Hate It When I Do That!


First things first – this is in no way Aircraft Spruce’s fault! Nope, this is totally on me – they sent exactly what I ordered – its just that I didn’t properly order what I wanted (or needed). I’m going to blame it on COVID actually – when it comes to restocking my parts bin with new standard hardware, like bolts, nuts, and washers, I usually take care of that in person at one of the big shows – that way, I can actually put my hands on things, and not rely on my (sometimes fading) knowledge of the ins and outs of AN (or MS) hardware designations, and the standards thereof. No big shows – no chance to buy hardware in person!

I’m getting ready to build one of our Lycomings, and am making sure that I have all the necessary parts on hand when the big, expensive, pieces come back from Tulsa in a couple of weeks. That means needing lots of AN4, AN5, and AN6 washers. I have a lot of AN4’s, but was running low on 5’s and 6’s, so since I was ordering something else at the same time, I flipped rapidly to the page for plane washers, and clicked on a hundred each of -4, -5, and -6.  You see my mistake already, don’t you?

Yup – straight to the line items for AN960-4, AN960-5, and AN960-6. So now I have a hundred each of those little bitty washers for #4, #5, and #6 screws. Heck, I didn’t even know they MADE #5 screws!! What I wanted, of course, were AN960-416’s, AN960-516’, and AN960-616’s… isn’t that blinding obvious?! If I had been designing that numbering system, probably back in Lindberg’s day, I’d have made the tiny ones 04, 05, and 06 – but I wasn’t around then, and no one asked my Grandfather, so I guess we live with what we got.

Yup – I’m blaming it on COVID!

Now I have this burning desire to do something with #5 screws and washers…

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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