18 September 2002 Images

Click on a thumbnail for a full size version. File sizes vary from about 300 KB to about 800 KB. The order is as they were captured.

I'm now the proud owner, finally, of a good digital camera, a 3.3 MP Olympus 3040, which I purchased from ReturnBuy.com for $290, including shipping. In these times, this was a splurge, but my invisible spouse had no objections, nor did Hawking, the cat, and the local Vulcans will just have to suffer the angst of another case of human irrationality. Still, I hope I'm not $300 short when the pillar concrete bill comes in.

There was no attempt to achieve quality in any regard in these images. I just quickly figured out how to power up the camera, found the button to capture an image, and went on a clicking spree. All the camera settings were default, it was an absurdly bright day, I didn't pay any significant attention to composition, I made no attempt to control exposure in images with both very bright and very dark elements, and I let the camera focus on the central area, regardless of whether that was appropriate. It was just as quick and dirty as it gets. I'll study the camera later, and when the next gray day occurs I'll try to find time to take some well composed images at higher resolution, and post them.

There are a couple of revealing images. The work to replace the old cabin side panels with the more modern white panels is obvious. It's a lot more involved than just swapping panels and relocating light fixtures and other infrastructure - it's extremely time consuming, tedious cleaning (mostly pressure washing), including the new panels, the back sides of both the fluorescent light tunnels and the incandescent ceiling light fixtures, and the areas behind the side panels (the insulation, inner windows and such). I also have to string the wiring harness for the new fluorescent lights that are integral to the new side panels.

I've also been busting butt to clean the entire electronics bay and the front landing gear interior belly area. The belly area in the electronics bay was the home a large quantity of belly glop, which is now thoroughly gone, along with it's odor. I had to remove all the floor panels and insulation to get to it. Most of this cleaning is now complete (but not all). For this aircraft, it's been necessary to remove the lower insulation blankets (those from the floor line down) in some areas, including the entire electronics bay, in order to get the areas clean. (This might prove true for other retired airliners too.) In the electronics bay, most of the insulation blankets were in quite bad shape, providing little real insulation, they were filthy dirty, and they made genuine cleaning of the area impossible. So I removed them, and discarded the unserviceable and unrepairable ones, of which there were quite a few. I may have to reinsulate the area later (or perhaps not, but that's a complicated story), but what's important now is that the area is squeaky clean - you can move around and work in the area without soiling your hands or clothes, and there's no odor - it's quite nice.

I'm still thrilled with the right wing. As I mentioned earlier, it's fully self supporting, and there's no sign of any mechanical weakness. You can see that the wing is floating free in the image in column 4, row 7, and the detail of the wing tip in column 1, row 8. But the cut line still needs welding, and I'm eager to get that accomplished - that task has been languishing.

Back to the nuts and blots...

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