In this update: Engine test at Port of Shelton; Blown tires; and a Fire ban in Washington State…oh well!
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This week the team traveled to our test site located on Sanderson Field in Shelton, WA. Once again the good folks of the Port of Shelton are a big part of our success. Today most of the team made it including: Steve Wallace, Steve Rima, Sean Rondestvedt, Andrew Kirk, Chris Greene, Corey Dawson, Eric Helpenstell, Don Mitchell, Dave Selby, Jackson Kinney, Tom Tiede, Keith Zanghi, Cam, Rachel and Alex Shadle, Ed and Elaine Shadle. Getting the long distance award was Rich Pengelley who flew up from Carson City Nevada to help us.
Saturday started off with a bang. Steve Rima and Steve Wallace made it as far as Gravely Lake Drive on I-5 when the inside tire of the communication motorhome blew. It tore up the wheel well and gas inlet filler tube. Good thing Keith is a RV Repairman! They were able to limp back to the shop, and move the telemetry equipment to Steve Wallace’s data aquisition vehicle (his Suburu).
John Drury and Chris Greene were in the semi and when they drove right by the Hwy 101 turnoff they made an extra trip toward Montesano in order to find a turnaround. They were a little late arriving at the airport but that didn’t matter because the gates were locked and we couldn’t get in. Ed and Elaine went to various businesses at the airport, trying to find someone with keys. No one could help. Finally by about 9:30 (about 1 hour later than our schedule) John Dobson arrived and unlocked the airport access gate. There was no porta potty delivered so we used the flatbed trailer to hijack one from the SCCA race track for the day. THEN we got positioned and began unloading. Our hydraulic crane is still giving us fits but we were able to get the Eagle on the ground and ready to run by noon. We did our first engine run at 12:15. After all the drama, we were only 15 minutes past our scheduled engine run.
We did two engine runs and about six goes into afterburner. We had really good AB lights and everything worked well, with two exceptions. Our generator would not switch over which means we will have to pull it and figure out why. The second was telemetry problems, which Steve Rima and Steve Wallace will work on. Basically, we are in pretty good shape for the September runs; with only two issues to resolve over the next couple months.
Les Holm was attending a funeral for a close friend, so Cam had crew chief duties for the day. The crew worked so well together that we had no concerns about unload or loading. Von Armstrong couldn’t make it out for the day so Chris Greene took over hotdog duties. The propane ran out (!) so we had hotdogs heated by nature (sunshine on the barbeque). Yummy!
Lars Pedersen was beat out of the long distance award this week by Rich Pengelley, who recently moved to Nevada. Rich is now next door neighbors with Eric Wittler and the two of them will be carpooling in the future.
Mason County Fire District 11 sprayed hundreds of gallons of water
There is a fire ban in all of Washington State, but when we read the decree we saw nothing about afterburner tests! With help of the Mason County Fire District 11 and Professional Firefighters on the team, we made sure we didn’t burn down the western side of the Evergreen State!
Rich Pengelley gets ready to start the Eagle while John Drury and Chris Greene look on
Sean Rondestvedt, Dave Selby and Eric Helpenstell pumped in 210 gallons for today’s test
USAF and DOD trained team members Dave Selby and Corey Dawson take their positions
Steve Wallace and Steve Rima were chasing electrons today
Ed facilitates a safety meeting prior to the test
Guest and Visitors!
Today many friends, relatives, sponsors, and neighbors showed up to see the North Amerian Eagle™ engine test. From age 2 to 82, it was a hot day for everyone while temperatures settled in the mid 90s.
Lars Pedersen’s son and daughter- in-law were there to see the test
Bob Garrison from Idex Solutions brought his 9 year old grandson William
Team completed two afterburner engine tests
Wolfe Air Video Featured at 2015 Le Bourget Paris Air Show
For the 2nd year in a row, Wolfe Air of Pasadena CA and one of our longtime sponsors has produced a beautiful test flight of the Boeing 787 in preparation for the Paris Air Show. Billions of dollars are exchanged in this world wide aerospace supermarket. In week two there has been over 11 million hits! Wolfe Air has provided aerial footage of every test run since 2007. We are proud to be a part of Dan Wolfe’s team!
Microsoft Ignite 2015 North American Eagle™ Video
Take a look at Microsoft’s video featuring the North American Eagle™ from their Microsoft Ignite Conference.
The LeMay Family Collection
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Eric Wittler’s Chasing Clounds.net images were used in the Microsoft Ignite booth in Chicago.