Regular Saturday classes have started back up again. Students and mentors have been very productive over the past several weeks. The engine was mounted as planned and students have been busy working on many installation details. The propeller and spinner have been successfully fitted with the bulkheads to the propeller hub, but not permanently. During the last few classes, prep work on the cowl duct installation has involved drilling alignment holes in the engine duct as well as sanding multiple engine parts to allow for a perfect fit. Another important task being worked on is the installation of the aircraft's multiple antennas.
The installation of the rear window is progressing and should be completed soon. In the meantime, time has been spent sanding and filling the wheel fairings and more finish work on these fairings is still to come. Also, the remaining students have been taking their flights in the TF1 airplane and everyone has had a great time!
Check back soon on our progress of the TF3 build as we near the final months of construction.
The Oregon International Air Show was a great success! Airway Science for Kids and TeenFlight had an information booth at the big event manned by many volunteers. The airplanes, TF1 and the in-progress TF3, were on display. Many interested visitors and possible future participants stopped by the booth to learn about our programs. It was a great day talking with aviation fans and watching the amazing flight displays.
The U.S.M.C. Harrier was exciting to watch as well as the U.S.A.F. F22 Raptor. They put on quite a show, hope you remembered to bring your earplugs!
Another favorite (of course!) was the impressive formation flight of the sleek Van's Aircraft RVs!
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds wrapped up the day's show with an exciting display of formations and starbursts.
If you missed the air show this year, be sure to put it on your calendar in 2015 and look for us again at the Airway Science for Kids/TeenFlight booth!
The weekend after Labor Day usually marks the annual Hood-River Fly-in at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM), and this year the TF1 plane was on display for the public to see and admire, as well as promote the Airway Science for Kids program. Both the TF3 and ASK students were invited to come and check out the event.
TF3 was a big hit and students willingly shared their experiences and knowledge of the program to curious visitors, all while sporting awesome group t-shirts!
There was plenty to see at the event as hundreds of antique planes and cars were on display in the museum, and many personal planes were scattered on the field. People could take biplane and airplane rides, or just watch the various aircraft take off and land throughout the day. The sunny weather and beautiful backdrop of the Columbia gorge and Mt. Hood made for perfect photo ops!
Be sure to check out this fantastic museum and plan a visit. They've got plenty of awesome events throughout the year just like the Fly-in!
As the team is completing more and more sections, things seem to be slowing down. But that doesn't mean August didn't have its fair share of achievements, as many main components were installed throughout the plane. Let's work from the front to the back, shall we?
First off, the cowling. The oil door has been successfully installed. For a better fit, the hinge assembly underwent a few tweaks– involving the addition of a shim. Then it was riveted and the camlocks were secured. Now the cowling has been set aside for future attachment.
Staying on the front of the plane, a major accomplishment was the mounting of the engine! A few students helped to secure the Rotax engine upon the mount, all while installing and connecting various tubes and wires. More connections are still to be made, but the engine appears to be resting comfortably in its proper place against the firewall.
Now towards the middle of the plane.
The fuel tank was temporarily fitted inside the fuselage to install the vent lines and make the proper adjustments. Below, the gear legs received their fairings! After some modifications and what seemed like back-n-forth fitting, the time came for final attachment. The fairing brackets were mounted on the wheels, and then the fairings were fitted to the brackets. Before they were attached, an epoxy mixture was created then coated around the screw holes on the interior of the fairings.
And finally to the end or shall we say, the empennage.
In early August, the stabilizers were attached to the tailcone, providing a more 'completed' feel to the plane. A couple of students began the task of routing the stabilator and rudder cables through the fuselage and installing them in their respective positions.
As the summer hiatus comes to a close and the students head back to school, regular Saturday sessions are back on schedule. But this also means the beginning of flight lessons! Four of the students, drawn at random, were given the opportunity to practice flying in the TF1 plane during the last August session. More are planned for the September sessions, so stay tuned (cause time sure 'flies')!
The TF3 students were treated to an informative and fun Saturday afternoon as they were invited to see a great piece of aviation history, the famous Douglas DC-3 airliner!
A mentor was able to arrange and secure a great opportunity with a company known as Aerometal International LLC, which specializes in restoring aging and historical aircraft, allowing the students to see and learn about these revolutionary planes.
The afternoon's festivities consisted of a couple of lectures about the history of the DC-3, comparing it to the RV12, and some demonstrations on the inner workings of the propeller, engine, and how to activate the landing gear. Students were also allowed inside the aircraft and given a brief overview of the cockpit controls and features. They even got an up close and personal look at the engine and propeller. And as a nice closing, they even got a chance to fly the planes...
...on a simulator!
Everyone had an amazing time, and TF3 would like to thank Aerometal International for taking the time to showcase their DC-3s. A big shout-out and thanks to Victoria, Ken, Ron, and Bud for being such charismatic and knowledgeable speakers! We were so pleased with your presentations and blown away by all you did!
Visit Aerometal International's website and see what they're all about. Be sure to check out their blogs and get the latest on their current restoration projects:
A lot has happened within the hangar despite the heat of the summer, and for optional sessions, good turnouts have meant incredible progress!
The fuel tank skins have all been attached along with the miscellaneous parts (e.g. the return lines, valves, gauge). Fuel testing was done, the leaks were spotted and fixed, and now the tank is officially sealed up and complete! With the air lines fabricated, the next step will be to fit it inside the fuselage.
One particularly exciting feature currently being installed is the Garmin avionics system! The plane now contains a Garmin G3X Touch display. This is a brand new system, never been used before in any of the previous builds. Since it is a new feature, instructions are being made as we go along installing it, which results in a great deal of time and effort to get it all set-up.
Work continued on the cowling, specifically in fitting and sanding the piece, but also in the oil door assembly. The camlocks were installed, but the door and hinge have yet to be riveted together. The wheel and nose fairings came sometime in mid-July, so students were busy deburring and sanding down those parts. Landing gear received some adjustments and the brake lines were attached. Next step will be fitting the fairings.
Towards the end of July, some students and mentors were rushing to get ready for the big Airventure Oshkosh event! Like the previous year, plans were made to have the TF1 plane on display, so that meant modifications and inspections. The fuel tank had to be modified with a new fuel gauge, so students and mentors were on the clock to try and get the tank altered and running smoothly before embarking on its over 2,000 mile journey.
Wow! July sure kept everyone busy. Stay tuned to see what August has in store.
For the next two sessions, the majority of students continued with the same projects.
The right gear leg was installed into the fuselage, allowing the wheel and brake assemblies to be attached. Meanwhile, the upper and lower cowlings were temporarily attached and fitted to the front of the plane, in order to be marked up for hinges.
Pro-seal work continued on the fuel tank. The students helped fabricate fuel return lines and the float arm, attach the mechanical fuel gauge, as well as installing the fittings for the tank vent. After that, a little cleaning was done with rubbing alcohol and acetone to remove any excess sealant left on the surfaces. Never hurts to practice good aesthetics!
Regarding the tail section, fairings were the objectives. The tailcone upper and lower, as well as the rudder and vertical stabilizer tip fairings, were all trimmed, deburred, and fitted in their respective places.
With schools out of session, that means the summer break has officially begun! TF3 will be taking a temporary break, however there will be some optional sessions throughout the hiatus, which students are encouraged to attend. Production will slowdown for a few months, but please stay tuned for any summer progress and achievements! Enjoy the sun and rack up some flight time!