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Thread: Lowrider LSA

  1. #1841

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    Sky,

    That makes sense to lap over top. I was going to check the RV site and refresh my memory but 43.13 is a better source for sure. I did the RV wing set between 2 post standing up and not flat on a table...seems like a better way from an ease of access standpoint. I'm having some issues getting square with no twist. Once I get things right I will put the bottom skin on. I'm using a laser level so it is easy to get it set up but clamping in place is not simple.

    I'll follow 43.13 for laps. Dimpling a 48" sheet is a bear.

    Average Feb snow is 8.7" in La Nina years and we have 41" so far. Come on Spring!!
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  2. #1842
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    Wing Skins

    Low,
    Are you buying prebent skins or bending your own?

    There are two very important things for you to keep in mind when assembling the wings. Make absolutely certain that the twist in each wing is exactly the same.
    The other is that the leading edge radius is correct for the airfoil and is accurate on all of the skins. AND that it is the same on both wings.

    A trick. After the leading edge radius is formed accurately, form a slight curve in the opposite direction (away from the wing rib curve) in the remainder of the sheet. This will force the skin to sit tight against the rib when you drill and fasten it, thus eliminating puckers between the rivets. Work from the leading edge aft.

    IF both leading edges are not exactly the same and to the proper airfoil contour, the performance will not be what you expect. It could be better or more likely it could be worse. One wing may fall off in a stall or the other wing may drop first. It may have a benign stall or it may be abrupt and scary. I flew many different versions of the same model production airplane with a tapered wing. Some of them would stall to the left, some would stall to the right. Some were superb low speed short takeoff performers, others were outright dogs. It was later learned that the cause was a production error. The radius of the leading edge varied from wing to wing. Once the manufacturer started verifying the leading edge with special tooling, the irregularities disappeared.

    Dimple with light taps of the rivet gun after all holes are drilled. Not a big deal.
    N1PA
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  3. #1843

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    Bending my own. I understand the need for matching wings and will do my best to make it so.

    Last sentence...does that mean "dimple with the rivet"...never done that. I'll practice on some scrap. Is there a trick?
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  4. #1844
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    No not dimple with a rivet. That's possible but tedious and can get away from you. A tool such as these:
    http://www.aircraft-tool.com/shop/search.aspx
    I have the top round one. You also need a dimple/die set for each size rivet which you expect to use. These dimple/dies also fit in a hand squeezer. It just takes a light tap to accomplish the mission. Don't over do it.

    Make sure that the rivet gun is held perpendicular to the skin in order to prevent smiley faces. Practice on scrap.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 02-08-2017 at 12:51 PM.
    N1PA

  5. #1845

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    Your link didn't work but I think I have what you're talking about. A heavy round thing with the female die that goes under the sheet and a smaller one that takes the male die. Whack the small one and it sets the dimple. I also have the long arm one that is table mounted but won't reach more than maybe 18".
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  6. #1846
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    N1PA
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  7. #1847

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    Yes Sir...same ones I have. They work well but are slow and they must be exactly perpendicular to the sheet for good results. Thanks for reminding me!!
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  8. #1848
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    You will be very pleased with yourself after you have finished.
    N1PA
    Thanks Lowrider thanked for this post

  9. #1849

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    Alright, frustration set in today with trying to set up my wing on the table. If I get the front spar right the there is a twist somewhere and I can't find it....I give up after hours of fooling with it. I took off for Home Depot (with a not so quick stop for fried indian bread, a bowl of clam chowder and giant (1lb) pastrami on fried sour dough sandwich) and picked up two 4x4x8', six 2x4x8' and piece of 1 1/2" PVC to suck down the nose bends. I'm going to stand up the wing between the 4x's and plumb and square it so I can get the damn thing correct. I used this method for my RV 4 wings and they turned out just fine. After all, how hard can a straight wing be to skin anyway! I think by using the 3 direction at once laser level it should be pretty much a simple process setting it up properly and locking it in place. We'll see...suggestions?
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  10. #1850

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    I got my frame work up to suspend the wing. It's cross braced and very solid. just waiting for a couple little things to get done before hang the wing. Ihave painting to do on steel parts before I start skinning.

    I did use the "vacuum bend" method to get the nose bend done on the first piece of skin. It worked great and I learned that my 5 hp shop vac is just a little too much suck for this method. It took about 12 nano seconds for it to go from the "looped" skin to the skin hugging the 1.5" PVC tightly. My first thought was oooops, I ruined the skin but when I removed all the tape and plastic and the PVC the 0.025 2024T3 sprang back to an appropriate bend and no indication of being any worse for the experience. I have a 1.5hp vacuum that I'll try on the next piece...the big one scared me! Just a word to the wise.
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  11. #1851

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    I have my tank straps primed and ready for paint. I planned to use anti-chafe tape between the straps and the tank but what I have is 1" and the straps are 1" and I wanted an overlap on the straps so it they shifted in turbulence or another reason the edge of the strap would not be in contact with the aluminum tank. I suppose most anything that would isolate the strap like inner tube rubber would suffice. Anybody have any ideas?
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  12. #1852
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    Glue the anti-chafe tape on the straps not the tank.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 02-19-2017 at 06:52 AM.
    N1PA

  13. #1853

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    Another option would be Aircraft Spruce #05-01800 neoprene channel designed for that.
    Practicing open cockpit extremism

  14. #1854

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    Sky,

    That was the plan but I am concerned that the edge of the strap could rub on the tank.

    Marcus,

    That looks like a better solution than the cloth tape. I searched ACS but I think I was looking for anti-chafe and didn't see the rubber strap material...gotta be specific on searches! Thanks!
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  15. #1855
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    I just used a strip of thin felt glued to the straps. It won't move and it's unlikely that there will be movement between the tank and straps. Emphasis on unlikely, not impossible.
    N1PA

  16. #1856

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    Maybe I'm over thinking this again, but I was interested in having a soft "skid proof" material between the tank and the straps. That's why I was thinking inner tube rubber or something similar. I would have thought felt would wear thru quickly, but I guess if the tank can't move it won't matter so much.
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  17. #1857

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    We got the wing hung on the posts and it is Straight, square and plumb and the whole thing is rock solid. I'll start tomorrow to get the first piece of skin set up and ready to start drilling holes. I'm going to use the same straps that I used on my RV-4 wings and see how that works out. The wing contour is way different but it should work with a little tweaking or whatever it takes. Feels really good to get to this point if only with one wing...it's progress...now we'll see if I can buck rivets.
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  18. #1858

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    Today's progress:

    wing hung 005.jpg
    Now, to take it apart and dimple. I did get assistance from my wife...she cleco'd and I drilled...went much faster but it didn't come without a price...lunch tomorrow at Mick Duffs...oh well...they have the best calamari in town!


    wing hung 005.jpg
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  19. #1859
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    Looking good Low, Do you have a mushroom rivet set? http://www.cleavelandtool.com/1-Mush.../#.WK7L3tJViko
    You should use one for your flush rivets on the skins. Some of the rivets on the nose ribs look as though you used too much pressure with the set in relation to the rib. There are some dimples around the rivets. Look at the second and fourth nose ribs outboard of the leading edge skin. You don't want this on your nice smooth skins.
    N1PA

  20. #1860

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    Thanks Sky!

    There are no rivets in there yet. It may be some clecos I put in from the back that makes it look that way. That's 0.025 2024-T3 and it is hard to make that nose rib bend even with it pre-bent with the vacuum. The rest of the skin will be 0.020 so it should be a little easier but also easier to put "smiles" on the skin.

    I do have a mushroom set with the rubber around the edges. I'm planning to back-rivet in those areas where I can. I made a 2" round brass bucking bar that works really well for that. It gets beat up some but I just put it in the lathe and "freshen it up" a bit.
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  21. #1861
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Thanks Sky!

    There are no rivets in there yet.

    I do have a mushroom set with the rubber around the edges. I'm planning to back-rivet in those areas where I can. I made a 2" round brass bucking bar that works really well for that. It gets beat up some but I just put it in the lathe and "freshen it up" a bit.
    Look outboard of the skin which is clecoed in place. Count outboard to the 2nd and 4th exposed nose ribs. From here it appears that the rivets which are holding the vertical stiffeners are dimpled. This is from not holding the angle stiffener while driving the rivets. If you held the bucking bar in the palm of your hand and held the stiffener with two fingers of that hand while driving the rivets, the dimpling could have been prevented.
    N1PA

  22. #1862

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    I'll take a look. Thanks.
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  23. #1863

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    Right you are! I did those on the table with a plate under the rib and it looks like I must have hit the rivet before it was on the plate...lesson learned.
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  24. #1864

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    I'm on the 3rd skin piece and that involves the landing/taxi light. I'm putting in a 30 watt LED with a 60* beam which I aimed maybe 100 yds in front of the nose when in an approximate 3 pt landing configuration. I had the wing hung on the fuselage awhile back and estimated where to aim inside my shop with the house lights off so it very well may need some tweaking once real time flying happens. This will probably just be a bright light for recognition purposes. I'm also doing nav and a strobe light.

    My plan is to cut the skin in an approximate shape, finish riveting the skin then go back to make the plexiglass lens and trim ring before painting. Is that the usual method or would it be better to put the finish cut and make the trim while I still have access to the inside of the wing? I shouldn't need to get into the light unless it needs re-aiming since it's LED and no bulb to replace (I hope). Thoughts?
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  25. #1865
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    My plan is to cut the skin in an approximate shape, finish riveting the skin then go back to make the plexiglass lens and trim ring before painting. Is that the usual method or would it be better to put the finish cut and make the trim while I still have access to the inside of the wing? I shouldn't need to get into the light unless it needs re-aiming since it's LED and no bulb to replace (I hope). Thoughts?
    It is always better to have access and not use it than to not have it and need it.

    Before you cut the leading edge for the landing light make sure that the bend in the leading edge is accurate or just a whisker tighter than desired. If not the skin will spring outward when you cut the hole making a bulge in the skin around the landing light. You will not like this.
    N1PA

  26. #1866

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    Hmmm...good thought on the skin springing out. Would it make sense to cut out a "frame" for the light opening, rivet it in place THEN cut the hole? I will have access into the wing by removing the plexi if needed. I was only going to make one ring with nut plates on the inside but making another for the outside would not be a big deal.

    The light is a 10 watt not 30 watt as previously mentioned. I bought a 30 watt light for my baby Kubota (the one that bit my hand) and haven't installed it yet. I might put that one inside the engine cowl as a taxi light since it is a 120* flood.
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  27. #1867
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    You want the "spring out" stress to be removed before you cut the hole. Riveting the frame in first will only fool you into thinking the "bend out" stresses are removed. Bending the leading edge correctly is no more work than doing it wrong. I would prefer a little over-bending than under-bending in this situation as the "outward" puckers will not be present and the riveted frame will counter any inward force.

    If you can gain access by removing the landing light lens, you don't need another ring. I agree with minimizing the amount of cutouts, but make sure that you have enough.

    IF you make a slight reverse curve aft of the leading edge bend, when you rivet the skin to the ribs it will sit tight and straight between the ribs.
    If not the spring back stresses will cause the skin to have a slight hump between the ribs. This can be done after you drill the rivet holes before riveting if you find that the skin raises between the ribs when clecoed. Place a straight edge spanwise across the ribs. Is the skin flat?
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 02-25-2017 at 09:49 AM.
    N1PA

  28. #1868

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    ...

    IF you make a slight reverse curve aft of the leading edge bend, when you rivet the skin to the ribs it will sit tight and straight between the ribs.
    If not the spring back stresses will cause the skin to have a slight hump between the ribs. This can be done after you drill the rivet holes before riveting if you find that the skin raises between the ribs when clecoed. Place a straight edge spanwise across the ribs. Is the skin flat?
    Lost me on the reverse curve. Do you mean bending the skin inward slightly? Yes, the skin is flat so far.

    I used an 8' straight edge on the ribs top, ends and bottom and adjusted them as needed which wasn't much before I put the wing in the upright frame. I found it necessary to do the same thing after I pulled the forward spar into a straight line using a 3 axis laser level which I can highly recommend to anyone trying to do this with a string and bubble level. It's a Bosch product I bought to use in building my shop/hanger and house but it worked really well for this application too. BTW, my shop stem walls are square and level within 1/4" using that little sucker. It does require early morning or late afternoon use or you can't see the laser. That sure helped when I built the walls, roof and siding.
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  29. #1869
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Lost me on the reverse curve. Do you mean bending the skin inward slightly? Yes, the skin is flat so far.
    When you drop the prebent skin over the leading edge into the correct position does any part of it touch the ribs or is it sprung away from the ribs? If when you drill and install the clecos they pull the skin into the ribs, the skin can bow up away from the ribs due to the built in stress trying to pull the skin away from the ribs. If the skin has a slight curve away from the ribs, when you pull it down and fasten it there will be no outward stresses raising it up away from the ribs. This can cause the skin to raise away from the rib shape between the ribs. Hmmm? It's a bit difficult to explain. Your pictures of the bottom of the leading edge skin looks good. Have you drilled and clecoed the top yet? When you have that done show me a picture. If it is flat spanwise you may disregard what I'm trying to explain. The top with it's greater curve is more apt to not want to lay flat.
    N1PA

  30. #1870

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    Now I got it! I went out and checked all the ribs beyond mid point and found a couple main ribs that protruded maybe an 1/8" on the bottom so I applied a dead blow rubber hammer and solved the problem. The ribs were flat once the edge was bent to a 90* as it should have been. Top was fine.


    The skin over the nose ribs fit the rib pretty tightly and when drilled and cleco'd the skin is straight with a 4' straight edge. I could also put a "stiffener" on the inside where the light opening will be...say out of 0.032 2024 to keep the skin from moving when it's cut. I see what you mean since it's 0.020 and there is a pretty large hole without support.


    I'm also getting ready for the pitot/static tubes and I'm still thinking inboard of the strut attach point to give it some protection. I need to set it back on the wing anyway since the two tubes are welded together on the one you suggested so it will be difficult to try to bend it down from a farther forward position. Thoughts?
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  31. #1871

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    Took awhile to find this picture but this is the pitot/static tubes I have from ACS. This is shown on a Sonics and I want to put it on the first flat area just inboard of the strut attach point to give it some protection from folks taller than me.
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  32. #1872
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    It looks as though the bottom of the ribs have a slight concave curve. You have three considerations for the location. Well outboard of the prop blast, inboard of the turbulence generated by the strut attachment to the spar and away from banging heads. It wants to be either parallel to the path of flight or pointed down by as much as 10 degrees for slow speed accuracy. Mine is parallel to the flight path (adjustable) and is 100% accurate from 40 - 160 mph. Below 40 - 30 IAS there is a 5+ mph error to the high side.

    Is your entrance door on the right side only? Place the pitot under the left wing.

    My suggestion based on your picture in post #1858 is adjacent (inboard) to the second exposed rib outboard of the wing skin centered on the web midway between the second and third lightening hole aft of the spar. Cut a scrap of .032" about 2-1/2" - 3" square (or whatever size best fits more than the pitot base). Bend it 90 degrees diagonally (forms two triangles). Bend up each side 3/16" or so to stiffen the edges. Make sure that there is a smooth radius at the 90* bend where the edges are bent up so that no cracks can form. This piece will be riveted (3ea) to the rib (AN470-3) and the bottom skin (AN426-3 or AN470-3) and will reinforce the attachment of the pitot. Also it will prevent the bottom skin from cracking (important) at the base of the pitot due to vibration over time.

    Second location choice is to move it forward to the next web on the rib.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 02-26-2017 at 08:07 AM.
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  33. #1873

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    Well. I'd like to thank all the folks out there that have been viewing these project reports. We slipped over 300K views this morning and that's incredible to me that so many are interested in my efforts to build a flying machine. I believe in no small part their interest stems from the guidance and advise that is being provided by other builders and mostly Sky who is a constant source of expert information and innovation.

    Thanks Skywagon8a (Pete) for all your help and for sticking with this effort!!

    I made a 3" diameter 0.032 piece to fit inside the skin and adjacent to the rib at whatever point I choose to put the pitot. My thinking is that the base of the pitot on the outside can then be shimmed to adjust the angle to keep it into the prevailing airflow...maybe 10* down from centerline of the wing chord. Does that make sense?
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  34. #1874
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I made a 3" diameter 0.032 piece to fit inside the skin and adjacent to the rib at whatever point I choose to put the pitot. My thinking is that the base of the pitot on the outside can then be shimmed to adjust the angle to keep it into the prevailing airflow...maybe 10* down from centerline of the wing chord. Does that make sense?
    If that 3" circle is in the middle of a skin without being attached to a stiffener (rib) it can cause cracks in the skin next to the rivet holes. Any motion caused by vibration must be eliminated or the possibility for cracking exists.

    You want the pitot to be parallel to the line of flight. The chord line of the wing may be a few degrees up thus pointing the pitot that many degrees out of line. A pitot tube wants to be +/- 10 degrees to the airflow. Of course zero is the most accurate.
    N1PA

  35. #1875

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    I was planning to put two of the attach rivets inside of the rib flange so it won't cause a bulge in the skin. Maybe putting it over the rib on the outside with 2 of the 4 rivets on the rib flange. I could also put an "L" shaped piece on the inside attached to the web of the rib and extend out to support the other 2 rivets. That should stiffen up the skin to reduce/stop vibration. I'm going to try bending the tubes between the base and the 1st weld and see how that goes.
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  36. #1876
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I was planning to put two of the attach rivets inside of the rib flange so it won't cause a bulge in the skin. Maybe putting it over the rib on the outside with 2 of the 4 rivets on the rib flange. I could also put an "L" shaped piece on the inside attached to the web of the rib and extend out to support the other 2 rivets. That should stiffen up the skin to reduce/stop vibration.
    There are numerous little methods to reduce relative motion, preventing cracks. Just keep them in mind when you are building something.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I'm going to try bending the tubes between the base and the 1st weld and see how that goes.
    And what if it doesn't go? I like the shim idea better unless the tubing is soft and pliable.
    You could make a little aerodynamic shape to cover the vertical portion to reduce a little drag.
    N1PA

  37. #1877

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    Too hard to bend...back to shims. The shape is a good idea...maybe foam covered with epoxy coating.

    A wise man once told me I could use a thin layer of silicone on the inside around the area to stop vibration. He crew chiefed Marine One for a couple years so he wasn't concerned about weight. He also told me spit on my finger before I used it to spread silicone...it won't stick to saliva...it works too.
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  38. #1878
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    I helped build the first four Sikorsky S-61 Marine Ones in 1962.
    N1PA
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  39. #1879

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    No wonder you know so much!!

    I got selected for floppy wing driver school at Ft Campbell but at the last minute they stopped the program...just as well I suppose.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  40. #1880
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    My friend Wally served on Marine 1 as a maintenance chief for Reagan, Geo H.W. Bush and slick Willies first term. He is now a maintenance supervisor on the Airbus for UPS. He has plenty of stories about the experience.

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