2016 Media and Progress Notes.


2016 Images are located below.   2016 Douga to shashin wa shita desu.
(Last update: 19 February 2017)

The text below relating to the landing gear platforms and construction of support pillars is still being composed and edited - more time will be required to complete it. Bear with me please...

Mid and late 2016 Movies and images are provided below. Click on a thumbnail to see the media. Portrait oriented media might load sideways, alas, but I'm too time constrained to correct the problem. Sorry...

The three movies were very hastily captured on 1 December 2016, and the images numbered from 1 to 47 were hastily captured on 30 November 2016. The highly informal images numbered 101 through 180 were captured on 13 July 2016 by friends, except the squirrel images which I captured earlier. Many images are essentially redundant or wholly mundane, or both. Again, sorry...

Important: Please view the movies on Vimeo.com rather than here. If they're viewed here too frequently I'll have to disable them here to avoid overloading this server.

In recent videos the background music is by ever so magical Yuko Pomily-san, a truly remarkable young composer and performer in my view. Her uniquely superb original compositions and deeply heartfelt performances have enriched my life immeasurably, so I'm eternally grateful of course. And she is as pure of heart as her music suggests - she's a rare Cosmic Treasure, and in my view anyone who misses the sheer transparent beauty of her artistry is depriving themselves of a key experience which helps make life rewarding and fulfilling.

I can't recommend her too highly even if you don't understand Japanese language at all. But please don't judge from my crude videos - it's imperative to hear high quality reproductions of her performances to experience her true magic. You can find her on CDBaby.com, iTunes.com, and numerous other music distributors. She graces YouTube.com as well. In my estimation you'll be very glad you invested the time...

We produced two Concert on a Wing events at my 727 home in the fall of 2016, featuring both magical Yuko Pomily-san and superb Tessa Seymour, and hope to produce more in 2017. And more compelling concerts await a bigger stage ...)

As visually indicated in some measure in the first movie below, the aircraft's interior has advanced a bit:

The plastic shelving between the wing exit hatches was expanded to two sets of shelves on each side, and bridged on top with a wide composite floor panel to create storage space for other large panels. Various panels formerly stored on top of a pair of seat rows were then relocated to this new storage area, substantially eliminating clutter and freeing space in the forward cabin area. The additional shelf space provides more compact and safer storage of other items as well, so the entire cabin is more tightly and efficiently organized now. The forward and aft cargo holds both remain a chaotic mess though, so I'm very eager to organize them and dispose of some of the material, principally the PSUs (Personal Service Units), which are bulky and heavy, and I now view as of little value to my needs.

The years long deferred fabrication of the transparent floor panels still isn't complete, but some progress finally occurred. All the remaining acrylic material on hand was cut and polished to the custom sizes and shapes for the unique areas they were intended to populate. But a bit more floor panel work remains before all the openings are filled with proper fitting stable panels. I hope to finish that work in February or March 2017. However, several of the current panels are original opaque 727 floor panels which ultimately need to be replaced with transparent acrylic panels. But this will cost about $1 K to $1.5 K and thus won't be addressed until funding is sufficient. In the meantime I placed the opaque panels in more obscure locations such as under shelves and furniture to the extent practical, but there are still several in openly visible areas, alas.

A tablet computer powered by a small free hanging 12 Vdc to 5 Vdc power converter was laid into an opening in the flight deck to drive the large central display. It's just a temporary installation until a permanent installation in the overhead P5 panel is completed and the ship's high capacity 5.25 Vdc power converter is installed. That work is partially complete, and hopefully will be finished in early 2017. In the meantime the large central display is continuously active so long as the tablet remains healthy. Unfortunately the tablet's operating system crashes frequently when running a simple slide show application, a considerable annoyance. However, I won't address that problem since I intend to install a flight simulator application to replace the slide show once I find a suitable one. I intend to run an audio file of typical flight deck chatter and ATC communication in either the same tablet or, if not feasible, a second one as well.

Both aft lavatory toilets are still fully functional, but hot water still needs to be connected to the wash basins (cold is connected), a light fixture in the right aft lavatory repaired, and the mirror light fixtures in both aft lavatories need to be converted from florescent to LED based illumination. Some wall or door panel structures and their color treatment need to be repaired or refined as well.

I still need to complete the second green wing tip position light fixture, making the illumination 150% brighter. This lingering bench task is relatively easy but I just haven't been able to attend to its completion, a frustration.

Both the upper and lower red anti-collision beacons are now implemented as custom fabricated LED beacons modestly similar to the style used on the Boeing 787. They flash at a 1 Hz frequency with a 50% duty cycle, meaning they're on for 500 mS, then off for 500 mS, repeating indefinitely. They're far brighter and resolve the previous xenon flash tube's annoying life limit problem. I'd like to embellish them a bit by synchronizing the upper and lower beacons, a rather simple task, providing a continuous low level illumination (so they cycle between very bright and rather dim instead of very bright and fully off), and modify the bright duty cycle from 50% to very roughly 33%. I'll attend to those tasks when time permits.

My cabin air dehydrator failed during my last cycle in Miyazaki, fortunately evidently only shortly before I returned. A very small inlet air humidity and temperature sensor module became corroded due to exposure to ordinary moisture, a clear design flaw - the circuit surfaces should have been coated or otherwise protected from moisture since that's the normal nature of the environment created by the dehydrator in the sensor's location. The corrosion was so extensive that it evidently caused the core integrated circuit to fail internally. I wasn't able to economically acquire a replacement module in America, but delivery to Miyazaki was inexpensive, and I now have one and will coat it to prevent corrosion recurrence, then install it in my dehydrator upon my return to America. In the meantime I coated and then installed a similar sensor module but lacking the temperature sensing function. It enables the dehydrator to run, but sans temperature information it fails to turn the compressor off when the condensation plates freeze and accumulate ice, so if run continuously the dehydrator's condensation plates quickly become blocked with ice, preventing air flow and thus effective dehydration.

So to manage that problem I completed work on a lingering project to house a versatile and battery backed electronic timer for the dehydrator. It fully utilizes safe IEC 60320 type power connectors (more about that below) and is very compact. I set it to operate the dehydrator from mid afternoon to mid evening, when cabin temperatures generally peak, and on a 40 minute duration 50% duty cycle (on for 20 minutes, then off for 20 minutes, repeating), which allows the dehydrator's cold surfaces to thaw and the water to fall to the drain pipe before the next on cycle if the cabin temperature's reasonably above 0 °C (not always the case during winter of course).

Further conversion of NEMA 15 type domestic power connectors to safe IEC 60320 type connectors was accomplished, primarily to tools and appliances. More of this work remains, but I roughly estimate that over half of the awful NEMA 15 connectors have been replaced. Ultimately almost all will be replaced to mostly eliminate the manifestly obsolete and dangerous NEMA system from my aircraft, except that a few portable plug-in type power converters such as USB power adapters and similar are impractical to convert, so when used will require an adapter. But they'll be needed only very rarely once the ship's high capacity 5.25 Vdc and 27.24 Vdc power converters and associated connectors are installed. All the 120 Vrms utility power receptacles are IEC-60320 type of course - I never installed nor ever will install any 120 Vrms NEMA 15 type power receptacles - they're hideous.

Exterior development work was rather extensive, including near completion of the large main electrical and water service trench plus the separate water well electrical service trench, completion of the land line telephone service trench, and transport of the two east storage vans well away from my aircraft, substantially improving the visual aesthetics of its immediate environment. Those vans will either be sold and removed from my property or cut into sections, possible to be used for part of permanent landing gear support structures which still need to be fabricated.

Numerous other outdoor improvements were accomplished, including felling of a large tree which had grown into contact with my aircraft's tail structures, aggressive trimming of many other trees, and other tasks.

And heavy gauge copper cable from a location just aft of the right landing gear to the south border of my property was installed into PVC conduit and buried in a shallow trench in the ground to serve a wind generator (deep burial wasn't necessary since this is for a 27.24 Vdc power system). This work is incomplete - the wind generator itself must be assembled, installed on a pole, and connected to the cable. And on my aircraft end connectors must be installed on the aircraft and the end of the cable, and a rather short stanchion installed to support the flexible cable. This is for a roughly 500 Watt wind generator. If it proves of significant benefit more may be installed, as might at least one adjunct solar panel (one is already on hand). The buried cable is sufficient for 2 or perhaps 3 KW of total power (about 75 to 100 Amps).

My aircraft was rotating clockwise, that is, the forward section drifting to the right, very slowly for years. This mysterious problem necessitated repositioning of the temporary front landing gear structure in an earlier year, and a further repositioning requirement was looming. But I finally determined the cause: The railroad ties under the aft half of the right landing gear tires were slowly decomposing, so the tires were rotating backward as their aft support fell a few millimeters each year. It was clear this problem would continue and possibly accelerate, so it was necessary to rotate my aircraft counter clockwise enough to access the decomposing railroad ties so they could be replaced with sound material. This wasn't an easy task of course. More to come about this as soon as I'm able...

A high pressure (30 MPa / 4.35 KPSI) air pump was purchased in early 2016 to provide a means to inflate the landing gear struts and tires whenever necessary. Though a bit expensive at $530, it's an important tool which allows me to maintain the struts and tires appropriately, albeit with ordinary air rather than preferred nitrogen. I'm especially uncomfortable inflating the tires with oxygen containing ordinary air, but thus far only one, the right front, needs inflation, and as a practical matter of economics ordinary air will have to suffice.

However, the pump failed quite early for, initially, reasons unknown, and was intensely time consuming to repair. After disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling the compressor, which I mistakenly thought the source of the failure, I explored the motor, finally locating shorted windings which caused the failure. (Some of the wires were dressed at sharp angles to the main parallel wire bundles, creating high pressure points where they crossed which rather quickly allowed vibrations to abrade the insulation until shorts occurred. The dressing of the terminal lengths of the wires as they exited the bundles was clearly flawed, and quite surprising in such a mature technology.) I was able to insulate the abraded areas with kapton tape, reposition all the terminal wires in parallel with the rest of the wires in the bundles, retighten the arching wire bundles, then reassemble the motor, solving the problem. But I had to invest at least a week equivalent of precious dedicated time to repair the pump. However, I suspect it will now serve a long and reliable life, assuming the compressor section fares well.

The interior of my third van, the single west storage van located behind the right wing, was substantially decluttered last year. During the summer of 2016 it was raised with hydraulic bottle jacks in preparation to move it out of sight to the west border of my property. Large logs were placed underneath in a first attempt to move it via 'Flintstone wheels' with a small winch, but it still carries a heavy load of personal effects and proved too massive for that method. When suitable weather returns in spring or early summer 2017 a mobile home axle and wheels will be mounted under about the center of mass for the next transport attempt.

The new location is near the west border of my property where it'll be essentially out of sight of my aircraft, immersed in mature Douglas Fir trees. If the van's too massive for the axle and wheels too, material will likely be cleared from the van in preparation to ease the move, then material moved back in afterward. (A material swap might be involved at that time - personal domestic items might be moved into my aircraft, and currently unused aircraft components then moved into the van.) The van will likely remain on the axel and wheels permanently in part to provide improved earthquake resistance, but also to facilitate any future repositioning which might be desired.

All the ancillary aircraft components, many of which are spares, currently residing in the same general area (mostly just south of my right wing tip) will be moved to the west border of my property as well, generally adjacent to the final location of the west van. Some or most of that work may be accomplished quite soon by working partner and long term friend Mark Schomburg. (Many thanks Mark!)

Once the west van and the ancillary components are out of sight of the aircraft the appearance of my grounds and aircraft will be far cleaner and more appealing. But further beautification will occur later with completion of the very long delayed permanent landing gear pillar construction work, mounting of the left wing's inboard flaps, restructuring of the water well system (the current external pressure tank will be replaced with a new pressure tank likely located inside the aircraft in the aft cargo bay), and further aircraft restoration work. I'm very eager to complete all this work of course, but they're substantial tasks with minimal funding (because Airplane Home v2.0 has funding priority), so patience is required. But once complete the grounds should look thoroughly clean and natural, and thus the aircraft itself should look far more elegant and appealing. If my current pace can be maintained these tasks might be complete within about a year. But I can't promise such a schedule of course...

The right wing's inboard flaps still need to be extended, a reassembly sequencing mistake corrected, then a final retraction executed. That should be relatively easy - probably no more than a one day task. But it will await reasonably warm weather and its place in a long list of priorities.

We won't mount the left wing's inboard flaps until the permanent left landing gear support pillar is complete. (The inboard flaps are quite heavy, so mounting the left wing's inboard flaps now would complicate the construction of the left support pillar.)

I installed new electrical lines from the cabin located auxiliary power circuit breaker panel to the right landing gear bay, terminating in electrical outlet boxes and receptacles, thus providing both 240 Vrms and 120 Vrms electrical power there, in the later case an IEC type power receptacle of course. A 240 Vrms extension cord which laid on the open turf from the well pump to the right landing gear bay for very roughly ten years (yet remained in remarkably good condition) was thus finally removed, cleaned thoroughly, and stored. Availability of electrical power and water in the right landing gear bay is necessary to support air compressors, wing concert equipment, and the pressure washer. Currently these services are reasonably convenient to access through the APU exhaust opening in the root of the right wing, which is now equipped with a transparent custom fit polymer cover I cut and polished from raw stock. But I hope to install electrical connections and a more elegant spigot for the water in a covered panel directly accessible from the top of the right wing at a later date.

Mounting of a quite nice 240 Vrms powered squirrel cage fan to a cut out in the window panel of a spare wing exit door is very nearly complete. This will provide a means to modestly pressurize the aircraft to assist in a search for air leaks from the salvage work which damaged my aircraft's pressure canister integrity. Once that's accomplished the fan will be moved to a prototype well water based climate control system built earlier and crudely operational. My well water is always 13 °C irrespective of the season or weather so it provides an economical medium to sink or source heat. In the current assembly the well water circulates through an old Mazda RX-7 aluminum radiator which serves as a dry heat exchanger then dumps overboard through an auxiliary connection to a condensation drain port. The system cools or heats the cabin air toward the 13 °C temperature of the well water. Obviously during cold weather an adjunct heat pump or other ancillary heating will be required. But during hot weather no additional cooling equipment will be required if the well water based system provides sufficient capacity. I assume the single heat exchanger alone won't be sufficient. But hopefully it'll help me gauge how much additional heat exchanger and water flow capacity is required. When the system seems sufficiently useful I'll add automatic electronic thermostat control (the components are already on hand).

Due to other priorities the shower stall construction still hasn't begun even though the materials are on hand and construction should be relatively quick and easy. It'll be rather large, connecting to the wall of the right aft lavatory and the cabin windows from that wall to the right aft service door. It's not a high priority though - simple, crude, and exposed though the existing temporary shower structure is, I've become comfortable with it. And in this country setting there's no need for personal modesty.

A great deal of additional work, both associated with my 727 and the grounds, and other materials and matters, was accomplished in 2016 too - it was a very productive year.

Though it's a significant nuisance, I'll continue to try to keep as much mass as far aft and right as possible until permanent landing pillars are constructed for the left main and nose gear.

As usual a notarized copy of my last will, revoking all previous versions, is posted on the refrigerator in my cabin. Please honor only that document after I draw my last breath. (A task which won't require attention anytime soon I hope.) It's adjacent to popular Nihon-jin (Japanese) actress and occasional product pitch gal Arimura Kasumi-san, who will remain prominently displayed in my cabin for the foreseeable future.

A personal update:

It's been over six years since my GIST cancer surgery. No hint of recurrence has appeared in my regular ECT and MRI scans so my medication regime is over - I'm free of its stress and feel better as a result. But I'll continue to be watched carefully by my absolutely superb Miyazaki surgeon and his ever so superb team, a regime which includes enhanced CT or MRI scans every six months for the rest of my reasonably healthy life (in spite of the radiation exposure from the enhanced CT scans). Continued life is a great gift and no small miracle of science and civilization, both of which exist in Miyazaki in abundance. And I'm genuinely happy from the heart...


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Copyright 19 February 2017, Howard Bruce Campbell, AirplaneHome.com.

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