Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Remembering why

While unpacking, from the move, I came across a small pile of photos. Amongst them were the photos from a visit to see Jim Moss back in 2001, at Pierce County Airport, WA.
Jim was kind enough to push his Super Solution out, and I spent the morning taking photos and examining the aircraft end to end.
I can still vividly remember the effect the aircraft had on me, it epitomised the Golden Age, the lines were stunning, and the colours dramatic. It was everything I felt a purebred racer should be.
Late January 2001, the day was cold, a little misty, and the airport was deserted, the airplane looked incredible. It had only a very few hours on it, but it already had that intoxicating smell of oil, fuel, fabric, wood, and metal.
I was hopelessly in love, and the die was cast,

I have not seen these photos for years, and thought they were lost, but finding them brought back all the memories of that visit, and what the Super Solution meant to me from that day forward.

Every time I look at these photos, they make me smile, this became my Goal on the spot, and I can now say I am actually getting there, 3 years, and at least 3 countries later from first cutting wood to present, it may well take 3 more, but one day......

(a rather younger version of me!)

From any angle the Super Solution lives and breathes the Golden Age.

* and to add a footnote, the builder of this Thoroughbred, Jim Moss, now in his early 80`s and not content to say he built and flew the Super Solution, is now only weeks away from flying his new Gee Bee QED racer.
Thanks Jim!

Fall update

Matty built the original Super Solution in 45 days! it has been 4 times that since last I posted, let alone built anything.

It`s been a while, 6 1/2 months, and I wish I could report that the lack of updates are the result of full on productivity,
sadly, no, or not exactly.

The big news is that the Super Solution project has recently made an Atlantic Crossing, although not in the finest tradition of the Golden Age, at 250 kts, but in a 40 foot container, .......on a boat.

It managed to safely circumnavigate Somalia, which was my primary concern, it then rounded the Cape, and steamed on past Sierra Leone, and the Ivory Coast, (another concern) and then set course direct to Montreal. It took eight weeks, but arrived safe and sound.
The reason for this epic journey; after 8 years in the Middle east, we moved home, family, project and career from Dubai, to Canada.
I had to wind down the project progress mid March, and pack the various parts and components. This included crates for the wings, and other parts.
The Project is now relocated to a nice, warm large workshop in Eastern Ontario, and I hope that soon I can make some positive forward progress. There are some really interesting connections between my new job, and the original Super Solution, which I will try to cover at some point in the future.

While I have not managed any hands on work on the project, this does not mean that there has been no progress, and in fact there has been some very encouraging progress in the last few months.
I arranged with a highly talented builder in Australia to build the basic fuselage structure, and I recently received photos of the finish welded fuselage which has been removed from the weld fixture.

These are some pretty encouraging images, although the fuselage now located 1/2 way around the world from the wings was not quite in the original plan!

The landing gear assembly, cabane assembly, and engine mount are also now underway,
and hopefully will soon join the fuselage.
The description of the landing gear will be very interesting, as the research that has gone into the damping system and gear assembly is extremely thorough.
The dummy upper and lower wing fixtures which I prepared some time ago, and shipped to Toowoomba are now also being put to good use to locate the wing attach fittings.

There is an interesting tie in between the 1931 Ford Model A, and the Laird control system, any guesses? This too is now underway.

Hopefully the complete welded assemblies will be ready to ship in the coming months.
(if anyone is planning to have a Laird Super Solution fuselage sized hole in a container from Australia to Canada in the next 6 months, I would be interested in having a chat........)
My main focus now is to complete the tail surfaces, and re assemble the upper wing, as it was dismantled for shipment. (fortunate I had not glued the ribs in place)

Recently I have also managed to add some more original instruments to my growing collection, with an original Pioneer VSI, of the correct 1931 vintage, and also a second bubble face compass.
Other parts arriving include a complete set of PW R985 inner and outer baffles, and a complete induction system.

The engine, until recently stored in Los Angelos, will now be travelling to eastern Ontario.

With my 5406 Ground Adjustable propeller now assembled and complete, I have 2 spare hubs available. I would be interested in sale, or trades.
Both extra hubs are 30 spline 5406 Hamilton Standard units, and are complete with all hardware and brackets.