A WS-202 SPRINT Builder at Workin
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Hello, my Name is L.Palani and I live in a small town called Klang which is about forty kilometers from the capital city Kuala Lumpur. I am working in a Commercial Bank 'Bumiputra Commerce Bank' for the past twenty-two years (you guessed it right....my first job), as an Information Systems Auditor.My parents were not in anyway involved in the aviation field, and neither was me in all these fifty years on earth. There was no Airstrip around my hometown (Sungei Petani), and none around me talked, breathed or flew airplanes.The Internet came into my life in 1996 when I became one of the earliest subscribers in the country. Surfing aimlessly here and there fuelled by the mere excitement of this communication tool, I happend to fall upon a site which listed several Homebuilt airplane Kits.
Just like any other Asian kid, any idea of flying would have been joke or something beyond one's dream. My general exposure and awareness of what is going on in the world was limited to inputs from the radio, TV and Newspapers.
It was only then I came to know that even individuals with no aviation Grey matter can build and fly airplanes and the likes. Something in me caused a spark which kindled the dream to fly at this point I guess, What did I do then?, the idea brewed inside my coconut head for several days, during which period I was searching for more and more websites with inputs relating to Homebuilding. I landed on the KRNet. For the next one year I became a lurker in the (KRNet) and the (Sooblist), bought and read books on aerodynamics, flying etc.
I started asking stupid questions for which I got great advice from the above list members. The members who are mostly American & Canadians are wonderful people, their unselfish ways of sharing their knowledge was new to me. Even to this day I am enjoying every bit of my interaction with them, many of whom have become good friends, and mind you, I do not have even an image of them to assign to their names to, in certain cases.
This is something you will realize, if you have a purpose, the Internet will become your darling in no time. You can get fantastic, pointers, guidance, and ideas from people who care to share.
Let me continue my story...being alone with this dream for over a year, I then wanted to communicate with people in Malaysia, to just talk about the possibility of making my dream, that was brewing rapidly, come true.
I was referred to the Experimental Aircraft Aviation by one of the KRNet members, (sorry I can't remember who, all my archives are lost to the April 26 Virus). I called up the number and it was already there, the EAA Malaysia Chapter was already established a few years earlier. Membership with them brought me in contact with several people in the aviation industry, Pilots and engineers etc.
I remember, at the meetings I used to tell others of my intention to build a KR2S, a wood and Composite airplane. This blurting of intentions was based purely on my theoretical knowledge derived from KR2S advertisements. It was also based on the price performance specifications of the design. I still feel that I cannot afford to spend more than US$5000 on my dream project.
My babbling about KRs brought me in contact with an Airforce A & P named Muthalib. Talking to him for about two hours educated me on the different designs, construction methods and advantageous and disadvantageous of each etc.
The most stunning awareness came when I was shown a KR2 parked in their museum, which was built as the first scratch built plane by the Air Force. It was grounded after a few take offs and landings. I was told that its characteristics are not suitable for low time pilots, more so for ultra-new aspiring pilots like me.
Muthalib advised me to look for a design using an all metal construction. He hasbeen building several planes by then. My contact with Muthalib also exposed me to another amateur flying club called KITFAM (Kitplanes Flying Association Of Malaysia), in which he is the Hanger Manager.
This KITFAM was the brainchild of our Prime Minister who initiated it after his visit to Oshkosh in 1995, as I was told. This is one of his projects aimed to increase aviation awareness among the Malaysian people. KITFAM has a hanger within the Sungei Besi Airport in Kuala Lumpur, It has most of the equipment and tools required for builders to work on their Projects. All these are available to members.
My search for an all metal design and construction, costing less than US5000.00 connected me to Tim Foulkes who was a member of the e-mail list firstname.lastname@example.org (which is a List for aviators who are in the process or about to or already flying a converted Subaru auto engine in their planes. You have to be a subscribed member to use it) who introduced me to the SPRINT.
The SPRINT is the scaled up two place version of the Hummelbird a very popular one place all metal design of which more that 120 have been built and already flying.
I have been building the SPRINT for the past year now, and I have learnt composite fabrication, riveting, and spray painting etc. etc. The designer of the SPRINT, Bill Spring of Ontario Canada, has been very helpful in supporting me wonderfully so far. There is a SPRINT builders and aspiring builder group communicating through e-mail.(Information about this "e-group" and other details are given in the " More Info ..." section on Tim Foulkes' home page, see link below.)
My Local Gurus supporting me are Mr. Mutalib the A & P, Mr. Syed Alhadad who is the Engineering Manager in a helicopter Services company and Mr. Chris Nealson who is the Plant Manager at Philleo Aviation, a company that produces quick-build RV6A kit airplanes.
Now, How did all the above happen to me? I did not realize it till after two years I started this project. These things happened, I firmly believe, due to the dreams that I used to have when I was a schoolboy. I remember I used to have the same vivid dream frequently for several years till I left for college studies in India. Then it disappeared. What was the dream ..you may ask?. Here it is :-
Wherever and whenever I wish all I need to do is just flap my arms and I will lift off like a bird. I was doing this from anywhere, from the school field amidst friends watching, from rooftops, way back from school towards home etc. I was not able to fly very high, and could not sustain flight for a very long time. There were times when I will flap my arms without getting lift. I was the only one who can do this while everyone around me felt that they do not have this gift. I used to fly often alone enjoying the birds eye view and it was very satisfying and always felt proud of my ability. No one attempted to stop me, but left me alone to do what I loved most.
I have read that if you dream of what you want, your subconscious mind will work towards achieving it. In my case I realized that this is absolutely true, no doubt it has taken nearly thirty-five years to achieve it. It is true! start dreaming about what you want and see it happen. Thinking backwards my mind has been preparing me by making me learn most of the skills I needed now, mind you, my dream did not return for 35 years until two years after commencement of the Project when I remembered it and accounted for it as the seed. So Dream...Dream...Dream...
Dream 'Big' and Dream 'Early' in life.
SPRINT - Building - Photo Diary
For More Info on the WS-202 SPRINT Visit my Friend Tim Foulkes'
Home Page at:http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/tjdaff