First off, I want to introduce to my faithful "uncrating" crew. These people are my good friends. How do you define good friends? Philosophers have wrangled with this question for millennia but the answer is really easy. My Good friends actually showed up when they thought there was going to be a 1600 pound box to unload! :-) From left to right: Back: Mark Priest. He is a geologist and a UNIX/Oracle expert. That makes him a triple-threat in the oil business. Next is yours truly. Third is John St. Romain. He is an UNIX/Oracle Guru as well. He and I met in college and have stayed in contact ever since. On the far right is Scott Nix whom I met even before college. In fact, he inspired me to quit the airplane business and go to college. So now I can afford to own an airplane. A lot of irony there huh?
On the couch, left, is Candace Kim. She is a hard core programmer type. She has been doing signal processing work on military systems. Somehow she wound up with me working on a new billing system. If you see a picture on these pages with people in it, she took it. I only seem to take pictures of engines and bulkheads and things. Obviously, Candace' priorities are much better than mine.
On the couch, left, is my lovely bride Julia, She works in the computer center at Experion Credit Data (formerly TRW). Yah, I know. Booooooo and we can't fix your credit!.
What a collection of geeks! (you should realize that in my world being called a "geek" is high praise!)
And last on the floor is my son Brian. He is a football star and jock and a real good boy. He likes to tease me about being a geek. That's OK. He is too young yet to realize that geeks rule the world.
The Big Morning:
I have read on other Velocity builders pages how when you get your kit a truck will arrive with one BIG box containing all of your kit. In my case this box would have been about 1800 pounds. After my adventures with unloading the engine, I was not in the least disappointed when I found out that Velocity Aircraft has contracted a carrier with a special trailer. They really had to, as you will see, since I bought the quick build wings and fuselage it was not possible to "crate" this kit!
On the big morning, my wife came into the bedroom and said "Your plane is
I said "Really! Did they knock on the door?"
"No," she replied.
"Then how do you know it's here" I asked.
"Because the biggest trailer I ever saw just pulled up out front!"
When you see this thing "Gosh" is an understatement! Here is THE TRAILER that pulled up in front of my house.
Travis told me that they have put as many as four complete planes in this trailer before. Wow!
When Travis (on right) got THE TRAILER around back and opened the door this is what I saw! This picture might not show it but I know the first thought that hit me was "Wow, this is one big airplane!"
As you can see, the plane is not in one big box.(thank goodness) Most of the small pieces are in the fuselage which is on its's wheels so we just rolled most of it right on into the shop. Then we carried each wing in and then the front canard. A few more trips for all the misc. left overs and it was all done in less than 15 minutes. And I was not even out of breath. It took longer to sign the papers and write the check for the freight than it did to unload.
Notice how full of small parts the plane is.
However, my nice clean organized shop was a shambles. It was difficult to even walk from one end to the other without stepping on something! Look at how thoroughly penned in I am here.
This is when I got a familiar feeling. I had this same feeling the morning I
woke up in basic training. I had it again when I stood before the altar with my
wife-to-be. I had it again when I was registering for College. And here it was
again. That little animal beating at the inside of my head screaming:
"ROB! WHAT THE *&$@ HAVE YOU GOTTEN YOURSELF INTO HERE?" (Candace MADE me smile for this picture!)
Man, the enormity of the task at hand really came crashing down on me. Look at all those parts! Think of those monthly payments. My gosh, where are you going to work? Your shop is packed full! So what I had anticipated as a very happy morning turned out to be pretty depressing.
Fortunately, Candace summed it up and pretty much got me over my funk with a few simple words. She said "Rob, you just have to approach it like everything else in life. Most of the things we do are to big to tackle. Just take it a little bit at a time."
Doesn't sound like much does it? Still, it did the trick and I cheered up and we started talking about ways to get the shop useable again. We put together a plan on where things would go. Took a few measurements and off to the hardware store for brackets, eyelet's and rope.
First thing we did was get everything back out of the garage so we could get the wings hung up on the wall. Once that was done, we had some floor space again! (the wings and the wall are the same color and hard to see hence the little black lines)
Here you can see both wings, the canard (little front wing), engine cowling and the triangular strake pieces all tucked away against one wall. Later, we put the cowling along with many of the small pieces that were in the fuselage up in the attic.
After two days of hard work we had the shop looking like this:
We've got the engine unloaded and in too. Now we have some floorspace again!
At this point, Scott and I are like a couple of broken down old men. Backs are hurting, muscles are pulled and tight and joints are stiff. But it's done and we feel good about it! I said it before (in the engine section) but it bears repeating. I could not have gotten this done if Scott had not stayed with us a few days and helped out. This was simply bigger than one man. Thanks Buddy!
It's time to build an airplane now!
Last Main Next