Apr 22 2010

LA, California ….part 2

After leaving Chino (about 35 miles NE of LA), I drove south (25 miles SSW) on some flowered covered hill sides to Lake Forest to have dinner with David Orr which was a real treat since we never formally met.

Snow can be seen in the mountains!

I first contacted David about 12 years when I first started looking for a canard airplane.  David keeps detailed lists of canards (engine size, builders, current owners, general history, build quality, condition, paint job, etc)  and connects buyers and sellers for a small fee.  The experience and detailed records of planes he maintains is invaluable for a canard buyer.   He asked a lots of questions about what I intended to use the plane, my needs, price range, etc and recommended a SPECIFIC LongEZ with a 0320 (160 HP) engine.

Naturally being cheap and not wanting to pay the Piper, I bought a Varieze with a C90 engine in Florida (later sold).

I then hooked up with Tweety in 1997, a 0235 (108 hp) LongEZ  .   After living Tweety for 150o hrs,  an old cranky lady who moved at the speed of grandma driving on the interstate I finally decided I had enough!  I gave her a heart transplant and installed a newly overhauled IO-320 and downdraft cooling, oil heat, new interior and now she is one “bitchin” nice (as Pat likes to say)  perfect lady.  Responsive, sleek, economical, thrifty, wonderful plane.   It only took me 8 years to get back to the type of plane David originally suggested.   David knows canards and I take my advice, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to avail yourself of his his “canard finding” service if you are looking for a nice Bird.  In the end, you be happier and have a much better canard experience!

David has a beautiful home on a man made lake.  Fortunately it was too cold for him to take me on his electric boat. What a mistake on both occasions.

A nice dinner at a Thai restaurant, and a trip (12 miles NW) to his hangar to check out his latest plane.  A Berkut, which is a really nice fast bird (has an O-360 in it)  Right now she is in primer awaiting a good painter.

An interesting bottom cowl outlet for the oil coler  IF you have updraft cooling.

Time to drive another 24 miles WEST back to Long Beach and the BOQ.    I drove about 95 miles today…did I say LA is big, BIG city?

Apr 22 2010

LA, California …..part 1

The trip to CA was EZ and quick.  Arrived at 12:05 pm.  Found a great deal on Yahoo for the rental car at $27/day and a room at the Airforce BOQ for $39/night.  This trip is going to be one of the least costly of any I have ever taken!  The rest of Wed was spend in Pat’s dental office.  A quick dinner and I was totally exhausted by 10 pm (1 pm EST).

Thursday, after stopping by to visit  with Pat, I drove up to the Chino airport to see Bill Ortel.  I have never met him, but he is a canard builder/A&P and Pat recommend I see.  A very nice guy that has more canards in his stable than I do (4 of them).    Here is Bill (right) and his son working on a customers Varieze.

We had a great visit, after which I stopped by the airport cafe for lunch.  General airport cafes are small and not to busy.  This place was old (a former miltary building) but the food was terrific  and it was extremely busy.   Chino was an old miltary airfield with lots of old (and new) buildings.  I love going to an old airfield.  There is more junk airplanes and parts here than you can imagine.  I would love to have the time to just pick through the stuff.

One thing that impressed me about Calif  highways (besides the incredible traffic) is the concrete work.  I’ll try to take some more pictures of it.  They mold patterns or pictures into the concrete to break up the monotony of structures.  I have seen a lot of this sort of work in Texas, but not as extensively as here.

The Fort McAurthur  BOQ (Bachelors Officer Quarters) I am staying at back up to the Long Beach harbor.  Quite a beautiful walk in the morning.  I only wish I had more time to check out the sights here.

I had better close.  I am off to have dinner with David Orr (another canard owner).