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      mathiemca


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      Post #77598, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Hello. I'll be making mine into a short body combo. Since I have to build an interior, I'm afraid my progress will be a bit slow.

      In order to cut the cargo door at the right spot, I had to get into measuring and window counting mode. This led me to getting the impression that the nose landing gear, left front passenger door, and that single forward-most passenger window on the left side were all a bit too far forward, so I moved them all back. Here's a photo.




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      gebbw


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      Post #77599, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Fantastic! Great to see another Mach 2 DC-8 build. I like the work you have done on the cargo door. I am comparing my build and checking references for the location of the the cabin door, window and nose gear.

      I look forward to seeing your progress, even if it is slow.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77601, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      ...combo...combi...apologies. A consequence of texting while hungry.

      Moving back the nose landing gear also means moving back the box as shown in the following photo.



      Moving back the window means it now correctly lines up with the one on the other side, as shown here...


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      mathiemca


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      Post #77602, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      When I marked off the station numbers at the tail, things were a bit wonky, and the kit did not line up with the numbers. However, to my uncalibrated but aged eye, it looked fine enough as-is. The gap between the last window and the door looked OK and the rear door lined up under the beginning of the fin. Therefore, to avoid lots of extra work, I basically left the tail alone, apart from a few small changes.



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      mathiemca


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      Post #77603, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      On a combi, the right rear passenger door is located 1 frame (ie. 20 inches) further aft than the left rear passenger door. So, all I did to position my RR door was to place it 20 inches further aft than the LR door. The windows, doors, and fin on the two sides all line up nicely, and it meets the requirements of my uncalibrated aged eye.


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      gebbw


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      Post #77604, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      That separated rudder looks really good! I studied the nose gear bay on mine, but I think now it is too late for me to move it as I have assembled the fuselage already. Have you completely re-done all the cabin windows? Yours seem to be better aligned than how the kit comes.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77605, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      The original cabin windows are too small and the corners are too sharp, so you have to file them larger, and round off the corners. Dimensions are as specified above. I eyeballed the size of the corner radii. Some of the windows were a bit crooked, so I selectively filed from whatever side of the window was necessary to straighten it and even out the spacing between the windows. The passenger doors on the left side were too wide, and those on the right side were both too wide and too high. I cut or re-etched as required. Dimensions as provided in my photos. I also relocated the passenger door portholes as required.

      The following is a photo of the right forward end. Basically. things were close enough, so I left them as-is.


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      LH707


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      Post #77607, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Good work so far, love the picture annotations!

      Are the rear doors supposed to have an offset? I know the 707 did, and many kits got that right, but I know very little about the DC-8.

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77610, posted on 02-14-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      The rear doors were offset on the short body combis. However, the super sixties do have rear doors that are lined up exactly with one another. I got the data from station diagrams, but I did verify it using photos on airliners.net. The different spacing between the last window and the rear door is visually apparent.

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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #77613, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      Let me clarify something for everybody... Before too much time passes and you can no longer easily fix any mistakes...

      All short fuselage DC-8 airframes up to and including the DC-8-54F had that rear galley door further forward than the rear passenger entry door. However, starting with the DC-8-55 and -55F, the pressure bulkhead was moved further aft and the rear galley door is opposite the left rear passenger door. All subsequent DC-8-60 series airplanes have that same configuration with the lavs occupying the extra space made available with the moving of the pressure bulkhead and the galley and its door are moved rearward and are opposite the passenger entry door, and one more passenger window was added.

      So, unless the model is of a DC-8-55 or -55F, the galley door at the right rear SHOULD be offset forward as depicted, and that means the DC-8-54F airplanes as well.

      I hope this helps.......

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Gus


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      Post #77614, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Thanks for all this interesting details and comments.
      If the front door and first window are too far forward then I guess that the decal is not correct too ?

      Kind regards
      Gus

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77615, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      They do say that Douglas went out of its way to provide customers with exactly what they wanted. Perhaps the Trans Canada/Air Canada -54 Combis are atypical. In any case, here's my reference.


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      mathiemca


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      Post #77616, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Here's a photo of an Air Canada -54 Combi. The spacing between the last window and the rear door shows that the right rear door is actually further aft than the left rear door.


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      LH707


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      Post #77618, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      You learn something every day... thanks!

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77619, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      I did a bit more checking online and found that many different airlines operated short body combi/freighter DC-8's where the right rear door was offset 20 inches aft. Therefore, this was not a feature unique to Air Canada. You may wish to double check references for whatever aircraft you plan to model.



      Readers may find the following station diagrams of interest. They show the three versions: 1 Where the right rear door is way forward like in the Mach 2 kit; 2 Where the right rear door is offset 20 inches aft like in my Air Canada Combi; and, 3 Where the two rear doors line up like in a Super 60. The interesting point here is actually the LEFT rear door. By subtracting the station number of the door's front edge from the station number of the tail cone, you get the distance between the two. Doing this shows that the LEFT rear door on a Super 60 is 20 inches further aft than what it is on a short body. Anybody planning to convert their Mach 2 kit to a Super 60 or 70 will have to move the LEFT rear door aft by 20 inches. Failure to do so will result in an unusually small gap between the last window on the left side and the rear door. This explains how some airlines (ie. United) were able to squeeze in that extra close-pitch window between the last window and the door on their -61's.


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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #77622, posted on 02-15-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings mathiemca!

      Well, photos do not lie! You have shown the evidence from which I have learned something new, and that does occasionally happen... It is apparent that at least "some" DC-8-54F aircraft (probably those built to be operated as a combi) have the rear galley door moved further to the rear than the standard position for it on the passenger model short DC-8. The problem is that the DC-8-54F was built to be either a combi or a pure freighter or one convertible between all freight or all cargo, thus the only way to know how to have (or change) the window and door configuration is to look at photos of the specific build you are doing. There were 30 DC-8-54F aircraft built, of which Air Canada had 8 I believe. Then, there were 24 DC-8-55F aircraft built, and 8 DC-8-55, and these had the rear pressure bulkhead moved aft 76 inches and the galley door opposite the passenger door with 2 more windows on the right rear fuselage ahead of the galley. All -60 series aircraft were built with the rearward moved bulkhead this way as well. So, by my count, that makes 3 different window/galley/galley door configurations possible on the short DC-8, while before I was only positive of 2 in existence. I'm glad you brought this subject up, and I am really enjoying these build stories!

      Now, for a story or two.......

      In 1984 when I was at "Big A" in Miami, we operated an ex Air Canada DC-8-54F pure freighter for several months, and I flew it extensively, mainly MIA-SJU-JFK back and forth. This thing was incredible. I could not believe the FAA allowed us to operate it. Believe it or not, Air Canada had modified the cockpit so as to operate it WITHOUT A FLIGHT ENGINEER!! Obviously, Transport Canada did not buy off on the idea and had refused to allow it to be put in service after evaluating it, so Air Canada got rid of it without undoing their handiwork. How we wound up with this warthog I'll never know, but here it was... They had left the fuel system where it was back at the base of the engineers panel, and left the electrical system mostly where it was in the upper left corner of his panel, but had crammed most of the rest of the gauges, switches and whatnot wherever they could find room for it on the First Officers instrument panel. Their logic had followed generally a pattern of whatever is not used frequently could be left back there, but things you operated quite a bit, put it up front, such as T/C switches, Hydraulic switches, pressurization, blowaway jet, etc. Of course, the cash register was left where it was because the copilot could reach it without too much contortioning of his body, and the F/O seat tracks went back to the panel to operate that stuff that was still there, and of course, the fuel dump system. Of course, the F/E seat was moved out of the way in their Air Canada configuration, but for our FAA, the seat tracks for the F/E could reach his panel to operate what was left on it. So, the F/E would cue me when to turn on stuff I had that he could not reach anymore. What a goatrope this POS was! I could not believe the FAA allowed us to operate this thing, but they did. A few differences pages in the systems manual make everything hunky dory. Or, so they believe...

      I also operated an ex KLM DC-8-55F on a contract for the US Navy. This airplane had a max T/O weight of 325,000 lbs and was configured with 4 cargo pallet positions up front and 117 passenger seats in the back. I picked up the airplane at NAS Sigonella in Sicily and flew to Cairo and then on to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. It had the pressure bulkhead 76 inches aft and the galley door opposite the rear passenger door as previously discussed. While in Cairo one night we had gotten our catering and lav servicing and finished refuelling and were ready to start. As you all know, the early DC-8 fan models with JT3D (in this case, JT3D-3B) engines typically make a distinctively loud howl when starting engines. This is how it goes... The before start checklist is done and completed, the beacon is on and ground on the headset has cleared you to start 3-4-2-1, so you push in the start button on 3 and the blue light in the start button comes on...after about a second you hear the howl and just about the time it dies out you see N2 rotation and it starts to spin up, you see N1 rotation at about 10-12% N2 and then at 15% N2 you move the start lever up and the ignition timer starts the igniters and then the fuel starts flowing and quickly you'll see a lightup with slowly rising EGT, then at 35% N2 you release the starter button, the light goes out and the start valve closing is indicated by a rise in air pressure, and you repeat the process for the rest of them. That is a normal start. This particular night when I pushed in the start button on 3 the blue light came on, the howl commenced and just continued howling away and there was no N2 rotation. So, after about 8-10 seconds I released the button. We gave it a little time and then tried again, same result. Starter shaft had sheared. Okay......... So, now this is 1984. Who operates the DC-8 in Cairo? We do not have a starter in our flyaway kit in the belly, so somebody better have one! Well, well... KLM to the rescue! It turned out they still had at least one in their parts inventory even though they no longer operated the DC-8-50 series. The one odd thing about this DC-8-55F was that it howled on starting 3,4 and 2, but 1 had a different type of starter installed that did not howl. Because of the delay, I had a pleasant surprise! An Aeroflot Ty-154B came in and parked next to us on our left side. He was doing Moscow-Cairo-Addis Ababa and no passengers got off or on in Cairo, so I assume it was just a tech stop for fuel. 5 crewmembers came out on the ramp looking at us and I waved to them, but none of them smiled or waved back. Based on that, I decided not to approach their airplane, and after fuelling they cranked up their Kuznetsov engines which also howl, but it is different and slower than the DC-8 howl, and they left. I did not see their takeoff. After about 2 hours more, we also departed, this time with a normal howl on 3! Long live the Douglassaurus!

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      gebbw


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      Post #77627, posted on 02-17-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Jeff, really love these stories, a fascinating insight into a world that I can only wish I was a part of.

      mathiemca, your careful observations have been immensely useful.

      You guys have got me wondering about Air NZs DC-8 freighter ZK-NZD which I believe was converted. I can only assume it just had the large cargo door added. I might have to buy another Mach2 kit and build a model of it

      I am loving these DC-8 builds and stories, keep it coming.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77632, posted on 02-17-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      I was looking at the wing and noticed that the leading edge slots on the kit are located further inboard than they should be. Here's a photo of what I did to correct it. I'm a bit suspicious of my version of the inboard edge of the inboard slot. I found conflicting info. Can anybody help iron out this issue?



      Here are photos showing how the slots should be butted right up against the engine pylons, unlike how they appear in the kit.



      Here's a wing station diagram that shows the slots. They're a bit tough to see, but if you look closely, the line along the front spar is thicker at the slot locations.




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      mathiemca


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      Post #77637, posted on 02-19-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Time to attach the wings. To stiffen up the joint, I added thick strips of Evergreen in the wing that stick out the wing root as shown in the following photo. I cut matching holes where those strips will pass through the fuselage. The holes are really big to allow lots of free-play as I adjust the wing to the correct position.



      Given the problem this kit has with the engines hanging too low, I want to ensure that the landing gear height and wing dihedral are correct. I got my dimensions from the following table.



      Next I made a truss out of popsicle sticks that holds up the fuselage and wings at exactly the right distances specified in the manufacturer's table above. I temporarily taped the fuselage halves together, then glued the wings to the fuselage. When the glue is dry, I will un-tape the fuselage halves, and stiffen up the wing joint inside the fuselage, namely by solidly anchoring those long strips of Evergreen that I added to the wing root. The wing dihedral is specified in other references as 6.5 degrees. I cut out a cardboard inclined at 6.5 degrees and held it up against the wing. It was close enough for my taste.



      Next, I temporarily taped on the engines and pylons. Using the manufacturer's table of ground clearances from above, I cut out small pieces of cardboard that corresponded to the height the engine nacelles should be off the ground. As you see in the following photo, the nacelles are still too low, despite having the correct landing gear length and dihedral. No problem. This just means I'll have to adjust the pylons...later.


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      mathiemca


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      Post #77640, posted on 02-20-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Well, everything dried well overnight. One small job, however, before untaping the fuselage halves and reinforcing the wing root. The kit was not designed with the correct wing dihedral, so when I gave it the correct amount, this left a gap along the bottom edge of the wing root, as shown in the following photo. I filled the gap with Evergreen plastic rod, and will let it dry overnight.


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      mathiemca


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      Post #77649, posted on 02-21-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Now, I untaped the fuselage halves, and reinforced the wing roots.


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      gebbw


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      Post #77650, posted on 02-21-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Impressive work. Making a truss out of Popsicle sticks what an excellent idea. I see you have added some detail inside the cabin too, nice touch.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      Jennings


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      Post #77657, posted on 02-21-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      There were almost no two DC-8s that were built exactly alike (or so it seems). The number of door/hatch/window combinations Douglas offered is mind-boggling, and it's no wonder they never made any money building airplanes.

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      LH707


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      Post #77664, posted on 02-23-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Good call on that wing reinforcement, that should help hold the dihedral. Not sure if you've already got this planned, but I'd recommend spraying the posts a dark gray or black if you're doing open windows, otherwise they may be visible.

      Jeff, love the stories, thanks for sharing!

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77694, posted on 02-26-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      ...just wrapping up the interior. The 9g barrier net, roller tracks, and most of the other bits were all scratch made from various Evergreen strips and rods. The ball bearings on the mats were simulated using plastic rivet head shapes by Tichy Train Group. I simulated the stainless steel galley countertops using aluminized duct tape. The galley carpet is just an interesting design I printed onto paper, and then glued down.




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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #77698, posted on 02-26-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      The slots butt right up against the inboard side of each pylon, except of course on the undercut pylons of the -62 and -63, but they are still in the same spot, however the outer edge is more square looking without the pylon. There just is no wrapover of the pylon.

      Your rendition of the F/A jumpseats, ball mat, net, roller tracks and mini galley bring back memories, and are quite realistic looking as well... You either have a great memory or photos of it! Don't forget to scribe in the little access door in the floor just inside the main entry door for the cargo door controls.

      None of the 2 DC-8 combis I flew (an ex KLM -55F and an ex Braniff -62F, N1807) ever had carpet there but instead had a plain aluminum floor with the nonslip black sandpaper looking coating on them. The mini galley was installed on a wide post centered in front of the barrier net and only had a small amount of unrefrigerated storage space, a small convection oven and a coffee maker and the single lav was opposite the entry door, and you turned left in front of it to enter the cockpit. There was a bulkhead at the front end of the passenger cabin with a sliding door on the left side next to the fuselage wall to traverse the cargo area up to the cockpit. Our crew meals were packed in a cardboard box with dry ice to prevent spoilage and the oven could fit 3 or 4 entrees at a time. We usually carried a mechanic with us on the jumpseat. I was 32, young and single and life was an adventure...

      Your model is going to make me jealous of the magic you are performing on it!!

      Best regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      7074ever


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      Post #77877, posted on 03-29-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Haven't seen anything about you progress for a month. Any updates?
      Cheers
      Horst

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      mathiemca


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      Post #77882, posted on 03-29-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Here's a view of the ceiling. I covered up the fuselage seam with ceiling lights.



      As described earlier, I placed the model in my popsicle stick frame to simulate the correct ground clearance distances. The main landing gears were a bit too long, so I had to shorten them, but the nose gear was too short, so I had to lengthen it. I trimmed the engine pylons as shown in the following sketch. Doing it this way corrected both the nose down slant and the ground clearance, without shortening the pylon length.



      I was pondering how to fit this monster sized kit in my 18 inch cabinet. Naval aviation provided the following inspiration.



      Other builders have shown the asymmetry in the tail. I also noticed that when you look at the model nose-on. the double bubble crease at the floor line is at different heights on the two sides of the aircraft. Sorry, I can't provide a photo. It was too tough to photograph. The consequence of this is that lines meet at different heights at the nose. In my case, for my colour scheme, I decided I could live with it. You may want to double check that this asymmetry won't be an issue with your own colour scheme.

      So finally, I'm finished. Voila!


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      7074ever


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      Post #77885, posted on 03-30-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Great plane. Looks perfect.

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      gebbw


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      Post #77892, posted on 03-30-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Very nice job mathiemca. Thanks again for all the tips and advice on constructing this kit. Progress on mine has stopped, but hope to start again soon.

      George
      Auckland
      New Zealand

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      Dutch


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      Post #77913, posted on 04-02-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Masterpiece! You have corrected many of the kit deficiencies and "accurized" it, not to mention adding the interior! I am nowhere near that ambitious. But, I liked watching the progress and the problem solving. skills you brought to bear. Nicely done, sir! Kind regards, Dutch

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      LH707


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      Post #77926, posted on 04-04-2021 GMT-5 hours    
      Well done! Looks good, love reading about your problem-solving approach and how quickly you were able to get it done.