Back from vacation
Just got back from a well needed family vacation to the old stomping grounds of my youth in Pennsylvania. One of the highlights of the trip was my plan to participate in the Golden Age Air Museum's Flying Circus show, but the weather was awful and the show got cancelled on Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to return to Atlanta Sunday, but at least I got to see the Jenny fly around the patch.
Back to work!
While I was in Pennsylvania, fellow antique airplane nut Mike Cilurso handed me a very rare tool - an original 1940's vintage cable splicing tool! Man, these things are as rare as hen's teeth. The neat thing about this tool is the way it holds the cable in place and allows you to rotate the entire assembly making cable weaving a whole lot easier. More about this tool later.
I'm trying to finish up the king post wires this week. These fittings were made out of flat stock, drilled and countersunk.
This is where the new fittings attach on the upper wings. They hold the wire from the king post inwards . None of the bolts have the spherical washers installed yet. We are still in the trial fit stage.
This is the wire attached to the new fittings.
Here is the top of the king post.
And the wire going towards the tip.
OK, back to the new tool. I made a few wrapped wires with this tool and it worked really well. In this picture, you can see the prototype tool I made a few years ago (center) the new production tool made by Blue Swallow Aircraft (top) and the original tool from the 1940's (bottom).
I was worried the new tool would make me want to throw away the home made tools, but that was not the case. They worked equally as well. So, if you can't get the original 1940's tool, don't despair! The new tools are easier to make and work the same.
The only advantage of the 1940's tool was the ability to rotate the assembly all the way around. When you have to weave the underside of the cable, all you do is release tension on the thumb screw and spin it around. With my tool, I have to unload the vice and manually turn the whole thing around. Gives me ideas....perhaps the next version of my tool....
Anyway, our plan is to finish the wires by this weekend. On Monday, we will roll the Jenny out of the hangar and take pictures. After that, the wings will come off and the covering process will begin.
Till then - enjoy