Who is Alan Gilmore?
One of my favorite sayings is "It's okay to grow old, just don't grow up". Ever since I was a kid I loved anything that flies. My first memory of flight was when my dad brought home a balsa glider. He carefully slid the wing and tail into the fuselage and tossed it several times in the back yard. Then he gave it to me and I spent the rest of the day having fun with it. I was very fascinated by the control surfaces. The wing had printing on it that said you could bend the trailing edges up or down and as a result cause the plane to turn. Likewise bending the trailing of the elevator made the plane go up or down. Wow, I never know that's what made a plane work.
So, from that point (about age 6 or 7) I have continued to be fascinated. I built lots of model airplanes. I even had a single channel RC with an escapement control system (1960's technology). Then in high school I joined the CAP and experienced flight from the cockpit of a J3 Cub. Boy, was that a thrill. I absorbed every detail and always looked forward to the "next flight". After high school I got absorbed in the job and career issue. That unfortunately dominated my free time until 1997 when I got back into remote airplanes.
Remote control airplanes were always fun. Design, build, then test, i.e. fly! A great diversion from work!! I thought at first that I would become the world's best aerobatic pilot, but found that the physics of flight, and thrill of testing my newest design were the driving force. So, I ended up being an average pilot, with lots of ugly prototypes lying around the basement. Looked like a junk yard, but each piece of aviation junk had a story behind it. Each story had some success', and some failures. As time went by the success' increased, and the failures decreased. Perfection is elusive and I never attained it, but I had lots of fun getting close.
During this time of model airplanes, I also went for an occasional ride with my brother in law, Bud Shaffer. He would let me fly the plane when he got it up to altitude, and each time I was reliving my high school days in the J3 cub...Lots of fun! then on day in August of 2005 Bud found out that I was going to buy a house with a 2 car garage. The first thing he said was, "You should build an airplane". The second thing he said was, "It should be an RV". How prophetic...
So, here I am, 3 years later. I spent 3 years looking at all the different airplane kits, and guess which one I bought...yup, an RV12. I should have just listened to Bud :-) After building the kit for 3 months I realize the quality and precise engineering that went into the kit. Basically, I deburr and then rivet the parts together...very easy. The holes are final drilled (actually punched) to size so further drilling is not needed. The instruction manual is combined with the drawing package into one document, so I don't have to flip back and forth between two documents. Everything is so easy I am calling this project "Alan's flying Erector Set". Yes, it brings back many fond memories of Christmas morning at age 10 when I got my Erector set and spent many enjoyable hours building and playing. Now that I am getting older I still enjoy "building and playing" because "I just never grew up" :-)
Besides being a techno-geek, what else is unique about me? Well, since your asked, I should take just a minute to mention that I have always been a problem solver. This led me to many interesting jobs in the engineering field. I worked for large and small companies. Have you ever heard of GE or Black and Decker, or Dewalt. I have nine patents from my days at Black and Decker/Dewalt (yes, they are the same company). I had a reputation for solving problems in that when I finished fixing something, it ended up costing less than before I fixed it...rather unusual since most engineers add cost when solving problems. I definitly enjoyed solving problems.
I was never a Boy Scout, but my Dad gave me a Boy Scout handbook which I read cover to cover. I enjoyed the diverse nature of the book, and most of all, I learned the Boy Scout motto, "Always be prepared". This has gotton me through many sticky situations in life. It led me to an early interest in martial arts, guns, and good philosophical approach to life. BTW, this approach is very handy if you are building an experimental airplane...
Finally, I should say that there is a spiritual side that needs mentioning. I was often confused as a youth about my relation to God, both in the here and now and in the afterlife. I always wondered whether I was good enough to be accepted by God. I thought I was "pretty good", but I certainly was not prefect. So, how good did I have to be? Big sins bothered me, but the little sins bothered me also. This problem surfaced occasionally during my youth, and then in college some friends told me about the message taught in the Bible about how Jesus' death on the cross was a substitute for my punishment, and if I just believed in that (i.e. faith), then I would be considered perfect by God, and found acceptable in his presence. Wow...problem solved! It has now been 30+ years since I first believed that Jesus died for my sins. At the time some people said that it was a phase that I would grow out of. Well, I did not grow out of it, in fact I grew into it. I have become stronger in my faith and realization of the perfect plan of God. I have a daily relationship with him that as Blaise Pascal the French philospher and physicist said, "In the heart of every man is a God shaped vaccuum that only the Son of God Jesus Christ can fill".
So, to make a long story short, who is Alan Gilmore? Well, he is a very curious techno-geek that has a lot of diverse interests. Probably a lot like you and many others who have come to visit this web site...
P.S. If you want to talk, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org