"ENTERPRISE" Local News - Page 165.

August 25, 2005:  Wendell received his RV-8 empennage kit from Van's Aircraft yesterday.  I gave him a quick overview of fluting the ribs to straighten them before a simple assembly using clecoes.  I also found out he needed some additional help reading the blue prints after he cut too much off of one of the doublers for the front spar of the horizontal stabilizer.  He ordered a replacement part from Van's today and it is in the US Mail headed this way already.   I made sure he did not drill any holes in the rear spars and doublers until I could work with him today.  He is learning about match-drilling parts and labels to be sure he puts the pieces back together the same way when it is time to rivet them.  I get the feeling that we will be heading over to get wash primer from Sherwin Williams tomorrow.  I will be bringing some of my aviation tool catalogs over to his place tomorrow along with some of my chemicals.  Wendell was very excited today about getting a ride in my airplane after I buzzed the field at 192 MPH!  He insists that it be on a good day with excellent visibility.
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After I got Wendell started today on drilling and using the Scotchbrite wheel on flat surfaces and edges, I took off for Collegedale Airport to get an "accurate" weight and balance measurement on my airplane.  There was an overcast layer and haze to restrict visibility of the ground to about 5 miles down low at 2,000 feet MSL.  I had about 14 gallons of fuel in the tanks when I got to the airport.  I pumped out as much as I could by hand.  I used the aircraft electric fuel pump to get the tanks dry.  I disconnected the fuel line and put it into the 15-gallon plastic drum you see in the photo below for that phase of removing the fuel.   I put the fuel line back together after this picture, then put the cowl back in place.
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Rich Nadig came back by the hangar in the afternoon to confirm my measurements and we selected the "best" of the three scales that matched his weight and mine.   We then moved that scale to each of the three positions and used ONLY the weights from that scale as entries into my weight and balance spreadsheet.  The total weight of the airplane stands at 1,184 pounds.  I ran all the numbers with 2,000 pounds as the maximum gross weight and I find no AFT CG limits past 93% of the allowable limit.   I used pilot and passenger weight combinations that are realistic for myself and my pilot friends up to 250 pounds each.  Using maximum and minimum fuel levels, I varied the baggage load keeping the gross weight of the airplane at or below 2,000 pounds.   Van's recommends a gross weight for the RV-9A of 1,750 pounds.  At 2,000 pounds, that puts me just 13% over his recommended gross weight.  Just to put things in perspective, Van personally approved Jon Johanson's RV-4 to take off and fly at 36% over the normal RV-4 gross weight of 1,500 pounds.  Jon flew it around the world three times from Australia in that configuration.
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When the day was over, the Hobbs meter read 75.4 hours.  I called David Edgemon tonight and we hope to get together this weekend to do some flying together.   If the weather holds up on Saturday, we could be meeting at Shelbyville, TN and going down to Pell City, Alabama together.  I will keep you posted as the weekend arrives.

August 26, 2005:  I went shopping with Wendell at a local hardware store to get some numbered drill bits.  They only had #30 drill bits in standard lengths and no 12-inch long bits in #30 or #40 sizes.  I also went with him to get a good parts bins cabinet for sorting rivets, screws, etc.  He should receive his replacement part from Van's early next week via the US Mail.  I dropped off an extra Cleaveland Aircraft parts catalog at his workshop to give him the information he needs for additional tools he will need.

August 28, 2005:   Sunday morning weather checks show poor visibility in the areas I wanted to go this morning.  It was bad yesterday also.  I called David at Moontown airport yesterday and he decided to just fly around the airport due to the low visibility.  The weather was a little bit better here, but I only wanted to go west and I did not go up at all.  It sounds like another day of no flying at all today.  David has domestic things he wants to do around the house in Huntsville. 

I used some of the time this morning online with a neat interactive web page that provides airport and weather observation information.  It is called Runway Finder - a flight planning tool for pilots.  It even provides current weather observations for some airports.  It can even be configured to show sectional chart data including private grass strip runway information.  Satellite and map overlay functions are available as well in a very tight zoom.  Not all areas have satellite coverage in the highest magnification.  I was able to find Wendell's home strip where I am based in a very good resolution satellite image available on the web site.

I also noticed the HIT COUNTER on my home page has really jumped up over 31,000.  I wonder if my web site is really that popular or if I have just been visited by a large number of search engine web bots.

August 28, 2005 UPDATE:  David called me around 9:45 AM to report the weather at Moontown Airport and the Huntsville area was not that bad.  I packed up and headed for my airplane at Wendell's home field.  By the time I got to the hangar and got the airplane out ready for engine start, it was 10:55 AM.  I spoke with David to confirm the weather was still good and launched westbound for Alabama.  This scattered to broken layer was waiting as I crossed into Alabama from Georgia.
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I called Moontown Unicom on 122.7 MHz about 20 miles East of the airport and got an immediate reply from David orbiting at 5,500 MSL above the field.  I was at 6,500 MSL.  We decided to go around the south side of the Huntsville Class C airspace and the restricted area at the Redstone Arsenal to Hartselle, Alabama (5M0) to get some low-cost fuel since I was getting low.  David landed about 10 minutes before I got there.  When my tanks were topped off with 26.4 gallons of 100LL, the price was higher than expected.  It seems that both of the low-price leaders in this area got new fuel shipments in the last two days, resulting in higher prices of course.   We took off for a trip around the West and North sides of the Huntsville area with a return to the Moontown airport.   We headed off to the local Wendy's for lunch.  David was ready to put his airplane away when I snapped this shot with Enterprise ready to tie down out in front of David's hangar.  Notice the pair of legs by my airplane checking out the panel configuration.
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When we returned from lunch, it was time to get David up in my airplane for a short flight in the local area.  He commented that this was his first ride in an RV-9A with a sliding canopy.  He said he felt "claustrophobic."  After the climbout to the East, I let David fly the airplane from the right seat and he immediately started turning the prop, trim, and mixture controls the wrong way until he got used to being in the RIGHT seat and using his LEFT hand on the controls.  We discussed climb power settings as he flew the airplane up to 10, 000 MSL.  He did a number of turns and even approached a ZERO G maneuver at one point.  When I took the plane up to 11,500 MSL and put in my typical power settings, he commented that I use lower power settings than he does and that is why I get very long range between fuel stops.   My normal climb power settings are "enroute climb" settings and result in a slower time-to-climb.  We also talked about pattern speeds and I agree that I need to add about 10 MPH to my downwind speed in the pattern.  I was lucky and greased the landing back at Moontown, then noticed just how long I could hold the nose wheel off the runway with two of us in the airplane.  It won't stay off the runway as long with just me in the airplane during roll-out after a landing.  That CG being a bit more AFT with two aboard makes the difference in elevator authority during the after landing roll.

At the end of the day back at Wendell's, we reviewed his paperwork to Van's for his finishing kit order.  He has decided to order the finishing kit to be delivered along with the quickbuild wings and fuselage.  That will be happening tomorrow.   I also got down on my creeper and cleaned the bottom side of my wings really well and found that the LEFT flap gets really dirty compared to the RIGHT flap.  The reason of course is the direction of prop rotation and the debris and bugs vacuumed from the grass strips I have been using lately.  The Hobbs meter now reads 78.1 hours after today's flights over to the Huntsville area.

August 31, 2005: I have started a series of pages on Wendell Folks and his RV-8 project.  Since I share hangar space with Wendell, I will be reporting on his project as he becomes an experienced builder in the weeks and months ahead.  I have placed a link to his pages on the OTHER RV MENU.  You can also go directly to his first page using THIS LINK.

In the weeks ahead I am planning to be at the Fall Classic RV fly-in at Lebanon, Tennessee airport (M54) on September 17, 2005.  The Collegedale Airport (3M3) is having OPEN HOUSE on October 2, 2005.   I will be flying Young Eagles in my RV-9A "Enterprise" for our local EAA Chapter 150 ("Rock City Wings") from the Collegedale Airport.  I hope to travel to the Dona Ana Airport (5T6) near El Paso for the Land of Enchantment Fifth Annual RV fly-in (LOE5).  I will also be at the Chattanooga Air Show on October 29-30, 2005 (KCHA) with my RV-9A on static display and answering questions to the public about home building my RV-9A.  An interesting note about KCHA:  the airport is less than three miles from my home, but seven miles away by road.

September 1, 2005:  I went over to Wendell's yesterday to find that he had assembled the vertical stabilizer with clecoes and it was ready to match-drill the skin to the ribs and spars.  The weather was so nice, he wanted to go flying in my RV-9A.   We took off just after 3 PM for Dalton to see if the airport manager Harvey Holman was on duty.  Harvey had seen my airplane before it was painted and I wanted him to get a chance to see it now.  He was off the premises, but Wendell enjoyed a visit with his wife who was working the front desk.  Wendell learned to fly at Dalton and has known Harvey and his wife for many years. 

After the short visit, we took off for the practice area between Dalton, Georgia and Cleveland, Tennessee.  Wendell got the feel of the airplane during climbs and turns and discovered the difference in the "sight picture" over the cowl in level flight and how different it is from his Cessna 182 and his Aeronca Champ.   After two level runs at full throttle at 7,500 and 8,500 feet MSL, we slowed down for a few stalls, then headed for Collegedale to top off my fuel tanks (17 gallons).   When we were on the ground we had a short visit with Rich Nadig to see how his projects were going.  Wendell invited Rich to stop by to see his RV-8 empennage kit status.  After that it was back home to Folks Field and the hangar.  The Hobbs meter now has 79.5 hours on it.

September 2, 2005:  Today is my oldest son's 35th birthday.  Tomorrow I will fly Enterprise to Georgetown, Texas (KGTU) to spend the weekend with him and his family.  I will post pictures and text when I get a chance from his home in Round Rock, Texas.

Today was a day to help Wendell learn a few new skills about dimpling.  I have posted a new picture on his project.  I also cleaned up my airplane and made room for my baggage for the Texas trip.  I hope to be airborne by 9 AM Eastern time tomorrow morning, with a fuel stop in Carthage, TX.  I called the airport today and confirmed they have plenty of fuel on hand for the holiday weekend and the price is better there than here.  In fact, the price of 100LL Avgas is better than the price of 87 auto fuel at the local gas stations around Chattanooga.   Not only can I save money by going in my airplane, but I can get there in about five hours instead of 16 in the car!

And a note about the home page tonight after I published it -- the hit counter was acting strangely.  I tinkered with it and seem to have it settled down now.   It was showing over 80,000 hits before I pulled it off and reinstalled it.  IT jumps ahead by a lot more than ONE digit with each home page hit.

Heading for TEXAS on Labor Day Weekend 2005!

September 3, 2005:  Here is the update on my travels to Texas.  I got airborne around 10 AM Eastern Time and flew about 120 miles from home to Hartselle, Alabama to pick up a MEMPHIS sectional chart.  Tac-Air South at Chattanooga did not have any Memphis charts when I picked up others last night that I would use on this trip today.  I called the airport before I took off from home to be sure he had a chart on hand.  I bought his last one.
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I headed out of Hartselle on a direct course for the Shreveport area.  I climbed to 12,500 feet MSL and passed through some of the MOA's around the Columbus, Mississippi Air Force Base since they are quiet on the weekends.  I had my ham and turkey sandwich for lunch and my Almond M&M's for dessert as I cruised along past places like this one: Belzoni, Mississippi on the banks of the Yazoo River.  I had seen the name of the Tallahatchie River pop up on the GPS as I was approaching this area.   I checked it out and found that the Tallahatchie River joins the Yazoo River near Greenwood, Mississippi upstream from this photo (behind me).  This photo is looking southwest with US highway 49W in the center of the photo and Belzoni Municipal airport (1M2) just to the right of the highway in the middle of that "golden" field south of town.  I took this photo from 12,500 feet from a distance of about 7.5 miles from the airport. 
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Here is a map to put the picture above in perspective.
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Going to Texas on PAGE 166! CLICK HERE for MAIN MENU.