The past two weeks Team Panther has been soaking up some much-needed R&R. Every year we take a wonderful vacation out to see my sister and her family in Destin/Gulf Breeze FL. My Dad also joins us and we spend about 10 days relaxing in the beautiful water in the Gulf of Mexico, with our three boys and my sister’s two girls. We had a blast doing things like boating out to multiple beautiful paradises, off shore fishing, water parks, tubing down rivers and seeing the new Star Trek movie!
Now that we are rejuvenated we have hit the ground running since we returned Monday night and it is full steam ahead to Oshkosh. We have our plates full with getting tail kits, plans, Panther painted, avionics swap, continued flight testing….
As we finish up some more flight testing today the Panther wings will be coming off and heading to the paint shop on Monday. We have been working on the final paint scheme and are pleased with what we have come up with. Once it is all done we will post a ton of pictures for you to see. We figure it will take about two weeks total to do the whole paint job.
One of the things that may hold us up is the replacement canopy. We are hoping to have it here by the end of next week. Then we will fit it to the canopy skirt. Once it is fitted, the canopy skirt and cowling will go to get the fiberglass mold pulled. This is, of course, if the canopy is the shape we want. We have been working very closely with the canopy shop, and have every confidence that it will be what we are looking for. For those of you who don’t know – the canopy we have now is great, but it lacks about two inches in head room. Don’t worry, the replacement canopy will still have the sporty look of the Panther we all love, but will simply have just a few more inches head room for the really tall guys. Then cowling and canopy skirt straight to paint.
Above is a photo of Dan in the Panther and his dad, Jim Weseman, in his Corvair powered Fisher Celebrity.
While the wings are getting painted we will start working on getting the new GRT Sport SX avionics system installed. We did our first 45 hours with the MGL Xtreme unit and it worked wonderfully. The next 40 hours or so will be done with the GRT Sport unit. This unit has an impressive display, along with the integrated GPS unit and a new attractive pricing structure – it is a very appealing unit. Stay tuned to see photos and updates on this.
After adding all of this to the airplane we will be doing another weigh-in. We suspect the Panther may beef up a bit after paint, a bigger canopy and avionics swap.