24 June 2005 Images (and earlier)

26 June 2005

Thumbnails of the interior, from 1 to 30, plus images captured a few days earlier by the Swickard family during their visit, from 31 through 49, are posted below. Click on a thumbnail to see the images, file sizes as shown. As you can see, a lot of the material in the interior was moved forward between the date the Swickard images were captured and the 24 June 2005 images.

7 July 2005

I think I've eliminated a bug in this page's code that prevented scroll bars from appearing for the larger images on browsers that respect the html standards. So you should be able to view any part of each image now, but if not please flag me.

Sorry for the delay with the commentary.

Last month I completed modification of a computer UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to provide 120 Vrms at 400 Hz, but limited to only about 350 watts. But that was enough to verify functionality of the galley, lav, and both forward and aft entry fluorescent lights. I still need to modify two of the three partial 5 KW UPS units, but with the experience I've had with the small unit, I'd like to think that will progress reasonably easily - both are based on half wave bridge converters using rows of multiple power FETs in parallel as the switching elements. That architecture is easily modified from 60 Hz to 400 Hz. But the output consists of rectangular waves rather than sine waves, so filtering is necessary to minimize the audio noise that rectangular wave cause. My initial resonant filter is too inefficient to be practical, but I have some options in mind and will test them as time permits.

I've also been building the led array panels I designed over a year ago, and have completed assembly of most of the yellow panels, used for general illumination such as the airstair step lights, emergency exit walkway lights, and equipment bay lights, and which in total incorporate over 2,000 surface mount leds plus their precision driver circuits. Assembly with tweezers and a magnifying hood averages about one minute per led, with about half that time associated with the driver circuits (there's one driver circuit for every 14 leds), so assembly is a time consuming and very tedious process. The red and green panels for cockpit and navigation lights are next, but this is indoor work and normally won't be addressed during good weather. Although most of the yellow panels are assembled, I haven't installed them yet, and may not do so during prime weather since they can be addressed in marginal weather.

I'm also nearing completion of the conversion of two retired 250 Watt PC power converters to provide precise 28 Vdc power, which will be used to power the led arrays and for several other native aircraft systems, such as the cockpit window wipers, using the original 727 28 Vdc bus and breaker systems. I also have a third, this one a new 300 Watt power converter, that I'll likely modify as well. 250 Watts might be enough, but in any case at least one backup power converter is desirable.

My neighbor hauled all the remaining Lake City 727 freighter material from his nut processing facility to my site last month with his tractor, which has pallet forks front and aft, so everything's here now. (Many thanks Paul!) Most current work is focused on three general areas: Final pressure washing of the aft interior, pressure washing of the remaining dirty components from the Lake City Florida 727 freighter, and reassembly of those components onto my aircraft. I've completed the pressure washing of over half of the smaller components, which are generally the most time consuming to clean due to their complex shapes. I hope to complete the rest by next week. I mounted a couple of small items, and will continue with those from time to time. More importantly, I've partially mounted the new right outer slat - its tracks are in place and the stops mounted, so it can't fall out. But the actuator is still hanging out, and I won't be able to install it until a hydraulic hand pump is dry from initial cleaning, which is complete, and then purged of final contaminants by flushing with some new skydrol hydraulic fluid, which I hope to accomplish within a week. Then I should be able to use that pump to extend the actuator, which I hope will allow it to be finessed into position without removing the forward attach bolt. This particular slat is the lightest of the four (per side), and thus the best to use to establish mounting methodology. Once that's accomplished, I'll mount the other three new slats on the right side as time permits. I'm not sure when I'll mount the new left side slats - the left wing is a great deal further off the ground, and thus much harder to work with. And there are other more important things to do. On the other hand, if I establish a good rhythm, I may address the left side while the process is fresh in my mind. I've already accomplished a bit of preparation work, because it was necessary to remove several forward actuator bay panels in order to scrounge for track stop block parts. I couldn't find most of the stop blocks with the Lake City parts, which is odd, but fortunately the few I could find, combined with those I found loose in the flap actuator bays of my aircraft, resulted in exactly the quantity needed, with no deficit but no spares either. Mounting of the tail skid and actuator, the big main gear actuators, the nose gear steering actuators and door actuators and cabling, the new spoilers and actuators, and the flap and elephant ear drive components are on the agenda too. In that last case, I don't have all the drive tube differentials, missing I think one for the right side and several for the left side, so I may be able to resurrect functionality for only the outer right flaps until I'm able to gain access to another retired 727. I don't have the flap drive units either, but I might be able to adapt a geared electric motor to the drive mount. But of course I'll keep looking for an opportunity to acquire actual 727 drive units.

A film crew from Ireland shot a D. B. Cooper piece using my aircraft as a set a couple of weeks ago, which went well. It dovetailed very nicely with the need to clear material from the aft cabin to prepare for removal of the remaining old window panels and vacuum cleaning and pressure washing of the areas behind them, and pressure washing of the back sides of the fluorescent light tunnel, and the incandescent ceiling light panels. I cleared most of the material before the shoot, storing much of it in the forward cargo bay, and placing the cockpit seats in the cockpit. I also cleaned and reassembled another passenger seat row as you can see in the images. After the shoot I removed the remaining window panels from the right side. The remaining left side panels still need to be removed, then the cleaning needs to be accomplished, coordinating with hot weather so that the area will dry reasonably quickly afterward. After that, the new side panels with their fluorescent light wiring harnesses can be mounted when time permits, which should beautify the cabin substantially, and give me freedom to move things about in the cabin as I please.

Regards, Bruce
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