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CHINA ZIGOLO BUILD PART II

CHINA ZIGOLO BUILD PART II

 I am Ok with a lot of travelling but those 15-1/2 hour legs to China really push my limits. I am almost looking forward to working with frozen aluminum somewhere in the middle of China. Almost.

Here is my Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of United Airlines. Not one single cranberry and the turkey is a bit questionable…..

I only have 5 days to meet my goal of flying this Zigolo by Friday so I can continue the rest of my twice-around-the-world travel. Let’s see: Covering takes 2 days, painting takes 2 days. There is ½ day left of building. ½ day left of final assembly. ½ day for engine break-in, control adjustments, weight & balance, etc., plus transport and re-assembly to that open field they refer to as their ‘airport’. I think that totals 6 days.

Day one we completed most of the remaining build and covered the bottom ½ of the wings. Day two we finished all of the remaining covering and even managed some shrinking and a primer coat on the half of wing that we were able to shrink. At this rate we may just make our Friday term.

That fast work can lead to work injuries! Guess what happens when you cut your finger that is set for your phone fingerprint reader? 

Plus we have a big issue with gluing the fabric. Stewart Systems glue has a minimum working temperature of 65 degrees. I am not so keen on making a test flight with a high probability that the fabric will peel off. Plus the latex paint may not dry until spring in this weather. Fortunately my trusty assistant/translator has found a solution: We commandeered the factory conference room! Good thing the boss is out of town. Wings just barely fit in. A few hours of space heaters later I was down from 6 layers of clothes to only 2 and the glue was setting. Perfect.

Helps to have 5 hands with a paint brush in each of them!

Now day 3 which was 90% painting and some PPG wiring. The Chinese are good at painting! 5 hands with paint brushes in them speeds the primer coat along quite nicely.

While the glue and paint are drying we managed to complete the engine break-in protocol and set the PPG meter parameters.

Day 4 is finally done with painting and now final assembly. Pushed hard to finish today but came up just short. So tomorrow should be ½ day to adjust ailerons, final checks and test flight. Engine broken in. That means 6.5 then 4.5 days totaling 11 days start to finish.

Up before dawn, again. Finished the last bolts and control adjustments in only 1 hour. Now only to take apart and transport to the airport for the test flight.  Met the aggressive time term with 3 hours to spare!

Finished Zigolo!!!! Next step to move it to the airport for test flight. Photo of owner Mr. Ding, Kit, and some other important guy….

I finally used my VPN to access Google Maps to find out where the hell I am. The small city of Fenglingdu about 2 hours drive from Xi’an. Apparently we are very close to the path the Silk Road took. One of the nearby villages has a very large Chinese Muslin population from ancient middle east settlers. I can hardly imagine the efforts and perils required to make such a long trip with horses, carts, and walking. Easy to see why some of those traders settled in China rather than return so far to the middle east. And here I am whining about long aircraft flights. Regardless, plenty of their culture remains here now and we enjoyed a very nice middle-eastern dinner with lamb and lamb soup and a few other this unidentifiable to me.

Lamb dinner with some of the crew. And outdoor seafood grill with the boss in a huge fish market in Zhuhai.

Watch this space to see what happens next….. Part III coming up.

CHIP

 

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Chip W. Erwin
South Lakeland Airport
Lakeland, FL
262-408-0124

info@aeromarine-lsa.com

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