Friday, February 22, 2008

Money Makes the World Go Around

"Money makes the world go around." It's true. The more and more I become involved in light aviation, the more I get excited. I'm constantly surrounded by people who want an airplane that does everything. I agree that a Quicksilver with a Rotax 912, brakes, fairings, wheel pants and a windshield is amazing. At the end of the day though, all those accessories are unneeded.

I've realized that you will never get everything you want because what you want never ends. It's like a highway to death. At the same time, you should be allowed to follow your passions and discover where they take you. There's a significant difference between getting what you want and following your dreams. The vector which takes you towards your passion points to happiness, while getting what you want leads people to a state of ignorance.

Right now, I'm looking for a safe, used, and cheep ultralight. Progress of the Skypup has stopped for now. Again, another deadline is coming up and this time I'm not going to put myself at risk of making poor decisions (thanks to everyone who let me know last time). This deadline is the ELSA training deadline which doesn't allow training in ELSA aircraft after January 31, 2010 unless you own the aircraft. I understand that there are ways around the rule (by design), but why allow more problems to fall through the holes.

The Skypup will continue, but for now I'm looking for something that won't take 500 hours to put together. I'm completely willing to buy an airplane without an engine or something that's a little bit damaged. Ultralights are simple and easy to fix. For now, I'll be happy with what I get. It will be a significant step towards my passion and with that, I'm happy.

Money doesn't have to make the world go around,
Mark Zinkel

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Foam, Foam, Everywhere

Most people freak when they hear me talking about building a Styrofoam airplane. I typically get responses like "Are you talking about a real airplane?" When I reply, I'll typically get responses like "I wouldn't get in an airplane made of Styrofoam." I even had one guy who told me that I'm sixteen years old, with no flying experience, no building experience, and certainly no airplane building experience and because of those ridiculous reasons I'm building a flying coffin. It's hard not to laugh at these poorly informed people. It's really discouraging the way mainstream media like FOX and CNN spins everything in a way that keeps them making money and the people entertained. Where's the responsibility?

I've noticed that If I use the term "high density foam," people don't ask questions. That's why I don't use the term. Keeping people excited and a tad bit shocked of the pure magic of the Skypup is what I like doing.

Anyways, all of the above is just a rant. What I really came here to talk about is that I finally got myself blue dow Styrofoam! The Skypup mainly consists of that stuff, so therefore, having access to this stuff is major progress. I've been searching around for several months thinking that it was safest to purchase the foam in the thicknesses called out in the plans. Boy was I wrong. I've found that it's actually perfectly safe to get thick sheets, then splice it down into smaller sheets when needed. In most aspects, it's more convenient since there's less surface area to get damaged in storage.

I called a 50 mile radius from my house, looking for foam in the 3/4 inch thickness. In the end, the place where I purchased my foam wasn't even two miles away! I ended up purchasing the thickest stuff that Dow makes for my desired sheet size (2x8). Oh the joys of being properly informed!

I just saved a lot of money from switching my foam thickness to four inches! I'm a happy man!

(Pictures to come!)