|2004-01-19||Arrival of the empennage kit||Opening of the workshop and inventory of the empennage kit|
|2004-01-26||Horizontal stabilizer spar||The first cleco\'s, look how they still shine|
|2004-01-27||Testfitting the skin||Matchdrilling and testfitting|
|2004-02-21||Horizontal Stabilizer parts||All parts are matchdrilled, deburred and dimpled|
|2004-03-07||Elevator skins||Dimpled the elevator skins|
|2004-03-14||Fitting of the elevator frame and skins||Matchdrilling and fitting of the frame and skins|
|2004-03-19||Rudder skin fitting||The rudder skin is ready to be riveted|
|2004-03-25||Alodining the empennage parts||Tonight we etched and alodined the parts of the empennage|
|2004-04-01||Elevator stiffeners||We backriveted the elevator stiffeners.|
|2004-04-01||Vertical stabilizer frame riveted||It starts to look like a ....|
|2004-04-01||Main spar rivetted||Main spar rivetted|
|2004-04-04||Trim assembly||Manufactured the electrical trim|
|2004-04-12||Rudder skin priming||We only primed the contact surfaces with the framework|
|2004-04-15||The trim tab is ready||Aart finished the trim tab|
|2004-04-15||Vertical is riveted||Vertical is riveted|
|2004-04-22||Bottom of the rudder||To much of this part was cut away, a new one was ordered|
|2004-04-22||Fitting and drilling of the trim tab hinge||Fitting and drilling of the trim tab hinge|
|2004-04-29||Rudder edge glued and clecoed||Straight as an arrow|
|2004-04-29||Tabs on the left elevator||We bended the tabs with a piece of hard wood and the flush rivet set before rivetting in the support spar. The tabs were fixated with countersunk blindrivets.|
|2004-05-02||Trim servo fitted||We did not have to enlarge the hole for the pushrod. Glad we waited with that.|
|2004-05-15||Rolling of the leading edge||The broomstick method worked well. For a better fit we first rolled the edge with the Cleaveland edge forming tool.|
|2004-05-20||Rudder tips 1||First photo: prepared rudder for fitting tips. Tips themselves have been made to fit aluminium construction at an earlier stage. Sorry, no pics.
Second: Test fitting, clecoed tip into place after countersinking holes and epoxing alu strips at the inside of the tips.
Third: Tips have been epoxied to rudder construction. Duct tape is necessary to ensure an optimal fit.
|2004-05-21||Rudder tips 2||Strips of fiberglass cloth are being applied to the seam between tip and aluminium. The top end of the tip has already been filled whith epoxy/microballoons. A lot of filling and sanding has now yet to be done.|
|2004-05-23||Elevator tips 1||Matching fiberglass tips to elevator construction|
|2004-05-24||Elevator tips 2||Tip pop rivetted in place, prior to applying fiberglass strip over seam.|
|2004-05-24||Elevator tips 3||Beginning of finishing the tip filling/sanding process. Matching the tips of the stabilizer and elevators
Microbaloons and epoxy are pasted on.
|2004-05-27||The elevators are ready||Trial fitting of the elevators|
|2004-05-27||Horizontal stabilizer tips||We used cast-polyurethane to make a small bulkhead|
|2004-05-30||Horizontal stabilizer tips 1||Tips being cut and sanded to size. Matching with elevators.|
|2004-05-30||Horizontal stabilizer tips 2||Top of tip rivetted to stabilizer andthen filled with epoxy/microballoons and sanded.|
|2004-06-05||Vertical stabilizer tip 1||Sanding tip. Lots of dust!|
|2004-06-06||Vertical stabilizer tip 2||We used cast-polyurethane to make a small bulkhead|
|2004-06-10||Vertical stabilizer tip||We applied a very thin layer of glass, to prevent cracking of the primer and paint.|
|2004-06-14||Vertcal stabilizer tip 3||We applied a very thin layer of glass, to prevent cracking of the primer and paint. First go at filling.|
|2004-06-20||Matching the tips of the stabilizer and elevators||Microbaloons and epoxy are pasted on.|
|2004-07-01||Arrival of the Quickbuilt kit||Unpacking of the wing crates|
|2004-07-01||Arrival of the Quickbuilt kit||Unpacking of the crates|
|2004-07-03||Inventory of the Quikbuilt kit||Wading through the muck of 1000 brown paper bags|
|2004-07-03||Tailwheel spring||Impressive piece of hardware. we deceided to have it powdercoated.|
|2004-07-11||Making the rudder pedals||Making the rudder pedals|
|2004-07-11||Fabrication of the seat components||We decided to make a modification to the lower hinges, for a nicer fit|
|2004-07-15||Assembling the rudder pedals||We used the Checkoway method, worked ok|
|2004-07-18||Front deck hinge brackets||Made these parts, with only a vague idea about their future function|
|2004-07-18||Aileron hinge brackets||One did not fit, some holes were not positioned right. Vans sent a new one.|
|2004-07-20||Flap motor cover||Fabricated some parts of the flap motor cover|
|2004-07-20||Wing cradle||Aart made these cradles for easy working on the wings. We used a cardboard template to copy the right shape to the plywood.|
|2004-08-19||Flap motor mounted||Drilling and fitting of the flap motor assembly.|
|2004-08-19||Fabricated tunnel cover assembly||Modificated the original design for a better fit|
|2004-08-19||Tailwheel and aft bulkhead||The fitting of these parts is rather difficult|
|2004-08-22||Elevator bellcrank||Prepared the parts, alodined them and riveted them together|
|2004-08-22||Aileron hinge brackets||Note that the lowest rivet is not correct. This should be a countersunk type. The plans are not quite clear on this and a lot of people make this mistake.|
|2004-08-22||Rollbar mount||Fabricated the angles. Strange thing is that in other quickbuild kits thes parts are allready made. Further trimmed the parts according to the drawings.|
|2004-09-03||Fabrication of the mid section||Complex arrangement of various parts, study the drawings thoroughly|
|2004-09-09||Fabrication of the rollbar||Use every clamp you have|
|2004-09-09||Mounting the tailwheel||This must be done very precicely, look at the state of the art plumb line|
|2004-09-09||Aileron pushrods||We welded the aileron pushrods after reading the various adventures other people had with rivetting. After welding the pushrods were powdercoated, together with some other steel parts, like the tailwheel spring.|
|2004-09-09||Flap braces and aileron gap seals||Trimmed the flap braces, matchdrilled and dimpled braces and aileron gap seals|
|2004-09-12||Flap pushrods||Erik came over and made some neat pushrods for the flaps|
|2004-09-12||Electrical aileron trim||Fabricated the Electrical aileron trim kit.|
|2004-09-16||Tailwheel assembly||Preparing rearmost bulkheads for rivetting and after that,fitting tailwheelspring. One hell of a job. Lot of cursing involved to get everything into the correct postion. Very satisfied whith the end result.
|2004-10-01||Rollbar fitted||After a lot of very careful fitting the rollbar was test mounted|
|2004-10-01||Aileron bellcrank||Made the brass bushings and mounted the bellcrank. You\'ll need reamers to get a nice fit.|
|2004-10-01||Brake pedals||Pim had the brake pedals chromed, for protection against wear and for that Ferrari-look.|
|2004-10-01||Firwall drilling||We drilled som holes in the stainless steel firewall. Use a fresh bit, a cordless electric drill, very low rpm and plenty of lubricant. The holes give a very sharp burr (ask how I know) so deburr dirctly after drilling|
|2004-10-01||Flap braces and aileron gap seals rivetted||The braces and seals were primed so we could rivet them in. The first rivet in the braces could be done with a regular rivet and the next two with the famous Cherrymax rivets. The rest of the line were standard blindrivets. The rivets which hold the skins have to wait until the flap hinge can be mounted, probably after fitting the wings.|
|2004-10-04||Fitting and drilling of the horizontal stabilizer||Very careful measuring|
|2004-10-10||Vents||Glued and popriveted the vents|
|2004-10-14||Rollbar is ready||One of the more interesting parts is finally finished|
|2004-10-14||Gusset for the aft skin||Fabricated en positioned the reinforcement gusset for the aft skin|
|2004-11-04||Final fitting of the vertical stabilizer||The last holes have been drilled. Thanx to Marnix who helped us fitting the whole empennage.|
|2004-11-04||Seat frames are finished||The new hinges are fitted and rivetted|
|2004-11-04||Fuel pump cover||Because we plan to have an injection engine, we need the larger fuelpump cover conversion. The bottom part did not fit between the longerons so we cut of the vertical tabs and replaced this with angle stock. Seems like more people have this problem.|
|2004-11-06||Front deck||Started on the front deck as preparation for the canopy construction|
|2004-11-06||Cushions||Cushions are fitted. They look good but in hindsight we would have ordered complete sets from Classic Air. Pim is testing the inflight comfort while making aircraft noises off course|
|2004-11-14||Fuselage overview||It starts to look like an airplane!|
|2004-11-14||Canopy hinges||First fitting of the hinges|
|2004-11-14||Elevator tips are finished||The final (?) layer of primer is applied. Aart did this at home, it is too cold in the greenhouse at the moment.|
|2004-11-14||Panel lay-out||We are planning on a glass cockpit with a Blue Mountain EFIS.|
|2004-11-18||Elevator pushrod||Fitted the elevator pushrod assembly F-790 and bellcrank assembly F-635|
|2004-11-21||Canopy frame and hinges||Very precise fit of the canopy frame|
|2004-11-21||Panel mock-up||To get an idea of the panel layout we made a mockup, scale 1 to 1|
|2004-11-25||Elevators and rudder mounted||Still have to finish the HS tips. The top of the tips of rudder and VS are not quite in line. Have to do some tweaking there.|
|2004-11-25||Rudder bottom||Test fitted the rudder bottom R-911 to the rudder. Checked spacing to tail wheel spring|
|2004-11-25||Slot for the canopy latch||Made one of the potentially most expensive cuts.|
|2004-12-02||Canopy release system||Fabricated the canopy quick release system. Lots of people leave this out, but it looked like if this could be very handy during the fitting of the canopy. Maybe we\'ll replace it with bolts after the final fit.|
|2004-12-09||Finished tips elevator||Finished tips elevator|
|2004-12-09||Various small canopy parts||Pim made some small but essential parts. Two of them are razor-sharp wedges which have to be made from a huge piece of aluminium scratch.|
|2004-12-10||Drilling of the hinges||The fitting of the canopy frame is finally good enough to be drilled. First we taped the frame in position and with an angle drill 1/4" we drilled a pilot crater in the goosenecks, through the bearing blocks. To our amazement and relieve they came out good and not to close to the edge. Next step was to enlarge the hole to 9.5mm for the brass insert. Clamp the gooseneck to the workbench so you have more control trying to get it straight. Eventually we enlarged the holes in little steps and pressed the insert in, using a flush set in the squeezer.|
|2004-12-11||Canopy hinges are drilled||After the drilling of the holes it was time for the big question: does it hinge? Of course it doesn't! Terrible noises made clear that we still had to remove some material from the canopy seal support, especially in the middle. Because we knew beforehand that the skin of the canopy frame has to be level (or slightly higher) than the skin of the front deck this was not an issue after making a smooth bevel at the upper edge of the front deck skin and at the lower side of the canopy frame skin. The gap at the top is around 0.032" and the fit is perfect.|
|2004-12-12||Canopy frame brace||Fabricated and installed the canopy frame braces. You have to make 6 straps from 0.032 Alclad. To bend the tabs I improvised a bending brake. In the last pic you can see the finished result, ready to prime and rivet. Our heaters give it a bit of a Christmas feeling.|
|2004-12-16||Rudder stop and rudder cable fairings||The rudder stop is based on a design from Jeff Bordeleon. The rudder cable fairings are folded from 0.024 sheet. It took a little bit more than the 15 minutes some people claim.........
I experimented with the dimensions of Jeff's design first, using some scrap plastic. I decided to change it a little. See entry 20 february.
|2004-12-16||Various splices for the canopy frame||We made the various splices for the frame|
|2004-12-23||Shaping and fluting of the canopy frame||The back of the canopy frame has to be bent from about 88 degrees to 92.5 degrees. After this the whole thing has to be straightened out again by fluting between the future positions of the screws. Patricia had a great time sorting out various brown bags and making labels.|
|2004-12-28||Fitting the canopy frame||The frame sides are tuned to match the fuselage. This is best done in a vise with a hammer. A lot of whacking and fitting, whacking and fitting etcetera. Furthermore you\'ll need every clamp you can find to clamp the back of the canopy and the sides.|
|2004-12-28||Drilling the splices||The sides and back of the frame are carefully positioned and clamped. The angles at the end of the weldment are drilled to the back frame. Than the splice plates are positioned and drilled. This can be done better with the sides removed on the workbench. For the holes in the bottom flange you\'ll need a long drill. There is no room for an angled drill.|
|2004-12-29||Replacing the front canopy skin||The front edge of the canopy front skin was damaged by clecoes during the trial fitting of the skin. I tried to fix this but the damaged stayed visible. (WARNING: be careful during fitting the canopy moves in an unexpected way!). I bit the bullet and decided to replace the skin. The original skin arrived with a dent in it amd was replaced by VAN's. I now deciced that it should be easier to fill up the dent than to fix the front edge. So I did a complete new fitting, drilling, deburring and dimpling session.|
|2004-12-30||Canopy frame||With the new skin the fit was even better than the first time. Some comments however: If you use the 1/8 inch spacer under the front of the side frame, the edge of the skin will not sit on the fuselage deck. Whatever you do to pull the skin down, there is simply not enough skin (or the frame is too high). One solution for this fitting problem is to omit the spacers (or to use thinner spacers). I guess the gap can be closed later with the rubber seal.
This is the last thing we can do with the canopy. The next stage would be the fitting (and CUTTING!) of the acrylic bubble. The temperature in our workshop is now about 4 degrees centigrade so we\'ll have to wait until spring for that step!
|2004-12-30||Inspection hatches||After all the focus on the canopy, I decided to clean up some odd and ends. Here the hatches in the wings are made. Look good on the drawings where you should use a 6-screw and where a 8-screw. Its very convenient to have dimple sets for these screws. Grind a bit of the edge away so you won\'t damage the edge of the recess. Finally did what we should have done much earlier: grind a bit away of your dimple set, so you can dimple your nutplates: work much faster and better then countersinking. Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but I guess you know what I mean.|
|2004-12-31||Gasstrut brackets and fuel line cover plate||Pim made the brackets for the gasstruts. The plans say to use 2 0.125 spacers behind these brackets, but we replaced this with one .250 spacer. Also we fabbed this cover plate, deburring and adding one nutplate per cover.
There are not many aluminium parts left in our inventory!
|2004-12-31||Gear fairing brackets||Made the gear fairing brackets. Just some deburring, a couple of nutplates have to be added later, I guess matchdrilled from the fairing itself. I also wanted to make the 6 spacers but I could not find enough 3/8x0.058 tube. Best way to find this is to order some new stuff from Van\'s....|
|2004-12-31||Fitted and drilled the engine mount||Taadaah! A major step forward! Though a sloooooooooow step. First we drilled the left upper hole, starting with a drill the size of the pilot hole in the SS firewall, and increasing the hole with 0.5, later 0.2 mm at the time until it is 3/8 inch or 9.5mm for the AN6 bolts. Drill the steel very slowly (believe me: it goes faster that way!) with lots of cutting oil.
Then bolt the mount, position it and use the mount as a drill template to make pilot \"craters\" with the 3/8 drill. Use these craters as a guide to drill with increasing sizes.
Some material has to be taken away from the lower edge of the firewall, to make room for the landing gear strut. Also some spacers/shims have to be made for the two lower/middle bolts
|2005-01-02||Brake reservoir and brake flange mount||To make space for the gear legs you have to take away two fair chunks of the lower edge of the firewall.
We mounted the brake reservoir and worked on the fitting of the wheel axis and the brake mount flange. Use reamers for a tight fit of the bolts. We also made 6 spacers for the mounting of the gear fairing bracket.
|2005-01-05||Rudder cable fairings||I had to manufacture a custom made dimple die for the screw that holds the adel clamp|
|2005-01-06||Aileron mounting||The ailerons are mounted. Note the template to get the bellcrank in the right position and the pushrod on the right lenght.|
|2005-01-08||Gussets and fuel line cover bracket||Made and matchdrilled the two gussets and the mounting brackets for the fuel line cover plate. The instructions say to use LP4-4 blind rivets for mounting the brackets but there is no place for them between the outside skin and the reinforcement bracket. I used the shorter steel MSP42 rivets instead. This worked fine exept for the upper hole.
The matchdrilling of the various holes is a exercise in planning in itself. First make a temporary set-up, draw lines with the marker pen and use these to position the parts before drilling.
|2005-01-08||the wheels are ready||The wheels are put together and torqued|
|2005-01-09||Fuel tank mount brackets||Made the reinforments for the fuel tank mount brackets. The plans are a bit fuzzy at this point. Do NOT drill the upper hole but carefully shape the angle until it fits snugly between the longerons. Hold the angle in place and matchdrill it from the outside, the #40\'s first, cleco and matchdrill with #12 for the bolts. The last hole is drilled when the steel fuel tank mount is in position and this is when the wings are mated with fuselage. I guess we can not avoid this big step much longer!|
|2005-01-13||Cutting the rear spar end||This could be a very expensive cut...... I studied all sites just to make sure that this is neccesary for a RV7 and not just for a RV 8. Measured and re-measured the cut. Made the first cut with the hand saw, after that we filed, sanded and schotchbrited it until it was exactly according specs. Marnix helped and made sure that the quality was first class.|
|2005-01-13||Visit of the Belgium RV-ators||We were honored tonight with a full delegation of Belgium RV-builders. David builds a RV8 (http://users.pandora.be/rv8/index.html),Bernard,Theo and Paul all build RV 7's (http://www.skypassion.com/default.htm)|
|2005-01-13||Fuel system, vent line egress||Vent line egress parts made as per drawing. The 45 angle can easily be made with a belt sander. The remaing thread can be removed by clamping the egress in a bench drill and holding a file to the turning part.
Mustn't forget to add the screen!
|2005-01-16||Rudder cable fairings||After some very nice flying in the Lancair this morning, I decided to do some small things on the way home ;-)
Alodined the rudder cable fairings and dimpled the holes in the rear skin. The only way to do this is with the Close quarters dimple tool we bought from Cleaveland. This are really close quarters here, I had to grind off some of the edge of the tool. Next step is rivetting this thingies (probably with pop-rivets) and rigging the rudder cables.
|2005-01-16||Brake pedal assembly||Removed the front deck and the rudder pedal weldments (yes, it can be done!) and started the assembly of the rudder pedals. I first cleaned and primed the holes that were drilled in the weldment some monts ago. There seem to be some AN3-5 bolts missing in the bags. It's also strange that there is a revision in the plans that says to use AN3-5 bolts instead of AN3-4's. Obviously the AN3-4's fit a lot better. For the time being I used AN3-4A's, will replace them later.|
|2005-01-20||Main gear assembly||Pim and Ren|
|2005-01-20||Fuel system, vent line||Vent lines done. Bending of the alu tubes is best done by hand. Don't use the special bending tools. It is too much trouble.|
|2005-01-20||Brake pedal assembly||Reinstalled the assembly (temporarily)|
|2005-01-20||Rudder cable fairings||Finished results on the rudder cable fairings. I made the them myself as per Sam Buchanans method. Took some more time though........
I did use pop rivets to rivet them in place. Normal rivets and bucking didn't seem a good idea. You absolutely cannot see what you are doing inside the fuselage and I did not want to risk damaging the fairings with the rivet gun.
|2005-01-20||Rudder-brake pedals||Test fitted rudder-brake pedal assembly|
|2005-01-22||Main gear assembly||I had some concerns about this after reading some horror stories on various sites. It worked out fine however, here is my recipe:
Clamp the engine mount on the workbench and mount the legs. If they don't slide in, this is because of some stray powder coating. Remove it with Scotchbrite. Mount the whole brake flange assembly. There are sites which mention that the 6 spacer bushings are too short so I inserted washers. They where not needed so I removed them again later. Insert the Allen Screw. Slide the rings and wheel on. Clean the threads carefully and mount the axle nut. Tighten with your hands until all play is gone. Loosen and tighten again. Now take a long #40 drill and make a pilot crater on the thread (2x2times). Remove the nut carefully and drill the holes with #40 and then with #30. Remember: drill very slowly with lots of oil. Remove the burrs with a very small Dremel.
Mark the nuts Left and Right: the position of thread vs holes is not identical.
|2005-01-23||The plane has wheels!||With the help of Pim's muscles and some crates we made a rig for mounting the wheels. Suddenly the size of the plane is obvious, brutal......|
|2005-01-23||Static system||Mounted the static kit. Located the position of the static very carefully, it is on drawing 28. To punch out the mandrel of the pop-rivet it is convenient ;-) and safe to have someone in the fuse to support the skin. You'll need a heat gun to slip the tubing over the tee. I made a template for sets of two #40 holes to fasten the silicon tubing with small tie-raps.|
|2005-01-27||Battery mount||Pim and Ren|
|2005-01-27||Heat box||In search of some small odds and ends I made the louvres of the heat box, perhaps inspired by the extreme cold in our greenhouse (0 degrees celsius!) I made a bending tool of two aluminium bars taped together and clamped over the bending line, then I bent the tab with a thin alu angle.|
|2005-01-29||Fuel senders||Interesting point. We found out that BMA advises to use capacitive fuel senders in stead of the normal floating type. When searching in the Van's catalogue I found out that it is NOT possible to use this type of senders on a Quickbuild wing! Later we found messages in the BMA newsgroup that Floating senders are less sophisticated but work fine...
So I installed the floating fuel senders today. Fairly easy but take care with the Right and Left versions: there is only one way they will fit and also for the rubber ring there is only one position that will do.
|2005-01-29||Pitot mount||Harm is working on the mounting of the pitot mast. Fitting has to be done very carefully. We have chosen for a chrome pitot bracket from Spruce, but it does not feel like a lot value for money..........|
|2005-02-03||Holes for cable conduit||After studying the options for a cable conduit in the wings, I decided to do it the hard way: make 3/4" holes in the ribs and insert a tube. Simply because it is the best looking option. The best location for the holes can be downloaded from http://www.vansaircraft.com/pdf/Wing_Wiring.pdf
I made a drilling template and predrilled it with a #13 drill. After that most of the holes were enlarged to 3/4" with the unibit. To manipulate the drill between the ribs it helps if you know yoga......
To enlarge the holes near the wing root you'll need a contraption to lenghten the shaft of the unibit. The device I ha dmade at home did not fit, so next week I'll try another trick, probably by making a thread M10 on the shaft of the unibit.
|2005-02-03||Heat box||I started to make this heatbox, nice little sub-project and it is motivating that the temperature in our workshop is now around 0 degrees C!|
|2005-02-03||Finishing pitot tube mount||Today we finished the pitot tube mount. However, we did not buy a pitot tube yet, because we might prefer to buy the Dynon tube, which is not available yet.
All that chrome is too much for the camera to handle.
|2005-02-05||Holes for cable conduit||Ok, the M10 thread on the Unibit did not work: the steel of the Unibit is way to hard......
So the next trick was to drill out a M10 bushing to 9.9mm halfway so one end can be mounted on a threaded rod M10 and the other end can accept the unibit. To prevent it from turning we smashed the bushing a bit.
It went ok for two holes but after that we could not prevent the unibit from slipping. Next time we'll try it with a little spotweld between bushing and unibit.
|2005-02-06||Heat box||I finished the heatbox. Not difficult, just measure carefully to minimize the leaks.|
|2005-02-10||Cable conduit||The M10 bushing was welded to the unibit and we drilled the holes, simple as that. This week I found a tip that Harbor Freight sells a Unibit plus click-on elongator.....
The insertion of the Van's conduit in the 3/4" holes was extremely hard and the first bit of tube was shredded. We Dremeled the holes to a slightly larger size and pulled the tubes through,
|2005-02-10||Battery box||Patricia and Marnix helped making the battery box components. The holder bar can also be worn as an expensive life-style statement........|
|2005-02-10||Mounting point for the gasstrut||We did not have the correct tapping tool for the thread of this stud, so we arranged some new metric studs (M8). Make sure that you mount these blocks before rivetting the skin on!|
|2005-02-10||Fuel pump plumbing||After various attemps, Aart is finally (almost) satisfied with the fuel lines in the high pressure pump. Next week he wants to do all other lines, that is if Andair finally sends us the fuelvalve, after four weeks. You would think the UK is just a small hop from here......
A dislocated thumb by the way (skiing accident a month ago)doesn't make this job of bending tubes easy!
|2005-02-12||Autopilot elevator servo installed||Yesterday the autopilot arrived from Blue Mountain and I wanted to make a start with mounting the servo's today. After some searching on the web and some puzzling with the servo I decided that the best position for the servo is:
- with the axis on the same height as the bellcrank axis
- with the bellcrank and the servo-bellcrank moving in the same direction
- with the rod as short as possible and exactly parallel with the elevator pushrod
The height turned out to be the height of a piece of BMA package foam, minus some millimeters. I designed and made a framework from aluminium angle, mounted against the midbeam and one of the stringers. By adding a second small frame I directly had a mount for the strobe. The result is very rigid and light.
|2005-02-17||Autopilot servo bracket||Finished, scrubbed and alodined the parts of the bracket and mounted it in the fuselage. Fits like a glove and is very sturdy. Up to the wing servo......|
|2005-02-19||Battery box finished||We had the steel parts powdercoated. Put them together with double-dimpling and mounted the platenuts K1000-3. Do not mount the platenuts before mounting the brackets. For the engine we are now contemplating a Mattituck TMX with Aerosance Fadec. We will need two batteries for that so I guess we have to make another battery tray on the inside of the firewall. BTW: first we were planning on 24 Volts, inspired by Guru Greg, but after some debating we have decided to go with Holy Bob and 12 Volts.|
|2005-02-20||Sawhorse||Made a sawhorse as per Dan C's plans. Sturdy enough to hold a 747!
I added four adjustable feet on the corners.
Time to get the wings on......................
|2005-02-20||Rudder stop||I copied the construction of the rudder stop as done by Jeff Bordelon http://www.jeffsrv-7a.com/. Delrin is used as material. 10 mm thick
I did change the dimensions slightly. Let me know if you want the dxf/dwg files.
The whole system works perfectly. I'll make some more photo's the next time I take the rudder off.
|2005-03-10||First fitting of the wings||After a wintersports break it was time again for some real action and we had a very productive night. Arie and Benno came over to help us and started with vigour scotchbriting all parts that had to be primed. Aart started on the long awaited fuel valve, Harm finished the AOA port and I finished the auto pilot aileron servo bracket.
After that we decided to rearange the workshop to make room for the wing-fitting. Being with a bunch of people we also put the fuselage on the saw-horse Aart made and why not: lets give it a try. I had made some fitting pens by grinding of some hardware bolts and while four people manipulated the wing I carefully shoved them in using the rubber hammer. To our relief, after all horror stories on the newsgroups, this went easily.
Our aluminium contraption suddenly looks like a real aeroplane, fantastic!
Suddenly there are a whole bunch of next airframe steps: wing incidence, flap fitting, fuel bracket and fuellines, etcetera. Stay tuned!
|2005-03-13||Incidence setting||After thorough preparation we made the next step: setting the wing incidence and fixating the rear spar. We followed the direction you can download from the Van's site. First step was levelling the fuselage with the aid of an electronic level. After that we taped 4 plumb lines from the wings and streched a piece of string. After a little bit of juggling the deviation was 3mm (1/8 inch) in the middle (Van's allows 1/2 inch). We also measured the distance from the tip of the wing to the tail: one side 4373,3mm, the other side 4373,8mm. Close enough ;-).
After that the incidence was set with the level and the jig according to the drawing. After some manipulation the incidence at both roots was 0,00 degrees and outboard -0.2 degrees.
Than the location for the hole was determined, in order to obtain the precribed edge distance and the hole was drilled in steps starting with #40 and ending with a reamer 5/16" for a perfect fit of the AN5 bolt.
|2005-03-16||PrimeTime||Ivo from Tchai (where Aart works) primed a large batch of parts for us today. I'm glad there is finally someone professional involved in this project!
Ivo doesn't know it yet, but looking at the quality of his work, he will be spraypainting the interior of the cockpit one of these days..............
|2005-03-17||The flaps are mounted||We also had a visit from collegue-builder Aad Proost together with the fresh and first builders of an RV10 in the Netherlands. Also Harke, our AeroElectric consultant, came over to help. Pim could not make it because he is in South America but he called to check if we were making progress ;-) And we did. First the ailerons were mounted and fixated in the proper position. A L-profile was clamped to the trailing edge for reference. We had to remove a bit from the inboard skin in order to get the 1/4 inch gap. After that the beginning of the hinge was clamped in position and hole for hole the hinge was drilled. After deburring and rivetting a small hole was drilled in the aileron bracked for the mounting of the hinge pin.|
|2005-03-23||Andair fuel selector||Shown here is the Andair FS20x7. No problem with available space and having to use banjo fittings etc as some have to do when using the FS20x3 selector. It fits perfectly. You can also use the standair Vans mounting plate. The Andair fascia plate neatly covers the holes that are not used.|
|2005-03-24||Flap rod holes||Ater the fitting of the wing, one of the tasks at hand was the making of the holes for the flap actuator rods. This can only be done by trial and error. The rod end on the flap has to disappear in the hole and the rod itself has to travel through a slot without chafing. I started with two small mouseholes on the side and the bottom and went on enlarging them bit by bit with a round file and a Dremel. The strange thing is that you'll have to grind away a completely perfect rivet in the process to make way for the movement of the rod. The end result will look something like the pictures. After finishing the first one I was afraid the hole had become too large so at home I immediatly checked various sites. To my relief the end result was smaller than Dan Checkoways version. Wow, even better than Dan C, I'm making progress here! ;-)|
|2005-03-28||Fuel selector and AFP fuel pump||After a lot of cursing and more cursing I realized that when I rotated the right fitting of the fuel selector about 20 degrees, it was a hell of a lot easier to manufacture the fuel supply line to the right fuel tank in such a way that it stays well clear of other tubes, parts of the AFP fuel pump and the fuel pump cover. See next entry for more pix.|
|2005-03-28||Fuel selector and AFP fuel pump, 2||Additional pix of a nearly completed installation. Later this week I'll be finishing the left fuel supply tubing and start work on the tubing to the fuel flow transducer.
We are going to order a Fadec equipped Mattituck TMX engine shortly. Mahlon told me that a fuel return line is not necessary.
|2005-03-28||Fairings||Pim started to work on the wing fairings.|
|2005-03-28||Fuel tank brackets||The fuel tank brackets were fitted. They had to be bent slightly and the brackets on the wing were drilled. After that the special platenuts were installed. Because of the space available this had to be done with the hand squeezer.
The brackets will be sanded and powdercoated, together with a batch of other parts.
|2005-04-09||the fuel lines are almost ready||The connection between the fuel tanks and the fuselage is finished|
|2005-04-09||final riveting forward part of canopy frame||At last we can now start with rivetting the skin to the forward part of the canopy frame. After two weeks we will continue this work. In the meantime we will be visiting Sun-n-Fun.|
|2005-04-09||brake lines shaped||The brakelines along the gear legs and to the firewall shaped and partly connected. An easy job to do. Just have to add some protecting tube between fule line and gear leg to finish it off.|
|2005-04-21||Russian artist at work!||The Russians sure now how to pay attention to detail. Here we see Vassily at work, one of Pim's friends. A guy who does near pefect reproductions of great Italians masters (Carravachio amongst others)and did a more than perfect job in sanding the roll bar to a mirror finish!|
|2005-04-21||Rivetting canopy frame||Ren|
|2005-04-23||Canopy frame rivetted||Today I did the last blindrivets in the canopy frame, on the underside of the reinforcement braces. Also rivetted the frame channel to the side weldments and countersunk and dimpled the splice plate to one of the channels. The connection with the last channel will be made after the fitting of the acrylic bubble. Temperatures are rising, so that sub project can not be too far away now!|
|2005-04-23||The engine is mounted!||How did we do that so fast? Yeah right, and we also mounted a nosegear!
Today Aad Proost, probably the first RV-7 builder in Holland to fly his plane, hung his Engine, a Lycoming IO-360 from Van's. A proud and happy moment, way to go Aad!
Also note the beautyful MT-dreiblatt propeller, also our prop of choice.
|2005-05-04||Fuel pump and fuel flow sensor installation 1||I have read many different opinions on where to install the fuel flow sensor. Well, I decided to put in in the location where everyone thinks the results would be the best, that is between the AFP high pressure pump and the firewall. In this location one does meet with the demand of needing a minimum of 5 inch straight fuel line between pump and sensor (in this position it is about 9 inches)to ensure a correct flow measurement.|
|2005-05-05||Brake lines FWF, wheels||On these photo's you can see how the brake lines exit the FWF. I will use some adel clamps assemblies (one or two) to clamp the right line to the engine mount. I don't want this line to lie loose from left to right.
|2005-05-05||Aileron servo||Aileron servo is installed. We chose to install it in the wing instead of in the fuselage. Pretty straightforward job. Ren|
|2005-05-05||Trimming the canopy||Finally the temperature was OK to start work on the canopy. Ren|
|2005-05-05||Fuel pump and fuel flow sensor installation 2||Some extra photo's of the fuel pump and sensor installation.|
|2005-05-06||New fuel pump housing||This position of the fuel flow sensor does have the consequence that one has to cut out a large piece out of the center cabin cover F-782C. To cover everything again, you can use the standard Vans housing and add some parts to cover the larger hole or just make a new housing. This is more work but does look much better!
In the right photo you can see Cor, a sheet metal specialist of one of my vendors. He helped me in making new parts for the housing. Thanks Cor!
I have got CAD files for anyone who wants to make this housing too. Let me know and I'll send you them.
|2005-05-06||Initial cuts of the canopy bubble||Today I made the first trimmings of the canopy bubble. The first step is to read and to reread everything you can find about this subject on the web....
First a centerline was measured and applied on the vinyl protection foil and lines were drawn along the clamping areas around the canopy. A heater was placed below the bubble to heat the material a bit up. Using the supplied cutting wheels we started cutting the edges and the flange at the front. At first we used our air-dremel but this device used too much air for our compressor so an electrical angle grinder was promoted to the job. If you concentrate it is not too hard to follow the exact line, so this gives hope for the Big Cut...
After the cutting the edges were sanded with a portable belt sander with 80 grit paper. This gives a very good and smooth result.
Next was the initial fitting. It looks like there is sill a lot of material to be cut away: the forward edge and the canopy over the rollbar both have to come down at least one inch.
|2005-05-15||Made the Big Cut||Today was the day to ruin the single most expensive part of the plane. After a lot of fitting and re-fitting the cutting line was drawn onto the bubble and taped on both sides for protection against the angle grinder (funny: the more fragile the parts the more brutal the tools.......).
The heater was aimed on the cutting area, Aart was standby to put tape directly behind the cut, I took a deep breath and.... Everything went ok, I started on top and worked downwards in one fluent motion. The trick is to go through the material in one motion with the wheel just coming through on the backside. Proceed in one steady motion with a constant speed. After cutting we reinstalled the half bubble and, using a improvised tool marked a new line to get a trim reference parallel to the roll bar. this edge we trimmed with the portable belt sander and a plank with taped on sanding paper.
|2005-05-19||Fitting of the wheel fairings||Ivonne and Joep came over to help us with the plane and they started on the wheel fairings. Joep is studying to be an aeronautical engineer so it is always nice to have a professional on the team!
First the edges of the front parts were trimmed to get a good fit. After that the halves were taped together and a centerline for reference was drawn on the shells. Then the holes for the nr.6 screws were marked. The plans are not quit clear on this and we figured that the first holes should be at 2.5 inch from the top centerline. On the inside, leave out one hole and add one 1.5 inch above the lowest hole. Make sure that you make a left and a right version! After that, drilling, countersinking and squeezing of the 1000-06 platenuts.
|2005-05-27||Fitting of the gear leg fairings||Started the fitting of these things. Not very complicated beside some confusing items: the scribe line which is essential for positioning the template is missing from our fairing (or I need glasses) and it is not clear when you should trim the trailing edge, after the fitting of the hinges or before that. I just placed the template on 3 7/32" from the top edge and trimmed the top end bottom of the fairing. Will do some web-reading before commencing to the trailing edge. Cutting goes pretty well with my new found ultra-dangerous toy, the angle grinder, also for the slots in the top of the fairing. I have decided to use the wood shimmy-damping stiffeners inside the fairing and to use foam in the space left, but these steps are for another day.|
|2005-05-27||Antenna mounting||Positioned the transponder antenna and the whip-style Com antenna. I copied the positions from Dan C. (thanx Dan) and drilled the holes with the 1/2 inch unibit. After positioning and clecoing the Com-ant I drilled four holes for the AN3 bolts with a long drill bit. Make sure you protect the com-ant with some tape from the drill.|
|2005-05-28||Various fairing things||Today I fabbed some reinforcements for the connection point of the gear leg stiffeners, because of the various stories on the web about the original mounting lip not being strong enough in the long run. I made them from .032 sheet, 26/32 wide and curved with the aid of a vise, a hammer and a steel tube.
Furthermore I made the holes for the wheels in the fairings to their almost-final size with the infamous angle-grinder and air grinder with a scotchbrite wheel. The plans are a bit fuzzy about this subject, so here are my dimensions: 5.6 inch wide, 5 inch to the front from the parting line, 6 inch to the back from the parting line.
|2005-06-02||Various fairing things||Peter came over to help us and brought Chinese food with him! Yes, you Americans, that's right: we have real Grolsch Beer in cans in our supermarkets!
The fitting of the fairings was tuned with the dremel and the holes for the axels were made. Spacing was done with a 1 inch bucking bar taped to the top of the tire, and some woodwork to align the fairings roughly. After the final fitting and alining they will be tuned finally.
Because of the various stories of broken attachment points I decided to make some aluminium reinforcements from .032 scrap in the vise and to glue them in with Harms magical Airbus glue.
|2005-06-05||Gear leg stiffeners||Based on advise and scary pictures we decided to make the wooden gear leg stiffeners, meant to dampen shimmy in the landing roll. We used pine as basic material, glued together and shaped with Pim's power-sander. Final bonding (with polyurethane glue I think) to the gear legs will be done after the aligning of the gear leg fairings. Afterthat a thin wrap with glass and epoxy will be applied.|
|2005-06-05||Gear leg stiffeners||Based on advise and scary pictures we decided to make the wooden gear leg stiffeners, meant to dampen shimmy in the landing roll. We used pine as basic material, glued together and shaped with Pim's power-sander. Final bonding (with polyurethane glue I think) to the gear legs will be done after the aligning of the gear leg fairings. Afterthat a thin wrap with glass and epoxy will be applied.|
|2005-06-05||Fairing tuning||We tuned the shape of the fairings near the bottom end. Note that the trailing edge has not been trimmed or fastenen yet. I noted that several people (including Dan C)had problems with the fitting of thefairings between the fuselage and the gear leg fairings because they trimmed too much of the trailing edge. We ordered Fairing-Bob's fairings. They are in the mail so I'll wait for them to trim the trailing edge to the best fitting lenght.|
|2005-06-05||Canopy latch||Earlier we had some trouble with the exact fit of the canopy latch. During the drilling of the axis of the main latch something shifted and the alignment was gone. Since we did not want to drill out the rivets in the skin which hold the L-brackets we had to stick to the drilled hole in these brackets, and therefore it was not possible to use a new Latch part from Vans. So the only solution was to get the part, with some corrections in my CAD machine and make a file with which a new latch could be laser-cut!
The result is worth the trouble, as you can see. If anyone wants this CAD file (SolidWorks or AutoCad) please mail.
|2005-06-05||Latch, part 2||Some extra photo's. Pim can fill in the details|
|2005-06-08||Rivetting main gear fairings||Ren|
|2005-06-12||Recess||Rivetted the recess. Bloody messy job! On hindsight I presume that I used just a little too much kit...........
|2005-06-12||Fuel lines to FWF||The last line has been bend at last!|
|2005-06-12||Contactors, battery box||Mounted the first parts on the FWF, both contactors and the battery box.|
|2005-06-16||Wing tip trimming||Started on the wingtips. First you'll need to trim the rear inner edges. Also make sure that the flange which overlaps the aluminium of the wing skin is never wider than 20/32", otherwise it will not fit. Than position the tip agains the wing (do not try this on your own!) and start matchdrilling #40 the holes from leading edge to trailing edge alternatively from wing top to wing bottom. The leading edge sticks out, but this seems to be normal, will be trimmed/shaped later. After that I glued in reinforcement strips and matchdrilled again the whole thing to #30.
With a dimple die #6 and the pneumatic squeezer I dimpled the wing skins for screws #6. Next time I will countersink the wing tip holes and install platenuts K-1000-06. I do not think we have enough in stock as there are 2 times 36 in total! I also want to mount the Archer VOR antenna and some foam stiffener ribs to restore the shape of the tip. In one of the pictures you can see the deformation in one of them. Strange: one tip is reasonable in shape while the other one is lousy, also in the details!
|2005-06-23||Wing tip platenuts||Installed the wing tip ribs, with glue and with rivets. Also drilled the holes for the platenuts and squeezed some of the them. Will need to order a lot more(about 35). Together with the platenuts I instaaled the famous Bob Archer Antenna, probably the most expensive piece of alu scrap in the whole plane. I guess you pay for the know-how.............|
|2005-06-25||Battery and starter contactor installed and tested||Harke Smits in action!
This guy is a real pro in electronics. We have convinced him (after a few bottles of very expensive wine) that his help is absolutely necessary to get the wiring done in a professional way. We have installed the contactors and diodes and tested them with a small battery. Every worked perfectly.
|2005-07-23||Fairings main gear||Harm and Pim can comment on this. They have been working on these parts.|
|2005-07-24||Main gear fairings||Some more photo's|
|2005-07-30||Wheel pants fitted||This morning whe fitted the wheel pants. The way to do this is described correctly in the manual. Take your time in doing this. Keep measuring and tweaking before you drill and cleco.|
|2005-07-31||Wheel pants 2||Some extra photo's. We can now work on finishing the pants, holes, fairings etcetera.
|2005-07-31||Finishing the tips||We chose to epoxy the tips to the aluminium, put a layer of glassfiber over the seam to prevent cracking and then finish the whole thing by filling, sanding, filling, sanding........|
|2005-08-06||Gap filling||Harm filled the gap between the welded steel tube construction and the sheet metal of the upper deck by using a mixture of epoxy and glass|
|2005-08-07||Bug killing||There are some drawbacks in having to build our baby in a greenhouse that has been converted into a stable for very expensive horses...................|
|2005-08-11||Sanding the rudder tips||Tips have been epoxied onto the aluminium body. A lot of filling and sanding to be done............|
|2005-08-11||Tips finished for now||After filling and sanding, a coat of primer is spray painted|
|2005-08-11||Drilled holes for strobe lights||Holes for the strobe lights are drilled. We have bought the CreativAir stuff.|
|2005-08-11||polyurethane foam in the gaps||The gap between fairing and steel tub has to be filled with expanding polyurethane foam.|
|2005-08-11||Test fitting the interior panels||Ren|
|2005-08-12||Preparing the glareshield||Before gleuing on the canopy, we want to finish the glareshield with black leather. Doing it after the canopy has been attached will most certainly be too difficult to get a nice job done. Pim decided on having a thick front edge over which the leather is pulled and glued. He will achieve this by adding strips of balsa wood to the bottom of the deck, sanding it in a half circle through section.|
|2005-08-14||Glare shield||The balswood rim of the glareshield is shaped and fitted. Thereafter it is painted. Next step is glueing it in place and covering the whole with leather.|
|2005-08-14||Foam trimming||The excess foam is trimmed. The fairings are feeling very rigid and solid now.|
|2005-08-18||Brackets||Brackets fitted, bolts torqued. Wheels fitted|
|2005-08-18||Rudder stop, new photo's||There has been a lot of interest for our version of Jeff Bordelons rudder stop. This shows it as I have installed it.|
|2005-08-18||glareshield continued||The glued rim and partly covered with leater. More pics of Pim's baby will follow. Do you see the drool............?|
|2005-08-19||assembly part 1||Trial fitted various parts|
|2005-08-20||Glueing the canopy part 1||We decided to glue the canopy to the frame. The main reason was to get rid of the bunch of screws through the skirts and especially the rollbars, and to create a smooth and watertight blending between cnopy and canopy frame. Besides that it is done like this in all glass aircraft, including our own beloved Lancair, so why not in an RV?
Some web-study (for instance Mickey Coggins http://www.rv8.ch/article.php?story=20050617213651709)pointed in the direction of using Sikaflex 295 black together the correct cleaner and primer. Step 1 is making sure that there is enough room for the glue: the Sikaflex works best when the glue has at least 1mm space between the parts to be glued. This is easy for the rollbar and the frontdeck, but you'll have to create room between the frame and the side skirts bij sanding off material from the acrylic canopy. Besides that it is very important to roughen the material to an opaque finish.
|2005-08-20||assembly part 2||Test fitting|
|2005-08-21||Glueing the canopy part 2||Before you can prepare the edges it is very important to mask off the parts of the canopy bubble that has to stay clear of glue and/or primer. You do this with tape which has a straight edge, which is resistant to wear and which can be easily removed without residues on the plexi. Electrician's isolation tape is very fit for this purpose. After sanding the surfaces to be glued, clean the surfaces with the special Sika cleaner. After this the all-important primer can be applied with a brush. This stuff dries very quickly and leaves a glossy black coating on the surface of the plexi and the aluminium. In fact the primer is almost more important than the glue: glue which is applied to untreated material can be easily peeled off after curing, with the primer it sticks like hell. Also note that the leather glareshield is heavily protected by tape and foil.|
|2005-08-22||Gluing the canopy part 3||Within 30 minutes after the primer has been applied, you'll have to apply the glue. We did this with a pneumatic dispenser. First we applied glue to the frame; on the front deck and the rollbar just a bead to rest the canopy on and on the side-skirts a little bit more spread out to give the glue the largest possible surface.|
|2005-08-23||Glueing the canopy part 4||After applying the glue you'll have to work quickly. The canopy was positioned exactly in its right place and some more glue was applied on the side edges of the canopy. Make sure the complete edge is covered with glue. Than the side skirts were mounted using clecoes. Waste glue which squirted from under the skirts was wiped off. Use protective gloves during the whole process, otherwise you'll have black fingers for days!|
|2005-08-24||Glueing the canopy part 5||Than the edges of the front deck were filled from the outside with glue giving a smooth and secure bonding. After that the cleaning of the edges of the inside of the frame and the filling of the rollbar edge had to be done. Because we did the positioning with the canopyframe on the plane I had to crawl in and do this from the inside. By this time, some 30 minutes after applying the first glue, the glue started to be tacky and was getting more difficult to remove and to plaster in a nice bead.
After this it was just letting the glue set and hope for the best. We decided to let the tape in place during the curing process because we were afraid for messing up harmless acrylic...
Note the various devices we used to keep the canopy in the right position while letting the glue set: a piece of wood on top of the rollbar for an even pressure and tape and a heavy object to pull down the front edge of the canopy.
|2005-08-25||Cowling hinges||In anticipation of the engine I decided to prepare the hinges for mounting the cowling to the fuselage. Made the shims and matchdrilled shima and hinges with the holes in the fuselage. I think it is a good thing to have the hinges stick out a little bit so you'll never get a gap between the cowling and the fudelage, by having a little overlap. Besides this just a lot of drilling, deburring, dimpling and countersinking.|
|2005-08-31||Powdercoating interior parts||Today we powdercoated a lot of interior parts. I have the possibility to get this done at my work. One of my collegues, Temel Yilmaz, has actually done all the work. Thanks!|
|2005-09-01||Mounting of the empennage fairing||We chose the fairings from Fairings etc. for the empennage. The target is to use as little screws as possible. To avoid broken taps or torn-out screws we fastened the two in the front with platenuts.|
|2005-09-01||Oil hatch||Patricia made the oilhatch hole in the cowling. The edges are as smooth as they can be, I guess years of nail-filing pay off in the end ;-)|
|2005-09-15||Canopy fairing||Today I worked on the fairing between the canopy and the front skin. I decided to trim the top of the famous ears and to glue them to the base frame. This is important because, being fixated with only one rivet, there is lot of movement in that part of the skin. Not good as a base for fiberglassing the fairing.
After the glueing I made a new tape line on top of the existing tape line to get enough edge to build the fiberglass against. I took white tape because black was impossible to see on the existing tapoe and the Sika-primer.
I roughened and cleaned the surface (acrylic, Sikaflex and aluminium) and I applied a thick mix of epoxy and microballoons to make a fillet between the canopy edge and the front deck.
In two days we are going to move to a new space. The dust and flies of the horse stable in our greenhouse are becoming more and more unpractical, especially now the engine and propeller are ordered.
|2005-09-17||We moved to a new location!!!!!!!!!!||We fought the flies but the flies won........
Today we moved to a new location. The dust and the flies of the horses in our greenhouse-stable were too much to keep our spirits up, so Wim Zegwaard, owner of the stable gratiously offered us a basement in an old cable factory. For all you Americans: this RV-7 is now being built about 20 feet BELOW sea level........
We started early this morning, to stay clear of police patrols, and moved the whole workshop to the new location, 5km's away.
A very special thanks to all friends that helped us: Martijn, Harke, Bert, Patricia, Pieter, Erwin and especially Rob of Citroen cars van Leeuwen, who borrowed us two vans (!) with flashlights to make up our special convoi!!
|2005-09-22||Preparation of the front canopy fairing||The new workshop is very inspiring! I sanded down the microballoons we pasted on the last time. The objective is to get an even shape as close to the final result BEFORE laying on the glass strips. In that way the final result is supposed to be more controlable. So after the sanding I reckoned it would be good to add a new (last) layer of microballoons to even out the last inperfections. We use an industrial grade of epoxy so it takes some time to harden. As a preparation for the next step I cut some strips of glass cloth in various widths, ranging from 1/2inch to 2 inch. Terrible stuff to cut, I'm glad somebody else built our Lancair (respect!)!|
|2005-09-25||Canopy fairing||Today I sanded the microballoons to the desired shape. After some rough sanding I used a Sikaflex primer bottle as a tool with the correct diameter. After that I wetted the glass strips (6pieces in increasing widths from 1/2 inch to 2 inch)with epoxy and started the laying up. Messy work. Especially the loose treads from the glass are difficult to handle. In the end I decided to skip the first and the third strip and layed up 4 strips. The first two I made shorter and the last two I bent around the corner and cut them to a pointed shape to blend with the ears, see picture.
I positioned the strip about two millimeter from the tape edge. The last bit shall be filled with pure epoxy.
|2005-09-28||Canopy fairing||Today I sanded down the glass/epoxy layer I applied last sunday. I used a plastic bottle (for wood-glue!) wrapped with sandpaper. The bottle has a diameter of about 120mm which gives a nice concave fillet. I use a special type of sandpaper Pim bought, Sandblaster from 3M, which claims it does not clog up. Amazingly this works very good! I tried a normal type of sandpaper and it became useless in 1 minute.
After the sanding I applied a thick layer of pure epoxy, especially in the small gap between the glass and the tape-edge. This will be sanded down to the thickness of the tape, to get a crisp edge. We'll see...
|2005-09-30||Fitting the empennage fairing||Aart came back from a well-earned holiday and started with his baby: the empennage fairing. Since we did not like the VAN's version enough we ordered the one from Fairings etc.
There was some trouble with the shipment of the first (!), it seemed lost one so Bob was kind enough to send us a new one. The next day the first order arrived of course. It did not fit as well as advertised and we noticed that Walter Tondu had the same experience. In the end it appeared that we had received two perfect fairings for an RV6! Bob was again so kind to send us a RV7 version and Aart got to fitting this puppy. After som tweaking with a heat gun he got a perfect fit, save for a small gap in the front edge. We made a mix of glassfibers and epoxy, put some plastic foil on the fuselage and layed up the whole thing. In the end the holy grail is to fit the whole fairing with just 6 screws.
|2005-10-02||Canopy fairing||Sanded down the clear epoxy layer. To get a crisp edge the objective is to sand the top edge down to the thickness of the tape edge. Just sand carefully until scratches start to appear in the tape. There are still some little gaps between glass and tape edge to be filled, so I applied one (last?) layer of clear epoxy, to be sanded down next thursday (I hope).|
|2005-10-06||Empennage fairing is mounted||With a minimum of screws! The main fairing has 6 screws, the front four in platenuts, the aft two in tapped holes.
The small side fairings have two screws each, tapped in the longeron. the next step is to dress the edges and the overall shape and to get to a smooth transition between the separate fairings.
|2005-10-06||Canopy fairing||Tonight I sanded down the applied filler with wet sandpaper up until the white tape. It is very smooth now with allmost no pinholes. The plan is to shape the rest of the fairing to its final form and then to remove the white tape. Below that is a second layer of black tape. The edge is than rounded off to this layer. When the black tape is removed this should give a nice transition between fairing and acrylic. Next step is to apply some grey primer to get a better view of the surface and the overaal shape. We'll see...|
|2005-10-06||The rear skin is rivetted on||It is all a matter of logistics: We want to install finally all the cabin systems and start working on the wiring. Before that we have to spraypaint the interior. We also want to install the rear window. The rear window will be glued to the rear skin and the rollbar. The rear skin must be spaypainted together with the rest of the interior before glueing the rear window. The rollbar is powdercoated so it cannot be mounted before the spraypainting. So this is the sequence: rivetting on the rear skin, spraypaint the interior and inside rear skin, mount the rollbar, glue in the rear window, do the wiring, fly the plane..... Capice? ;-)|
|2005-10-08||More sanding of the canopy fairing||I sprayed on a primer, to get an overview of the spots that needed some attention. Not bad so far! I sanded down this spots and applied filler where needed.|
|2005-10-09||Empennage fairing||The primer showed clearly where there are still points to be taken care of. After again some sanding I applied a layer of filler, mostly at the sides. If you look at the transition from the side skirts to the front fairing you basicly have a transition from straight via convex via straight to convex. My objective is to avoid S-shaped transitions to get a smooth form in the end.|
|2005-10-09||Closing the left wing||At first we tightened all bolts in the wings and fixated them with anti-sabotage paint (torque seal). We also tried to torque the bolts that hold the fuel tank, but our torque wrench went beserk and could not be set to the desired torque. Well, teh wing hatches permit to do this later. The rivetting of the skin is somthing to do with two people and with the wing lying on a table or something. Furthermore it is not the guy with the thinnest arms that does the bucking but the guy with the longest arms. Work and plan carefully and think before you buck.... The last piece of flap-hinge is matchdrilled with the skin and squeezed with the flap removed.|
|2005-10-14||The other wing is closed too!||Erik Wildenbeest, one of the other 3 RV-7 builders in the Netherlands came over to check our progress and was promply put to work of course. Together we finished closing the right wing. Thanx! You can check out Erik's project, RV-7a tip-up, on his site: www.ph-fly.com It is officially a slowbuilt but he's making progress very fast!|
|2005-10-14||Our engine is alive!||Yesterday we heard that our engine, a Mattituck TMX FIO-360 (fadec), is assembled this week and has it's first live run in the test cell today!
Shipment will be next week. We'll keep you posted!
|2005-10-14||Vroom, Vroom, It's alive!!!||Mahlon just sent us some photo's of our engine as it was running today on the Dyno. Dreams do come true!
The main specs of the engine:
Engine Instrument Display Interface
Dual alternator setup and matching HSA
Serial bus interface including oil temp and oil pressure sensors
B&C L-60-14V main alternator and mounting kit
B&C SD-20-14V backup alternator mounted
New forward facing cold air induction
Sky Tec inline starter
Precision balance, Port, Flow match and combustion Equalization
Special appearance, Metallic Grey with RAL 9006 powder coat accents
John Haas building the engine
|2005-10-14||Our engine is alive!!!!!!!||Mahlon Russell from Mattituck just sent us this mail:
I was walking past the test cell this morning and thought you might like these for your scrape book.
Running nicely so far.
|2005-10-23||Stiffeners for the wing tips||To give the rather flimsy wingtips a little bit more shape and rigidity, Pim made some ribs out of Polystyrene foamboard. Our wingtips were quite distorted so three ribs were inserted in tactical places. They will be glassed into there final place.|
|2005-10-23||Canopy fairing||I applied the (I hope) final layer of filler to the fairing and, after curing, sanded it down using wet polishing paper. After that I sprayed it with grey primer to look for the last irregularities. It looks very good but there are some small spots worth attending to........|
|2005-10-28||Our engine arrived today!||Our Mattituck TMX FIO-360 arrived this week and Aart and Pim picked it up from the airport. One large crate and one large box with the Fadec stuff and the other accessories we ordered. This will be quite a puzzle to sort out! Aad Proost came over and brought his little crane so we can mount our baby next week. Until then we'll have to study a lot in manuals and websites.|
|2005-10-28||Fairing trimming||To get a nice fit in the fairing Aart had to lengthen the edges of the fairing a bit after having trimmed off too much first. As you see this works out quite nicely, next step is to trim and smooth the edges.|
|2005-11-02||Let the baffling begin!||Last week I studied the whole baffle phenomenon. A lot of people curse it and some, like our pal Mark Taylor, say it actually is easier than expected. We'll see...
I started by making an inventory and making a mental picture of the whole construction. After that I started deburring all parts, very Zen-like work....... Before deburring I matchdrilled the bolt reinforcement plates to the baffle parts to get a nice fit during the deburring. I did not do this for the left rear baffle because you have to replace these parts with angle stock in case you want to mount the oil cooler against the back baffle. Given the space we need on the firewall for the Fadec computers, I think we'll need to use this position, just like Mark and a lot of other people. Aart still has his doubts about this but that is mostly because Guru Dan C. has second thoughts about it ;-)
|2005-11-03||First fitting of the engine||Tonight we hung the engine for the first time. If you know what to do it is pretty obvious. For a good guide go to: http://www.vansairforce.net/articles/IllustratedGuideToEngineHanging/enginehanging.htm
Realise that all 4 mounting bolts are identical but that the top ones are mounted in a different configuration than the bottom ones: At the top the thinner donuts go behind the mount, at the bottom they go in the cups at front. Manouver the engine in place and line it up as good as you can. Wrap the mount with cloth or foam to protct the powdercoat. It is also handy to stick the front donuts to the mount-cups with some doublesided tape. To get the engine in place you lower it to the exact height and tip it to move the oilfiter under the mount tubes. Yes, it is nice to do this with three people. Start with one of the top bolts and (important) tighten it all the way. You'll see that the other top bolt hole will move into the correct position. We did not mount the lower bolts at this time, I guess the engine will be on and off a couple of time the next months.
|2005-11-03||First Baffle fitting||"All dimensions are approximate" is an important entry on one of the baffle-drawings....
And indeed: this is a complicated sub-project that will take a lot of time. When you study the drawings you realise we are spoilt by Van's other drawings. Do not dispair: if you really dig into the drawings and place the parts on the engine the picture becomes clear in the end. First step is trimming the edges on the places where they touch the crankcase. I had to trim something away around the rocker covers and a lot at the inside of the right rear baffle (nr7). With the baffles in place, we have the chance to find a spot for the Fadec computers and the Steward Warner oilcooler. (We bought this one at Spruce because people claim problems with the cheaper Van's cooler, but we wil order the cooler accessories at Van's this week). It quickly becomes clear that there are not much alternatives for the location of these items and that Mark Taylor's conclusion is about the only option on a Taildragger 7 with the Battery-tray allready in place. So I think we'll place the Fadec's against the left side of the firewall and the oil-cooler against the left rear baffle, which we will reinforce tremendously.
|2005-11-05||First fitting of the engine||Tonight we hung the engine for the first time. If you know what to do it is pretty obvious. For a good guide go to: http://www.vansairforce.net/articles/IllustratedGuideToEngineHanging/enginehanging.htm|
|2005-11-06||Wing tip lens, part 2||After I ?&!$%ed-up the first lens Pim gave it a try on a new set. Slowly but surely it is coming to shape. First with the die grinder, than with the belt sander and for final trim the special 3M sanding paper, to be finished off with wet polishing paper. For a perfect fit it is important that you sand the edges in an angle to match the edge of the wing tip.|
|2005-11-06||Baffle parts||Slowly I'm getting the big picture of the baffle system, though I keep finding interesting new parts. Today I fabbed the mounting edges of the front deck floors, from the provided angle stock. Just use a bench vise, belt sander and vixen file. The overall lenghts are in the manual, not on the drawing. After making it you'll have to adjust the dimensions of the 2R part to your engine.|
|2005-11-09||Fitting the exhaust||After a lot of tinkering we just bought the standard Vetterman crossover exhaust. We discussed a 4in1 type, but were afraid it would not fit around our non-standard engine. Maybe in a later stage we will add two small mufflers, for example from Liese in Germany. Klaus Roth made his own, installing them on his beautiful RV4's. He send me a lot of photo's and drawings. We'll decide later on what to do.
Mounting the exhaust is pretty straightforward with two people. It fit beautifully.
|2005-11-09||Front deck baffles||Because the baffles are generic for all kinds of Lycosaurs, I'll have to modify a lot to get a good fit for our engine. In the right front deck baffle (nr.10) you have to make a 12mm wide slit for the govener oil line. I carefully measured it out, took it out with the handsaw and dressed it with the vixen file and scotchbrite. On the left side (nr.2) you have to measure out the position for the hole for the 3/16" screw. Watch out: this hole is smaller than the 1/8" ones on the side baffles. Under front deck nr.2 you have to fit and mount part nr. 14. First drill it to the front deck, than measure the position of the hole out very carefully. After that you have to remove the excessive material or you won't be able to take off / put on the baffle assembly later on.|
|2005-11-09||Fitting of the cabin heat muff||Test fitted the muff. No big issue. I'll decide on the exact position later. Dan C has been experimenting a lot with his position. Walter Tondu did it the way as shown here. Looks OK to me...........|
|2005-11-09||Prop govenor mount||blablabvla|
|2005-11-09||Prop govenor mount||The mount can be seen at the bottom of the photo (I'll make a better one when the engine is off again). The studs that Mattituck had already fitted were too short............
Mahlon suggested to apply heat with a blow torch (I have got a really small one luckily) and get them out with the two-nut method. I'll give it a try as we have taken the engine off the mount. Mahlon told me he would send me new studs just in case. On the other hand: why use studs and not bolts? I like the way Walter Tondu has mounted his governor (using bolts....)
|2005-11-10||Rear baffles and oil cooler||We will have to stiffen the rear baffles to prevent cracking, especially the left one (part 4)since we decided to put the oil cooler to the back of it. I made some reinforcements from standard stock 20x20x2mm and decided not to try to make a joggle to connect the two pieces but to make a much stiffer separate "bridge" from .063x3/4x3/4 stock. An American/European co-production so to speak... When this is all riveted together with the oil cooler bracket it will be very rigid. I hope that this will prevent the cracking problems certain Californian guru-builders have experienced. Speaking of which: based on advise from said guru we decided to buy the extrmely expensive but high quality StewardWarner oil cooler but we ordered the other parts of this assembly from Vans. I made the three spacer from tube stock with the proven drill press / file method.
On the other side (part 8) I made a stiffener from 15x15x1.5mm stock angle. Simple enough.
|2005-11-10||Fitting of the wing tip lenses||After very careful shaping and sanding we drilled the holes for the wing tip lenses with the special plexi-drill. We want to use a #6 torx-screw, tinnerman washer and platenut combination for both sides, so two screw per lens in total.|
|2005-11-13||Fitting of the side panels||Pim fitted in the side panels, to see what parts of the interior have to be spray-painted. We only want the visible parts to be painted. Pim made a sketch of it, you can see he is an architect by trade....
After the interior is painted we can start building in parts for real AND glue in the back window, so I hope we can do this in short term. As you can see in the sketch there is not very much surface to be painted, mostly the edges, the footwell, the firewall and the inside of the back-skin.
|2005-11-13||Rear baffles, oil cooler position||Today I trimmed and fitted the rear baffles. It turned out very ok. On part 7, you'll have to trim a lot around the engine mount hole and lower along that edge. There is one machine-screw which is very hard to reach, but it is possible without removing the oil-fille tube. For Part 6 you have to make a finger spacer 1/4" thick for the AN4 bolt which goes through the crankcase. There is only room for the nut to go on the inside but I don't want to use a nylock nut is the engine ;-), if anyone has a suggestion?. Part 15 does not fit out-of the box, but if you increase the angles of the part in a vise, you'll reach the overlap between part 6 and 7. Clamp and matchdrill with an angled drill #12, insert a bolt AN3-4a. I fitted part 5, matchdrilled it with part 6, and riveted it. I used flush heads along the line, to prevent chafing with the cylinder head. Lastly I defined a position for the oilcooler. It is a trade-off: you want it as high as possible without touching the cowling but you'll have to make sure that the oil-lines can run along the engine mount AND that you still can insert the long AN3 bolts. As far as I can see now, I'm going the move the lower right bolt one position down. I'll study it this week and try to come to a conclusion by thursday.|
|2005-11-13||Fadec orientation||The box with Fadec parts mainly consist of two massive computers and above all impressive bundles of various wires with interesting small objects at the ends... Bit frightening the first time, but after studying the 2" thick manual it all falls into place. In fact: the firewall forward part is not as complicated as it looks at first. I guess we just have to start building and connecting. Luckily we can profit from Mark Taylor's research so we won't have to reinvent every wheel, thanks Mark!
One point which baffles ;-) me though is that the Health Status Anunciator only consists of one small box with a connector; I somehow expected a small display and some switches. I suspect that we have to make this display ourselves with some LED's. We'll see...
|2005-11-16||Oil cooler mount||I made the construction for the oil cooler mount, as part of the left rear baffle. First the position was set. You have to be careful that the long AN3 bolts do not run aginst the engine mount and can still be inserted. Same for the hoses. For this reason I used the upper and lower bolt position on both sides, different from the plans, and I will use 4 long bolts instead of 3 long ones and 1 shorty.
I carefully countersunk and deburred all parts, especially in this area you want to prevent as many cracks as possible. Tomorrow I'll try to cut the large square hole and rivet the whole contraption.
|2005-11-17||Mounted the oil cooler||Finished the mounting of the oilcooler last night. Made the square hole with a cutting wheel in the Dremel and the vixen file. Tried to do it with the snips at first but that didn't work. I used the 4 outmost holes of the cooler. We tried the interference of the hoses with the ignition cables of the Fadec and concluded that it shall be ok if we use a 45degrees angle plug (not the 90degrees angle of the drawings) for the lower plug. For the final installation I'll use AN-960 10 washers between the flange and the alu tube, on http://www.rvproject.com/20041229.html you can see why....|
|2005-11-18||Finished wing tip lenses||Pim finished the wing tip lenses. Very tight fitting, just two Torx-screws per lens|
|2005-11-19||Completed the right rear baffle||I had a lost hour somewhere and completed the right rear baffle. There is still one rivet which can not be squeezed.|
|2005-11-19||Fadec, ECU position||A lot of guys have had trouble with their Fadec harness, lenght of wires being too short to reach sensors/transducers. Mattituck has listened to complaints and has changed the orientation of the fuel pressure sensors on our engine. One sensor has been fittted with a 90 degree fitting. This does help. No more problems here. I'll post a photo asap......
Important is the position of both ECU's. Having a RV7, there isn't much room between the firewall and the engine mount. You have to put both ECU's on the left side (pilots view. The battery box takes most space on the right side.
I spent an hour fiddling with the harness to get a general idea what goes where. I started with Mark Taylors layout first. He is way ahead of us in installing the system, really knows what he is doing and why invent the wheel twice......
Strange enough, it didn't work for us. Perhaps our harness is different form Marks. I know for instance that ours is quite different from Aad Proosts one, a guy that is building a RV7a some miles from our place and who has also just started installing his harness...........
The horizontal position of the connectors in Marks layout resulted in a too high position of the "knot", complex routing of the thick bundle of wires leading to the ECU's and too much issues with too short wires to the sensors.
Changing the position/orientation to that is showed on these photo's did miracles (I'll make some better photo's when we take the engine off its mount again). All wires are long enough to reach the sensors/probes/transducers. No tight fits anywhere.
We test fitted the oil cooler too see if any hoses and wires would conflict but no problems there either. The only point of attention is the routing of the governor cable. This is a tight fit but can be done. If necessary, I'll make a new bracket.
|2005-11-20||Fadec, manifold fittings||Our manifold kame with two 90 degree fittings on which to mount the pressure transducers. Why on earth did they do this? No way the wires would be lomg enough to reach the tranducers. Thinking about this again, I suspect they sent us a manifold that is meant for a vertical induction setup.
Also the bracket to which the throttle cable is attached had to be rotated 180 degrees. The butterfly valve now opens (as it should) when the throttle is pushed in............
I took out both fittings and put the pressure transducers directly into the pressure ports of the manifold. No issues with wire lengths either. Long enough!
|2005-11-20||Right front baffle||I made the connection between the right front baffle floor and the right front baffle. The plans are rather vague about this subject, so i just made a L-bracket from some angle stock and matchdrilled it in position. In this way the bracket only holds on the front baffle itself so I decided to remove the doubler plate and to make a new one which overlaps the position of the L-bracket.|
|2005-11-20||Room for the air intake||Our amazing new Skytec inline starter (sold to us as the best product they have ever made) has some mounting studs which are not used in our set-up but which are also in the way of our air intake snorkel. So they had to go. I used a cutting wheel on the right one (frontview) and a saw on the left one. Cleaned up the result with the powerfile and scotchbrite.|
|2005-11-21||Fadec, installation ECU on firewall||After a second, third and......... look at our setup, we took the engine off the mont and drilled the holes for the installation of the ECU mounting brackets. This is how it looks......
The back of the firewall was reinforced with a lot of small parts of aluminium angle.
You can also see whre we installed the eyeball for the governor cable. We tested this setup first and it should be OK.
|2005-11-22||More Fadec and FWF stuff||This eyeball is for the throttle cable. No big deal
The bracket is a support for the Fadec connectors that go through the firewall
And last: this is how the back of our engine looks like. I have to find out what fittings are used for the fuel pump. The normal ones don't fit. I have got an thread issue here. Can anyone help here?
|2005-11-26||Right front deck bracket||Now this is an interesting one: If you have a govener line you'll have to make a slit in this piece of baffle (in this direction, otherwise you can't remove the sucker). You still have to mount the thing to the crankcase with bracket #16 so that it can be removed AND close the slit. So here is what I did: After putting the baffle in exactly the right position I brought bracket #16 in position, decided where I could place two platenuts for screws #8 and drilled the holes for that. Than I matchdrilled one hole in the front deck and the stiffener on the engine and the other one off the engine. Squeezed the platenuts and fastened the bracket. Then measured out the position for the large screw hole on the crankcase, drilled and removed the surplus material. I'll apply a rubber grommet for the oil line.|
|2005-11-26||Routing for static line||Pim decided upon the routing for the static line. It is now routed in such a way that, with the tail wheel on the ground, moisture will not run to the instruments up front. To make the holes he bought a very nifty small stepdrill.|
|2005-11-27||ANL current limiters||Mounted the two ANL current limiters, bought at B&C.
60 A for the main alternator
40 A for the backup 20A alternator
They are linked to each other by means of a copper strip and to the starter contactor, also by means of a copper strip. Everything is done according to the Z12 diagram.
Copper strips have yet to be protected by a bit of heat shrink (on order now)
I made a small aluminium strenghtening doubler plate for the cockpit side (overkill......? )
|2005-11-27||Fitting for oil pressure line||Take care that you put this fitting in before final installation of the engine. You will never be able to put it in after hanging the engine. I ordered this part at Vans. It has a restrictor.|
|2005-11-28||Fadec installation ECU on firewall||We rivetted the ECU mounting brackets to the firewall. Aluminium angles were added to the back to stiffen everything. Well.....this doesn't work. As Mark Taylor warned us:
"This is only my opinion, but I think that the angle pieces you have used should tie in to the main firewall angles really. My feeling is that the firewall might work
harden at the ends of the angle pieces since it's free to flex, and eventually will crack (similar to what happens to the elevators and rudders at the ends of the stiffeners of you don't put proseal or silicone in there to dampen the vibration)".
I did change the top aluminium angle though. This really does the job in fixing the top ECU to the to horizontal firewall angle. No flexing issues there anymore. All lower angles are no good at all. There is way to much flexing of the stainless steel firewall.
What we will be doing now is to dampen the whole firewall (just the left part where the ECU's are mounted) We will glue a special foam to the firewall of the thickness of the stringer and then add a thin aluminium sheet and thus actually creating a sandwich construction. This should do the trick. Harm is specialised in foam, gluing etcetera.......... We prefer this to adding an aluminium angle to the engine side of the firewall. This is possible and does stiffen the area but doesn't really dampen the vibrations.
|2005-11-28||Prop governor studs||The studs that Mattituck installed for our governor were too short (screwed them in too far). Getting them out was a tough job. I used a small blowtorch to heaten the stud. No issue then.
Mattituck sent me 4 new ones. Will install them later this week.
|2005-12-08||Firewall Fun||One step back and two steps forward..... We decided to bite the bullet and to redo the Fadec ECU mount, as the mounting was not rigid enough and the rivetting was lousy.
So I made new stiffeners from angled stock 25x20x2mm and fitted them exactly between the existing longerons to span as much firewall skin as possible. Then the fun part: removing the engine, removing the ECU's and removing all rivets that held the ECU brackets. After that we carefully matchdrilled the existing holes and drilled some new holes through stiffeners and firewall. Than we dimpled the firewall, countersank the angles and carefully backrivetted the whole shabang in place, this time with more concentration and less air-pressure. The result: a construction as rigid as Maggie Thatcher.
Inbetween we decided upon various locations for stuff: the plugs for the fadec, the manifold and the eyeball for the alternate air bowden cable. Pim also made a bracket for the Andair oil breather. This gadget helps keeping your plane and the environment clean. It should be mounted as high as possible. We are not quite sure about all hoses and the function of the accompaning condensation trap yet: Andair says nothing about this. So we will call them and find out.
|2005-12-11||Oil/air separator and Fadec 19-pins plug||In some spare hours this weekend Pim an I made de holes for the Andair oil/air separator and the 19-pin plugs for the fadec. The bracket for the separator will be attached by 4 #8 or #6 screws to platenuts, two on the stringer and two in the firewall itself.
The hole s for the Fadec plugs tok some time with the Dremel.
|2005-12-15||Last (?) firewall gadgets||We mounted the groundblock and the manifold to the firewall. We also mounted the oilseperator using platenuts to make it removable (to take out the battery. This is a mighty crowded firewall.....|
|2005-12-16||Mounted the engine definitively||Since we were pretty sure that we had all gadgets mounted to the firewall, save some grommets for cables and oillines, we decided to mount the engine, with all bolts. This is also neccessary for fitting the cowling. I hope to start that soon, since our propeller should be here by the beginning of next week! (I keep you posted)
Now hanging the engine with all bolts is a bit of a psychedelic experience... We started with the normal sequence (see our earlier entry) and tried to allign the hole in the crankcase with the lower rubber donuts: no way!
You also have to insert a ring between crankcase and the lower donut and this thing is making the positioning even harder. So here is a very important advice: slip out the donut and attach the ring to it with very thin doublesided tape, so it will stay alligned! Do not tape the donut into the seating as you should be able to shift the donut.
The third bolt just would not allign, with all possible combinations of tensioning of the upper bolts or with manipulating the engine with the hoist! So finally we decided to remove the left upper bolt, to loosen the upper right bolt and then to insert the left lower bolt. This worked. Then we tightened these two bolts and with heavy pushing we menaged to insert the top left bolt again. After tightening this one the last bolt was not alligned at all. Second piece of advise: use a mirror to see if the holes are aligned,if they are not don't even think of pushing the bolt in. Finally we loosened the right top bolt again and by pushing the engine to the left and shifting the donut as far down as possible in its seat, we managed to slide it in. Some gentle blows with the rubber hammer and it was on!
|2005-12-16||Last (?) details before hanging the engine||Some last details had to be wrapped up before finally hanging the engine. So we inserted the prop govener studs using high temp studretainer, Mounted the Fadec ECU grounding straps and applied some shrinksleeve.|
|2005-12-18||Journey to MT to pick up the prop||After a heavy Cub-session Aart and I went to MT in Straubing, Germany to pick up our MTV-12 prop. After a journey of 850km we arrived sunday night in Regensburg, a medieval German city, also known for it's 20.000 female students....
After some local beerdrinking and a good night's sleep we went to MT and were welcomed by mr. Eric Greindl who showed us the factory and the production process. These guys take their job seriously! In a well-organised environment about 70 skilled people are producing the finest propellers in the world. Quality is paramount here. If you have chance, visit them, or better: buy an MT-prop!
After some paperwork we loaded our prize and went back again to Delft. We arrived here at 21:00, tired but also very curious to see what would be in the box! So we thought: what the hack, lets go.......... (see next page)
|2005-12-19||Mounting the prop||Mounting a prop is not hard (though 18kg start to become heavy after some time...) but you have to know a few details:
First: mount the alternator belt NOW. It is impossible after you have mounted the prop...
Second: on the flywheel and on the mounting surface on the crankshaft you'll find marks: 0 or TC. This means that this position should be aligned (in rest) with the top split line of the crankcase halves. You'll also notice that two of the six bosses on the crankshaft are lower than the other four. On the backplate of the prop you'll see that one of the holes around the bolts is lower than the other five. There is also a mark on the spinner backplate which identifies the top of the prop. Clean the surfaces and place the flywheel on the crankshaft. Now you'll have to position the prop in such a way that the top lower boss corresponds with the bolt with the smaller hole. In this way the higher bosses will disappear in the larger holes. It also places the top blade in an approx. two o clock position. Make sure you center the hollow axis exactly in the o-ring in the prop. Than start tightening the bolts bit by bit going from opposite bolt to opposite bolt. Most of this can be done by hand and sometimes a careful wrench helps.
|2005-12-20||The prop is mounted||And this is the final result: it really is a piece of art!
We chose this prop because of it's efficiency, weight, slightly less noise production (because of the 3 blades) and of course it's sexy appearance.... With MT you can choose out of a range of custom colours at no extra cost. We chose this combination of course because my first Airfix Spitfire kit had this colours ;-)
|2005-12-21||Alternator and ignition harness||Aart mounted the alternator and safetied it. After that we went to work on the ignition harness, from the Fadec ECU's to the spark plugs. Aad Proost had quite a few problems with the lenght of it so we were afraid that, with our alternative set-up, we would end up with some too-short cables. To our relief we only had to interchange some cables but ended up OK! just some swapping of the liitle cable markers and that was that. Beginners luck I guess ;-)|
|2005-12-21||Started on the cowling||Pim and I started on the cowling. After reading various instructions and tips we started with the top cowl. First we mounted a spacer on the spinner backplate. We decided on a gap of about 5mm between spinner and cowl, so together with the spinner rim (which protudes 11 mm behind the backplate) we came to a spacer of 16mm and taped this carefully to the bachplate. We aligned the cowling at the back on a centerline and up front with our "carpenters eye" by looking from the front. For height we decided to mount the cowl 5mm lower than the optical perfect position, to allow for sag. This height was fixated by placing a foam block onderneath the cowl. A reference line 2" behind the edge of the fuse front skin was drawn, the cowl was taped in the exact position. The line was measured 2"inch back on the cowl and with our old friend the Grinder the exxess material was removed up until 1 or 2mm from the line. The hinges where attached again. Then, using sandpaper taped to a looooong wooden plank, the edge was carefully trimmed to an really perfect fit. The spacers between skin and hinges proved way too thick, maybe we have to use a very thin spacer or even no spacer at all. We'll see.|
|2005-12-29||Panel concept #1||Oh yeah the panel.........
You've seen our ambitious plan, now back to reality... The concept was designed with e-panel builder, cool program but it does not always show what is beneath the surface (=behind the panel). Mark Taylor had warned me that there would be too little space for our ambitions, and he was right ;-). Besides that, reading the discussion groups I was not convinced that the EFIS One could be implemented in Europe without too much stress, and then there is the combination with the Fadec too....
Since we wanted an Efis and we had allready bought the BMA autopilot we are more or less committed to BMA.... But: Greg & friends are cool guys and the other BMA products, especially the G3-range, look promising. So we developed a new set-up. I put all components in SolidWorks, a high end 3D Cad program I use at work and in the end this should give us the production files for lasercutting the panel.
So instead of building around a Efis One we decided to opt for three Efis lites! Still less money, yet more redundancy. In the next generation, engine info should be avaiable to the G3 as well.
I wanted to have a basic engine instrument back-up to be able to fly VFR or aerobatics when the computer was down. So at first we were contemplating analog (Vans's) gauges. Then the idea came to take a reliable integrated electronic device for this as primary instruments, with one of the BMA's as a back-up. ACS was checked out, but it was not compatible with our Fadec. Then we heard that Vision Microsystems has a new product, the VM-1000C FX which can be hooked up directly to the AeroSance Fadec! Case closed. So all in all, this is version 1 of our concept. Version 2 will be in the next entry. Next week we'll make a final decision.
|2005-12-29||Exhaust mounting brackets||Aart constructed the exhaust mounting brackets. Nice, compact system. Dan C. complained that they broke in 500 hours, but I guess we will not bother canging them around that time ;-)
One point we forgot however: you'll have to rivets in the lower edge of the firewall BEFORE you hang these guys! We'll have to loosen them again and bend the exhausts stacks out of the way to do this.
|2005-12-29||Fitting the cowling halves||The process of fitting together two roughly shaped clamshells looks difficult, and it is! Take it systematically and slowly. Also: make THE Tool you need. Glue strips of 3M Sandblaster on a wooden plank of about 1 meter. Do not try to make the cowl fit with files or shorter sanding blocks.
First you need at least one part that is straight. I chose for the upper cowl, because you can lay this one flat on the workbench. Now look carefully where it touches and sand away thes high spots until the cowl lies completely flat, including the "nostrils" around the spinner. Clean the inside of these nostrils with a dremel.
The next point is to make the front fit as best as possible. Place both cowls on the plane and note with a sharpie what amount they overlap at the back. Now place the cowl on the ground, as in the pic, and clamp them with Cleco-clamps in their relative position. Also clamp up front as best as you can and level the front surface. Now you'll have to remove material with your sanding plank on the front sides, until the nostrils in the middle fit nicely and that the spinner surface is round (same height and width. Do not bother too much with the sides and do not take away too much there, just enough to help the fit the front. Lower cowl goes OVER the upper cowl. Now place the whole contraption on the plane and adjust it until you are satisfied. Tape in place and drill two #40 holes through the nostrils.
|2005-12-30||Fitting the lower cowl, lower edge||The next step is to fit the lower edge. You'll have to remove the hinges if they are still attached with clecoes to mount the lower cowl. With the 2 inch reference line and with a light INside the translucent cowl it is easy to mark the trim line. Remove and trim away: grinder, powersander and the famous sand-plank for the last bit. I chose to leave the fairing for the exhaust standing for the moment.
In the same process I removed the exess material from the upper and aft edges of the lower cowl, leaving about 5mm standing. If the lower edge is fixated, I'll trim these edges carefully away using the sand-plank.
Now I am sure that these spacers are needed I can rivet in the lower hinges. Now this is funny: there is absolutely no room for a normal squeezer in this area! I read stories of people who remove their engine and -mount, just for these hinges! NO WAY! Instead I modified a no hole squeezer yoke by taping on a small piece of hardened steel to get around the hinge. It worked, safe for one position. Do not tell around but I'll use a blindrivet for that........
|2005-12-30||Panel concept #2||And here is the other concept, based on two EFIS Sports.
Nicer and larger displays, with detailed moving maps.
Is all this sexyness worth 4000 dolares? We'll find out.......
|2005-12-31||Work of A(a)rt||Aart has been working on the empennage fairing now off and on and it starts coming towards its final stage of perfection. Not only the least possible amounts of screws, also a very smoomth transition from top fairing to under/side fairings. You are most welcome to see it from 10 inches one day, hopefully at Sun&Fun ;-)|
|2005-12-31||Preparation for spraypainting the interior||I had the unthankful task today to vacuumclean the fuselage once more, to de-grease all surfaces and to cover everything that shall not be coated in designer-dark-grey.
Ivo will be coming over next wednesday to do his thing: painting the interior..........
AND: the first American to give me a full translation of the paper's headlines gets free beer next time we meet at S&F or Osh!
|2005-12-31||Panel update||When I was in the workshop today I had a feeling that something was wrong. And indeed: the EFIS sport is too long to fit neatly in the bay behind the instrument panel. I had accepted the fact that I will have to find an other construction for mounting the panel and to remove the standard rib, BUT to remove parts of the rib below the canopy hinge would be something else....
So I put more of the airframe in SolidWorks and luckily it turned out ok for the DuoSport concept. We just have to make square holes in the bulkhead behind the panel, next to the rib. The TrioLite concept is less deep but we will have to find connectors no deeper than say 40mm......
Furthermore I forgot to enter the cabin heat and the alternate air in the last concept, so here is an update in version 2.
|2006-01-04||Painting the interior||Ivo, a collegue of Aart and professional painter (amongs others) came over to spraypaint the interior. We heated the fuselage with the heaters we had from our adventures in the greenhouse. At first a layer of Akzo two-component primer was applied. After letting this dry Ivo applied two layers of dark-grey two-component paint. In between he corrected small irregularities with very fine wet sandpaper. The result is a very nice coating. Today a hard transparent toplayer will be added to protect the colour in sensible areas.
|2006-01-05||Fitting the lower cowl||Tonight we finished the fitting of the lower cowl. At first the cowl was attached to the upper cowl with the two clecoes up front. Atfter that the fit on the lower edge was trimmed, always with the sandpaper-on-plank tool. After that the sides were very carefully trimmed, always monitoring the fit at the front nostrils and the height above the spinner backplate. When the fit was almost perfect, a cleco was applied in the lower section of the side hinges and the 4 other holes in the nostrils were matchdrilled and clecoed. The last trimming steps were done with the cowling in place, just bending away the cowling sides, just by making very easy strokes with the sanding-plank. When the sides fitted perfectly a second cleco was applied to fixate the position of the aft edge.
In the last step the upper edges were very carefully removed to a perfect fit. An useful aid in this proces was a light wich was held in the inside of the cowling to see the amount of local overlap.
All in all we are very pleased with the fit. The cowling still needs some touch-ups with glass and epoxy at the nostrils, but the fit along the edges is very good!
|2006-01-06||Wing tip ribs||Wing tip ribs|
|2006-01-09||Cowl hinges||With the cowl halves trimmed, the next step is drilling and mounting the hinges. I started with the side aft hinges, making a pattern with 1 inch intervals. In the photo you can see the benefits of having a light inside the cowling. After cleco-ing the lower cowl I removed the top cowl and made the horizontal hinges. The plans say to start about 2 3/4 inch from the front. If you end the lower half of the hinge without a tab at the firewall side it will be easier to remove the vertical hingepins. Try it and you'll understand what I mean.|
|2006-01-12||Hinge beween the cowl halves||At first I clamped the hinges in place in the lower cowl, making sure that it came a bit up at the end. The plans say that this will help taking the cowls apart. After that the usual drilling and clecoing. Then I replaced the upper cowl and secured the position with tape. I put a light in the cowl to see somthing and marked a pattern. Then drilling, giving as much backpressure from behind as possible without drilling in my fingers.|
|2006-01-12||Baffle front deck fitting||With the lower cowl in place it was time to fit the baffles. I started on the right front deck, by trimming away a lot of exess material. Then I guessed where the bend line was and made a estimated bend. Nope, not good. I had to exaggarate the upper bend and play with the lower bend to get a reasonable result. When you get near the end result you learn that the lower bend better had been in another position (with the lowest corner closer to the cowl). In the process the part was deformed beyond recognition but reshaped as good as possible. The gap is even, though a little bit large, but can be filled with the rubber strip. Than over to the left one. The bend here is slightly easier but can't be in the surface because the Filtered Airbox intake must be in this baffle. Then I came on the brilliant idea to fit this AirBox and found out that there is almost no room for it in the baffle, the way that I trimmed it! Dang! So: in hindsight I guess that I should have trimmed the inside edges of the cowl air intakes, in order to make the baffle floors larger, to get more playing room for the AirBox intake. To be sure I posted a note on the Yahoo group today. In the mean time I've ordered new baffle floors at Van's.......... And there are people out there who complain about the canopy!|
|2006-01-12||Sneak preview||Just to give you an impression of the combination of Ivo's paint job and the interior panels....|
|2006-01-16||Trimming the cowl, throwing away the baffles..||After some serious study I came to the conclusion that I'd have to trim the edge of the cowl air inlet to make space for the filtered airbox. Part of the conclusion was that I'd have to order new front decks. Duh! Well, look before you leap, sadder and wiser, etcetera........
So tonight I fitted the air filter, too some measurements, drew some lines with the spinner plate as a reference plane and started cutting with the Dremel and sanding with the sanding block. In hindsight it's obvious you'll have to trim this edge: it is very irregular and there is a difference between left and right. Did I miss something somewhere in the drawings or description?
|2006-01-19||Installing the fuel system||Since the interior is now painted we can install all kinds of systems for real! Tonight the whole fuel system, including all fuellines, was installed.|
|2006-01-19||Mounted the rollbar||Tonight we mounted the rollbar for real. Instead of the tapped holes we used 10R10 screws in all positions, four per side. Positioning the rings and screws is rather difficult and goes a lot better with two people. Some rivets have to be pounded next time.|
|2006-01-19||Front deck baffles||Today the new front deck baffles arrived and I started again on this tedious mission. First I finished trimming the cowl inlets and leveled the upper and lower cowl with each other. After that it was baffle trimming again, but I could used the old baffles now as a template, together with some stiff paper. After some careful trimming and bending the left baffle looks like it is goin to accomodate the air filter and fit with the cowl inlet. Still a small edge has to be removed, I think that I am going to remove this from the cowling to make a little bit more room for the front edge of the baffle: a large hole has to be made for the air intake and I want to leave as much front edge as possible for rigidity.|
|2006-01-23||Assembling and mounting the rudder pedals||Tonight I did not feel like baffling (but then again: who does ever...), so I treated myself to some rewarding Meccano-work. I assembled the rudder pedals and mounted them. I made myself a little tool from thin scrap plastic for inserting washers in tight spaces. Very handy. I think we'll use these guys more often the coming months.
First time I had to work with cotter pins: goes ok once you get the hang of it. For final assembly of the brake hoses I used hydraulic thread sealant from Loctite.
|2006-01-26||Stiffener for the wing tip||Harm glassed in some light foam ribs in the wingtips. The trick is to cut them through, glass them again and let it cure whilst mounted on the wing's end. In that way it follows the shape of the wing perfectly, without internal tension which deforms the tips again.|
|2006-01-26||Interior design||Because of the visit of the Lowland RV-ators we dolled up the interior. Here you can see what it is going to be like. After the picture all loose components were tucked in again until the final stages of the project.
You can also see a 1:1 mock up print of our panel.
|2006-01-26||Left front deck baffle||Back to the baffling business! I started by trimming still some milimeters from the cowling intakes and sanding the two halves flush with each other. Now the front deck fits perfectly and has enough room for the air filter. Because of this filter it is not practical to make a sharp bend in the deck so I twisted it just a little bit to allign the front edge with the cowling while having a nice concave shape that the rubber of the airfilter can follow.
After that it was making the front bracket. I was afraid that I would have to construct this from the piece and som stock angle, but I would have one try first at bending it.I measured it out carefully and used a high-tech method to bend it: Pim's muscles, a vise and the largest hammer I could find. It worked out perfectly. That matchdrilling with the deck so the crankcase was fixated. After that I checked the width of the Snorkel, decided not to take anything away from the decks outer edge. I drilled and clecoed a stock angle, adjusted the exact height and drilled the angle to the side baffle. Next stop: the right front baffle.
|2006-01-28||Right front deck baffle||This afternoon I trimmed and fitted the right front deck baffle. Helped by my template (the messed up original....) and my experiences so far I nicely trimmed and bend this gizmo. Important is to make the second bow-line (the one that goes up) exactly from the lowest point on the right. In that way the bends are much more controlable. I also made the bend in the right-front side baffle and the little angle stock that connects them. According to Pim these are probably the most beautiful front deck baffles east of Oshkosh......|
|2006-01-28||New home for the shims||This afternoon I had some help from Danielle. She's from Australia and a fashion designer with a speciality in Gothic clothing and corsets. Since we do not use the cowling shims (like no-one, it seems) I gave them to her. She promised to include them in one of her next creations. I'll post a picture of it when it is ready!|
|2006-02-01||Center baffles||The most rediculous parts of the whole baffle adventure are the center front baffles. I just went carefully, took dimensions, fitted and grinded away with the Dremel and the belt sander. And this again and again. I had made previously the small cornerpieces and now I had to bend them into the right angles. First I drilled the outer cornerpieces to the baffles. Then I held the baffles in place and had Aart drill the cornerpieces to the front decks. After fixating them in this way I drilled the inner angles. The last step was fitting the bracket which goes on the crankcase. Remove the bolt and insert some washers to get enough clearance between bracket and crankcase. Then matchdrill the bracket against the two center baffles.
Ok, all baffles are in place now, next step is trimming them to the top cowl.
|2006-02-04||Canopy latch installed||We powdercoated all canopy latch parts in RAL 9006 (silver). Pim installed the thing today. Great that more and more sub-systems are installed for real now!
|2006-02-04||The flap motor is mounted||Pim mounted the flap motor assembly. First he had to drill the very tiny hole for the safetywire. For all parts that may have to be removed we replaced the normal screws with stainless steel Torx screws. The combination 8R8 screw with a platenut can be quite frustrating when you have to remove it, ask how I know ;-) The only place where we could find the Torx fasteners was at www.microfasteners.com.|
|2006-02-05||Trimming of the baffle tops||This is a task that seems easier then it is: because of the irregularities in the cowling and the baffles and the flexibility in the top cowl you'll have to proceed slowly and carefully. I started by trimming the absolute tops of the baffles so that the tops would be allmost equal. Then I applied some plasticine clay I stole from my little boy and pressed on the cowl. Than, by subtracting the local distance between top and bottom cowl, I drew a line on the baffles. Removed the baffles and trimmed them with snips and the belt sander. After that I replaced the baffles, put on the top cowl and tweaked the fit by removing material in some places. On the last picture it is allmost perfect. Next step is to remove an equal amount of material to dreate a gap to be filled with the rubber flange again.
Geez, the amount of material you remove from these baffles is enough to build a complete Sonex!
|2006-02-05||Mounting the electric aileron trim||Pim mounted the electric aileron trim. You see clearly why it is wise to do this first, before mounting the Stick-assembly! He made a template to get the correct hole pattern. Make sure that the trim servo is in the mid position (using a 9V battery) to determine the correct servo position.|
|2006-02-12||Mounted the air inlet ramps||On the top side of the cowling you'll have to mount the air intake ramps. When you position them you'll have to make sure that the baffles will touch them. So I drew lines with the top cowl mounted and positioned the intake ramp after some edge trimming. Just drill and cleco, also through the top of the cowl. Later on these ramps will be glassed in and shaped smoothly. The big deal in these parts is (of course) in trimming the baffles.....|
|2006-02-12||Trimming the side baffles for the intake ramp||I trimmed all baffles to the cowl, but when you think there is light at the end of the tunnel, you have to trim the sides to the inlet ramps... Same procedure, just a lot of placing-and-removing the top cowl and just a lot trimming away, first with the snips, later with the Vixen file and the Dremel. Ok, that is done. The next step should be trimming ALL top edges down with another 3/8 inch (10mm), to get the proper clearence with the cowl. Somehow I just did not feel like it and decided to do something fun, like fitting the air intake. Wrong!|
|2006-02-12||Snorkel fitting frustrations||This is probably the worst component Van's sells. The quality is crap and the fitting is worse. Van's developed this sucker for the 200HP engine and sells it happily to every idiot who builds an IO-something in his plane...
After I trimmed the interface with the engine air to something which is actually starting to look round I tried to trim the interface with the airfilter and the baffle. In the frustrating end it appeared that it just is not possible to get the small end to fit the engine properly AND to get the air filter side to fit properly inside the baffle AND to get enough clearance with the starter. I managed 1 and 2! The only solution to this checkmate situation is to reshape this multi-100-dollar piece of crap.
I'll think this week what the best solution is in my case....
|2006-02-15||Trimmed and fitted the FAB||I came to the conclusion that the only good solution to the fitting problem was to cut the Snorkel in half. I used a saw for this to get a more or less straight line and I made the cut in the horizontal section of the snorkel. After this the manifold end was placed and clamped in a perfect position: the circle well centered and with enough clearance to the starter and the altenator. Then the other end was placed, including the air filter in its desired position and it I determined how much of the cutting plane had to be removed. Actually, surprisingly little! I sanded about 4mm from the top of the cutting plane and some 2mm from the back, using the sanding block. After that it looked like there could be made a rather nice junction. Next step was to make the outside mounting brackets, 2 pieces of stock angle, one to be rivetted against the side baffle and one to the snorkel itself. Using these the top half of the snorkel was brought in position and fixated by a piece of tape to hold the undersides against each other.
Last step (after sanding and cleaning with MEK) was to make a "bandage" across the joint with glass and epoxy. Next time, when this epoxy is cured I'll reinforce the joint and smooth the inside of the snorkel. Note that I protected the starter with tape.
While I was working on this I thought aboout moving the air filter more to the inside, and moving the side baffle more to the inside as well, to get a more "natural" fit between baffle and cowling. I was afraid however that to do this I'd have to remove so much of the Snorkel's cutting edge that the new fit between the two halves would be too difficult.
|2006-02-15||Oil door hinge||After succesfully taming my FAB-frustration I wanted to treat myself to a nice little job: making a hinge for the oil door. I used Dave Parson's method http://www.dualrudder.com/rv7/
Just some scrap hinge, .040 aluminium and a vise. First I made a 90 degree bend, then I used a part of our C-frame as a template to fold the hinge around.
|2006-02-17||Wiring: Tray for main-, endurance- and battery bus||Started with the wiring project at last......
As a couple of other guys have done (see the sites of Mark Taylor and Andy Karmy)I decided shamelessly copy their idea and build myself a nice tray for the main-, endurance-and battery bus and the diode between the main- and endurance bus. I also chose to mount both Fadec busses in this same area as well as both voltage regulators. A lot of wires will go in there so I'll have to take care to keep it all clear. Time will tell..........
|2006-02-17||Feedback from Aerosance and Vision Microsystems on RS232 and RS422 issues||The serial bus conroller from Aerosance has a RS422 output. Some engine monitors need a RS232 input. This is what Aerosance and Vision Microsystems have to say on the subject.....
Aerosance (Steve Smith and Jabe Luttrell):
Received your inquiry regarding SBC.
You ordered an SBC to interface with the Blue Mountain EFIS One. We delivered it with your engine along with the cable assembly. That unit will work with the Blue Mountain EFIS (which you advised was your display) without a converter on the RS422 line. (Incidentally, all the display companies were given our spec requiring an RS422 input from our SBC. They chose not to implement it in favor of outmoded RS232). Use the output from the SBC for the display labelled MFD #1. You must connect only one wire, either A or B of the 422 line to the receiver on the Blue Mountain EFIS. Try one then the other to see which works best. Page 77 of the Blue Mountain EFIS one system installation manual lists pin 2 of Port A as the input for this wire. Run a ground wire (pin 17 on our SBC connector is a signal ground pin labelled RS232 COM) to the EFIS Port A pin 5.
We have several customers that use this display in just the way I described. We've tested this configuration here several times and validated it works. As an alternate you can buy an RS422 to RS232 Converter. The internet is loaded with companies that sell a device like this but as I said the Blue Mountain unit works well without it so give that a try before you spend money on a converter. Here's a sample of some of the sites I got from one search retuning over 2600 hits: http://microboticsinc.com/rs232_rs422.html
Another alternate is return your SBC and, for a fee, we will convert the RS422 to 232 internal to the SBC.
However, if you decide to change to VM1000FX then the SBC card is built into the VM DPU box and you don't need another SBC. There will be a restocking fee but we can take your unit back. Keep the wire harness for use with the VM1000FX. There is no converter required and no additional wiring.
If you decide to go with the VM1000C then keep both your SBC and harness as you will need it. The harness plugs into the SBC and the MFD #1 output goes to the VisionMicro unit. Check with VisionMicro on wiring to their unit.
Please let me know if this answers your questions. As you can see there are many options. That's why we try to get the information on what display the customer will select ahead of time.
Vision Microsystems (Lance):
Jabe is correct. Our input is designed for RS232 standards. We have succesfully connected to the RS422 output of our own SBC test unit, but an external diode is required. If he can provide you with a RS232 out, this would be the cleanest and most reliable path.
|2006-02-17||Wiring: Tray for main-, endurance- and battery bus||Started with the wiring project at last......
As a couple of other guys have done (see the sites of Mark Taylor and Andy Karmy)I decided shamelessly copy their idea and build myself a nice tray for the main-, endurance-and battery bus and the diode between the main- and endurance bus. I also chose to mount both Fadec busses in this same area as well as both voltage regulators. A lot of wires will go in there so I'll have to take care to keep it all clear. Time will tell..........
|2006-02-18||Wiring: Blue Mountain Autopilot controller||Seemed a logical position for the Blue Mountain AP controller.
I'll mount the conroller for the AoA indicator on the other side of this rib. Photo's to follow..........
|2006-02-18||Wiring: Blue Mountain Autopilot controller||Seemed a logical position for the Blue Mountain AP controller.
I'll mount the conroller for the AoA indicator on the other side of this rib. Photo's to follow..........
|2006-02-23||Trimming and glassing the snorkel||The epoxy around the Snorkel cuttig had cured nicely. Tonight I trimmed the engine part of the snorkel to a decent shap. While mounted on the engine, draw a line around it and drill the holes, using the angled air drill.
After that I layed up the bandage around the cutting up to three layers. Finally I glassed the mounting bracket and fixated it with rivets. I'm glad I do not build a complete plane from composites.....
|2006-02-23||Final (?) marking of the baffle tops||With the baffle tops now brushing the inside of the cowl I applied the plasticine clay and pressed down the cowling on both sides. After that I took a shrp knife and cut along the baffles. In this way you can clearly see how much room there is left between cowl and baffle top. After that I took a caliper and measured 10mm (3/8 inch) back. I'll draw a fluent trimline through these points when I get back from skiing in the French Alps.|
|2006-02-23||Putting the sticks together||Pim put the sticks together for the last time. As you can see we removed Van's light grey powdercoat by grit-blasting and replaced it with a silver (RAL9006) powdercoating. (Is this becoming freaky?).
Furthermore you see the attach point for the electric aileron trim.
|2006-03-05||Airbox bracket||Made the right side bracket for the filtered airbox. Since I had actually trimmed too much away from the top of the snorkel in the first steps of this sub-project, I had to bring the bracket in the coreect position and fill in the space between bracket and snorkel with epoxy and microballoons. I also smoothed most of the edges on the inside with this paste to get as smooth an airflow as possible.|
|2006-03-05||Final (duh) baffle trimming||I trimmed the top edge of the baffles down to the marks I had drawn on them the last time. Nothing intelligent, just a lot of elbow grease..........|
|2006-03-05||Wiring: lots of black boxes.........||A lot of "black boxes" have to find a place.......
- Angle of Attack
- Fadec Serial Bus Control
- Fadec Health Status Annunciator
The Blue Mountain AP controller is shown in a previous entry.
|2006-03-06||Wiring: lots of wires, lots of holes||As noted before, a lot od wires will end up at the tray whre I mounted the busses. I had to make some holes for wires to go through the bulkhead. Perhaps a little overkill on size and amount of holes, but better safe now than sorry later........ I'll get some special U-profile along the edges of the holes later this week.|
|2006-03-09||Wiring the sticks||We decided upon Ray Allan stickgrips with double electric trim buttons and two toggles, one for Autopilot disengage and one for Smoke(!). We could not find a sticker for THIS item in the kit....... Pim soldered all flimsy wires in the stick.|
|2006-03-09||Wiring holes||We applied a protective edge to the holes in the front cockpit bulkheads. Looks professional doesn't it?|
|2006-03-09||Hole for the FAB||Carefully now.... If I make this hole wrong I can start all over with this pieces of sh.. I mean baffle!
So I took measures, re-checked and cut the hole with the Dremel and a mini disc cutter. Trimmed the edges with a file and ScotchBrite and voila: this front baffle is nearing its completion.
|2006-03-09||Assembling the baffles||WIth the large holes in the front decks it is time to assemble the brackets. I chose to dimple/countersink the holes, just because I think it looks better. It also minimises the disruption of the airflow so I'll gain several knots ;-)
Think about the order in which you squeeze the rivets to minimize the amount of rivets you'll have to buck.
|2006-03-16||Cabin heat air intake||Before rivetting together the baffles I wanted to make the air intake for the cabin heat. Aart robbed a machine from his work from a very sexy filter and I went to work cutting it. Furthermore nothing spectacular, just marking the hole and cutting it out with the Dremel (cutting wheel, small router and small sanding disk). Looks neat doesn't it?|
|2006-03-16||Putting the right baffle together||After making the cabin heat air intake, I rivetted the right baffle together. Mind the order in which you attach parts to squeeze as much as possible. Aart and I bucketed the last rivets. I decided to use AN426 rivets for everything, mostly for aesthetic reasons but also because they are easier to rivet with the gun.|
|2006-03-16||Alternate air inlet||I had a MAJOR frustration last week: I noticed on Dave's site http://www.dualrudder.com/rv7/ that he did not have any problem at all with his FAB and that it fitted perfectly! Very strange.... What gave it away was him mentioning the very good manual: this had to be ANOTHER version of the snorkel! It became clear that Vans's has developed a snorkel of far better quality which actually FITS an IO360 engine. Amazing!
So I keep on taming the last of the Craphicans, by making the bypass door. Actually not very difficult: just follow the instructions. The bending and crimping of the stop-gap looked difficult but was easily done with a vise. Last thing I did was filling the gap with a load of EpoxyPhlox. I hope this will cure as it is rather cold in our workshop at the moment, I think something like 5 Celsius.
|2006-03-17||Wiring strobes and position lights||Started pulling some wires to the back, being:
- PWR and GND to the position light. 18 awg
- Strobe light, wire as supplied by Creativ Air
- Trim (Ray Allen cable, 5 wires)
You can see the wiring before and after putting all these wires in a nice braided sleeve. takes a little extra work but gives a much more professional result than using tie raps.
|2006-03-18||Ray Allen servo wiring||This shows how I did the wiring for the elevator trim servo|
|2006-03-19||Finished the alternate air inlet||After some marginal Cub-flying (3 circuits at 400 ft with 2000m visibility, I had some time left to finish the alternate air intake. Just a lot of sanding and inserting some blind rivets. Geez, I don't think I'll ever make a composite plane...........|
|2006-03-19||Servo wiring 2||This is what we did in connecting the wiring. We used machined D-sub pins and sockets, crimping them on the wires with a tool I bought at B&C (RCT-3 d-Sub machined pins crimp tool). This is expensive but fail safe and saves alot of hassle with soldering. After connecting the two parts, we will cover each connection with a bit of heatshrink.|
|2006-03-25||Cowl hinge cover plates||For covering the the cowl hinges I'm gonna use Walter Tondu's method (http://www.rv7-a.com), and the first step was to make some base-material from which I could make the coverplates and the substructures. You see the design sketch ;-). I used some glad-pack-like material to cover the cowl and then applied six layers of glass cloth and epoxy. This way the base material will have the right curves to fit the cowling. When it's cured I'll cut this to the right size and repeat this to make the substructure.|
|2006-03-28||Fadec cabin harness||Some photo's of cabin side and engine side of the Fadec cabin harness. I'll be working on the routing of the harness itself later this week......|
|2006-03-28||Hinge cover plates and backplates||Tonight I trimmed the first pieces of hardenened epoxy-and-glass to roughly circular cover plates and layed up the second patch which will be the backplate for the covers, inside the cowl. I tried to get to the smallest size possible with still enough room for the hinges and the two platenuts to secure the covers. It came out at 1 3/4 inch.|
|2006-03-31||The seats are here||Classic Aero designs made our seats, complete with the embroidery of our logo.
Thanks a lot, guys!
|2006-03-31||Cowl hinge cover||Today I made the backplate for the cover and the holes in the cowling. After fitting and rivetting the backplates in I trimmed the covers to a perfect fit. I'm not satisfied with the height of the covers yet so I'll lay up two layers of glass on them.|
|2006-04-03||Cowl hinge covers||This is starting to get a project in its own right! Well, I think it is worth it as this detail is quite visible, and of course because I love working with epoxy! yeah sure...
Tonight I prepped and
|2006-04-05||Strobe wiring||Finished wiring the AVI pack strobes. Looks neat doesn\'t it!|
|2006-04-06||Strobe wires||Strobe wires to both wings|
|2006-04-06||Cowl hinge covers||Sanded the covers flush with the cowling. Made the slots for the pins with a small file.|
|2006-04-13||Cowl hinges||I mounted the cowl hinges tonight. First I drilled some bleed holes in the hinge. After the countersinking of the cowling and the deburring of some 250 holes (on two sides!) I roughened the surface of cowl and hinge and cleaned with MEK. I made a paste of epoxy and flox and painted the hinge with it. After that it was clecoing the hinges on and rivetting them on, using 3-4 rivets and a hand squeezer. Finally I epoxied the hinge in from the other side to make sure it will not come off. Be careful that the epoxy does not get into spaces where the other side of the hinge should go.|
|2006-04-14||Visitor from the USA||Lars Pederson from California visited us tonight. He has a wife from Holland (good taste!) and was on a family visit nearby. He just received his RV-7 QB kit and came to see our project and the RV-7a from Aad Proost to see what would be his future....
Meanwhile he made us very jealous with stories about hunderds of airfields just 2 miles from his house, buying aircraft parts at the Shopping Mall, 11 RV builders in his own street etc....! You Americans are priveleged (but we have better beer...)!
|2006-04-16||Best fitting oilhatch east of Oshkosh||I had been contemplating for a while how to fit the oil filler hatch since this detail on the cowl was molded very shallow and unsharp: just putting it on would have resulted in a bad fitting hatch protruding above the surface of the cowl. I thought of sharpening the recess with a handrouter or a file, but this was way to complicated. Another idea was cutting away the recess and inserting a new backplate in aluminium but then I would have to cut in the core material and I did not like that. So here\'s what I did: I made the hatch slightly smaller with rounded corners and deepened the recess with sandpaper until the recess was as deep as the thickness of the hatch (check with a ruler). Then I pinned down the hatch with 2 clecoes and, after rubbing in the edges of the hatch with a silicone release agent, applied filler. Sanded and repeated until the surface was perfectly flush.|
|2006-04-17||Cowling halves fitting||I optimized the fitting of the two cowling halves today with filler and sanding. The inside of the nostrils is still a problem however so I layed up some glass and epoxy there to get some \"meat\" to shape these details towards each other. Maybe I\'m going a bit too far on this subject, look at the fitting of the oil hatch.......|
|2006-04-19||Oil hatch hinge||Tonight I mounted the oil hatch. I taped the hatch itself to the cowl and positioned the hinge. I had to insert a shim to get it perfectly level. After that I drilled the holes and tried the functioning. It did not work because I had placed the hinge too far of the edge. DUH! So I just filed the holes and driled new ones, this time it worked perfectly. After that I countersunk the cowl and the hatch for AN426-3 rivets, sanded and MEK\'ed and rivetted the hinge parts in while applying some epoxy. Believe me: this hatch has NO drag!|
|2006-04-24||Shaped the cowl air intakes||As you know the cowl is the worst fitting part in the whole kit, and this is especially true for the outsides of the air intakes. The epoxy is very thin there and curves in all directions exept towrds each other. So here\'s what I did. I laid up six layers of glass and epoxy on the inside of the cowl, generously covering the problem area. After this was cured I applied epoxy-and-flox to get a lot of material in that area. After this had cured I trimmed down the total blob of material to the horizontal parting plane between the cowl halves. This is very painstakingly, believe me. After doing this the parting line was still not perfect so I leveled the faces on the top half and covered this with gladpack. Than I applied epoxy filler to the underside and put the halves together. After curing I trimmed the total area, now having enough meterial to work with. The result is very good AND it gives enough mass and regidity in this area, so it is much more stable.|
|2006-04-27||Nosejob||Tonight I more or less finished the shaping of the cowl air intakes. The last bit was the match-shaping of the mid section, behind the prop. I covered the inside of the top cowling with tape and applied epoxy-filler on the bottom half and put them together. After curing I sanded the excess filler off and shaped the whole area in form. After that I seperated the halves and made a little fillet on all sharp edges. I think I\'m finally beginning to be a bit happier with this piece of plastic........... ;-)|
|2006-04-27||Trimming the aft canopy||Pim trimmed the aft canopy half until it matched with the front half and marked the aft edge with tape. After that he measured out a 20mm edge distance and trimmed the edge to an even contour, with our trusted friend the portable belt sander (coarse sandpaper first, polish with waterproof. Next step is to prepare this part for glueing it in. Pim is developing a doomsday device to hold the canopy in place while the glue is curing.......|
|2006-05-03||Wiring the busses||Wiring to the main bus and battery bus. More info and better pics later...........|
|2006-05-04||Vision Microsystems Amp sensor mounting||Vision microsystems delivered this amp sensor. I chose to mount it on the cockpit side of the firewall, in the wire leading to the main buss.|
|2006-05-06||Baffle bridge||To make the rear right baffles in one piece and in order to avoid a difficult piece of patchwork, I made a small boxy bridge out of stock sheet. First I made a paper template and transfered this to the alu sheet. After some shaping and filing I had to drill out the upper row of rivets of the oilcooler and drilled some new ones next to it and on the sides of the box. Then I rivetted it in.|
|2006-05-10||Fittings on fuel pump-1||An interesting issue on the fuel pump is that one has to use an angled fitting on the intake side of the pump. A straight fitting can't be used because the governor casing will prevent the fule line to be installed. All said and done, I ordered this fitting and then discovered that this same bit of casing even prevented the fitting to be screwed into place. I had to unscrew the governor casing befor being able to install the fitting......|
|2006-05-10||Wiring the Fadec busses||Wired the power to both Fadec busses. Fadec A is powered through the Main bus, Fadec B through the Essential bus.|
|2006-05-12||Fittings on fuel pump-2||Output fiitings. One going upwards toward the fuelinjector on top of the engine. The other a fitting with restrictor for the fuel pressure line. The third being the overflow tubing.
Will be measuring and ordering all lines next week!
|2006-05-14||Cowl hinges||After some final fitting and trimming I sanded and cleaned all mating surfaces of the hinges and the intakes and painted them with a mixture of epoxy and chopped fiber. Then Pim and I rivetted them in place, using CS-4 blind rivets for the intake ramp and hand-squeezed AN426 3-4 rivets for the hinges. After rivetting I applied the spare epoxy in and over the bleed holes to make sure the hinges are totally epoxied in. I've read a lot of stories about loose hinges due to vibrations so I hope this will do the trick.|
|2006-05-19||Air intake ramps||I made two gap seals from PU foam to insert in the gap on the inside to prevent compressed air to flow underneath the air intake ramps. Next time they will be glassed in. Furthermore I applied some microballoons for streamlining the airflow. I'm sure this will buy me at least 5Mph!|
|2006-05-19||Baffle seals ArfArf||I tried to make these seals as much in one piece as possible. I took one inch below the top edge of the baffles and 1.5 inch above the top edge. This should be enough according to some gurus on the forums. I made a template from cardboard and transfered this to the rubber provided by Van's. It only just fitted! Marking went best with a LumoColor permanent marker, cutting with a pair of scissors, industrial grade.|
|2006-05-24||Baffle seals drilling||I made a hole pattern on the baffles and drilled about 80 holes in perfect, painstakingly crafted baffles........ scary stuff.
After that I clamped the seals in place and matchdrilled the holes into the rubber. This goes best if you support the seal with a piece of wood.
|2006-05-24||Glassed in the ramp seals||I glassed in the ramp seals I made from Polyuethane foam, just two layers. After it had cured I smoothed the surface with epoxy and microballoons.|
|2006-05-25||Finishing (yeah sure) the baffles||Tonight I did the final trimmings for the baffles, just some sanding away on stategic places to give a little bit more clearance between alumnium and cowling and to improve the mounting and removal of these suckers. I also made holes in the seals with a tool we use at home for belts etc. Goes pretty well. Aart has bought some very expensive fasteners from Spruce to mount the seals in a esthetical ans removable way. The only thing with these critters is that they are made to clamp material of about 5.2mm thickness while seal and baffle material are about 2.7mm thick! We thought about adding a strip or rings but these solutions should be 2.5mm (0.1 inch) thick to have some effect. So I made a little tool (screw #8 with locking nut halfway on, in a visegrip) and Aart sanded 2.5mm off the female side of the fastener. Yes, all 90 of them.....
I guess I'm mistaken, but as far as I can see the only thing I'll have to do bafflewise is making the holes for the fuel line the ignition cables and the Fadec harness! After this we'll have it powdercoated and start mounting this SOB for real!
|2006-05-26||Loose ends||Today we picked up some loose ends in the front fuselage section. First we did teh last structural rivets in the font deck frame. You'll need a long offset nose on your rivet gun for this. Some place required backrivetting like the two outward AN426 rivets next to the hinge. Normally these rivets are impossible to reach. Solution: just bend the tabs on the bulkhead away, backrivet from the outside (bucking bar on the inside) and bend the tabs back in place. Easy! After that we mounted the tank brackets. The nuts and boltheads on the inside are allmost impossible to reach and to hold because of a flange and some interfering rivets.|
|2006-06-01||Upper intersection fairings||We bought the fairings from Bob Snedeker (www.fairings-etc.com). Good stuff, but you'll have to improve the fitting a bit if you are aiming for Oshkosh quality ;-). In the first picture you see the gap I had when I started. I decided upon two positions for a screw and platenut (underside of course), drilled the aft hole #40, clecoed, forged the front end in position, drilled the second hole (in the cowl) and clecoed. The I heated the fairing with a heat gun to make it settle without tension, let it cool and Presto! For the final touch I treated the fuselage and the cowl with release agent, sanded and MEKked the fairing and applied filler along the edge of the fairing. Slip into place, fasten the clecoes and let it cure. Perfect! I wanted to start on the fitting to the leg but was called away to fill in for a collegue on a presentation of my company.|
|2006-06-03||Upper intersection fairings||This afternoon I applied the raw material for a flush transition from fairing to gear leg. I marked the edge of the fairing on the leg. Then I covered the gear leg with tape and applied some glass cloth with epoxy. After that I slipped the fairings in place and filled the transition with a mixture of epoxy and chopped glass fibers. After that I covered this region again with glass cloth.|
|2006-06-11||Upper intersection fairings||I trimmed and shaped the upper intersection fairings today. Just a lot of work.|
|2006-06-15||Final installation of the baffles||Tonight Aart brought the powdercoated baffles, they look great! Before I could mount them I had to torque and safety-pin the engine mount bolts. Whoever designed the position of these bolts on the crankcase deserves to be tickled to death! Applying the nuts is hard enough but inserting and safetying the cotter pins is rediculous!
Ok , in the end, and thanks to Aart's patience, we managed and the baffle could be installed. After that I mounted the primary fuel line, the upper ignition cables and the SW oil cooler. I had to grind away half of the washers for this, because the pattern Van's gives for the platenuts on the mounting brackets is actually too narrow.
|2006-06-16||Oil pressure line||Here is how the oil pressure line is mounted and where the transducer is installed. I'll post a photo of the other end later. The one I took was not clear enough.
|2006-06-16||Fadec busses repositioned||I decided to start on the Fadec cabin harness but was confronted with the interesting issue (was too stupid to notice this before...........) that one really has to install the Fadec busses and the ground bus close to each other as the harness wiring has been done is such a logical way that mounting the Fadec Busses far away from the gorund busses (as I had done)implies one has to lengthen the harness ground wires or install a separate Fadec ground bus close to the power busses. As this is not reliable enough for me, I chose to reposition the Fadec busses as shown here. Wasn't that much work but a pity nevertheless...........|
|2006-06-17||Fadec cabin harness issues!||Being busy with both the Fadec cabin and engine harness, I tested the interface between both at the firewall connector. I thought this was done earlier but to my dismay I noticed that on one of the harnesses a wrong connector was installed as there were no means to get them connected. A close inspection did reveal that pins and receptacles did not match!
A quick response from Aerosance followed. The cabin harness has been sent back today. This harness had been fitted with identical connectors instead of different ones........Let's see what happens when they return it. I almost gave Mark a call to see if he could send us his. :-)
Hopefully they will return it to us together with the SBC-250 and harness. Ours is purring nicely in Marks plane......
|2006-06-24||Cowling odds and ends||I also did some cowl details today. I enlarged the openings for the gear struts, to make mounting of the lower cowl easier and installed the platenuts (#8) for the upper intersection fairings.
I also sanded some patches I had filled up earlier: some large spots where the mould for the cowl had not been filled up with epoxy.
|2006-06-24||Upper intersection fairings||I did the final fit (perfect;-) and drilled/countersank the three holes un the underside for mounting the fairings (with screws #8). I also sawed off the upper front corners of the gear leg fairing. This makes it easier to remove the lower cowl. And it saves a lot of weight of course ;-)|
|2006-06-25||Mounted the baffle seals||Today I mounted the baffle seals with the special screws we bought from Spruce. Quite labour-intensive. In hindsight I think I would have preferred the standard blind rivets.
I also mounted the air filter and the infamous snorkel to make the fit to the engine air intake. I rivetted 4 platenuts (for AN3 bolts) to the snorkel flanges. It turned out that I'll need AN3-6a bolts for the final installation and I only have 5a and 7a, so I must not forget putting these on the grocery list.
|2006-06-25||Trimming the snorkel||If you buy a snorkel now you are a happy guy (or girl). The old one that I have is such bad quality, you'll need tens of hours only to make it fit a bit. So today I tried to improve the flange that fits to the engine air intake. I put some clingfilm against the engine, put some poly-filler to the snorkelflange and installed the MF. When it had cured I trimmed and dressed this area to a smooth transition from snorkel to flange and to make the opening a bit more round and symmetric.|
|2006-06-30||Panel mock-up||To test the panel design and the location of the instruments and switches I build the panel in the CAD program SolidWorks. This generated a drawing file which could be cut in polystyrene with a CNC router at Aart's work. We can now test the positions, make improvements and start the wiring. The final panel will be made in the same way, but then using aluminium of course.|
|2006-07-06||Pinhole fill test||After sanding and shaping of various cowl details, I wanted to try my hand on some pinhole-filling. And, man, there sure are enough for everyone!
Harm provided some professional pinhole fill stuff. I mixed in some black dye to give a better contrast when sanding the cowls and this gave it a interesting "bronze-like" look. I used a small 4 inch roller to squeeze as much of the stuff into the pinholes. I'll let you know how this works. If it's ok I'll try to do a whole batch of epoxy things in one go.
|2006-07-06||Tail position light and strobes||Finished the wiring of the tail position light and strobes. No big deal but the exciting part was that it was the first system to be finished and tested. The strobe was OK too. We have the AVI pak installed and it did the job flawlessly, just a little difficult to get a photo of it while flashing... :-)
I do hope that all other systems go as smooth as this one.....
|2006-07-06||Elevator trim wiring||D sub pins had been crimped on the wires previously. I now applied a short lenght of heatshrink to each individual pin/wire to strenghten the connection between pin and wire. To achieve the required isolation and ensure a unseparable fit between male and female pin, I put a lenght of heatshrink over the connected pins. I will shrink this later when finally installing the assembly after everything has been painted. When you would want to dissamble the servo or elevator, you will have to cut off the outer heatshrink. The construction of all parts is such that it is impossible to use connectors.|
|2006-07-09||Pinhole wizard||Today I sanded the pinhole filler I applied to the top cowling thursday, using wet 180 sandpaper. The black dye I applied to the filler makes all details visible and prevents sanding too much away. Now the whole pinhole madness surfaces in it's full glory..... I can't believe this is normal: the parts we got from fairings etc. are much smoother. It is allmost if there was too little vacuum used during the filling of the tooling. Anyway, I went for a new strategy: I made about 160 grams of the filling stuff and squeezed it into the pinholes using a filler rubber. After that I rolled the surface with the paintroller, applying as much pressure as I could. I hope this will fill the pinholes as much as possible. I treated both upper and lower cowl this way.|
|2006-07-13||Intersection fairings||Finished the upper intersection fairings and primered them. The difference in surface quality between these (fairings etc.) parts and the cowlings are remarkable. I spend the rest of the evening sanding the upper cowl and applying another coat of pinhole filler. Not interesting enough for you to take pictures of, yet a load of work! (i'll never build that Velocity!)|
|2006-07-14||fairings ready for pinhole filling||As Ren|
|2006-07-14||Mockup panel||I made a mockup of our panel from some black polystyrene. It was routered in my company. It sure gives a good idea how everything will look like. We immediately realized that the switches were not positioned correctly. I will have a sub panel made next week and change the positions.|
|2006-07-15||Lower fairings ready for pinhole filling too||Lower fairings shown here. "Fairings Bob" has done a good job with these parts. Not too much work is necessary to get an awesome result. Just a few screws are necessary to ensure a gap-free installation. No major pinholes visible. Vans doesn't come close....|
|2006-07-20||Stick grips||We ordered the Ray Allen stick grips: one with the whole shabang of switches and one with a PTT. Pim had soldered them and I mounted them on the sticks. This involved some drilling and tapping to M3 (metric) for a small screw. I also drilled holes for the cable outlet, as close to the rotation axis as possible. I used a plastic grommet, because they need a smaller hole then a rubber one. I enclosed the bundle of wires in a "cable-stocking" for protection and aesthetics. To get the cable out of the hole I taped all the ends tightly together.
I also started mounting the controls and noticed the small steel connectors for the aileron trim were corroded, so I scruffed them and primed them outside. When I came back to collect them I noticed they had been ran over, probably by a VAN!
|2006-07-20||Fairings wheelpants||Harm busy with the fairings of the wheelpants. Using some high tech glue from his company, prior to applying fiberglass strips|
|2006-07-21||Mounting the controls||Mounting the sticks on a workbench is hard enough, especially because of all the washers you'll have to slip in, mounting them inside the plane is madness. I made a subassembly on the bench of the sticks and the 6-sided rod, with the small steel rings on both sides of the rod-end bearing and inserted this (you'll have to remove the co-pilot stick for this). After that the central part (the weldment) was manouvered into place and the bolts and washers were carefully inserted, using the small washer-handling tool I made. After lots of fallen washers it finally worked and I could easily install the stick sub-assembly. It looks very cool, although the pilot's stick is just too long, and about 4 cm longer than the co-pilot stick, so I guess that I'll have to do some stick-shortening (and re-tapping...)|
|2006-07-22||Wheelpant fairings part 2||Some more photo's.........|
|2006-07-29||Switches repositioned||In this photo you can see the repositioned switches. Glad we are using a plastic test panel......
Below the left Efis we have from left to right: bat, main alt, fadec A/enable A, fadec B/enable B, starter pushbutton.
Below the right Efis are the switches for efis 1, efis 2, autopilot, essential bus, strobes, alt aux and some spares.
The other pics show the wire runs to the switches.
|2006-07-30||Fadec busses||We received our cabin harness this week. Aerosance installed a new connector. Looks OK to me. I started with the wiring runs of this harness. Busses have been wired too, Fadec A bus has been wired to the main power distribution bus via the Fadec A/enable A switch. The Fadec B bus has been wired to the essential power distribution bus via the Fadec B/enable B switch. I am using Mark Taylors setup here. The SBC250 wasn't ready yet, hopefully in a months time. Mark promised to kick some Aerosance ass at Oshkosh...........|
|2006-08-03||Fadec cabin harness||Been quite busy with the Fadec cabin harness. It took some thinking to decide on the routing of the wire bundles. Just some minor tidying up to do later. The results are shown here......|
|2006-08-03||AOA wiring||Started the wiring of the Angle Of Attack black box. We are using the Advanced Fight Systems AOA Sport. More info later......|
|2006-08-03||Wheel pant fairings 1||Harm busy with the fairings of the wheel pants. Lots of sanding and trial fitting. In these and next photo's one can see how he is matching these fairings to the leg fairings. I'll ask him to give an explanation.....|
|2006-08-04||Wheel pant fairings 2||More photo's.....|
|2006-08-09||Cutting the stick||After some hands-on trial (sitting in the cockpit with the stick in my hand and making aircraft noises) I decided scientificely to shorten the left stick with 35mm (about 1.5 inch). In that way it is not awkwardly long, does not hit the panel and is about as long as the right stick. I re-aligned, redrilled and re-tapped the hole for the M3 screw and re-inserted the bundle of wires.|
|2006-08-09||Installing the gas struts||I sat in the cockpit, had Aart and Pim lower the canopy carefully into its hinges and measured out the 9 11/16 inch to the heart of the gas strut pivot. I aligned the bracket by using a mirror and drilled the holes. Because it is almost impossible to insert washers and nuts to the screws I made nut-plates from strips of 0.063 alu and 2 1000-08 platenuts each. With these it was very easy to install the brackets with the screws. To my amazement I clicked in the gas struts, tried the canopy and..... it worked. wow....|
|2006-08-12||Cabin heat muff part 1||We decided to reposition the heat muff. The previous position (exhaust pipe from cilinder 1 ) made a too long scat tube necessary to the firewall connection. This lenght of tube would also be too difficult to position in such a way that chafing against the cowl or other engine parts could be prevented.
We repositioned the muff to the exhaust pipe from cilinder 3 and after an interesting debate decided to cut the muff in half, rotating both parts to an optimal angle for intake and exit flanges (about 150 degrees)
It does take some patience to get all parts in place but it is manageable and does give a satisfying and sturdy result with an optimal routing of the scat tubes. All I want to do is add an inch wide strip of aluminium over the seam where we cut the muff in two halves. I'll use a third ST clamp to hold it in place and strengthen the whole assembly.
|2006-08-13||Cabin heat muff part 2||Some extra photo's and the end result.|
|2006-08-15||Canopy latch/lugs||Tonight Pim and I mounted the canopy latches/lugs. I drew a reference line on the exact middle of the lugs, climbed inside and closed the canopy, pressing it in the lowermost position. I inserted the lugs, pushed them up in position and drilled a small mark through the upper holes in the lug. Then we removed the lugs and made a new punchmark 1mm below the first mark. In this way the closure will allways have some pre-tension. We drilled the holes and mounted the lugs. After closing the canopy and ligning up the lugs I drilled new marks for the lower holes. Remove and drill again, deburring and mounting with AN3-4a bolts. Then the final test: it started a bit heavy, but after some open/closed cycles the fit was perfect: nicely snug. Besides some small tweakings the canopy is now ready for primer and paint!|
|2006-08-18||Terminal blocks||I made some terminal blocks for the wires from the sticks, the aileron trim and the flaps. 20 positions on the left, 4 on the right. Aart claims that this should be enough...........|
|2006-08-20||Center console||I would like to have a center console for the throttle quadrant, mainly because I do not like the Cessna-style vernier plungers.
So, I started on a design for this console, based on the DJM throttle quadrants. It has to be as thin as possible (about 60mm max) and I'll have to find a solution for the Fuel-valve. I got the basic Cad-files from Mark Taylor and went to work in Solid Works. Yesterday I made a concept, which keeps the Fuel-valve in its current position. After some sitting in the plane with the seats in and some brain-storming with Pim I think we'll drift to an other concept, without the connection to the panel.
|2006-08-21||Ignition leads||Playing around with the ignition leads and trying to find a right spot to clamp them to other engine parts............|
|2006-08-24||Trim system & stick wiring||Tonight Aart showed me the fine art of wiring: wire stripping, Molex crimping etc. We took up the trim system and stick area. Much time is (and should be) spent on planning and measuring the routes of the wires. In general we try to bundle the cables as much as possible. We combined the three data wires to the stick in two 5-lead cables. But be careful: in the last picture you see the trim indicators; if you try to combine the power and ground wires of these critters you won't be able to remove them from the panel.
Last action was to install an adel-clamp for the stick cables to prevent them from chafing against the sticks or the airframe.
|2006-08-26||Angle of attack flap switch||The AFS AOA needs a switch to tell the computer if you are in landing mode. This is done by a microswitch which is released (or depressed, depending on your set-up) by the flap mechanism. I studied some options and finally settled for this solution, cooked up by Mark Taylor (thanks mate!)
Two small holes are tapped into the flap weldment (metric M3 in my case), on which the switch is mounted. A AN3-5abolt is mounted in a platenut (with a side lug) and adjusted to the correct height. I put some washers underneath, just to be sure. Simple and sturdy. The most difficult part is the installation of the platenut, since you'll have to remove the cover and the aft support of the flap console to get to it.
|2006-08-26||Center console||We made a mock-up in foamboard of the center console. the throttle and tank switch go on top. The difficult part will be to get the control cables past the mechanism of the fuel valve. As you can see there is no connection to the panel, to keep the cockpit as spacious as possible. I'm going to order the throttle quadrant now. If we have it, we can finalize the design.|
|2006-09-01||Wiring, wiring, wiring||Tonight we did some more wiring stuff. We decided upon the routing of two main ducts, one through the center and one along the left side wall. The latter is interesting because you'll have to stay clear from the rudder wires and you'll don't want to make large holes in the bulkheads and stringer. I think we've found an excellent solution for that! We going up at the point where the rudder cable has the largest distance from the side wall and fixate a standard Van's duct with an Adel clamp (the head of the screw is not visible between wing and fuselage. We go along the armrest and up. The total route is covered by our Classic Aero sidepanels.|
|2006-09-02||Stick wiring||This morning Pim and I shortened the pilot stick cables, gave them the correct ID's and crimped the terminals on. In total there are 13 wires coming from the stick grip. 6 of them are for two toggle switches we plan to use for disconnecting the AutoPilot and for toggling the screen of one of the BMA's. The others are for the two trim servo's, power, ground and PTT.
|2006-09-07||Silver bullet tailwheel link||We did not like the standard Van's tailwheel link, so we checked out the alternatives. We chose for the Silver Bullet from Rivethead (http://www.rivethead-aero.com). Doesn't it look extremely cool!
The only issue is that in the neutral position the arm is slightly too long, even with the rod end bearings fully turned in. I did not have the instructions with me so maybe I'm doing more things wrong then just mounting the thing reversed ;-).
|2006-09-07||Baffles||Baffles? yes baffles! In our quest for finishing things i did the safety wiring on the underside of the baffles before it will become inpossible by all wires and lines. I posted a question on the forums about the risk of chafing the oil line and the most important info about this was: use the PLASTIC brake line tubing, not the aluminium. Furthermore I used small washers to reinforce the hole and a double wire: first hook up and twist the wire and washer to the aft position. Then go the front with the two wires, slip on the tubing, and ask an octopus (or Pim) to press the baffle into position. Insert the washer and twist the wire so it will tension up the connection. If you know how to do it, it's easy........
|2006-09-07||Various wiring things||We did a lo't of wiring work tonight. Pim started on a second duct at the left side, mostly for antennae, I checked the flap switch (it worked) and Aart connected the strobe system and replaced and wired the fuel flow sensor. We had bought one long time ago from BMA to go with the EFIS but, since we switched to the VM1000C, we had to use their fuel flow sensor, because it is calibrated (the legendary K-factor) for this particular VM1000C.
I don't the BMA will take this part back, but we can ask....
Last but not least Aart found a place on the left subpanel for the fuelpump relay: easy to reach and close to the fuelpump switch.
|2006-09-08||Gear fairings||The aft side of the lower wheel intersection fairings is about one inch too short (for our setup) so here Harm is laminating some material to the fairing to fill the gap.|
|2006-09-09||Various wiring thingy's||Boy, this plane does have a load of cables! Today I finished the wiring of the flaps. I mounted two Adel clamps to the flap console and put the 4 wires in a sleeve so they will lie safely in the pushrod tunnel. I also brought power and ground to the stick and inserted the PTT wires. I still have to find out whether the last wire of the co-pilot stick should go to ground or retirn to the SL-30.|
|2006-09-13||Wiring, wiring, wiring||Tonight we did a big load of wiring items. I actually like this work and I'm glad Aart brotherly wants to share this with Pim and me ;-) We did hook up the tail- and strobe lights and guess what: they worked! Aart made a daisy chain for the ground wires of the switches. We have rocker switches with a neat 12V LED in it. Since we switch the power line with the switches we only have to ground it to light them up when the switch is activated. I also made the last 4 of the 13(!) wires that go to the pilot stick: they are for the Autopilot disconnect and to toggle the screen of one of the BMA Efises. We are still waiting for some signs of life from BMA, we know that they are shipping but we did not receive an estimate for our Efises yet. We are getting to a phase that we need them to continue....
Pim and I also did a lot of wiring or the VM1000C: shielded wires for the fuel level left and right, oil pressure, amp-sensor and voltage wire. We only need to do the oil temp, FADEC RS 232, power and OAT sensor. After that we have to bundle all wires into two giant connectors. Hmm, not looking forward to that!
|2006-09-20||Fuel pump relay||The Fadec system has a fuel pump relay to let the Fadec control the boost pump. This little gizmo was wired and attached to the system with a 6-way Molex connector. We did a lot of other wiring things tonight, like trimming the VM1000c harness to make it ready for the 28 pole D-sub connectors. Sorry, no pictures of that.|
|2006-09-23||VM 1000c sensor wiring||The VM100c has quite a lot of sensors that are connected to the main instrument with shielded 3-wire cables. You have to solder the black cable to the shielding first, but this is not as hard as it sounds. Because we use the input from the Fadec Serial Bus Controller we luckily do not need all inputs, like RPM, Manifold pressure, EGT and CHT. Today I completed one of the two 25pole sub-D connectors for the VM 1000C. This one's for oil temp, oil pressure, fuel levels left and right, OAT and Amp. The other one is for the Fadec RS232, Volt and Fuel flow, but also has the Power and Ground for feeding the Instrument. These wires should be awg 20. As we do not have that I tried awg 18, but these wires would not go into the miniscule crimp-on pins of the connector. So we ordered some feet of awg 20 at Steinair, to be included in a shipment that should go our way next week or so. Until then I can not finish the second connector, and test the VM1000c.|
|2006-09-23||Preparing the rear window||As we plan to glue in the rear window, Pim made a device from wood which can be mounted in the back so we can apply pressure to hold the window in place while the glue cures. He also did the last trimming of the cutting edge and the cleaning/roughening of the various glueing surfaces. Maybe we can bond this in next week...|
|2006-09-27||EGT probes||Tonight we mounted the EGT probes. I was a bit reluctant to drill holes in our precious Vetterman, but after some study and questions on the web Aart and I decided on locations and I drilled 4 neat #30 holes. Important is that the holes are on the same distance from the exhaust flange (1 20/32 inch). Besides this they should be as far as possible from the flange but before the first bend. Hence this position.
Anther point was that the cables should have a logical routing and that the cowling would not interfere with the loooooooooong probes.
|2006-09-27||Glueing in the rear window||With most of the things completed in the tail it is time to close the rear window. As you might remember we opted for glueing in the acrylic. So after meticulous preperations Pim finetuned and polished the edge. Masked everything that should remain clear with removable tape and scrubbed all contact surfaces. After that these were treated with cleaner and covered with primer. After that the Sikaflex 295 was applied and the window was positioned. The front canopy was closed for a final check, opened again and clamps were applied the rear of the window was held into place with two wedges which were connected to the teporary wood construction. While the glue was still sticky the edges were smeared flush.|
|2006-09-27||Oil breather hose||Aart repositioned the oil seperator from Andair and found a routing for the oil breather line. The last part of this piece of fine plumbing is an aluminium tube which goes through the bottom of the cowl.|
|2006-09-30||Glued canopy||Today we removed the tape and the clamps to see the final result of our glue-the-canopy-project. Because we applied primer only on the (inside) glue-surfaces the gloss of the canopy bubble is not broken by paint, screws or other disturbancies. The overall effect is really awesome! I'll post some better pictures in the near future.|
|2006-10-04||Glued canopy||Today we removed all tape and protective plastic to see the canopy in full. WOW!
No text, just enjoy the pictures, than order some Sikaflex.....
|2006-10-04||Service Bulletin||Last night I finally did the service bulletin concerning the fuel tanks. I drilled the hole with a very small drill (1,2mm) and safetywired. I posted a question on the VAF forums if I should use proseal when re-installing the cover plate and the fuel sender. The answer was yes... so I'll have to order some more of this stuff.|
|2006-10-18||Flap switch lever||Sometimes I'm a bit worried we are exaggerating things a bit....... Last night Pim made a lever for the flap switch. He sawed and filed it from a massive bar of aluminium. And here comes the scary part: The dimensions are exactly those of the actual flaps, scale 1:12!
We drilled a hole in the back and we'll glue it on the switch (yes: after the final installation, thank you ;-)
|2006-10-20||Throttle quadrant||We are a bit in a low tide: Apart from some tedious ods and ends we do not have substantial things to do because we are waiting for a lot of things: the BMA Efisses we ordered in april seems to have been shipped yesterday (I hope), there is something seriously wrong with our avionics order at Van's, some SteinAir stuff I need is being flown in by Piper Cub and the Fadec SBC seems to be vanished.
Enter Mark Taylor! Mark ordered a throttle quadrant for us, to avoid delay and confusion. His parcel arrived today and besides the quadrant and his leftover ignition wires (thanks!) it contained four Caps of the Tigers! If a Brit starts sending all-American presents to European friends then there is hope for this world ;-)
A very big thumbs-up buddy!
|2006-10-22||Center console||With the throttle quadrant available, I started refining the design. I carefully measured all dimensions and angles in the plane and made a design in sheet metal in SolidWorks. Important features are the mounting and stiffening of the throttle quadrant and the inspection hatch on the side. The output will be files which can be sent directly to a laser cutter so we'll have our own console-quickbuilt-kit, complete with matched holes! If somebody is interested in these files (SolidWorks 3D, IGES or Autocad dwg/dxf 2D) please drop me a line.
To finish some details and the drawings we'll have to decide if we'll cover the console with leather or just powdercoat it. I guess I'll discuss this with Pim this week.
|2006-10-27||Efisses bench tested||Bench tested both Efis/Lite Plus G4's that we received a few days ago. Connected them up to a battery, put the GPS antenna's out of the window and we were in business!
I spent some hours playing with the stuff, hooked up the keyboard etcetera. I really think the BMA guys have done a good job here! I'll be testing more extensively later after reading all te comments on the BMA discussion board and rereading the manual once again.
Later this week I'll add the engine pod to this test setup and also the SL30 that we will be receving this week too (hopefully.
Please note that I didn't take of the protective film of the screens.......
|2006-10-28||Bench test 2||More photo's|
|2006-10-29||Bench test 3||And more....|
|2006-11-06||Center console||Pim and I refined the design of the console, By bringing the service hatch to the pilot side and introducing a mounting bracket we could mount the throttle quadrant invisible. Still some minor details to tweak and then Aart can send the dxf file to be laser cut and bent.
Yes: this is actually a pre-punched, QB center-console kit! If someone is interested in the files (Solidworks 3D or AutoCad 2D), please mail and I'll send it.
|2006-11-08||Garmin Stuff is here||Tonight we got the avionics, a Garmin SL-30 digital Nav/Com and a 330 Mode-S transponder. We bought it at Van's because Stark did not want to deal with non-US citizens. Van's did a good job on the wiring harness and the documentation of it. The next step will we the studying of the manuals and making a construction to mount the frames to the panel and sub-panel. Since it will have to go through the sub-panel we'll have to make some large holes in that. Pim is looking forward to do that.
We also mounted the VM1000C and powered it up for the first time. No smoke and after some first programming it started to come alive. As you see there are stil a lot of error messages, but that is mainly because it is not receiving data yet from the Fadec SBC. The looks are awesome though!
|2006-11-08||Antennae and AP wiring||Tonight we ran the antenna cables (the RG400 stuff). Turned out we ordered a bit to much (enough for building the F1 actually), mostly because the BMA GPS antennae came with their own shielded cables. We chose to run all cables straight through the wing root, without connectors. With one exeption for the Autopilot wires, since they had to be shortened anyway. I used the Molex studs for this, without the actual connector. After the mounting of the wings they will be put together, tested and shrinktube protected.|
|2006-11-15||Making room for the radio's||Pim started on mounting the radio stack. First thing was to make an exact projection and to cut a large hole in the subpanel and also through the stiffener of the release mechanism. This was done with the brutal grinder, a hacksaw and the usal files and dremel tools. To be accesable we removed the panel.|
|2006-11-15||SBC 250 installation and Fire!||This week also the long awaited SBerial Bus Controller arrived from AeroSance. The dimensions and mounting holes were identical to those of the SBC 100 we sent to Mark Taylor so it was mounted quickly. Now we have to find find out the proper hookup of the harness. I started on hooking up one of the RS232 ports to the VM1000C. It also looks like there are seperate inputs for oil temperature and pressure. The good thing is that we can send this data from one sensor both to the VM100C and the BMA engine Pod backup. I had these sensors allready hooked up to the VM1000C so I'll have to cut that connection I guess.
While we were working on this we were suddenly disturbed by the janitor of the building our workshop is in, with the annoucement that the building was on fire and we had to get out!
The building is a huge old factory and our workshop is in a remote corner of a basement. When we came up there was a lot of dense smoke and a whole battalion of firefighters (and press!).
I wanted to save the baffles of course, but we had to leave and went to Pim's house. After two hours we called and the fire was still burning but there was no danger anymore that it could reach our workshop. I guess this was almost the beginning of our F1 Rocket project ;-)
|2006-11-18||Mounting the radio stack||Pim made some corner angles to mount the stacks. We want the radio's to stick out from the panel just as far as the BMA's (8mm).|
|2006-11-18||Oil door latch||Last year on S&F Pim had picked up a latch (I think from a Cessna luggage door or something) and we intend to customize this to a flush oil door latch. Today I did the first fitting, by making holes in the door.|
|2006-11-25||Last of the black boxes / GPS ant.||Tonight we mounted the BMA engine pod again, this time using platenuts #6. We figured out thet it would be almost impossible to remove this thing if we used screws and nuts. We also made some mounting brackets for the two BMA GPS antennae, just below the cowling. I guess we'll mount them using 3M VHB tape. We have to decide on the cable routing though. With a little luck we can finish the mounting of the Efisses and the Garmin Avionics next week, so we can start to wire those for real!
I also mounted the AmeriKing Altitude decoder. We could have used the altitude info from the BMA but somehow it felt better to have this info from a simple reliable proven source...
This should be the last of the electronic black boxes we need in this plane, which is good because I can not find a logical place for another one! As it was, to find a place for the encoder I had to relocate the position of the fuelpump relais a bit up).
|2006-12-01||Center console throttle bracket||Today our personal center console quickbuilt kit arrived from the sheet metal shop. It looks Verrrrry promising!
To start Pim made a quick temporary assembly and started matchdrilling (no pics of that yet) and I started to assemble the throttle quadrant, using platenuts. As you see the laser-cut sheet metal is absolutely brilliant and straight from our Cad files.
|2006-12-01||Headset harnesses||In a moment of overconfidence we decided to go for the best headset now available: the Bose X. So we ordered the harnesses for panel mounting from Spruce and I started puzzling to connect these plugs to the SL30. We bought the avionics with harnesses from Van's and, although the quality is superb, I'm getting more and more to the conclusion that I'd better made them myself! The SL30 is wired for a SL15 audio panel (?) and the GTX 330 for connection to a GMA 430 (?). Besides that it is wired for one microphone. Together with the rather complex plugs for the Bose (with 8 wires each) I decided to make a totally new audio harness, which goes from 16 wires into 6 wires, devided in two shielded cables (1 wire for the headset and 3-wire for the microphone), a power wire and an audio ground wire.
I also wired the PTT switch and after testing it I concluded that there was something rotten in the Pilots PTT. After opening the stick grip, I found one of the connexxions to the microswitch was faulty. I guess we'll be doing quit a lot of this kind of troubleshooting the next months.....
|2006-12-01||Mounting the BMA's||Together with the sheetmetal for the center console I had designed some mounting brackets for flush-mounting the the BMA's from 1.5mm aluminium. Today they came and I mounted the BMA's. Apart from the CO monitor we have all planned devices mounted in our mock-up panel now.
If anybody wants the drawings, please mail.
|2006-12-07||Center console||Tonight Pim started to assemble our mid console quickbuilt kit. The fitting from the parts was very good, exept for one flange at the back/bottom. It was cut off and will be replaced by a seperate flange, mounted under the correct angle.|
|2006-12-07||Removed the engine pod/wiring,wiring,wiring||This week I found out that we do not need the Blue mountain Engine Pod to get (backup) engine data on the efisses! The datastream which comes from the Fadec SBC can be plugged directly into the Efis. Duh... So we'll put the Engine Pod for sale on the various newsgroup for someone with an Efis but without Fadec.
Furthermore I did a lot of wiring. I installed the Bose X plugs and harness and routed it to the SL30. I finished the complete harness for the SL30, for the GTX330 I have to wait for a pin-removal tool for HD pins I ordered from Steinair, together with some 4-wire shielded cable for the Efis magnetometer. There is not much left of the original harness we got from Van's, just the power wires and the RS232 cable......
I also started on wiring the Efisses: power, ground, GPS standby power and the toggles for Autopilot disconnect and display toggle.
|2006-12-10||BMA Efis harnesses||Today I started on putting the harnesses together for the two Efisses. More specific this is soldering a lot of complicated wires to verrrry small pins on a 26 pin HD D-sub connector.
Tedious work: I should become a Monk or start wearing reading glasses I guess......
I decided to threat Efis #1 as the primary flight Efis and to use #2 for all fancy stuff: Autopilot, display toggle, feedback to the SL30 etc. The other way around both the Fadec AND the SL30 give a RS232 serial datastream to BOTH Efisses so we'll have two HSI's and two engine backup monitors. Pretty cool!
To finish the harnesses I need the 4-way shielded cable for the Magnetometer. I hope they'll arrive from Steinair before wednesday.
|2006-12-17||Center console||The Center console is getting shape. Just some good old basic sheet metal work! I'm a bit jealous that Pim is doing this while I have to struggle with wires ;-)|
|2006-12-17||Various wiring stuff||Today I did the first three of the panel LED's, for Fadec Caution, Fadec Warning and Fuel pump. Because they can be back-loaded, I just soldered the wires to the LED's and shielded the pins. Be careful that you connect the power to the right pin though.
I also customized the GPS antennea so that they can be screwed to their brackets. (we were planning on sticking them in with VHBtape but given the hot and greasy atmosphere underneath the cowling I decided upon a mechanical solution. I removed the sticker and the cover, drilled small holes from the top to push out the magnets and drilled a hole pattern in the brackets for the three metric M2.5 screws. Take care: the template from the site in incorrect: the distance between the side holes should be 29mm and the distance to the front hole 14.5mm.
I furthermore did some odds and ends and started on the static and pitot tubing, using Nylo-seal connectors.
|2006-12-22||Center console||The center console is supposed to be covered with leather. The slits on top for the throttle and pitch are covered again with a metal plate to protect the leather|
|2006-12-26||Various wiring stuff||Now almost all wires are routed it is time to sort out the mess a bit. So I tried to bundle the various wire runs and to untangle them at the various intersections and crossroads. Now they are tied together with tie-wraps; in the end this will be done with the waxed string material.|
|2006-12-27||E(L)FIS is alive!||I "finished" the BMA harnesses. As you can see the space available behind the EFIS is just enough to use a 90 degrees connector. This is also due to the fact that we recessed the BMA in the panel. And then the magig moment: would it work? And yes it did! After this I routed the power wire to a switch so we can switch on each Efis individually (to save power during cold startups for instance). I only have the strange phenomenon that the Efisses "see" the magnetometer when they are both on but not when one is off. Aart will post some questions on the BMA message board; first impression is that I'll have to power/ground the magnetometer seperate and directly from the ship's net.|
|2006-12-28||Crotch strap brackets||Since we decided on a 5-point harness for safety I had to install the crotch strap brackets. Pretty straightforward but with one BIG pita: it had to be mounted in the exact position where I had painstakingly mounted the stick wire connections. More about that in the wiring dept.
In the pictures you see the method I used for exactly lining up the brackets and to get an equal spacing between them.
|2006-12-29||Loose ends||Aart took the task upon him to tidy up the firewall forward area.
Besides making nice bundles of wires, hoses etcetera this includes mounting the oil breather tube with the dreaded adel clamps and mounting the lines to and from the oil cooler. Look at the rediculous cramped space for this tube!
Besides this we decided to move the heat muff to a different location so that it does not imcludes a joint in the exhaust pipe. Much safer, CO wise.
|2006-12-30||Stick wiring revisited||Because of the crotch strap brackets I had to relocate the wire connections. I also had second thoughts about the crimped on eyelets and the tangling mass of wires and, given my recent experiences with the avionics harnesses I decided to replace the connections with 2 9-pin sub-d connectors. The currents involved are quite low and the wires are extremly thin so in this way the wires will be much more protected. So I snipped off 36 perfectly crimped connectors and reorganized the whole enchilada. I had to replace the power, ground and PTT wire, because they had become too short. After that I crimped on the various sub-D pins and used shrink wrap to protect the flimsy wires.|
|2006-12-30||Center console||Pim is working on the center console. In the middle is a service hatch for the throttle and pitch levers and the fuel valve. At the back top comes a hinged hatch to get a small storage for maps, bottles of champagne etcetera.|
|2007-01-03||Vairios wiring thingies||Tonight I spent most of the time tidying up the various wiring bundles. Quite interesting: basicly you untie everything and start getting the knots out. Make logical bundles, tie-wrap them together, bundle the bundles, apply new tie-wraps and cut the "old" ones. In the end the cable trees will be bound together, using the special waxed string, after which the tie-wraps will be removed again. Quite time-consuming, but you get logical and sturdy cable-trees in the end.
Furthermore I made a two-pin molex connection for the Passengers stick. I also replaced the cable "sock" shield, using a new method of fastening the ends by shrinking two pieces of shrink-wrap over the ends. It holds the fibers in place and gives a very nice look.
|2007-01-03||Center console||Just some pictures to show the progress.|
|2007-01-06||Angle of attack indicator is alive!||Today I finished the Angle of attck indicator (the electric part, that is) and did a test run. Ther was some uncertainty on how to hook up the audio signal, so I tested that by putting the audio signal wire to the tip of a headset plug. Then I powered up: lights ok but a very very faint sound in the headset. On the circuit board is a verry tiny potmeter youhave to turn open to get a higher volume. Point is that you have to open the AOA processor enclosure to get to this and Aart had mounted the thing very thoroughly, using bolts on which he had mounted several Adel clamps too, that had to be removed..... DUH! So I removed the thing, opened it, found the potmeter and turned it open. To be able to adjust the volume later on I drilled a 1/4"hole in the cover for a small screwdriver so I won't have to the remove the whole shabang again... After this still allmost no volume however. I started to fret that I'd have to make an amplifier or something to get a decent volume until I realised that the barrel of the headset shod be grounded too! Yes I'm a natural blonde ;-) With the barrel grounded it worked flawlessly and I did the test procedure: everything ok, also the dim switch and the flap switch.
To get the audio signal in the audio system I made a piggywire to the headset cable, with a pin so the AoA harness can still be removed seperately from the SL30/Bose com audio harness
|2007-01-10||Ignition leads, part 1||Rerouted all ignition leads, using a few of the ones Mark Taylor sent me (thanks Mark!), and adel clamping them where necessary. It takes some time but I am quite happy with the result.
The third photo shows how to make life a lot easier when one has to work with adel clamps. I used two chirurgical gut clamps that I borrowed from my brother (a veterinarian).
|2007-01-10||Center console||Pim fabbed a hingeble hatch for the top of the console. Next step should be to fit the console in the cabin and make a plan for the the throttle/prop cables and the fuel valve. After that the left side can be closed as well. We're planning to cover the console with leather but this will be done after the whole contraption is complete.|
|2007-01-10||Pitot/Static system||Last night I started on the Panel-side of the pitot-static system. I decided to make a clear separation between the electrical cables and the pressure tubes, to avoid (read: lessen) the mess behind the panel. So I decided to drill holes in the sub panel and to guide the tubing behind the sub-panel. This seems to work wonderfully well and gives a very clean, neat set-up. Afterwards I decided I will enlarge the holes to the next size of bushing, so I will not have to remove the Nylo-seal connector to remove a single tube. I'll do that this weekend I guess. After that the next task is to make a plan for the tube-routing between the Pitot and the panel.|
|2007-01-11||Ignition leads part 2||More photo's...... Just some minor tweaking and we're done.....
Next week I'll get the fuel lines sorted and finish the installation of the Fadec harness. I have already routed it and bundled all wires with this special waxy string stuff. All that has to be done is get some PTFE spiral wrap around it and adel clamp them. Mark Taylor warned me not to use the normal polyethylene spiral wrap as it will melt due to engine heat. Teflon material has to be used here. Mark ordered it for me from McMaster Carr. It was delivered today... Thanks again Marky!
|2007-01-11||Inline filter||Both Mahlon Russell and Jabe Luttrell (Aerosance) advised me to install the inline filter as received from Aerosance. I decided to mount it as shown here. An interesting bit of adel clamp work.....
No problem with removing the oil filter. I checked.......
Next week I will receive the altered fuel hoses. More photo's then.
|2007-01-13||Pitot/static tubing||Today I connected the Efisses, the altitude encoder and the AOA system to the pitot/static lines. The static system should be flight-ready now, next step is to determine the routing for the pitot system, over to the wing I guess.|
|2007-01-13||Repositioning the Altitude encoder||In order to make way for the static/pitot routing I had to reposition the Altitude encoder. I decided to place it opposite to the SBC 250. While doing this I took the opportunity to remount the SBC with platenuts vis. screws and nuts: if it ever should be disassebled it will be much easier this way. I mounted the bracket for the alt. encoder with three blind rivets. The routing for the static port and the wiring is pretty straightforward now. I am contemplating shortening the harness for the alt. encoder. The only thing is that I'll have to disassemble the pins on the plug on the GTX330 and to do that I'll have to get the mounting tray out. Il'see.......|
|2007-01-16||Pitot line routing||After much tinkering and trying I decided on a routing for the pitot line. I inserted a bulkhead fitting in the fuselage wall opposite where the pitot line comes out of the wing. and made a bend through the spar. After that it goes to the side and stays under the sidewall cover panel. The most difficult issue is where to cross the rudder cable safely. I decided upon the point where the fuel vent line crosses it also and drilled a small hole for the pitot line and the two tubes for the AoA. To prevent it from chafing I secured it with an Adel clamp at this point. From there it goes up and bends back to the panel, held in place by another Adel clamp, until it links to the horizontal Pitot "bus" behind the sub panel.|
|2007-01-16||Pitot 1||While I was working on the pitot line I thought I could install the pitot itself as well. First I tried to fit the pitot into the mast we had bought ages ago and to my surprise it fitted after some tweaking with sandpaper. I had no idea how to attach the tubing to it until I remebered we had a load of unused fuel line connectors and the tools fo it. So I took out the kit and the manual and made a neat flare on the copper tube from the pitot. I attached a spare brass brake line connector to it and coupled that to the 1/4inch pitot tubing. Actually quite easy...|
|2007-01-17||Pitot 2||I routed the pitot line via one of the holes through the wing ribs, together with the AoA tubing. Finally I secured the pitot mast to the wing, using stainless steel torx screws.|
|2007-01-20||GPS mount and various wiring stuff||Today I mounted the GPS antennae on their brackets. I mounted them loosely, I guess I'll have to remove them again for the rivetting of the front deck. I routed the cables though. Further more I re-routed the cables for the oil temp and oilpressure so they run via the main cable trees and not through the firewall fwd area. I also did some small wrap-up work like bundling the wires of the trim indicators. This kind of work is a bit like wetting your pants having a dark suit on: nobody will notice but it gives you a warm feeling........|
|2007-01-21||Cabin heat muff repositioned||We weren't happy with the position of the heat muff as it was (on a seam of the exhaust pipe on cylinder 3) and changed it to cylinder 1. On hindsight it wasn't that big an issue to do it in this way.|
|2007-01-21||Oil breather installation||More photo's.......
We installed the Andair OS850 Oil/Air separator and the CT850
Condensation Trap. The challenge here is to find some available space on the firewall and a logical routing for the hoses. The oil/air separator has to be mounted as high as possible, the condensation trap lower than the separator and in some place where one can unscrew the bowl without having to remove the engine first.... :-)
Hoses and clamps are Volvo ones. My car dealer was so kind to give me the necessary parts.
|2007-01-22||Oil breather installation part 2 and fuel overflow tubing||More photo's of the routing of the exit hose from the condensation trap and the hose from the overflow tube from the fuel pump|
|2007-01-23||Oil breather installation and fuel overflow tubing part three||How the hoses exit outside of the fuselage.|
|2007-01-25||OAT probes||Now that the temperature is finally dropping below zero here, I decided to install the 3(yes: three!) OAT sensors. We need one for the VM1000C and one for every EFIS. I made the two 25pin connectors, just for the three wires and terminated the 3-wire shielded cables with a crimp-on pigtail to the housing.
Based upon the various opinions I decided to install the probes in the wing, next to the first inspection hatch. Just drill a hole for a rightly sized grommed, stick the probe in and seal with some RTV.
|2007-01-27||Powerrrrrrr!||I finished some last power issues first today, like giving the BMA magnetometer just ONE powersource to the ships power. Not a nice task because I had to perform brain-surgery to the ridiculously crowded 26-pin HD connectors.
After this Aart and I reorganised the primary electric connections (between the switches and the voltage regulators and between the various terminals) and I inserted the Circuit Breakers in the "power station". I applied power to the main power bus and checked the various systems: No smoke and everything seemed to perform as advertised! The BMA's talk to the SL-30, AOA, Flaps, trims and even the PTT's seem to function properly. Also the essential bus crossfeed works.
Next step will be very crucial: finishing the last wires for the Fadec and see if this functions properly AND that the SBC250 gives usable signals to the VM1000C and the BMA's
|2007-01-27||Fuel injector solenoids from Fadec harness installed||Installed the fuel injector solenoids. Wished that I had done this before the baffles were mounted. It is a tight spot to get the small jam nuts in place. I had to "adapt" one of our wrenches by grinding and bending it to acceptable dimensions.
|2007-01-28||Fuel lines done||Last week I mounted the fuel inline filter as advised to be by Mahlon and Jabe. The old fuel hose was removed and cut in two halves, new fittings being installed. Expensive job.......
The result can be seen below.
|2007-02-07||Canopy painted. Ivo rulez!!!||Spray painted the inside of the canopy today. In these photo's you can see Ivo lacquais, the manager of our model making department at his best. This guy really knows how to work a spray painting gun. Thanks Ivo!
We used a two component primer first, then a two component paint with the dark grey colour and finally a two component clear paint as last layer.
|2007-02-08||Spray painting canopy part 2||More photo's.....|
|2007-02-09||Impressed||Almost done! Pim is admiring all of our work from above.....|
|2007-02-17||Fuel valve||Today I installed the fuel valve in the console. At first I planned to make an extension myself but in the end we chose to use a standard extension from andair. It has some very nice machined parts which I had to "modify" to fit inside our 60mm narrow console.|
|2007-02-19||Final panel design||This week I made the final adjustments to the panel files. We decided upon one major design change: to devide the total panel into two parts: the panel and the recess for the switches. Besides that I designed a way of mounting the panel with as less visible screws as possible. We'll see if this works when the parts return from the sheet metal shop, where they are laser cut.|
|2007-03-09||Oil Hatch latch||After we found out that the latch we'd found on S&F was not going to work, I decided to find something similar. Guess what: allthough I have a lot of relation in that industry there was nothing compared to the famous Hartwell latch.... Spruce sells them for about 90 dollars each! Duhhhh! But also as a surplus for 9 to 19 dollars. Still expensive but do-able. So we ordered 2 and I started to install them. The type I got was for thinner material then the Van's cowl but with some tweaking it should be allright.|
|2007-03-09||Lasered panel!||It's here! Our beautiful lasered panel. Pim started deburring it and matchdrilling the edge to it. After that we will start to replace the mock-up with the real thing! Please note the small 'no smoking and fasten seatbelts' signs. They will be lit with a small red and orange covered white leds LED's.|
|2007-03-09||New Headsets||We ordered two Bose X headsets. If they sound as good as they look.......... Notice the poor man's version on the right ;-)|
|2007-03-11||Installing the final panel.||Today I installed the aluminium panel. I had to make some room on the forward fuselage ribs and instal some platenuts #8 in them. Pretty straightforward but I wanted to do it very carefully: the panel is one of the most visible parts of the plane...... The mounting brackets I designed fitted very well and I matchdrilled them with the holes Van's had punched into the fuselage wall. These brackets are also fitted with #8 platenuts. I will be using countersunk Torx screws to mount the panel, which will be powdercoated in the colour of the panel.
I also mastchdrilled the mountingbrackets for the BMA's to the panel. The total construction is extremely rigid, due to the backfolded flanges.
|2007-03-15||Throttle and governor quadrant cable 1||I followed Mark Taylors advice and bought both the throttle and governor cable from Vans.
The cable has a label on it "Not for aircraft use" ........
|2007-03-16||Throttle and governor quadrant cable 2||The throttle cable is no big deal. Test fitting here.....I just have to get a steel bracket made to fix the cable to the bottom of the sump (two threaded holes arfe available)|
|2007-03-17||Governor quadrant cable||Getting the governor cable through the firewall eyeball and the governor bracket was quite a challenge. When drilling the hole for the eyeball half a year ago, I used a much more flexible cable to determine the exact location of the hole. On hindsight and having received the thick, much less flexible cable, I would have located the hole somewhat further away from the bracket. I now just managed to squeeze everything in place without bending the cable in a too small radius.
More photo's later........
|2007-03-25||Detailing the panel||Today I installed all panel items in the panel, for a final fit and to adjust some details. I also made a lock/latch fot the hingable fuse-tray. When we are satisfied with all details the panel will be powdercoated and screen-printed with the texts and graphics.
I also fitted the vent outlet brackets I made last week. They needed some small tweaking to match with the side panels.
|2007-03-25||Center console||Test fitting the throttle cable and prop governor cable for the last time before "closing" the console. Everything OK!
I'll be powdercoating the inside later this week. After that Pim will take it to a guy that will cover it with the same leather as our seats and side panels.
|2007-03-31||Stick boot rings||In the list of "wrap-up things" there was still an item about the stick boot rings. In the beginning of the project I urged Aart that we should have these parts ASAP. I guess I did not have the full picture then......
Anyhow, just some careful metalwork and bending in between two alu bars, and just one more thing off the list.
|2007-04-01||Center Console painted||The center console is painted to hide parts which will not be covered by leather. Next thing is to have it upholstered.|
|2007-04-01||Filling the brake system||It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it.........
Today Aart and I filled the brake system. Filling the system from below, via the nipples at the calipers, is the best option because the least air is trapped into the system that way. Downside is that you'll have to pump the hydraulic fluid into the system under pressure. For this purpose I bought a "plantenspuit" at 5,99 Euro and converted this into an aircraft tool. Th most difficult bit was going from one nipple to the other so we impovised a bit with spare fittings and silicone hose. After the first run we had some leakage in the cabin because some fittings had not been tightened enough. The fluid is extremely messy stuff so we had to clean a lot.... At the top of the reservoir we made an overflow tube and after some cycles left and right, and after working the brake cylinders a couple of times there was almost no air trapped in the system. I guess we'll have to redo this process before starting the engine and the first flight.
|2007-04-05||Glareshield revealed||Today we uncovered the canopy AND, more specially, the glareshield which we trimmed with balsawood and covered with black leather. Together with the glued-noscrews-canopy this is really beautiful! There is only some residu from the tapes we used to protect the acrylic for a long time. I'll ask some advise on the forums for the safest way to remove this.|
|2007-04-06||Panel Graphics||Today Pim and I finalized the graphics for the panel. Amongs others we added our signatures in the corner of the panel. We did the design in Adobe Illustrator CS2. The EPS files will be used to silkscreen the panel later this week.
PS: note that we use UK English vs American to enhance our European flavour. ;-)
|2007-04-08||Prop torqueing and safetieing||Since we are in the process of finishing all odds and ends I got myself to torqueing the prop. You need to torque the bolts with 66 lbs.ft, but you can't get there with a normal torque wrench. So I made an adapter from a bit of scrap aluminium to couple a spanner and a torque wrench. Some simple math did the rest: lenght of the wrench devide by the lenght of the total contraption gives the required torque (42.5 lbs/ft in my case)
Safetieing the bolts was quite difficult since there is allmost no room, but in the end I had them tied two by two.
|2007-04-10||Rudder pedal clips||I made the little clips for connecting the rudder cables to the peadls from the strip op stainless steel that came with the quickbuilt kit two years ago...
Drill and shape them together to get identical twins.
|2007-04-10||Various odds and ends...||Aart repositioned the prop cable to give a little more slack to the bowden cable for vibrations of the engine.
Furthermore we pimped the FAB: Aart gave the cut/joint a nice neat bandage and I removed some exess microballoon stuff from the alt air area.
|2007-04-12||Various thingies||I torqued the metal lock-nut which prevents the gear legs from falling out. You'll need two washers instead of the prescribed one.
Furthermore Aaart is making a giant effort in trimming and sculpting the wheel pant fairings. This will still take a lot of time but I finally think that these things will eventually be the nice streamlined units I hoped them to be.
|2007-04-15||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 1||After making a number of cardboard panels, switching over to sheet plastic for test fitting and wiring, we had the final version laser cut. You have read about this in previous pages. After test fitting everything for the last time, I took both parts with me to Tchai International, the company that I am honored to work at, and begged and grovelled to have them powder coated and silkscreen printed. Does this sound simple and straightforward? Well, it wasn't.....keep on reading and weep.....|
|2007-04-16||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 2||You ever heard of the "shit hitting the fan" ? Well, it did. It drooped of.....
In these pictures you can see yet another collegue, John, busy powder coating the parts. Pim had spent a great deal of time pondering on the exact colour scheme, even visiting a powder manufacturer to personally make his choice. All looked good then....
What went wrong here is that we used a wrong filler to fill some very small irregularities in the aluminium panel.....Stupid, stupid....should have left the %$@^$ thing alone. When the powdered parts went into the hot oven, the tiny little bit of filler decided to say goodbye to the aluminium (I guess the temp was too high to his liking). What was left was the same very few very invisible irregularities that we started with in the first place. Perfectionist that I am and really wanting to get this panel appointed as the new benchmark (the previous one being Mark Taylors), I decided to sand out these parts and apply a second layer of powder. Normally this is no big deal. In our case however it was. The result of all our efforts was hopeless. One solution now: to have the powder chemically removed and start over again.
To be continued.....
|2007-04-17||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 3||Ren|
|2007-04-17||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 3||Ren|
|2007-04-17||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 3||What do you see here? ....yes, sanding again...
After having removed the previous layer of powder coating by means of a regularly used chemical process, Rene sanded his fingers to the bone and delivered a pristine panel to me, ready for a new coat of powder..........Well, the result was the worst ever. The chemical process had perhaps left some residue in the rivet seams. This evaporated during the heat treatment in the oven.
I decided to bite the bullet and have the panel spray painted. I even managed to talk Ivo into sanding the panel prior to applying the first layer of primer. Thanks Ivo for all your efforts!
|2007-04-18||Throttle bracket||I designed a throttle bracket in 2mm mild steel and Aart had it lasered, folded and powdercoated. Aart installed it and and added a piece of firesleeve to protect the throttle cable from the exhaust.|
|2007-04-18||Panel part 3||Ren|
|2007-04-18||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 4||The final stages of spray painting. I also had the airbox spray painted. We will need it next week when starting the engine for the first time.|
|2007-04-19||AltAir control / Fuel pump||From the list of things to do I made a little bracket for the alternate air bowden cable.
Furthermore we cleaned up the front mid console, tidied all cables and covered them with cable wrap.
|2007-04-19||Tweaking the cowling||In preparation of the paintjob I cleaned up the cowling and did some odds and ends. Most important were the baffles that cover the little gap between cowling and front deck, You have to attach these with blind rivts but I wanted to bury them to make them invisible. Just make some oversized countersunk holes and cover the rivets with filler...
After that we fitted the cowlings. The pressure from the baffles is still very high but we are promised that this will diminish when the baffles settle. Same for the hinge pins. I adjusted some last details in the fitting of the halves and the oil hatch and made some pictures.
|2007-04-19||Secundary oil pressure sensor||The Aerosance oil pressure sensor, which we need for feeding the SBC250 to give the Efis a oil pressure readout, has a different thread than the other sensor and the manifold. Pim had a interface made and Aart installed it in the manifold.|
|2007-04-19||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 5||The silk screen printing. A wooden jig is used to position the panel beneath the screen. Leo sure knows what he is doing!|
|2007-04-20||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 6||Leo admiring the results. Perfect! Progress at last........|
|2007-04-21||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 7||Leo van Rijswijk applying the texts.Two hours op preparation, 2 seconds of printing.....|
|2007-04-23||Panel finished, the new benchmark - part 8||AWESOME !!!!!!
The new benchmark. Try to beat this guys!
|2007-04-24||part 8||AWESOME !!!!!!
All that has to be done now is to spray paint the matte clear tough final layer. This weekend we will be installing the panel in the plane. Do the final test and push the START button next week.
Pim:for his excellent thoughts on artwork and colours (can't wait to see his idea on the exterior paint scheme....)
|2007-04-26||Backup Battery / Schottky diode||We wanted to have a backup battery to keep one EFIS alive during startup. Aart found the most compact and lightweight lead-batteery available and I designed a tray for it. It will be installed to the subpanel above the fuse tray. Furthermore we needed a Schottly diode to charge the battery and to feed the EFIS. Trouble with these things is that the base (on which you should mount the thing) is +12V too. So I designed a isolated mount for it which is blind-rivetted to the sub-panel.|
|2007-04-26||Wheel pants finished (?)||Motivated by Aart's glasswork I finished the wheel pants with filler and lots of sanding. They fit perfectly now! The only thing we have to do now is to enlarge the gap between tire and pant to a safe value.|
|2007-04-26||Wing root fairings||Tonight we worked on the wing root fairings. We got these parts from Fairings etc. and we decided upon them because they are simply better looking then the Van's "flat" solution.
The problem is that we have to get the plane outside our workshop, because inside it is not possible to attach the wings....
So we attached the platenuts for both wing and test-fitted the right wing fairing. Aart dit a lot of effort with a heat gun to make it fit as best as possible, but i think that these parts will be the bottleneck in the project planningwise.....
|2007-04-28||Mounting the final panel||Today I started mounting the final panel. I was extremely careful not to damage something, yet I had to enlarge the holes for the SL30 and the transponder because the paint build-up had ruined the allready tight fit.... Very scary to use a coarse file next to the painted surface! In the end it fitted well. Tomorrow we'll mount the rest and test the electrics once again.|
|2007-04-30||Filtered air box and alt air / fuel system check||Today we did a load of things: We finished (?) the assembly of the panel, installed the center console, checked the fuel system and installed the FAB.
Checking the fuel system was interesting: Aart had made some hoses to tap into the system and to suck Avgas from a jerrycan. At first the electric pump only made noises but did not pump. Only after Aart sucked some Avgas through the system (yeagh!)the pump started to pump. The fuel flow transducer did not work at first either but this was traced back to a swapped wire. After correcting this it worked flawlessly and the VM1000 showed a healthy 125 Liters per hour.
I installed the dreaded FAB. Put some RTV on the engine flange and bolted the whole contraption to flange and front baffle. I had to make some bushings to avoid to deform the baffle when tightening it. After that I installed the bowden cable for the alt air door. I managed to squeeze in two adel clamps underneath the clamps already in use for the ignition, we did not want to use the same clamps for both leads.
|2007-04-30||Here it is!||And everything works....
No words, just enjoy..................
|2007-05-05||Preparing for startup||Last night we prepared the engine for start up: checked all connections, did all safety-ties and filled the engine with oil by cranking the starter. We had some issues with the connection between Fadec and engine monitor but I traced this back to a faulty pin in a connector. So with the oil in and the starter engaged the prop rvolved for the very first time! The only thing which is still offline are the RPM's but Vision Microsystems told us that it will show when the engine is firing....
Tomorrow we'll go for the real thing with the plane outside..... Quite exiting!
|2007-05-06||ENGINE IS RUNNING!||Today was a small step for RV-kind, but a giant leap for us! We started the engine: after some hickups it sprang to life and in some time it was running as smooth as can be. We did a complete test program including the cycling of the prop. The engine monitors were working flawlessly (including the RPM's on the VM1000) and we recorded all sessions on a laptop using the Aerosance software. Totally brilliant! If I find out how, I'll post a video, including awesome sound. If anything became clear today, it is the tremendous power of this engine!
A big thanks to Harm, Rob, Arie, Martin and John for their support and to Schiehal for using their parking lot!
|2007-05-15||Gear fairings finished part 1||After far too many hours of glass fiber work, filling and sanding, today was the glorious day that at last these %$$@& things were finished in the quality that I wanted to achive. Truly a work of "Aart" The guy that will be doing the pint job has the honor to fill the pinholes. I have had it......|
|2007-05-16||Gear fairings finished part 2||More awesome details..... :-)|
|2007-05-16||Cleaning up the mess part 1||Next week we are going to rivet the front deck. Prior to that we have to get the wiring nicely bundled, prevent any chafing, stiffening everything to prevent any movement etcetera. I have added a bunch of photo's. Enjoy......|
|2007-05-16||Cleaning up the mess part 3||......and more.|
|2007-05-17||Gear fairings finished part 3||For arguments sake......just 1 more.....|
|2007-05-17||Cleaning up the mess part 2||More details|
|2007-05-17||The new hangar||Inspected our new hangar today. We are renting half of it from Aad Proost ( remember him? The one and only CEO of the Vans Lowlands Airforce Wing). He is in the final stages of building his RV7a and will join us in a few months time. We will be doing the final assembly here by the end of June.|
|2007-05-18||A nice tool||Leo Meddens, my old instructor from years ago when I started flying on the Scheibe Falcke motor gliders has his more than beautiful Clipper in the hangar opposite to ours. He showed me this self made tool with which he can very easily tow his tail wheel equipped Clipper all over the place. He puts the thing flat on the floor behind the tail wheel and then just pushes the wheel into the "bucket". Lifting the arm locks the wheel in place and the whole contraption is towable. Will this work for us too? Suggestions are welcome!|
|2007-05-26||The paint scheme||we have been discussing many different paint scheme designs and in the end we agreed on this one. It is much more detailed then you can see here but the drawings give you a reasonable impression.|
|2007-05-27||removing the blue stuff for the paint job||At last we are as far in the proces of aircraft building that it is supposed to be sensible to remove the blue protection skin. Sunday june the 3rd we will transport the PH-VII to the spray masters in Mijdrecht, Holland, near Schiphol Amsterdam. The company is called "Star Class" spray painters and one of the owners is Mr Renny de Leeuw. He also built his own experimental aircraft and now only paints airplanes and Old Timers.
Here some pictures of our RV7 stripped off the blue stuff
|2007-05-28||spray paint samples||We have made a design for the paint job. The PH-VII will be several shades of antracite gray withe one half red wing and shining chrome or aluminium leading edges of the wings, black propellor blades and a chrome cone. Her some try outs of the spray painting.|
|2007-05-28||Rivetting the front deck||Since all systems, except for the AutoPilot controller, are OK the front deck can be closed. This requires some careful planning bcause (believe me) you'll want to rivet as much from the outside as possible. So working very carefully we closed the deck woring from the middle to the outside. I spend some time lying on my back inside the front fuselage, manouvring the bucking bar in all kinds of awkward positions and suddenly I think this MUST BE THE LAST RIVET OF OUR PROJECT!
|2007-05-28||Wheel jack modification||While preparing the last details before going to the paintshop, we are wrapping up some things that we'll have to do anyway. One of these is a modification for jacking up the plane by the main gear. Avery sells a kit for this but you can make it yourself easily. Drill out the gear nuts and make two steel brackets for the platenuts. This gives access to the hollow axles, in which a tube can be installed. This tube can be lifted by a standard jack, the wheel ca be slid off, after which the axle is lifted on blocks.
Just some filing, drilling, tapping and squeezing for old times sake.....
|2007-05-31||Preparing for transport||This weekend PHVII will move to the paintshop so we'll have to get her ready for transport. This means removing the empennage, but not before we have put the dimple C-frame inside the tail to weight it down. This should be enogh but since the propellor is quite expensive I also strapped a 20 Liter jerrycan to the tail. The flaps and ailerons were removed and nicely packed, hardware was sorted and stored. To protect the engine we also mounted the cowling and the canopy.
Aart and I spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the closets and toolchests and sorting out the small-parts-stock (rivets, bolts, nuts and screws, lots of Adelclamps and some unopenend brown bags), together with our collection of fuel line fittings enough to build a F1 Rocket ;-)
|2007-06-03||Moving the plane to the paintshop||Today we moved the plane to the paintshop. "Starclass" is a company owned by the De Leeuw brothers who specialise in exotic cars and experimental aircraft. Renny De Leeuw has built and flown a Cherry and he is very eager to make our plane into his most beautyful project ever.
On the last picture you see the samples he has prepared to test how details will work out.
|2007-06-08||Priming the aluminium parts||Renny is working very hard on his masterpiece. presently he is working on the wing and the control surfaces. Here you see the aluminium parts cleaned, scrubbed and being primed.|
|2007-06-09||Priming the plastic parts||We thought we had put quite some energy in shaping these parts, but Renny is taking them some levels higher. Here you see some filling, shaping and priming activities|
|2007-06-09||Polishing the wing leading edges||Renny polishes the wing leading edges to a high gloss finish, later to be coated by a high gloss transparant coat. You see the master reflected in his work...|
|2007-06-10||Cleaning up our workshop / new hangar!||Today we cleaned up our workshop and moved to EHLE Lelystad where we will be based. Aad Proost, fellow RV-7A builder, owns a hangar here and offered us to stay with him. An offer we could not refuse off course! So we set up shop in this very luxurious and professional place, awaiting the plane to be finished at the painter's in about two weeks.|
|2007-06-10||Look around at the painter's||I visited the painter's shop today and saw that he was doing a real nice job. He was polishing the leading edge of the wings high gloss aluminium and after that it wil be sprayed with high gloss varnish. I also saw the small parts, like the ailerons, the flaps and most of the polyester parts hanging to dry after being sprayed black.
Furthermore I saw the wheelpants being prepared for spraying. They felt very smooth and looked like they had grown instead of being made by man.
|2007-06-10||Priming the plastic parts 2||Next step, pinhole filler and spray filler|
|2007-06-10||Painting the wing tips||No words, just enjoy.......|
|2007-06-11||Masking the graphics||Essential to our mad plan is the difference in surface gloss between the texts and the overall surface. To obtain this we have made masks which Renny painstakingly uses to mask the various surfaces. Very complex, but hey, what a result!|
|2007-06-11||Priming and masking the wing underside||Here you see the masks for the texts experimental and the red flame. One wing has its colour coat and one wing is in the epoxy primer.|
|2007-06-12||Painting the red "flame"||Now was the time to put on the bright red, masked off by the masking foil. The colour comes out brilliantly! (And look at the contrast with the semi-dull antracite grey) Drool......|
|2007-06-13||Underside of the wing finished||Renny finished the underside of the wing today. This is going to be a verrrrrrry special plane...........|
|2007-06-14||Masking||Here you see some pictures of the very complex masking process. We had these masks cut on a cutting plotter based on EPS files we made with Illustrator. The rest of the prcess is Renny's craftsmanship.|
|2007-06-15||Top of the wings finished||Today Renny finished the top of the wings.|
|2007-06-15||Preparing the fuse||Now the wings are allmost finished the fuselage is prepared and tapemasked as a preparation for the primer process.|
|2007-06-16||Plastic parts and details||We thought the wheelpants and fairings were ready but Renny is not perfectly satisfied so he'll do some tweaking....|
|2007-06-18||Priming and masking the fuselage||Renny smoothed out some minor issues in the fuselage's surface and applied primer.|
|2007-06-19||Priming the fuselage||All not-to-be-painted stuff was covered and primer was applied|
|2007-06-20||Painting the fuselage||The fuselage was painted with the antracite base paint. It is starting to look like a real aircraft....|
|2007-06-21||Details and semi-gloss finish||The stickers with various graphics were applied and the first coats of semi gloss varnish were sprayed on over these.|
|2007-06-22||Fuselage unmasked and details||Renny finished the fuselage and did the graphics on the Vertical Stabilizer. Furthermore he re-did the wheelpants and applied the graphics.|
|2007-06-23||Wingtips and lights||The cavities for the wingtip lights were finished and primed. Mirror foil was applied to the surface.|
|2007-06-27||Picking the plane up from the painter||Last night we picked up the PHVII from the paintshop. This is so cool. Unbelieveble that the pieces of Alclad, covered with blue stuff are now acting together as a beautiful aircraft!|
|2007-06-30||Putting the beast together!||Today we started on putting the whole shabang together. The empennage was mounted once again, but now for real, and torqued. We use all new hardware for this, no use cutting expenses in this stage ;-)
The wings were mounted, but not with the close tolerance bolts yet. They will spend the night in Pim's freezer, in the hope thatthey will be just a tiny bit smaller...
|2007-07-01||Final wing tip assembly||All goodies were installed in the wing tips for real, The strobes were mounted and tested (they worked), the VOR antenna was hooked up, just like the AOA systen intakes. The cables were nicely Adelclamped, for good measure.|
|2007-07-01||It is growing........||Today we did a huge load of work. The frozen bolts were hammered in and this went better then we had feared. The nuts were put on. Somehow there must be something wrong with the torque value cause I broke a nut, luckily without damaging the bolt-thread! We'll check for the correct value this week. Also all other wingbolts were installed and safetied.
We installed the flap rods and adjusted them until the flaps were retracted flush to the fuselage belly.
Aart installed everything in the wing tips, strobes, VOR antenna and AOA while Pim and I installed the ailerons and the pushrods. Then we spent some time adjusting the rods and of course the dreadful connection between the rods and the stick. Tip: glue on the small rings with super glue if you do not want to get nuts.
Pim installed the spinner while Aart and I had some fun installing the OAT probes (yes, we have three of them).
A very productive day! Aart stated that if we reported ill tomorrow at work we could have this thing flying by midweek...
Tempting... but at least we'll have something to show for on our mini RV-meet on 7-7-7. Oh yes: everybody is welcome to come to Lelystad EHLE next week!
|2007-07-05||Wrap up things||We are installing all goodies for real now in the wings. Here you see the third OAT sensor, mounted near the first hatch and fed via the central conduit. Furthermore I am adjusting the controls and torqueing and locking the control rods.|
|2007-07-06||Look at this...||And here is how they finally look like after all this hard labour. Fit is excellent and the finish is beautiful.
|2007-07-06||Jack mod in action!||Tonight I wanted to take the whole landing gear / brake section apart, clean it, fit it with new bolts, torque and safetie it. Here the jack modification came into action. You see the steel bracket Aart had made and the simple bottle lift from the car store. It also became clear why you need a hole in the axle nut: the only way to tighten this nut is when the wheel is in the air, as soon as it lands it is pushed outwards which makes it impossible topush it tight against the flange.
Only thing which puzzles me is the tyre tension: or the value Van's gives is quite low (25psi) or my inflation tool is not calibrated rightly...
|2007-07-07||7-7-7 first very unofficial RV-meeting in the Netherlands||Today was a very special day. About a year ago I had joked that 7-7-7 would be a good day for a first flight for an RV-7. Aad Proost, fellow RV builder, borrowed this idea to organise an RV meeting on Lelystad for all builders in Belgium and the Netherlands on this day. The Dutch Homebuilders organisation NVAV graciously provided a location for this event in front of their hangar.
Not only were the Lowlands RV-builders almost all there, but also 5 RV's and a Piper from the UK came to meet the still small Lowlands RV-community. The 2 flying RV's in the Netherlands were also present, and also a lot of flying and not-flying friends.
Ok, we did not make it to have PH-VII flying, but at least she was ready to roll outside and to be shown to the admiring public.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a growing tradition with an expanding homebuild community.
A Huge Thank You to all people who made this day possible!
|2007-07-10||Final inspection||To get our "Bewijs van luchtwaardigheid" a certified mechanic has to do a thorough inspection and sign a statement that we build this thing with craftmanship and according the specs.
We asked Jordi to do this and he did a first inspection of the plane. He found some small things and gave some very useful tips. Overall he was quite pleased with the overall quality!
We'll improve or fix the points he had this week so he can come over for a final inspection.
For a final approval from our FAA (called Inspectie Verkeer en Waterstaat) we'll have to file a lot of things like a POH, a list of equipment, a weight and balance and a noise certificate. We are working on these, but it is quite a lot!
|2007-07-10||Center Console||Here you see our center console after it has been covered with leather. We are still working on a cover plate.|
|2007-07-15||Aileron Stops||I fabbed these aileron stops, according to a plan from Mickey Coggins (Thanks!) I used a standard Nylon bushing ID 8mm and OD 12.5mm. The most difficult thing was to get these critters in! In the end the only thing was to loosen the flaps again and to manipulate the bolt/bushing combi in its place. I had to Superglue a washer to a nut and this again to a wrench to get the final nut in its place!|
|2007-07-15||Wing walks||In order to protect the paint and not to slip when getting in and out of the plane we needed some wing walk material. Well, here is a little secret: the beststuff you can buy in this field comes from a Skateboard shop! Verrrrry heavy duty, self adhesive and approved by VANS. Total cost for one RV: 6 Euro's.
I made a template to cut the corners. I released the protective foil at one end and positioned it using tape. After that I lightly pressed the sticky surface and peeled away the rest of the backing foil.
|2007-07-21||Airframe signed off!||Today Jordi did his final inspection. After thorough investigation of our workmanship he was satisfied and gave us the thums up, together with some useful advise.
Now we 'only' have to do a Weight and Balance and have a avionics mechanic check and hopefully sign off our instruments and avionics. After that we can apply for the Dutch Certificate of Airworthyness.
|2007-07-22||Taxi test||Today we re-did the engine tests we did before and, safe for a uncharged battery, this went quite smoothly. We checked various settings and systems and this gave no major surprises. The fuelpump kicks in under 1000RPM, the tanks switch ok and the engine monitors perform nicely. Issues yet to be solved: the fuel float senders do not seem to work (could be in the setup of the VM100C), the altitudes in the BMA's are 80 and 180 feet off and the brake cylinders do not return in their original positions so the brakes keep sticking. This last item seem to be quite common and on the Vans airforce site there are some discussions about and solutions for this item. With two ropes attached to the brakes as a makeshift un-brake device, I did the first taxi run. The plane really does feel ok: solid, responsive and without the itchyness I know from the Cub! For a small clip of a part of this run, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwkdtioZ0I|
|2007-07-22||Mid Console||Today we mounted the mid console. We mounted the engraved top cover but most of the work was the installation and adjustment of the throttle- and prop control. It took Aart some very tight handling and some swearing but in the end it was all worth it.|
|2007-07-25||Weight & Balance 1||How do you weight an RV-7? More excatly: where do you find three precise scales in a range up to 250 kg's. Fortunately, Pim had a friend of a friend who builds racing cars and he had a nifty scale-set. We set the scales level and made some ramps from wood and aircraft magazines (!) to roll PHVII on it. Then we brought the tail in the flying position, by putting it and the scale on a sawhorse and shimming this until the datum line of the canopy side was level.
|2007-07-26||Weight & balance 2||We had mounted everything that will be flying on the plane, most of all the interior, the seats and the belts and now it was time to make up the balance. Here it is: left front wheel 243kg, right front wheel 242kg and tail wheel 34kg, which gives a total of 519kg or 1144lbs. We measured the center of the wheels, measured form the wing root to get the right dimensions for the calculation an this gave an empty CoG arm of 80.9inch. These values are not bad at all, given the fact that this is including paint, all fairings and a complete leather interior including a mid console.
I made a complete spreadsheet (inches and metric) which describes some realistic load situations. If anyone is inetrested please call/mail and I send it to you.
|2007-07-27||Avionics signed off||Today there was a very important hurdle to take. The pitot/static system was checked and calibrated and the avionics were tested. I was afraid of leaks in the system and worried about calibrating the Efisses since altitude on both was quite off the mark. Besides that I had no idea about the correct functioning of the Garmin 330 transponder.
Thijs Lichtenberg from Star Air Service arrived and began inspecting our work. He hooked up his calibrated equipment and concluded that there was no leakage in the system. Pfwew! After that het started feeding altitudes to the static system so I could calibrate the tables of the first Efis. After that we did the Airspeed and this was spot on! Only a little bit of tweaking in the range between 120 and 160 should be neccessary to optimise it. We repeated the whole process for the second Efis. In the mean time the analog UMA gauges performed flawlessly. Trouble with a digital system is that it is so exact! I fussed about a difference of 20 feet while with an analog gauge this would be almost invisible.
After this Thijs tested the SL30 Com and VOR and the transponder, and they were working as advertised exept for the fact that the transponder was not receiving ANY signal from the AmeriKing Altitude decoder. I showed Thijs my installation diagram and he quickly found what I had done wrong: because the 330 does not have a strobe function I left the pink wire loose while I should have connected it to ground. Because the rest of the connections and general set-up looked very ok to Thijs he signed the total system off with the comment that we should fix the pink wire and fly to Teuge airport to have him check the transponder. Yes: FLY!
So now all official things and paperwork is done and we can send the whole archive to our Inspectie Verkeer en Waterstaat. I hope they send us the much awaited Certificate of Airworthiness very soon for you know.......... ;-)
|2007-07-28||Improving the brake system||After some research and help from fellow RV-ators we modified the brake cylinders in a way that they return in their zero position after braking. First step is to get rid of as much friction in the system as possible.|
|2007-07-28||Calibrating the BMA's||Making the two Efisses behave is quite an interesting task. Aart had lined up the magnetometer previously with the flight direction but we found out that it should be in the same plane as the two efisses themselves. Therefore we readjusted the angle of the Magnetometer mount by some 8 degrees. The good thing is that the readings are now almost completely identical BUT still some 20 degrees off compared to our runway heading.... More research, measuring and tweaking I suppose.|
|2007-07-28||More taxi tests||Today we did some more taxi tests, to check out the brakes and to enjoy ourselves to bits ;-)
Every time we start up the engine we analyse its health by recording the FADEC data.
|2007-08-02||High Speed taxi runs||This evening I introduced Bill de Koning to our plane. Bill is a very experienced flight instructor who used to fly heavy Merlin powered Fireflies from aircraft carriers, and he will make the first flight together with me (Rene) to help him on the specific systems of PH-VII.
We did three high speed taxi runs ussing the full 1200 metres of our local runway. Maximum speed was 60 knots with the tail up. A very slight movement of the stick would have made us fly!
Tracking and feel of the controls was very good and Bill was very impressed with the power of the plane. His opinion, in good Dutch: "Sodeju, wat een beest!"
|2007-08-03||Flap switch and seat belts||I mounted some odds and ends tonight. The flap switch (chromed) was glued to the modified flap toggle switch using high strenght two component glue. The seat belts were mounted. We use the Jr. Dragster type from Fred Crow with 5 belts and a rotary cam lock. Good quality product, allthough the lap restraints are a bit on the short side (but just long enough I think).|
|2007-08-04||Airworthy!||Today was the big day. I had been sitting on a chair next to my front door, waiting for the postman.......and yes the Certificate of Airworthiness arrived! All paperwork is now sorted.
Next step: take a holiday whilst the guys from the insurance agencies are having sleepless nights over their best offer. They really want to have this magnificent beast as a customer!
Tomorrow we will prepare everything for a first flight. When we are back from holiday it will be just a matter of choosing a quit evening and let the reigns (and those 185 horses) loose.
|2007-08-05||Wing root fairings||Our final goal is to make nicely shaped wing root fairings from the components of Fairings etc. but for the time being we use the standard Van's fairing.|
|2007-08-05||Fuel caps and name plate||We have a airworthy plane now but no insurance :-(.
Besides some tweaking and programming of the BMA's and the VM1000C we mounted some loose ends: I glued the carpets in place and mounted the air vent ducts (terrible job). Besides that we mounted the engraved and chromed fuel tank caps and the official Name Plate, engraved of course in our own letter type ;-) Note that as manufacturing date we have 07-07-07.
It was a pity that we couldn't fly today but the wind was too heavy and too cross, so we could not have done it anyway. So now I'm going on a vacation of twoandahalf weeks and when I return.... Aart, Pim and Harm will we away during the same period so we'll be ready for it when everybody is back.
|2007-08-23||First Flight! (part 1)||With almost everybody returned from holidays, it was time to take the plunge. The start of the week was quite windy and rainy but a improvement was predicted for thursday so we had planned to keep our agenda's free for the afternoon. It started grey and rainy with CB's all over the place, but at least the wind was calm and into the runway, so we decided to try and come to Lelystad airport.
Aart and I started on the last items: improvement of the tailwheel, including a towbar attach point and mounting the secundary canopy latch. Then there was the final checks and closing all inspection hatches and the engine cowls. Bill, the instructor who was going to do the first flight with me as co-pilot, arrived and we rolled the plane outside.
I attempted to start but the battery was low and the Fadec did not have enough to ignite. Hmm, strange, since we had charged it the whole afternoon... On inspection the fuse in the charging cable was melted. Replacing it, it popped again so we started to search for the fault, which was found in a shortcircuited charging plug. Duh... Pim went off to the Shell to get some new fuses and we repaired the plug for the time being. After some charging (patience........) I tried again and this time it sprang to life. (continued)
|2007-08-24||First Flight! (part 2)||With all systems go I taxied to the fuel station and refuelled. Bill climbed in, we did the final checks and briefed each other, and we taxied to the holding point.
In the mean time Aart had taken off in a C-172 chase plane and Pim was next to the runway with a video camera.
Bill opened the throttle and PH-VII jumped forward and before I knew it we were in a steady climb. Very exciting but on the other hand this feeling that it was completely normal that it actually could fly!
Throttling back at 500 feet to avoid overheating to 25inch/2500 RPM we still had a climb rate of 1800 feet per minute with 87 kts IAS. After leveling off at 3000 feet we tried some control inputs and it all felt so stable and well-coordinated. The most difficult part was preventing it from climbing or accelerating!
We practiced some slow flight at 4000 feet which also gave the chase plane an opportunity to come abeam. We tried the flaps near the stall speed and it all stayed very stable. The only point was that we noticed some engine backfiring at lower power settings. The engine temperatures stayed very neat however. After going through the various procedures we planned to come in for landing. Bill made it a wheel landing and we were back on solid ground again after 25 minutes. Woah, it seems we built ourselves a real aeroplane.......
We taxied back to show our grins to the others and prepared PH-VII for the second and third first flight for Aart and Pim. (continued)
|2007-08-25||Second first flight||After some checks it was Aart's turn to taste the fruit of his labour. Bill and he set off for a short flight. For me it was very cool to see the plane take off and climbing like an elevator. Somehow even more exciting then when I was in it. After some 15 minutes they returned, allowing Aart to develop a huge grin.
Then it was Pim's turn for a quick hop just before sunset and he strapped in. And then, very strange: she would not start! After some tries we decided that this was too strange for a third first flight and it needed investigation first, so we called it a glorious day and pulled the plane back to the hangar. While the champagne was un-corked (that's RV-building European style guys) I could not resist to check again. I managed to start, albeit not easy and noticed the fuel pump kept running on all settings. After shutting down Aart noticed large dents in the wing leading edge (WHO DID THIS!!!), which disappeared when Pim pulled the tank cap! Appearantly the fuel vent line was blocked! I tried to re-start and it worked immediately.
So with some homework for the next flights we drank our champagne, kissed PH-VII goodnight and went home quite happy!
A huge thank you to Bill and everybody else who helped making this possible!
|2007-08-26||Third and fourth testflight||Today we made some modifications based on the first flights. Most important was of course the un-blocking of the fuel vent line. It appeared that the maze filters on the in/outlets underneath the fuselage were completely blocked, probably by epoxy. We removed them and will make new filters. Furthermore we improved the baffles by checking the rub-marks on the upper cowling. There was a bend which caused a gap in the back at cylinder #4 so with some dedicated cutting and stitching we improved this.
After this Bill dida testflight with me and with Pim. We did some stalls: clean the break came at 49 knots and with flaps at 45 knots. Stall behaviour is very docile: just a very small drop over the right wing and an immediate recovery. Bill did dives and climbs at various power/pitch settings and the propellor tracked nicely within 25 RPM. We did some turns which got steeper and steeper until we were at about 70 degrees 2.3 G. The plane behaved perfectly. I did my first landing which was a bit bouncy because of the stiff crosswind, ok my own inexperience ;-)
|2007-08-26||Tow Bar||We modified the tailwheel with a longer bolt with some bushings, to accomodate this towbar from Spruce. It took some persuation of the cotter pin to get the tubes of the towbar neatly over it, but in the end it worked smoothly. Maneuvering in and out of the hanger is now very easy!|
|2007-08-27||Fifth and sixt flight||Today we were visited by Maarten van Eeghen. He is also a very experienced pilot who flies on all kinds of jealous-making planes like the Hawker Hunter and the B25 Mitchell. He also likes experimental hotrods and has owned an RV6.
We did two flights with him in which he gave some very useful advise on powersettings and general RV handling. We reconfirmed the stall data and did some more advanced maneuvres like stalling in a turn, chandelles, very steep 2.8G turns and two rolls. PH-VII behaved perfectly and Maarten was very enthousiastic about the behaviour, stability and straightness of the plane! (and he knows..). He coached us through the circuit and I made two landings, the first quite nice, the second a bit too high flared. Still she stays very good under control. Maarten says this is also because of the wood-and-foam dampers in the gear legs.
The engine performed nicely and the temperatures stayed quite low. The only issue was that after the first landing the engine started to run very rought and lost some power which corrected itself after 15 seconds. We tried to repeat the procedure but this time nothing happened. Also on the next flight Pim noted nothing strange. I recorded the engine data with the laptop and sent it to Aerosance. Their first reaction was that it should have been some dust/dirt in the fuel line of cylinder #4. We'll flush the system and check if the problem returns.
|2007-08-30||Flushing the fuel system||As advised by Aerosance we flushed the fuel system from the inline filter to the injectors. There was some dirt in the cup filter in the distribution block and there was a small chip in the #4 fuel line. A power run afterwards gave no problems, also not on the Healthcheck software.|
|2007-08-31||Calibrating the fuel system||Tonight the wind was to strong to fly, so we calibrated the fuel system. Very high-tech: we calibrated a Mil-spec aircraft gasoline container (also known as bucket) and filled the tanks in steps of 5 litres. At each point the setting was saved in the VM1000C. Interesting point: the float sensors reach their max at about 65 litres so you will never know if there in more in the tank! So during calibration we also calibrated a ordinary dipstick so we can always inspect the fuel quantity visually. Tip during filling, rock the plane, so that the float sensors do not stick and give the wrong reading.
The VM1000C is an incredible machine: it has loads of functions and, to my amazement, everything works everytimeas advertized if you only do exactly what the (very good) manual says.
|2007-09-09||Calibrating the oil dipstick||Amazing that you have to do this yourself! Maybe the 50% rule ;-) Today we let the slightly discoloured oil out after a engine run (so it was still warm and thin), filled 1 litre bottles with it and poured it back with stops every litre to make a mark on the dip-stick, first with a Sharpie, then with a file. The oil quick drain works perfectly by the way!|
|2007-09-09||Flight update||After cleaning the fuel lines I did some flying with Maarten on wednesday. It went perfectly: the engine behaved as advertised (allthough the battery was down again at start-up) and I tried some touch and goes. They went very well, with all kind of flap setting. After that we climbed a bit. I practised some chandelles and Maarten did a perfect looping! WOOW.
After some more quite nice landings and an evaluation of the power settings we quit.
Next friday it was AT LAST Aarts turn to fly, this time with Bill. Because of the stiff crosswind he decided to fly to the nearby field of Hilversum. On the way back suddenly the engine started to run very rough with the Fadec Caution light flashing!
The power stayed enough to maintain altitude and Bill made a very nice crosswind landing, with the engine still running rough. Unluckily there was no data recorder coupled to the Fadec so we could only describe the experience to Aerosance. They sent an injector nozzle because the suspicion is still that there could be dirt in the nozzle of the #4 cylinder. I certainly hope so.... Strange thing is that there was more than 2 hours of perfect behaviour after the first malfunction.
On sunday we did some test runs with the laptop hooked up and of course it behaved perfectly :-( Anyhow we sent the data files to Aerosance and will replace the injector nozzle as soon as it arrives. Until then no flying I'm afraid. It gives us some time however to replace the battery and hopefully solve the power drain during start-up.
|2007-09-15||Injector change and Spark plug check||Today we exchanged the suspect injector nozzle of cylinder #4 with one from Aad Proost his plane since the one Aerosance sent us is still in the mail. You need some special tools (deep socket 1/2 and 3/8 or a crow fooot wrench 3/8) and some patience for this. You also have to take care no dirt can come into the exposed nozzle. The removed nozzle produced some fine black dirt so hopefully this has been the source of our problems.
Since we had some rough running and power drop when operating on one Fadec we also checked and cleaned the spark plugs. After that we exchanged them with each other.
The test runs were satisfactory and I had the impression the engine was running a bit smoother then before.
One thing that is not solved is the battery mistery: Every time we started up the Battery voltage drops to about 10V, the Fadecs go offline and will not start. As a temporary solution we charge the battery for about 15 minutes with 8A. After this the engine starts and charges during flight. It always starts ok for a second run. Our conclusion was that the battery had had it in the two years it was hardly used so today we installed a brand new one, fully charged.
To our surprise the new battery behaved exactly the same: it dropped it's voltage to below 10V, the Fadec went off-line. We charged the new battery for 15 minutes at 8A and it started ok!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarchhh! What is happening here? I'll ask Mahlon and Jabe about this tonight.
|2007-09-16||Flight update||Since we are still a bit anxious about our engine reliability we stay around the Lelystad Aerodrome around 4000/5000 ft and fly the engine at at least 75% to help it breaking in. Since straight and level has been checked and passed, we explore the possibilties of our RV-7 a bit further. Bill helps us with chandelles and tries his own hand on loopings. Really awesome! Since we use Aart's laptop as engine data recorder we can now officially confirm that an HP laptop can withstand 3,8G!
Both Aart and I did a test flight of together 1,5 hours and the engine performed flawlessly. All temps stayed where they have to stay and the ignitions never missed a beat so hopefully the injector nozzle #4 was indeed the offender.
|2007-09-22||Neighbours!||Opposite our hangar is another row of hangars and directly opposite is the home of a gorgeous Piper Clipper from 1947. Then designed as a 4 seat tourer, these days lovingly owned by Eugenie and Leo. Leo is an instructor from whom Aart and I learned the fine art of motorgliding.
As a good tradition in every neighbourhood you offer your new friends a ride in your own taildragger of course!
When Aart and Leo were flying Eugenie offered me a ride in the Clpper: Truly fantastic to fly with this 60 year old machine!
(to next entry)
|2007-09-23||View from a Clipper||Leo was rather euforic about our plane so: time for still another ride. Eugenie followed with Aart in the Clipper for some air-to-air shots. I had to slow down the RV-7 to about 90 knots, but no problem: as stable as can be.
After one hour of tremendous fun, including a roll, I returned to Lelystad where we had a lovely glass of wine in the afternoon sun in front of our hangars. Sweet!
|2007-09-29||Getting the transponder to work||Our Garmin GTX330 transponder worked, but only in mode alpha. Star airservice had tipped us that I might have missed a wire, most probably the unused strobewire which should have been connected to Ground. After fixing this (lying on my back in the front of the plane) it still did not work and after some research with the multimeter it turned out that two wires had been misconnected, thereby forcing me to rebuild the last surviving plug from our pre-wired harness......
Advise: build your own harness if you have a little bit more than standard, you'll probably end up doing a fair bit of it anyway and then you understand what you are doing...
After this fix the transponder started to work, also in C and S. I finetuned the altitude decoder to our real altitude and entered the Mode S aircraft address.
|2007-09-30||Upgrading the BMA's||Up until now, the BMA Efisses performed very nicely, except for one point: the moving map of the GPS was quite horrible and gave no useful terrain data. I contacted Greg Richter about this and had a reply from them in no time that they had a fix for us that they would send that day.
The USB stick arrived three days later with about 900 Mb of European terrain data! I fed it to the BMA and it automaticly upgraded itself in about 20 minutes. The result: perfect maps with towns, water and major roads, really awesome!
Time to start exploring these maps.............
|2007-10-07||Flying to Teuge||Today we flew with Maarten. Pim did a roundtrip around the IJsselmeer and I made my first out-of-the-nest flight to Teuge. Normally a short journey, now an amazingly short hop (10 minutes). The plane performed nicely and the new BMA database made navigating a doddle, even above the clouds. On the way back Maarten gave me some training in chandelles and aileron- and barrelrolls. Amazing stuff....|
|2007-10-14||Flying to Texel||The wheather was amazing this weekend, especially for the time of year. Thank you Al Gore!
It gave us the opportunity to do some verrry nice flying. Pim did some flight testing and I did a relaxed flight with Leo Meddens to Texel (EHTX) On the way to Texel I intercepted the wonderful Catalina flying boat from Lelystad. It felt a bit like I was in a Zero...
After our visit to the very friendly airfield of Texel I went back via the Afsluitdijk and the lakes in Friesland to the province of Drenthe to visit my friends Marnix and Judith. Marnix helped us several times during the construction of PH-VII so I thought it would be nice to show him the result. They were standing outside so we treated them on some tight RV-turns.
Back via the IJssel river and after some 'usual attitudes' training ;-) back to Lelystad for a nice landing. What a wonderful day of flying, what an amazing plane!
|2007-11-03||Headset brackets||We were a bit tired from having our expensive Bose headsets lying in the luggage compartment, so I made this bracket from some scrap. Complete with lightening holes to save weight ;-)|
|2007-11-04||Rewiring the primary system||Because of our starting troubles we decided some weeks ago to completely redesign our primary wiring system into a Z14 set-up. From research and advise from Mahlon and Jabe from Aerosance we concluded that the minimum set-up for a Fadec engine is a dual battery / one alternator system and since we had a second alternator anyway we decided that a Z-14 would be the way to go.
Aart took the lead in the this project and Pim and I helped him, for instance with designing a nifty tray for the secundary 7Ah battery which goes on the inside to the firewall (photo's to follow). Aart set it up in a way that we were able to fly the last weeks, but today we took the whole system apart, pulled every wire and fuse out of the blocks, pulled new wires, removed old wires and reinstalled the whole shabang. Yes I also removed the keep-alive battery and the Schottkey diode I so painstakingly installed. We now have two seperate busses, each with an alternator and a battery and with a crossfeed switch, should one of the "channels" drop out. The Fadec is fed from both.
The fuse block compartment looked like a bomb exploded there and I was worried that we'd have to spend weeks getting the bugs out. I took the opportunity to change the lock so we can open and close the fuse compartment now during flight.
We switched on the system expecting smoke, but joy: all systems appeared to be in the air again. We rolled the plane out and, while I was ready to measure the voltages on the secundary battery (would it charge or not) Aart started the engine. For the first time in it's young existence PH-VII's engine fired within three turns of the prop! Whoaaw!
We tested the rest of the system and everything seemed to work flawlessly, even the charging voltages and the general behaviour of the alternators and the voltage regulators. Also the crossfeed backup worked as planned, and this gives of course a huge safety benefit. The only negative point is that we have to relocate and rename some of the panel switches, but maybe this might be a reason to optimise/redo our panel :-0
More good news is that Pim found out that we are now allowed to go abroad with our wonderplane, so I guess we are starting to get ready for some serious flying. I hope the weather will allow us.......
|2007-12-01||Engine issues||Ok, in the last entry I said that the plane was completely ok now and all we needed was good weather. Wrong!
The next week the engine started at once, but only on three cylinders! We did some checks and came to the conclusion that the injector in #2 was faulty. After exchanging the injector it still did not work so the most likeble issue should be the coil which operates the injector OR the wiring from the Fadec ECU's to the coil. Jabe from Aerosance confirmed that this could be the point and gave us some values to check on the 50-pins connector on the ECU.
To determine if it was the harness or the coil we cut the wire close to the coil and (luckily) it appeared to be the coil.
Aerosance sent a spare over, together with a splice kit and one week later we could reinstall the offending part. Seems this is the first time that there is a failure in a FADEC coil.... just our luck, I guess.
Anyhow: after installing the new coil the engine started at once and ran perfectly. We also tested the new electrical system intensely and it worked very good. The weather however was not good enough to do some flying (too much wind) so I hope we have an opportunity soon to check the systems in flight.
|2007-12-09||In the air again||Today I made a short testflight to check all systems. It was perfect and it felt verrrrry good to be back in the air again. I made it a short flight because of the deteriorating weather, so that Aart could make a well-deserved flight too.
Unfortunately, as soon as he turned the corner of our hangar a hailstorm broke loose so we cancelled that part of todays fun...
|2007-12-16||Exploring the country||Yesterday Pim made a long trip with Maarten and today Aart and I made a trip around the country, with landings at Midden Zeeland and Texel. Now our country is so big that, with an RV, you'll need about two hours to cross all of it!
Anyhow, it was big fun and we enjoyed the feeling of flying with our homebuilt speedster through the winter sky immensely!
Amazing facts of today: everywhere we come people start making photographs and a climb speed of 2300ft/min at 90 knots!!
|2008-01-19||Tailwheel lock||When Pim flew again, after some unflyable weeks due to the bad weather, he noticed that the tailwheel was stuck. With the help of some chemicals he got it moving again but we also noticed that the little "key" which couples the tailwheel to the rudder was stuck in a "disengage" position. We could remove the key by prying in a pin from the other side, removed the rust and polished both the key and the hole. We lubricated the pivot with Vasiline and the key itself with motor oil. It now works again perfectly.
Looks like a good idea to check and clean/regrease these items during every 50 hour inspection.
|2008-01-27||Starter repair||When starting the engine it backfired. At the next attempt the starter engaged but the propeller did not turn. Bugger... We removed the cowling and noticed that the little gear moved forward but did not turn, while the electric motor was spinning.
Quite certain that we'd have to remove the starter anyway, we removed the air intake and the starter.
After removing we found two shear pins inside the starter mounting bracket, together with a sticker which referred to www.skytecair.com for mounting instructions. With the aid of Pim's Iphone we found instructions to replace the indeed broken shearpin.
Pin replaced, starter and FAB remounted, engine test, cowling fitted and flying we go!
|2008-01-27||Flying to Hilversum||After repairing the starter Pim and I flew to Hilversum, a nice grass airfield where I did a perfect short field landing. At the tower we met Ton de Sligte, a former motorglider instructor of Aart and me. Of course all present were very impressed with our pride and joy ;-)|