Monday, April 23, 2007

An overdue update...

This last weekend I went to the NG-LLC summit at Holloman airforce base in New Mexico. I have not been officially notified that this is not secret, but I found a bunch of references to the 2007 XPC being at Holloman on the web via Google so by the terms of the NDA its no longer secret. We got to chat with a number of the airforce people and it was a productive meeting.
I think it will be cool to fly at the base and I'm a bit worried about the red tape.
The Airforce Officers think it will be cool for us to fly at the base and are a bit worried about our lack of red tape... All in all a good balance. The Base looks like a good site if the MPL insurance issues can be worked out. A single F117 stealth fighter inside the NG-LLC flight hazard area would make the Maximum Probable Loss so high we could not afford insurance....
(I believe that holloman has the only F-117 fighter wing.) So the FAA, XPC and air force are playing with maps and trying to put us where:
  1. We cant hit anything valuable.
  2. The crowd can see us.
  3. We can't hit the crowd. (see #2)
  4. The Airforce does not have to move anything unmovable.
  5. The operating area is not a three day drive from the staging area.

Tonight I disassembled the motor I ran for 106 seconds to look for the leak.
Its very obvious that the oring was cut on the screw holes during assembly.
Charles Pooley nailed it for an explanation. I'm going to rebuild that part and try again on Saturday.

I bought a new(to me) truck since the old one died and I wanted something with a tad more creature comforts for driving to the test site. An 18 year old truck with stiff off road suspension and no air conditioning was a bit stressful. I bought a used Dodge RAM 1500 Quad cab. Its a nice looking truck, I almost feel sorry for what we are going to do to it in the next six months.

Lastly I sent my FAA/AST contact a mostly complete draft of my experimental permit application. This has been a real challenge for me as I would rather chew off my right arm than work on paper work. Many thanks to Mike Kelley (who has been asisting me in this effort) for listening to me whine and offering useful suggestions.

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