In this Update: Fuselage getting a face lift; Sparks are flying; A data kind of day; New hand on board

This Week’s Featured Sponsors

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Ducking cover from the rain this workday: Ed Shadle, Les Holm, Sean Rondestvedt, Cameron Shadle, Jon Higley, Von Armstrong, Jason Mitchell, Steve Wallace, Andrew Kirk, Omar Chramosta, Keith Zanghi, Brandyn Bayes and new team member Ken Broyles.  Steve Rima was traveling the countryside today looking for  a new communication center.  He and Mark Moore have been scouring the want ads for a vehicle to use.

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There is nothing a 777 Flight Line Mechanic and AOG Mechanic can’t do!

Les did a fine job of recruiting recently, convincing a friend and former co-worker to come by the hangar and watch the fun.  Ken Broyles brought along his coveralls and jumped right in.  Ken retired a year ago after nearly 50 years of world wide experience in the aircraft industry.  It showed today as he got some hands on time with the team.  Like Les, Ken worked in  AOG (Aircraft On Ground).  When planes run off the end of a runway, run into a building, or any other incident causing damage,  AOG mechanics are sent out into the field to repair and put them back into service.  They are the best of the best! Welcome aboard, Ken.

During the past week, Ed and Les did some hangar time.  Ed finished up refashioning the parachute cannister release mechanism.  It works much better now.  They also did some limited testing of the new hydraulic lift system.  That performs just as they want it to do.  When the car is back on the floor it will be fully tested under load.

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 Some major work lies ahead in fashioning new under belly panel doors.  Today’s work centered on the forward access door under the cockpit area.  It was removed last weekend.  The team went to work removing all the old and unused hydraulic fittings and building up new interior support frames.  Once again the welding equipment from Central Welding Supply and their family of businesses, were put to good use.  Keith loves to put on his helmet and make the sparks fly!   The old fuselage skin will be replaced with new sheet metal paneling.  The latch assemblies will be replaced with new parts. All this is easier said than done. Replacement parts for a 60 year old jet fighter plane are not found just anywhere.  Ed had a catalog in hand, identifying parts numbers and thinking about sources.


Steve Wallace had his head in the data compartment again today.  He is on the last laps of getting the new air pressure sensors configured into the onboard computer system.  He is also redesigning the suspension methods for the electronics rack, so that it is subject to less shock and vibration while the car is running at speed. 

Brandyn and Andrew were back from their fine showing at the FIRST Robotics Competition for area high school teams.  Andrew was doing some bench work on lighting equipment today.  Brandyn had his laptop system up and running.  He was impressed with Keith’s recently acquired Lenovo ThinkPad, and was busy looking at the wireless features and how they fit with our programs.  Our young IT manager has done wonders in developing our website and various mobile applications for  Von occasionally goes to him for “fixes”while he and Keith get the weekly update on line. Brandyn says “There are no stupid questions.”  We’re just wondering what was left unsaid????

Aerial Footage of 2013 Alvord Test Runs

We put together a brand new video for you, one that showcases some of the aerial footage that was taken during the last test runs at Alvord.  Watch the video by going to our YouTube Page or by clicking on the video below.

Mobile Announcement:  One of our primary focuses is to provide all of you with the latest information regarding the North American Eagle.  In the Summer of 2012, we introduced our mobile apps, first for Android, followed by iOS.  Since then, we have constantly been making improvements to the apps, adding new features such as Classroom Pages, while still providing a great user experience. We have taken great strides to try and ensure that our apps remain compatible with older versions of mobile operating systems, however this requires quite a bit of additional work for every update that we issue.  We recently decided that this year, at the end of June, we will issue our final update for Android 3.2 and lower, as well as iOS 6.1 and lower.  From that point on, any new updates issued will only be for Android 4.0 and above, and iOS 7 and above.  (Please note that the mobile apps will continue to work on these older software versions, we will just be stopping our support of them).  Our goal in making this change is to minimize the time in which it takes us to push new updates to all of you.

 North American Eagle™ on Public Display at the Grand National Roadster Show!  Sponsored by AERIAL Machine and Tool.

The Grand National Roadster Show trip was sponsored by AERIAL Machine and Tool

Since 1926, AERIAL Machine and Tool has been a top supplier for the US Department of Defense, a distinction that continues today.  The company expanded as the nation prepared for World War II.  Sewing capabilities were added and the company began to specialize in life-safety equipment, parachute hardware and accessories, belts, harnesses, restraints and case goods.  These products remain an important part of AERIAL’s business even today.  They support every branch of the US Armed Services: Coast Guard, Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.

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For 10 years AERIAL Machine and Tool has been supporting the efforts of the North American Eagle™.  We are proud to be associated with them!  Visit their website and see the amazing contribution they are making to our country!

Mobile Apps Keep Improving!

 We love to introduce new features to our mobile apps, and the updates that we have issued recently are certainly no exception. Not only did we recently completely overhaul the interface of both our Android and iOS apps, but we’ve also been hard at work adding new features such as access to the North American Eagle classroom. We highly recommend that you upgrade to the latest versions of your respective mobile operating system so that you can take full advantage of these awesome new updates.  Download the app by clicking on your respective app Store logo below.

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 Download on the App Store Badge US-UK 135x40  GooglePlay

Follow us on Twitter @landspeed763

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  Eric Wittler provides many of our website photos.  Visit him at  Here he is with his Lenovo Laptop