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Jerry_K_Thorne

It's Fuselage Time!!

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I think the arrowed dollar sign is a bit prophetic.Like I should talk. My UPS man is really miffed at me. Tailgate arrived for my M37. It weighs a ton. It's still where he left it. Even Brother Maynard gives it wide berth.Keep us posted on the assembly process. Maybe you should be writing a book about it too.Doc Bryant

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Doc,Many RV builders publish web pages of their accounts, I am not new at that. ALL the RV builders are urged to keep a builder's log book, as I am doing like so many before me.I finished sorting all the little parts and checking off each type of item on the packing list. I then managed to get in about 3.6 hours of actual building time fabricating some parts for the firewall and clecoing the stuff together. When I finish the last few parts in the morning, I will take a picture and post it on page 18.Glad to hear you got your tail gate. That ABF driver wheeled the long box up the driveway really well considering it was loaded to 235 pounds in an 3'by 8' size wooden crate. The dollar sign is to let the drivers know that it is an expensive crate of merchandise, and the up arrow means this side up of course.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Sometimes I think they use the arrow to indicate that the ground is in that direction. After they discover their translation is in error, you get the, "Oh well, file a claim" look.I have gotten that look twice. Once, a pallet of two component high build epoxy primer got splattered on the inside of a delivery truck, and the latest, a pallet of coffee beans. The first problem was considerably worse than the latter. The truck driver asked me what I was going to do about the inside of his truck. I said, "Same thing you are going to do about the fact that you guys busted up a bunch of five gallon pails of expensive primer. Absolutely nothing." That got him slightly steamed. "Oh, by the way, you should wear a respirator around that stuff. It'll kill ya."I suggested he drive back with the windows open. Maybe the epoxy would set up without the catalyst. I offered to splash a couple gallons of catalyst on the inside of his truck just to make sure. He declined that option.I had one other encounter with a destroyed pallet of paint. I went to the freight line office and started to ream them out royally. Finally taking time to catch my breath, the dock manager said, "Sir, we don't carry your paint. That was the other fellows with green trucks. Want me to call them for you?"I replied, "Do so, and convey my displeasure to them for me."He said that would not be a problem, and would I like to talk to their area sales manager, as he felt they would never destroy a pallet of paint in shipping.Doc Bryant

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Wonderful, Jerry. This is exciting stuff.Hard to believe that the entire fuselage fits in that box.Best regards.Luis

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Look carefully Luis, there is another smaller crate behind that one that had not been opened when I took that picture. And in reality, the "entire" fuselage is NOT in this kit. There is another kit called a finishing kit which contains the canopy, the cowling, engine mount, tires, brakes, fairings, etc. That kit comes in a single crate that weighs over 300 pounds. It also takes more "dinero" to get it here, and more work in the mean time to get ready for it.Then there is also that little gem of an engine and all the flight instruments, interior seats and insulation, etc. Like Larry says, when you're 95% done, you still have 95% to go. The Devil is in the details.If time and funding are on my side, then sometime late next summer, we may see the wheels leave the runway for the first time.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Then there is hope, Jerry, that my M37 will be running on four wheels before you get flying!Doc Bryant

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I have added ONE more picture to page 18 after disassembling the firewall components. Luis, it shows how countersinking is done on the drill press. There were enough holes to do that I felt like a production line worker.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Guys, and Lindy,I put in a good day today with the main bulkheads that connect to the wings when all is said and done. I also had a chance to work with the control sticks and interconnecting linkage between them. No pictures of all this today. I have to do the family thing this weekend, so be patient for a few days. I will update things Monday for sure. My two out-of-town sons are in the Atlanta area for a wedding and to see my ailing mom (just in case). I will check in when I can, probably via dial-up, etc.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Jerry, I am astonished by the quality of the parts. Vans seems to be doing excellent work. Has everything fit together well so far?Best regards.Luis

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Luis,The fit is amazing! Computer aided design works very well indeed. They even let you know which parts NOT to assemble and why, then WHEN to assemble them to have the least amount of grief on difficult riveting locations. I may have to modify a few things for a custom fit for my large frame, and that may prove challenging in some areas. We shall see. I had a chance to sit in my friend's RV-9A that he is building over in the Huntsville, Alabama area. It opened my eyes to some minor ergonomic changes that I will "need". He had already done one of the changes I had suggested after my return from OSH last year: He strenghtened the arm rests so that you can push yourself up out of the seat instead of relying on an arm over the top of the fuselage when the canopy is opened.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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