On the move…


When I started, I was hoping to move the project out to a local airport when it outgrew the garage.  My job change means that the actual drive is about 800 miles longer than I expected.

 I made the move over a 3 day weekend. I picked up a 16 foot truck, hoping it was enough.

I was able to do some of the loading myself, but needed some help with the tailcone. My son dropped in on his way to class to help with that.

I had other errands to do in mid-afternoon, but got back and emptied almost everything else by evening. What was left was mostly trash, wood, and a few things I couldn’t secure because I ran out of ratchet straps 

The next morning, I broke down the rest of the wood platforms and waited for my wife to stop by for lunch.  The two of us got all the leftover wood from 9 years if house projects loaded on to the van and we got it all to the dump.  Then I drove back to the shop, loaded the van with more junk for the dump and some things for storage. Made it  to the dump with 10 minutes to spare.Then it was back to the shop (4th trip in two days!) to load up the last pieces that I hoped to get on the truck.  I got those in the van, leaving an empty shop. It was hard to leave.  I have so many great memories of the build.  The new place is heated though! 

Got home and had to unload half the truck and then reload it to try and get everything on board.  My son lent me a hand and we managed, in his words, “to Tetris the hell out of it.” Everything fit (barely).  I was worried that things would shift, but I secured everything the best I could manage.

My son and I got out the door at 7am on Sunday. The plan was to go I-80 most of the way to Chicago, but the navigation app bounced us through Akron and headed us toward Fort Wayne, Indiana.  It also seemed to find the most pothole ridden route imaginable.

The weather has been fine until we hit the Indiana state line. It started with a few flakes, but soon developed into a nasty blizzard.  It was then that I discovered that the windshield wiper fluid was either empty or frozen. It was hard to keep the windshield clear.  After a couple of hours, it was clear that we wouldn’t make it to Illinois that night, so we got a hotel for the night.

The next day, the weather was better. We passed a lot of trucks and cars that had slid off the road the night before.  We got stuck behind an accident that backed things up for almost 40 minutes, but managed to get to Bult Field by 11am.

There I met up with Bob (a Chicago Sonex and Van’s builder), found the airport manager for the keys, and drove out to the hangar…

….and then drove back to the terminal building while the maintenance crew plowed the row and dug the hangar door out. 


I backed the truck into the hangar, held my breath, and opened the door…


There had been a little shifting, but it looked ok.  At least the wings were still secured to the cradle! 


We unstrapped the items on the end and started unloading.  Basically un-Tetrising the work from Saturday.  We finally dug out the tail cone. Some heavy items had shifted, but everything emerged unscathed.

We didn’t try to set anything up, just did a rough sort. Tools and fixtures to one side, parts and assemblies to another.


We even set up the comfy chair! 

The hangar has a lot more room than the factory! 

I even got a little building in that day… Not on my own plane, but on Bob’s.  He had some tricky rivets to buck.  Some went in beautifully, a couple were really hard to get to.  It was nice to practice on someone else’s plane! I think I’ll just use pop rivets in those really tough holes when I get there.  I’ll also probably set up a rotisserie to simplify the bucking (Bob is rotating his by hand).


Next up, I have to figure out how to get to the airport without a car.  I’ll be out some weekend in the near future, I hope.  It would be nice to get some of the set up work done.  There’s a train from the city to University Park 8 miles away… That will probably work if I can grab a cab or bike the last bit.

Meanwhile, I have the ailerons and flaps to work on in my basement in NY.  

Somehow, I’ll keep making progress.


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