Jonathan Porter's Blog (61)

One Week Wonder - Chapter Ten - Thunderbirds are GO! (but only after the One Week Wonder!)

With the FAA paper finally in hand, the shout came out from Charlie 'Move that plane NOW!'. 

 

The Thunderbirds (you know the F16s that display really well), were ready to do their display to close the whole weeks events... but they couldn't.    The crowds were on the line, and the planes had their jet engines running, but they were not being given the 'GO!' until after the One Week Wonder did its first ever 'under its own power' taxi.   

 

There…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 25, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

One Week Wonder - Chapter Nine - The Day of the FAA

Arriving on the Sunday morning, nobody felt 'not tired', but everybody felt 'totally exhilarated'.  The One Week Wonder sat out front, like a toddler about to go out in it's push chair for the first time, full of anticipation, ready for an adventure - but looking so innocent and unprepared.

 

It was 99% ready, and with just 50% left to go!  But that 50% was going to be a challenge... Then, they came with a black plastic bag and a remote control unit for the countdown clock.  It…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 24, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Eight - Day Six - Getting Wings...

Saturday morning was a blur.  Nobody could remember their own names any more - let alone whether they were coming or going...  It was as if those 'patience pills' were affecting memory too!  Thankfully, between everybody, everything was being accounted for, but the team were visibly slowing down.  Caution was being applied, because everybody knew that it was better to miss the deadline than make a mistake that could jeopardise the long term benefits from…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 23, 2014 at 6:00am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Seven - Day Five - First Words...

Friday... less than two days to go... 

everybody finally realized that somebody had been lying to the team - that clock was not right.  This was not anything like a seven day challenge.  Seven days would have given the team until 08:00 on Monday morning... BUT the organizers had this hidden agenda... the plane would be INSPECTED on the SUNDAY by the FAA... and needed full FAA certification before 15:00 on that very Sunday... so that a public taxi test could take…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 23, 2014 at 4:00am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Six - Day Four - The day of Cake.

With all the 'smaller surfaces' completed, day four was a day of looking for jobs for the core team not involved in the fuselage or left wing - there was no shortage of tasks - event the clearing up and sorting out the tools that had managed to have a party and get muddled up! 

For those who had built Zenith Aircraft before, this seemed like an easy build - until they all realized that this was a CH750 Cruzer - so it was different.  With less than a handful of Cruzers flying…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 22, 2014 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

One Week Wonder - Chapter Five - Day Three - The Joining of Parts Begins...

Day three was always going to be the day when we got an idea of where it was all going.  Everybody was tired, already.  The sprint had been done, and the plane looked like a plane... well almost - but this was not the time to give up - we had to hit the wall and keep on building! 

 …

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 22, 2014 at 5:00am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Four - Day Two - Drilling out rivets

When the team arrived on day two they looked over the work from the day before... and noticed some mistakes.  That happens on EVERY build.  Every builder makes mistakes, so having some mistakes in One Week Wonder was to be expected... The mistakes were minor.  Not all the rivets had pulled well - it happens - and some had been pulled that shouldn't have been yet - that happens too!  So, as the volunteers for day two were lining up, the core team set about some minor fixes.  It should be…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 22, 2014 at 4:30am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Three - Day One - A Day of action

It was a tense moment, all of these people who didn't know each other - about to start in five minutes - building a plane in less than a week.  They all stood awaiting the starters orders... and then they came, from Jack Pelton, the EAA Chairman.  Jack comes from the illustrious aircraft manufacturer Cessna, and is now the leader of the EAA pack in feeding the worlds aviation spirit at a grass roots level.

 …

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 22, 2014 at 4:00am — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter Two - A CAST OF THOUSANDS

Over the week over two thousands five hundred people were involved in the build - and signed the builders log - the worlds biggest builders log!  But it was down to a core team, and a lot of organization to make the week come together...

 

THE CORE TEAM:  This is the team that were practically full time in the Bull Pen - that place where the machine was being brought to life.  It should be noted that the core team had not met before the day... they…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 20, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Chapter One - BEFORE THE EVENT

We all know that any project of the magnitude of the One Week Wonder has to be planned.  This event started well in advance of the 28th July 2014 deadline - but not that many months in advance.  The team had to get all the parts for the project together, and a suitable space available to build the machine!  But that is no different, whatsoever, to any other aircraft project.

 

Clearly, all aircraft build projects require parts - quantity and type based on your project.  Once…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 20, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

One Week Wonder - Prologue

It all started in a dark, damp, fuel and oil perfumed hangar.  The dim moonlight seeped through a crack in the hangar doors, picking out, with an eerie glimmer, a shiny spinner.  A large brown and black spider could be made out as it crawled along the strut towards the pitot tube of another unsuspecting aircraft, as they waited for they next flight.   That hangar held within it the 'Spirit Of Building Aircraft', also know as the SOBA.  That spirit, the very source of creativity and…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 20, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

From Ghana to Oshkosh 2014

It's confirmed! Oshkosh 2014 here we come! 

Patricia and I will be there! We will be spending our time at the One Week Wonder Event - and hope to see our fellow Zenith builders too!  We will be more than happy to answer face-to-face all those questions about building and flying in West…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on July 8, 2014 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Santa with a 701 Difference!

I guess that we are a bit like a 'sensible Santa' in our part of the world... we fly over the African Bush and look for communities that need some health education and then drop them a package!  (no chimney, no reindeer, no toys)... our Rotax 912iS powered 701 works really hard... and today we dropped over 100 packages to rural communities - some which have never had even a motorcycle to them!…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on December 12, 2013 at 9:59am — 8 Comments

The nose job....

As we work ever creatively towards using the Zenith STOL aircraft in practical applications, in the heat of the tropics, we are currently working towards a concept for improved cooling.  It has taken us a long time, but we are close to test flying the 'nose job' on the 701 with a Rotax 912iS up front.…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on September 2, 2013 at 10:32am — No Comments

News From Ghana

For those who have been wondering what is happening in Ghana - well, we have a few challenges!  You can read our latest newsletter in the PDF below... 

We are also working on a radiator gantry for the 701/750 for the Rotax 912iS (and the other Rotax installation, but we are working on improved cooling for the iS at the moment) and a really simple cowling modification that goes with it.  We expect to carry out flight tests next week, and, if all goes well, will share…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on August 26, 2013 at 3:06am — No Comments

Flying with 912iS in a CH701

One of our pilots from Brazil is transitioning to the CH701 with the 912iS.  He put a GoPro on the mount and then created with You Tube video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ijgyJhgUic - although it is speeded up, it shows a lot of interesting hand movements in the cockpit... watch carefully as you see me in the right seat moving my hands around a lot!  Also check out the full and free movement prior to take off - as well as enjoy…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on June 24, 2013 at 2:31am — No Comments

Zenith 701 Humanitarian Pod

Our drop tests went 100% to plan.  We now start working on how to get our new project to reach the tougher parts of West Africa with the 750 platform (more load, more range!).  Thank you Zenith and Rotax for making it possible!…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on April 18, 2013 at 10:32am — No Comments

Zenith STOL CH 701 Air Drops help African communities grow...

Those who know what we do will remember that we are authorised to drop health education materials to rural communities using our specially modified, Rotax 912iS powered, STOL CH 701 aircraft.  As part of this we made the first ever aerial supply drops into the Afram…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on March 18, 2013 at 6:30am — 3 Comments

Research and Results for Fuel Supply Solutions Rotax 912iS

Finally we have reached the point where we consider that we have expressed how we have established our fuel system for the 912iS in our test bed CH701.  No, it does not contain all that we wanted to, but we feel that it conveys the points about what we have done, why we have done it and what we would prefer to do.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE the engine and the airframe combination.  It is a great airframe and a great engine.  A marriage of heavenly proportions, for us and what we use…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on March 5, 2013 at 12:06am — 10 Comments

Header Tank

In our line of operations we often experience a lot of turbulence at low level (we are approved to operate below 500' for aerial dispersal and supply drops).  We also get some long, at times fast, descents.  With this combination of events we have decided that we really want a header tank for a variety of reasons...  We have simulated 'uncovered ports' in ground tests, and do not like the VERY unlikely possibility that it could cause.  By taking the 'Tee'ing of tanks to a low point 'air…

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Added by Jonathan Porter on January 24, 2013 at 7:34pm — 4 Comments

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