Barnaby Does Junkyard Wars!
Updated 6/1/2004 with Contest Pictures
I am pleased to report that Barnaby Wainfan and
Chuck Slusarczyk survived their building day on Junk Yard Wars. The temperature
was quite high, as were tensions associated with building a flying machine in 10
hours with a film crew gnatting about. Richard Riley has been added to the crew
as Mr. Safety, although as Richard says, "I don't think I'll be going over to
Chuck and giving him any safety tips." Mr. Safety rates the airplanes much safer
than the ladder used to get up and down the observation tower. Chuck and Barnaby
were their normal shy, reticent, taciturn selves, much to the delight of the
British film crew. As one of the producers said, "In England, we can find
brilliant people or we can find Characters, but in the US, we're delighted to
find Brilliant Characters." The crew was especially delighted to find Barnaby
and Chuck interweaving airplane jokes and Monty Python humor. Alas, Peter Lert
was unable to join us due to logistics constraints. However during lunch our
British friends joined us in a roast-beef toast to Peter, as we remembered one
of our favorite Lertism, "Of course you've heard the slogan of the American Beef
Industry; We Don't Get Mad, We Get Eaten." Also sighted at the Junk Yard: Muzzle
loaders in peach and red flavor, a "zoom free zone" sign posted on the official
drawing board, a piano and harmonica (one of which was harvested for parts), and
a blonde female pilot/aeronautical engineer as one of the judges. No,
unfortunately it is not me, Lynne, but a less biased Missy Cummings (ex fighter
pilot, now professor at Virginia Tech) who the producers found on the Internet.
Barnaby reports that he is counting on the extra performance from his weight
advantage over Chuck. Chuck has two tricks up his sleeve though; he has lost 20
pounds and also has a lighter-weight pilot on his building team.
Yes, they did survive the grueling build.
Here's proof: an after-build shot of Richard Riley, Katie Wainfan, Barnaby
Wainfan, and Chuck Slusarczyk.
Early in the build day: Barnaby in the
Junkyard calculating loads.
Chuck at the white board drawing the
By 1:00 it had gotten pretty hot. Here,
thanks to the magic of television, an egg is shown cooking on a steel plate on
Lynne was gratified to find a huge emphasis
on safety at the build site. Roy the medic noticed that Barnaby was looking a
little hot and pulled him out for a check. "Is a pulse rate of 150 and BP of 180
over 110 normal for you, Barnaby?" Barnaby admitted that things had gotten a
little heated, but was referring to tensions after a part was damaged. After a
few minutes in the "meat locker" (an air conditioned trailer), Barnaby was back
Now that the show has aired, and the results are known, we can finally post some
pictures from testing day.
The two machines:
The blue monoplane was built by the Hicks Family, with Barnaby as their expert.
The biplane was built by the Miami Gearheads with expert Chuck Slusarczyk.
The Hicks Family glider. The foam filling in the vertical fin was covered with
flower-pattern shelf paper before the flight. The tape flags are to keep people
from walking into the elevator and rudder control cables.
It did fly
A poor quality vidcap, but it does show the wheels off the ground
in the seat, piloting the machine on its first (and only) flight.
landing was not what we hoped for. The inboard rib on the right wing buckled
after lift off, and the results were spectacular. The glider rolled right and
pitched down into the ground. Fortunately from an altitude of 5 feet at fast
walking speed its hard to get hurt. As you can see in the picture, the harness did its
job, and the hand cart we used for the base of the fuselage was stout enough to
protect Barnaby's feet. He walked away unhurt, if somewhat frustrated.
The Miami Gearheads glider made two successful flights, and they won the day.
The Gearheads went on to win the Season 5 championship. Congratulations to
Frank, Milton, Anthony, and Chuck !! ****
Wars was a blast. In spite of the heat, and the crash, and losing, I'd do it
again in a minute if I got the chance. And besides,,,, I want a rematch.
Go to the Wainfan