Todd Balsimo
Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota

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5.00-5 tires on 5.00-5 tubes with QCU 5" Aluminum Rims

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01-01-2003:  What a great way to begin the New Year!  Flew from the airport to the lake on which I live. Landed on the ice for the fist time! The ice is 8-10" thick and more than 12" thick near the shore. It was exciting and very different to land on such a wide-open space. There is nothing to line up with and no wind indicators on the ground/ice. The ice was almost bare with patches of snow here and there. After flying my lake recon and watching all the ice fisherman wave to me, I set up to approach into the wind and stop near my home. The wheels touched down gently onto 1800 acres of frozen water. I landed close to shore and it was shallow water (6 feet deep). I could see the bottom of the lake through the clear ice. Lots and lots of expansion cracks in the ice allowing you to estimate the thickness of the ice. It looked about 10" where I touched down. I didn't even try to use the brakes, as I knew they would not be effective. I slowed down well before my home and had to add some power to get there. I entered in a new waypoint in my Garmin III+ and called it "Home", shut down the engine, and went in the house for a warm cup of coffee and some fresh bread. I went back down to the lake and sat on my dock, which was pulled on shore. I had some Skoal and sat back to enjoy the silent winter day. As I sat with my legs stretched out in front of me, I stared at my plane. I thought back to the 2 years of building it and how I dreamed of this day. It felt great to fulfill my dream.  It was slippery on take-off and the nose wheel was ineffective to counter act left-turning tendencies. Until I got some airflow over the rudder, it was a little squirrelly on take-off. After take off, I did a 180 and swooped down across the ice and waved my wings to the casual observers. Life was good that day.

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No filing necessary - Tap down corners & sharp edges 
Tape with hockey or sports tape 
Cover non-glue tubes with quilt material 
Applying Poly-Tak 
Applying Poly-Tak before closing sock 
That iron in lower right is “hungry” to shrink that elevator 
tbalsimo7.jpg (92531 bytes) Picked up the fuselage at Don Z's. The air was crisp and the coffee was hot.


tbalsimo8.jpg (67078 bytes)tbalsimo9.jpg (80215 bytes) Attaching bottom sheet of inboard wing
Marking lines at 3" interval (not 4"-5" like manual says) for ribs.  11-24-00
tbalsimo10.jpg (83562 bytes) Drilling holes in ribs.  I didn't count, but there were 130 holes!  I chose not to use drill press.
tbalsimo10.jpg (85084 bytes)tbalsimo11.jpg (71481 bytes) Clamps work well for riveting box tip.

A little duct tape to hold the tip in place for drilling and riveting fiberglass tip.

boxfinished.JPG (73868 bytes)tbalsimo12.jpg (80300 bytes) I ended up piecing in the gap between rib and in inboard wall of box - it was too flimsy.

My daughter Amelia inspects the wing spar.

ribrivet.JPG (76506 bytes)ribstring.JPG (61293 bytes) "Rivet's eye view". It can be done by hand, but a pneumatic rivet gun is worth every penny - $60.

The string worked well to establish consistent rib height

tbalsimo13.jpg (84657 bytes) My friend Eric helped me tape ailerons in prep to be covered.
tbalsimo14.jpg (77328 bytes) It's time for the fuselage to "hatch". Background: My dad & I own a 1968 Mooney M20F Exec. 21
tbalsimo15.jpg (84220 bytes) I used an ATV vertical adjusting pneumatic platform for my work bench.
Mainwheel_1.jpg (49025 bytes)Mainwheel_2.jpg (45880 bytes) QCU's new wheels.
Todds_Wiring.jpg (69195 bytes) Wiring diagram.

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