Panther Production Progress and FrankenCowling


These last few weeks have been composed of QA, catching up and organization.

We have brought on a new employee to help with shop organization and shipping.  He is a pilot and a college student, going for his degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  When hiring someone to organize and manage all of the many parts that make up an airplane, having knowledge on the subject is immensely helpful.  Knowing the difference between an aileron and an elevator is extremely hard to come by nowadays for someone who will work for just above minimum wage…Once he passes the probationary period and is fully up to speed we will give him a more appropriate intro….until then you can see below what he’s been up to…

boxer
We shall call him “The Boxer”!

So – the shop is now clean and parts are organized!  And packing parts is getting easier.  We have also done a thorough inventory on what parts we have and found that most of them we don’t – so a huge round of purchase orders have been cut to the CNC shops to fill the shelves with inventory.

We just received another batch of spars from our CNC shop, so they will be assembled over the next few weeks or so.

Another batch of Panther forward fuselage cages have been shipped off to the powder coat shop.

Off to finishing school they go!
Off to finishing school they go!

Have you ever wondered what 25 Panther fuselages look like?

25 Panther tube kits - soon baby Panthers everywhere!

25 Panther tube kits – soon baby Panthers everywhere!

Well there you go.  Fairly unimpressive if you ask me.  It is hard to imagine that 25 baby Panthers will be made out of just the boxes you see there.  Our awesome welding duo will be cranking out more fuselages and all the accessories that go with it for the next few months – non stop!  Travis was like a kid in a candy store when these showed up.  He loves to weld and does such a fantastic job at it!

Beta Builder Bob Woolley has mounted his engine on his fuselage!  Bob is going with the Panther Sport powered by the Lycoming O-320.  BobWoolleyEngineMounted Dan has been working on the prototype cowling for the Universal Panther Cowling.   He is using Bob Woolley’s fuselage to make the prototype from.  Dan tried starting with an RV-3 cowling as the base, but it didn’t fit as well as starting with the Panther Corvair cowling as the base and modifying (making it bigger) from there.

The process of making a cowling for an airplane goes something like this:  Start with at least something, then start hacking it up and making it look fairly awful.  Then just keep at it, making sure you get enough clearance for the cylinders and exhaust without taking away from the beautiful lines of the airplane.  Make sure you get enough cooling, and stay symmetrical.

For those of you who have been through this you can see the potential here.  It is going to be the most beautiful Panther cowling yet!  Even though it looks like FrankenCowling right now.

IMG_4604 IMG_4609   IMG_4612  IMG_4617 IMG_4622

Still a ways to go, but you can see it – right?  FrankenCowling is gonna be gorgeous!  If you don’t believe me, then you will just have to wait and see…..

Just remember how the Panther Corvair cowling started…..If you need a reminder click here…THE UGLY DUCKLING

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