I finally finished removing the interior skins! There were a ton of rivets to drill out! The worst rivets were the solid "buck" rivets along the top of the centerline. The drill constantly wanted to walk off the rivet and the thicker rivet was tough to get through. I could only drill a dozen or so at a time before having to do something else; it was so hard on my arms and shoulders. But it is done now!
Looking forward, I need to get the exterior skin watertight. It turns out that there are zero suppliers of aircraft grade aluminum in the Billings area - shocker right? I called the Edwards Jet Center and the mechanics there were graciously willing to put my order in with theirs!
I also need to fill the two vent holes in the top. The center hole (formerly an air conditioner) will be filled with a Fan-tastic Fan. It seems they are aptly named, having a thermostat to come on automatically and even a rain sensor. When we are out of the trailer (hiking or whatnot), it will close itself in the rain. The front vent was originally an astradome - a double-sized vent. Somewhere in its lifespan, an owner removed it and put in a terrible skylight. The frame was made of wood. Seriously, wood on the exterior of an Airstream? Have you no soul?
I could retrofit this vent back to the original, but that would take a ton of work and no small amount of money. So I called up a local company, Associated Glass. They are making me a custom, double-pane, heat-reflective, laminated-glass window. It will end up costing less than the plastic cover I'd need to retrofit. Win! It won't open, but since the Fan-tastic Fan is significantly better than any option of 1963, I think it balances out.
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.