I am writing this three months after the fact. It's now May 24th and great progress has been made on the plane. I want to rush to the end and show you where we are.... but that would be cheating. Plus, I need to document the build for my friends at the FAA and the final inspection. I will try to get caught up on the build log tonight... that's three months worth or most Saturdays and the occasional Sunday. Each will be written in the present tense. And this disclaimer will only run once. Here we go.
Mel and I got to know each other because he was a student at my flight school. I inherited Mel during his Commercial. He completed that with another of our instructors. Then, it was back to me for the Tailwheel. Mel completed his tailwheel transition in the Super Decathlon this winter. Then he moved on to his Multi-Engine. You will see glimpes of both aircraft in the photos. They're both a lot of fun to fly and we have a great time together.
One day this winter I mentioned that I was working on the biplane. That was a slight overstatement on my part because I hadn't done any work in ages. Too busy. And my shop arrangement was very lonely so I didn't enjoy hanging out there very much. I much prefer building if I'm sharing it with others or if I can at least hear another person puttering around in the distance. So, it was great when Mel told me he would love to help. And boy has he helped.
Our standard practice is to have a flight or two on Saturday mornings and be done by 1:30 in the afternoon. However, then we go to lunch. That's the rub. So we don't really get down to serious building until 3:00 or so. That leaves us three hours apiece until he has to go back to Boston and I have to run home.
Mel and I continue to make ribs. At times this feels like a never ending process. Plus, we're not the fastest guys on the planet. I'm sure a focused builder would go faster.
On a typical Saturday afternoon, we would each make a rib, pop it out of the jig, gusset the second side,