Weeks 3 & 4 - The Progress Continues

I've been a bit slow to add updates here.  Not because progress hasn't been made on the EAA Chapter 245 CH750 Cruzer project, but because I've been working away in my basement workshop on my personal aircraft build project.

Our Cruzer continues to take shape in our EAA Chapter hangar.  While we're waiting for some parts (fuselage longerons in particular) we continue to soldier on, cleaning up details on parts already assembled and applying chromate primer to mating parts surfaces so we'll be ready to assemble them in the future without having to wait for the paint to dry.  The technique recommended by Matt Heintz works very well, provided one pays great attention to his admonition to apply a light coat!

A comment on one of my earlier posts deserves a response so I thought I would roll it in here.

Q: Can you write about why and how you're doing this build? Is it educational and involve kids?  Just chapter members? How financing the project? Will it be a chapter club plane? 

A: Why is EAA Chapter 245 doing this build?  Well, there are a lot of reasons, and all of them are inter-related.  It's about bringing the chapter members together, uniting them in a common goal, bringing them together to experience the camaraderie of building, to develop skills, to share knowledge, to breath life into the chapter.  It's educational on many levels, and involves a pretty broad range of ages (I think I've mentioned previously that our build crew includes participants ranging from 15 to 88!). At the moment we've had chapter members involved, non-members, too, including a guest from across the border in New York state who ventured north to get hands-on experience in building before making a purchase decision.  The attitude around our chapter is that if you're interested in airplanes, we want you to be involved!

As far as financing the project goes, we have to acknowledge the huge contribution of EAA and the kit manufacturer, Zenith, in providing us with the wing kit, and to EAA AirVenture volunteers for having assembled the wings.  What a heck of a head start we have! 

We have financed the purchase of the rest of the kit through many of our previous fundraising activities including our not-to-be-missed fly-in breakfast. 

By dint of the EAA's chapter governance requirements, the chapter cannot own/operate the aircraft.  As the machine begins to resemble less a pile of flattened beer cans and more a living, breathing aircraft, a flying club will be formed and will become the owner/operator of the aircraft.  This will represent the final transformation of the "Give Flight" program, where the actual flying will get done! 

Conversation around the workbenches has often touched on the topic of how cool it will be to fly Young Eagles in an airplane built by our EAA chapter.  That's the idea come full circle.  I can't wait to see the grin on the face of the first Young Eagle to fly in this Cruzer!

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