... The smell of buturate dope (aircraft paint... for fabric airplanes) brought back memories of being on the line at Bridgeport Airport back in the 80's... fueling up planes and moving them around the flight line.
oh... back to the gathering... I had just taken a few beauty shots of the C-45... walking back to the flightline, I saw someone climbing into Bret's Pitts... I assumed it was Bret. I started walking over to him and I hear the words of leaving... "Clear Prop!". DAMN... JUST missed meeting up with him.
I follow him over to the runway. At least I can get a video of him taking off... some sort of record of "seeing" Bret. Got the take-off. He didn't go very high... knew then that he went up to be a participant in the flour bombing and spot landing. He made a pass then landed... his spot landing. I walked over to him after he climbed out of the Pitts to introduce myself. We chatted for a bit... talked about building our biplane and other things about flying. As we were walking over to the the runway to view the other participants of the games a fella walked up and started asking him questions. Andrea and I continued our walk to the runways to watch the others play the game.
Bret stopped by to say his good-byes... he had a family event he had to be back for. Got a video of his plane taking off with a 45degree climbout. sweet...
A few of the planes at Massey's, June 28, 2014.
Click on above image for larger version.
We stayed a while longer... checking out the other planes that had flown in for the event. When it was time to go we figured we'd stay "local" and find one of those brown paper wrapped table type of place for a dinner of crabs. Andrea pulled out the iPad and started searching for places on the map.
After one failed attempted at an eating establishment (Sunset Cafe - looked like a dive from the minute we saw the run down look on the exterior of the mobile whatever it was), we made our way to Chesapeake City. Andrea had seen some multi-starred resturante in the city so we made our way towards it. It's a small, historic town... a good one for antiquing... I assume... We passed by the place while looking for a parking spot. We ended up parking under the bridge (about the only parking to be found) and walking back to the resurante. But, before we made it to the place Andrea saw a place with "CRABS" in BIG RED letters on the side of it. "The Tap Room" looked like a local joint... usually a diamond-in-the-rough kinda deals.
Opened the door, saw the brown-paper-covered-tables and knew this was the place to be. We're not fried food eaters, but we got an order of fried mushrooms, steamed little necks and a half dozen garlic crabs. Nice sized portions, good tasting food... had plenty to eat and a few beers to wash it all down.
It's days like this that make me think... it's not so bad taking a day off from building the biplane...