As I reflect on the Oral/Practical Exam that I took last week, I realize how much I have learned in a little less than 8 months. It is pretty amazing! Then, after having that thought, I realize that I can’t stop learning now. There is so much more. There are a multitude of areas where I must continue to grow and improve. Then, I see that this is exactly like the Christian walk. It can be easy to stop and coast once we learn something or reach a plateau. But God is always calling and beckoning to us, “Further in! I am not done with you yet!” So I echo Paul’s declaration in Philippians 3:14, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (NLT)
The Airframe foundation has been laid and now it is time to build on it. That is why I have spoken with my instructors and I will stay after school on certain days to work with the mechanic’s at the SMAT flight line. I will be able to get some “real-world” experience and learn about how the basics skill I have learned find their application on working airplanes.
One of the projects that I have been working on is a Magneto Timing box. I soldered the pieces of the circuit board together and then assembled the box. (I even added a switch to deactivate the tone because it gets annoying in approximately 0.85 seconds) The Magneto (commonly referred to as Mag) is a combination of a distributor and an ignition coil that you have in a car. It sends a burst of electricity to the appropriate spark plug so that the spark plug “sparks” and the fuel ignites in the cylinder, which pushes the piston down, which helps turn the crankshaft, which spins the propeller! It has to start somewhere!!! The Mag Timer helps make sure that the spark plug fires at the correct moment, otherwise the engine may try to turn the opposite direction if it fires too early (which is bad) or you may lose efficiency if it fires late. Click here to see a video of my Mag Timer!
Another project that I have recently completed is a clip board made of composite material. A composite is any material that is made of two or more different parts and each retains its strengths and weaknesses. Composites are great for construction of airplanes because of the high strength to weight ratio (and saving weight on an airplane is of paramount importance). The only problem is that composites are difficult to make, time consuming, and expensive. To make my clip board, I created a mold (because I wanted a container to hold stuff), waxed the mold, and then I laid fiberglass layers down and covered them with a polyester resin. The clip board cured over the weekend and then I attached some pictures by gluing them to the surface and covering it with the resin. I am planning on having this clip board for a LONG time!!!
On the home front, we had a wonderful week. Jessica’s Mom hung out with us and helped us immensely. I cannot even count that ways that she blessed us and helped give us time to figure out how to manage two children. God has been so gracious during this time. Jeremiah is doing well and getting over a head cold. Adelina continues to amaze us all every day. And, if you watched the video above and were wondering why I have a mohawk, it is because I was able to participate in a Tough Mudder with a few of my classmates. It is simply a 12-mile run/obstacle course with mud EVERYWHERE!!! They donate money to the Wounded Warrior Fund (a non-profit organization that supports wounded armed service veterans) for every mohawk/shaved head that they do. That was a good enough reason for me. Even though Jessica said she kinda likes it, it’ll be coming off soon.
Have a great week and may God be with you all!