Two New Projects! March is Marching in Quick Time!

Not rain, not snow, not standing water shall deter our builders and flyers and fixers from their appointed tasks …

Leo captured the serenity of Lake Johnson at the approach end of Runway 15 at 8NC9. This scene of gentle breezes and water lapping at the shore comes to us courtesy of beavers that dam up the drainage streams (and no one will do anything about it).

In the space of a week, two new projects! First, Sid trucked his Aerolite 103 in from Oklahoma with his son, Lee.

Sid, at the end of several days of driving across the country. Note how well the Aerolite 103 was secured to the 20-foot U-Haul …
There were hands a-plenty to help with unloading but Sid wanted to be sure so we waited for Matt to arrive …
Matt, in the foreground, is a strapping fellow, able to curl an Aerolite 103 one-handed. Sid’s son, Lee, in the black T shirt, is a big guy too and a lot of help.
Finally, the crew .. Leo, Lee, Penny, Sid and Tim.

The breakfast report today: Sid says his Aerolite is assembled and awaiting a good looking-over by an A&P. Taxi tests coming up and then the commission of lift when good and ready.

Then Brian and Steve bring home Brian’s dream machine – a composite project Europa, which Brian will configure as a tricycle gear airplane. The Europa is a sleek, efficient design that was originally configured as a taildragger with a single wheel set in the fuselage and pogo-stick outriggers at the wingtips. Pilots reported it “challenging” and insurance losses dismayed many carriers, but with a tricycle gear, it’s a sweet flying machine. Look it up!

The Europa bits and pieces fit nicely in the truck
There’s Brian, securing everything for the trip.
And Steve .. with all those pieces that will eventually come together in the shape of an airplane. He says Brian should be finished with it by June … 20XX

It’s great to have all this builder activity in our area .. thanks to all who contribute and all who lend a hand. Our technical counselors are going to be pretty busy!

March 2022 Meeting Highlights

We started our EAA day with a visit to see Steve Murray’s RV-4 project and boy, did we get an eyeful! Steve bought the wings and tail portions from a fellow who bought it from a fellow who …. well, you get the idea. He said it started in NC, then went to GA, then back to NC so it has a good bit of mileage on it before it was even built!

Steve is showing Mark, Darwin, Jacob (hidden) and Owen how the wing ribs align with his spar

The rain was supposed to start much earlier in the day and quit before meeting time, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it began raining in earnest a couple of hours late and kept on and on. That, coupled with rapidly rising fuel prices due to supply shortfalls after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, impacted our meeting attendance but 22 of our stalwart members showed up.

You have to hand it to fellows like Keith and Dave from Waynesville, Al from north of Weaverville, and Jacob, Jerry and Nancy from the wilds of Buncombe County who braved the elements and distances to come!

Echoes of our early get-togethers last year: our program was supposed to be chock full of progress reports from several of our builders … when the museum doors opened and we got started it was raining to beat the band. Steve was there and we had some pictures from our project visit (he had some on a memory stick which our ever-efficient president forgot were in his pocket), so we got a short description of what was going on in his workshop. And then there was a brief interlude of fumbling silence.

The new chapter patches – designed and ordered by Keith Plemmons

We did manage to remember that Keith stepped up to design some new patches for the chapter that reflect a more up to date look and should be ready .. when they’re ready. Thank you, Keith.

Nancy Marstall and Simon Jennings told us about the upcoming program at the Western North Carolina Pilots Association meeting planned for March 15th at the Lacy Griffin Building at AVL. It’s “how to survive a ramp check”, presented by Tim Haley from the Greensboro FSDO.

Thank goodness for George Heddy, a temporarily flightless bird who is having his Cessna 172 instrument panel re-done! George had just received an email with pictures from the shop in Florida and he and Mike Cola, keeper of the A-V gear, put them up on the screen. George said he caved in and had his windshield and side windows replaced at the same time since the airplane was apart and available so the cost went a teeny bit over the plan, but he’s keeping the airplane and if not then – when? Good call, George.

Factory promo picture of the Sling TSi

While George was speaking, Krafton came in from work with pictures of the progress on his Sling TSi. This is a remarkable kit from South Africa. It’s a beautiful airplane, powered by a Rotax 915-iS, with astounding specs: 148kts on 141 horsepower, a useful load of 1,000 pounds and 4 seats! There were a lot of questions about the kit itself, which is packaged beautifully and ready for a first time builder or a serial builder to put together with minimal fuss. We reported on a project visit last year and Krafton has made a lot of progress since then.

Thanks to all our great members for persevering through pandemic and weather and fuel uncertainties to keep the spirit of our chapter and the dream of building and flying airplanes alive. We all need a little encouragement sometimes and it’s so important to be able to call somebody and work out the kinks that inevitably arise.