PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

November 11, 2006 Project Update

Moved outside the hangar

Saturday, November 11th, 2006 was a gorgeous day for working at Roger's... cool temps, though a bit breezy early on.

The day got off to a slow start as team members trickled in. Mike Chancy was expected around 9:30 AM to pick up his Fokker D.VII fuselage, so this item needed to be pulled from the rafters. So that task was the first order of business! Roger was also distracted a bit by the R/C model club. Roger had rented a trench digger so they could bury new cables for the pavilion's new sound system. While Roger was getting them started (flat tire on the tractor! Can you imagine!?!) the hanger floor was swept out as all the projects had been moved outside to get Mike's D.VII fuselage down.

Ultimately, we had a great turnout! Dennis Kirby, Derek Staha and Mike McCormick drove over from Houston. Carl Canga and Karl Holbert drove down from Austin and Bryan Kelly drove in from San Antonio. Dick Schenk also showed up.

Mike McCormick is obviously comfortable in a woodworking shop and he dove right into the interplane struts. He started with large chunks of poplar and had to split them to get the wood needed for the struts. Very high level of craftsmanship!!

This was Derek's first attempt at working on these airplanes and he became our expert for the day in turnbuckles and clevis pins, and served as an extra pair of helping hands whenever anyone needed help. Derek connected the landing gear bracing cables after rummaging through Roger's extensive collection of 10 billion loose clevis pins (all the wrong size!). Derek also assisted Dennis with the aileron cable turnbuckles and attached the rudder cable turnbuckles.

Dick Schenk did his usual stellar turn as supervisor.

Dennis Kirby now has more Fokker Triplane seat time than any of us. He spent nearly the entire day in the cockpit fitting aileron turnbuckles and aileron cables. Then, when he tried to get out of the cockpit he was pushed back inside to work on the lower wing bolts.


Outside the hangar

Yes... the lower wing was taken off as the starboard rear mounting bolt had proved to be a smidge too short. Roger couldn't sleep at night thinking about it, so it had to be rectified! Bryan had had enough wrenching on these difficult to reach bolts last time, so he brought an air wrench with him which greatly speeded up the process. The closest thing to a proper length bolt was procured, installed and the wing was reshimmed and reinstalled. Sounds so simple yet this task represented 1.5 - 2.0 hours of labor by several people!

Carl and Karl tackled the fairings again. They had several discussions with Dana and Roger and produced paper patterns of the final fuselage top fairing pieces. Along the way they had to modify the existing top fuselage fairing to provide clearance for the aileron cables. Metal was eventually cut and shaped for the fairing pieces before they had to depart for Austin.

The final task for the day was getting the 80-hp Le Rhone rotary engine mounted in place. The entire engine mounting spider, firewall and engine was hoisted up on a forklift blade and four bolts were stabbed into the longeron ends. These bolts are temporary... bolts of the proper length couldn't be found in the shop!