"Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glider

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by choppergirl, Feb 4, 2016.

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  1. Feb 5, 2016 #21

    Vision_2012

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Choppergirl.
    You mentioned an EAA field nearby. I suggest you hang with the EAA boys, find out their meeting time and what workshops are active and pitch in. You could luck into anything with them that will move your dream along. They are always looking for younger people to pass on knowledge and stuff to.
    I, like many on HBA, am impressed by your energy. Have fun.
     
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  2. Feb 5, 2016 #22

    choppergirl

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    No GA flight experience, other than holding the steering wheel of my dad's Cessna 170 when I was little for all of 30 seconds alone. He sold it long ago.

    I keep telling myself to go to the next EAA meeting for the first time and I keep missing it. The next one according to their calendar, they are suppose to have someone give a talk on WW2 pilots. So it might actually be extra interesting to go to that one and take some pictures along, considering I would have a WW2 fighter pilot in the family to talk about myself.


    I can't afford their $25 membership fee at the moment so... hmm.


    Those guys fly very expensive fully acro (aerobatic) jobs... that cost more than a house. And they don't mind showing off when the meeting lets out on their way home, I can watch them from my best friends lawn... it's always a free little air show.

    I can just see me showing up with my beat up old tattered rudder, and leaning it up against the front of the club building by the door, as a conversation starter...
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  3. Feb 5, 2016 #23

    Topaz

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Okay, good to know where you're coming from. So here's the thing: Before you try to fly your airplane, go get some flight training. You can't safely teach yourself to fly. While some of it is intuitive and easy, other parts aren't, and you can easily get yourself into trouble without even realizing it. I know you're on a budget, but there are ways to work around that. With the level of industry you've shown so far, I'm sure you'll be able to get the training you need at a price you can afford.

    There are several threads here that talk about inexpensive flight training, which a search should turn up, or you'll find lots of good options for simply asking, when the time comes.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2016 #24

    Matt G.

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    I've not tried it with anything other than white vinegar, and I've never damaged a part with it, including some very heavily rusted stuff. You probably know this, but keep it away from aluminum; vinegar is an acid and it will eventually destroy aluminum parts, if left in contact long enough. If your test parts were "seriously rusted" the damage was there before you cleaned them. Once the material is pitted, it's going to stay that way. If your fasteners have rust that cannot be removed with some sort of rust converter and a scotbrite pad, they need to be replaced. Based on the pictures you have posted, it looks like just about all of the rivets need to be replaced. I'm guessing those are probably not aircraft blind rivets, as they appear to be steel. I would find some way to have a look at the inside of that tube, as corroded as all of the fasteners are.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2016 #25

    bmcj

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    You can also search for flight training grants. There are a number of organizations that offer small grants (not always enough for a license, but most will get you started). Put some progress photos on your VJ-24 project in with your grant applications and story... showing real determination and progress might just cinch the selection for you.
     
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  6. Feb 5, 2016 #26

    MikePousson

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    I've been following your thread. I admire your determination. As others have stated, get taught how to fly. I see you are in Augusta. Just googling Augusta flight schools, I found a couple right there at the airport. We've all been there with money issues. Go to those training centers and tell them your predicament up front. You never know, you might can swap out air time for work around the office or hanger. If all you want is ultralight training, EAA used to, years ago, issued out training certificates after 10 hours of training time with a UCFI. You never know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Good luck
     
  7. Feb 5, 2016 #27

    Randyirelund

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    If I may offer you some advise, I suspect your in a very good position to get your motorglider up and flying. More about that in a few minutes. When you do restoration, your first and most important tool is your camera. Document everything, and create folios for each area of the plane. Even fasteners, washers and bolts need to be documented, tagged and numbered. Now that may seem foolish, but when you reassemble, you must have the right part in the correct place, no guessing allowed. The first tool I would buy would be a caliper, maybe twenty bucks at Harbor Freight. You never know when someone may have used a metric bolt when an inch sized hole grew large, check them all. Figure out what type of rivets you have, and have a serious heart to heart with them about what is a good rivet and what is no good, or too rusted. If you elect to replace rivets, you will find that investing in a drill press will save lots of heart ache. Rivets work only in a properly sized hole. When you drill out rivets its very easy to not be perpendicular and make your hole oversized, a drill press will help prevent this. If I were doing this I would look through the number sized drills and pick one about 3 thousanths smaller than the rivet hole size. After drilling out the rivet I would then use a punch the correct hole size and separate it. But so it goes with a thousand details, and its all information you will need to complete this project.

    So how to get the information and everything else that is necessary to get this done, you need to use a secret weapon, charm. Go to the EAA and ask to tell the group the story of Dorothy. If I were you I would seek out 3 other partners. Assuming each contributed a thousand bucks, you should be close to getting this off the ground. At the EAA you will meet people who started just as you did, they had a dream and fulfilled it. When your a success, you feel compelled to share your success and your experience. You will find that these people are amazingly generous with both time, materials, and knowledge. But frankly the ability to get this manner of help depends on your ability to be graceful. It's not about taking advantage, but more about helping others access their good side. Over the years I have spent untold hours helping others with projects, and I have always done it because it made me feel good. If you can make others feel good about helping you, you will have to beat them back. If you were closer I would be highly tempted to get involved.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2016 #28

    choppergirl

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    I do have two ex pilots in the family, after all. :) My dad restored his Cessna 170 which was an old army green military trainer/spotter before he stripped it down to the shiny aluminum.

    I'm not so worried about the flying. That's a long way off, if ever. Nor even biting the farm. A warrior fears not death. I've been in plenty of jams that would of killed other people. Pain, however, I am very adverse to. Esp. from a lifelong injury. So yeah, will use plenty of prudence and caution.

    Laugh as you may (have you stopped yet from the Erector Set pictures?), I've also spent 5 years inside a video game combat simulator with attack aircraft dancing around me in twisty spirally dances of death, like a mongoose in the center of cobras outnumbered 5 to one dogfighting... and slaughtered them all. I know, not the same thing at all, and that counts for nothing,*but* I'm sure I've picked up *something* from it... like basic aircraft manuevers. I lived for that stuff!

    I grew up on a farm where I've run all kinds of vehicles, from backhoes to tractors to dirt bikes to bulldozers to atvs to go carts to whatever. I think I'll be able to handle a flying go cart just fine, as soon as I get my sea legs and chillax on the nerves. Just no looking straight down. Anywhere forward, yes, just not straight down.

    [​IMG]

    The documenting it all is really slowing me down. I haven't done one jot of a thing to the plane yet, just been snapping pictures, writing, but mostly... researching, researching, researching. Already I have a big fat 3 inch thick book of 3 hole punched print outs. The landing gear is sitting next to me whispering to me, what the frak are you waiting for, hit me with the whizzer wheel already! Lets go, go, go! In the time you spent running your mouth, Choppergirl, you could of been half way done through this project plane.... pick up the drill, fire it up.

    Also I think whats stopping me is I'm trying to decide, should I video blog the entire restoration, from start to finish, to put up on Youtube. That would really slow me down, but I'd be creating something more than just a plane in the end. I'm kinda nix on the idea... it would be wiser just to hit the ground running once I decide to start when the weather is warm, and go non-stop every day where its my only focus... like how you work when you are in "the zone"... working on this is going to make a bit of a mess, so I'd rather do it all outside on my front porch under a shade tree.

    Someone else told me I should weigh every part as I go along.

    Right now.. hmm... other things are more pressing. My friend says I should apply for a minimum wage job at Lowe's as a seasonal worker. Does not have much appeal to me. To quote a bumper sticker, I'd rather be flying.

    Plus my entire January was completely shot. I had a court case I had to mondo prepare a defense for, for like $3300 in traffic tickets I got two years ago, simply by driving 3 miles to the local conveinence store to get a gallon of milk for my 8 kittens on an old motorbike, I had traded our old van for, 3 weeks earlier and hadn't gotten any paper work done for at all. Insurance, tag, title, all that jazz. Motorcycle licence... uh... no... oh yeah, my car licence had just expired too... didn't much matter, as the head gasket on my car was kaput (therefore the motorcycle trade for some kind of running vehicle).

    Went through a small town speed trap and he just kept writing out tickets! Didn't know where the VIN was on the motorbike, I had to show him, and after I was free to go, back home changing the oil in the very same bike with the drain plug out, sitting on the ground.. he pulls up behind my house and writes me two more tickets, that he or his computer database thought up later... there I am, behind my house, sitting on the ground in my back yard, with the oil out of the bike and it not even drivable at that moment! Has anybody every gotten traffic tickets sitting on the ground in their back yard? I have!

    Anyway, I didn't have $3300, so all that preparation for trial, and they end up dead docketing the case, so I won by default. Woo hoo. But there went my whole January and it ruined the start of my new year. Nice to be here on homebuiltairplanes, instead of in some jail cell sketching pictures of my plane, next to some crackhead bunkmate. ;-) BTW, motorcycle paperwork got all squared away a few weeks later after the tickets when the previous owner finally got around to bringing me the title, and I got a 100% on my motorcycle test. Reading the their DMV book does wonders for your score. :)

    ~

    We have a drill press. I never thought of that. May not be practical though on the larger parts, maybe I can make up something on the front of a hand held drill. Maybe a jig that holds the bit at 90 degrees when held up against the old rivet. Makes sense about the smaller drill bit first, and the bolts. Rivets tend to lock up and spin when you drill them out (from experience).

    I make it a habit if I remove a bolt, to put it back in the same hole it came out of on the piece, so they never get lost or mix places. If needing replaced, well I got the previous resident right there in the hole.

    ~

    You wouldn't guess it, but I'm kind of a loner IRL. My dad tells me the same thing too, hook up with the EAA club... eh, I'll get around to it. They're not going to do the work for me, so in the end its going to come down to me alone anyway, sitting on my butt on my porch steps, restoring some part back to new. Helpful advice is always appreciated though. The more you know :) And I have a hungry brain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  9. Feb 5, 2016 #29

    BJC

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    DANGER, Will Robinson, DANGER!


    BJC
     
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  10. Feb 5, 2016 #30

    Dana

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Old guys at EAA meetings usually like when young people show up. And if the young person is a girl, better yet.

    OK, I can see why you want to replace the rivets... and I agree.

    It's not just the motor mount, but the overall aircraft structure, the weight and balance, and limiting speeds that make a much larger engine inadvisable. No matter what engine you put on it, a VJ24 will always be a slow airplane.

    FWIW, a new KT100 is $750, but without pull starter or redrive. Some years ago, I bought a damaged weightshift Quicksilver with a KT100 for $300. Flew it, crashed it, sold the wreck for $600. I turned down a Sadler Vampire with Solo 210 engine for $300 (the plane was too far gone, though the engine alone would have been worth it). So they're out there, just keep on looking. A wrecked paramotor would have the perfect engine.

    3

    Or in between, there are structural rivets. I used Marson "Klik-Lok" structural rivets on my homebuilt paramotor project. They're made to handle vibration, and are all aluminum with a retained 7075 mandrel.

    Dana
     
  11. Feb 5, 2016 #31

    Topaz

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Again, I really appreciate your enthusiasm and attitude, but what you've described is not enough background to safely fly even a "flying go cart". Time in flight sims is not enough, because they don't simulate everything you need to know - and especially the feel, and some of the consequences - to safely fly an airplane. You may indeed have picked up something, but what you're most likely to have picked up is overconfidence, instead of, say, how to stay out of a low-altitude spin on a turn-to-final. I'm not impugning your skills with the simulator at all, nor your ability to learn. Instead, what's at issue here as the fairly large number of skills in flying an airplane that are not at all intuitive, and won't appear in even the best of sims. Even if they did, without someone there to show you the "why and how", it's virtually impossible for you or anyone else to be able to figure out what happened, why, and how to prevent it the next time. Indeed, some of the intuitive "solutions" to some of these flight issues actually put you in more danger than the "right" solution.

    As you said, that need is a long way off, and so it's not terribly important right now. But please reconsider as the time draws near. We'd far prefer you to be enthusiastic, brave, and alive to tell the tale, as opposed to enthusiastic, brave, and very, very, dead.
     
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  12. Feb 5, 2016 #32

    Victor Bravo

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    CG, If you do choose to pursue any grants, do the research and identify which grants are relevant to your situation. There is a significant amount of grunt work to do all this searching, but it may be worthwhile. I am a working grant proposal writer by trade, and would be happy to provide some pro bono editing/rewriting/conceptualizing for you after you have identified the grant and/or scholarship funding opportunities. If that interests you let me know.

    A five second search for "aviation scholarships" on Google yielded 25K results, including:

    https://www.wai.org/education/scholarships.cfm
    https://www.scholarships.com/financ...s/scholarships-by-type/aviation-scholarships/
    Aviation Scholarships - AOPA
    List of Aviation Scholarships and Grants - ScholarshipsandGrants.us

    But as you search for grants and scholarships, DO NOT make the mistake of limiting your search terms to flight training or aviation only. There may be some grant or scholarship for "professional development" or "minority/women's education", where they did not have aviation or flying in mind, but that can still be viable. Limiting your search to aviation scholarships will be the easy path but it will return far far less results to scrounge through.

    In all probability, one of the key terms to use in applying for an aviation related grant in your case is the term "under-represented population". It's a new-age buzzword, but it resonates with funders, because many of them are committed to under-served and under-represented populations. Women are seen as being under-represented in aviation, electronics, tech, etc. (duh) So in a competitive situation where your grant proposal is up against someone else's, a funder using their money to put a female through flight training scores more points than an equivalent male applicant.

    Find your local chapter of the 99's, the international women pilots organization. Go to one or two meetings, contact the local members, etc. The 99's sponsor the Aviation Explorers, which (here in my area) offers some flight training scholarships and financial assistance. There may be min/max age restrictons, and you may be too young or too old for any given program, but it is worth figuring out what is and is not available to you.

    Your geographically closest EAA chapter may not be as good for your specific purposes as the next closest EAA chapter. If the closest one is all about aerobatics, and nothing else, then it may be the wrong chapter.

    Even more importantly, start haunting and spending time at the local smaller and medium size airports. Don't pick just one, you can narrow it down to one later on. Airports all have different personalities of course. Find the hangars that are open on the weekend where five or ten people are hanging out in front of an old or experimental airplane BS'ing and telling stories. A girl riding up on a motorcycle, who bought a restoration project ultralight for $38, and who had a WW2 pilot for a grandpa, and who knows the difference between a P-39 and a P-63... will be welcome at any small airport I've ever seen.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2016 #33

    Topaz

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Since we're deep into offering advice for inexpensive flight schools, I'll chip in my own:

    Flying clubs are the way to go. Some offer flight instruction at a fraction of the usual prices. My soaring club, for example, has dual instruction for $40 per 1.5h block. No airplane rental price. You just pay for the tow. Many clubs (mine included) have less-expensive membership dues for younger people such as yourself, and ways for them to earn flight and instruction time by working the flight line, doing work for the club, etc. It's amazing how inexpensively you can learn to fly if you take advantage of such programs with the kind of enthusiasm and industry you've already shown us here.

    Learning to fly in gliders (soaring) can be quite a bit less-expensive, in-and-of itself, and the flight characteristics of the trainers you'll fly will be closer to your Volmer than a Cessna would be. Learning to fly with a soaring club is probably the least expensive way there is to get your training.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2016 #34

    bmcj

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    Not a bad idea. You're a smart girl with lots of drive and mechanical aptitude. You might thrive and grow in a stable company like Lowes (maybe even run the company eventually). It would give you the money to pursue your aviation adventures (and an employee discount on tolls is always nice).

    If you just can't get past the boring or mundane aspect of it, then find work at an aviation oriented company. If you're willing to travel or move, there are places like Aircraft Spruce (Peach Tree GA) or Maule Aircraft (Moultrie GA), or even as a civilian employee of a military aviation support group. I'm not sure of your age, but have you considered applying for flight training in the military (I'm partial to the Air Force, and given your family history, I think you might be too). You can get flight training slots in the Regular forces or in a National Guard. The Guard would be full time for the first 1-2 years, then scale back to the normal one weekend a month plus two weeks once every year; outside of that time, you can work whatever civilian job you choose, or none at all if you don't need a paycheck. The Guard pays you, but it's not enough to support you for the full year.

    A lot of people think they would not like the service, but change their mind once they are in. I really enjoyed my time in the Air Force, and still enjoy visiting bases. :)



    I was going to suggest that, but I could not find any soaring sites nearby on the SSA site.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2016 #35

    Topaz

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    That only shows SSA-chapter clubs. Not all soaring clubs are. I'd still look around the area.
     
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  16. Feb 6, 2016 #36

    steveair2

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    CG, go to the EAA meeting and take your grandfathers pictures and your rudder with you. Before you leave you will have new friends willing to help you.
    Someone there will probably be willing to take you for a nice airplane ride and offer a bit of training as well. You will probably meet your new best friends there.
     
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  17. Feb 6, 2016 #37

    blane.c

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    I bought a airplane first, learned to fly second. On the one hand not a very smart way to go, on the other hand I owned an airplane when I was done.
     
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  18. Feb 6, 2016 #38

    blane.c

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    I rented a lot of time and took a lot of instruction and borrowed a lot of money thru flying clubs, eventually got a job that was either envied or despised depending on who you talked to. But I always had my own plane and the freedom that came with it.
     
  19. Feb 6, 2016 #39

    Derswede

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    ChopperGirl, you have a ton of good advice here...(I sneak over to hear some on occasion). I started early around aircraft and also am a hardcore computer geek. Do take dual, do get some training. I picked up some bad habits from some of the sims...reaction time and control delay threw me for a loop (pardon the pun) as I had to get used to letting the bird " settle" a bit after control input. My motto now is "gravity is a harsh mistress". Managed never to hit the ground with anything but tires, but came close once. Skid marks not just on the runway. Taught me to listen, think well, use my training and anticipate!!! What is recoverable on a sim is often fatal in real world flight. Just like on a bike, dive into a corner too fast or nail the brakes at the wrong time, boom, you are down and out. Good call on wearing the lid...now if they just made a Bluetooth interfaced radio that would synch with my helmet. Triumph rider here, my gear works well in flight as well as when riding. I've seen lots of "parts" piles of ultralights, might be able to snag one with an appropriate engine as well. That may give you lots of parts also. Heck, I would start asking around some of the home builders in your area if they have any left over fasteners. Swap/trade keeps the cost down.

    Derswede

    I did see an engine at a good price the other day, will try to find it and post it here for you.
     
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  20. Feb 6, 2016 #40

    Little Scrapper

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    Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

    A friend of mine has a 19 year old son who couldn't afford college when he graduated high school. So he decided to work 2 full time jobs and a part time job on weekends. By the time summer is here he figures he'll have saved close to $30,000 in cash. His college will be paid for because he decided to work hard for a year. No loans.

    Moral of the story. Prioritize. If $25 is hard to come by solve the financial equation first, then go have fun and get training. You certainly have the motivation, I'd funnel that energy in the right direction.
     
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