Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's been happening over Winter?

Actually not a great deal. Basically it's been too bloody cold to do anything and now that Spring has sprung Rex is in the middle of downsizing houses. So not much can be done until that is completed.  Marty is manufacturing the bottom panel to take into account the air filter (which wasn't in the original plans).

However - I have been getting back into the saddle (OK, pilot's seat) and today I passed my BFR (Biannual Flight Review) so that I can now get my licence back.  Next step (in a couple of weeks) is to get some taildragger experience in preparation for the first flight.  I'll not give a date on that just in case someone above has a different idea....

Talking of Spring, the days are warming up even if the evenings aren't and we have a couple of wee lambs chomping through the paddocks with their mums.  Not ours but it does save me on petrol mowing them!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Make that a feather or three.....

Had my 3rd flight the other day and was told that the rust is starting to disappear.  Seems I'm getting to grips with the Dynamic rather than the other way round.....  But there's going to be about another 5 hours odd before I can get my licence back.  After that it'll be on to tail dragging.
Rex has started to deal with the flying and landing wires and I have yet to complete the engine cowling fixture.  I also have to source a turn & bank indicator that will be small enough to fit somewhere handy around the cockpit.  It looks like the back of the upper wing may be the only place left for it!
The weather has been somewhat cold lately which is a bit off-putting for doing any work in the hangar. I guess it's a time of hibernation for lots of creatures and the older you get the more inclined you are to follow suit. I cam across an article the other day referring to an elderly man of 72 -I'm two years older than that and don't feel elderly at all.  I wonder what criteria these people use to deem a person "elderly": it can't surely just be age, can it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I have wings!

Managed my first flight in 3 years this morning -in a Dynamic.  Just as well I had the CFI with me as it's a lot more complicated than the Tecnam since it has a constant speed prop which needs to be handled. I always thought that the words meant that the engine did all the controlling of the prop pitch but, no, it's the pilot that has to deal with it.  Met up with a Nanchang pilot at lunch who explained it to me in terms of a car and having to change gear which made things plainer -apart from the fat that there are infinite combinations of engine and pitch! But at least I get the idea now.  It's a slippery little beasty with almost too much power for its own good.  Rather glad that I didn't have to start off with from the very beginning!
So today was an introductory flight with the CFI congratulating me on my performance after a 3 year gap. I didn't have enough time to watch his face or body language as I was dong the circuits, which was probably just as well. So next week we'll hopefully start in earnest so that I can get my Microlight Licence back -and then start to think about tail-dragging....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nieuport Accessories

While we wait for Rex to return from OZ to finish the rigging I thought I'd tackle a couple of accessories: a mount for the Lewis Gun that I made some time ago and a 'truck' for the rear end to make it easier to manoeuvre in and out of the hangar.

 I'll be trying to copy the French Moreau mount -with some help from Ryan Southam in the welding department:

As for the rail wheel truck, I'll be seeing John Evans on that one as he made one for Graham's N11.  But I do have some of the parts which is a good start I guess.....

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The ladies on public view

Well, we managed to get everything sort of attached and looking pretty good for the Classic Fighters Airshow here at Omaka.  The ladies went to support Paul Chernikeeff on his ROTEC stand and received a great deal of attention.  No surprises there! Chris Boyce produced a great explanation of history behind our Nieuport 16 and its colour scheme.


Where to from here, though? As it's nicely assembled we'd like to get it weighed to make sure it comes under the microlight category. Then we need to do a bit of surgery - the very nice under panel aft of the firewall no longer fits now that we have installed an air filter! Words were said. After that it's a case of getting the correct hardware for attaching the panels to the under surfaces, having a test run of the engine, get a proper inspection performed and then face the paperwork. We still aim to have it flying this year but who can tell?  You will of course be kept informed.......   

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Not only fly, but fire!

As you can see, the aircraft is coming together nicely and is starting to look like a war machine!

The next stage is to replace some temporary fittings with the permanent ones, plus a bit of a modification for the front lower panel to accommodate the air filter (which wasn't there when we first got it).

Then we will get it inspected and certified -but not until after the Classic Fighters Airshow this Easter.

The final embellishment will be a mounting for the Lewis gun replica on the top wing.  After that we will let it fly around for a year or so before we start to think of a change of colour scheme -or even configuration.  The ladies need to show themselves off!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Have wings, will fly further!

 A couple of happy chappies having successfully mounted both sets of wings and with the engine cowling temporarily in place.

A couple more wires to mount and a lot more nuts and bolts to put in place and she'll be looking good for the coming Classic Fighters Airshow.

Plus a few extras to try to make it look even better than she is at the moment. It is almost a shame to take her out into the bright Marlborough air, she looks so pristine! (I did give her a bath the other day....)

It's been a long haul since I forget when but it is so good to see her almost ready for her first flight.  There is of course the inspection to take place plus some (or should that be 'a lot of') paperwork and the payment of certain monies to certain regulatory bodies before that can be accomplished.  But, hey, she should be in the air this year!