COZY: Po(o/u)r Foam Anecdote


Too funny, since I am sure it actually happened: you can't make stuff like that up.
In a similar vein, I will attempt to relate a story I heard. It IS a flying story, although not canard related, and I cannot remember where I read it or who 
masterfully wrote it, but I will give it a shot, and am sure it will be found wanting compared the original authors relating it, but here goes...

It happened at a glider port on a nice day where sailplane rides were offered.
If you don't know anything about soaring, many of the pilots wear bucket hats to protect their heads from the sun, 
and a particular pilot named Bob was very proud of his flying hat, a floppy affair that had a wide brim that he kept pristinely bleached white. 
The other pilots were even fond of making fun of him because of his pride for his hat.
Some pilots were waiting around the line shack just after lunch when they noticed a nice car pull up to the parking area and a very cute,
young girl stepped out wearing short pants and a tank top and headed toward the office.
The young lady came into the office and stated that she had heard from her boyfriend that flying was fun and did they give rides? 
Gladly, they said, as each jockeyed to let her know that they were the best pilot and how much she would enjoy to fly with them. 
Seeing that none was winning, they asked her if she would like to go look at the aircraft up close, which she immediately said she would. 
They told her to go out to the plane and one of them would be out in a minute, so she left the office and walked out to the line.
The pilots immediately began to compete as to who would be the lucky winner to take the prize for a flight.
A quick competition ensued and by some luck Bob won the opportunity, and it was decided. 
Bob walked out to the plane and explained some details about the parts of the plane to which she seemed only mildly interested in, 
while the other pilots stood around and listened. Bob decided the best bet was to actually get her into the
plane and up into the air so he could demonstrate his superior flying skills. He asked her if she was ready and she said "sure", 
and he opened the canopy and helped her into the front seat, taking 'care' to make sure her harness was properly secured. 
They pushed the plane out onto the runway, and Bob jumped in thinking to himself how lucky he was to have
won the draw to take this gorgeous young thing on a flight.
One of the others jumped into the tow plane and taxied into position while another hooked up the tow rope. 
Bob closed the canopy to a wink from the tow rope guy. Bob gave her a quick instruction of what to expect and to not touch the controls. 
She agreed, and the wing was lifted, and the tow plane accelerated and they were airborne. Bob noticed she was
a bit quiet, but thought it was because she was enjoying the view.
After release, he asked her if she was enjoying it, and she quietly responded "uh-huh". 
Bob scratched around until he found a thermal, and after a few minutes had gained some altitude. 
He asked her if she wanted to fly, and she said, "No, it's OK". He described what he was doing as he did some turns, 
and then he asked her if she wanted to do a loop? She said, "uh, I guess" clearly not understanding what he was asking. 
Bob put the nose down to gain some airspeed and cleanly pulled up, and over the top at exactly which time, she
unloaded her entire lunch, which landed immediately below them in the canopy. 
Now, Bob was in a quandary, and inverted, with a ghastly multi-color pool sloshing above his head and his prized hat, 
in the canopy 'above' them, with clearly no solution that would not end in tragedy.
After the VERY short flight, the other pilots met him and his passenger, as he opened the now empty canopy, 
with looks of horror, as they surveyed his clothes, the passenger and his hat. 
They broke out with restrained laughs realizing what had happened, as Bob got out and helped his charge to escape. 
Bob tried to offer an apology to the girl, incredulous as to what had happened, and told her the flight was on him. 
After a brief trip to the restroom, the girl made a beeline to her car and left, and the other pilots laughed
themselves silly. They never let Bob forget it.
Apparently, Bob got into canoe building later.

Solidworks Design & CNC Plasma Cutting

         -a division of-
       "We build ideas.."

A friend of mine once built a canoe. He spent a long time on it and it was a work of art.

Almost the final phase was to fill both ends with polyurethane expanding foam.

He duly ordered the bits from Mr Glasplies (an excellent purveyor of all things fibreglass) and it arrived in two packs covered with appropriately dire warnings about expansion ratios and some very good notes on how to use it.

Unfortunately he had a degree, worse still two of them. One was in Chemistry, so the instructions got thrown away and the other in something mathematical because in a few minutes he was merrily calculating the volume of his craft to many decimal places and the guidelines got binned as well.

He propped the canoe up on one end, got a huge tin, carefully measured the calculated amounts of glop, mixed them and quickly poured the mixture in the end of the canoe (The two pack expands very rapidly).

I arrived as he was completing this and I looked in to see the end chamber over half full of something Cawdors Witches would have been proud of. Two thing occurred to me, one was the label which said in big letters: "Caution - expansion ratio 50:1" (or something similar) and the other that the now empty tins said "approximately enough for 20 small craft"

Any comment was drowned out by a sea of yellow brown foam suddenly pouring out of the middle of the canoe and the end of the canoe bursting open. My friend screamed and leapt at his pride and joy which was knocked to the ground as he started trying to bale handfuls of this stuff out with his hands.

Knocking the craft over allowed the still liquid and not yet fully expanded foam to flow to the other end of the canoe where it expanded and shattered that end as well.

A few seconds later and we had a canoe with two exploded ends, a mountain of solid foam about 4ft high growing out of the middle, and a chemist firmly embedded up to his armpits in it.

At this stage he discovered the reaction was exothermic and his hands and arms were getting very hot indeed.  Running about in small circles in a confined space while glued to the remains of a fairly large canoe proved ineffective so he resorted to screaming a bit instead.

Fortunately a Kukri was to hand so I attacked the foam around his hands with some enthusiasm. The process was hindered by the noise he was making and the fact he was trying to escape while still attached to the canoe.

Eventually I managed to hack out a lump of foam still including most of his arms and hands. Unfortunately my tears of laughter were not helping as they accelerated the foam setting.

Seeking medical help was obviously out of the question, the embarrassment of having to explain his occupation (Chief Research Chemist at a major petrochemical organisation) would simply never have been lived down. Several hours and much acrimony later we had removed sufficient foam (and much hair) to allow him to move again. However he still looked something like a failed audition for Quasimodo with red burns on his arms and expanded blobs of foam sticking everywhere. My comment that the scalding simple made the hairs the foam was sticking to come out easier was not met with the enthusiasm I felt it deserved.

I forgot to add that in retrospect rather unwisely he had set out to do this deed in the hallway of his house (the only place he later explained with sufficient headroom for the canoe - achieved by poking it up the stairwell.

Having extricated him we now were faced with the problem of a canoe construction kit embedded in a still gurgling block of foam which was now irrevocably bonded to the hall and stairs carpet as well as several banister rails and quite a lot of wallpaper.

At this point his wife and her mother came back from shopping......

Oh yes - and he had been wearing the pullover Mum in law had knitted him for his birthday the week before.