but by the end of today we were using a lot of other letters and a lot of other words. The good news is that we finally got a break from the weather. While freezing rain came down during our breakfast, it rapidly cleared and the temperatures soared to the low 50s during the afternoon.
First, because of an operator error by Steve tonight there are no photos of Lyle and Einar at work today. This is a great shame because both of them spent the entire day buried inside the wheels wells disconnecting wing attachment bolts and linkages that were extremely difficult to get to and in many cases covered with animal droppings. It was a long, dirty job that Mike Rowe would have loved, and Einar and Lyle both deserve recognition for their work.
Today's priority was activating the hydraulic system. This was necessary because the flaps are hydraulically powered and interlinked via a torque tube between the wings, and this interlink must be disconnected in order to remove the wings. Unfortunately, the only access to the linkage is when the flaps are in the down position, and that requires hydraulic power.
Using a "mule", a portable battery powered hydraulic pump, we carefully tapped into the hydraulic system.
JR and his Bellingham mule.
Know what happens when you very carefully apply thousands pounds of hydraulic pressure to decades old lines and fittings? You get leaks... So you try the other hydraulic system. And you get new leaks....
And you end up doing what you've been trying to avoid, you have to tap directly into the flap system which involves a lot of swearing while trying to tap into a line in a location a line is not meant to be put.
Hal works on tapping directly into the flap system, while on the left Lyle takes a break from working inside the wheel well.
But eventually we were able to tap into the line, and the flaps came trundling down.
After some discussion JR and Hal decided that removing the right flap would be the smart thing.
And a group effort got it done.
She's looking pretty forlorn, but don't worry. We're pretty dang good at putting airplanes back together, too....
We need to have both landing gear legs retracted before we can disconnect the wings, so with only one flap off and the gear yet to go we ended the day behind. Tomorrow morning we'll hit the ground running.