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gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


First, a brief commercial message: Don't believe anyone that tells you that where you live is not an important factor in finding and staying happy. I feel that 50% of happiness is where you live and the other 50% is how you live. It took me 50 years to figure that out! If I could only figure out how to have people contribute to my retirement fund.

Back to the blog: I haven't had a chance to set up my telescope in Japan. I want to build a permanent pier (observatory) for the scope eventually. I enjoy looking at the stars because I'm looking into the past. Many of the stellar displays occurred before our solar system was formed. Each miraculous view is an original masterpiece. The greatest excitement happens when I begin processing the photographs. The object is hidden and then it suddenly appears as if by magic. I have a lot of questions concerning the cosmos. I think I can find many of the answers in the skies over Tsukahara. Some of my astrophotos were posted in a previous blog. The night skies were polluted with city lights. I can’t wait to see the difference a clear and dark sky will make.

Even though we have been busy, I have managed to set aside some time each night to do some modeling. I haven’t built any remote controlled models since 2003. Erika encouraged me to bring all of my “toys” to Japan because she knew I would find time to do my hobbies. My first project was to rebuild the Super Questor. I built that airplane in 1978. It’s amazing that it has survived for 34 years and many hard landings. I rebuilt the tail and recovered the stabilizer. The plane is rebalanced and ready to fly. I hope to get it in the air as soon as the schedule and weather cooperates. 


My next two projects will be to get my Sagitta 900 and ASW 22 ready for flight. I’ll use a hi-start to get those planes into the air. Stay tuned for pictures.

I purchased a vintage Graupner Cirrus kit in 2003. The kit was made in 1969. When I was a kid, I saw a Cirrus being skillfully flown and I thought it was the most beautiful sailplane that I had ever seen. My brother (John) purchased a Kyosho Cirrus 3000 in the early 80’s. It was a close copy of the Graupner, but it wasn’t the same as the original. The wing joints on the 3000 had become brittle over the years. As I was performing a loop (1986) at 500 feet, the wings folded and I watched in agony as the plane spun to its final resting place. Project number four will be to build and fly the Graupner Cirrus.

Project number five will be to build a scale Curtiss Jenny that I have had stored away since 1990. The kit is amazingly detailed. My modeling skills will need improvement before I tackle this project. I expect it will take a few years to complete and I’m looking forward to every minute.

How did you manage to get those planes safely to Japan? I’m glad you asked. I chopped up my workbenches that I had in Washington and turned them into a very strong shipping container for RC airplanes. Pretty cool, huh? Woodworking, intarsia, and stained glass will be in the future…as soon as the garage is built.     

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