« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

September 28, 2008

Fall in the air

     Where has this summer gone?  It has been an eventful summer for us as we spent as much time as we possibly could with our boys and their families.  We especially got to know our grand kids a lot better and had fun seeing them mature.

     We got to visit some of our Canadian friends and enjoyed our short time in their country.  We visited many of the RV campgrounds that we got to know in our first year of this adventure and found several new ones to add to our list of favorites.  We even put money down to get ourselves on "the list" to be able to secure a site in the Chimacum Washington Escapee Park but do not expect to be notified that a lot is available for approximately 7 years.  We are 250th on the list.  Perhaps in 7 years we will be ready to just park the RV.  Time will tell.

     As I write this two of our closest Canadian friends, Alan and Jean, have crossed the border with their beautiful Discover MH and are slowly making their way down the U.S. coast to get themselves in position to cross into Mexico and head for their site in Lo De Marcos.  We have been in e-mail contact with all of our Canadian friends and they are leaving at different times to pass through Yuma, AZ. and then on in to Mexico.  We all are staying in the same park just north of Puerto Vallarta. 

                                             Tlaquepaque    pronounced Ta Lac a pack ee.  Click on RV Park.

     We too will begin to make our way to Yuma around the middle of October and then on in to Mexico around the 10th of November.  We have not decided yet if we will go south down the coast or move inland a bit to pass through Vegas.  One thing for sure we will do everything to avoid following the interstate. We had fun blogging about our Mexico winter experiences last year and expect this year will be as interesting.  It is our hope to travel a bit more throughout Mexico by car and report on our finds.  We will be carrying with us bags, and bags, of children's clothing all outgrown by our 4 grandchildren and they will be donated to the needy in our winter community of Lo De Marcos.  Kathleen has them all organized for the Nino and Nina based on age.  I notice also that she has spent a great deal of time shopping and purchasing in the dollar store, pencils, pencil sharpeners, paper, etc. etc. etc. to be given on our behalf to the schools in need.

     We hope to blog more as we begin our travels south.  Stay tuned for more frequent up-dates on our progress. 



September 07, 2008

Maiden Flight

Bill and Finished P-38
















I get to hold the Finished P-38















     Bear With Me!  Years ago when my boys Scott and Bill were very young I got interested in building and flying RC (remote control) aircraft.  Through their growing years they both shared my interest and together we built and flew many.  As life circumstances changed I stepped away from continuing with the hobby but both boys continued on as they went off to establish their own lives and homes.  Due to Scott and family choosing to call home a 52' sailboat he was forced to put his talents in the hobby on hold, but Bill had the space and desire to continue with his talents and he began building and flying as much as he could fit in to his busy life.

    The P-38 was the plane that my father served his country flying combat in the Pacific Theater and ultimately lost his life through mechanical difficulties while ferrying a new plane to the combat front----you see---he had completed his required combat missions and was assigned to the lighter non combat duty of ferrying aircraft.  The long and short of it is---I was but 3 months old when he lost his life, just four months before the surrender of Japan on September 2nd 1945.

     Now step back 20 years from today, both boys had left home and I was left to build planes on my own.  I ordered a "Royal" balsa kit of the P-38 and meticulously began building.  This kit was the ultimate for its time and I started on it with great enthusiasm.  It was to be my ultimate project.  It being a twin engine I ordered both engines.  I bought and experimented with a retractable gear configuration for all three wheels.  The project began to take shape as it was for the most part completed except for the covering and final details.  It was then that building alone in that "airplane hanger shed" out behind the house without the boys for company and some changes in life circumstances, that I totally walked away from the hobby and my dream to complete this aircraft.

     Fast forward to when Kathleen and I were in the formative stages of preparing for our full-time adventure in a motor home that it was decided that all of my remaining planes, radio gear, tools, parts, and yes the unfinished P-38 would be given to Bill and he could do whatever he chose with them.

     I had been aware that in the last couple of years Bill was off and on working on the P-38 in between other plane projects and it was with great excitement that about a month ago he said that on September 6th 2008 it would be completed and he was going to fly it.  He invited us of course, along with his brother Scott.  He also invited his boss and a co-worker, both of whom got interested in RC through Bill.

     It is not easy to finish building a kit that someone else has started.  It is not easy to convert what started out as a gas engine model and convert it to an all electric, but electric flight is now Bill's passion.  You can see by the above two pictures that the finished all electric P-38 with two very powerful electric engines, retractable landing gears, and modern digital radio gear was a beautiful tribute to many years of an on again, off again, on again build.

     A builder always questions himself when he completes a project.  Should I hang it on the wall for all to see?  Should I attempt to fly it?  I know that these questions were heavy on Bill's mind but in discussion we both felt that it was meant to fly and whatever the outcome we could both accept its fate.

     September 6th 2008 came and the following is a pictorial tribute to many years in the making:


                                                            Slide Show


     Bill taxied the plane to the center of the runway and as we always did on any maiden flight of a new built plane he stood directly behind it so as he advanced the throttles he would be able to best respond to any unusual movements that the plane would take.  He invited me to stand by his side and I felt privileged to be able to do so.

     The kit was designed to be built and flown at a max weight of about 10 lbs.  Due to the weight of the electric engines and batteries needed to power them it weighed in at 14 lbs.  Bill and I knew that it probably would fly but the flight speed would have to be kept fast in order to prevent it dropping like a rock from the sky.  It also would be susceptible to stalling in turns due to its weight to wing ratio.

     Bill advanced the throttles to full power and at the very end of the runway with the stick pulled completely back and the elevator at its maximum up position the plane lifted off and began a slow climb to altitude.  The trims were pretty good however it was a bit nose heavy and I could tell that Bill was having to stay with the control at all times.  Not knowing how much air time he would get from the electric engines before battery power became dangerously low he called for only a three minute flight and in that time he made several passes overhead and some practice attempts at landing approaches.  When his brother Scott called out the three minute warning bill selected the landing gears to come down and made his approach to land.  We both could see just before touch down that the nose gear had not come down and locked into position.  He advanced the throttles and made several passes over the field to better asses the gear problem.  Being unsuccessful at getting the gear down he decided to land with just the main wheels down and let the nose settle to the grass. We now were about 5 minutes in to the flight.  The following picture will show you the end result:



Successful with minor nose damage















     Any flight, especially a "Maiden Flight" that ends with a plane that once again after some repair can return again and again to fly is considered a total success.  Will this P-38 fly again?  Will it be hung on the wall for all to admire?  Only Bill knows.  I for one hope it flies again and again as it sure was a beauty to behold as it made those maneuvers over the field.  I am one proud dad!

     In an aside to the above, a very unusual event occurred.  A hawk appeared and landed on one of the RC pilot stations to observe the whole show.  He stayed throughout and only moved a few feet to another piece of fence.  Kathleen walked up to within a few feet to take its photo and it just stayed put as it watched us load the plane for its trip home.  As we were leaving the hawk took to the sky and claimed it for his own.



Hawk observing the P-38 flight
















very close to the hawk














Ragged Mountain Birthday Celebration

      Remember to place your cursor over a picture for description.




Ragged Mountain Range















     An invite from my Uncle Willard Brosius to come help him celebrate his 80th birthday at a mountain retreat ranch in Colorado had us thinking about it for about 2 seconds before we fired off an e-mail to say that we would indeed be there.  It meant two round trip tickets to Grand Junction, Colorado and a rental car to then drive the 90 or so miles to the ranch but the chance to not only see Willard and his wife Glenda whom we had not seen in 14 years but also the chance to get reacquainted with my cousins, Steve, Diana, Jimmy, Rose Lee, Sheila and their families.  The cousins I had not seen since my early teens.



Climbing the mountain
















Where you think your going?















     After leaving the paved road it was an interesting climb up Ragged Mountain to the ranch as the road meandered back and forth for about 7 miles on gravel that at times had some ruts from water runoff.  The scenery was spectacular.



Glenda, Willard, and Kathleen
















Our Cabin Hideaway
















View from front window of our Cabin














     When we reached the lodge at the ranch we were greeted by Willard and Glenda and after hugs and some initial conversation we were shown to our cabin hideaway to freshen up and get ready for supper.  One couldn't help but just stand and look around in awe as the scenery was beautiful and so was the weather.




Cousin Shiela, Linda, Willard, Cousins Rose Lee and Steve















     Getting reacquainted with my Cousins Sheila, Rose Lee, Steve and Diana and their family members who were present was a real treat and it was agreed by all that we should not let so much time pass before getting together again.  We had a camera failure and lost some of our pictures thus I do not have a picture of Diana and her husband Steve.  Cousin Jimmy and his family did not make the celebration but sent a nice write up with pictures of his family. 

     We had a fantastic time visiting and sure wish that we could re-wind the years so as to have stayed in better contact.

                                                      Slide Show



September 05, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

    There is no doubt that those who follow our blog have been disappointed that their have been few entries of late, but family is important to us and our focus has been spending as much time with our boys and their families as possible.  We have attended a “pirates” gathering with Scott, Angela, Zak, and Ellie.  We have had a full week with just Mason and Maddie, before being joined by Bill and Heidi for a long weekend, all spent on the coast. 

     The kids are back in school now so our getting together with them will be reserved for what weekends are left before we depart for Mexico beginning on October 13th.

     This past week we made a quick trip to Grand Junction, Colorado to help my Uncle Willard on the Brosius side celebrate his 80th birthday.  We will be doing a blog just about that trip as soon as we catch up on a little R&R.  We spent three nights at about the 8,500 foot level in a small cabin tucked along a lake at the foot of a mountain range called “Ragged Mountain”.  What a place for a birthday celebration.

     We are currently back in one of our favorite spots, Thunderbird Preserve, a Leisure Time Thousand Trails RV Resort just east of Monroe, Washington for the next fourteen days.


Hosting by Yahoo!