Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Weedwhacker

So now that I know that I am to be a Weedwhacker captain, I need to learn everything there is to know about the Weedwhacker. Why don't I call it the WD40, to save typing, and to further confuse visitors to the blog who haven't your attention span. Those of you familiar with low-end commercial aviation are going to recognize this bird quite quickly. Feel free to e-mail me any advice or information you might have. I've surpressed comments on this entry to curtail the enthusiasts who want to prove they know the identity of the airplane.

I happen to have in my possession an excellent manual for the type, produced by a now defunct California airline. It could be called "Weedwhacker for Dummies" as it contains lots of really basic piloting advice like "make sure all wheels are turning when you begin taxiing" and things most sentient beings can figure out on their own like "if you have broken bones, try to avoid moving." It also explains the systems and operation of the airplane. Once again it is my responsibility to know as much as I can before groundschool. School is no place to learn anything!

The WD40 is a low wing, aluminum airplane with two reciprocating, turbocharged engines. There are different subtypes, and Vole operates both the regular and extended cab editions, with different engines. (The two can be distinguished by counting the windows). The basic three-axis flight controls are manually operated through cables and pulleys, and the elevator is equipped with an anti-servo tab that moves in the same direction as elevator deflection, but further. This tab provides feedback, such that the further you deflect the elevator from the trimmed position, the more force is required to move it. This is called positive stick force gradient and considered a good thing because it discourages us from tearing our own airplanes apart.

And now I have to start packing to leave.

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