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EAA 690 Builds a Glider Monument for Airport
By Randy Epstein, EAA Chapter 690, EAA 833410
In April of 2005, a Monerai glider kit was donated to our chapter. Our then president, Dr. Debi Huffman, decided it would be a good project for her Fernbank LINKS Robotics students, and they undertook the task of building it. During 2009 to 2011, Dr. Huffman offered an aircraft construction workshop, and construction continued. The glider then took up residence in our chapter hangar, hanging from the ceiling.
Last year our Young Eagle coordinator and longtime chapter member, Duane Huff, came up with the idea of creating a monument to the airport by getting the glider painted and mounting it at the entrance to the Gwinnett County Airport/Briscoe Field (KLZU). The chapter board of directors voted to move forward with the project, and a campaign for donations, both monetary and material, was launched.
The first task was to get the glider painted. A local body shop was able to get a donation of the paint for this, and it was decided to turn the painting project into a paint class for those working on airplane projects of their own. About a half-dozen members took part in this phase of the project and learned valuable lessons about prepping and painting. Members Brian Michael and Mike Burns were the leads in this effort, with Mike supplying the painting expertise and Brian supplying an ability to get the group together.
With the painting organized, we moved forward on creating the forms that will make up the three sides of the pylon on which the glider will sit. King Steel in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was kind enough to donate the steel and rebar needed for the project. Once the airport and the city of Lawrenceville signed off on the plans, Jackson EMC was contacted and agreed to dig the hole we needed to set the pipe that the glider will sit atop. Larry’s Machine Service donated the use of their boom truck to set the pole in the ground, and Ernst Concrete of Lawrenceville donated the concrete for the project.
The chapter is currently in the process of completing the form work and moving the forms to the location of the monument to be poured. We also have to form the pad that will be at the bottom of the pole and will support the pylon walls when completed. Our hope is to have this completed before the end of the year. See a photo album for this project.