Originally published September 1992
Police Brutality! In a recent unannounced raid on Vern Saxon's Sonerai stretch project, the lead Project Police Vehicle (PPV) driven by Norm Howell blasted into the driveway and right onto the lawn. The hapless Vice Center Commander hurriedly moved one of his cars to prevent it from being flattened by the out of control PPV. Norm then started to back the PPV up to the workshop and a crunch was heard by the passenger who immediately bailed out proclaiming "NORM DID IT!" Norm, knowing there was nothing he could say to make up for his dastardly deed, crawled out of his destructionmobile wearing the characteristic black hat of the Project Police and said to Vern, "We're from the Project Police and we are here to help you." Your roving newsletter editor then observed Mr. Howell slink over to the mortally wounded sprinkler head and pry it out of the mashed earth muttering something to the effect of "I wonder if I'll ever make O-4 now?" One would think that this sort of Police brutality was enough to satisfy even the most fanatical of the breed, but Norm wasn't finished! The sprinkler head was savagely twisted into the ground and declared to be "good as new" until Mrs. Saxon turned the water on and muddy water began to ooze onto the driveway...
Eventually, attention was focused on the workshop area and Vern proceeded to regale us with the harrowing tale of yet another rhinoplasty (nose job) on a Chapter 1000 aircraft. A 3 inch section has been welded into the fuselage in the front cockpit area and a 12 inch section added behind the aft cockpit (caudal plasty?). The workmanship appeared to be exemplary although we were warned that Narco would be doing some more welding on the nose on Saturday and a 10 foot radius of destruction was expected.
The Project Police Team noted that; 1.) the Sonerai workshop did not include Chapter 1000 standard work benches. 2.) there appeared to be enough spare Volkswagen engine parts to make several engines (or boat anchors). 3.) a Posa carburetor could not even be given away. 4.) the fuselage was primed in green and gray, possibly a hint of the final color scheme?
With the smell of fresh (sprinkler) blood in the air, a feeding frenzy developed and the Project Police added larceny to their rap sheet. It took six of us to lift the O-360 from the workshop floor to the bed of the lawn roving Nissan. Vern had a wild look in his eye and the rest of the Project Police team wondered what transportation and storage charges he would levy on Norm in retaliation for the squashed spritzer.
The Project Police caravan was not yet satisfied with the massive destruction already unleashed so they descended upon Kermit Steria's BD-5B. The workmanship here was excellent one would even think that an A&P had done it, maybe even a future IA! The fuselage was suspended in the workshop skewered nose to tail like a giant shish kabob and the nose bowl appeared to be half porcupine.
The Project Police Team noted that; 1.) the aft cockpit bulkhead sported a two inch wide section down its middle for a more roomy cockpit. 2.) a large section was added to the engine bay for more realistic engine and cooling accommodations. 3.) the formers which the Project Police team examined were hand formed around homemade dies (this is a kit?) as were the ribs for the wing and tail sections. 4.) a lot can be learned from observing this kind of craftsmanship.
Their quest for blood temporarily sated, the Project Police congratulated each other for yet another brutal raid. Although no more sprinklers were sacrificed during the second raid, two projects had been probed, rummaged, and thoroughly investigated. As the group crept into the darkness of the desert night, "I'll be back" echoed from the sagebrush.
Late breaking news item: CE has put a contract out on a certain Project Police Vehicle and its driver.
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 22 February 1997