One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Project Viper…

I took a day off work to give me a long weekend last week, with one of my main goals to build a trolley/dolly for the Viper fuselage, and to move it into the shed with the back half.  I was originally going to build it out of steel section and weld it all together.  After some deliberation, I decided to build a wooden frame at this stage – much cheaper, quicker and easier in the short term.  Cost me $30 in timber and a few hours in effort.  I bought some heavy duty castor wheels, which I’ll eventually use in the steel version of the trolley that I’ll build to assist with transporting the Viper.

After completing the trolley build I slid it under the Viper fuselage, attached it and rolled it out of my main shed, around to the rear shed where it will be located from now on.  I wasn’t able to join the front and rear halves at this stage, as the rear half is on the rotisserie frame.  I’ll have to move it off to allow the proper joining of the two halves.  But in the meantime, I moved the two halves as close as possible, to allow me to visualise the overall dimensions and alignment of the craft.  There’s an excess gap of around 30cm or 1 foot for the time being, but allowing for that it looks very much like the Viper I remember as a kid.

Holy frak!!  There’s a Colonial Viper in my garage:

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It’s very much a work in progress but as a proof of concept, I’ve basically done what I set out to do.  Still plenty of challenges ahead, but I’m confident that the build can now progress to completion.

I’m thinking I’d like to build the left wing next, which will really bring home that classic star fighter shape we all know and love.

 

 

8 thoughts on “One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Project Viper…

  1. OH WOW!! It certainly helps to visualise to keep you going. I often put it together in configuration and though it takes me time to do this – therefore time not spent actually building – it serves as motivation. The visualisation really helps you feel like you are getting somewhere.

    Good work!

    Baz.

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    • Thanks Baz! The dream is slowly becoming reality and like you say, the visualisation aspect is a huge part of the build process. We’re on the same wavelength there, seeing is believing and a massive motivator for me. When you’re able to stand back a grin like a schoolboy, then you know you’re on the right track 😁. Hope you’re renovating is going well.
      Cheers
      Scott

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    • Thanks mate, yes it’s coming together slowly but surely. I’m planning on displaying it at conventions, charity events, air shows, etc. I’m still figuring out the logistics for transportation and setup on site, but that’s still a little way down the track.

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  2. She’s shaping up to be a beauty! Have you given any thought to finishing the cockpit with actual instrumentation? And I’m grinning like a schoolboy just looking at her too!

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    • Thanks Derick! I’m very happy with the build so far and the feedback I’ve received. I’m more motivated than ever to press on. Yes I have thought about the cockpit fitout. I’d like to keep the original look as much as possible and have purchased some toggle switches so far. The original avionics gauges appear to be almost unobtainable, so I’m looking at ways of creating replicas. It’s going to be a challenge, no doubt!

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