Round the world, again blog


I think it might be Tuesday. But that depends on if I am thinking Florida or China time. I have been going no-stop for weeks so it hardly matters what day it is. First there was a week in Alabama to build a wing. From there I ferried a CH750 down the panhandle to arrive a day before the Sun n Fun airshow started. Then I flew in 4 aircraft to the show: The CH750, a Piper Tri-Pacer, a Merlin, and a long 4-mile cross country in a Zigolo. Then of course the show is non-stop for 6 or so days. And then recover all 4 aircraft back from Sun n Fun plus the booth tent and show stuff in a hurry as the next day I was flying to Germany to attend the AERO show. After a quick show visit it was off to the Czech Republic to visit the Merlin kit manufacturer and my assembly team and buy a new tooth in Prague (part of my ice hockey budget).

From Prague then back to Florida for an entire week before was off to Texas to collect an aircraft and ferry it to Dayton. This trip was delayed some so I ended up flying from Dayton direct to China where I am now sitting in a café 12 hours ahead of most of my 5 blog readers so it is happy hour here at least!

Here is a selfie on my ferry flight. And a couple photos of the weather that trip. I escaped Dallas MVFR and dodged 25 reported tornados across the southern states. Ceilings and visibility most of the trip were marginal and I changed my route countless times to avoid T-storms and rain showers. Landings were eventful with 20-30 knot winds, wind shear warnings and at least one airliner went around within my radio range.

My phone provides the best navigation and weather info…. so does looking out the window.
Pick an airport in the general direction of Ohio and hit Go To. See how it looks and check fuel and bladder and land or pick another Go To along the way…

I only wish the menus had pictures. Last night they brought me something completely inedible. And the Great Chinese Firewall blocks my Google access making communication nearly impossible. At least I know how to say ‘cold beer’ in Mandarin.

I kind of suggested they just bring me some food. They sure did. Enough for an entire family. Some nice fish and vegies.

Fendlingduzhen is where I am. I had to just now look it up. It is the Hooterville or Mayberry RFD of China. Westerners are so rare this far inland I get my photo taken often.  28 hours of airline travel then 2 more hours by car. Working my butt off to assemble and test fly a Zigolo for a customer in record time so I can move to the next stop. Actually it is two Zigolos. I finished one last year here and when I wasn’t looking my Chinese ‘helpers’ bent the fuselage tubes putting it onto a trailer to take it to the ‘airport’ (a flat stretch of grass next to the Yellow River). I had new tubes sent over and have made the repairs and will test fly Zigolo #1 as soon as it stops raining. BTW, I planned the last trip poorly. It was in November and snowing and we are on the south side of the Yellow River where heating is prohibited.

After I finish Zigolo #2 and test fly both aircraft I will be free to continue my travels. First stop is just north of Shenzhen where my electric motor supplier is located. We have what I hope is our production motor and matching 3-blade propeller on the test stand. I will be there for the final tests and check the performance and sound levels before shipping to Ohio to finally complete the Electrolite!!

But first I need to get back to USA. And that won’t happen so quick. From China I fly to Myanmar for a couple days. Then either to Florida or maybe another stop in the Czech Republic as it is half way home anyway. The next container of Merlins is getting ready to ship and it is always good to make sure everything is included and packed perfectly. Plus I can smuggle in a couple cases of my favorite Czech beer. One of six languages I can say ‘cold beer’ in if you count Canuckistan. Cold beer, eh?.

Now here is my daily blog. I mean 4 days condensed to one blog. I planned on a daily blog but the long days and jet-lagged sleepless nights have left little energy for writing. This is my first evening with both time and space to write.

II suppose I am now the world’s most experienced Zigolo builder. This is my third aircraft built in China. I have built a few in USA, and one in Peru. And this one is going together in record time in spite of all the ‘assistance’ the Chinese helpers are providing.

ZIGOLO BUILD LOG/BLOG:

Day one: Most of the fuselage is assembled.

Day one: Most of the fuselage is assembled.

Day two: Zigolo #1 is repaired. Zigolo #2 fuselage is mostly finished and vertical stabilizer is built and covered.

Day three: More tail feathers built and covered with a couple of them shrink and ready for painting.

Day four: More covering and shrinking. Ailerons assembled and ready for covering. Work started on wing ribs and spar assembly.

Day five: Shrink and prepped tail surfaces for painting. Got a solid start on the wing assembly and coverdd 1 and 1/2 ailerons.

I will post my next ‘daily blog’ in a few days…… Kinda worn out now…

CHIP