HAWK’s Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon

       Recently HAWK began work on our firefly hot air balloon N90555. Upon donation the envelope was found to be porous and not flightworthy. Slowly HAWK was donated a basket and then another along with fuel lines and tanks until we had all of the pieces necessary to put together our balloon. However with these parts the problem of the porous fabric remained but never fear HAWK was given new balloon coating from firefly to be applied to the inside of HAWK’s balloon.

Coating the hot air balloon
Caleb, Abarim, Michelle, Eddie and Braden coating the hot air balloon.

The entire inside of the balloon had to be coated in the latex based clear coating that was sprayed on and rolled in taking four days to paint over 70000 square feet of fabric until on the evening of day four when HAWK members left the balloon and the balloon was stood up in Fruita’s Reed Park.

Reed Park balloon glow
Reed Park balloon glow

One week from completion the skirt was replaced with a non-flammable version and the final fuel system, freshly rebuilt, was certified finishing the annual inspection and legalizing flight. HAWK’s newest addition to our flying fleet will be providing instruction shortly and the majority of the flight costs for at least the first few months will be donated by Mr. Eddie Clements

Tethered Flight
HAWK’s Hot air Balloon in Tethered Flight.

The Completed Piper Cherokee

Hawk's piper Cherokee's return home the Mack Mesa 10CO

After nearly two months of construction and nearly two months of painting HAWK’s Piper Cherokee has returned to service.

During the construction, the plane was jacked up and the gear removed to replace a wing skin. Also during that time all of the fiberglass was removed and repaired. Thank you to Don Coleman for donating a powerflow exhaust system for HAWK’s Cherokee. A new cowl was made, and the power flow exhaust system installed. These updates allowed the plane to be sent to West Star Aviation for paint.

The Cherokee before its flight to West Star Aviation
The Cherokee before its flight to West Star Aviation.

At West Star Aviation the plane was taken apart and stripped of its paint. During this time a set of micro VG’s courtesy of Annie Brogan with Micro AeroDynamics were installed.

Micro VG's were installed on Hawk's Piper Cherokee. Thank you to Micro VG for donating a full set of micro VG's for HAWK's Piper Cherokee.
Micro VG’s were installed on Hawk’s Piper Cherokee.
Thank you to Micro VG for donating a full set of micro VG’s for HAWK’s Piper Cherokee.

The Cherokee was then primed painted and buffed. West Star Avation donated new screws and hardware to reassemble HAWK’s Piper. This donation is in addition to primer, paint and masking/buffing materials. There are far to many names to mention but HAWK would like to thank each and every person involved in the Cherokee project at West Star Aviation.

Braden with the completed Piper

Sterling Hurst flew the Cherokee back to Mack Mesa just in time for the EAA 800 meeting where everyone admired the brand new 1967 Piper Cherokee.

Herman Allmaras, the Cherokee’s original donor, was given the first official ride in the Cherokee.

Herman and his wife Jean with the Cherokee

Cherokee Paint Job, The Painting Weeks

HAWK's show stopping Cherokee is nearing completion.
The Cherokee with it's first coat of paint.
The Cherokee with it’s first coat of paint.

Weeks 2 – 5 were filled with priming and painting the aircraft with its new design during week 2 the aircraft was first given a coat of aircraft green primer and then after lunch two coats of Matterhorn White were applied.

 

In the final masking 
 stage, the N numbers were masked and painted blue with a grey shadow.
In the final masking stage, the N numbers were masked and painted blue with a grey shadow.

Throughout week’s 3 and 4 West Star Aviation masked and painted the aircraft with its new blue and grey paint design and a small chrome yellow stripe.

Our Cherokee before and after buffing.
Our Cherokee before and after buffing.

Week 4 was a busy week for week for HAWK members Braden and Jaden, it was during this week that that the Cherokee was buffed and cleaned so that final touch up could be made to the paint.

At the end of week 4 it is clear that HAWK's Cherokee will be a show stopper.
At the end of week 4 it is clear that HAWK’s Cherokee will be a show stopper.

During the next week the Cherokee will be put back together and returned to service.

Cherokee Paint Job Week 1

Prepping for paint on Piper Cherokee.
HAWK's Cherokee being prepped for paint.
HAWK’s Cherokee being prepped for paint.

Early in the week prep work began on Hawks Piper Cherokee. West Star Aviation stripped the aircraft of its original paint and disassembled it for painting. Later in the week all of the composite pieces for the aircraft were primed and made ready for painting.

West Star Aviation's paint hanger can service aircraft up to a 100 foot wing span.
West Star Aviation’s paint hanger can service aircraft up to a 100 foot wing span.

On Saturday Braden and Jaden went to West Star Aviation and helped them strip what was left painted on the airplane.

Apr. 29, HAWK Work Session

The Cherokee before its flight to West Star Aviation
The Cherokee before its flight to West Star Aviation.
HAWK met today.

After completing cosmetic work on the Cherokie last week, Sterling and Jerry flew it to West Star Avation where it will be stripped and repainted.

Ryan and Trysten built toolboxes.

Braden authoring his first WordPress post
Braden authoring his first WordPress post

Braden learned how to be a web author using WordPress.