The TA-ification of SZ, Part II

As just about everyone on the soaring planet knows by now, I managed to crash my beloved Ventus 2bx glider on a mountain in Moriarty last June, miraculously walking away with just a scratch (literally!).  Almost exactly one month later (on July 6th) I took possession of Sam Zimmerman's 'old' (2004 model) 15/18m Ventus 2cx 'SZ'.  A previous post ('Pimp my Ride...' http://wp.me/p2ehPl-5w4) chronicled my efforts to get 'SZ' into racing trim, and I was able to fly it in three contests before the end of the season.  At the end of each season, I took 'TA' up to M&H Soaring and placed her into Heinz Weissenbuehler and Andy Brayer's capable hands for some well-earned and much-needed TLC.  So, at the end of this season, I did the same thing with 'SZ', for it's first annual TLC session with the M&H wizards.  For it's first time in the shop, there were lots of things to get done;

SZ/TA is in the shop

SZ/TA is in the shop

First, 'SZ' gets changed to 'TA', and unfortunately the 'SZ' letters were painted on rather than vinyl decals.  I know the purists out there say you absolutely have to have painted letters, as the 3-mil vinyl creates too much drag.  I personally have problems believing that, and since Heinz says vinyl is OK -- vinyl it is ;-).

 

SZ to TA Change

The ongoing reincarnation of TA

Next, there are some belly scrapes and other minor dings that either came with the glider when I bought it, or I acquired since I got the glider.  In any case, I know they wont be there when it comes back to me!

Andy Brayer aka Mr Detail

Andy Brayer aka Mr Detail

Of course I have the M&H guys do an annual - nothing like knowing there has been an expert eye cast all over your ship to give you confidence when you first pull it out of its trailer in the spring!  And speaking of expert eyes, I got an email from Heinz titled 'WTF', with a picture of a a Mickey Mouse umbrella.  Heinz found this 'Mickey Mouse' (both figuratively and literally) down in the rear fuselage, IN BETWEEN the control mixer pushrods - not good! I confessed that it belonged to me, and was part of TA's normal on-the-grid equipment package.  For hot soaring areas (Uvalde in particular) an umbrella is a must-have on the grid when you are strapped in waiting for the launch, and with no crew I had come up with this mini-umbrella alternative.  Collapsed and wrapped up it is small enough to fit in the area behind my head, and in my V2bx there is no way for it to get down into the control area.  Unfortunately, that's not the case for the V2cx, so I'll have to figure out another way to do this.

Some contraband from inside 'SZ'

Some contraband from inside 'SZ' - note Mickey Mouse logo ;-)

 

As this post goes to press, I'm anxiously awaiting clearance for the 2-day round-trip to Elmira to pick up my newly rechristened glider, hopefully in time for a planned week in Florida prior to the flying in Andy McQuigg's GP race there 10/11 January.  I have a brand-new set of 70,000 mile Michelin LTX tires on the truck (put 70,000 on the previous set, and they still had good tread, but...), the micro-castle is all set to go, and I'm poised at the starting line for the 2014 season ;-).

Stay Tuned!

Frank (TA)

 

Frank Paynter

Dr. Frank (TA) Paynter has a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He retired from a successful 25-year civil-service career in 1993 and spent the next 15 years as a antenna researcher at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, retiring again in 2008 to become a full-time soaring bum.He is the author of the book “Cross Country Soaring with Condor”, co-authors (along with Scott Manley) the popular Condor Corner column for ‘Soaring’ magazine, and is a regular contributor to the Condor section at SoaringCafe.com.Along with Mark Hawkins, he is part owner of Hawke Tracking, the company that provides SPOT tracking services for contests and clubs. Before soaring came along, Frank was a national champion skydiver and still holds the record for the most number of consecutive dead-centers in skydiving competition. Frank started soaring in the mid-1990’s at Caesar’s Creek Soaring Club near Waynesville, Ohio and instantly fell in love with Cross-Country racing. Now he goes to as many contests as his wife of over 30 years will allow, and spends his winter months racing and instructing in Condor.

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  3 comments for “The TA-ification of SZ, Part II

  1. Nicholas Eastop
    December 21, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Good luck with your 2014 season Frank, I’m looking forwards to reading all about it!

  2. December 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    wait ’til the snow has melted away at Harris Hill. You don’t want a bobsled adventure down the hill. Happy Holidays and a great new soaring season

  3. Rick Lafford
    December 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Well now we know why Heinz was in such a hurry to get our ASK-21 wings out of the shop!

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