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The Lakes has landed & my RV7 is painted and complete, encore!
Finally after some time, I have completed my Vans RV7 project and it is now painted - After a trip to Phoenix in America with my brother Andy I have also purchased my next project, a Great Lakes (1930's designed bi-plane).

Mick Allen has painted my Vans RV7
Two and a half years after its arrival, more than 2,000 hours of work later, I test flew for 25 hours before having the external paint, G-OVII (Go-7) is complete.
I alway intended to have a professional paint my RV and Mick Allen was the top of the list - I am so, so very pleased with the result. It is everything I hoped and the quality is outstanding. I didn't want to spend all this money building the RV and have a shabby looking aircraft.
I took the RV to Mick's on 2nd June. I stripped all the control surfaces, covers, spats etc off. I had already agreed the design and just had to agree the paint colours. Over the next four weeks (Mick was on holiday for a while) Mick prepared the panels, primed and applied the three colours. We had a slight delay getting the tail graphics just how I wanted, however it is done now and I will be collecting the RV on Saturday 4th August after it has been inspected and re-weighed.
To see pictures of the painting and the build visit my site go-7.co.uk ,
N3613L in Phoenix
My New Project a GREAT LAKES 2T-1A-2
A while ago I discovered a Great Lakes bi-plane for sale in Phoenix Arizona. It has always been my dream to own a Great Lakes but they are VERY rare in the UK. There is only one flying - owned by my friend Robert - in the UK. When I discovered 13L (Dreamcatcher) as a project Great Lakes needing a full restoration within my budget I was very excited. However recent changes with the UK and European aircraft regulation looked to have stopped the idea in its tracks. After a lot of effort and comunications with the PFA (Popular Flying Association), CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) in Cologne. I finally sorted out status the Great Lakes could be operated in the UK. After a pricing excercise to check the shipping and expected restoration costs, I made a call to my brother and he was up for a trip to the USA to get the aircarft and pack into a container for the trip back to the UK. It didn't go well!
Mark named this aircraft dreamcatcher, the name sums up what it meant to him, I know that selling this has been a very tough decision for him and because of that, meeting Mark and his family, experiencing their hospitality and knowing what Dreamcatcher meant to him - it has made this a bitter-sweet experience for me. I don't know what the final name will be, however, throughout the restoration and as a tribute to a really nice guy, I am keeping the name of Dreamcatcher and Mark will not be far from my mind in this project.
Fuselarge stripped for recover
Packed ready to ship home
Container arrives 1st August 2007
Great Lakes Performance/Specification...........
Great Lakes N3613L in the air above Phoenix
Never exceed - 153mph
Cruise - 120mph
Climb (sea level) - (IO-360)76.5mph
Rate of Climb (sea level) - 1150 ft/min
Service Ceiling - 17'000ft
Stall Speed - 56mph
Load Factor - +5.4 / -4.0G
Fuel Range - 3.8hr / 300miles
Fuel Capacity - 27.4 US Gal
Fuel Consumption 3.5-18.5 US Gal/hr
Gross Weight - 1800lb
Empty Weight(approx) - 1233lb
Max Baggage - 40lb
Wing Loading - 9.63il/sq.ft
Engine - Lycoming AEIO-360-B1G6
Propeller - Hertzell Constant Speed, HC-C2YK-4AF/FC7666A-2 (74" diameter)
EZ-Pilot - Auto-pilot coupled to GPS
Odyssey PC680 battery, B&C Backup Alternator
Backup instruments - Compass, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator.
Shipping 13L from Phoenix
Andy and I landed in Phoenix late Tuesday 12th June and went straight to Mark's house to view 13L. All was well and I authorised the bank payment. The following day we started cataloguing and packing up the aircarft ready for the container to arrive on the Friday. Friday arrived and we were prepared with the smaller parts packed into crates and materials to secition the container to take the four wings, fuselage, engine and all the parts. The container had not turned up by late afternoon so I called the shippers and discovered there was a problem and it was not going to arrive today. However I would have a container the following day, Saturday. Saturday came and went without a container arriving. I was unable to contact the shipper in the UK and only had the US agent acting on their behalf to work with. There was no way they could get me a container until Monday - great we were leaving on Monday! We left without the aircraft in a container and a £285 mobile bill to boot. The full story will be on new Great Lakes project site (see below)soon.
New Project website - Great Lakes 2T .co .uk.
I have created a new project website for the Great Lakes at www. Great Lakes 2T.co.uk This will be just like my Vans RV7 site (www.go-7.co.uk) and will show the daily step by step process of me restoring this great aircraft.
At last I can relax my Great Lakes is home
Mark showing me where some parts go.......
N3613L at an airshow

Images & text copyright GAPilot, GreatLakes2T & Go-7. This mail is not connected to Vans Aircraft Inc, Great lakes Aircraft Corp. The contents of this mail is the opinion of the author, not Vans Aircarft, PFA, CAA, EASA or FAA. Please check all information is correct before you act upon it.