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Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 02, 2016 @ 07:38 PM | 1,481 Views
The new AMA catazine is here, and as usual, I rush to absorb the newest bits of information handed down by the fine gentlemen who take our money, and offer advice.

Page six.
Column one.
Paragraph two.
Last two sentences.
"Although we have been successful in many ways, it is up to individual members to make their thoughts known."
"Ignoring AMA's request for participation could be detrimental to the hobby."

Uhhhh , Bob ? What percentage of the Million dollars will be proffered to the membership to present their views to their Delegates, Representatives, House Members, Senators, and Congressmen ?

We do not accept your subtle shift of 'blame' for your short comings to our shoulders...Tens of thousands have contacted those fine people via emails, texts, snail mail, and phone calls to no avail.

For the last several years, the AMA has offered a 'rosy' picture of the changes indicated by the FAA, saying in effect, "That won't be a bother to a membership base as large as ours ".

Over 416,000 folks have registered with the FAA as UAS flyers....The Ama has no publishable figures for membership in this years' tally...but suppose you retained the 185,000 members indicated in various public announcements.......That would leave a larger percentage that have no desire to pay for membership in a Community Based Organisation, when they can fly without the 'imaginary' insurance touted by the AMA and never actually put into service.

Your 'time' has come and gone.....we Seniors utilized your services when they were pertinent...That has now changed...The FAA is uninterested in whether we protect our 'hulls' or the surrounding communities from the dangers falling from the sky..The AMA's 'insurance' sales pitch has become a laughingstock, if you aren't aware...

Actually, the FAA is the lesser of two 'evils', if I may......they don't force us to buy a magazine, or 'invisible' insurance.
Posted by epoxyearl | Apr 01, 2016 @ 05:13 AM | 2,618 Views
Yesterdays' revelation that Members of a Community Based Organisation may continue to operate as before the FAA registration was a bit of good news.

Although the 'new' guidelines are basically the same as the well- established ones,(absent the hefty fines for scoff-laws), there was certainly some consternation with their implementation.

Need I say that AMA will pat their back sore, trying to recruit new members with this piece of information ? The FAA says if you are NOT a member of a CBO, you must use the guidelines they have put forth.
Your choices are..........$75 yearly, for AMA membership, or $5 for 3 years of the FAA participation.
You do not get a 'Catazine' with FAA membership, so I'm sure they will lose members over that shortcoming. Oh, wait, no, you 'must' register with the FAA....

Listen-I registered with BOTH of them...but I don't have to like it.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 29, 2016 @ 05:31 AM | 2,615 Views
Well , guys are still flying. The Sky is still blue, and it's still 'up there'. -Not as high as it used to be, but it's still there.

Interestingly, there has been a marked decrease in 'drone incidents' since the FAA 's Registration began. I don't know if that's from there being less of them, or guys obeying the guidelines, or maybe no one's reporting them.

The guys that screamed the loudest that they would never register on penalty of death, have either left the hobby, stopped complaining, or as I believe, silently registered, and will continue to fly as usual.

My favorite Organization, the AMA ,has fallen silent as they realize there is little they can do in trying to 'control' the FAA. They tried, but if Congress can't write a Law that stops the FAA, it's useless to think the AMA can have much effect on them.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 10, 2016 @ 05:54 PM | 3,594 Views
I'm an old man, soon to be 75...I have my opinions, and my own thoughts on how things should or shouldn't be. If you're gonna read this, just listen to my ramblings, and keep in mind that you're free to draw your own conclusions the same as I am.

I don't like drones, or helicopters, or model airplanes that go 250 miles an hour. I don't like people who fly too close to other people, airplanes or buildings.
I( do like guys who fly with respect, that build their own models, and respect the opinions of others...
Several years ago, when the 'Quads' made their presence known, I was impressed with their versatility, and the fact that they had cameras on 'em, unencumbered by the propellor strobes always visible in videos made in my models.

Then, slowly, insidiously, the minds that think outside the norm thought, "Hey ! wouldn't it be neat if we"-(add your own craziness here). Well they started flying around Airports to get close ups of Full Scale Aircraft, they flew into Fireworks displays, and into backyards where girls were sunbathing nude.I've seen videos of them being flown down City Streets, and through the doors of College dorms, and up and down the halls.

About that time, the AMA, whose membership has been in a steady decline, (one guy has a number in the millions, when the actual count is 185,000 if you believe that sort of thing)saw a chance to pad their pockets with money generated by this influx of new fliers.
Contrary to the suggestions of...Continue Reading
Posted by epoxyearl | Aug 23, 2015 @ 04:21 AM | 4,248 Views
I'm an old man. 74. I don't "act my age"..I'm one of the very lucky ones that has my health and an 'inner self' of about age 30.

We have a local Airshow in Toughkenamon, Pa.,Named New Garden.
Started many years ago by the DuPonts, it is a typical Airfield without a tower, a 'see and be seen' affair..
When the DuPonts aged, the field was transferred to the local Township in Avondale. Usually, fences go up, access is limited, and I.D. must be shown, to access the facilities. Not so here..You can drive in there ,say Tuesday afternoon, and people will wave Hi to you .
Unusual, to say the least.
We used to visit here when I were a kid....Mom would pack a picnic basket, Dad would load us up in the old Buick, and we'd spend a Sunday afternoon parked on the hill by the Beacon tower.

Yesterday, there was a family amongst several thousand people, parked in the general area. Mom , Dad,two sons and two daughters. Having a picnic on the hill. When I walked by, one son was asleep (Mustang engine music soothed his soul)..The Mom and the other three kids were chowing down, while Dad was lost in the performance of said Mustang.

We go to watch Airplanes, but we get to see the important things as well.
Posted by epoxyearl | Apr 01, 2015 @ 01:53 AM | 8,937 Views
I had a short dissertation on strip planking, and shaping blocks ,last blog...This time it's building a balsa cowl the old fashioned way.

When I first started, I was intent on making a mold for a fiberglass cowl for the Snow White.-but friends ? suggested I build the actual cowl from Balsa, the way they did it 'back then'.

It's been a wonderful journey, with frustration and rewards, just as it should be.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 25, 2015 @ 10:34 AM | 6,904 Views
It seems that all my life, I've seen those beautifully rounded , strip planked fuselages by someone, and thought how wonderful it must be to be able to do that.

The nearest I ever came, was to use 3" wide sheets on the large Connie of many years ago.
This year, I bit the bullet, and started a "Snow White" the 1937 model without a single straight line on it. I enlarged the plans from 96" to 120", and began cutting formers and ordering balsa trees. In this case, I bought many sheets of light 3/16" balsa, 4" X 48"... I have the Master Airscrew Balsa stripper, and I sliced several sheets into 3/8" wide strips.
It is not as difficult as you might imagine.Glue one on arrow straight at the top, bottom, and at 3 and 9 o'clock, in reference to the fuselage. Use full width strips, and do one on each side.I use Titebond 11 for edge gluing, and Medium C/A to glue it to the formers. A very light pass on one edge will be enough angle for a strip to meet it's new partner. Only two strips will require fancy fitting, on each side. I didn't taper a full length strip, rather just the ends of several where they meet at front and rear.

Harder than planking, is gluing blocks in place, and shaping them as a smooth flowing fairing, in all directions.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 04, 2015 @ 02:30 PM | 7,867 Views
Last year, about this time, my computer went south, and it took about a week to get it repaired and back in my hands.

Saturday, I sold a landing gear to a Corpus Christi native, and told him I'd ship it Monday.....Well, the computer took another dive Sunday, and when I got back from the Post Office, the darned thing wouldn't light up. I desperately tried everything I knew to fix it, and finally hauled it to my computer nerd. He said he'd call with an estimate, and I said if it's less than a bill and a half, proceed with the repair.

In the meantime, I'm sweating bullets, worrying about getting a tracking number to the buyer. I traipsed off to my Daughter's house to use her computer to email the number.After getting back home, I realized I had sent the WRONG number !....by now, my neighbor was home from work, so she obligingly sent Dean the CORRECT one.

Today with my still sick computer in my possession, I sent my apologies and the true tracking, just for safety's sake.. Well Dean's okay with it, and I've learned to record everything by hand, just in case.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 21, 2015 @ 05:06 AM | 6,432 Views
I was just thinking that as I get older (73), I'm finishing some of the dream projects I've had for many years.
That Sterling Chris Craft Corvette, that I'd wanted to build for 50 years, and finally got running...Not done yet, but nearly done.
Now, I'm building a "Snow White" which is a nightmare to build, but I consider myself capable at this point in time..I had wanted to build one for the same length of time as the boat, but never got around to it.
And the Full Scale Rascal, which is labor intensive, but you reach a point where it settles into a slow moving effort, and once in a while you look at it and think it MAY get done one day.

I'm all for 'bucket lists', but I wonder what it'll feel like, having an empty bucket ?
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 09, 2015 @ 07:08 PM | 6,502 Views
I visit the Trader Talk column fairly often, to learn from the mistakes others make, and try to avoid them.

I have a lot of experience with buying and selling here, and I've learned that not everything moves quickly.

I just sold a $100 item here, and I didn't know the guy, and he doesn't use Paypal...

I walked out on a limb, and said " you send me a picture of a USPS money order with my name and address on it, and I'll ship the item.." He did, and I did, and the item arrived on time....but not the money order.On the day the money order should have arrived at MY house, it arrived back at his, marked "insufficient postage"(no stamp).
Well, that was not so encouraging, but he added two stamps, and mailed her out again, and PM'd me an apology with the explanation.
A week goes by, and I'm getting nervous, and He's getting worried, because there isn't any indication of where the money is.
Wednesday, he asks "There yet?"" no"...I said," let's give it a couple of more days."
Today, (Friday) there it was, acting all unconcerned about the fuss it caused.

We just proved to each other that we can be trusted, but sometimes an outside force can make you think we aren't trustworthy.

We stayed cool, and didn't rag on each other in a forum where 12 hours aren't enough for some guys.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 30, 2014 @ 06:06 PM | 6,867 Views
There's been a lot said in the Trader thread, about the scammers and cheaters coming out during the holidays.

But I had an intriguing PM the other day...I had an engine for sale, with a Pitts muffler, and this guy wanted to buy just the muffler. Since it wasn't mine, but an Estate engine, I had to ask the widow what to do.
She thought that one muffler is as good as another, and suggested if the man had a muffler to trade, to just swap them out.
He did, and we did..
Here are three people who haven't met each other, making a satisfactory deal for all concerned. He paid shipping for his, I paid shipping for hers,and the mufflers were exchanged. Now it looks like it cost her money to complete the deal, but we agreed we'd make it back on other items...(She's a little "Christmasy" right now)....At 92 years old, she knows where it's at......
No matter- there's some 'good' left in the world, and I'm happy to be part of it.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 30, 2014 @ 04:23 AM | 6,063 Views
The 'building season' has arrived in Maryland...Time to get back onto the Lil' Rascal, and the Monocoupe, and the Fairchild, and the Decathlon, Holy Crap- I have a lot of projects !

-No matter....I'm retired,73, and afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder....everything's interesting for a short time.-oh look ! a ROCK !

But I keep building......Models I started building years ago, eventually get finished, and flown. I'm happy that new projects attract my attention, and grateful that I'm aware of my surroundings.

I try to build one thing at a time, but another 'rock' always seems to appear.
Posted by epoxyearl | Oct 20, 2014 @ 05:02 AM | 7,183 Views
At the Old Farts' Breakfast, we were lamenting the passing of yet another member.

Going through his estate, we were all struck at the amount of airplanes, engines, and equipment he had accumulated, most not flyable, ALL too good to destroy...

Someone questioned why he had so many unflyable airplanes, and continued to get more new ones, instead of repairing those...
I believe each model has a specific memory to us, good or bad, and we don't want to let go of them.
I have half a dozen models in various states of construction, and I know that at my point in life, they probably won't get finished.-still I have a gleam in my eye for the next ! creation..
It's all good.
Posted by epoxyearl | Sep 01, 2014 @ 04:48 AM | 7,223 Views
Labor Day 2014..I've been selling off some stuff for an old friend, and I just got a note from a buyer...
There had been a box of old engines that I sold for 'parts', and he had repaired most of them, distributing them amongst those who could make the best use of them.
That was heart-warming...Bob's collection of junk is circulating the flyer's neighborhood,doing some good.
I'm going through MY stuff now, to see if I have anything I can live without, that may help someone else. I am a classic hoarder, but I also like to see things used for their original purpose.

As some of you know, I build Hot Rod engines...One of my customers stopped by yesterday, with a magazine. His car,(and my engine) are featured in it...Since the early fifties, I've read all the magazines, never thinking that one day, I'd be in one.-kinda cool..

As fall closes in, I'll get back to the 'Not a lil' Rascal' project, which I'm looking forward to.
Posted by epoxyearl | Aug 10, 2014 @ 04:17 AM | 8,095 Views
Back in 1958, I went into Dorsman's Hobby Shop in Newark Delaware..Mr. Dorsman was putting a Sterling Boat kit on display, and I WANTED it.

But a 17 year old didn't have that kind of money, so all I could do was dream...I bought a several-times owned kit in 2000, but was inundated with offers to buy it, and let it go.

Last Sunday, Henry Bohe offered a partially built one for sale, and with clenched jaw, I determined it would be mine to build. Now, he let it go for a minor amount, because he knew I was ready to finish one .

What had been finished was well done, but the plywood parts can seldom duplicate solid mahogany...I had some old boat boards I had scavenged, so I cut and stripped them into replacement parts.

She's coming along, and is a welcome change from the model airplanes.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 07, 2014 @ 08:53 AM | 8,674 Views
I read with interest, an article in Sport Aviation, about a support bearing for the V-dub prop hub.
With a life expectancy of 3800 hours, at 3600 rpms,I got all excited...But it ain't a THRUST bearing, just a support for a 3" extension, to clear the forward exhausts.

Pooh ! I'm looking into adding a second snap ring, and making a new hub, to facilitate the thrust , also.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 23, 2014 @ 09:14 AM | 9,610 Views
I've been researching V-dub engines to use in an Ultralight Aircraft.
A lot of guys are cutting them in half, and adding larger cylinders, to get around 37 hp, at 87 pounds. Since the four banger gets 36 hp out of 1200 cc's, the twin is a great improvement....same hp, about 50 lbs lighter.

According to what mine weighs,I may use a 53 hp engine, since weight won't be such a consideration, if I'm overweight, anyway.

We'll see.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 29, 2014 @ 09:17 AM | 9,095 Views
Well, we done moved the discussion to the "Builder's Workshop" to better be a part of the system RCG provides.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 25, 2014 @ 07:33 AM | 9,276 Views
The wing rib fixture is reaching it's final stages..Using the Fisher layout, it's a simple matter to assemble the ribs.
The problem with the Rascal wing, is that it only has 10 ribs that are similar.Then each rib is different,since they taper, due to the elliptical wing shape.

We 'fattened' Piper Cub J-3 airfoil, (can';t go wrong with that) and increased the undercamber a bit. The USA-35-B shape already has undercamber, and we want to insure a 26 mph stall speed.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:48 AM | 9,501 Views
In 1986, I built a Fisher "Koala' ultralite.WE used all aircraft spruce, and a 1/2 Volkswagen engine.

All this time later, the Rascal now 'haunts' me as a design worth building.
-So we're off and running.Many hours on line, and at RCG has given me the information I needed to build one from scratch..

We had the plans enlarged 350% and built a work table 6' wide x 18" long of 3/4" plywood. Level, square and plumb.(and straight)

It'll be a couple of years in the making, so check in once in a while, if you like..Add your comments too.