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Q-talk 130 - A Livermore PIREP

Hello, from Sunny California,

It has been said that "if you build it, they will come..." And in Livermore, California, this past weekend, come they did! Sam Kittle and I had been planning on the West Coast Tandem Wing Fly-in for the past 6 months, and with the absence of a fly-in last year, along with the promise of a never-before done event at a fly-in of this type, hanger 262 at LVK saw a crowd numbering as many as 50 people at any given time this past Saturday. The "event" was an actual, hands-on static test of the Eippler rear wing, graciously donated to the Fly-in by David Chalmers. The test was also made possible by 2,000 lbs. of sandbags from Home Depot.

We had a dedicated crew leveling the structure, handling the sandbags, measuring wing-tip deflections, operating floor jacks, recording weight data and videotaping. Load was applied three separate times to equate loads of 2.2, 3.3 and 4.4 g's, and wing tip deflection was noted before and after the application of load for each test. The result being, that the wing passed the 4.4 g test magnificently, as expected, with no skin buckling, no cracks, and no distortion. The wing tips returned to their nominal pre-load position, as expected.

We will be filing a full report of the test and the day's proceedings for printing in the next issue of Q-Talk, and in the archives here, but the Reader's Digest version is that thanks to the support and attendance by so many enthusiasts, some of whom came from long distances, the event was a resounding success. I have always felt that hosting a fly-in is one thing, but it's the builder/pilots and FUTURE builder/pilots who attend, that make the event a not-to-be-missed occasion. It's the cross-pollination, the sharing of ideas, the rides received, and seeing up close how these planes are built that make a gathering like this a richly rewarding investment that is irreplaceable.

We had 15 planes in attendance, a record for our Livermore event. Lynn French easily distinguished himself with the longest distance flown to the event, making a round-trip flight from Broken Bow, Nebraska, in his first-ever solo flight across the Rockies. Thanks, and way to go, Lynn! Other long distance pilots who made the event were Jack and Diane Huston, from Camp Verde, Arizona, in their Lycoming powered Cessna 150 and Charlie and Bob Johnson from Ogden, Utah, in their 1956 vintage Cessna 172.

Stay tuned for a full report of the proceedings... I wanted to whet your appetite, and to encourage you all to attend the next, and final fly-in event for tandem wingers this season, September 26-28 in Beatrice, Nebraska, hosted by our newsletter editor, Doug Humble. This is the grand-daddy of our yearly events, and if you can make it, it will be well worth your while.

Again, Sam and I collectively send you our thanks for making our West Coast Fly-in the success that it was. We enjoyed planning for it, and are grateful to see the many of those who were able to attend. Stay tuned for a full report!

Alan Thayer

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You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #130 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.