Project And Dinner, Ver 1998.1

Russ Erb

Originally published February 1998

This month's meeting consisted primarily of a pre-planned Project Police raid on the house of Howard Judd where he and Dave VanHoy had their Giles G-202 on display waiting for us. Somehow word had leaked out that we were coming. Since Dave's newsletter was kicked back by the U.S. Postal Service (send me an updated address!) we can only suspect that HoJo was guilty of actually reading and paying attention to his newsletter. The lengths some people will go to…

The Initial Assault

When I arrived about 1720 with my wingman Gary Aldrich tucked in closely in trail formation, the grilling had already begun. We had Bob Waldmiller cornered right on our 6 o'clock, who had just recently finished the Cherokee rebuild.

Project Police Officer George Gennuso was the first to report a discrepancy. HoJo and Beans were cited for one count of "Lack of Motivational Photograph In Workshop." According to the Project Police Inspection Manual, each workshop should be equipped with a photograph or drawing of a completed example of the project for use for motivational purposes.

We attempted to cite the perpetrators for not using Chapter 1000 Standardized Work Tables, but were informed the table we were viewing was not a worktable but manufacturer-specified tooling for aligning the cradle blocks for the wing assembly which was found there upon. This variation was allowed, and we were directed to two standardized work tables positioned along the wall. One of these tables was found to meet specs, but the other showed a blatant disregard for the designer's intent and Bob Waldmiller's exhaustive research to determine the optimum height for a table to be 33-3/4 inches. The offending table was approximately 12" too tall. HoJo, who probably ranks in at least the 95th percentile for height in Chapter 1000, offered the weak defense that the tables were designed for the 50th percentile builder. This reasoning was disallowed, and Bob was heard to say "Well, we'll just have to saw your legs off!" It was not clear if he was referring to the table's legs or HoJo's.

Like many projects, much of the work done heretofore was not necessarily obvious. The left wing was upside down on its cradle table. It was mostly as received, but getting it properly aligned and in that cradle was no simple feat. This aircraft has a fuselage fuel tank which is used for aerobatics. For cross-country, this tank is supplemented by a tank in each wing between two spars and the upper and lower skins. The sealant had been applied in the tank area. The full span ailerons were assembled and mounted in place. The part of the wing that was most popular among the inspectors was the electrical wiring harness conduit, consisting of highly refined, precision-milled, aircraft-quality thinwall PVC tubing (you know, that pipe you pick up at Home Base to repair your sprinkler system).

The fuselage halves have not been bonded yet, but were displayed assembled. The vertical fin consists of fiberglass, unlike the carbon fiber of the rest of the airframe. This allows placing the COM antenna inside the vertical fin structure. The vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer were assembled and in place on the fuselage. The rudder, which had been shown at the December 1996 chapter meeting fresh out of the box, was assembled and displayed on a nearby table.

Much discussion was heard amongst the inspectors, and all were in agreement that the workmanship on display was of the highest quality and met Project Police standards. HoJo and Beans were authorized to continue with the project.

However, immediately prior to the mass exodus from the garage workshop, Bob Waldmiller produced the Project Police's secret weapon, the dreaded Project Police Dust Depth Detection Indicator (P23DI). This instrument of terror was handed to Gary Aldrich, who proceeded to follow the instructions printed thereon. We suspect that President Aldrich was delinquent in his P23DI continuation training, as the first reading taken came up "Great Cookies--A+ Rating." As no cookies had been offered to the assembled inspectors, this reading was written off to operator error. A second reading yielded "Ran Out Of Cookies -- F- Rating." No further readings were taken pending retraining.

Moving inside, the Project Police were treated to high-salt snacks and high-fructose drinks. A video tape was shown of the perpetrators mixing a filler substance in precise quantities to a highly controlled "mayonnaise" consistency. This was spread between the ribs and closing skin of the horizontal tail to ensure no gaps in the final bonding process. The perpetrators at this point had still not settled their debate on the importance of wearing a respirator (the Project Police recommend using one). They were also seen having hallucinations (possibly from the HySol) that they were building an RV-8, manifested in their use of clecos to hold the two skins together in alignment. HoJo was heard to complain about having to clean the epoxy out of the clecos, but was judged delirious. After all, none of us sheet metal airplane builders have had that problem with our clecos…

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Revised -- 20 September 1998