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"Finished" airplane

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Old 03-28-2006, 12:31 PM
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JollyPopper
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Default "Finished" airplane

Has anyone ever truly "finished" an airplane?[] I would think that a "finished" airplane never requires any more work. I don't find that to be the reality. Has any of you ever had one that didn't "need" something else done, disregarding a less than perfect landing?
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Old 03-28-2006, 01:18 PM
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firstplaceaviator
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Yes, I have "finished" dozens of planes!
When I build a plane that is not intended for scale competition, after 4 or 5 flights, it is "finished".
My planes need nothing, other than routine preventative maintenance.

When I build a scale airplane, it is typically never finished.
Even after flying it for a few years, I am still adding little details and changing things that I don't like about the plane.

However, I have been actively building and flying models for 29 years. Experience is the best teacher!
It took me 18 years to get to the point where my airplanes truely fly off the board and last hundreds of flight hours!

Also, I am a full scale mechanic / inspector and pilot.
Being a long time modeler made my full scale career easier, becuase I already knew much more about planes than than the average beginning mechanic and pilot.

My full scale career made my model building and flying skill improve, because I have to maintain a very high standard of safety.
Having flown models my whole life, I adapted very quickly in the cockpit of a Cessna 152, Soloing in just 6 hours!

My model flying improved drastically, after having flown full scale for a few of years. Because, now I truely understand how to fly a plane, and not just aim it!

It can be done!'
Doug
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Old 03-28-2006, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Drill one into the ground at 90mph and it's FINISHED!

So yes, I have "finished" a few in my time
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Doug, is 6 hours considered fast to solo? I am really not familiar with civilian flying.

Mike, I like your definition of "finished." I have "finished" a few that way myself. My planes usually don't die of old age. I get tired of them and start doing stupid and dangerous (to the plane) things.
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Hi Ed,
Yes, 6 hours is very fast. Most student pilots accumulate 20-30 hours before soloing.
There are exceptions to this. I know 2 pilots that never flew anything, until starting flying lessons.
One soloed in 10 hours, the other in 11 hours. These pilots are "naturals" and were born to fly!

I had 2 advantages over them.

1. My dad was a recreational pilot.
So, as a little kid I got to go flying with him.
He died when I was 12. Otherwise, I probably would have been a pilot at the young age of 17!
2. Flying models gave me the instincts to fly a real plane.
Basically, I already knew how to fly a plane. I just needed to learn how to land safely and how to work the radios and instruments. (and get over sounding stupid on the radio,
like calling a wrong turn or broadcasting on the wrong frequency! Geez, THAT was embarrassing!)

By Mikes definition, I have finished about 30 planes!!!! (R/C, that is)

Doug
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Old 03-28-2006, 06:42 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane


ORIGINAL: Ed_Moorman

Mike, I like your definition of "finished." I have "finished" a few that way myself. My planes usually don't die of old age. I get tired of them and start doing stupid and dangerous (to the plane) things.
Sounds really familiar.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:05 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

yes, I finish my planes. After I've built and tested flown a model. At around the 6-7th tank of fuel and motor is tuned in, It's done. general maintenance doesn't count. That includes a recover every other year since the manufacturers can't seem to make stuff that last anymore and an engine tear down probably once a year. If I though that way then the car I drive isn't done, the appliances in the house aren't done, the lawn sure ain't done and so on and so on. If I total a plane, it is either gutted and start something new or rebuilt, either way I consider it a new model. I've never lost a model on a maiden flight so I don't know how to classify it, I guess it ain't done cuss something wasn't right I acually just finished my sea fury this weekend. Got about 15 flights and the engine is tuned in, the second weekend in a row I've done nothing but put fuel in it, pump up the gear, start it and fly it. clean it de fuel and add afterrun oil. done[8D]
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:15 AM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Minn flyer-Bravo!
-Yes i've finished a couple of planes in my day.
-Jeffo
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:52 AM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

[...]Having flown models my whole life, I adapted very quickly in the cockpit of a Cessna 152, Soloing in just 6 hours![...]

Doug
Took me 8 hours to solo, but I flew 3 different planes. Aeronca Champ, Cessna 150, and Cessna 172.

I'm with Minn.....I've finished many planes that way.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

I finished a Spitfire on about her 50th flight. I was diving at full throttle, (probably the umteenth time too many) when she failed to pull out. I creamated her in my driveway. She was my first Warbird. Oh well, lesson learned and I have flown many since then.

"Keep 'Em Flying!"
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Doug,

I went to USAF pilot training in 1959. We were required to solo the T-34 in 6 hours. The min was 5 hours is you had previous time. If you went over 8 hours, they washed you out. I recall we soloed all the training planes, T-34, T-37 & T-33, in 6 hours each. I was going to say I had never flown a plane with a fixed gear, but I remembered I got some Beaver time while I was at a school once. Used to be the L-20, but they changed it to the U-something for Utility).

Later on in 1965 when I was a T-37 instructor, we were required to teach acro and spins before we could solo the student so the norm went up to 14-15 hours. We also snuck in some instruments and nav early since I was at Valdosta, Georgia and we might solo when the visibility was so bad they couldn't see the field from downwind.

Speaking of instruments, I remember a group of my students who had basically finished T-37s-it was Christmas time. They took leave and rented a Cherokee to go from Valdosta up to Virginia or somewhere up there. On the first leg, they ran into IFR conditions so they called in and got an IFR clearance, which they proceeded to fly up there and back on instruments. Not that they weren't capable since they had nearly 120 hours time including 3 instrument checks, basic, simulator and final. This included a holding pattern, jet penetration, precision approach, missed approach and back for a non-precision and landing. But they didn't have a civilian instrument rating, just a private ticket. They didn't think anything about it. They had been trained to fly instruments in the clouds so they did. All us instructors had a laugh about it.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:19 PM
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Default RE: "Finished" airplane

Ed,
Thank you for your service to our country!
I sincerely mean that to ALL men and women who have served, are serving or will serve in the future.

Well, you certainly have flown more military stuff, then I have!

Our airport only has a 50 ft. wide runway and 2370 Ft long.
One thresh hold is displaced about 75 Ft. to keep you from hitting semi trucks on the road, wich is right at the end of the runway!
The other end plumets down 60 ft. to a highway!

I fly a Cessna 310 in and out of here on a regular basis. Several of my full scale customers won't bring their planes in here (wimps!) I have to fly the plane up here for them when they need maintenance or inspections.

The only time I REALLY scared myself, was when a customer asked me to bring his Cessna 421 in here. As soon as the tires touched down, I thought I was in BIG trouble! I got the plane stopped with only 2 ft. left, before I hit a barrier!
We had to shut down and push the plane back, just to get it turned off of the runway! STUPID, I won't do that again!

Ever since, I will not attempt to land anything at this airport, that is hotter than a Beech Baron (My personal favorite, in the light twin world).

I really feel like I was born in the wrong era, I am envyous of your career and all the wonderful planes you spent time in!

Doug
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