What I want to do when I get it finished, is take it to air shows with a bunch of cosplayers in character dressed up like characters from the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland. Buy a cotton candy machine, spun sugar is cheep, and have my volunteer cosplayers running around the airshow with purple and pink cotton candy on sticks giving cotton candy away free. Everybody's eye would be on the pink and purple cotton candy being given away for free, which would gravitate them even more to my airplane where the cotton candy machine was and the cotton candy colored airplane.
Show up at airshows impromptu, where my cheerleader dancers show up in a car with a sound system and put on an unexpected performance in front of some stodgy small air show crowd, with me flying by in my ghost plane made out of ghost parts, synced by radio, and then when the song is over, disappear as suddenly as they appeared. Smoke system, streamers, pink plastic flowers, pink and purple balloons, the works. Like a music video.
We can get it running, running, running! We can get it running, running, running!
Just like fire, burning out the way, if I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade, no one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I'll be flying free, I'm ma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say? No one can be just like me any way
I use to develop and mod video games, and have had 100,000+ players over 5 years, play on my intense hardcore modded game servers called AIRWAR, and this website (air-war.org) was the website for it.
Since then, I've bought a vintage motor glider off eBay for $38... and this website documents my progress and quest to build what I have dubbed "the world's cheapest bare minumum three axis controlled airplane"... where I substitute labor for money... Choppergirl's 38 Special.
I've also since bought a Chotia Woodhopper Project (with two mint Chotia 460 engines) for $99 off Barnstormers, which I've named Alice after Alice in Wonderland.
May Day, May Day, Choppergirl in Vajay Jay Twenty Four X-ray, tower, like, hey! Tell HBA, boat shrink wrap ain't okay!
She was designed by Volmer Jensen, who also designed and built the Star Ship Enterprise in the 1960's TV Show Star Trek, and her wing was designed by Irv Culver, who designed the SR-71 Blackbird with Kelly Johnson, and worked on the P-38 Lightning. She was one of the world's first motor gliders and ultralights; there are less than a dozen VJ-24W's still existing... three of those are in museums... two are DSK kits... of which mine is one, and the other owned by DSK which is now long since defunct. When I found her, she was rotting behind a storage shed..
Well, you know, Anthony Fokker lengthened the fuselage on the D.VII,
and Kurk Tank lengthened the fuselage on the Butcher Bird.
At least you don't have my problem...
What keeps me from ever actually working on My Flying Go-Cart is...
I turn the damn thing into A Massive Piece of Digital Performance Art
It has to be epic now... nothing less will do.
It can't just... FLY.
It has to be as epically legendary as that damn red triplane now...
If not in the rest of the world's mind, at least, in mine
I think there is just something incredibly noble about saving something that the entire rest of the world has given up on and left to die... whether it is a person, a lost kitten, a fallen baby bird, an old house, a forgotten motorbike, an old classic car, or... an old airplane... you become.. a saving angel.
Skonk works, because, well, the Lockheed P-38 was my fighter pilot grandfather's favorite plane, and Irv Culver who coined the term, designed my VJ-24 wing! I'm sure Lockheed owns the trademark on Skonk works, *but* I'm not using it commericially, it's just a nice decoration for my personal tool cabinet. I think Pepe has a lot more character than Lockheed's skunk... who is it, Tippy or something? Note my special U/O/hacker zero with slash character for the U/O in Skunk/Skonk...
This barn find was bought by me on Ebay November 31, 2015 for
$38 dollars U.S. -- VJ-24W ultralight aircraft
$25 dollars U.S. -- JLO RM-252 Engine (14hp?)
(After some internet research, I found engine turned out to be 10.5 hp, too underpowered to use on the plane.)
Nobody knew what it was, but I identified it by looking at 100's of photos :-)
Who is Volmer Jensen? Have you ever heard of a little TV show from the 60's called Star Trek? Volmer Jensen designed and built the first model of the Starship Enterprise for Gene Rodenberry, featured in the opening credits of the old TV show, with two other guys in his workshop . He got the idea for the round part of the spaeship from stove burner coils. That model now hangs in the Smithsonian. Volmer's first plane was the Martin M-1 1939, and he designed gliders in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. He designed also several foot launch hang gliders, the VJ-11, VJ-23, and VJ-24.
A fellow named Stephen Lowther suggested he put an engine on the VJ-23 and then VJ-24, which he did, along with a seat and wheels, creating the VJ-24W (w for wheeled)... the model you see in front of you... creating the very first (or one of the first?) conventional three axis controlled powered wheeled modern ultralights. The ultralights started this little unlicensed category in US aviation called FAR 103. Under Part 103, a goob like me can dream of flying without forking over money to the state.
Oh, that little Star Trek TV show I mentioned? That fantasy fiction franchise became something worth $4 billion. Go figure.
Who is Irv Culver? Have you ever heard of the Skunkworks, Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects Division? One day, when the Department of the Navy was trying to reach the Lockheed management for the P-80 project, the call was accidentally transferred to Culverís desk inside the smelly plastics workshop. Culver answered the phone in his trademark fashion of the time, by picking up the phone and stating "Skonk Works, inside man Culver". "What?" replied the voice at the other end. "Skonk Works", Culver repeated. The name stuck. Culver later said at an interview conducted in 1993 that "when Kelly Johnson heard about the incident, he promptly fired me. It didnít really matter, since he was firing me about twice a day anyways.
The designation "skunk works" is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.
Culver is credited with coming up a solution to the P-38 Lightning compressibility problem. The P-38 was my grandfathers favorite plane, he flew 171 combat missions in it out of New Guinea. He is still alive.
At every gas station I stopped at someone would strike up a conversation about my plane. Note the guy on the left pumping gas looking... what the hey? He'd start talking to me in a few secs...
How I got my plane home on a boat trailer. My friend Jamie behind the car who went along as company.
As soon as I was home I assembled her in the dark in the rain right where I imagined she would always be. Ghost plane appears at 2am on my front lawn in the drizzling rain.
My planes been through hell and is tattered and torn and abandoned by the world just like me.
My favorite photo. The plane type was written on the back tail the whole time, but not visible in the ebay auction. The guy could of saved me hours of research by just taking a photo of the tail. When I redo her fabric I'm going to save the old tail cloth and frame it and hang it on my wall. Only link to whoever orginally built her as there is no aircraft data plate. Was built from plans or you could by a kit from DSK Aircraft.
The most dangerous, uncomfortable looking cockpit in the world. Well, I always said I would fly anything...
Only a badass helicopter pilot girl with nerves of icy cold steel would dare fly this deadly P.O.S. But where the hell am i going to get one of those? :)
So far I've only found less than a dozen of these in the world. This one (G-MBBZ) (#7) is in Newark Air museum and on Wikipedia and Airport Data was built by David Cook and Volmer Jensen in his basement (I believe). The photo makes it look like it has a very bad ass WW2 military paint color. You can see it flying with its original blue wings here. Since these were built from plans, they were built to the discretion and taste of the builder. Mine looks to be a later model (total guess) with an upgraded larger pivoted bungee cord suspension, centered stick, better rudder pedals, and lowered more comfortable foot rest.