To start off with, we’ve had no telephone or internet service for the whole day again today, which is now becoming somewhat intolerable to say the very least. I think that I’m going to have to contact my service provider as although I think it’s to do with the hoped-for upgrade to ‘fast’ internet, I’d now really like to know what’s going on.
Then I had a message fom John in the UK that My Trike had been hacked. It appears that someone somewhere had exploited a weakness in the version of WordPress that I was using up until earlier today to hack in and post some anti-ISIS propaganda. It wasn’t serious and didn’t take long to resolve so hopefully with the updates and changes that I and my hosting company have since made, that’ll be the end of it.
And a big ‘THANK YOU’ to John for alerting me to the problem on a day of all days when I’ve been without a proper connection and have had to log on yet again using the data connection on my mobile phone.
It’s been wet and windy all day today, not as bad as in the UK but enough to make you want to stay indoors in the warm and dry. I watched the opening day of the Six Nations rugby yesterday and was pleased to see both England and Scotland win their initial games but wasn’t overly impressed by the English performance. And with today’s weather, I stayed in again and watched Wales beat Italy after a rather slow start, so not a bad week-end for TV, which I don’t tend to watch very much.
My friends are all on holiday for the next week or so, so in my more idle moments I found time to take stock of the tasks that I have before me in the immediate future. These mainly concern my aircraft because for the time being, with Sterling still at a very low level after the Brexit referendum, I’ve sadly had to put the work I have planned on my house on hold. The pound’s collapse has in effect increased the cost of my plans by something like 10-15% and that isn’t acceptable for me.
But I don’t think that all is lost. I am of the opinion that there is an impending Euro crisis just around the corner, which if it occurs will change the complexion of many things. Greece will inevitably be unable to make even a token part of its bail-out repayment that’s due in September, which I think will have repercussions. Also, the banking crisis in Italy still hasn’t been effectively resolved and will not go away, as won’t the problems at Deutschebank.
And when you then toss the upcoming elections in the Netherlands (March), France (April) and Germany (September) into the pot, you have a recipe for a great deal of Euro uncertainty over and above that resulting from the Brexit negotiations, so my policy will be to sit tight, bide my time and see what happens. I doubt that Sterling will regain its previous lofty levels over 1.30€ but I think that there is major scope for it to rise considerably over its current level of 1.15-1.16€.
So what about my aircraft? First my Savannah, 77ASY. I mentioned in a previous post that its now in pretty good shape and the most pressing job will be to carry out an oil and plug change and general check-over ‘under the hood’. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that this coming week, but it’s not that urgent and the aircraft will still be flyable in the meantime.
Other jobs on the list include touching in all of the bare rivets left after fitting the new screen, cutting in the new carpet that I have to go on the cabin floor and taking another look at the rubber edging for the new panel top covering.
Now 28AAD, my little French Weedhopper. I say ‘little’ but it’s really only ‘little’ in terms of cabin width. In France it’s a 450 kg aircraft (UK, 390 kg) and it has the same wingspan (10 metres) as the X-Air. With the usual UK ‘logic’ (more like ‘illogic’), there the X-Air is a 450 kg aircraft whether it has a 582 or a 503 engine whereas the Weedhopper/AX3 is only available ‘factory-built’ with a 503 engine and a 390 kg max weight limit.
However, if home-built from a kit with a 582 engine, when it comes under the auspices of the LAA rather than the BMAA, then it becomes a 450 kg aircraft. Logical? I make no further comment.
Here in France, my Weedhopper, which originally had a 582 engine, will still be classed as a 450 kg ULM even fitted with MYRO’s old 503. Why the difference between France and the UK? Don’t ask – because that’s the way it is and if you DO ask, you’re told to shut up. I know, believe me.
But back to the jobs that I have in-hand on 28AAD. Fundamentally, it’s all ready to assemble and fly and I can’t wait for the opportunity to do that. I’ve got one more little job in the pipeline, though. Following the repair and renovation work that I did on it, I’d had to leave MYRO’s old airspeed indicator in its panel, which is unfortunately scaled in MPH. But good news! A few days ago I came across a used, good condition 80 mm diameter unit on Le Bon Coin (yes, again…) reading in KmH, just as I did for the VSI that I had needed and similar to before, agreed a price for it of 130€ including delivery.
My cheque has already gone off, so once it’s cleared I look forward to receiving and fitting the gauge and then 28AAD really will be finished and ready to go. I look forward very much to getting back into a Weedhopper and flying it for a short while but ultimately I hope that I’ll then be able to find a buyer for it ‘at the right price’ as the new flying season gets underway.
That just leaves 56NE, my X-Air and I’m in a little bit of a quandary here. I want to sell it ASAP really but to do so, I need to drop the panel and repair the connections to the twin EGT gauge that appear to have broken. It’s a tedious job, but not that difficult and I just need to motivate myself to do it. But that’s not the source of my problem.
The indications are that the ignition stator of the X-Air’s 582 engine has developed a fault. The rev drops are wildly different when a mag check is carried out and the rev counter readout is way off. Will this deter a potential buyer? I think that it will, bearing in mind that few French pilots seem to be as adept with a spanner as I am.
Having replaced the Weedhopper’s stator, it isn’t that tricky or long a job to do, and with a stator only costing 200€ from my favourite supplier, I think it might be a good investment that will lead to a quicker sale.
So that’s it for now. Now all I need is for the ruddy weather to start to pick up a bit as even though all three aircraft are under cover, it’s much nicer to be working on them when it’s a bit warmer and with the sun shining in a clear blue sky. Mind you, when it’s like that, you want to be flying… 😉