Life On and Off an Acreage

In-sights into moving from an Acreage back to Town, plus a few things I find of interest.

Two things that horses are scared about:

1. Things that move
2. Things that don't move

April 7, 2013

When Spring Comes..

Thoughts turn once again to flying. I was digging through some old photos on the computer and came up with the 1933 Pietenpol that I almost finished over a 10 year span. I had it all ready for covering when I retired and moved to Whitecourt. It soon became apparent that flying as a hobby was an expensive luxury.

Elaine with fuselage
The wings were Sitka Spruce, aircraft grade, with about 5000 1/2 inch nails and a lot of special glue holding it together.
Wing ready for covering
I rebuilt the engine to factory specifications. I only wanted 95 horse power out of it. I could do that without going to a gear reduction. Some folks used this motor to power sand rails, getting 850 horse power! This was without breaking any rods.
"69 Corvair engine in basement being rebuilt

6 Cylinder opposed engine, Air cooled
I had to learn oxy acetylene welding to do the motor mounts, landing gear and struts. I passed the gas welding test.
Engine mounted
The cockpit was simple, with just enough instruments to make it legal for visual flying rules.
What the cockpit would have been like
The pilot sat in the back with the passenger up front right on the center of gravity so that no adjustment for weight and balance was required.

What it would have been like
The original designer built 31 of them at his factory in Wisconsin?, I think. The original was still being flown5 years ago and may be going yet.

The plane had several innovative break thoughs ( for 1933). It had an under camber wing that said if the nose rose up, the  wing would return the plane to level flight. Similarly, if the nose dropped, the wing would increase lift to bring it back up. This made trim tabs unnecessary.

It also lined the cock pit with3/16 inch plywood that crumbled up in the event of a crash. Previous to this, the pilot had a good chance of being skewered by broken longerons. A fellow dove it straight in from a couple of hundred feet, and walked out of it. The cockpit area was reduced to saw dust. Think of the modern car. It is designed to absorb shock the same way.

Even though it has been snowing night and day for 4 days, i still get these urges to go flying in the spring.
It would be real expensive now because I have allowed my pilot licence to lapse. A guy can still dream though, and remember the time in the air.



11 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

Looks like a fun piece of history.

The Dancing Donkey said...

Wow, that is some DIY project!

peihome said...

Beautiful! What fun it would be to fly!

Alica said...

You built one of those? I'm impressed!

TexWisGirl said...

wow, learn something new about you all the time. flying is one thing - building your own plane? wow!

MTWaggin said...

Nothing wrong with dreams and I'm impressed with anyone that builds cars or airplanes from the ground up!

Montanagirl said...

I see you've been stopping by my blog and thank you for that and your comments. I believe I'll sign up to follow yours! My husband owns an airplane - and you're right, it's not a cheap hobby.

Bev said...

Interesting...did you ever fly it?

Mary Ann said...

Oh my gosh, Ian, I had no idea... I was privileged to fly once over the Gettysburg battlefield in a small Grumman, piloted by a friend of mine.
How exciting it was! I'm glad you're sticking to horses now..

Terry said...

Very cool!

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Hi there happy camper....dream boy. Sure you can. I love that too. A bit of a technical talk today which I'm not quite following yet the plane is gorgeous. And I LOVE TO FLY. It's the best thing,....being between the clouds.
well happy day to you my friend. and I wish for you that the snowing will stop asap so the spring can do it's job.
X Dagmar