Ladies and Gentlemen:
In this update: Loading ramp stand modified; tail cone removed; rear axle being fitted
Reporting in after the holiday weekend respite, Team members: Ed Shadle, Von Armstrong, Steve Wallace, Keith Zanghi, Jeremiah Avery, Rich Pengelley, and Larry and Dustin Martinson.
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Two main tasks were undertaken today; addressing the redesign of the loading ramp stand, and beginning work on making the new rear axle ready for service. First steps included lowering the car to the floor and rolling it forward so that the tail cone could be removed and room made for fitting the axle in place. Steve Green and Eagle Machine Inc. recently fabricated a better rear axle design that required precise measurements and hole placements. They must line up perfectly with existing attachment points on the fuselage. It was an exact fit with the attachment bolts sliding right into place…better than the original design. Work remains on strengthening a couple of points on the axle plate and attaching hydraulic fitting assemblies to the axle. Then comes a protective coat of paint and it will be ready to roll.
Operations outside the hangar and during test sessions often reveal better ways of doing things. Such is the case with the loading/unloading procedures. Prior modifications made to the loading ramp stand were not satisfactory. The ramp angle was too steep and there was not sufficient clearance for the mid-wheels. As a result, it was back to the drawing boards today. Steve and Rich wielded the cutting torch and grinder wheels to cut the heavy steel ramp stand apart. It is being lowered in height to reduce the ramp angle and slightly widened for better tire tracking up and down the ramp. Using our Central Welding Supply / Pacific Welding Supplies welders, Chris and Keith aligned and then rewelded the stand. During the week we will pick up some steel gussets and have a new coat of paint on it next week.
Some magnets in the magnetic brake array were damaged over the years and are in process of being replaced with fresh magnets. Jerry Lamb from LevX® is rebuilding the magnetic pack at his factory in Port Angeles.
Ed and Keith presided over a team meeting to keep all present informed of on going events. The two will be guest speakers at the Capture3D Measurement Innovation 2012 conference August 21-23. Look for more information in the coming weeks.
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All photos on the NAE home page were taken by Eric Wittler at Chasing Clouds.net. Thanks Eric!