The first call this morning was from Andrew over at the restoration shop. They’d make it all better, but they’d umm, uh… dropped my airplane. Not logistically – they’d physically dropped it. Technically, a bolt gave way on the rotisserie structure they were using to manipulate the fuselage, and well…
You’d think I’d be upset, but mostly, I can’t help but feeling awful for them. They’re such exacting, conscientious craftsmen, so intent on turning the Skyranger into a museum-quality prizewinner. They’d put insane hours into getting the fabric to shine like lakes of maroon and cream – God, it must have been an awful moment to hear that crunch. They could have patched the fabric damage to the fuselage, but Andrew said he wasn’t going to have any of that. They were stripping the whole thing off, repairing it right, and starting again from scratch.
I offered to help with the expense – they’re scraping by as craftsmen and artists in an awful economy – and they’ve just blown two months of work (and materials!) in a single moment. But again, Andrew would have none of it. “Dave,” he said (I think Andrew’s the only person other than Brian I can let call me Dave) , “You’ve already paid your money, and we promised to build you the prettiest Skyranger around in return. We’re going to live up to our side of the bargain.” This is why I love those guys – because they love airplanes, and they love taking basket cases like our Skyranger and restoring it as a flying work of art. I’ll figure something I can do to help them out, I’m sure I will. (Pics, by the way, of the pre-crunch restoration are up at my restoration photo album).
Okay, so that’s the Skyranger.
This evening, on the way home… okay I won’t give a full historic narrative of the events. My beloved little electric car went fizz. Or beep. Or, more accurately, beeeeeeeeeeeep! Flipping though the sensors, it believed that the motor had hit thermal runaway (186C) and shut the power off. Except that, 10 seconds later, after rebooting the car, it thought the motor was a comfortable 32C. Apply a bit of power, and 10 seconds later – we’re up to a reported (beeeeeeeeeep!) 186C again and controller shutdown. Ten seconds later, 32C – a bit of power and, beeeeeeeeeep!
Crap. Fortunately, I was only three looong blocks from home, and the Midge weighs substantially less than your typical block of inert Detroit steel, so I put the flashers on, got out and pushed. It was lovely exercise, taking my car for a walk, and endearing how many people stopped and asked if I needed any help.
So that’s the Midget. Not a good day for vintage conveyances – not at all.