Thursday, November 15, 2007

Of Recreational Vehicles and Army Navy Hardware

Last Sunday, I visited my friend Paul Eastham, builder of an RV-9A aircraft, at his hangar at South County airport. We chatted about riveted aluminum, and went on a short trip to Watsonville for lunch. He very generously let me take the controls and boy, I tell ya, that was a blast! He is building a camera mount, so he also took the opportunity to teach me how to drive solid rivets, and I learned about rivet smileys. :) All in all, I had a great time.

As a parting gift, he gave me some leftover hardware (mostly AN3) to experiment with for my own projects.

Now, meet my son, Aden. He is a nut (so to speak) for AN hardware. It was like showing a bag of diamonds to a jewel thief. He had to have an RV-9A. It had to be made of "real, lightweight" aluminum just like the real thing, and it had to be made with AN bolts. These were, so to speak, the design constraints. Here is the result:

You may notice that it ended up being an RV-9 instead of an RV-9A. That's life, I guess. You start out trying to build one airplane, and you end up building the other. It just happens.

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