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#026 Back in the Air
Here is the final transition from ugly duckling to a beautiful soaring bird.  The left image shows it in the paint shop after the initial coat of  insignia white had been sprayed to provide the base for the eagle blue.  This really helps the blue pop out much brighter.  You can see the outline of the fuselage side stripe, which took some time for the painter and myself to decide on in terms of shape and length, which was made a little harder since a wing wasn't installed to help with the proportions.   The outline around the edges of the tail surfaces looked best at the 1 1/2 inches you see in the final photos.  This scheme is an adaptation of what my father had on his LK-10A back in the '50s and I thought it fitting since he really like that sailplane.  In the finished photos the sun has played tricks on the eyes depending on the camera angle.  While some shots would make it appear there are different colors of blue, in fact everything is a uniform color. 

In late February it was put on floor display at the SSA Convention in Reno, Nevada. (Click here is see it on display.)  Upon returning the San Diego, I needed to get the weight and balance done (see below), all the paper work pulled together since the FAA hasn't sent me the renewed registration form yet, then get it inspected and licensed to fly.  I am anticipating being able to fly it for the first time (again) in April at Warner Springs in the mountains east of San Diego. (More below.)

Here is a shot of the glider on the scales on Saturday, March 17th for the final weight and balance with the new paint and all the equipment installed.  While this shows the ship with the left wing down, the actual weight was taken with the wings level.  The tail must be raised so the cockpit turtle deck longeron is also level then the readings taken at the main and tail wheels.   The paint added 19 lbs to the all up weight, which is more than I would have liked, but the final results are worth it.  These numbers are then plugged into the form provided by Schweizer and the calculations made to determine the minimum and maximum pilot weights to stay within the CG envelope and for the maximum pilot weight based on the useful load at a 575 lb. total gross weight for an "A" model.

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Unfortunately we didn't get a lot of pictures of this day and flight but here is a series of shots to give you an idea of the takeoff sequence.  The first is me waiting in the takeoff line waiting for the tow plane.  There were four other gliders in front of me so the wait was about 20 minutes.  The center one is Gavin Slater helping me get everything ready in the cockpit before closing the canopy and hooking up the tow line.  I am trying to be calm and remember all the extra things I want to do like turning on the GPS tracker and GoPro cameras, neither of which happened at the right point on the first flight.  Thanks to my wife for getting this shot.  The last photo was taken by Gavin to show the beginning of the takeoff roll behind to tow plane.  At this point I am still working on getting the glider directly inline with the plane and then staying there throuhout the tow.

Here is the Google Earth version of my ground track.  It starts in the air since I didn't get the tracker turned on before takeoff.  The flight on May 4, 2014, lasted 1 hour 40 minutes and as you can see was concentrated in one area just east of the Warner Springs runway.  This was sort of planned so that if anything unusual should occur I could easily get back to the airport.  The scale at the bottom is the elevation along the track with the top being just under 8,000', which was about 1,000' above tow release altitude.  It was a scratch the whole flight but the fun part was from a low of 5,000' up to 7,000' in one concentrated period of working a thermal that had lift ranging from 2-8 knots.  Click HERE for a link that should produce the Google Earth display.  If it doesn't open you may need to download Google Earth, which is free.

I did have a GoPro running for about 14 minutes that includes most of the aero tow and some of the initial soaring, however, it is a very large file so until I figure out how to edit it and save it like YouTube the space to the left will be blank.

Gavin managed to get these landing shots since we hadn't quite figured out how to use the movie function of my SLR camera.  In some respects this was a better method since the camera can shoot images in rapid succession and it saves trying to crop frames from a movie.

Updated:  9/29/14 Back to the SN026 Restoration Home>