01-03-2021 The Rearview Mirror

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I once watched a comedy film in which there was a scene where two people climb into a convertible sports car. An utterly cavalier man with a ridiculous thin-line mustache and a comical French accent turns to the passenger and says: “The first rule of racing is that what is behind you does not matter!” He then reaches up and snaps the rearview mirror off of the windshield and tosses it back behind the car with a clatter — and off they roar.

I could do my build like that, you know, to hell with what’s behind me — onward! But I actually like looking back. Even though it feels like I didn’t get enough done in 2020. What about all those evenings spent with too much booze and TV? Or being outraged by the events of the day? How many hours hunched over a computer keyboard, writing diatribes on facebook and being unfriended by the angry who were sick of me? We all have our reasons. And yet if I just relax about it a little and look back (this isn’t a race after all) then I might learn a few more important things.

Rudder:

Crated Rudder Kit from Zenith Aircraft

This is how carefully packed aircraft components get shipped

Rudder in storage

Rudder in High Tech Parts Rack

Short Block:

corvair core parts disassembled

Corvair Core Disassembled

  

 

Stabilizer:

Horizontal Stabilizer Done

Stabilizer Finished

Elevator:
ch750 elevator skeleton

Elevator

Elevator

Kit Pickup:

Flaperons:

Slats:
flaperons and slats

Long block:

Passenger side wing:

Prop Hub:

In all of that incredible fun I tried to read and research about aircraft building techniques which slowed the build down (especially with AC43.13-1 A and B), but to a great end: I understood better what it was I was doing and why I was doing it the way I did and not some other way. Sheet metal construction, wiring, engine assembly, even aerodynamic theory (slats and flaperons through Chris Heintz “Fly On Your Own Wings” book). I grew as a craftsman — but I’m still an apprentice, a complete noob.

So, what’s next? More to learn. A hell of a lot more fun to have. Maybe build on my confidence to overcome aircraft building challenges and setbacks that will come in 2021. And, well, I need to get current again.