August 2009 Archives

Shot down! Actually pilot error...

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Well, I went out flying tonight after quite a break from the hobby. Should have stayed home.

Started out with the Lady. Used a weaker battery (which wasn't a real big deal), and so I wasn't getting much performance. That's ok - I just wanted to work the bugs out of my head before moving on to the Fokker.

Well, after one successful landing and back in the air, it started to make a very different whine. I quickly brought it for a safe landing and looked for the problem - I stripped both gears. One down and out.

It was such a perfect night for flying, I figured I'd risk trying the Fokker. After settling my nerves I got airborne - my what a HANDFULL!. It kept doing these crazy stalls - I was panicking - How am I going to CONTROL it?!? I was sure it was balanced - what to do?

I managed to get my head back on and talked myself through the problem - it's pulling up to much, push forward - woa! not so much, back a bit - no wait forward TRIM that's it trim it down, some more - ok one more, there now it's behaving much bettrer, whew!

Flew around for 5 minutes! It was great! Brought in for a landing, which was into tall grass thankfully as I had not completely got the hang of it. No damage, looks good, back up she went! Beautiful take off and 3 more minutes of glory and then it happened. I was turning around over a gravel road and noting that the elevator has a LOT of authority - too much for my comfort, when it suddenly banked too far over and in my panic I pulled back which hammered it into the ground... I'm so ticked at myself.

 I'm not sure it is repairable. Will have to open the wing to see how mangled all the bits are in there.

Sigh. Back to dreaming about flying again...

More Avro Lancaster images for those who missed it

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The big news this weekend in Winnipeg was the landing and public viewing of the WWII Avro Lancaster bomber. Needless to say it was a very popular attraction. When it landed yesterday there was a massive crowd that waited hours for a chance to see inside. The plane was also on display today - but since it was a work day, I arrived at 6PM (they closed the museum at 7). I was warned that I might not get to go in, and the line up outside and the crowd around the plane confirmed that fear.

DSCF0067.JPGI took these shots through the airport perimeter fencing - I was debating even going in.

Nice shot of the forward guns and bomb site.

Glad I did! Rear gun and right main gear (and my son in both):


The next few shots of the interior where taken by a friend's nephew who's relative flew as a rear gunner - thanks! I brought my airspeed indicator for a shot with the one in the plane. I guess the airspeed was upgraded to maintain air worthiness as the airspeed in the plane is definetly not vintage. The pilot liked mine much better.

Pilot and the instrument:

Lancaster airspeed and mine:

DSCF0079.JPGLooking towards the rear gunner and into the rear gunner station:

Tribute to Andrew Mynaski and the Lancaster.


RAF Avro Lancaster - A piece of history

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One of only 2 Avro Lancaster bombers landed in Winnipeg this afternoon. Very cool!

It was in the news that it was going to land today, however, I had watched it land on Friday (through the rain from down town). I figured it was already at the museum and so my son & I went to check it out. Well, there was a massive crowd, and no parking anywhere near the museum. So we camped out in a field near the end of the runway along with everyone else and waited. We were not disappointed...

Here's video I captured:

And here's a clip someone else uploaded as well.

And a really good clip of the fly by and landing.

Case mod for a Variac

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I did this a while ago. I had a variac (a variable transformer that can convert 120V AC into 0-140V AC) sitting around and figured I should build a case for it. I wanted a rugged case, and one that was portable. So off to Princess Auto (a farm tool & stuff store with a cool surplus section) to buy an old military ammo case.

I cut holes in the case, and mounted the unit inside. Wired for 0-140V range, with a safety fuse, power switch, built in meter and power light.
For output I installed 3 banana / posts and a standard 120V single phase (North American style) outlet.
The analogue meter works.
var4.jpg var3.jpg