Thursday, February 7, 2019

Rumours of my quitting are greatly exaggerated....

It's been a long few years, no need to post once in a while pics of slow progress, so here's some catching up.

We've been working on beautiful, crisp fall days

and sometimes late into the night.

And winter days. I miss the rustic feel of my old hangar, but it's REALLY nice to have a weather tight hangar and HEAT!!!!

The focus has been on getting OspRey ready for paint, going over every seam and layup, looking for blobs of Polybrush or fabric peeling up.

Dan Older of Old Aire Seaplanes on Lake Whatcom will be doing the painting, and he's a perfectionist, like me. Dan is very popular in the aviation community up here, and OspRey is patiently waiting her turn.

In the meantime, I closed another circle when I was able to pick up a repositioning flight from my birthplace of Hawai'i to SFO.

And the hangar door got some needed maintenance.

Turns out my Ameri-King AK-451 was the subject of an emergency AD a few years ago. We were hoping it would pass the test and still be operable but no-go. Not even dropping it onto the concrete hangar floor was enough to set it off. *groan*....

When I cut the notch for the flap pushrod I was new to metal working, the manual said make it .75"-1.0", so I made it 1". After looking at other SeaReys I realized how disproportionate the 1" gap looked, ordered new pylon side covers, and cut it to .75". Much better.

I have also made the acquaintance of a gypsy metalworker named TJ, who travels the west coast only accepting jobs that interest him. We met one night at the hangar, OspRey and him talked and she cooed at him. End result, TJ is going to help me redo the panel and a couple other things.


Here's an example of his work. This is the old pylon side cover, with a crimp at the end I did to make it sit tight against the aft pylon tube. 

TJ gave me a demo of his mad skills that night


We're also working on the nose area, first step was to remove the old, weak plywood battery support that was already showing signs of cracking. We're going to put in a bulkhead for the battery like on the new hulls, and move the ELT to the nose area to get it away from  the heater, and shift weight forward.

Part of the mods requires removing the carpet from from the dash. Heat gun, scraper, and patience.

Lastly, is this my future?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is it live, or is it MemOrbx?

I've been playing (and sometimes seriously using) flight sims since the days of Jet and TRS-80s. I knew that a company called Orbx had revised Flight Sim X's default scenery to be more accurate, and I was delighted to see that one of their additions was a very realistic Skagit Bayview Airport.

 I really don't have time for simming anymore, but it was worth a laugh to buy the Skagit Airport add-on and dream of the day I'll be flying OspRey there.


Yes, I am building again, working on the fabric to get it ready for painting, nothing really worth posting. I'm really enjoying the variety of people at Skagit, and the much greater GA activity than was at Bellingham. It's also fun to be back near my old friends at the Heritage Flight Museum, even if it means getting distracted by Greg or Alan having fun on a summer day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The bluest skies you've ever seen...

On departure from SFO a couple weeks ago. I don't think I've seen the sky so clear in a long time.

Take me home, country roads

A little Boeing humor at the Miami Sim building. 

The biggest problem with women in aviation is that there aren't enough of them. 100+ years of flight and they're still a very small minority

Long story that has nothing to do with SeaRey building, but last year an opportunity presented itself and G & I decided to move again, making my Bellingham hangar almost an hour away. Some old friends tipped me off about a hangar for sale at an airport near our new house, and, as much as I loved my Bellingham nest, I decided it was time for the SeaRey to migrate, too.

The new hangar was cheaper than I was selling Strato 21 for, which was good because it needed some work. Biggest problem was that the slab for the row of hangars was not properly sealed, resulting in lime leaching upwards because of moisture. Had to pressure wash that off first, then seal the concrete. I'm told by other owners that even with the sealing it's going to be a battle against the salt.

However, there are a couple great things about the hangar. While I loved the rustic interior of Strato 21, I was always worried about the wood building catching fire and wiping out my plane. The new hangars are metal, fully insulated, have an electric overhead door, and have natural gas available. I had a heater installed right away.

To battle the moisture/lime problem a 6mil plastic vapor barrier was put down, then the hangar got the plywood floor treatment again.

For various reasons I went with 23/32 underlayment this time, I can sure tell the difference. Strato 21's 1 1/8" floor was like walking on butter. This is still nice, but not as cushiony.

Another difference. At Strato 21 I used Spar Varnish, this time I used standard floor polyurethane, but the process was the same. Dump, mop, repeat. 

There were a couple areas where the varnish pooled and, despite my best efforts, made small puddles. Oh well...

In the meantime, packing Strato 21 was underway. Funny, but the feeling was not sad, there was a contentment that this was time, and natural. The sales process was frustrating, I had encounters with.... let's say a wide variety of personalities who came to look and make offers.

It was much easier to leave the big workbench and built-in shelves at Bellingham and build new ones.

Moving weekend. How long can you hold your breath?

Farewell, Bellingham. 

One big thing I'm going to miss is the overhead winch. 

During the move I wrapped the fin with a sheet to protect it from UVs. I didn't tape it down enough and the tape ripped in the last miles, setting up a flutter at the top of the fin. There was no obvious damage and after talking it over with Jim we've decided that it's ok.

Strato 21 was sold to a good guy who will appreciate it. A bit weird to see it empty, but there was no regret as I turned in our gate passes.

It's June, perfect weather, and that meant it was time for a hangar warming. Mike flew his SeaRey up, we got the BBQ out, kicked back, and met the neighbors. The new airport is much more fun, and almost within walking distance.