Thoughts of Oshkosh 2006 and other things. PAGE 219.

July 9, 2006:  I haven't done any flying since my return from the Denver trip.  I have been thinking about the possibility of some time off to take a day or two to attend AirVenture 2006 at Oshkosh.  Last year with plenty of time on my hands (un-employed), a new airplane fresh from the paint shop, and enough money in the bank - - the trip to OSH was a certainty.  For now, the issues still need to be resolved.  Being a "baby boomer" that grew up in the 60's listening to the Beach Boys, I really want to get there this year for their Monday night concert at AeroShell Square.

OK, let's talk about a recent email I received regarding the video system in my RV-9A.  The remote video camera mounted on the dash board is found at this WEB SITE.  The CCD video sensor is made by Sony, and the camera itself is made in Korea by KT&C.  I bought it from a dealer in Michigan I found on eBay, Quality Video Components.  The exact model number I purchased was exHD353chl.  It has a manual zoom lens as I have said and shown on previous pages of this web site.  That remote camera also has on-chip video processing that provides electronic image manipulation to produce limited electronic tilt-pan-zoom functions.  I move the camera on the mount for my external video applications -- looking down at the passing landscape or viewing ahead through the propeller for take-off and landing videos.

The digital video camcorder I use is the JVC model GR-D72U.  I  bought it June 10th, 2005 to document the airplane flights and to use on my various trips in it.  I bought it at Wal-Mart on sale, since the model was being discontinued.  It uses the 1-hour mini-digital-video cassettes.   One of the options on the camcorder is the ability to switch the video & audio outputs to become INPUTS.  That is the mode I use when I am making in-flight videos now that I have the external video camera mounted on the dash of the airplane.  The audio I put into the camera comes from the stereo head phone jacks from my Garmin GMA-340 audio panel.  What I hear in my headphones goes on the audio sound track of the tapes I make.  Anything I say on the intercom and any radio traffic is recorded on the tape.

Since that particular JVC model is no longer available, choose one that allows for external video and audio inputs via BASEBAND composite video input.  The video audio cable has RCA phono plugs on it to mate with VCR's and with the video output connector from the Sony dash-mounted remote video camera.  I put suitable RCA phono adapters on the audio cable from my intercom.  My camera also has an S-Video connection which I do not use in the airplane.  There is a USB port on the camcorder to access a plug-in optional memory card.  I can view the video from the camera in playback mode at home and use the slow-motion feature to select individual video frames, then take a JPEG "snap shot" to the memory card.  Those snap shots are what you have been seeing posted on this web site.

As for my other activities with Wendell and his RV-8 project, I have three new photos and some text on his PAGE 21.

July 12, 2006:  Wendell has offered to share expenses for a ride to Oshkosh in my RV-9A.  It is looking as if I can make the trip after all.  Since there will be more weight in the airplane, I will be leaving the computer at home this time.  Any photo updates to the web site will be after I return home again.  Now all I have to do is arrange for two days off from my day job.

My son Edward has provided me with some photos from his recent visit in Georgia with my other son Jason.  They each brought their young families to visit grandmother near Atlanta.  I have posted the photos on a new page in my family section of this web site.  My second son Jason had to cut short their visit to get back to Pennsylvania.  They have a new house nearing completion and the first walk-through with the contractor was the reason for their abbreviated trip back home to Georgia.  I hope to get a chance to visit Jason, Christine, Katie, and Megan in the new house sometime in the coming months.

And of course, I have updated Wendell's pages with new photos and text about the latest steps in building his RV-8.  I have also talked with Wendell about putting a compass rose on his field, even if it is only temporary with stakes and strings, tape on the concrete, etc.  I asked if the concrete ramp has any metal grid wire or steel rebars inside it and Wendell assures me there are none installed.   I will be walking the runway and the ramp area to see if there is any variation in the magnetic field in the area before I attempt the layout of any cardinal compass bearings on the ground or the ramp area.

July 16, 2006:  My usual Sunday update is about the plans for Oshkosh and an update to Wendell's pages of this web site for his RV-8 project.  My airplane sits in the hangar with the battery on the trickle charger to insure it is ready for the trip to Oshkosh that should be just seven days from now.  I keep watching the 10-day advance weather forecasts for Chattanooga, Bloomington, Indiana, and Oshkosh.  I am in the same mode of pre-planning I used before my recent flying trip to Denver last month.

I will be using my GPS 296 for navigation on the trip to Oshkosh.  Wendell will be bringing along a new Garmin GPS 396 to play with it along the route.  He will have it plugged into my 12-volt accessory outlet to learn all about its enroute functions during the flight.

July 17, 2006:  The price of AVGAS went up at Bloomington (KBMG) this week, leaving last year's fuel stop at Putnam County - Greencastle, Indiana (4I7) as the low-price leader for this year's flight to Oshkosh.   I called the FBO and verified the on-field restaurant hours are 10 AM to 2 PM for our trip north on Sunday, July 23rd.  With that in mind, Wendell and I agreed that a departure around 9 AM will meet a number of our trip requirements.  Leaving early in the day will avoid some afternoon heat and localized weather that could be a problem late in the day.  It also puts us at the fuel stop during the restaurant lunch hours in Indiana.  The only bad part of that choice is that we could be arriving at OSH during a time when there is a lot of arriving traffic on the RIPON/FISK VFR arrival path.

I got to thinking about the name "Enterprise" that I gave my airplane, and the paint scheme, and realized something for the very first time.  I was in college in 1966 when the original Star Trek television series premiered on the NBC TV network.  The paint scheme that I adapted to fit my RV-9A is from a 1966 Piper Comanche 260B.  Yesterday was the first time that I realized both those things came from the year 1966!  The summer of 1966 was when I worked as a D.J. for a top-40 radio station, which may have something to with why my airplane has a stereo sound system, too. 

Now if I could just find that special DeLorean with the flux capacitor in it!   I wonder if the Mr. Fusion reactor and the time machine could be fitted into my RV-9A fuselage?  The 88 MPH is not an issue by any stretch of the imagination.   I guess the only time machine properties of having a personal airplane is the 1-hour of flying that would equal 3.5 hours in the car if I had to drive to see a client in South Carolina.

July 19, 2006:  Wendell and I worked around my airplane in the hangar tonight to weigh and pack the camping gear for the Oshkosh trip that will begin Sunday morning around 9 AM to beat the heat.   That departure time will also put us at our fuel stop when the on-field restaurant opens for brunch.  The weather looks like it is going to clear up for Sunday with a chance of scattered showers up by Oshkosh late in the day.

As I publish this update, I just completed the weight and balance numbers and we fit into my limits with 10 pounds to spare at max gross weight, and 5% from the aft CG limit IF we get to minimum fuel, but I won't be letting that happen.  There are 30 gallons of fuel in my tanks right now and that is how we will depart.  We should use about 13 gallons going to the fuel stop in Indiana.  The take off weight should be around 1,960 pounds with the CG at 86% of the distance to the aft limit.  With minimum fuel, the numbers go to 1,806 pounds and 95% of AFT CG range.  When we depart our fuel stop in Indiana, the gross weight with full fuel will be 1,990 pounds and the CG will be at 84% of limit.  This kind of cross-country camping trip is why I certified the airplane weight and balance to 2,000 pounds gross weight when the plane got its airworthiness certification on June 8, 2005.

After all the stuff was packed in the airplane, Wendell and I went into the shop to resume work on his instrument panel layout.  You can see the photo from the short session tonight on his PAGE 22.

July 22, 2006: It is Saturday night and I am getting ready for bed.  The alarm is set for a bit earlier than normal to insure the possibility of an early launch toward Oshkosh on Sunday morning.   I have some extra blank digital video tapes, batteries for the Sony VHF/UHF scanner, my digital snapshot camera, my fluorescent lantern, and the flash light, to insure my camping experience will be a good one.  I hope to get a really good video of the Ripon/Fisk VFR arrival and landing at Oshkosh tomorrow.  The weather is looking very good except for some mild head winds.

Wendell is keyed up and ready to head out on this year's trip to OSH.  He went via motor home last year.  He has flown his Cessna 182 twice in earlier years.   It should be a good day to share the cross-country trip with a friend.  I gave him some tips on using the GPS 396 again today.  I get the feeling that I will be teaching him about using the thing in flight tomorrow all the way up there.  Since the 296 is very similar (except for the weather features), I will probably have him doing some of the things I do enroute to get local altimeter settings, find ATC and FSS frequencies, etc.

For now, I am signing off with no further publication to this web site until my return home.  There is no room, or remaining reserve weight in my airplane to bring along my computer and its accessories, so it will stay here on my desk in the OFF position for several days.  For those of you who are going to OSH this year, I will be heading back home on Wednesday morning, July 26th.  If you want to find me there for a face-to-face meeting before my return from Oshkosh, please call my personal cell phone at 706-270-3437.  I will be parked in the home-built camping area.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006

July 23, 2006:  The weather on Sunday was great for the flight to Oshkosh!  There was a front that was directly over the Chattanooga area when we departed.  The CLEAR skies were all to the north, the direction Wendell and I traveled.  What can I say about a maximum gross weight take off?  I was glad it was not over 80 degrees F when we departed from Folks Field at 8:54 AM.  With Wendell in the right seat and all our camping gear, the airplane flew like a Cessna on the takeoff and climb out of the valley.  Once we were at cruising altitude, the speed was normal at 160 MPH true air speed.  The autopilot held the course to our fuel stop at Greencastle, Indiana.  The photo below shows why I put the horizon lines on the back of the video camera.  They make it easy for me to insure the video camera is set correctly with the land/sky boundary.
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Other than the haze on the horizon, we flew along in CAVU conditions on our northerly course across Tennessee and Kentucky.
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I did not tell Wendell I would be taking this picture.  It came out fairly good since all I could do was hold the camera up on the dashboard and point it in the direction I thought was correct.  The Garmin GPS 396 has his undivided attention as he discovers the operation of the unit.
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We had tried 8,500 MSL as a cruising altitude earlier while looking for the least headwind component.  Comparing our true airspeed of 160 MPH on the Dynon D10-A with the GPS ground speed indicates the 10 MPH headwind we suffered on the way to Oshkosh.   This photo was taken less than an hour after our take off from home.  The only place where we did not have a headwind was when we landed and took off from our fuel stop in Indiana.  The runway there was 18-36, and the wind was out of the WEST to give a perfect cross wind as we departed on 18 before turning northbound.
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The Indiana fuel stop at Putnam County Airport (4I7) is the same one I used last year on the way to Oshkosh.  I took this photo after the plane was fueled and we had finished lunch in the airport restaurant.  Since this was Sunday, the BRUNCH hours are from 10AM until 2PM.  There was one table with breakfast items and another serving table with lunch items.  The fried chicken was very tasty!  During the week, the restaurant hours are longer with service offered from the menu.
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I had a chance to use the video camera and got good results making a tape of our arrival at Oshkosh.  I began the video near Ripon and it ends at approximately 3 PM when the airplane is parked at our camp site shown below.  I will have snapshots from the video to post here in the coming days.  The flight time to Oshkosh was 5.0 hours.  We had about a 1-hour stop for fuel and lunch in Indiana.  That made it just a bit over 6 hours of elapsed time from home.

Here is the only photo taken after our arrival at KOSH on Sunday afternoon.   My tent from last year is set up on the north side of the airplane, while Wendell put up his larger tent on the other side.  Our location was in the fifth spot from the end of row 310 near the showers at the south side of the home-built camping area.   When I turned on my personal cell phone, there was message from Maurice Garner wanting to meet up with me.  He is the pilot who let me fly the Beech model 77 "Skipper" before my RV-9A was completed and ready to fly.  He dropped by while we were still putting up the tents.  As soon as the work was done setting up the tents, Wendell began looking at other RV-8's and taking photos of them.  He was looking inside at the panel layouts, switch placements, etc.  We got some good ideas about where things should be placed as far as switches are concerned.  The panel layout we have chosen is settled.  The only new things to be added might be an altitude hold button and indicator light.  He was also considering all the paint schemes trying to come up with one he likes for his RV-8.
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The weather was nice later that night - - NO RAIN! 

July 24, 2006:  Monday morning came with fair weather during the day.  I took a good look around me and discovered a Subaru-powered RV-9A from Kansas that I last saw at LOE5.  It is parked behind my tail in this photo in the next row.  The other notable RV aircraft that I last saw at LOE5 was also parked behind me, but not seen in this photo.  That one was built and flown by Doug Reeves, also known for his web site www.vansairforce.net and the RV builders and pilots forums that he hosts there as well.  Look beyond the RV-8A at the left side of the photo and you will see the shower house used by the campers in this area.
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Wendell pitched his tent with the entry flaps facing the morning sun.  The two-tone blue RV seen above my propeller in the row behind belongs to Bob Butler from Decatur, Alabama. 
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We spent much of the day looking at airplanes and touring the vendor exhibits in the four main hangars at show center.  Wendell was looking for a good price on the Dynon D10-A.  Pacific Coast Avionics said they would beat any AirVenture show special offer.  By the end of the day, we had a good written offer from a major supplier that was about $50 less than the original offer by Pacific Coast Avionics.  We would take it to the Pacific Coast Avionics booth the next day.

The Monday afternoon air show was curtailed due to the approaching rain showers.  As a result, the Beach Boys concert at AeroShell Square started early.    The rain was approaching as I left the show early with Wendell to meet up with some friends for dinner away from the airport.  The next pages are about some of what we saw and did at this year's event during our short three-day stay.

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