Sunday, May 29, 2011

Navy Night Carrier landings, pitching deck!

Here are the links to Navy F-18's landing on the carrier Nimitz.  I referred to these a few posts ago, but coud not find them on youtube.
Hang on to your seats!
Thank you to Gene Hamner, another former Air Force vet who found these for us.
Gene was also a Raven flying an O-1 Bird-dog in Laos as an F.A.C.  Balls!

Carrier Landing on a pitching deck, Part 1
Carrier Landing on a pitching deck, Part 2

This is the kind of flying that Carson did in the Navy.  There is nothing more challenging in aviation.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Charlie looking GOOD!

Charlie has a bit of a split personalilty, as we have decided to paint one half in Army drab, and the other half in Marine Corps green.

We have had an incredible week! Charlie is coming along great! We have a few people who have taken charge of critical projects, and WE HAVE PAINT on the fuselage!

My brother Cal Collier, U.S. Air Force veteran, has been visiting and he has taken control of the painting of Charlie, and the old dawg is looking good!

Here is the Army side of Charlie, complete with banner about the project.  It says, in part:
"To help or donate, call Bill Collier, 208-597-0622"   see another picture for a better view of the banner.
Speaking of which, we could stand to have a few more donations.  As with any project, there are always lots of little unexpected things that eat into the budget,  we are over budget a bit on this project.  Help, please.
If you would like to donate a few bucks, please send tax deductible donations made out to:
V.V.A. chapter 890, Sandpoint, ID 
Send to:  Bill Collier, 402 Sandpoint Ave. No. 224, Sandpoint, ID 83864. 
All help will be greatly appreciated.

Here is Cal standing in front of the USMC side of Charlie.
Cal was an Air Force  missile guidance technician in Korea during the cold war; 
he guided missiles that would have nuked No. Korea if need had come up.

We missed our goal of having Charlie in the "Lost in 50's" parade because we did not get wheel axel nuts made up in time;  since then, Roger King (another Air Force vet) has made a supreme effort to create new nuts for us.  After five tries with his magical and mechanical computerized milling machine, he has matched the diameter and threads of the axel.  We should have axel nets very soon, and ....wheels on!. Everett Wood, Commandant of out local Marine Corps League, took charge of the tires and rims last week and got tubes into the tires, got the split rims back together, and got the wheels ready to install on the axels.  
Roger also took the entire tail wheel assembly and bracket home to work on!  What a great guy!
see an earlier post where Roger took WW2 vet Marilyn Hales for an airplane ride in his 1946 Aronce Chief.

Former USMC H-34 crew chief John Pugh (No relation to Jess Pugh, he says) has taken charge of the sheet metal work, as Charlie received a bit of "fork lift rash" during her decades in captivity.  We are hoping John will make those wounds disappear.

Another former USMC crew chief, Bob Morely stopped by today to offer his assistance and expertise. It looks like we may be putting together a crew for the old beastie.

Last week I got assurance that we are covered by out V.V. A. insurance, so it looks good for having Charlie at our local Veterans Standown on Saturday June 18th. After that....the 4th of July parade!
Army veteran Barry Gage appeared to help today and has taken charge of replicating tail rotor blades for this project.  He is an former U. S. Army helicopter crew chief who grew up to be an aeronautical engineer;  welcome aboard Barry.  He also is talking about how he thinks we can free up the frozen gear boxes after decades of their sitting in the desert without oil in them.  We can use all the help we can get.

Today we mhad a very military moment.  I was standing talking to former Master Sergeant Bob Moreley and his visiting friend.  Three of us shooting the bull bside the helicopter, and one fellow (Cal) actually doing any work.  seems like old times.

I neglected to add to the previous post, but in our last work party last Wednesday former Army soldier Russ Fankell did a superb job on installing one of the fuel cell filler caps.  it was a tricky job with lots of bolts that needed three hands to hold and twist from both sides.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things have been a little quiet on the H-34 rebuild project. Right after "Charlie" arrived we have had an unseasonal period of colder and wetter than usual weather for this time of year.Every time we announced a work party for a certain day, that day turned out cold and wet, and windy sometimes. So progress on the rebuild has been a bit slow.

We did get the nose doors on, the main cargo door installed, and all but one of the windows in. see picture.

Finally last Saturday the weather cooperated and we had five men show up to help.  Rich Faletto re-installed the axel nuts that had been removed in preparation for axel work;  Everett Wood made great progress in repairing our cyclone fence surrounding the enclosure, and Russ Fankell and I managed to get both main tires back together with tubes in them and actually got them inflated.  Not in stalled yet, but inflated and almost ready to install.  Roger King was the big help of the day.  He took the old tail wheel assembly that had the retaining nut frozen in place and unmovebable, home to his personal shop, heated the nut and managed to remove it.  Not only did he salvage it, but brought it back looking like a brand new one.  Thank you Roger!

The biggest problem we are running into is the absolute dearth of old H-34 parts.  We desperately need the large nuts that retain the main wheels onto the axels.  I called the Evergreen museum in McMinnville, OR, as I know they have two H-34's.  They referred me to someone who referred me to a business called Jack's truck sales in AZ.  Turns out Jack is in business with Tim, the fellow we bought the H-34 from.  Of course Tim and Carson are looking for said nuts, also.

  BTW, I neglected to mention earlier, that when Carson delivered the old H-34 and was so helpful in helping us put some major pieces on, he then turned around and handed me a check for $100 to help us with the project.  Thank you Carson!  Every donation helps.

So I spent the better part of a day looking for a machine shop to have the nuts custom made.  that turned out to be a minor quest.  After visiiting about 5-6 places, I was referred to Selkirk C&C, a very competent shop in Ponderay.  Marty said he could make the nuts for us, but he needed the axel to work with.. That precipitated trying to remove the axel, which did not work, and required Rich to later reinstall the axel bolts.  We then tried to remove the entire srut from the helicopter, but that did not work either.  DRAT!  We could have had axel nuts the next day could we have delivered the axel to Selkirk. Marty could not send a machinest to measure the axel in place, even though we offered to pay for his time, for fear of getting it wrong.
Next I went to a machine shop called Royal Precision Machining.  Roy (do you suppose his partner is Al?) Roy said he could do it, and would visit the helicopter to measure it, but he is very busy and could not get to it right away.

DRAT!  It looks like we are thwarted from getting "Charlie into the "Lost in 50's" parade Friday.

We also are still seeking liability insurance for the helciopter in case someone should be injured in or around it.  That also is another reason that we will not make the parade.

more soon