Monday, August 16, 2010

The Story of SCRAPE, a very unique FIV Positive cat .

The Story of Scrape...

Last year my wife Connie and I noticed a large number of stray cats roaming the property.

This is not a good situation as we try very hard to provide a habitat for songbird breeding and someday I would like to help the Bobwhite population which is rapidly vanishing from Ohio.

We also have a population of house cats that we let outside for short periods of time ( not during times when birds are fledging ) that we do not want to contract diseases or get in fights.

At this time, thanks to a grant from Petsmart UCAN ( ) was offering a fantastic price on spay and neutering feral cats.

Over a period of time we ended up capturing about six stray cats. Some of them were truly feral and others seemed to be abandoned house cats. The cats that had tested positive for FIV (feline version of AIDS) were euthanized. The rest were ‘fixed’ treated and released.

One of the cats we caught was apparently abandoned as a young cat. Unlike the feral cats he did not go Berserk when you approached the trap and unlike most of the stray cats he actually looked forward to seeing humans walk into the workshop even from the very beginning. He would ‘hop’ on his front paws with excitement when you approached not because he wanted food but because he wanted attention and companionship. I add the word companion ship because he is not a ‘clingy’ cat that always wants to be petted but he does like to have you in the room with him.

Since he was a young attractive cat with extraordinary social skills we decided to see if we could place him in a shelter to get adopted. There was a big problem though. He arrived with a large “scrape” on his arm. His right arm had a gash that removed all of his skin down to the thin clear covering of the muscle tissue from his wrist almost up to his elbow.

When we took him to the vet to be examined we got horrible news. Scrape was FIV Positive. The vet recommended that we have him put down. We scheduled an appointment with the vet to have him euthanized later in the week.

When we got home I dressed his wound with a bandage and found that despite the incredible pain he was in, he tolerated this unbelievably well. When the pain of applying the bandage or removing it got to be too much he would cry into his food dish or yowl but he would NEVER bite us and often did not even pull his arm away.

I am genuinely turned off or agitated when most people Anthropomorphize pet behaviors but I still found myself wondering if he somehow was aware that we were trying to help him. My cats have a complete conniption when I just try to trim their nails. All of the cats that were in pain that I have worked with in the past had to be tranquilized to be handled.

Scrape not only handled the pain amazingly well when we changed his dressings but also greeted us every time by ‘bouncing’ when we entered the room and after greetings would lie next to us with one paw on us apparently as some form of reassurance or affection. Unlike other injured cats I have seen, he did not cry, whine or complain about his pain but simply rested or slept most of the time.

This cat was too well mannered and socialized to let him be put down without at least some effort to see if there were options available. So while Scrape was at the vet on ‘death row’, I started contacting all of the shelters I knew of as well as posting on social media such as facebook that I had an FIV+ cat that needed a home. I let the vet know that I was looking for a home but still intended to keep the euthanasia appointment assuming I would likely not find a home.

We could not keep Scrape in our house as it would not be fair to our FIV free cats and he could not live in our unheated workshop.

The next morning Scrape was scheduled to be put down and no one had offered to take him. At the end of the day I got a call from STAF (Save The Animals Foundation). They told me that they could place Scrape in a special FIV+ shelter but it would be a few weeks before they would have room to take him. I called my wife and she graciously agreed to let me use the spare bedroom for a couple of weeks to house and treat Scrape. While this was great news it was too late. It was past the closing time for the vet’s office. I left a voice mail asking them to cancel the euthanasia. In the morning break at work the next day I had a message that Scrape had been spared.

After over a week of treating Scrapes wound we found it was not healing. Our vet then performed an operation to bring close as much of the open wound as possible to make a smaller gap to heal. Because of the FIV condition the operation was a failure and Scrape lost even more tissue and was worse off after the operation then when he began (no fault of the vet, who did a wonderful job at a discount).

We worked closely with the vet for weeks and then months trying a number of procedures and medicines trying to get Scrapes arm to heal. I cannot accurately describe in this article the work we went through during this time changing dressings, cleaning and soaking the wound several times a day.

I knew the shelter could not be asked to take Scrape in this condition so I emailed letting them know we were doing our best but the healing was going to take longer than expected. We did make some small progress with a few millimeters of healing but then would loose that progress again. The vet told us that Scrape had a ‘non healing wound’ and that it may never heal.

Our vet was a godsend and took an interest in the Scrape “project”. He would give us medicines to try that he had gotten as samples and had recently expired. We would never had been able to afford to buy and try all of these medications. I had already sold my vintage Vespa scooter to help pay down the credit card bill Scrapes treatment had run up.

One of the medications the vet gave us an expired sample of was a silver oxide power. Within a few days the wound started showing the first really aggressive signs of healing. We used the powder for two weeks during which time the wound closed over a centimeter on the top and the bottom.

When the silver power ran out the healing stopped and after we returned from a vacation and Scrape came back from the kennel we found the condition had regressed and the wound was back where we started from.

We figured based on the performance of the silver powder that it would take about 4-6 bottles to cure Scrape. We asked the vet what the price of the silver power was and he told us that even giving us a discount it would be about $800 each bottle.

There was no way I could afford this. I continued to research and try treatments on Scrapes leg. After several more weeks no progress was made and my wife had given up hope and the vet was suggesting trying amputation.

Worse than being the last one holding out hope for Scrape he was now experiencing more and more discomfort from the treatments. His amazing stoic patience and attitude was wearing thin. He was now starting to acknowledge some of the pain and would go under the couch when I came in to treat him instead of my usual warm greeting.

Connie got an idea and suggested we try some powdered medications and bought all of the powder treatments she could find locally. Unfortunately, none of them worked.

Inspired by this idea I did some searching on the internet and found two products I thought were worth trying. One powder had 21 ALL 5-Star (out of 5) reviews. The reviews called it a “Miracle Powder” and people had seen it as kids but it seemed to have disappeared from store shelves. It is called BFI Antiseptic First-Aid Powder, cost = $7.00. I strongly suggest you look it up on and read the reviews. The second powder I bought was Polysporin powder, cost = $13.00.

Within days of using a 5:1 ratio of BFI:Polysporin Scrape was showing noticeable results. After over six months of little improvement his leg wound had COMPLETELY closed in less than three weeks.

Scrape is now much more active and his personally is shining. Connie has decided to let Scrape live in the spare bedroom and I will soon be notifying the shelter that they can give Scrapes spot away (if they have not already done so).

Connie wants to changes Scrape’s name since he no longer has his wound so from now on our new cat (the artist formally known as Scrape) goes by Jack.


Scrape's Leg showing Mild granulation after weeks of treatment.

Scrape's leg after the failed operation

Scrape's leg showing healing from the 'Silver Powder".

Scrape's Leg almost healed after using BFI for just over a week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A German Autogyro other than the FA330? The WNF 342 V3-V4 Doblhoff ?

A German Autogyro other than the FA330? The WNF 342 V3-V4 Doblhoff ?

In all of the History Channel and other rotorcraft documentaries that I have seen they credit the gyro kit FA-330 (and 336) as the only WWII German autogyro.However, upon re-reading From Autogiro to Gyroplane by Bruce Charnov, in Chapter 10 he mentions the Doblhoff machines. I have never seen these machines called anything but helicopters and are rarely mentioned at that. However, Dr. Charnov clearly states that "The rotors would be unloaded in flight, and the craft would then fly as an autogyro"..

They (Documentary writers) also completely miss the actions of the Kellet Autogiros use in England for radar calibration (where they did see action) and in Japan in anti-submarine warfare. But that does at least have some good documentation on the internet and in a few books.

As I went to look up information on the WWII machines created by Friedrich Von Doblhoff time and time again I would find brief mentions that the machines after takeoff would fly "with unloaded rotors" but NEVER in my searches are the machines called autogyros or convertaplanes. His machines are almost always referred to as helicopters. Several go so far as to say they led to the development of the Faire Rotordyne or XV-2 convertaplanes but do not label the V3 or V4 as such or as autogyros.

These same sources do not have any mention of Juan de la Cierva's work leading to the V3/V4 or the convertaplanes at all.

I think we are getting screwed once again...

The Doblhoff WNF 342 V3 and V4 are IN MY OPINION jump takeoff autogyros or at least Convertaplanes NOT Helicopters. They did NOT use powered rotors as their PRINCIPLE means of flight.

I assume there are a few original books or sources that many of the writers and historians use when talking about these aircraft and perhaps since the few original sources of material called them helicopters and not autogyros this has persisted as people (autogyro ignorant) have copied and re-written information about these machines.

Outside of Dr. Charnov I have not seen these machines discussed in the light of of autogyros or convertaplanes.

Video: (Divx codec) WNF 342 V3

Links:"Jet Helicopter"



"Helicopter" "The tip-drive system was retained for take-off, hovering and landing only, a selective clutch enabling the engine (now a 140hp Siemens-Halske Sh.14A radial) to drive a conventional pusher propeller for forward flight while the rotor blades 'free-wheeled' in autorotative pitch. "

"Helicopter" "Doblhoff used this propulsion method for his subsequent versions only for take-off and landing. In normal flight, the engine was clutched with an additional pusher propeller behaving exactly like an autogyro. Doblhoff did not manage to bring the tests to an end before the end of the war. However, his WNF-342 was the first helicopter in the world to take off by the use of jets."

"Helicoper" "The tip-drive system was retained for take-off, hovering and landing only, a selective clutch enabling the engine (now a 140hp Siemens-Halske Sh.14A radial) to drive a conventional pusher propeller for forward flight while the rotor blades 'free-wheeled' in autorotative pitch. "

Interestingly in later paragraphs the Air and Space Museum almost does a good job using the term convertaplane but never credit the 342 V3/4 as anything but a helicopter and no mention of the role of the autogyro in the development of these aircraft...

"Helicopter" "Doblhoff and one of his WNF-342 helicopters (v4) were brought to the U.S. by the Air Forces after World War II under "Operation Paper Clip", the program that recruited hundreds of top German technical personnel. Dr. Hohenemser had participated in successful helicopter developments at the German Flettner concern. Doblhoff's "pressure-jet rotor" concept involved piping high-pressure air from a compressor out to the rotor-blade tips, where it was mixed with fuel and burned in combustors. Thrust of the resulting hot jets thus drove rotation of the rotor."

This next link is about the V1 and V2 which were true helicopters and properly notes the V3 and V3 "behaved exactly like an autogyro" but does not go so far as to call the V3 and V4 autogyros or convertaplanes.

Just for fun here is some more FA-330 video footage:


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Review of the Museum of Flight, Seattle Washington

Today I had some time before the Heroes Virtual Launch began ( this will be the subject of a future blog entry) so I spent a few hours at the Museum of Flight.

Overall this is one of the best aviation museums I have ever attended.

I would rate the museum as follows:

Public Education B+
Interactive Exhibits A+
Cleanliness A+
Staff A+
Fixed Wings A+
Lighter Then Air B
Rotorcraft D-
Rockets/Space A+
History B+
Home Building/Experimental B+
Rare Birds B+
Food/Cafeteria A+

(History and Public Education would have been A+'s if they had not completely excluded Rotorcraft and lighter than air concepts and history)

Public Education

The Museum really goes out of the way to explain the concepts of flight to all age and experience levels.

The exhibits are close, not often behind glass and you really have the feel you are not separated from the exhibits as you are at most museums.

When you walk through Air Force One only portions are covered with plexiglass most of the interior is not separated from the public. There are plenty of 'do not touch' signs but you don't have to look at everything 'behind glass' like at the United States Air force Museum in Dayton.

There are dozens of small rooms with movie screens showing documentaries and films throughout the museum.

Interactive Exhibits

This museum has the best interactive exhibits I have seen in not only aviation museums but also any Science and Technology Museum I have ever been to.

They have the usual 'open cockpits' that you can climb into but they also have REAL experimental aircraft that the kids (and you) can climb into and all over. They have DOZENS of flight simulators. Some of them just show the basic controls for kids as they control a wood model in a 'wind tunnel' while others are full-immersion 3-D simulators for jets, Bi-Planes, WWII missions, and more.

All of the simulators were 'free' (no additional cost), clean and working. The simulators I have seen at other museums are often well worn, not entirely functional or require an additional fee.

Built into the museum is a "Control Tower" that looks over Boeing Field ( a real active airport ) the tower is equipped with radios playing traffic calls and the basic ATC equipment.

One station has silhouettes of aircraft that when you spot them at the airport you can identify them on the interactive chart.


The museum was very clean from the exhibits to the halls and the restrooms. Everything had a well cared for look and feel.


The museum has a very enthusiastic staff of what I guess are volunteers that give tours and generally make themselves available to answer questions and explain exhibits. Two of the staff I spoke to were Vietnam vet pilots. I found there frank way of speaking refreshing and all of them had an in-depth knowledge of what the spoke about.

Fixed Wings

This is definitely a Fixed-Wingers museum. Outside of the rockets that is about all they have. They explain all of the dynamics of flight, history, building and each interactive exhibit is all about fixed wing aircraft. In the summer they offer Bi-Plane rides right from the front of the museum.

Lighter Than Air

The forgotten step child of most aviation museums does not get much coverage at the Seattle museum of flight either. Balloons and airships get some brief candids in the history photos but they at least have a better showing then rotorcraft.

The best Lighter Than Air exhibits are both interactive. One has a 10 foot hot air balloon that when you press a button is raised to the ceiling buy a vent of hot air from below. The other is a basket suspended from the ceiling that you can walk into and look down on a lower level of the museum.


Rotorcraft are nearly non-existent according to the Museum of Flight.

They have one small, single person tip-jet helicopter suspended by cables from the ceiling in the corner of the main hangar. If you were not looking for it you would miss it. The only other rotorcraft in the museum is a Rotorway Scorpion in the child's section which ironically had a 'exhibit closed' sign on it (the only closed exhibit I saw anywhere during my visit). There were two small 2 inch models in a 40 foot glass case in the WWII hall and somes rotors on a model roadable car.

No history exhibit mentioned Cervia, Pitcairn, Bell, Sikorsky or any snippet of rotorcraft history at all. As I did not have all day to spend at the museum there might be a small blurb somewhere but I was looking and unable to find any text during my visit.

If you want to assure yourself that helicopters and autogyros exist you have to go to the museum gift shop to find rotorcraft models and foam r/c choppers.

When I filled out my customer comment card I mentioned there lack of rotorcraft.

At least the one helicopter they have is a unique one.


Rockets of all kinds and from all nations get great representation at this museum. The exhibits are up to date, educational and well done. In particular I liked the walk-through space station module, mars rover displays and meteorite/moon rock displays.


Lots of good historical exhibits for WWI and WWII as well early flight with the Wright brothers. The real shining history exhibits is the actual original Boeing factory with original tools, workings, artifacts and old planes in mid-assembly.

Home Building/Experimental

A number of Experimental aircraft are at the museum and in the interactive exhibits. The home-builder will also enjoy the many cut-away exhibits and wing spars built right into the architecture of the museum. The real joy for the home builder is touring the original Boeing "Red Barn" the factory where it all started. You can see not only the tools and early aircraft in mid-assembly but also engine assembly.

Rare Birds

If you are looking for one-of-a-kinds the museum is worth the trip to Seattle. I won't spoil all of the fun but the 1st fighter plane is my favorite. She is original and in an unrestored state with some of the cloth hanging off of her wings. Also, the have an SR-71 with a reconnaissance DRONE attached. To my knowledge not even the Museum of the Air force does not have one of these or even displays a model of one.


While the Cafe' is not large it has some great features such as... Micro-brew Beer!! The Cafe' looks right out to the taxiway and runway of the airport and some of the outside exhibits. They only have one menu item with an aviation name, Barnstormers Chili. Well, that hits home for me so that is just what I ordered and it was better than any fast-food chili I have ever had.

I look forward to going back to the Seattle Museum of Flight someday with more time to visit and hopefully more rotorcraft exhibits.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A gift in the mail...

Yesterday I found a CD in my mail box from Chuck Beaty. To my great surprise it contained video footage from Japan's testing of the Autogiro ( Autogyro ) during the second world war.

Footage appears to include:

Kellett KD-1A operating off of the Akitsu Maru Carrier in the Sea of Japan

Kayaba Ka-1a flight testing

Kayaba Ka-2 Flight Testing

A good companion to this video clip is:

Pages 207-210 in Chapter 10, The Autogiro Goes to War: The Axis

in From Autogiro to Gyroplane,
The Amazing Survival of an Aviation Technology
by Bruce Charnov

Some of these little puppies were fitted with 132-pound depth charges for submarine hunting duties....

About 95 Japanese Autogiros were produced, all variants of the Kellett.

One was fitted with experimental rocket-powered rotor blades. Small solid-fuel rockets at the rotor tips over-speed the rotors for jump-take off.