|0000-00-00||Nav/strobe terminal install||Bolted the terminal block onto the lower fuselage rib in the right footwell area. Added an adel to secure wires coming aft from the wing spar, to keep them clear of aileron pushrod.
Crimped FastOn plugs to wires in the wingtips and tail.
Put power to the wires and tested lights...all OK.
|0000-00-00||Left fuel sensor||Crimped ring terminal to sensor wire and screwed it to the tank.|
|0000-00-00||AOA/Pitot lines||Slipped a corrugated plastic sleeve over the 2 lines to protect them from abrasion.|
|2009-12-23||Tail shipped from Van's|
|2010-01-15||Inventory||Unpacked and inventored Empennage kit...all parts accounted for.|
|2010-01-16||Tools||Boxes of tools begin to arrive.
Organized parts & tools in shop.
|2010-01-21||Shop||Went to Lowes and bought lumber to build 2 shop tables. Used plans from EAA.
Bought bench grinder
|2010-02-03||Rear Spar Assembly||Prepped Rear Spar bars with Scotchbrite wheel; rounded edge to fit into spar channel.
Drilled holes to attach 603PP to 609PP
Enlarged hole for HS-708 in HS-609PP
Cleco and drilled elev bracket to rear spar assembly with #30 drill
|2010-02-03||Elev bracket prep||Prepared elev bearing brackets by clamping together and drilling
Deburred these parts
Cleco/Drill HS-411 assembly to spar with #12
ClecoHS810 & -814 reinf angles to both front spar channels (HS-702, so I could drill/match drill holes for ribs HS-404 & HS-405.
Taper ends of -810 & -814 with bandsaw and Scotchbrite wheel.
Clamped and bent -810, -814 angles per instructions; 6 degrees.
|2010-02-04||Countersinking||Dimples and Countersunk HS-702 and -810 & -814; 4 holes.|
|2010-02-07||Drilling Horz Stab||Clecoed ribs to spars
Carefully measured/marked where holes are to be drilled thru 404, 405 ribs and fwd spar.
Drilled all rib-to-spar holes with #30
|2010-02-13||Preparing Ribs||Measured and notched the aft ends of both HS-404 ribs.
Prepared HS-404, -405, -707, & -708 ribs by fluting with fluting pliers.
|2010-02-15||Drilling Horz Stab||Deburred, cleaned out chips and re-clecoed ribs to spar
Clecoed skin to frame
Drilled HS-708 rib to spar holes to #21 size
Marked holes and centerline on -404 & 405 rib flanges, clamped into position.
|2010-02-19||Drilling Horz Stab||Drilled and clecoed HS-405 aft flange to HS-603. Cleaned and re-clecoed per plans.
Drilled attach holes in -405 rib.
Drilled skin-to-rib holes with # 40
Clecoed -810 & -814 reinf angles to fwd spar. Clamped, then drilled holes thru both rib flanges, spar, and reinf angles with 12" # 40 drill. Had to temporarily remove aft spar for access with drill.
Drilled remaining skin-to rib, and skin-tospar holes with # 40.
Removed skin, and drilled outermost 4 holes on each end of both reinf angles.
Removed 810 & 814
|2010-02-22||Right HS||Assembled/clecoed ribs to spars. Clecoed skin to skeleton. Layed out 404/405 inner ribs and clamped in placed in prep to drill. Ready to drill skin-to-ribs holes next time.|
|2010-02-26||Drilling Rt HS & deburring||Long day. Drilled skin-to-rib/spar holes and the difficult 404/702/810/814/405 holes after clamping. Removed the rear spar to get access to this area with 12" # 30 drill.
Removed skin & drilled remaining 810/814 holes (outboard ones)
Marked all parts, disassembled, and removed blue plastic.
Deburred all parts and holes. LOTS OF HOLES!
Next will be my first attempt at dimpling.
|2010-03-04||C-frame platform||Gathered materials to build elevated frame for C-frame. Instead of wood boards, I bought a sheet of 1" foamboard insulation. Since tyhe frame is going to be lifted and moved on & off my workbenches, I thought a lighter material would be appreciated. Cut strips of foamboard to the dimensions called for in the plans that came with the c-frame; glued them together and onto a 3/4" plywood top with Hvy-duty Liquid Nails. Glues reinforcing corners in, too. Came home with a 6 x 8' indoor/outdoor carpet.
Cut a covering for the c-frame platform and for both workbench tops. Had some left over to line part of the shelves below.
|2010-03-05||Pre-assembly of HS||Prepared the skins and ribs by dimpling with c-frame and squeezer. Discovered about half-a-dozen holes that I had not match drilled, so had to re-cleco both sides together in order to guarantee a good match-drill.
Disassembled both sides.
De-burred and dimpled these last few holes, and am now ready to prime parts.
|2010-03-06||Priming||This was the first 50 degree plus day of the year, so it's time to paint!.
Foraged and bought chicken wire, and "Scotchbrite" pads ( actually Norton brand, from hardware store for $1.29/ea.
Washed HS skeleton parts, let them air dry, then wiped them with thinner (mineral spirits)
Set up spray station by stapling chicken wire over old sandbox in back yard.
Sprayed all skeleton parts and rear elevator bearing.
Used one can of NAPA 7220.
Located and taped over rivit holes in rear spar per instruction.
Will let parts dry for two days (I have to work tomorrow) before I start riveting.
|2010-03-06||Stab bearing||Realized that I had put off riveting the 411 stab bearing supports because I was waiting to prime it. So this means that I had also put off drilling the mounting holes to their proper size (#12).
I now clecoed the rear spar and reinforcing bars together and did these steps. Did not have any 1/4" clecos, so drilled two holes, then used a couple of bolts to hold it in place while I drill the other holes.
Dis assembled the rear spar. No scratches on my primer! (yet)
|2010-03-08||Riveting rear spar||Slowly & carefully started riveting the reinforcement bars to the rear spar with a hand squeezer. Riveted the elevator hinge brackets; substituted a shorted rivet for the outer brackets, as the called-for length tended to smush over.
Started riveting the -810/-814 to the fwd spar, but my squeezer yoke is not deep enough to reach the inner-most rivets on the -814.
Am stopping for the night due to fatigue, and will try to figue out a solution other than setting up the compressor.
Also cleaned & spot primed the inside of the HS skins where I scratched them with the ribs.
|2010-03-09||Front Spar assembly||Struggled with riveting -810 & -814 to Front spar, as my squeezer yoke does not clear the flange of one of these reinforcing angles. Constantly had to switch the flat and cupped sets in order to reach some rivets. Awkward positions and not clamping anything down led to several smushed rivets that had to be drilled out....one several times.|
|2010-03-10||Rivet practice||Decided I need to get my technique perfected, and broke out the compressor and rivet gun. Tried practiciong on my practice project, but became frustrated and quit. tried to compress a rivet to make my own "oops rivet", but am not sure about it. Need to enlarge and make round one rivet hole, so I'll need some bigger rivets. I now have an order in for some "Ooops" rivets, and a big bag of assorted rivets, so I can do some extensive practicing with my rivet gun. I thought I was good at setting rivets after 2 Oshkosh classes and one weekend workshop, but setting 1/8" rivets with a squeezer is a little wobbly.|
|2010-03-13||Skinned Rt HS||My first extensive use of the rivet gun! I had to scratch about half a dozen holes before I put some tape on the rivet set, then also taped the bucking bar. I had one empty hole in the skin over the forward section of the middle rib; for some reason, the holes did not line up enough to get a rivet in. I decided to get some "Oops" rivets, and drill it out to the next size. In the meantime, I continued with rivetting on the skin. Somewhere near the end of all this, I saw that I had closed up my access to this empty hole...I couldn't get the bucking bar to it anymore with the main spar installed.
Looks like I now need a flush pop rivet! Oh well, all in all it looks pretty good, even with all the fingerprints.
|2010-03-15||Lots of work...just not on my plane!||After a fierce N'reaster blew thru town, with winds up to 65 kts, and over 4 inches of rain in 24 hours, I spent this day bailing out (literally) my next door neighbors house, who was in Florida. He had gotten about 6" of water in his basement, which was NOT ready for it; wool carpet, lots of cardboard boxes on the floor, etc.
Used his shopvac to suck up about 50 gallons of water from his carpet, and off the floor, after the water receded. Set up some fans, cranked up the furnace fans, and left all the lights on.
He says he may come home Friday...4 days from now. It ought to be pretty stinky by then.
|2010-03-16||Still no progress due to life...||Today I picked up the last set of thermal windows for the house. Had to negotiate several roadblocks due to floods. Got home in time to pick up my son from school. The sun's finally out, so I opened my neighbors windows, but I don't have time to stain my new windows. The wx supposed to be Spring-like for the next several days, but i won't be able to take advantage of it tomorrow either as my son & I are attending an engineering carreer day at Rutgers.|
|2010-03-24||Completing HS||Big day,...finally back in the shop. Clecoed and riveted other side of HS skin to main spar and ribs. Was about to cleco rear spar into place, but thought I'd check the quality of my first rivets with my newly aquired rivet gauge Gues what...nearly all were under driven/squoze. This time, I took the time to clamp the spar in a vise and re-squoze all rear spar rivets. I also replaced one rivet that had been drilled out twice, with a larger one, since I got my assortment of rivets from Aircraft Spruce...(or was it Brown?)
Clecoed rear spar into place and started squeezing skin to root ribs and tip ribs, and rear spar. Break time.
Got back down to the shop and finished riveting HS. Getting better at it.
|2010-03-26||Starting VS||Step 1...clecoed spar doubler to rear spar. Clecoed hinge brackets to rear spar.|
|2010-03-27||VS skeleton||Prepared ribs ( edges an fluting), clecoed skeleton together along with hinge brackets. Final drilled brackets/spars. Drilled and re-clecoed ribs to spars.
Clecoed on the skin. Tight fit, especially at leading edge.
|2010-03-31||Skinning VS||Chandler's Birthday.
Match-drilled skin to skeleton. Had to remove upper rib because I had mistakenly fluted it where I was to drill a hole. Had to un-cleco the upper half of the VS to reassemble and "drive" the upper rib back into position.
Washed completed HS to removing fingerprints.
|2010-03-31||VS||After match drilling, removed skin, but found I had missed a couple of holes in the rib-to-fwd spar connection. In order to ensure these holes were drilled perfectly, I had to re-skin the whole VS. Started doing that tonight.|
|2010-04-01||VS||Continued re-skinning. Match-drilled two holes in top of fwd spar.
Disassembled VS. Started de-burring drilled holes.
|2010-04-06||Birthday workday!||Hours of de-burring...mostly by hand with a drill bit. The electric screwdriver/deburring tool seemed less effective. Could be getting dull.
Edge prep on skin and ribs. Dimpled bottom holes of rear spar where flush rivets will go. Started to set up the drill press for countersinking the rear reinforcement. Removed 'price-tag' stickers from ribs, and washed ribs with scotchbrite pad. I forgot I still had to dimple them, so will have to wash them again to remove fingerprint oil before priming. Hope to get [arts primed tomorrow, so they can cure while I'm away at work for 3 days.
Got a 'BurrAway" for a birthday gift from the Bradleys!
|2010-04-07||VS Rear Spar||Started riveting rear spar and reinforcement bar.|
|2010-04-12||Vert Stab||Finished riveting rear spar/reinf/hinges.
Assembled/riveted skin onto skeleton, then riveted rear spar into place. It was difficult to buck some of the skin/rear spar, as the large rivets that clamped the reinforcement bar to RS, conflicted with the squeezer. Some rivets...not so pretty.
|2010-04-26||First Inspection||Invited EAA Technical Counselor, Victor Holmlund, to take a look at my work. He thought my 'less than completly flush' rivets on VS were due to incomplete dimpling. He suggested being more aggressive with the dimple dies. I agree, since I rapped the dimpler a little harder on the rudder, and the rivets sit very flush.
Another parts order arrived with some flush blind rivets, a better de-burring head for my swivel-handled tool, and some rivet tape, which really helped speed things along on the rudder.
|2010-04-28||Two weeks of Rudder work||Daily logs are a thing of the past, I fear. For the last 2 weeks have managed to cut/prime the rudder stiffeners & back-rivet them in place.
Fabricated a bending brake to make the final bend. of the trailing edge. managed to scratch the skin before I thought of covering the brake with layer of masking tape.
Cut and shaped the shim, and trimmed the rudder brace. Assembled with clecos, match drilled, de-burred, dimpled, primed 'metal-to-metal' parts.
Am relying on Alclad for corrosion control unless metal-to-metal connections.
|2010-04-30||Rudder Skin on||Riveted skin onto understructure. Used several pop rivets in tight spaces. Discovered the "319" pop rivets I ordered from Spruce are have a smaller shaft and my pop rivet puller won't work with them, so I'm using up the Van's supply. Will have to reorder correct size, or get a rivt puller that will pull a smaller shaft.|
|2010-05-25||Several weeks of work...||Since the last entry, I've concentrated on building rather than logging my progress. Today I primed ribs for the elevators. Previously, I did all the other stuff to get to this point. Obvious, right?
Have decided to try to move faster, so will rely on shiny Alclad instead of priming all understructure. My back riveting has improved, and thanks to suggestions from my Tech Advisor, I'm putting in full-depth dimples, which eliminate those pesky, protruding rivet heads, that catch your skin when you rub your finger over them.
The spars for the elevator required a lot of hand twisting in order to de-burr. I got a 'Burr-away" for a gift, but unfortunately in only fits 1/8th holes, so it's seen limited use.
The elevator tips where the counter-weights sit gave me a little problem, as the holes were difficult to line up for cleco-ing. I think I needed to ensure the rib flanges were bent at a 90 degree angle before I mated them back-to-back, because the webs seemed slightly bowed out. Clamping and a little extra "encouragement" while cleco-ing solved the problem this time.
Have gone back to keeping the blue plastic on as long as possible. Maybe I'll have a semi-shiny plane to test fly.
Am looking at the bank account to see when I can order the QB wings, since the end of this part of construction is near.
|2010-06-17||More weeks of work...good progress on the elevators.||The last few weeks have resulted in completion of the right elevator, (except for rolling the leading edges), construction of the trim tab, and near completion of the left elevator. The left elevator was stalled for a while as I had to order/receive some dimple dies and small-head countersink rivets to fit out the electric trim access panel. The plate nuts installation was a little intricate, and eventually required me to drill out the reinforcement panel, so I could cleanly dimple the screw holes and squeeze the rivets that hold the platenuts to it. I decided to use the small-head 3-3.5's and simply machine countersink the aluminum with my deburring tool. Worked well, and the anxious process of drilling out several rivets to remove the reinforcement plate actually was a GOOD thing, as it turned out to not be a big deal, and, except for a few scratches, the resulting appearance is still good. The electric trim installation required a lot of "visualizing", and unfortunately I read on the blogs about how the Van's plans measurements were a little off only after I had drill the holes for the rivets. This only meant that I had a little more filing/trimming of the aluminum to get the pushrod/clevis to clear.
I managed to get the piano hinge on the trim tab slight askew resulting in the last couple of holes at one end being a little too close to the edge. I'm planning to add two rivets between the last three in order to ensure long-term strength in this installation.
Last night I could not figure out how to clamp the tab and hinge to the elevator, but will do my best to get it installed straight.
The "dreaded" tab bends were not a big deal, with the possible exeption of a brain-fart when I forgot to protect the shiny alum with some masking tape before I clamped it to my wooden workbench....more scratches.
The big event; Today I ORDERED A SET OF QUICKBUILD WINGS!!!
(9 week backorder, so I'll get the garage ready after the summer.)
|2010-10-02||Misc work||Took the summer off, after ordering QB wings. After returning home from MI, It took a little while to get downstairs and work on the finishing parts of the elevators. Have put various amounts of limited work attaching elev to stab...mostly working on alignment, cutting rear spar fo rbellcrank clearance, cutting tips for elevator counterweight clearance, and searching for a suitable bushing in ordr to drill thru bellcranks and main bearing.
Note for self; Today was Katie's big party in the back yard.
|2010-10-07||QB Wings delivered||Received 2 big crates today. Yahoo!|
|2010-10-25||Aileron bellcranks and pushrods||In the last week, I spent several hours attempting to install the two aileron bellcranks. One went in well, and swivels easily. The other kept binding after I torqued the long bolt. I suspected the bushing was being squeezed assymetrical due to an uneven job of griding away one end to size. I spent a lot of time refinishing the cut end, but still, it bound when I tighened the bolt. I eventually took both upper and lower brackets off the spar, and assembled/tightened the bolt at the bench...NO BINDING! So I started investigating whether the brackets were bent, or misaligned with the holes in the spar. With the bellcrank installed between the brackets and torqued, I discovered that the bracket holes did not line up exactly with those in the spar. I decided to elongated the holes in the upper bracket so the bolts could be tightened without distorting the bracket, and causing the bellcranck to bind.
Today I also started assembling the pushrods. I cut them to length, and primed the insides. I started with the smaller pushrod; inserted both rod ends and drilled the holes through for the rivets. Unfortunately, I broke two drillbits in the process...one of which became jammed inside the pushrod. I could not get it out, so will have to reorder another, since I've mangled it up trying to extract the drill bit.
I also realized that I should have drilled the holes through the rod only, and deburred them, and THEN drill thru the rod ends. As they are now, I cannot pull the rodends out to deburr anything inside, so I'll reorder 2 new rods and ends.
|2010-11-01||Brackets and braces||Spent the last few days working on the aileron gap seals and flap braces...edge deburring, matchdrilling, deburring and dimpling. Also drilled/deburred/bolted aileron brackets.|
|2010-11-01||Pushrods||Still waiting for small steel tube to re-do pushrods. Cut/primed larger diameter ones, and drilled/riveted rod ends.
Assembled hinge brackets...required a lot of time at the Scotchbrite wheel. Riveted two halves together along with angles; some with flush rivets. Had to be careful about reading plans to gleen info about proper rivets and size, along with sequence of assembly.
Discovered that the manual instructions leave a lot to your oun investigation and ability to read the plans. I wrote to Vans about the wrong references to several parts/plans #'s, and they were not sympathetic and did not hint that they would correct the mistakes via a revision.
This, potentially, will slow me down as I triple check, twicce every step of the way.
|2010-11-08||misc work||Continued to work on pushrods. Received new tubes and rod ends. Re-fabricated pushrods, but needed several attempted to successfully rivet small rod ends onto tubes. Primed ends, and entire big pushrod.
Received torque wrench, so will soon check elevator, aileron , wing nuts. Need to get some hi-visability loc-tite for nuts and bolts.
|2010-11-12||Looking and thinking||Received AOA/Pitot tube kit from Air Safety. Did a lot of mental imaging on how I wanted to plumb the left wing for the pitot and lights. Spent a lot of time researching lighting options on the web. I now regret not making better use of my time at OSH this year, by looking at parts and equip. vs. going to workshops.
I think I will will avoid cutting a light into the leading edge, and go with a wingtip light, with LED position lights. Pitot tube will incorporate an AOA and be heated. While I plan a VFR plane, heat might be useful .
|2011-01-09||Cold Storage||Due to cold weather, finally threw in the towel and re-racked both wings, and pushed them against the garage wall. Pushed work table in front of them to give more room for the wife's car. Will move some tools downstairs to work in the basement.|
|2011-01-17||Installed elevators||Still too cold to work in the garage. Xmas and life has kept me out of the shop for quite a while, but today I finally got back in the saddle by working in the basement on the elevator.
After drilling the center bearing hinge-holes a couple of months ago, I left the installation for another time as I was scared I had screwed up the alignment, and didn't want to know about it at the time. Today, I discovered that I had drilled for an AN3- bolt instead of an AN4- bolts, so had to drill to 1/4", which I did with a hand drill and surprisingly little anxiety. Hung the two elevators, and tightened the hinge bolts...only to find that the R Elev binds slightly with the bolts tightened. The L one swings freely. Spent a few hours searching the internet for similar experience ( and for someone to tell me it's OK) without success. Naturally got sidetracked to several other builder websites, looking at techniques for drilling pushrod/elev horn holes, and looking at fiberglass tip techniques. The good news is that the two horns look pretty close to being aligned.
Used my new torque-seal to mark rod ends on elv and rudder, along with rear spar bolts. Weeee!
|2011-04-24||Shop setup||Finally re-entered the garage again. Spent the last 2 days bringing tools up fromthe basement and re-reading plans inpreparation of hanging aileron and flap on the left wing. Had to keep going back to basement for tools and materials. Attached aileron and worked on attaching pushrods. Discovered that I shouldn't permanently fix aileron until flap is set and I can't set the flap until the brace is set which needs the last lower skin to be drill with it.|
|2011-04-25||Hangin aileron||Cut and smoothed several spacers for airleron hinges and pushrod brackets. Attached aileron and discovered pushrod rubbed on edge of hole in rear spar. Unscrewed pushrod and used Dremel/file/deburr/sandpaper to slightly enlarge hole.
|2011-04-26||Bottom skin||Clecoed the sole remaining bottom skin in place in preparation to fianl drilling flap brace. The predrilled holes on the end rib and on the outermost part of the rear spar were a little misaligned, but I was able to step the clecos in by clamping every hole in sequence. Per Van's instructions, Spent a while grinding/filing/sanding the lap joint of the skins which overlap each other just aft of the main spar, in an attempt to minimize an uneven seam.|
|2011-04-27||Bottom skin and flap brace||Clecoed the skin in position, and started match drilling the flap brace. Spent a lot of time trying to set up my countersink bit to a depth that would accept the dimples on the skin. The thickness of the brace does not seem thick enough to let me CS deep enough with out enlarging the hole. Spent time on-line investigating alternatives; found some guys went ahead and dimpled the flap hinge, too. Have not decided on how I will proceed. I need to get the brace dimpled or CS before I pop rivet to the rear spar, or it will be difficult to do those sep with it attached to the wing.
It's Miller time.
|2011-04-28||Left Flap and lower skin||Wow, it's been a long time since I put in consecutive days. . .starting to get into a groove.
After MUCH deliberation and thought, I managed to get the left flap hinge and brace drilled. I cleco-ed the brace onto the rear spar without leaving any empty holes, and realigned the previously match-drilled trailing edge skin and brace with 3 or 4 inverted flush rivets. I then centered the aileron with a a piece of foam board with a "V" cutout, clamped onto the 'alignment stick'. I then positioned the flap and clamped it's hinge onto the trailing edge skin/brace, at both ends. Tried to line up the trailing edges of the aileron and flap exactly, but I decided that having adequate edge distance on the hinge where I was about to drill holes, was more important, so I compromised, and if you look hard enough you might notice that the flap and aileron are about 1/8" off. BUT. . .I didn't have to reorder another hinge; all holes look good.
Then spent some time, de-burring holes, and taking the brace, and half of the hinge downstairs to countersink the brace.
Yesterday I played around with getting my CS set right, and I finally found a setting that accepts the dimple, with very little hole deformation/enlargement. I clamped the already drilled hinge under the brace and cleco-ed them both directly onto my work table.
This kept the CS from wondering and produced good results. I also discovered that the more force I used when dimpling, the crisper the dimpled were, and consequently they fit better into the countersinks on the brace. Could not try to prime the brace, as thunderstorms are rolling thru our area.
I removed a couple of hinge eyes, and will split the hinge pin later, with the plan of inserting/removing the pins from the middle of the flap.
Spent a little more time on grinding/sanding the scarf joint where the lower skins overlap. Decided that the ScotchBrite wheel will finish up the underside, so before I removed the lower skin panel, I matched-drill all holes.
I broke out the compressor, air-drill and a new #40 bit and made some noise!
Tomorrow i lieave on a trip, but will try to get the skin deburred and edged.
|2011-04-28||Deburr-ing & Dimpling||Removed left botom skin and took it to the basement. So far, I've only found 2 holes that I missed match-drilling. Used hand squeezer around the edges. Tomorrow I'll use the c-frame.
May 18, 2011 I now know I should have rolled the edge of this skin where it will overlap the inboard skin, BEFORE I dimpled it. After dimpling, it's too late, so I'll have to rick a less-than tight overlapping joint. Probably could have rolled the trailing edge, too, but this edge is less important to have super tight, as it does not face the wind.
|2011-05-03||Flap Brace||Washed/prepped/primed left flap brace. Pop-rivetted it to the spar.
Finished dimpling the bottom skin. . .Have to deburr/dimple the ribs, re-cleco the skin onto the skeleton so I can match-drill the 2 holes I missed. Then take it off, deburr/dimple those.
|2011-05-08||Bottom skin & ribs||Deburred previously match-drilled holes on the ribs and spars. Dimpled ribs, and countersunk rear spar to accept skin dimples. Finished the two missed holes. . .re-clecoed skin, match-drilled them, deburred, and dimpled both. Decided to change my deburring method for underside holes from drill bit to 240 grit sandpaper. Seemed to give good results without carpel tunnel due to mucho twisting of a drill bit.
Spent a little time sanding the scarf joint to reduce scratches. After I was satisfied the deep ones were smoothed, I masked off the area and primed that corner where I had worn off the Alclad.
Started riveting the flap hinge to the wing, but I think I see a little separation on the edge. . .probably due to NOT rolling the edge. Must buy an edge roller. The bottom skin will need to be rolled, too, so I should order this ASAP.
|2011-05-09||Hung Flap, etc.||Spent a little time surfing E-Bay for an edge roller, w/o success.
Decided not to worry about minor uplifting of trailing edge of bottom skin/flap hinge is riveted. Finished riveting flap hinge. Attached flap with the hinge pin, but encountered moderate resistance when I was about 2/3s of the way in. I sprayed the hinge with WD-40 with little improvement.
Measured, cut hinge pin; bent one of these to match the bend in the other. Struggled to install both pins from underneath. When I raised the flap for access to the hinge, (remember, the wing is up-side down on the table.) the trailing edge of the bottom skin, and the leading edge of the bottom side of the flap meet when the flap is raised to about 90 degrees. This leaves only minimal room to get my hands up in there to push the pins into the hinge.
I finally realized that by clamping a vise-grip pliers on the bent end, I was able to easily push the pins fully in. Plan to use zip-ties to safety the pins to the flap's lightening holes.
Clamped aileron in neutral position so I could re-attach the pushrod. Reattached the pushrod using the jig.
|2011-05-17||Inspection panels||Spent a lot of time searching for my #6 & #8 dimple dies, that I was sure I had, somewhere, because I remember using them for the elevator's access panel.
When I couldn't find them right away, I went shopping on-line. The Yard Store had a good price, but when I was ready to 'Check Out", I saw a link ;'Previous Orders". I clicked it, and saw that I had ordered the exact same dimple dies I was about to order, last year. So I returned to the shop and finally found them in an unlabeled drawer.
So ...I dressed and dimpled the 2 access panels for the underside of the left wing.
I'm still a little confused, because there is one more panel on the skin that needs to be riveted on, but I don't see it in the shop, right now.
Am still waffling on whether to install the pitot tube/AOA unit I ordered, or just go with the simple Van's design.
|2011-05-17||EAA Chapter 643||I attended my first chapter meeting at Sky Manor Airport, Pittstown, NJ. Met a lot of great guys. Several RV builders and flyers. Observed a good fiberglass demo during the meeting. Looks like a well-organized group with strong participation.
Sent in my application for membership.
|2011-05-18||Inspection/access panels & pitot mount||Searched everywhere for the two missing access panels. Even sent a query to VansAF to see if others had not received all their panels. But, lo and behold, there were two panel already attached to the right wing, which was in the rack, facing the wall. Doh!
Anyway, finished priming the underside of the 2 panels on the inboard skin (used new Rustoleum "Aluminum Primer" (for use on bare aluminum) thinking it might be aluminum color, but it's white.; - - and screwed them onto the wing with 4 screws in the corner. The panel on the still unattached outboard skin was easily drilled, deburred and dimpled. I riveted the platenuts with small-headed flush rivets. Panel fits well--still need to prime the underside.
I made a "command decision" about whether I was going to go ahead and install the SafeAir pitot mast, or just stick with the simple Van's pitot tube. I went for the Safe Air, because I want an AOA system, and there is a Dynon pitot/AOA combo unit, that I'll probably get later.
I followed the easy instructions and used the supplied template to mark the area to be cutout. Drilled with a 1/8", then Unibit , followed by a Dremel bit to carve out the hole, then used a small drum sander on the Dremel to smooth it out. As I was working on it I realized I was going to put some sort of fillet on the seam, so I stopped being so worried about great precision. Cleco-ing the bottom skin onto the win, drilled the 2 rivet holes on the aft edge of the mount thru the wing skin, and then match- drilled the mount thru the spar/skin rivet holes. This whole process was much easier to do with the skin unattached from the wing.
Dis-assembled everything and stored the mount back in it's box, for some future date when I'll actually be ready to seal up the wings.
Pulled out the SafeAir pitot system plastic tubes, and realized that there will, of course, be 2 tubes running to the pitot tube (one for the AOA.) This is relevant, because I was waffling on how I was going to run the electrical wires out to the wingtip...use the already installed snap bushings, or drill a bigger hole in each rib and run the proverbial black, corrugated conduit. I had decided to forego the conduit, and just use the existing bushings, but now I realize that both of these bushings are spoken for, so next on the agenda is drilling/installing the electrical conduit.
|2011-05-19||Conduit||Went out and spent $69 to drill holes for plastic electrical conduit: new Unibit for 3/4" holes and massive extention because the Unibit was too big to fit in my other drillbit extensions. Any way, used a 12" #30 for pilot holes, and then drilled out the 3/4" holes. . .the closely spaced ribs near the root were easy to drill with the long #30, but I had to take out the Unibit and re-chuck it between each one, with the drill hangin out the end. Once done, the conduit went it fairly easily, except, again, for the closely spaced ribs. Wore my forearms raw, rocking the conduit thru each of those holes. Next wing, I will try to make those holes bigger, except for the root rib, so I can slide the hose thru easier.
Spent a lot of time vacuuming the wing bays of chips.
Also, primed the inside of the outer access panel, and temporarily attached it to the wing.
Decided not to install the pitot/AOA tubes. . .don't know why . . but said it's time to work on the other wing. Clecoed the bottom skin to the wing, and with Sam's help, racked the left, lifted the right onto my tables, moved lots of stuff out of the garage so I could turn the racked wing around toward the garage wall, which meant I had to take advantage of the situation and clean the floor. During the switch, I sprayed the outer surfaces of each wing with WD-40.
Installed some hooks to hang air hoses and vacuum hose.
All in all. . .I consider this a 'milestone day' .
|2011-05-20||Started on Right wing||Clecoed flap brace and bottom skin into position. The holes on the skin and the skeleton, especially as I got closer to the rear spar, lined up poorly. . .hard to get clecos in, but I managed to get the skin nailed down with out any waves. . .just had to work from leading edge toward the rear spar, stepping between ribs in an attempt to distribute the stress/load of aligning the holes.
Matched drilled half of the holes before taking a break. All that cleco-ing and drilling has left my hands sore/tired/ nearly cramped.
|2011-05-29||Mounting prep||Last week I finished match-drilling skin, except for where the flap hinge is attached.
Yesterday and today, I mounted the aileron, and using my jig, clamped it in a streamlined position. Had to go back into the left wing to retrieve a wrench and the centering jig for the push-rod bracket. Adjusted the small pushrod to proper length, and tightened jam-nuts finger-tight. Removed flap brace so I could clamp flap into position. Aligned and clamped flap hinge (with flap still attached, in order give it sufficient rigidity for when I drill it.) to bottom skin.
|2011-05-29||Rethink||Just reviewed how I aligned flap hinge for drilling- - April 28 . I completely forgot about how I used a couple of flush rivets to keep brace and skin aligned while drilling hinge. Will re-install brace in order to use this technique.|
|2011-06-03||Rt Flap brace||Re-clecoed skin to wing, and clecoed flap brace to spar and skin. Match drilled skin/brace. Inserted a few flush rivets from below, through the brace and skins. Clamped flap to wing and aligned it with aileron. Drilled flap hinge thru previously match drilled skin/brace, clecoing as I went along; from aileron toward root end.
Removed hinge and brace. Deburred hinge and brace. Clecoed both to shop table to countersink one side of the brace, to accept dimpled skin.
Removed skin from wing, and took downstairs to de-burr and dimple, which I will do after I return from training in DFW, in 5 days.
|2011-06-11||Bottom skin & ribs||Another recurrent training/checkride done! Not my best ride, but they let me go home on schedule, so I must not have been too bad. It took a couple of days to clear my desk of bills and paperwork, so was not able to get back to the RV as soon as I wanted.
Finished de=burring and dimpling the holes on the bottom skin. Chandler manned the hammer, while I moved the skin on the C-frame. Thanks to her, it went twice as fast. I had her sign the inside of the skin. Used a small sanding drum on my cordless drill to feather the scarf joint. Finished with fine sandpaper. deburred the skin edges with Scotchbrite wheel on the bench grinder.
De-burred and dimpled the rib holes. The undersides were done with sandpaper and hand twisting the deburring bit. Very time consuming. De-burred the flab hinge and the trailing edge. Dimpled the trailing edge where the flap will be attached.
Am waiting for a dryer day to paint/prime. Today's humidity = 95% with passing t-storms.
Placed the skin into position ...the scarf joint needs more work.
|2011-06-12||Scarf Joint||Used the cordless drill and a small drum sander to grind the scarf joint down a little more. It's not completely flush, but I'm afraid to make the edges too thin, as they might crack easily.
Primed the flap brace and bare scarf joint areas, before leaving for work.
|2011-06-16||Attached flap brace and flap||After clecoing flap brace and skin into position, , I attached the brace to the rear spar with pop rivets. Countersunk inboard 3 for flush rivets with de-burring tool.
Then I rivetted the hinge onto the wing with the hand squeezer. I then determined the center of the flap and removed 3 hinge eyes (?) in order to allow space to insert the hinge pin from the center. Looks good. . .and a good stopping point for the day.
|2011-09-18||Rt. Wing electrical conduit||Today was the first day back working on the RV since before the summer. Spent a while finding tools, and arranging the work area. Several trips back & forth to basement and back to garage.
Finally drilled the holes for the elec conduit thru the ribs with Unibit. Purposely made some larger than the 3/4" so I wouldn't have to struggle so hard to get the conduit thru each hole...just some of them. Plan on slapping some silicon around them anyways, so it should be Ok, Vacuumed out the bays of chips.
Tomorrow I plan to take the HS to EAA Chapter meeting for critique, and will borrow a rivet shaver from a fellow member.
|2011-09-19||Rt. Wing conduit||Pulled plastic conduit thru holes. Had to enlarge a couple of holes. Sealed the ends of tube.
|2011-09-20||HS/Elev Tips||Made my first cuts of the fiberglass tips for the right HS and elevator. The HS tip fit so well that I had thoughts of trying to install without filling in the seam, but I now see that after I wrap the counterweight, it will be very difficult to NOT putty the connection, so have decided that I'll go ahead and 'fair' or fill/sand/smooth the seam with epoxy and filler. If I finally decide to do an AA paint scheme with mostly bare aluminum, the tips will have to be painted...maybe grey?
Had to go to Lowes to buy a stronger cutoff wheel for the Dremel Tool, as the one I had, snapped off fairly easily. Pulled out the mask we used when we cleaned the basement of mold; the one with replaceable filters, and I only cut the fiberglass with the shopvac hose pulling the dust away from the wheel. Worked well.
Will have to investigate the proper rivets to use, and whether I need to epoxy in a double inside the tips.
Bought a grinder bit, that i will shape to 100 degrees to use as a countersink on the glass, and save my deburring bit for the metal.
UPDATE 27 Sep 11 Read an online post from another builder who said he had good success mearly countersinking the aluminum to accept the CS4-4 pop rivets. Have decided to try it, so now I won't be needing to countersink the fiberglass or dimple the skins.
|2011-09-24||Shopping||Went to D & R Boats to get West System epoxy and glass. Faster and no shipping $.
|2011-09-26||Trimming & fitting||Spent a few hours fitting and trimming tips so they slide into position. Cut some foam for the HS tip ends, and shaped the lead counterweights in preparation of closing the ends with fiberglass. Drilled pilot holes in elevator tips, and discovered that, like most everyone else, the holes were very close to the newly trimmed edges. Am resigned to gluing in aluminum reinforcing strips.|
|2011-09-27||Epoxying in aluminum strips||Picked up the fiber-filler at the boat store, along with 5-minute epoxy, cups, acetone, a bucket of small clamps and a plastic tablecloth at Walmart and Home Depot. I think I've got almost everything I need to start glassing the tips. Cut several 1/2" wide strips of aluminum. Dressed the edges, measured and cut. Roughed up both the aluminum and the inside of the fiberglass tips, and left the blue plastic on the exposed side of the strips...thought I might be able to pull it off along with any slop, but I was pretty neat, so it was a non-issue. Epoxied a strip into every empennage tip.
|2011-10-01||Fiberglass tips||Spent a while shaping tips. ground off some the glass near the forward edge of the elevator tips, in preparation for covering with cloth.
Drilled pilot holes (#30) thru newly glued on alum reinforcing strips on left tip. Epoxy proved too weak at 2 ends, so had to re-glue them.
Also epoxied the foam end into the HS tip.
The elev tip now fits so well, I'm thinking that I won't smear/fill/sand/blend the seam after all. Maybe just epoxy the lead weight to the tip with a filler and sand it smooth. If I get the pop rivets flush, the whole connection looks neat and tight.
I can always fill & blend later if I change my mind, but this will be faster and simpler.
|2011-10-03||FIRST FIBERGLASS ATTEMPT!||This was my first attempt at fiberglassing. Mixed small batch of resin and tried to use a technique I saw on Hints for Homebuilders by sandwiching the soaked cloth in plastic wrap, and squeegying out excess. Worked OK, but decided not to trim this pre-preg piece with scissors; instead opened up plastic wrap and lifted out the cloth and laid it in place. Had some trouble getting the cloth to stay tight into the 90 corners of the foam-tip junction. I anticipated this by trying to leave an epoxy filet in this joint when I glued in the foam, but I'm afraid there will still be some air pockets. Whenever I pushed one side into its corner, the other side was pulled, and wanted to lift up. Used the popsicle stick and brush and fingers together in an attempt to keep everything stuck down.
You can also see in the picture my attempt to keep the part clean by using a rubber glove as a protective cover.
Second picture shows filler applied to ends. I used some fiber, and some microbeads. I suspect I could have used a lot more beads to make it more like peanut butter...next time. Lamp is to accelerate cure time, as the basement is about 68 F.
|2011-10-31||More Fiberglass work||Over the last month spent several session fitting and trimming elev & HS stab tips. It took multiple attempts to successfully trim/cut/epoxy the alum. reinforcing strips. While match drilling, these strips would often pop off from the fiberglass piece. Obviously, I need to work on my epoxy technique. I was using 5-minute epoxy, but I usually let it cure overnight.
Finally took the plunge and riveted one HS tip into place with epoxy-filler. It oozed out of the seam; I piled a little more in the low spots. The next day, I sanded it down with Dremel drum, then several grades of sandpaper. I masked off the area in an attempt to keep as much of the HS clean...for some reason I'm thinking about the paint scheme already, and don't want to limit my options .
Still need to hit it with primer.
|2011-11-09||Right, bottom wing skin installation||Spent a couple hours of rearranging the garage. It's getting colder, and I won't have many more days avail for garage work; and Kate's car has already suffered a snowfall outside in the driveway, it's time for the MG to be put away. I moved my work benches against the wall, and pushed the wings in their rack up against them. This setup will allow me, on a good day, to move the car out, and roll the wing around to work on it.
After MUCH review, I really couldn't come up with a good reason NOT to rivit the Rt. wing skin on. I have a concern about how much tension is in this skin, based on how the Clecos go in. I researched this a lot on the web, and found someone with similar issues who describes a particular sequence in his riveting, that was successful, so I'm following his procedure vs. Vans. Today, with my son, Sam's help I got the most inboard bay completely riveted, while keeping the rest of the wing clecoed in place, to ensure proper positioning/eliminate "creep". Without any practice, but after watching a Hints for Homebuilders video on Riveting 101, Sam did a good job behind the gun. We had to drill out a couple at first until our coordination improved, but we managed to get most rivets firmly flush. The one 'Oops' was in the most inboard rib/rear spar intersection. We botched this rivet, but when I drilled it out, the small tab on the rib, bent away from the skins inside the wing. I could not bend this sufficiently flush to use the assigned rivet, so instead, I wedged a block of wood inside, behind this tab, so that it was pushed flush, up against the skin, and I drilled the hole out with a #30 so I could put in a CS4-4 pop rivet. I slightly enlarged the dimple on the outside of the skin with a deburring tool, so the rivet would sit more flush. The end result is good; nearly flush, and, of course, it's on the bottom, so cosmetically a non-issue. I'm confident the strength will not be compromised.
|2012-01-14||Sanding||Over the last several weeks, have spent some time sanding HS tips. Also fitted and riveted the rudder tip in place. Used white fiber filler for structural strength, but it's hard to see when sanding. In the future I'll add a litter brown filler to make it easier to see.
|2012-02-21||Fiberglass tips||Over the last month have spent several work session filling and sanding tips of the HS and rudder. At last month's EAA chapter meeting I brought my rudder in for critiques, and was told I needed to tape the seam between the tip and aluminum skin to prevent cracking. AAArrgh! I had worked so hard to blend them together; now I needed to ADD bulk in the form of tape and more glass? A little frustrating. Bought the thinniest 1" wide tape I could find on the web; ( .003") and some 2" ply-peel.
Spent many hours glassing/filling/sanding to another smooth finish, only to be told at THIS month's meeting that it's "too smooth for paint". I kinda suspected this...I had not thought the process out thoroughly, as I always intended to cover the tips with primer.
It will be almost 60F this weekend, so I might be able to shoot them with primer.
This whole process has convinced me to attach the elevator tips with just rivets. Will need to glass over the counterweight, but I'm done with 'blending", I think.
|2012-05-12||Glassing||another layer of microbeaded glass to fill pinholes and shallow areas.|
|2012-10-23||closed right wing||Finally fired up the air compressor and finished riveting the last couple of compartments on the lower, right skin. Right wing is closed up.
Also drilled/de-bured/dimpled/primed/plate-nutted/riveted the square stall warning access panel on the left wing.
I do not plan to use the provided stall warning vane; will instead rely on the AOA.
So I still need to filled the punched holes in the leading edge with some countersunk pop rivets. (MK 319 BS ?)
|2012-10-25||Prep for fuel tank work||Had to pull most everything out of the garage so I could swap placement of the wings in their rack, with the work tables. Afterwards, placed left wing on tables so I could finish plumbing the pitot.AOA system and get access to the wing root . I need to buy ProSeal so I can install the access plates and fuel senders.
Both senders check OK as far as electrical resistance.
Bent and snapped into place one float.
With the last wing panel now staring me in the face, I used a hand-held pliers-like bender to "roll" the edge of it where it overlaps the bottom, inner skin.
|2013-04-12||Installing elevator & VS tips||Over the last few weeks, have spent some time in the basement installing tips. After spending way too much time on blending the tips of the HS and the rudder, I decided to simply rivet the elevator and VS tip in place with minimal fiberglassing. The Elevators needed a "cap" to secure the leading edge to the lead counterweights, and the VS tip needed to be 'closed in'. I used straight epoxy with flox and microbeads to surface and wrap around the counterweights. It took about 3 coats to get it acceptably smooth. I used pop rivets to attach the tips to each elevator.I epoxied a foam block in the VS tip, then applied home-made 2-ply pre-preg glass to the inside to make it secure, and later poured a layer of epoxy with filler to smooth and fair the outer surface.
I have not yet riveted the VS tip in place.
While working to fit the VS tip, I needed to attach the rudder to the VS, to eyeball where to trim the tip. This required me to measure and install the hinge bolts in the spar. It seems that the plans specify a new dimension for the center hingebolt, but when I started to install the rudder, it was apparant that the center hinge was out of alignment...the original dimension seems to be closer to whats needed.
Plan to spray each fiberglass tip and adjacent area with primer grey, like the other tips.
|2013-04-19||Shop Setup and Tips||Over the last week, I spent a considerable amount of time pulling the wings and tables out of the garage to clean, and then re-establish a workable configuation. Moved some tools up from the basement, and built another work surface out of the discarded kitchen island top. (With the wing on the tables, I didn't have anywhere to "set" stuff.)
Got the left wing back on the tables, and started thinking about installing the fuel senders and pressure testing the tanks, and plumbing the pitot system. Spent a day shopping and researching on-line. Ordered Pro-seal, screws for the wingtips, a HEATED PITOT TUBE ( $ 450) , etc.
Am planning to use the VAF article that spells out a good way to install the tips. Started on that today, and managed to trim and fit the left tip. Have marked the holes for drilling, but will epoxy reinforcing strips inside the tips first.
Also ran the two plastic tubes for the AOA and pitot tube. Capped the ends with duct tape.
My order from Aircraft Spruce has been shipped...might have it tomorrow....but will concentrate on gluing aluminum strips in tips. and installing platenuts tomorrow.
|2013-04-20||Gluing and Drilling||This morning, I used 5-min epoxy to glue 1/2" alum reinforcing strips inside the left wingtip. After several hours,( NOT 5 minutes!) the epoxy was cured enough to remove clamps and sand the bumbs and edges smooth.
Fit the tip onto the wing, and match drilled/clecoed it on.
Started preliminary prep to rivet the small tip rib into position; it overlaps some of the previously installed reinforcment strips, but I think I can trim the rib so ti fits...might have to eliminate one rivet or two, because trimming the flange might leave too little to rivet to.
When I trimed the tip to fit around the airleron bracket and airleron, I cut too much off the bottom side. I'm trying to figure out if I can set the small rip into a position that will allow me to have a secure structure onto which I can add some filler.
|2013-04-20||LED recognition lights||Received my LED recognition lights ( I won't call them landing/taxi lights as they are too small), from Crazedpilot.com. The seem a little flimsy, but I could always wrap them in a layer of fiberglass to beef them up.
Plan to put them in the wingtips, along with position/strobes.
|2013-04-22||Small rib and plate nuts.||Yesterday, I spent a little ( alot) of time placing the trailing edge wingtip rib in such a position that it its flange is flush to the edge of the fiberglass wingtip on the top edge, but protrudes a bit on the bottom, so I can use it to add some filler. I cut too much of the tip off on the bottom when I was trimming around the aileron bracket. I also riveted a small fiberglass tab to help fill in a gap at the trailing edge. Had to drill out a couple of rivets since they were not completely flush, and grind a deeper countersink. The Dremel bits that I formed to countersink fiberglass are working well, as I countersunk all rivet holes and screw holes in the fiberglass.
Last night I clecoed the tip on the wing so I could match-drill the screw holes thru the fiberglass and reinforcment strips.
Much cursing followed, when I detached the tip to discover that EVERY ONE of the reinforcment strips had POPPED OFF when the drill punched thru the fiberglass. I don't understand why the epoxy did not hold them; I scruffed up the aluminum and grinded down the fiberglass, and washed both with acetone before gluing.
Today, upon searching the VAF sight, I discovered that several builders dispense with the gluing altogether, and just rivet them on with the plate nuts. So that is what I did today. It took a while, but I got all the plate nutes attached. I then attached the tip to the wing, after twirling my countersink tool in each dimple, in an attempt to get the screws to be flush. This effort was only partially succesful, but after securing the tip, I'm confinced that; "it ain't goin' anywhere!"
|2013-04-23||Re-fitting||After looking at the installed wingtip, I noticed that the bottom seam did not 'snug' into the wing like I remember it did when I drilled it. I removed the tip, and ground down the aluminum strips, and beveled them a bit; Re-installed tip, and now it fits better and screws seem to be more flush. It might need a little more adjusting, and it still needs to be patched near the aileron, but I'm returning the tip to the basement.
I received my pitot tube and proseal yesterday, so will start working on sealing the tanks.
|2013-04-29||Pitot plumbing and fuel sender||Over the last week, while waiting for the screws needed for attaching the fuel senders from Aircraft Spruce, I toyed around with how to connect the plastic tubing to the alum pitot tube. Saw a picture online where a builder routed his plastic tubes thru the electrical conduit, thereby elimnating any issues with those tubes rubbing against the aileron bracket. I might do it that way, too, along with cutting the alum tubes short, so that they just protrude from the bracket...with no bending required.
Today, after getting the screws in the mail, I dry-fit the sender in the plate and determined that the float needed a little adjustment so that it hit the top & bottom of the tank. Walked myself thru the steps to attach the anti-rotation bracket, screw on the fitting, etc. Might mix the Proseal tomorrow. Also picked up the Right wing to remove it's fuel tank access plate, and fit it's sender, too.
|2013-05-01||Senders & sealing||Determined to seal the tanks today!
Spent quite a bit of time walking myself through all the steps of installing the pickup tubes, sender, access plates so I would have a reasonable chance of getting them Prosealed correctly, the first time.
Had to adjust the two floats so that they touched, or nearly touched the top and bottom of each tank. Ended up devising a method of helping me see inside the tanks; I put a small LED flashlite inside the tank, then with the sender attached, but the pickup fitting off, I loosely attached the access plate, and I could easily see through the fitting hole and move the float back and forth with a stick. Also used my iPhone to record the movement and to look at the final position of the pickup line. It needs to be on the bottom of the tank, but not interfere with the sump drain fitting right next to it.
Also needed to figure out a guaranteed way of tightening the two pickup tubes' fitting/nuts without the tubes rotating out of position. It's supposed to be torqued to 110-130 "-lbs, but I don't have 1/4" socket-crow's feet to put on my torque wrench. Instead, after reading several posts where other guys just "tighten it up real good", I elected to practice with my torque wrench to get a feel for what 100 in-pounds feels like, and then I attempted to duplicate it when I tightened the nut onto the fitting. I feel confident I have a good seal at the fitting, and it won't go anywhere since its secured with the anti-rotation bracket.
After a couple hours of assembly tools, and practicing the sequence, I mixed the tube of sealant, put it in the caulk gun, and started.
The biggest hurdles were aligning the holes when the cork seal was put in place. I had so much sealant, the holes were covered up, and when the access plate was slipped into position, it smeared it around, and slid the cork a little. With the help of a punch to get one hole aligned, I was able to get the rest all lined up and install the screws. The second one went a little smoother.
Now I need to wait a few weeks for it to cure enough to do a pressure test. With temps in the 50s at night, and only high 60s in the garage, it may take a while to set up.
|2013-05-08||Pressure testing||First attempt with the ol' manometer was interesting; Evidence of a leak even before I removed the bicycle pump. Turned out to be the cap on the fuel feed fitting, the vent fitting where I clamped the manometer on, and also the schraeder valve. All of these easily fixed by merely tightening each one up. Later I discovered that the water was rising too high, and eventually, thanks to my wiggling of the tube, resulted in a small geiser. I set it up in the cool morning, and by the afternoon, the water had been pushed to the top of the tube, and air was being pushed around the bottom bend. As I was experimenting with repositioning the height of the manometer, the water gushed out the top, splashing on the wing and table.
The second time, has been good. While the water level rises and falls, it does not appear to be losing pressure, after 36 hours.
|2013-05-09||Delivery of QB fuselage||Michael, from Partain Transport, FINALLY arrived around 11 pm with my fuselage. It had been ready for pickup for about 3 months.|
|2013-05-18||Inventory||Finally finished counting all the bolts, nuts, washers, etc. Cleaned out a shelf unit to store parts. Bought an engine-stand from Oliver S. (EAA Ch. 643 member) so I can use it as a rotating assembly stand. Will use notched sawhorse for the tail.
|2013-05-20||Pressure testing||Decided, after over a week of watching the water level rise and fall, that the right tank is leak-free. Had to tape over the filler cap to eliminate a very slow leak...don't think I'll worry about it.|
|2013-05-27||Front seat, etc.||Over the last few days I have been getting ready to flip the the fuselage upside down, in preparation of installing the gear legs. I bought stuff to make a 2' sawhorse, and a 7/16th" bit to drill the legs. I've been tinkering with the gear brackets, and, since my old drill press died last year, I've been shopping for another one capable of drilling the steel legs without undue wobble or "runout". Looks like a several hundred dollar buy, in order to get an acceptable drill. Before flipping the fuse, I drilled out the large 7/16th hole from the inside in order to remove a little aluminum from the bottom skin, which was slightly overlapping.
In the meantime, I started on the next set of instructions; the front seat.
Prepped, deburred, match-drilled and riveted the angles to each side along with the hinge half to the bottom. That took all afternoon, but it was good to get back into "the process"...pulling blue plastic off new parts, and spinning the ol' grinder wheel, and cleco-ing.
Have decided to delay buying a drill press, and instead ask my friend from Scouting, Charlie Putnam, who has an extensive shop with a milling machine, to help me match drill the attachment brackets, per Van's instruction manual. We scheduled a work session for tomorrow, after my FAA physical, and physical theapy for my shoulder.
|2013-05-28||Drilling gear brackets||Today, I took the inboard gear brackets to my friend's house (Charlie Putnam) in order to take advantage of his superior machinery. After over an hour of contemplation and setup, the first hole thru the bracket was match-drilled using the gear leg as a guide.
The second bracket took a little less time, and the corresponding wear brackets were match-drilled like we knew what we were doing. Hah!
I brought them home and immediately bolted them onto the fuselage so I could leave town tomorrow with the vision of two gear legs rising from the fuselage...to prove that there has been some progress!!
|2013-06-01||Attaching gear||A looong day in 95 degree heat, today. My goal was to complete the drilling of all the brackets, et al, so I could "flip" the fuselage right-side up.
Had to run to the store to get some drill bits suitable for drilling hard steel , along with some mason's line...aka plumb-bob string. After pricing the 'bobs' at the store ( +$8/ea), I decided I could improvise...which I did, with some washers for weight.
The most time-communing part was trying to get the hanging plumb-bobs to "settle down" and stop swinging, so I could determine if all four strings were touching the string that was strung perpendicular to them. After an hour, or so, the 4 strings lined up pretty well. With the help of my daughter, The first measurement from the tail to the gear ends was within 1/4", as per Van's instructions, but, I had not even tried to get them better...so TRY I did. Eventually I think I got them w/i 1/8" of each other.
I marked them, and tightened up the big bolt holding the inner leg, and started drilling the outer brackets from above (the fuselage is upside-down).
The hardest part was laying underneath match-drilling up thru the inner gear tower/floor/inner bracket. I'm still undergoing physical therapy for my shoulder surgery two months ago, and this exercise stressed my right shoulder quite a bit. I eventually realized that my drill bit was inferior and dull. I ran out to the store to get a couple more around 4:30pm, and, BOY, what a difference. I'm glad I got 2, because, each one only lasted about a hole and a half.
Anyways, after numerous Gatorade/water breaks inside in the air conditioning, I got all the holes drilled, and managed to detach the heavy legs by myself without them clanging to the garage floor.
I de-burred all the holes, and am now ready to flip the fuselage!!
Have to go to work early tomorrow (Sunday, June 2) , so it will have to wait until Monday.
All in all, one of my more productive days, for sure.
|2013-06-09||Seat backs, etc||Assembled front and rear seat backs. rear back has many poor, "loose" rivets...the 2 parts looked like they were tightly together from one side, but were not, when inspected from the other side.
Prepared the floor panels, and foot wells.
Hesitated to start match drilling inside the fuselage, because I thought that NOW would be a 'cleaner' time to paint the interior, befor metal filings were everywhere....Still haven'nt decided whether to paint the inside or not.
I need to order some larger, 1/8 clecos to continue with the aft baggage floors.
|2013-06-18||Floor boards, etc||The last week I spent a lot of time cleco-ing and uncleco-ing floor boards. Following Van's instructions, but came to a spot where I needed a drill press and a 90-degree drill, in order to install the Delrin flap blocks, which sit up against the sides of the fuselage. Continued to work on steps I could still accomplish; control bracket, match-drilling floors & baggage, deburring, dimpling nd assembly of foot wells. I managed to back-tivet the footwell, so they look pretty nice. I have to REALLY study the plans and instructions in order to figure out if a step has already been done in the QB. Was extremely disappointed to discover that a couple of angles had been reversed during Van's construction. Had to drill them out and swap them. I reported it to Van's and suggested a free sheet of aluminum would ease my disappointment. They agreed!
Also cut out the gear towers to ease access into those small spaces. The sheet of alum from Van's is for the cover plates.
Today, I've had a tough time getting the flap blocks bolted in. I suspect that the nutplates ( installed by Van's) beneath the floor are not square, so the bolt's threads will not catch and start to feed. Very frustrating. After using screwdrivers and putty knives to pry and place a block, along with a universal socket joint, I've got the aft screw in each block threaded, BUT...I cannot tighten it down completely because a reinforsment flange is interferring with the bolt's head....on BOTH SIDES!
|2013-06-23||Consoles||Started the day with a nice drive in the MG to Sky Monor, to borrow a couple of 90 drill attachments from Joe Preston. Then, returned home to, "re-fix" my oiless compressor, which had a stripped cylinder head screw, and, consequently was leaking,...again. Screw was replaced with an AN3 bolt and nut. Worked on various parts that did NOT have to be dependent on the floors being cleco-ed in position, as I have removed them and decided to replace my flap bearing blocks. I think the forwrd holes, to be match-drilled thru the blocks into the longeron, are going to be too close to the edge of the longeron. I will re drill new blocks and favor the outboard side by a 1/16-1/8" in order to ease my mind about it's strength....especially when I'm in a full slip...in other words I don't want to have any nagging doubts about that bolt being pulled out when I flying.
So..I deburred parts and installed nutplates on the angles and center console, along with the rt. side console and rt. bulkhead cap.
Finally I manufactured the throttle cable bracket, which was very satisfying, as I started with a raw aluminum angle, and had to translate the dimensions from the plans to it; cut it; shape it, drill it, and deburr it....which I did pretty well, I think.
|2013-06-24||Pushrod and Throttle bracket||Another productive day, even with 90+ degrees in the garage.
Finished making the throttle bracket by tapping the 4 holes for 8-32 screws.
Then started reading thru the construction instructions to see what else I could do with the floors out (I'm still waiting for another set of Delrin flap bearing blocks, from Vans), and got involved with studying the layout and construction of the aft bulkhead, where the tailwheel is installed. Had seen several website posts that lament the fact that the weldment for the tailwheel does not rest flush against the rearwardmost bulkhed; requireing shims. Upon inspection, I, too found a gap between these parts, but they seemed to be in contact where they are riveted. I attempted to slide a piece of paper around the rivets to see if there were any gaps, but I didn't find any...only on the top edge. So, I guess a couple of shims are in my future when I drive the third bolt home thru these parts.
Prepared parts, and riveted the halves of the elevator bellcrank and bearing together.
Continued to read forward, and found something to do...elevator push rods. This, was supposed to go pretty fast, as I've made a couple already, but when I started to push and pound the rod end into the tube, I stopped, because I need to remove them after drilling, and if they are too tight...well...too late, even with a bearing screwed into the end, it was extrememly difficult to remove the end. I resorted to cold-soaking the end in ice water, and heating the tube over the stove, and after 30-40 minutes of prying/jiggling and plunging, I got it out. I then broke out the Dremel tool and sanded out the inside of the tube, and hand-sanded the end, so they would fit together without binding.
Got the big tube completed except for priming.
|2013-07-01||Floors, control sticks and flaps blocks||While waiting for another set of Flap Bearing Blocks from Van's, I've worked on an assortment of other items;
prepping control stick and transfer rods; including filing brass bushings that go into the fore and aft control sticks.
Recieved new blocks while away on a trip, so today, I re-drilled them, with a 1/16th offset so the forward hole is more centered on the longeron, to which they are bolted.
Used the 90-degree drill borrowed from Joe Preston with great success. Was not able to fit my squeezer up against the right fuselage side in order to rivet the nutplate used for the bearing block, so I used stainless steel countersunk pop rivets.
|2013-07-07||Floors, stiffeners, painting, etc||Finished match drilling floor. Once again, I thought that Van's QB had already done a certain assembly step, only to discover later, that NO, they didn't and I had to go back and reinstall the floors and match drill. This time is was the rivet holes for nutplates. I then set up the c-frame in the basement and dimpled the floors and stiffeners. Washed and primed those parts, along with footwells.
Laid out gear tower access covers...but I cut them too narrow, Arrrrgh! Had only enough material to make one more, this time wider so the holes would have sufficient edge distance. I do not have a nutplate jig, so resorted to clecoing from below; this did NOT result in a satisfactory result! I had drilled 1/8" holes, and clecoed the cover on. Then match drilled #19 for #8 screws. Well now The only cleco that would go thru the nutplate to hold it in position was a little too small for a #19 hole. This cause several of the rivet holes that were drilled thru cleco-ed on nutplates to be slightly out of position. After widening some of the obvious 'out-of-center' holes a little, I still could not get the cover screwed on due to misalignment.
I called it a day, and will figure out where to adjust tomorrow.
Today, was another scorcher...must have been 100 degrees in the garage, so I truly enjoyed doing the dimpling down in the cool basement. Tomorrow I hope to back rivet some stiffeners on the floors down there again.
|2013-07-08||Rivet Floor Stiffeners||Moved most of my riveting tools to the cooler basement. Back-riveted the floor stiffeners, and seat hinges to floors.
Also riveted the footwells to the forward floor.
Sprayed a little primer on the Aft Baggage Floor where it will be in contact with longerons and platenuts; riveted platenuts.
My cheap compressor started leaking again, so I had to tighten up the cylinder head screws for the third time.
|2013-07-12||Gear Tower Access Covers||Spent some time trying to salvage my access covers. I made a mistake by match-drilling the #19 holes for the screws, but then I could not use a cleco that filled and self-centered, as well as still fit thru the pinched plate nuts. Consequently, most of the plate nuts are misaligned. I used a Dremel tool to enlarge the holes in the gear tower, so the side of the gear tower does not interfere with the screws, but I concluded that enlarging, or filing away parts of the holes in the cover, would weaken it. So I will attempt to use a hole-finder on a new cover, to align the screw holes.
Also spun around the fuselage in the garage so the tail is next to my bench, as I'm preparing to mount the tail feathers. Yea!
|2013-07-14||HS to Fuselage||Leveled the fuselage with the help of a hydraulic jack, and a couple of jack stands under the wooden wing spar. Slid the sawhorse forward until the fuselage was level front to back. Used some wood scrap, and a couple of giant washers as shims to level it out left/right.
Attaching the HS went fairly smoothly. I worked slowly, as I didn't want to screw up these holes. read online of some edge-distance issues on older kits, but mine seemed to have enough metal, so I drilled away with great success!!
|2013-07-15||Deburred bulkheads||Spent the better part of the day in the basement, where I could escape from the 100 degree heat in my garage, deburring the semi-circular bulkheads. These parts have a lot of bent tabs, which are potential crack initiation points, if not properly deburred. This was a lot of hand filing in small diameter cuts.|
|2013-07-15||Flight control stick bushings||Spent a little time finishing the fitting of the control sticks into the shared control column. Bushings had been done previously, but I needed to make sure the crosstube, into which the brass bushings slide into, are slight narrower than the bushings, so there won't be any binding.
Also coated all the bare insides of the powder-coated steel tubes; control sticks and flap arms, with a good coat of motor oil.
Drilled and attached the rear control stick to the lowere section.
|2013-07-16||Attaching HS and VS||Worked my way thru leveling the fuselage in preparation for attaching the HS and VS. The HS went on quickly, and most importantly, true and straight. Was worried about edge distances and accuracy, so worked slowly, but all went well.
Started working on mounting the vert. stab and saw I have the same problem with the rear bulkhead and tailwheel weldment... a gap between them; even though there are riveted together. This area will be drilled for attachment bolts, so this gap will cause deformation. After consulting several web pages, and my peeps at my EAA chapter, I've decided to make a shim for this gap.
I drilled out the two rivets, and was surprised that the bulkhead and weldment fit tightly together there, and at the bottom...its only the top edge that has a space.
I made a shim assembly from one sheet of .040" and two pieces of thin aluminum flashing I had in the basement. I cut and shaped them with a small tab, so I could easily place/ remove them; then riveted them togeter so they will not move when drilled, and will not be dislodged later.
|2013-07-16||Shims for aft buklhead||Manufactured a set of three shims to fill gap between aft bulkhead and steel tailwheel weldment.|
|2013-07-16||VS to fuselage||Temporarily cleco-ed and clamped the VS to the HS and fuselage. Worked on getting the forward attach bracket and spacer made and placed first. Noticed that the VS's needs to be "rocked back" to get the main spar to lay flush with the aft bulkhead. This, in turn, raises the forward spar, so that I am now worried that I have trimmed too much from the fwd spar (as instructed by Van's plans) that it won't fully reach the fwd attach bracket.
Dropped a string to test alignment of rudder brackets; They line up nicely when I make the aft spar flush with aft bulkhead.
Now have to work on shimming the gap in the tailwheel weldment and aft bulkhead. (see other post for this operation)
|2013-07-23||VS Attachment||It's been a while since i wrote an input for this log, so I'll try to catch up.
After much double checking, I final-drilled and attached the VS to the aft bulkhead, with the shims filling the gaps. The rudder brackets still line up nicely when I pull a taut string thru the holes. Yea!
|2013-08-19||Rudder stops||Installed rudder to check on whether the pre-installed rudder-stops on the QB fuselage were Ok
|2013-08-23||Elevator rigging||Installed AND TIGHTENED the elevator at it's hinges. This tightening, which I had not done before, resulted in a certain amount of fricction on the previously free-swinging elevator. tried to find out why the right elev. had some resistance when i torqued the elev. hinges. With the use of a mirror I THINK I saw a little off-centerness on the center hinge; but in the vertical...which is impossible to correct, I think. As long as the hinges are not tightened/torqued they swing free. Once they are tightened...a little resistance. Hmmmm.
I started to install the pushrods and controls for the elevator; Control column, pushrods, bellcrank. Once again, when I tightened the bolts on the rodends, there was more binding.
After a couple of hours, and days of letting it "sit", I discovered that I had left out some washers next to the rodend bearing on the middle pushrod. This eliminated the binding there, and in the bellcrank, BUT, I still cannot figure out why the control column binds when I tighten up the nuts on the rodends that support the column fore and aft.
I Superglued the "missing" washers into position, because trying to bend over and slip these into position from underneath would have been a HUGE "God-Damn-it" excersice. Will soon see if this tactic works.
Again, after lubrication, and adjustment, I got the forward support to swing free, but I'm still having binding on the control column when I tighten the aft rodend to the aft control support.
|2013-08-24||More de-binding||Today, after much close observation via mirror, I figured out why, when I fully tighten the nuts on the rodends from which the control column hangs, the control column no longer swings freely.
It turns out that the welded brackets on the control column where not EXACTLY the same distance apart, and did not match EXACTLY the center of the upside-down rodends, This resulted in a "side-load" on the rod ends...in the fore/aft direction. I first thought that only ONE was misaligned, so I tried to bend part of the aft bracket to get it centered, but, after researching Van's Air Force site, I discovered a solution; I elongated the mounting holes in the aft control support ( aluminum bar that bridges the center floor area, from which the rear rod end is screwed.) This allowed me to get every other bolt torqued, and, by very slightly adjusting the cross support fore/aft, I was able to get BOTH rod ends perfectly centered, so the contol column swings w/o any resistance. I was surprised how much 1/32" makes in whether it binds, or not.
I felt I could live with these two elongated holes, as I have not, yet, match-drilled the aft 2 holes into the longerons, so in the end, I'l have 2 holes matched drilled, and two oblong. I feel confortable with this set-up.
Connected the 3 pushrods; from the forward control stick, back to the bellcrank. Next...connecting to the elevator.
|2013-08-28||Elevator rigging||Attached the big pushrod (initially backwards...oops) and used 3 960-10 washers on both sides of the rodend at the elevator horns. This, unfortunately still left a little space, and therefore a loose connection. Had to make a couple of spacers from alum tubing. With these installed, and the bolt tightened, the loosness was eliminated and the elevator moves smooth and tight.
Also finished attaching the aft control support ( I had neglected to drill the aft 2 holes).
After removing the support, and then installing the floors with clecos, I reinstalled the support by bolting the 2 forward bolts. After making sure the controls swung free and clear, I match-drilled to 2 aft holes. I then had to remove the floors and support. I very carefully drilled the rivet holes for the platenuts., making sure the platenutes were perfectly centered.
In the end with the control support bolted tight in 4 corners, the controls were still friction-free!! Yea!!
|2013-09-05||Brake Pedals & Fuel lines/brackets||Spent some time assembling pedals and brake cylinders. Put some pillows on top of the flooring to sit in fuselage. tried to assertain the correct angle that the brake pedals had to be at in order to retain full pedal travel and full brake aplication. After quite a bit of research on-line, and moving the pedals with my size 13 feet, I really couldn't get the right answer without the brake system pressurized. So I took a stab at it and drilled the hole that the brake cylinder attaches to the pedals. Had to grind away some of the weldment tab that the cylinders bolt to at the bottom, in order to achieve full rudder travel to the stops.
Still need to paint these steel tabs.
Started on the next section; Fuel lines. Got as far as installing the fuel pump...which I don't have. Installed a bracket for the pump, but need the pump and filter to determine excactly where to put filter bracket and to bend those sections of tubing. Ordered pump & filter from Van's.
Moved on to forming and installing fuel vent lines. These were a good introduction to tube forming.
|2013-09-08||Brake system||Installed resevoir.
Finished vent lines. Used LocTite on fittings.
Started forming brake lines from fitting in gear leg box up, to the center, bottom of the panel.
|2013-09-11||Brake Lines||Ominous date.
Finished forming/installing left & right brake lines. Attached ends to fittings that were installed in floor and under panel.
|2013-09-12||Brake reservoir||Installed nylon Tee on reservoir, and plugged all fittings to prevent insects from entering them.|
|2013-09-18||Aft bulkheads||Finished deburring aft bulkheads.
Clecoed upper portions to fuselage, and match-drilled the attach points.
Prepared bulkhead gusset/ Had to trim an edge to eleviate interferance with bulkhead.
|2013-09-18||Turtle deck||Deburred aft skin, aka turtle deck.
First fit of turtle deck showed interferance with bottom of Vert. Stab.
Started trimming away the VS. It took about 4 fittings to get enough clearance. I had to trim so much that I had to drill out the forwardmost rivet. I plan to replace it with another placed slightly aft and higher, if I can.
Tried to cleco down the aft skin, and discovered that this will be a tight stretch to get the pre-punched holes aligned. I was about to finish clecoing it down in order to match-drill all the holes, but discovered I would not be able to get to some of the aft bulkhead holes due to the VS and HS being installed. I have not removed these elements, because I still need a Tech Counselor to look at my work, and I'm particularly interested in his opinion of how easily the rudder and elevater move. I'm a little concerned about the rudder having a little binding when I torque the lower hinge bolt.
Filed and ground down the shoulder harness attach brackets with files, grinding disk and Demel Tool.
I clecoed and match-drilled the shoulder harness brackets, and the canopy slide box.
Removed turtle deck.
Primed the small parts, along with the 2 harness fairings, and the 2 tabs on the aft baggage access panel.
Riveted these 2 tabs to the panel.
|2013-09-19||Fuel tube||Spent a HUGE amount of time bending, rebending, and throwing away a lot of 3/8" fuel tubing. Got most of it done, with the exception of the short connection between the filter and fuel tank selector valve. Have decided to either; use flex hose; or attach a 90-degree AN blue fitting to the filter in order to eliminate a tight bend in the tube.|
|2013-09-25||More fuel tube; static ports and NACA vent||Finished fitting fuel tube, to include tightening all nuts. (Except for 'selector valve-to-filter line')
I glued the forward fuselage air vent, along with the two static ports to the fuselage skins with ProSeal.
|2013-09-25||NACA inlet and Static ports||Located and drilled holes for static ports. Mixed and used ProSeal to glue NACA inlet to forward, left fuselage sidewall, and glue the two static ports in the aft fuselage sides.|
|2013-10-01||Elevator stops||Use the Dremel and hand files to grind/file away the aft (up) elevator stop.|
|2013-10-01||Panel mod & canopy bow||Prepped the subpanels, and center instrument panel. Positioned in place, and tested out the ergonomics by sitting in the fuselage. Also placed the canopy bow in position. Discovered that my knees don't clear the bottom edge of the panel when I pull my feet back in the process of 'getting out'.
I came up with a mod that I think will solve the problem; I notched the bottom 4' foward, up to the z-bar. This creates a subpanel that looks pretty good, and will give my knees the neccessary room.
I also spent some time reserarching how/whether to bend the canopy rollover bar. Tried to spread it with a hydraulic jack and 2 x 4, but it sprang back to original shape even after pushing it wider by 2"
|2013-10-02||Bow spreading||Resumed my attempts to spread the bow with a hydraulic jack and wood blocking. I had to be careful, if I got the pressure points a little off center, they would fly off, and shoot the wood blocks out. Stopped before I lost an eye.|
|2013-10-05||Parts prep-inst sub-panels||Continued to layout and finalize the design of my instrument panel modification.
Match drilled/countersunk/deburred rivet holes and edges for the top-edge support, and the 2 sub panels, as well as the nut-plate holes on the sub-panels.
Washed and primed the 2 side sub-panels. Will have to re-do one, due to heavy application and paint runs.
While waiting for the primer to dry..pulled out the baggage door parts, and started readying them for assembly. Cut and made the latch bars for baggage door.
|2013-10-05||Rollover Bar||After 3-4 scary attempts, managed to stretch the bow wider to w/i 1/8" of fuselage width.
Clamped and drilled bolt holes for attaching it to fuselage. De-burred holes in weldment and fuselage longerons.
|2013-10-07||Baggage Door||Prepped, deburred, assembled/match-drilled Baggage door.|
|2013-10-08||Instr. panel & fwd. upper skin||Riveted nutplates on instrument subpanels. This allowed me to screw the main panel into position, so I could rivet the attach flange onto the top edge of the panel. After doing this, I positioned/clecoed the panel in the fuselage, so I could start placing the top skin on.
Bolted canopy bow onto fuse.
Prepared the fwd upper skin by removing the inside blue plastic, and cutting away the two section where the panel, and baggage door go.
Clecoed into position. Boy, does it get tight by the time you get down to the lower fuse skin. Might need some screw-type clecos there.
Earlier, I had preped the baggage door support strips, and they are now positioned under the skin.
Prepped, dimpled the fwd holes, and clecoed the baggage hinge support bracket. Final drill the 2 holes in it and the aft baggage bulkhead.
|2013-10-08||Tail…off||I gave up on getting someone to come inspect my control surfaces, and finally unbolted the VS and HS from the fuselage. I was tired of having to scoot around the tail; having it off makes it a lot easier to move around the shop.|
|2013-10-09||Baggage door||Riveted outer skin to structure.|
|2013-10-09||Attach bracket||Finally got the compressor fired back up, and with the VS off the fuselage, I finished riveting the attachment bracket onto the forward spar.
Also reset a few rivets on the aft spar whose heads seemed a little small.
Also started to position & mark for drilling the fwd skin supports that get riveted to the lower section of the canopy bow. I'll double check these marks after I get more clecos and finish clecoing the fwd skin down tight.
|2013-10-20||Gear Access Panels||Refabricated the cover panels for the gear towers.|
|2013-10-21||Panel layout||Reworked the panel modification for the 10" Dynon Skyview. Buildt a new cardboard cut-out. The 10" should fit OK, but am not sure what to do, if anything, with the lower section. Should I push it forward and attempt to put a sub panel there for switches, and a possible glovebox, or just leave it open?
I anticipate a VERY clean panel; devoid of any steam guages, transponder and CBs, thanks to the Skyview integrated system and the Vertical Power electronic circuit breaker/power control system. I DID decide to add a D2, battery powered backup ADI…hope to be able to move this to the back of my seat to let passengers "have a clue".
|2013-11-01||Turtle Deck Prep||Clecoed the turtle deck on after clecoing the upper bulkhead into position. It was a tight fit, but I got all the holes to line up. Final drilled all the holes, removed it, and dimples the hundreds of holes. Now waiting to get the 'guts' installed, before I rivet it on.|
|2013-11-14||Research||Many hours searching the internet for good ideas as far as proper wiring placement, and black box placement. Wish someone would just tell me where everything should go…
I guess I'd have to pay for that, though.
|2013-11-16||Cockpit interior||Masked off the insides and painted the sidewalls and panels. I chose a rattle-can "Hammered Silver" finish to hide small knicks and scratches. This will also look good if I go with my "Retro-AA, Silver Bird" motif. I shot the canopy rails a glossy grey. After thinking about doing this for months, it finally came down to getting an unusually warm weekend, and me being ready to start laying wires in the fuselage, that finally got me to do this. As it turned out, there was much less area to paint that I originally thoought. Shot a couple side subpanels before the first can ran out.
Shot a gray coat on the previously primed floorboards. They need at least one more coat to be durable, I think.
|2013-11-17||Avionics prep||Received a couple boxes of stuff. One from Vertical power- a wiring harness, which turned out to be a bunch of wires all rolled up. It also came with a VP box that I can use to position it properly behind the panel. have been struggling with where, exactly, to put all the boxes…especially in the aft area. I want to get these brackets made, and wires run, so I can rivet on the turtle deck. Have reached out to Dynon, and VAF forums for help.
I also bought a couple of crimpers, and small eyeball lights for the cabin and baggage compt.
Today I decided where to mount the VP box, and fabricated a bracket. Most of today was spent staring, musing and wondering...
|2013-11-25||ADHRS brackets||Installed the mounting brackets for the Dynon ADAHARS module, in aft fuselage.|
|2013-11-25||A/P Pitch servo brackets||Installed Dynon servo brackets at rear elevator bellcrank. The 2 parts went in easy, drilled and pop-riveted.|
|2013-11-26||TXNPDR rack||Instead of using the supplied battery tray ( which I won't be using, as I plan to place battery on the firewall), I discovered that 2 out of 3 mounting holes in the transponder tray, line up well with the pre-installed holes with nut plates for the battery tray.
So I drilled one more hole into the lower fuselage rib, and mounted the transponder tray directly on the ribs.
|2013-12-10||Strobe light mounting||Cut/drilled/prepped the wingtips for the Nav/strobe light units.|
|2013-12-21||VP-X mounting||Finally decided where to mount the VP-X box. Twp holes thru z-bar; Nutplate on the self-made mounting bracket, and one screw threw the baggage bulkhead.|
|2013-12-23||A/P servo bracket||Prepared and installed Roll servo bracket in right wing. One bolt still needs to be torqued, and, of course, I need the servo; which SteinAir has.
Also finshed preparing the access plate and it's opening with plate nuts, and countersinking to accept #8 screws.
Decided to mount OAT probe in access plate on left wing…so I drilled an 3/8" hole in one. Twisted the two wires of the probe together. Will need to lengthen them to reach from the wing back to the ADHRS in the tail.
|2013-12-23||Lower rudder tip||Took the plunge and notched out the fiberglass tip, to fit around the lugs that the cables attach to. I'm not very happy with the results, as I mis-judged/minmeasured and have left a large gap in the cutout. Don't know if I'll order another fiberglass tip, or just try to fill in in with epoxy.|
|2014-01-06||New Front Seat attach hinge||After only a little internal debate, I drilled out the rivets that held the aft most support flange under the floor, and just aft of the previously installed hinge that that attaches the front seat to the floorboard.
I added another hinge to the top of this support. The rivets are -3's; not -4's like the other hinge, but there 2 additional screws that will go through the new hinge and screw the floor to the frame, so even with the smaller rivets, I think the strength is not compromised.
I still have to shorten the seatbelt attach logs, just behind the setback. They now almost touch the seatback, so I'll shorten them and probably enlarge/modify the holes in the seatback through which the belts will pass.
|2014-01-17||Bottom Cap||Took the plunge with my dremel tool and started hacking out…aka trimming…the bottom fiberglass cap to the rudder. I ended up notching our the forward area around the cable attachments a little too far forward, so ended up with a L-shaped notch. Have not decided whether to cut the leadign edge portion off completely or try to dress it up with some epoxy and glass tape.|
|2014-01-19||Assisted Ollie with wing attach||Went out to Sky Manor to help fellow EAA chapter member, and RV-8 builder, Olliver Spatchak, attach his wings for the first time. He discovered that he had attached and sealed his fuel tanks incorrectly, …he had eroneously swapped his left & right access plates; so he had to remove them so the fuel line/nipple would match. He will reattach/seal them again after he removes his wings for final fitting adjustments.
Saw his fuel tank attach brackets, and I decided I should make these, too, as it is a Basement activity, and it is freezing in the garage.
|2014-01-20||Fuel tank attach brackets||Fabricated the left & right fuel tank attach brackets. Still not completely sure where to bend them to fit flush with fuselage, as plans say…Mmmm|
|2014-01-20||Drilled bottom cap||I went ahead and final drilled and countersunk the holes for attaching the fiberglass bottom cap to the rudder.|
|2014-03-15||Instrument panel-first cut||I received a second instrument panel when I ordered Van's wiring kit. Now that I have it< I have the guts to start cutting one to my specs. I tried to cut and bend the bottom part of the panel to make a recessed sub-panel above my knees. While I was able to make the smaller bends on the side, I ended up tearing/cracking the big bend, as the sheet was too thick to make such a bend. So i cut it off, stop drill the crack, and will plan to cover the small crack with cushioned trim.|
|2014-03-17||Dynon SkyView from Steins'||Received a box of avionics and wiring harnesses from Syein's. All the harnesses for connecting the Skyview components to each other were made by Stein's complete with terminals and connectors…with the excption of some of the connectors on the wires that run to the tail are.|
|2014-03-22||SB-14-01-31||With the help of EAA Ch member Adam Silverstein, I installed the modification to my HS per Van's Service Bulletin. To eliminate cracking in the the rear spar web, I had to install a doubler in that area to strengthen it. This required drilling out many rivets. The small -3 flush rivets on the skin were not a problem, but the -4's on the spar required using a 90-degree drill, which made it more difficult. The actual removal of therivets went OK, but when we were match drilling the double through the existing holes in the spar, I had a hard time not enlarging the holes. It appeared that the 90-degree attachment was slightly eccentric causing enlarged holes. we ultimately decided to move up to bigger rivets, and while several of the longer ones are slightly 'mushed over', we think everything is secure and airworthy…just not as pretty as before.|
|2014-03-26||Van's Wiring kit||Ordered and received the wiring kit from Van's. It was suggested by an experienced builder ( 30+ RV's) to go ahead and get the kit, if for no other reason, than the big battery cable will have the lugs on the ends, and will fit easily into the plane.
Was disappointed that the starter and battery contactors were NOT included.
|2014-03-30||Photos of Service Bulletin|
|2014-03-30||Avionics shelf||Started working on the layout of all the Dynon components that will be behind the panel. Worked on a shelf that I hope to mount everything; some on the top, and some on the underside. Am hesitating as I continue to try to visualize How much room I will really have, when I get the SKAT tube, grounding block, etc in there, too.|
|2014-04-07||Avionics Tray||Continued to layout the shelf where all my Dynon components will be installed, but THIS TIME, I actually drilled some pilot holes for attaching it. Finalized the size and shape of shelf; fine-tuned the smaller, bent, sub-panel "wings" so that they fit tightly against the z-bar; drilled and clecoed these wings to the shelf. Fabricated and riveted a couple of bracket to support forward edge of avionics shelf to back-side of baggage wall.|
|2014-04-07||First wires||Took out my pre-made harnesses from Stein, and was dissapointed to see that I had to disassemble at the D-sub connector for the transponder, so I could string the wires to the tailbone. That meant that I learned how to use the pin removal tool!
Pulled the transponder wires, ADHRS net cable and the elevevator trim wires to the tail.
Used a 1" rubber grommet on a hole at the bottom of the right gear tower…I hope that I'll have enough room to get all the necessary wires thru it, since it's a little snugger than a simple snap-bushing. ( I did not have any 1" snap bushings, and was impatient to get some wires pulled.)
|2014-05-10||Building harnesses||Recieved my harnesses from Van's and Stein's. Have spent many days fabricating avionics shelf, and stringing ( & restringing) wires thru fuselage. Removed and replaced several power leads from the pre-made SkyView harness from Steins, with the pre-crimped power leads from the Vertical Power wiring kit. Initial fabrication of other wiring harnesses in progress; i.e switch panel, flap motor & sensor, etc.
Am re-thinkibg whether I really need to run a seperate ground wire from EVERY device…seems excessive, and it's making the harnesses pretty big.
|2014-05-18||Finishing kit arrives||Inventory done.|
|2014-06-01||Switch panel||Worked on running leads from switches to VPX. Getting crowded in gear tower. I feel like I'll need to drill another access hole in the right gear tower…am trying hard not to do that.|
|2014-06-09||Flap motor & sensor||Fabricated and installed an angle bracket to attach Ray Allen flap sensor. Connected sensor to flap arm with a z-bent wire and adel clamp.|
|2014-06-10||More wiring||Worked on finishing wiring.|
|2014-06-11||Fuel tube bending||After two attempts, successful made the short, tightly bent fuel line that connects the filter to the selector valve.|
|2014-06-16||Pitot system||Worked on finalizing stuff under turtle deck, so I can move on to working on canopy. Installed tubing for AOA and pitot system to AHRS in tail cone. Drilled access holes and used snap-bushings to route tubing from wing root to AHRS.
Assembled D-sub plug for AHRS.
Zip-tied wires and tubes into position
|2014-06-16||Disappointing delivery from Stein's||2 out of 3 antennae cables had wrong BNC connectors.
1 out of 2 Dynon Net cables were wrong size.
They are being re-made, while I return most of this shipment.
|2014-06-16||Pitot system||Worked on wiring and tubing connections to pitot tube. Pulled wires through conduit and snipped an access slit in it to extract pitot heat power and ground wires. Crimped those two wires to controller.
Cut, bent, and flared aluminum tube from pitot probe. Cut green and blue plastic tubing to length.
Need #36 drill to drill attachment holes for #6 screws to attach probe to mount.
|2014-06-17||Canopy Rail||Worked all day in 90-degree heat to fabricate rail on turtle deck. Measured, trimmed, drilled, counter-sunk, de-burred, riveted, and screwed rail into position.|
|2014-06-18||Initial fitting of frame||Worked all day ( in 90-degree heat…) to prepare canopy rails for installation. Assembled rollers, and drilled/installed rear slide block. Clecoed rails into position, and then fit canopy frame to fuselage sides, and rear deck.|
|2014-06-26||Trimming Photos||Canopy on. Canopy off. Canopy on. Canopy off.
A little bit of plastic trimmed each time, to get the forward down to the roll bar.
Received the bonding supplies from James Distributors only 12 hours after placing the order!
|2014-06-27||Cutting canopy bubble||Spent the last 3 days fitting and trimming the plastic canopy to sit snugly onto the frame and bow support. I used segments of old garden hose to act as spacers, to simulate the distance I will leave when I bond the canopy to the frame. I devised a "sling" from a hose hanger, so I could remove and replace the canopy by myself.
Yesterday, I took a deep breath, and made The Big Cut…slicing the windscreen from the slider section.
I'm hoping that the tailed of the canopy will flex easier to the frame, because as it is now, there is a gap of at least an inch between the frame and the plastic, about 10"-15" forward of the tail end. It looks like I trimmed too much from the aft end. This was caused by me trimming it too close before I had finished trimming and lowering the front end. As the front was lowered, it also moved forward on the frame, resulting in the plastic not quite overhanging the tail end.
|2014-07-05||Bonding canopy to frame||
Prepped the frame and canopy for bonding; roughed up the powder coat and plexiglas…cleaned with solution…applied primer..clamped into position and caulked it with Sika.
I forgot that I had two layers of electrical tape, which would have allowed me to smooth the fillet with my finger once, then remove one layer, and smooth again. As it turned out, I was late getting the tape off, so the edges of the Sika were pulled away. This happened about 2 hours after application, so while it was still not cured, but it was definitely setting up. The fillets look a little rough, but I've decided that so much of this application process is overkill, since a lot of the frame and canopy edges will be hidden/painted by skirt.
|2014-07-09||Initial skirt fitting||Read, and re-read blogs about bonding skirts to frame. Started trimming excess fiberglas away with tin snips. Looks like the rear will require some creativity and force to get it to lay snugly. Right now, I'm concentrating on getting a good, continuous contact at the top of the skirt-to-canopy joint. I figure I can cut/sand/heat/build-up the lower skirt-to-fuselage edge later.
It was slow work today, as I'm afraid to trim too much at one time.
Finally resigned myself to drilling a couple of "keeper" holes for clecos to hold the skirt to the frame. Will try to avoid drilling thru the plexiglass.
|2014-08-17||Skirt work||Back from Michigan/Oshkosh.
Came home to find the canopy with skirts still clecoed on following SIKA bonding. Clecos came out w/o resistant. Only a few voids on seam between top edge of skirt and canopy plexigalss.
C/S & Final drilled and pop-riveted the skirts to the frame.
Countersunk/riveted the aft joint, in preparation to fiberglassing it.
Sanded and smoothed all rivet heads.
Covered the aft deck with tape to form a release barrier, and covered the track with multiple layers of electrical tape to ensure that the soon-to-be-formed glass end of skirt does not come into contact with the track.
Spread epoxy filler over joint…peanut butter consistancy. Also filled in rivet depressions around rivets on sides of skirts.
Glassed the compound form over the track with 2 layers of pre-preg glass, and ran a 1", and one 2" tape up the seam. Covered with PealPly
After drying, sanding…applied one more layer of glass to "bump" at aft edge. Applied second coat of filler over rivets and aft seam.
After drying…applied 3rd coat of filler to fill voids. Used PealPly.
|2014-08-21||Aft skirt||Continued to fill/smooth aft "hump", and side rivet depressions.
Taped the paint line on canopy in preparation for primer.
|2014-08-24||Air Vent bracket||Decided on a new location for air vent, in order to keep the panel as clean as possible. Cut, drilled, deburred, sized, painted and installed bracket, vent and attached hose.|
|2014-09-18||Weeks of wiring||For the last 3 weeks I've been concentrating on getting the avionics bay wiring completed so the top skin can be positioned..and eventually the windscreen can be installed.
Many, many hours of finishing pulling wires, bundling and tie-wrapping led me to make a major change to some of the wiring layout. I re-routed and grouped most of the wires below the avionics shelf. Previously, I had a bunch of wires running across the top of the avionic shelf. I realized that by clamping these bundles to the shelf, it was going to make it more difficult to remove the shelf.
I also, re-designed the attachment point for the avionics shelf. I replaced the brackets onto which the shelf was to be screwed, with piano hinge. This will allow me to more easily remove the shelf for maintenance/upgrades.
Moving the wiring to below the shelf really cleaned up the topside…leaving essentially only the Dynon harnesses on top.
I installed the Engine Monitoring wire bundle and the EGT/CHT probe wires, and discovered that they all could fit in the two small holes on the left side of the firewall. I removed the wires I had previously strung thru the upper, left baggage compt. area, and included them in the new bundles run under the baggage compt. I will plug the holes I punched for this access way in the baggage compt.
I relocated the "Forest of Tabs", grounding block because it was too high to access in it's prior location.
I put spiral-wrap on the EGT/CHT wires; which really stiffened them up.
I put a length of rubber hose on the edge of the z-bar, and then zip-tied wire bundles to it.
I removed the large battery cable from the aft, because I've decided I need to put the battery on the firewall, since I decided to use a lighter wooden prop vs. a constant-speed prop.
I picked up a "power supply" from Adam Silverstein, which will allow me to test the avionics with less chance of frying them with too many amps.
After buying a new multimeter at Lowes, I spent at least a day, if not more, testing each wire in every harness to insure they are correct and continuous. I found a couple of misplaced pins.
|2014-09-19||OAT probe||Installed OAT probe in right tail section. Shortened the wires and strung them thru conduit to ADHRS unit in tail.|
|2014-09-19||Turtle deck prep||Decided to move forward on riveting turtleneck on.
First, I had clean up some of the loose wiring in the tail. I installed the transponder connector, and antenna cable. Used zip-ties to secure wires on longerons and ribs. I pulled the tail-light 3-strand wire thru the rear bulkhead through an existing relief notch on the right side. Intend to seal it with GOOP. The 5-wire elevator tim wire still need to be finished with connectors.
Installed OAT probe. ( See other log entry)
Pulled the blue plastic off the inside of the turtleneck. Used my soldering iron to cut the blue plastic from the rivet lines on the outside surface.
Removed big elevator pushrod, and set a support board in the back in preparation to laying in the tail during riveting. Had to temporarily disconnect ADHRS pitot/AOA tubes.
Clecoed the turtleneck on, only to discover that the lower edge seemed 'hard', so I un-clecoed the edge and filed/sanded/rounded this edge. Re-cledoed the deck into position. The right side holes were "tight"…more difficult to insert clecos. I hope that with a little time, the skin will "relax" into position. In the tight areas, I tried to use a cleco in every hole, vs. every other/3rd hole, if they were easy to insert.
Going to DFW for 777 train in 2 days, so I will leave the deck in position and hope it "stretches' into shape while I'm gone for a few days.
|2014-09-20||Avionics tray mod||Re-worked the avionics tray so I can remove it more easily. I discovered, as I was installing all the wiring that I needed to re-route most of it, so I could remove the avionics tray as envisioned. I also discovered, that it was going to be very difficult to unscrew the tray at the aft attach brackets. I think I solved this by replacing the screws and nut plates against the forward bulkhead, with piano hinges. This will let me make quick work of removing the avionics tray in the future, with the minimum of tools and hassle.|
|2014-09-28||Riveting Turtle Deck||Prepped the back end by disconnecting pitot/static tubes to ADHRS unit. Also peeled off the blue plastic from the inside, and cut away the plastic from the rivet lines. I borrowed a long, off-set backset from Neil Rosset…so I could rivet from the inside and ensure the bulkhead tabs were flush with skin. This also allowed my helper to concentrate on only one task; pressure!
Set a plywood board and some pillows on the floor. Rivetting went well, except that I ran out of rivets…DANG! Had to order some more from Van's, but they're coming by mule along with my Firewall Forward kit.
|2014-10-01||Prepping for paint||Spent time sanding and thinking about how I wanted to paint the skirts.
Went to auto store and Lowes and came home with black caulking and black paint for use as a truck bed liner. Decided NOT to use this black paint on the skirts, but I DID use it on the instrument panel.
Caulked the irregular joints from the SIKA bonding, in an attempt to have a semi-professional appearance when seen from the seat. Spent too much time sanding and recalling…generally making a big mess, but I hope that most of the mess will be hidden by the grey primer I plan to use on the inside and out.
Had to spent some time masking the side tube and rear, where I want the original powder coat finish to stay exposed.
The next day, i thought I was going to paint, but instead, worked on my caulking to improve appearances. Painting will have to wait.
|2014-10-02||Painted panel||Used truckbed liner paint to paint my instrument panel. It came out pretty good, and I think it will match the rough, matte black plastic of my Dynon instruments.
|2014-10-02||Power outlet||Drilled holes in side bulkhead for power outlet and powered headset jacks. Wired the outlet, but did not get started on headset jacks due to to anxiety of getting it right, and because I don't have the stick grips, so I can't really string wires until I know how/where they go for the grips.
I almost talked myself out of installing the big cigarette lighter-type power outlet, because I thought all my future power needs might be met with a USB plug. But then a friend mentioned using a heated vest or jacket for cold weather ops, and I immediately reversed my decision to omit it.
|2014-10-07||Painting||Finished painting the lower, exposed section of the panel..actually part of the avionics tray.|
|2014-10-07||Finished riveting||I received my FF kit, and the rivets that I needed to finish the turtleneck. Rivet the front and rear rivets along the longer on, and riveted the harness brackets.
Am worried that I didn't install plate nuts where the plans say "leave these open for empennage fairing attachment". Hmmm..how does this open rivet hole end up; with a screw or a rivet? We'll find out later, I'm sure.
|2014-10-07||Painted lower, interior skirts||Decided to use the truckbed liner paint on the interior of the canopy…since I have sloppy SIKA and black caulk in all fillets between the frame and skirt, I think the rough paint will help hide imperfections…which there is MUCH! I attempted to sand/smooth the edges of the SIKA and caulk, but the caulk is did not set very hard, so it tends to peal up/off, so I did not try hard to smooth is out with sandpaper.|
|2014-10-08||Fwd Top Skin work||Worked on getting the top skin ready for riveting. This was something that I was putting off,( per Van's recommendation) because I dreaded the lack of access to the area behind the panel. I now know that these thoughts have slowed me down, as I was dragging my feet, not wanting to do "something I'd regret later", by closing in this area. After cleco-ing the skin into position, it was obvious that I'd have plenty of access; with the instrument panel off, and the "quick-disconnect" avionics tray removed, I'll have a lot of room to work in there.
I had to re-read/reconstruct the sequence in the instruction manual, as I had disassembled most of the forward area after prepping it for riveting. Discovered that the Forward Top Skin Support Ribs need to be riveted onto the skin before cleco-ing the skin down, as you don't have access to the rear of the rivets when it's in position, The option is to use blind (pop) rivets, but the plans clearly call for driven rivets, so I unclecoed/peeled up the skin so I could rivet the support rib onto the skin. As it turned out, I realized that this whole area would be covered by the epoxy/fiberglass fairing of the windscreen, so I did not hesitate to use a pop rivet for the center rivet, that I could not reach with the squeezer.
|2014-10-08||Post-paint||removed masking and inspected yesterday's paint on the inside of the skirts.
Looks "OK"…not great…but "keep moving forward!"
|2014-10-08||Riveted piano hinge||Made final attachment of piano hinge to bulkhead with pop rivets.
Also pop riveted the Skyview Hub to same bulkhead.
|2014-10-14||Sensor Mount||Prepared Sensor Mount for mounting by, first, fabricating the stiffener bracket for the back of the firewall from aluminum angle. Then I installed two blue fittings for an oil line and a fuel line. Installed 2 brass plugs opposite each fluid line.
Drilled two holes thru firewall and bracket, using the mount as a drill guide.
Only found one AN3-6A bolt, so substituted and AN3-5A; installed sensor mount on firewall.
|2014-10-14||Re-installed pitot/AOA lines into AHRS.||Crawled into rear fuselage with sockets, wrenches and labels in hand.
Reattached the adel clamp that secured the AOA & Pitot lines to the left longeron.
Reattached the blue and green lines to the AHRS unit, and put labels under each port fro future identification.
A couple of zip ties here, and there to secure wires and tubes.
|2014-10-14||Battery Box and Heater valve||Spun in circles trying to figure out how to attach battery box on firewall. Discovered that I was missing OP-31 Drawing, that spelled out how to do this. E-mailed Van's support asking for the drawing to be sent to me.
Tried to move forward with existing drawings and instructions, but, even after opening the battery install kit, which included a drawing ( Hurrah!!), I soon discovered that this drawing was for Rf-7,9's..( RATS!!)
Can't figure out how the starter and battery solenoids get attached to battery box without OP-31 Drawing, so…I'm stuck for a while.
Also spent some time trying to figure out how to plumb the push/pull cable for the cabin heat door. The cable is supposed to be routed on the back of the firewall, in front of the rudder pedals, but I found a suggested modification on how to re-route the cable so the rudder pedals don't hit it when the pedals are mounted at their most forward position; which mine are!
Of course, the cabin heat valve was installed just the other day, since I figured I was pretty safe installing it since Van's had a;already cut the 2" hole in my firewall. Surely that was the only place it could go!! WRONG!
|2014-10-20||Swivel arm for cabin heat.||The issue is that the routing of the cabin heat control cable is directly behind the rudder pedals. Unfortunately, I need to maximize my pedal access in this area, as I've placed the pedals in the most forward position, and I am concerned that the brake pedals will hit the firewall already, so I don't want anything else between the brake pedals and the firewall.
After a lot of staring and studying, I decided that the cabin heat control cable can be shortened, and connected to a swivel-arm to move the flapper door. Other options were to remove and replace the door arm to the firewall side and route the cable in a serpentine fashion to link up to it; not desired, in my mind.
I fabricated a simple angle, to which I attached a triangular piece of aluminum, and drill a few holes in it where the cable and a pushrod will attach.
Believe it or not, this seemed like the lest obtrusive and least time consuming solution.
|2014-10-23||Flap motor & sensor||Reinstalled the flap sensor, and connected the flap motor to the flap bracket. Thought I was going to be able to move the flap motor with the wired switch on the panel…the first switch-activated operation, and a tiny step toward getting the panel lit up…but the VPX need to be configured with a download from a PC…so will have to find Sam's old PC, since all I own are Apple products.|
|2014-10-25||Swapped dummy for real VP-X||Removed the dummy box and installed the real VP-X box. Put power on it and saw two blinking orange lights…which is all I can expect for now.
Packed the dummy box for return/refund.
|2014-10-26||PTT||Found a nice switch at Radio Shack that I mounted on a vertical bulkhead on the left side of the rear cockpit. This will allow the person in the back seat to use the radio without touching the stick while I fly…and will eliminate the need for a more complicated stick grip in the rear.|
|2014-10-29||Amps and loads||I was trying finalize my loads and come up with a "final" wiring schematic when I discovered that my total load exceeded 60 amps!
This is a concern, because the rule of thumb is to NOT have more than 80% of your alternator capacity used. Hmmm…
After a couple of back and forths via e-mail and forums to Vertical Power and VAF, I concluded that I can remove and reduce several device's current draw, and that there are several (many) RV's flying with more than 60 amps on their load plan…they just have to manage the use of their equipment…which can be done easily by watching the VPX on the SkyView.
So…I reworked my VP-X wiring diagram, and switch assignments.
On advise of VP advisor, I just deleted the lights and taxi light, since I do not expect to install these for a while. And I reduced the current draw from the autopilot servos.
All this brought to about 45 amps…well below the 60 amp alternator that is installed( and paid for) on my new engine.
|2014-10-29||Battery Box||After much research to make sure my firewall-mounted battery box was in a location where I could "easily" remove & replace the battery…i.e. where The battery could be slid out without taking the whole battery box off the firewall…I riveted the brackets to the box; match drill, dimple, de-burr, rivet.
Then I riveted the plate nuts to the brackets and fabricated a support angle for the back of the firewall.
Installed the box on firewall, but the 'install kit' only came with 3 bolts, so had to steal one from my supply. Don't know where this ill affect me later.
|2014-11-03||Sanding and filling||Took advantage of a warm day to finish sanding the first application of clear coat epoxy. This coat took DAYS to cure in the cooler air.
Mixed several small batches of Bondo to fill pinholes and voids.
Sanded and applied another coat of thinned epoxy.
|2014-11-06||Contactors, shunts and fuses||Finalized layout and installed the Battery Contactor, starter contractor, Amp shunt, and 60 amp ANL fuse. Drilled out a couple of rivets in order to attach components to L-brace behind firewall. Located the shunt in a position that I eliminated a planned copper connecting bar between the ANL fuse and shunt housings.
Fabricated from copper pipe, a connecting bar between the battery & starter contractors.
Also bent and drilled a copper connector between the starter contractor and the ANL fuse housing.
|2014-11-07||Power line to VP-X||Removed existing 8 awg power wire that was to supply power from battery contractor to VP-X. As it turns out, my electrical load has grown ( or is planned for future growth) that now requires a 6 wag wire.
removal of old wire required the snipping of several zip-ties, unwrapping of vinyl spiral-wrap and adel clamps of a "beautifully" wrapped and installed wire bundle.
Installed a ring terminal on end, and installed new 6 wag wire. Left the firewall end un-cut and without ring terminal until I get engine installed and finalize it's routing.
|2014-11-10||Engine delivered||Came home from a trip to find THIS in my driveway.
Using my best engineering skills, I managed to get a dolly under the crate with boards and leverage. It now sits in the corner of the shop, waiting to be installed.
|2014-11-30||Many days of misc. wiring||A short list of how I've spent the last few work days;
1. pulled the A/P pitch servo wires to rear of plane. Plan to tap into Roll servo wires under copt. just aft of rt. gear tower.
2. started connecting headset plugs- LEMO
3. added power & ground for rear seat heater
4. re-arranged garage to fit fuse at an angle in prep to installing engine.
5. ordered/received Tosten front stick grip
|2015-04-08||LEMO plug wiring||After a long, cold winter of doing NOTHING, I finally got back out to the garage to continue wiring. I plunged back into finishing the LEMO plug wiring, and the PTT wiring for the back seat. No soldering; crimped pins and sockets only with a lot of shrink tubing.
Am waffling on whether the back stick will have any electrical connections. Want to keep it simple, and make it easy to remove the stick.
|2015-04-11||Stick grip wiring||Determined what wires are to connected to Pilot's stick-grip; PTT, A/P disconnect, Elevator trim ( Up & Down), Flip/Flop, Ground.
Pulled new Flip/flop wire thru gear tower and behind panel and added it to the COM PANEL D-sub plug.
Pulled new GND wire thru same route.
Fabricated D-Sub plug for all these wires, located under right-side "junction area" ( these area just behind right gear tower)
Decided that wires for Pitch servo can be left in same area, and tapped into Roll servo wires at a later date.
|2015-04-13||Clamping||Spent a few hours fabricating, attaching and securing wire bundles to new adel clamp brackets; specifically at the top and bottom of the right gear tower.|
|2015-04-13||Mounted mount||Positioned and drilled engine mount. The pilot holes did not quite line up with the mount….the mount had to stretched; mostly up/down. Fabricated some bushings to insert in mount holes and used 3/16th bolts. This caused the mount to stretch a title bit, and satisfied me, that I could drill a couple holes, and still stretch the mount to the other 2 holes. Used aluminum tubing as bushings, and initially drilled 5/16 holes, and then final drilled 3/8 holes. Used LOTS of BoeLube. Drilling went well,; de-burred and attached engine mount with 3/8" bolts. Unfortunately, my torque wrench takes 1/4" sockets, and I didn't have a 9/16th socket that fit it…so will have to final torque it later. For now, I settled for "good-n-tight".|
|2015-04-26||Baggage door hinge||Fit the baggage door to the upper skin. Worked on getting a flush fit, and discovered that the previously installed hinge was not installed close and tight to the door skin. This extra space was pushing the door outboard, and creating a bulge. I spent some time removing and replacing the hinge.|
|2015-04-27||Baggage Door||Strapped the forward baggage door into position, then after putting plywood boards and pillows in the floor area of the fuselage, and removing the pilot's stick, I crawled into the fuselage, with my head at the rudder pedals to rivet the inside skin of the door. I could only get one arm completely under the instrument panel, so had to squeeze the pop rivet squeezer single-handedly. Balanced the cleco-tool on top of the brake lines, directly over my face, while placing a rivet into the squeezer, transferring it to my left hand, and popping each rivet. Then carefully pulled the squeezer back down, maneuvered it back to my belly, so I could shake the rivet shaft out, toss it over the side ( I didn't want any small metal rods rattling around from now-on), then grab the cleco pliers, put the squeezer on the brake lines, while then transferring the pliers to my left hand so I could remove a cleco. Carefully pull the pliers down to my belly, remove the cleco, drop it in the bag of rivets next to my left thigh, pick up a rivet, put it in my mouth, switch the pliers and squeezer, load the squeezer, transfer back to my left hand, and squeeze a rivet. repeat, 20 times.|
|2015-04-27||Gear install prep||Spent 2 hours researching what to do with the 2 extra holes in the outboard side of each gear tower. Had to re-read most of the assembly instructions that I thought I could skip, since I bought a quick-build kit, in a frustrating search for a reference to these holes. Pulled out plan drawings that, again, I had stored because I didn't need to use them, in order to decipher the instructions' part number call-outs.
Very frustrated, as I thought I'd have the legs on tonight, only to finish the day with hardly anything to show for my "work".
|2015-04-27||Fasteners||Decided to use 1/4 turn fasteners for cowling mount. Ordered a complete set from Skybolt, since they were having a Sun-n-Fun sale.
Unfortunately, this means I will have to relocate the wiring pass-thru, since they are adjacent to the edge of the firewall, and the bulky fasteners will need this space.
|2015-04-28||Initial fitting||Used the borrowed engine hoist to "hoist" the front of the plane up so I could position the gear legs. Used a strap around the engine mount.
Worked all day on the right leg. i found out that the carefully trimmed skin that I trimmed months ago, so the brackets would fit, was inadequate once the bracket and leg were in position together.
Had to break out the Dremel cutoff wheel to make more room. Also had to use the Unibit to enlarge the access holes foe the outer bolts of the outboard bracket.
It tool a little while to figure out how to use duct tape and strategically placed wrenches in order to install bolts from below. I could JUST…BARELY reach both the wrench below and the socket wrench inside while installing. Thank goodness I have gorilla arms.
I had previously epoxied some modified box-end wrench heads to the high-strength nuts in an attempt to have them "wedged" into the gear tower; thereby eliminating the need to get a socket into the gear tower for re-torqueing. This proved problematic, as the cut off wrench heads did not fit onto the nuts with the other nearby bolts interfering. Instead of grinding down the box ends, I smashed/broke the nuts out of the box ends, and installed them as the plans say. I think I'll be able to get a socket on them without too much hassle. We'll see.
I ended the day with all bolts installed for the right leg, but requiring torquing.
Unfortunately, my torque-wrench does not got up to 240 in-lbs, which is what I need for the BIG bolts.
|2015-04-28||Vettermans||Ordered a "cross-over" exhaust system with cabin heat muff through AeroSport Power. Gerrard, who sold me my engine helped me finalize the order and get a discount.|
|2015-04-28||Mystery screw holes||I discovered a couple of empty holes in the gear tower, that the plans say should have a screw and nut in. After a LOT of time researching why these holes were empty, I finally discovered on a builders website that there SHOULD be screws here, i needed to countersink the underside of the longer on, and install the hardware. I needed to do this a couple of times, as these screwheads are under the outer wear plates of the landing gear. These plates need to sit perfectly flush, so while I attempted to minimize the depth of the countersink, I also, ahd to make sure that the head did not protrude at all. this meant that I had to install, tighten, and check the head for "flushness", a couple of times. A real PITA.
After all that, i read on VAF site that another build asked Van's about these missing screws, and Van's said, "leave them out."
|2015-04-30||Left leg||Installed left gear leg and installed outer and inner brackets. This leg went a little faster. Still had to cut away some of the skin to get the outer bracket in place. Also, assembled and installed the tail wheel. Sammy assembled a set of dollies, which we placed under the main gear.|
|2015-05-01||Legs cinched||After borrowing a couple of big torque wrenches, and buying a combo swivel-9/16th socket and a couple more swivel connectors, I started to tighten down the nuts on the gear brackets. Figured out a way to place an open-end wrench on the bolt head, put pressure on it with my thigh/knee, while using two hands inside the fuselage placing the socket and turning the wrench. A lot of busted knocks and smashed fingertips later, I had all the outer bracket bolts torqued to specs.
Later that night, with Sam laying underneath the fuselage, we got the inner bracket bolts torqued.
|2015-05-01||Cabin Heat||Re-thought my idea of using my previously fabricated bell crank, and instead, installed the cabin heat cable on the right gear tower, and snaked it through the forward baggage compartment, where it won't be in the way of baggage, or the rudder pedals.
Fabricated a clamp from a section of piano hinge; safety-wired an adel clamp between the rudder pedals, and drill the requisite hole to tech the heat door on the firewall.
The location of the handle meant I wasn't able to get a wrench on the backs of the handle; instead had to settle for some Lock-tight dabbed on the screw threads, and a wooden stick tapped on the nut in order to turn it tight. Seems secure. Probably will NEVER be able to remove it without destroying it.
Decided NOT to bend a "ZEE" at the end of the wire; instead will install a swivel wire stop, like those used on lawn mower throttle cables. This will allow me to make fine adjustments to the door swing.
|2015-05-02||Hoisting and supporting for axles||Had to go to Lowes to buy more sawhorse material, because I need to set the fuselage on it so the legs are about 1' off the ground. I ended up NOT leveling the fuselage, as I will delay working on the wheel pants until later. Right now, I just want it on it's wheels.
After some cutting and hoisting and maneuvering, I put the tail up on the end of a workbench and the front on the new sawhorse. Laid a centerline under the fuselage to use as a reference in installing axles.
Bolted on axles and strung a line between them to check for proper alignment. No shims required!! Yeah.
Moved on to assembling the wheels/tires/brakes/tubes.
Will need to get some high temp axle grease, then will be able to put the tires together.
Had to do some grinding/filing to get the Matco brake assemblies to fit on the wheel pant brackets.
|2015-05-02||Fairing bracket Mod||Started to piece together the parts for mounting the tires. My Matco brake assemblies have several bolts and nuts that need strategic clearance around the bracket that holds the wheel pants on.
I have to cut/file out a corner in order to provide room to mount, and later, remove a bolt for future brake maitenance.
|2015-05-03||Finished Cabin Heat cable||Got an Aircraft Spruce delivery which included the swivel, wire-stop for my cabin heat control cable.
Also bolted on the adel clamp, and pop riveted the hold-down bracket along the front and side longerons to secure the cable along the walls.
|2015-05-04||Difficulty attaching axles||I started on getting the wheels on. Opened the wheels, stuffed the tubes inside, and inflated the tube a couple of times to work out the kinks, per instructions. Had to re-do the first one, as I forgot to align the 'Red Dot" with the valve stem.
Packed the bearing with synthetic Mobil axle grease, from AutoZone.
Unfortunately, when I tried to bolt on the axles, I could not get more than one bolt installed without considerable effort. Started to tap the second bolt in, but it really started binding, so I stopped.
I asked Van's Support about this, and they said:
Most likely, this is cause by the heat-treating of the gear legs -
this is done after the legs are drilled, and can slightly affect the
roundness and location of the holes.
It's OK to drill or ream the legs out to match the holes in the axles
These should match the holes in the brake flange, so that can be used
as a guide also.
So…after 2 days of flipping and reversing axles, I now have to figure out how to accurately drill the massive steel leg holes with hand tools.
|2015-05-05||Technical Advisor Visit||Tonight, Adam Silverstein, EAA Ch 643 member, past chapter president, former Rv-4 owner & current Rv-8 builder/owner, came over to look at my progress.
He was happy was just about everything…which made me happy, and gives me confidence to permanently install the forward-top skin and start planning for fiberglass work on the windscreen.
|2015-05-05||Wheel Pants-initial construct||Apparently, Van's has vastly improved it's fiberglass production, as the two halves of each wheel pant required only minor sanding to fit together well.
After a couple of hours, I had the left and right pants screwed together, after drilling and install plate nuts.
|2015-05-05||Drilled and bolted axles||After getting some feedback from Van's regarding the slight mis-alignment of the axle holes to gear legs, I grabbed my drill and match-drilled axles using the gear leg and brake bracket as guides. I removed a lot less metal than I was envisioning before, so I'm confident all will be well. (I was worried that elongating any of the holes would lead to a loose connection.)
Installed brake assemblings and both tires, including inner fairing bracket.
|2015-05-06||Trimming & fitting||Today, I spent the whole day fitting the main gear fairings to the brackets on each wheel. Lots of "trim a little bit here, a little bit there, re-attach to gear, pop, not quite right, take back off, re-trim…."
The Van's instructions had me level the plane as if it were in flight. It also wanted the main gear legs 12" off the floor. This required a new sawhorse, and lifting the tail up onto one of my workbenches. They also required me to use a plumb line and establish a centerline under the fuselage. After doing all this, they never told me how to use this line…I guess they figured that by this stage of the construction I should be able to figure it out.
Well, I was careful to get the fore/aft position, and the nose up/down position set accurately, but the "yaw" reference was pretty much eyeballed. At the end, I measured the distance from centerline for the "tails" of the pants to see how close I came, and…I was pretty close!
After all this positioning, I needed to beef up some of the attach points with a few layers of fiberglass; where some countersunk screws will use Tinnerman washers ( the fiberglass was not thick enough to get the countersunk washers flush), and one of the attach brackets did not meet the fairing, so I built it up with a few layers of glass.
|2015-05-07||Brake lines||Broke the ole' flaring tool and fabricated 2 brake lines from fuselage to wheels. Had the forethought to put a bend in them so that they clear the bog bolt I will have to re-torque several times.
The right brake fitting was installed at minimum torque to achieve proper alignment, but after I connected the brake line, I could easily make it move by pushing on the big loop in the brake line. I'll try to re-install that fitting when the wheel's off.
|2015-05-07||Leg Fairings||Now that the pants are done, I backed up and started work on the gear leg fairings. Oh! Great!! NOW I read in the instructions that this would more easily be done on the bench with the legs detached! Too late for THAT!
The top of each fairing required a notch to be trimmed to allow for the brake line to transition. Hopefully this notch will be covered by the intersection fairing.
Cut the piano hinges to length. Positioned the fairings on the legs and clamped them. Inserted hinge and clamped; drilled, clecoed.
|2015-05-08||Riveting gear fairings||De-burred the hinges & Countersunk the fiberglass. Riveted the hinges on the fairings. Bent hinge pin to accept safety wire. Drilled hole for safety wire.|
|2015-05-08||Electrical pass through||Used my Harbor Freight hole punch to make a 1" hole in SS firewall. I have to relocate the 2 small holes, which are too close to the cowling, and it's attachment hardware.
I strategically placed the new hole very close to the alignment of the wires as they are now, hopefully simplifying the re-run, and keeping them out of the way of the engine control cables.
The hole punch let me down, as it created a huge burr/deformity. Had to Dremel it smooth.
Installation of firesleeze bracket went smoothly, after that.
Used SS CherryMax rivets.
|2015-05-14||Firesleeve||Re-routed all electrical wires thru firesleeve.
Also torqued engine mount bolts.
|2015-05-14||Primer||Sanded and primed the outer "pink" canopy skirt.
I should have probably used some caulk to put a finishing bead between skirt and plexi…a couple of gaps are now evident.
|2015-05-15||509 Screws||Installed 30 screws in the pre-dimpled holes in, and around the lower gear boxes.
I had to dig into the interactions that I thought I didn't have to reference, as a QB client, but these screws were an obvious omission.
I assume that they were not installed by the QB builders, so they wouldn't interfere with the big landing gear leg bolts installation , but it would have been nice to have included a note to install them after the legs were put in.
I had to use a "picker-upper' to hold the nuts, as I could get my hand down that far and still control the nut/washer. Ended up SuperGluing the washer to the nut, so I could eliminate an arduous step.
|2015-05-18||Engine Hanging||Took the top off the crate, and immediately discovered that I could not slip the hoist legs under the crate in order to get the hook over the engine. Spent 1 1/2 hours levering and propping up the crate at a strategic angle in order to get on leg of the hoist under the box.
Eventually pulled the engine out and positioned it next to the mount.
Followed "The Illustrated Guide to Engine hanging" from a Tampa EAA chapter that I saw on VAF site. The first bolt went in fine, but I had to replace it as I had used one of the bottom bolts instead of a shorter, top bolt. The second bolt went in without too much difficulty, but again, I had to R & R it since I had used the wrong washer under tyne bolt. it was obvious the bottom 2 would need some more muscle. I called it a day, as I thought about how to proceed.
The next day I went out to Sky Manor to fetch some "bullets", or custom drift pins that Adam S. saved he had…but he didn't. So I went to Lowes and found a 1/4" long ( vs. short) socket that was just a wee bit too big to slide thru the holes of the engine. So I took my micrometer, and went to work on it on the grinder. Shaped the nose similar to the "bullets" I saw on Avery Tool site. ( see photo)
With this home-made drift pin, the third and fourth bolts were hammed in without much effort. The 4th required a ratchet strap to position the engine, and a pistol-style squeeze clamp to deform the rubber biscuit so the bullet and bolt were mostly aligned. This freed up my hands to handle the bolt and hammer.
Success! Went to EAA chapter meeting to brag.
|2015-05-20||Mounting photos||More pix|
|2015-05-21||First cuts||After reviewing many sites and instructions ( Van's hinge installation vs. the SkyBolts fasteners), along with builder websites…I followed DanH (aka Dan Horton) by trimming the top section across the leading edge based on a line thru the center of the circle.
Then I trimmed the outboard leading edges to allow the sides to overlap more easily.
I also had to remove with a Dremel grinder, a lot of extra fiberglas material on the inside radii of the the spinner flanges. This was not sufficient, so I ended up cutting away the corresponding, interfering corners of the lower cowling's flange in the spinner area. These 2 steps resulted in good "nesting" of the 2 halves.
Unfortunately, it appears that I do NOT have a true circle in the opening. In order to achieve a symmetrical circle, I had to re-fab the lower cowling's joggle, and trim more of the outboard leading edges away.
This, still did not give me my desired result.
So I quit for the day.
|2015-05-22||Exhaust install||Unpacked the various sections of the exhaust pipes from a surprisingly small box from Vetterman's.
Loosely bolted a pipe to each cylinder, and figured out how to get the 2-into-1 sections attached. Coated each slip-on area with anti-sieze, along with the "ball-joints".
The system is supposed to be supported by 2 hangers attached to sump bolts, but I was only able to get the right one installed; and it ended up being so long, that I don't have enough rubber hose to fab the left one. I DID have enough to fab the horizontal, "separation" bracket between the 2 pipes.
There doesn't seem to be a straight-forward solution to attaching the left hanger; the engine mount interferes with the best, most obvious hanger location.
I'll need to come up with either an indirect (i.e. Y-shaped, or bent) hanger shape, or move the pipe bracket further forward (contrary to Vettermans' advice/instruction).
Off to the auto parts store for more hose.
|2015-05-28||Exhaust Install 2||Decided the solution to my "left bracket delima" was to reposition both pipe clamps a little further forward. This gave me access to a sump bolt and and angle to the re-located clamps, while also shortening the right rubber hose some…something I was worried about.; It seemed too long.
Tightened all nuts in the hanger system.
|2015-05-28||Throttle & mixtue cables…Uh-Oh||Positioned both cables into their approximate position determined that I need to fabricate an extension to the under-engine throttle bracket.
The mixture cable has 2 brackets; one needs to me notched, while the other is OK; so I bolted it on the sump case.
|2015-05-29||Plugged holes||After relocating my battery cable and other electrical wires from 2 small holes adjacent to the left edge of the firewall, to a fire-sleeved pass-thru, I had 2 empty holes in my firewall.
Today I used a SS plug that came with the FF kit and a small piece of SS sheet to cover these holes. Used some BioTherm sealant and a couple of pop-rivets.
|2015-05-30||Throttle & mixture brackets; Modifications||Used some .25 this AL angle from the scrap pile to make an extension for the throttle cable bracket hanging under the sump.
This took a little while to measure/cut/grind/smooth/drill, etc. Turned out OK. Had to elongate one hole that attached it to the sump lug, but it's plenty secure.
Still need to safety wire 2 screws went things get near final.
Might need to replace the offset throttle arm with a straight one, but that can be done later.
Also fixed the problem with the forward mixture bracket. Used a die-grinder to slice off the outer few threads of a steel plug, and then smoothed off the face with a the Dremmel, so the plug will be flush with the sump case when installed. By doing this, I was able to minimize the notch that I had to cut out of the bracket to clear the lug that the plug screwed into. After notching the bracket, I sprayed a coat primer onto the steel, which used to be powder coated.
I also primed the 2 panels that house the throttle quadrant, which arrived in the mail a day or so ago.
|2015-05-31||Too long||Installed my new throttle quadrant into position. This required disassembling the unit, so I could bolt it to it's side panel. When I did this, I learned the top cover would not slide into position as the new quadrant interfered a little. I tried to grind away the edges that hit the quadrant body, but a nut plate kept me from getting a good fit. instead I decided to slap a washer on the 4 bolts between the quadrant and the side panel, so that it created a small gap that the top cover could now slip into. This worked OK, except this caused the bolts to be too short.
went to the hardware store to get longer screws and maybe another clevis and pin for the cable connection.
Found the screws; not the clevis.
Reassembled the quadrant, connect the throttle clevis, and installed the quadrant.
This showed me that the mixture cable is too long by about 2". When I attach both ends to their respective brackets, there is a big bow in the cable that I should, and will eliminate with a shorter cable.
The throttle cable fits well.
|2015-05-31||Oil Pressure line||Installed oil pressure hose from engine to sensor manifold on firewall.|
|2015-05-31||Fuel lines||Started to lay out the fuel lines.
The engine-driven fuel pump outlet had to be replaced with a fitting that has a Tee, that will go to the sensor manifold. Installed this fitting, along with a 45 degree Tee, and the hose to the manifold.
Positioned the pump-to-servo hose…it will be a tight fit around the intake pipes and the mixture brackets. Not exactly sure of it's routing. Did not connect this hose. Started to think about where some Adel brackets need to go.
Install the fuel pump-to-firewall hose. (Red fire sleeved)
Positioned the servo-to-spider hose, but stopped when I realized that this hose will probably penetrate a baffle, so I'm waiting to figure out when I should put this hose it until later in the process.
|2015-06-02||Baffling 1||Screwed in the oil & fuel pressure sensors in the manifold on the firewall. Installed the oil temperature probe. Decided I need to order a fuel flow sensor; EI-60 Red Cube in the mail! Will install between the fuel servo and the spider, so I can use the 1/4" lines, which are compatible with the Red Cube.
Also order a new mixture cable; 52.5 " , along with a lot of hardware from Van's. This will delay my plan to get the top skin riveted, so I started working of the baffles.
|2015-06-02||Baffles 2||Discovered I had all the parts for hanging the oil cooler (initially I thought I was going to have to order the kit from Van's), and worked on beefing up the corner which is susceptible to cracking. I found an angle that was perfect, and decided that Van's threw it in the kit due to it's weakness, but there is no revision in the instructions.
Fabricated the angle brace, and continued with the other baffle sections all day. managed to get 3 out of 4 cylinders "enclosed'. each piece require some trimming/grinding to get them to nestle on the cylinder heads. I think the Millinium cylinder covers are a slightly different profile.
Scratched my pretty blue engine a little, but…that's what touch-uo paint is for…which I found the other in the small box that came with my engine.
|2015-06-03||Baffling 3||Completed most of the forward sections; front/lower air dams. Also worked on the tension bars that pull the lower cylinder shrouds tight to the cylinders. Van's supplies a length of steel rod, that I need to cut to length, bend and then…THREAD THE ENDS!
I tried this, but my Craftsman tap & die set could not get a bite on these small 6-32 rods.
Instead, I went to the hardware store and found some 6-32 threaded rod. Zinc-plated steel. A little easier to bend and I don't have to worried about threading the ends. I had to slightly enlarge the holes in the baffles to accommodate these rods, but I got it done pretty quickly.
|2015-06-03||Cowling 2||After a lot of thought; and growing impatient at the prospect of waiting for my Van's order to show up ( mixture cable), I decided I would try to fit the cowling without having the top skin riveted. It seems a lot of builders have figured out how to do this, so I'll give it a go.
First I clecoed the top skin into position. I used 'high-speed tape" to secure the top skin to the firewall, and removed the clecos there. This will allow me to rest the top cowl on the top skin; mark it & trim it.
Spent a while after dinner leveling the fuselage ( this required prying up the dolly holding the right wheel, and sliding a piece of plywood under it; along with letting some air out of the left tire.), an trying to level the cowl and secure it. I thought I had it in perfect position, and taped it onto the top skin with 'hi-speed tape', but when I was jostling the lower cowl underneath, with a sawhorse as support, the tape gave way…ARRRRGH!
Time to step away for the night.
|2015-06-04||Cowling 3||Spent an hour or so re-leveling fuselage and top cowl. Removed tape, and decided to put a few clecos in the firewall flange. This proved difficult, even with a hole-finder, or a flashlight shone from behind, my holes were always 'just a bit off", causing my precisely fit cowling to shift. I finally got three in, and moved on the lower cowl.
Used a ratchet strap, and a sawhorse and pillow to hold it in approx. position. The front inlets needed a little more carving away to get them nested on the outboard curves. Spinner spacing is not even; closer at top than bottom, but I'm counting on a little sagging, so maybe it'll even out eventually.
Clecoed the from inlets near the spinner.
Marked the top cowl's cut line from the reference line previously drawn on the skin.
|2015-06-05||Skybolts 1||Last night, I positioned the Skybolt flanges around the upper FW with clamping Clecos. Today, I drilled top/firewall Skybolt flanges. Had to red rill one because of edge-distance problems…I didn't ensure it was inlace before drilling.
Cut and sanded the top cowling's FW edge. Good fit, but needs trimming, asit sits too close to spinner plate. Sanded so much that the Sharpie line was sanded off, so I had to re-establish another reference lone and re-mark the cowling about 1/4 in.
Sam was my 'Master Deburrer'; he ran all the flanges across the Scotchbrite wheel, smoothing the edges.
|2015-06-07||Cowling 4||Returned from LHR to continue sanding aft edge of top cowling. Spinner gap is now 1/8" on top, and 1/4" on sides.
Positioned and trimmed lower/FW Skybolt flanges, then match drilled them.
|2015-06-08||Cowling 5||Deburred & countersunk lower flanges.
Fit lower cowl multiple times, while I cut/trimmed FW edge. These cuts did not completely eliminate the "underbite" (think bulldog) of the inlet.
Pushed lower cowl back to fix underbite, but the face of the top & bottom cowling directly behind the spinner is not close to being flush.
Discovered that if I lower the front of the top cowl, this face has much better alignment. This results is slightly bigger inlet openings, but who knows what the "right" size of these openings are supposed to be.
|2015-07-13||One month of stuff||I haven't made any entries for the last month; mostly because after putting in a long, hot day in the garage, the last thing I want to do is sit at my computer.
I put the cowling away, and worked on stuff that has been making me defer attaching the top skin; firewall penetrations.
I've made good progress on connecting the engine to the airframe.
Throttle and mixture cables went in and are connected at both ends. They required attaching brackets, ordering/receiving a throttle quadrant & rod ends, swapping an arm on the mixture servo and swapping a mixture cable for a shorter one.
Major electrical wires are installed;
Main power to VP-X, starter cable, alternator cable, and three grounding wires.
Some smaller wires are starting to be connected; starter switch, alternator field wire, master switch.
|2015-07-14||Fwd. top skin installed||Yesterday and today I riveted the forward, top skin on!
Used several (many) Cherry rivets on holes that I could not get the bucking bar to. Added the Skybolt flanges to the firewall when I riveted that edge. Will put a bead of caulk on the inside of the fuselage on the firewall/fuselage side seams.
Sammy helped me tonight, with the row of rivets on the left side of the baggage compartment…the only place I could not reach by myself.
Drilled and pop-riveted the brackets to the canopy bow…had to run out to t he hardware store to get some new, SHARP 1/8" drill bits to drill into the steel canopy bow.
|2015-08-09||SkyBolts and a little fiberglass work||After returning from 2 weeks Up North, I've spent many hours finishing the SkyBolt cowling installation. The firewall flanges had already been riveted, so I worked on positioning the upper cowl, making the final side-seam cut and then installing the side SkyBolt flanges. I had to install/remove the upper cowl many, many times in order to position a light inside the cowl directly behind each flange, so I could see the shadow of the hole where I needed to drill an opening for the grommet. In the end, it worked out "OK", with a couple fasteners not quite aligned, so they're a little difficult to lock/unlock. I might re-rivit the receptacles.
After all the flatteners had been installed, I had some work to do in the inlets, where my cuts were a little rough. I also decided to lop off all the existing joggles, and fab new ones, that would nest perfectly. This project, along with filling the gaps around the outer inlets required about 6 sessions of glass/sand, repeat.
|2015-08-12||Windshield||After finally committing to installing the top, forward skin a few weeks ago, I've been anxiously working toward installing the windscreen. Today, I SIKA-ed it into place.
The prep work for this involved making several small final trims of the lower edge of the windscreen where it rests on the top skin. This was necessary because the windscreen bowed out a little at the bottom of the canopy bow…I need to "snug" it up a little so I could clamp it around the bow without inducing continuous stress into the plastic…which might cause a crack. I ground and sanded the rough edges.
Confession Time: I used the same SIKA cleaner/aktivator, and primer that I used when I bonded the canopy last year. These were past their expiration dates, but I had stored them, tightly closed, in the refrigerator. Several blogs talked about how they would "gel" or thicken, but both were fully liquid, and the rattle-ball in the primer moved easily the first time I tried it….convincing my that they had survived the storage OK. I had an unopened tube of SIKA adhesive, that I set in the sun to warm up before I opened it.
Like the canopy, I used several small section of old garden hose as spacers. I pop-riveted a small bracket to the top deck to act as a hold-down and positioner.
Yesterday I spent hours double taping the edges with electrical tape, and covered the rest of the windshield; inside and out, with masking tape. I also taped the top skin and the roll bar after dragging a popsicle stick around the perimeter to faintly scratch a line to show the edge of the fillet. Had to guess the outline of the area directly below the sides of the roll bar…where the front edges canopy skirts come up to the fairing. Hope it works out.
I roughed up the roll bar, top skin and plastic windscreen with 80 grit.
Today, after running out of reasons why I shouldn't do it, I cleaned and primed the roll bar. Openned the SIKA tube, and layer a bead of adhesive on the canopy bow…being sure to NOT glue in the rubber hose spacers, which will be pulled out tomorrow, along with a filling those gaps, and running a final fillet around the whole canopy bow. I placed the leading edge of the windscreen into the small bracket on the top-skin, and, while standing on a step-stool, and pulling both sides of the windshield outward careful tilted it back onto the canopy bow. After only a little adjustment, I clamped it into position with 7 clamps.
|2015-08-18||Top Cowl||Re-aligned on of the screwholes in the onboard inlet area.
Countersunk 4 holes for Tinnerman washers.
@ coats of epoxy/clearcoat applied to outer, top cowl. Some "brown" filler added to second coat to fill craters.
Covered pop rivets in inlet platenut areas will epoxy filler.
|2015-08-21||Windshield epoxied||After reviewing the Van's video about doing this step, I epoxied the windscreen to the top skin. Spent a lot of time masking off the joint, and used a Ziploc bag with the corner cut as a "pastry bag", squeezing a joint both inside and out..
Sanded top cowl with 80 grit.
|2015-08-22||Sanding and priming||Sanded lower cowl with 80 & 6o. Used chisel to scrap off the high points/streaks and ridges left over from my credit card squeegee application.
Primed top cowl with filler/primer.
|2015-08-23||Sanding and priming||Sanded windshield fillet with 80 grit.
Sanded, Bondo-ed, re-primed (twice) top cowl.
Fiberglassed 1" tape over Skyloc rivet heads.
|2015-08-24||More sanding, filling...||Sanded/primed top cowl with 1590 grit
Filled lower cowl with micro-balloon slurry at taped edge and over obvious craters.
Chiselled big stuff off lower cowl.
|2015-08-25||More sanding, filling...||Slathered micro-slury all over lower cowl. Chiselled ridges off. Am determined to get the lower cowl completely filled BEFORE I prime it.
Exposed pinholes on top cowl by sanding primer away. Used left-over micro from lower cowl on top cowl pinholes.
Sanded patched areas with 150.
Rinsed top cowl off with hose.
|2015-08-26||more sanding, filling...||Sanded and re-microed lower cowl.
Chiselled lower cowl.
Washed oil door.
|2015-08-31||Lower cowl||Sanded lower cowl…ready for priming.|
|2015-09-04||Canopy-to-windscreen joint||Spent some time calculating the required trimming of forward edge of slider and windscreen joint. As off now, the upper-most area meets, but leaves a gap down near the canopy rails, so I'll need to sand the upper area to get an even gap all the way around the joint.
|2015-09-09||Joint Trimming||Returned from an enjoyable Labor Day with the Bradleys on Matha's Vineyard.
Started trimming the slider/windscreen surfaces. Cut/trimmed/sanded both the canopy skirts and the plexi edges, attempting to achieve and even fit.
|2015-09-09||Canopy Latch #1||Started working on canopy latch. Drilled holes in canopy handle to accept coil spring., and did first closure while sitting inside in order to determine how much plexi needs to be removed in order for latch to catch.
Answer: a lot!
|2015-09-09||Windshield||Block sanded mating plexi edges.
Added micro slurry to outer/lower corners to fill gap between slider and windscreen, in preparation for laying canopy bow fiberglass.
|2015-09-11||Canopy pin block||Attempted to install the plastic block in the rear of the slider that accepts the pin, which holds the canopy closed.
While sitting inside the cockpit, I closed the canopy, while my son, Sam pushed on it from the outside insuring that it didn;t move while I drill the 2 holes through the bulkhead and plastic block.
After opening the canopy, and removing the plastic block, it became apparent that, when the canopy pin in inserted in the block, it tilts it so that the block does not sit flush against the bulkhead. i.e. the holes I drilled thru the block are not square to the edge of the block.
I think I'll have to bend the canopy pin in order to fix this. I attempted to counter-bore the aft side of the block to accept the locknuts…they are supposed to be "pressed" into theses counter-bored holes…but I could not get these big holes to align with the screw holes accurately enough, so I ruined the block.
I ordered 2 more from Van's.
If I don't bend the canopy pin, the other option to to back-fill the gap between the block and bulkhead with SIKA, or epoxy.
|2015-09-17||Glassing the bow||Got some carbon fiber cloth from Don Kugler. Laid two plies of carbon and 1 ply of fiberglass across canopy bow. Used some spray Turtle Wax over electrical tabs as release agent.|
|2015-09-19||Separated canopy & slider||Used thin metal spatula around the bond, and with a couple of sharp tugs on the straps I had tied to the aft canopy frame, the slider broke free.
|2015-09-20||Skybolt screws||Re-installed the Skybolt screws. This required the use of the unibit to clean out dried epoxy in most of the holes. I twisted the bit by hand in an attempt to NOT make the holes too big, like I did on so many of them, which results in the screws falling out whenever I put on/take off the cowling.
Discovered that a couple areas of the flanges need to be cleaned of epoxy to get a good fit between upper and lower cowling halves.
Washed mold release agent from inlet ramps.
|2015-09-20||Canopy bow||Some areas of the bow fairing are not stiff enough, so I laid another ply of carbon and 1 more fiberglass layer…this time extra wet.|
|2015-09-21||Canopy bow #2||Moved fuselage into driveway.
Used Dremmel to trim edge of canopy bow.
Block sanded edge smooth, and sanded surface in prep for micro.
Micro-ed canopy bow to fill voids and low areas.
|2015-09-21||Baffling 4||Studied snorkel/air filter installation. Started work on installing/trimming baffles. Removed cowling, and installed baffles. Was "baffled" about the instruction regarding the inlet ramps; bending "at the tangent of the inlet",…Huh? But, I think I figured it out.|
|2015-09-25||Bow work #3||Sanded canopy bow. Aggressively sanded high points into the cloth. Used Bondo to fill low spots, in prep for clear coat.|
|2015-09-27||Snorkel mod||Modified the snorkel to eliminate iterferrance with alternator.
First I heated up the fiberglass with a heat gun, and used a PVC pipe section to deform the snorkel inward.
This worked for the most part, but after re-fitting it, it needed a little more relief from the alt. bracket. I was afraid that, if I re-hearted the area, the previously deformed area would pop out. So I elected to cut out a small section and re-glass it.
|2015-09-28||Canopy bow #4||Sanded bow and clear coated bow and windshield filet.
Clear coated inside of upper cowling.
|2015-09-28||Baffle #5 Initial Trimming||After screwing up by trimming the left, front intake ramp per the baffle instructions, I discovered that I should have been following the separate snorkel instructions, which said; do not trim the front edge of the ramp. Oops…too late. Will have to order another baffle section.
Meanwhile, I started trimming the upper edges of the baffles.
|2015-09-28||Initial heat muff placement.||Things are getting a little crowded in the engine compt, so I decided to see where a rather large item will run; the scat hose from the heat muff to the firewall.
I'm glad I did this, since I discovered that my precisely placed heavy guage wire to the alternator is in the way.
I spent quite a bit of time removing this wire from it's Adel clamps, and moving it out of the way. It will go in LAST, since it's the most flexible.
Instead, I started running the fuel line from the servo to the spider. This hose needed to be tucked in tight near the engine/sump, but not rubbing against anything. this required a couple of brackets to be made, and Adel clamps to be installed.
Fuel line installed!
Now there's room for the scat tube.
|2015-09-28||Canopy pin block #2||Received 2 new blocks. Contemplated re-drilling a block, but instead thought that I could just screw it to the bulkhead, instead of bolting it with recessed/ counterbored nuts on the aft side. Using screw into this block would be just like using a stop nut. I don't see how it could work loose.
I posed the idea to VAF Builder's site.
|2015-09-29||Baffles #4 Final topside trimming||Continued to whittle down the top edges until I had about 1/4 " clearance, and cowling could be secured.
Used "The Paper Clip Method" to fabricate a rough feeler gauge, and then measured and trimmed for 1/2" clearance. Several blogs said 1/2 on the right side is the minimum because the engine torques and sometimes the baffle edge hits the inside of the canopy..so hard that the exterior paint cracks. Will probably increase the right side a little once I have corroboration that 3/4" will still seal OK.
Also started final fabrication of right inlet ramp/side, etc.
I created a flange that the ramp sits upon by bending the bottom of the side baffle under 90 degrees.
I also confirmed my suspicion that I had installed the cowling a little off center…i.e. they seem to be rotated slightly counterclockwise ( from pilot). I initially noticed this when I had to grind away some of the interior foam from the top cowl in order for the Skyloc flanges to rest flush.
Today, my trimming of the baffles illustrated that the cowl sits lower on the left side, than the right, as I had to trim more metal, and actually had to trim away some of the reinforcement bracket outside of cyl. #3 ( rear, left)
|2015-10-10||Snorkel and air filter||Over several sessions, finalized snorkel mods, riveted forward baffles in place and constructed air filter attachment brackets.
Painted snorkel with left over "Hammered Silver".
|2015-10-19||Inlet ramps and Baffling #5||Installed/bonded/filleted/sanded/painted fiberglass inlet ramps to upper cowl. This, in turn, meant that I needed to further trim the baffles to fit under theses ramps.|
|2015-11-08||Red Cube placement||Worked on where to install the Red Cube fuel sender. Between the servo and the spider, is the preferred place, but the existing fuel line I have attached to the servo, and secured to engine block is designed to run straight to the spider. I don't want to remove this line, as it is buried behind SCAT and wires…all attached with Adel clamps.
My solution was to order another hose from TS Flightlines that will connect the Red Cube, bolted to firewall, to spider.
After receiving this hose, I've reconsidered having such a long, undulating fuel line to the firewall, and have, instead, decided to get another shorter hose (or cut the one I got from TS Flightlines), and put the Red Cube high on the engine mount, behind rear baffle.
|2015-11-10||EGT/CHT/Spark plug wires||Drilled exhaust pipes and installed the EGT probes.
Screwed in adapters, with LockTite, to accept CHT probes. Inserted CHT probes and worked on bundling/routing these leads to brown wires somewhere behind engine block.
Cut hole and installed spark plug grommet on both sides of rear baffles.
Installed lower spark plugs, and ran all 8 wires to P-Mags. Clamped with Adels and zip-ties with spacers to keep them separate from each other, and away from EGT/CHT leads.
|2015-11-15||Catto 3-blade arrived|
|2015-11-15||Firesleeve R/R||Learned that the fire sleeve I have installed on throttle cable (above exhaust) needs to be sealed at both ends.
Removed throttle linkage at fuel servo and bracket; removed fire sleeve.
Made some sealant from RTV, thinned with MEK, and applied to the cut ends of fire sleeve.
|2015-11-22||Manifold Pressure layout||Spent some time securing the braided SS hose from #3 cylinder with Adel clamps to the engine mount. Fabricated a "buffer" by drilling a small hole in an -5 rivet and then squeezing it a little so it fit into one of the plastic reducing fittings tightly.
Fabbed a bracket, with plate nuts, onto which I attached the MAP sensor. This bracket is bolted to the common sensor manifold. This meant that I did not have to drill more penetrations thru my FW.
ID-ed and separated the 3 wires that will go to the MAP sensor from the big bundle of wires coming out of my one FW penetration.
Need some 1/4 I.D. silicon tube to complete the MAP system FW forward.
|2015-11-25||EGT/CHT wiring||Determined where probe wires could be run and connected, with emphasis on keeping distance from the exhaust pipes, and NOT cutting the armored probe wires. I DID cut the brown thermocouple wires. Crimped terminals on ends of brown wires; secured bundles with Adels and zip-ties.|
|2015-11-27||Baffle Seals||Cut out some templates from light cardboard, and then cut baffle seals.
First I taped them into position; then I clamped them, then I drill holes in the alum baffles for pop rivets. Eventually installed 3/4 of the seals with the wide-head pop rivets. The inlet area requires some fine tuning, so I stopped, and put on the cowling to help give the installed seals a "set"
|2015-12-01||Pitch A/P servo install||This process ended up being VERY LABORIOUS! Decided to put in the servo before I got any further along in closing in the rear fuselage. I thought this should take a couple of hours and would mainly be electrical in nature, as I needed to wire 7 wires, heat shrink and secure. THAT turned out to be the EASY part. Once I started working on bolting in the servo, I discovered I had to remove the elevator bell crank, in order to get one bolt through the bracket and into the servo body.
Removing the bell crank resulted in disconnecting both pushrods that were connected to it, thereby letting all the hard-to-place washers fall out. I also had to re-remove the bell crank after I saw that the newly installed bolt came way too close to the rivets securing the bell crank bearing. So, I drilled out 2 rivets and made them flush.
Re-reinstalled bellcrank and spent 2+ hours trying to get those damn washers back in place; while I was either laying prone on my belly, or squatting on my knees and haunches and trying to see with a trouble-light.
Needless to say…much cursing and anguish.
Eventually got the forward elevator pushrod reconnected before having to leave.
|2015-12-01||Taped rivet heads||Epoxied a thin, 1" fiberglass tape over the flush rivetheads, holding the piano hinges|
|2015-12-01||MAP tube install||Used black hose from P-Mags and 1/4" vinyl tubing to fab MAP system. Had to use multiple adapters to get everything hooked up…1/4"-3/16"-1/8".
Laid out the hoses to the mags and secured them so they wouldn't wiggle or rub.
Finished crimping WeatherPak terminals and hooked up to MAP sensor on FW.
|2015-12-03||A/P pitch servo install #2||Today, I finished installing the servo and reconnected all the push rods. Funny, after letting it wait a couple of days, I managed to get all the washers in place without too much trouble. Go figure.
Secured the servo wires.
Cleaned and vacuumed the fuselage.
Researched on Dynon Support, that the bolts on the servo pushrod do NOT need to be safety-wired, even though they are drilled-heads. Ny-locks are used, and ALL the bolts from Dynon are drilled, for ease of inventory.
|2015-12-06||Re-running EMS wires||After connecting most of the wires from the wire bundle connected to the EMS plug, I was left with many unused wired. After referencing the Dynon manual, I discovered that about a dozen of the carefully pulled and secured wires would not be used on my engine configuration. I also found out that a few would be used elsewhere.
I pulled out the 2 wires designated for the left & right fuel level senders…these will replace the 2 erroneously plumbed wires from the VP-X.
I left the left VP-X wire coiled up in the compartment under the fuel tank selector valve, in case i need it for something in the left wing, later.
I cut the right VP-X wire in the right gear tower, labelled it,and terminated it there, for future use, if needed. I pulled the EMS wires through the gear towers to the wing roots.
I pulled out the #3 Black, ground wire from the engine compt., and cut/crimped a Fast-on and grounded it to the FOT.
|2015-12-08||Inlet baffle seal||Worked on shaping and trimming left inlet's outer seal. Re-cut a larger piece of seal to bend around upper inlet ramp. Still a work-in-progress.|
|2015-12-08||Leg fairings||Applied a couple of layers of Bondo over previously taped (fiberglass) rivet heads. Sprayed 2 coats of grey filler/primer.|
|2015-12-09||Installed new hose||Rec'd my shortened fuel line from TSFlightlines, and attached it to the spider and Red Cube fuel flow transducer.|
|2015-12-10||Inlet baffles...||Started fabbing the right inlet baffle that attached to the lower cowl. Bent the 1" alum. strip to the shape of the inlet. Missing a #27 drill bit to drill holes for #6 screws.|
|2015-12-11||Inlets...||Bent and fabbed the "U" clamp that secures the baffle seal onto the left inlet on the lower cowl.
Resigned myself that I was going to need more seal material, so ordered some from ACS.
This liberated me to start fitting and cutting the inlet seal pieces. After many on-off-on-off of the upper cowl, I have a pretty good solution to the outer and lower inlet seals. The ones around the prop hub…still to go.
NOTE: The 'U" clamp on the left had to be 1/2" wide, vs. 1" on the right, because I had trimmed so much of the inlet lip away on order to get clearance from the snorkel bracket/inlet ramp. After bending it to shape, due to the convex curve of the inlet, the ends of this clamp were no longer flush, or even near the cut edge of the inlet lip. I went through the effort to recut this piece after using a template to lay it out on a sheet of aluminum. Unfortunately, I did not have anything thicker than .040. (The plans call for .063). I successfully made a new clamp that fit closer to the inlet edge, but I didn't feel it was strong enough to hold up, so I went back to the original clamp and just accepted the skewed tips.
|2015-12-12||Seals around the inlets and hub||Trimmed and fitted the seals under the inlets and those around the hub.|
|2015-12-13||Oil Door||Very warm December day, so jumped on fiberglass/epoxy project. Cut and sized oil filler door. Spent some time fitting and cutting hinge halves., and figuring out how to insert hinge pin in an unobtrusive manner. I had to re-do several steps; The first time I drilled holes for hinge half on door, I left the suggested 1/16" space "for paint", per the drawings. Well, this space looked WAY too big, so I re-drilled new holes to close up the gap. The old holes would be used to ensure a superior bond when I epoxy the hinge to the door.
I decided to add spacers under the hinges so the profile above the cowling will be lowered. I had to re-do both of these, as I located them to cover the small gaps that can be seen thru the hinge leaves…unfortunately, the spacers need to be BETWEEN the hinge and the door/cowling, so the ones I made that closed up the gaps could not be used. 1+ hours wasted.
Ground out/filed access slots in the aft hinge ear and the inside surface of the cowling. Fabbed hinge pin.
Did final placement of hinge, and match-drilled holes in cowling.
Roughed up the hinge, spacers, and cowling. Sanded off all primer around the door opening in prep for filler.
Epoxied/clecoed hinge halves to parts.
Several hours later, removed clicos, countersunk the fiberglass with Dremel grinding stone, and set flush rivets, while epoxy was still tacky.
|2015-12-13||Oil Door pictures||More pictures of oil door.|
|2015-12-13||Snorkel bracket||I clamped the forward edge of the air filter baffle between 2 pieces of sturdy metal, and curled the lip down more, so it would clear the fiberglass inlet edge by a wider margin.
Installed snorkel and air filter.
|2015-12-14||Oil door||Taped edges of door and "clamped" it in place with safety wire and a board on the inside, after drilling a couple a holes for the wire to go through.
Mixed up some epoxy filler with fibers to fill in the gap around the door.
|2015-12-15||Oil door and canopy bow||Rough sanded oil door, and while it was still in position, filled holes with Bondo.
Sanded canopy bow down to edge of electrical tape, and saw that there where STILL a lot of holes, so….whipped up a batch of micro and filled pinholes and low spots.
Also swiped over outside of oil door., but forgot to clean it first, so the filler may be weak.
|2015-12-15||A/P Servo wires||Cut and joined with butt crimps, the Pitch servo and Roll servo's: data wires, A/P disconnect, and power wires. All connections are in the small compartment just aft of right gear tower.|
|2015-12-18||Oil and Bow...||Continued to sand both oil door opening and canopy bow & fillet. Thought this would be the FINAL time, but still saw a couple of pinholes. So whipped up some Bondo and filled them in, and also created a fillet on aft side of oil door since it sat a little proud.|
|2015-12-18||Hub seal replacement||After receiving some new seal material (this new stuff looks like pure silicon, w/o fiber reinforcement.) I cut and installed a new seal for the right prop hub.|
|2015-12-19||oil/bow…sanding||Sanded Bondo sites around oil door and on bow/fillet.|
|2015-12-23||Oil Door||Sanded and trimmed door and opening. Primed door and opening with primer/filler.|
|2015-12-24||Right tip||Pilot drilled and worked on right tip. Installed aileron in order to streamline the tip. slipped in tip rib and drilled/countersunk/riveted it into position.|
|2015-12-25||Right wingtip||Drilled/countersunk/riveted platenuts for right wingtip|
|2015-12-26||Holes and rivets||Dimpled holes in wing for screws.
Laid a layer of fiberglass tape over all the rivets holding the tip rib in place. Also added some fiber mix to reform the lower left tip area that was cut out too aggressively.
|2015-12-26||Baggage Door||Ground down/trimmed the fore and aft edges of the bag door, since it will not sit square to the opening. Determined that the hinge will not be wide enough to drill through and still maintain adequate edge distance, so I order a 3' section of wider piano hinge.|
|2015-12-27||Canopy Bow #5||STarted to peel off electrical tape around canopy, but soon discovered that I had not sanded the fillet down enough in many areas, so had to keep sanding and peeling. Ended up with minor surface blemishes on adjacent aluminum skin. Hope I can cover with paint.|
|2015-12-28||Engine compt details||Test fit prop and spinner. Looks COOL!
Tightened all baffle attachment screws, and torque-sealed with orange.
Tightened oil cooler screws and sealed.
Completed installation of baffles; pop riveted the last couple of sections around the hub.
|2015-12-28||ADS-B antennae||Drilled and installed ADS-B antennae under right footwell.|
|2015-12-29||Joystick||Determined length of forward stick after sitting in cockpit. Cut/ground smooth the end, and drilled hole for the grip's stop-screw.
Also drill hole near bottom for grip wires to exit. Installed grip; ran wires down through stick and out hole; slipped rubber grommet over wires for hole, and them pinned each wire and made a D-Sub plug.
|2015-12-31||Bag Door Install||After getting my new piano hinge, cut a new half to length, leaving a little extra at the ends to try to fill in the gaps.
I positioned the door into position, and Gorilla taped it into place.
Contrary to Van's construction manual, I did not have someone climb inside and push the hinge up with a stick, while I drilled and clecoed.
Instead, I removed the thin spacer that fits between the top skin and the support bracket, and slipped the hinge into it's place.
Starting in the middle, I then match-drilled and clecoed the hinge.
|2016-01-07||New pitot tube||Received my new pitot tube from Dynon; the previous model had been recalled.
I drilled and tapped 4 holes in the stem to receive #6 SS screws. Decided to use pan-head, as the mount was too thin to countersink, and the stem didn't look like it was meant to c/s for a dimple.
|2016-01-08||Bonehead repair||After having riveted the bag door on, I went back to start working on the pin blocks. Upon closer inspection, I realized that I had put a couple of long rivets in where clevis bolts are supposed to go. "Oh MAAAAN!" I thought, as I could not see how I could R & R those things with the door on the plane, as I would be working over my head, and inevitably parts would end up inside the door, where I would not be able to retrieve them.
The door had to come off.
So I drilled out the hinge and removed the door.
Completely dismantled the locking mechanism, and replaced the rivets with the clevis pins; safety wired them, and reassembled everything.
Used a section of safety wire, stuck in the ends of the locking pins, in case they slipped out of the snap bushing, I could guide them back through from the inside of the door. This proved handy.
I started to cleco the door back on the fuselage, when I discovered; wait, how did I squeeze these rivets with the door in the way. Oh, I remember, I riveted only half of the hinge, then installed the door; so as I was taking the hinge pin out, I realized THAT IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE, TO GET THE DOOR OFF THE FUSELAGE!!!! What a dope, I was.
I also relocated the bag light wire exit hole to the aft side of the door; I had erroneously placed it on the forward side.
|2016-01-08||Laid on a layer of micro over the taped rows of rivets on aft part of wingtips.|
|2016-01-08||Pitot mast||Primed and painted gray.|
|2016-01-09||Sanding||Sanded micro. Ready for filler-primer.|
|2016-01-09||Pitot plumbing||Determined bends in pitot tube aluminum plumbing. Hope to bend them so the plastic tubes can be connected without circuitous routing.
Later, I cut and flared both alum tubes. I was able to extract the plumbing from the mast without much 'unbending' of the alum tubes. Pleased.
|2016-01-09||R & R Skybolt receptacle||One of tyne side cowling fasteners does not latch without a lot of finagling, so I got another "floating" receptacle.
Removed and replaced receptacle on left side of horizontal seam of cowling.
|2016-01-09||Oil door latches||Drilled and riveted platenuts for latches. Drilled and inserted fasteners.
Works, and looks great.
|2016-01-10||Sanding & filling||Sanded areas that were sprayed with primer/filler. Took advantage of near 60 degree temps to spray another coat.|
|2016-01-10||Latches and light.||The delrin blocks that are used to hold the latch pins required extensive modification. This took some time, as I did not want to have to reorder these and start again, so I was careful about what/where I cut. I started out trying to eliminate the interference between the ends of the retracted pins and the blocks. The block sir proud of the opening, so I had to notch/carve out a groove so the pins could swing down to the holes in the blocks. Chisel, Dremel, files, etc..eventually got it so the door would close, but it was still binding a little. Determined that the edge of the door structure was rubbing on aft block, so I sliced off about 1/8" on the bandsaw; solved the problem.
Taped blocks into approx. position; latched door, marked blocks with Sharpie through pre-drilled holes in firewall and bulkhead. Removed blocks to insure marked holes were in an acceptable location. Reinstalled blocks and relocked door, making sure hole markings were properly positioned: drilled #36 pilot holes in delrin so I could test fit tightness of the door's closing by securing blocks with #6 screws. After making sure blocks were in the right place, I match-drilled each attachment hole, one at a time for #8 screws. Countersunk blocks to accept flathead screws. Marked bulkhead, and drilled a 5/16" hole in bulkhead so aft pin could be inserted into it, as this pin bumped into the bulkhead, preventing the key from reaching a fully-locked position. This pin still seems to hang up a little, so it may need some attention.
|2016-01-10||Inlet baffle seal||Glued and screwed the inlet baffling to the lower cowl.|
|2016-01-10||Missing rivets||Squeezed a couple of rivets that were, somehow, missed when I install the SkyBolt flanges.|
|2016-01-17||Cutting & Trimming lenses||This job was fairly easy. After reading a few posts on-line, I grabbed my tin-snips and started cutting.
First: cut the supplied plastic lens in half.
2. settle into position so it fits as snug as possible without needing outside pressure to conform its shape.
3. Mark and cut one edge, or the other.
|2016-01-18||Cutting lenses 2||Pix only|
|2016-01-18||VS tip||Added a little epoxy flox to raise the fiberglass tip, so it will better aligned with rudder tip.|
|2016-01-18||Cutting lenses 3||pix|
|2016-01-19||Bondo to VS||Laid on a layer of Bondo to VS tip.|
|2016-02-15||P-Mag Upgrade||Removed both P-Mags and shipped to Texas for firmware upgrade. This upgrade is important for my toggle switch wiring and lightweight prop.|
|2016-03-10||P-Mags & Oil line||Got my P-Mags back from the factory where Brad Demott upgraded the firmware. The re-installation was uneventful, but I decided to ask Brad for some more button head screws, so I can replace the one I stripped. Will need it to re-attach an adel.
Also repositioned the oil line which runs to the sensor...it was too free...and secured with adel.
|2016-03-10||Aileron stops, Pitot Tube||Since it looks like I'll need fully finished wings when I get around to attaching them to the fuselage, soon, I spent some time cleaning up some small items I had been putting off. The aileron stops were one such task. Decided to use Delrin rod to fab the stops, per many other builders. The 5/8" dia. rod I had proved too small...with it in place, a bolt which holds the outer aileron bracket to the airleron, was hitting the triangular bearing bracket before the stop contacted it's bearing bracket.
Went to Lowes and found some 1" nylon washers about 1/2" thick. These worked perfectly after replacing the aluminum spacer with a slightly thicker walled tube.
Over 2 days got both aileron stops installed, with both of them measuring about 27 degrees up-travel.
I also centered and final-fit the pushrod, and torqued all bolts in/around the brackets and A/P. Had to safety wire 3 bolts on the A/P servo.
Before I riveted the wing panel, I double checked to fit of the pitot tube staff. The paint was scraped off in 2 places, so I ground the opening a little to relief these areas. Will have to re-paint staff. Cut/flared pitot lines on pitot tube, and pulled the nylon tubes into position to attach to fittings. I have PLENTY of extra tubing in the wing root.
|2016-03-17||Spark plug Wiring||After re-installing my P-Mags, I tried to reposition the plug wires, but I guess the magnetos are in a slightly different alignment because I tried to keep the access to the hold-down nuts completely clear. This caused my carefully strung plug wires to be, either, slightly loose, or too tight. I had to remove/loosen several adel clamps to re-adjust the wires. I also fabbed an aluminum standoff which I attached to the oil cooler...for the plug wires.|
|2016-03-17||Alum baffling||Tried to get the lower, aluminum baffles tightened up. Attempted to use safety wire to snug one up, but I had trouble getting it tight enough. Resorted to re-trying the threaded rods. Got one on, only to discover, that as I tightened it up, the bends in it began to flatten out, allowing it to come into contact with the oil line. Aarrrgh!
Will try to rebend and try again.
|2016-03-18||Rivet lower, left wing panel||After running out of excuses, I finally spent a couple of days riveting the last wing panel on. Managed to let the rivet gun slip once, and ended up with a dent, but was mildly successful in hammering it back out.|
|2016-03-19||Baffle rods||After re-bending, and adding polypropylene tubing to guard against chafing, I was able to tighten the aluminum baffles under the cylinders.|
|2016-03-20||FWF wires||Started running thru the VP-X and Dynon checklist in prep for putting power on system.
Debated/researched need to pull separate ground wires from P-Mags to FOT. Found some blogs of people who did not do this with satisfactory results, so I won't do this unless I need them.
Added a White/Blue Tach wire to the Right mag from the EMS bundle. Now I have 2 tach inputs. Dynon says the EMS will use whichever one it senses first.
|2016-03-20||Baggage Door support||Installed my dirt-cheap, stainless steel compartment lid hold-up spring, which I got from a marine supply store for less than $10. Works great.
Had to drill out one rivet in the door, and pop rivet the bracket on it.
Screwed with nuts through the firewall.
|2016-03-21||Blast tubes||Drilled holes in baffling & used safety wire to install blast cooling tubes aimed at P-Mags.|
|2016-03-21||Canopy Latch||Started prepping latch for installation. Found that, while the canopy seems to close with a nice "thunk", the latch arm will need a lot of trimming. Was worried that I'd have to take too much of it off, but a fellow Chapter 643 member, assured me that he, too needed to trim his arm a lot, too.
The plexi-halves meet well, with about 1/8" gap ( at 40 degrees), so I should be OK for warm weather expansion.
I widened the entry of the rear pin block a little in an attempt to get canopy latch to meet closer, but abandoned this effort, until I conferred with others...which I did tonight at the EAA meeting.
|2016-03-21||Fireblock failure||While finishing the install of the baggage door support, I discovered that the off-the-shelf fireblock that I used to seal the firewall/upper skin seam had hardened and cracked.
Chipped, pried, brushed is off as best I could. Will have to re-do this with more appropriate stuff.
|2016-03-22||Canopy Roller Posts||Drilled thru both rollers and frame. The right one was good. The left one was drilled too high, resulting in insufficient edge distance at the top of the roller post. Sent an email to Van's asking if I could save the roller by drilling front-back. Builder support said that it would be OK.
Th aft section of the rails need some sort of stop to keep the rear slider block from sliding off the back end of the rail.
|2016-03-22||Canopy Latch||Cut away/drilled/filed the notch in the locking arm so it would swing over the lock pin on the canopy bow.
Shaped the exterior handle by sawing away corners and grinding on a ScotchBrite wheel. The top edge of the handle rubbed against the fiberglass skirt, which kept the handle from being fully seated on the shaft, so I had to round over the inside-upper and inside-forward edges, as well as trim away about 1/16" off the face that the hole is drilled into.
Was ready to drill hole for the attachment screw but I need to order a #29 bit.
|2016-03-23||Canopy post and block||After receiving encouragement on-line that my plan to re-drill the left canopy roller post was OK, I did it. I will fill both holes with bolts.
I also positioned and drilled the rear canopy slider block to accept safety wire (vs. cotterpin)
Re-attached canopy to fuselage.
|2016-03-23||FW seal||Resealed the FW/toip skin seam with ChemSeal (aka ProSeal). What a messy material!!
Strings and dabs all over. Used MEK to clean up.
|2016-03-26||FW Nuts||R & R locknuts on FW that attach Bag door hold-up spring and the locking block, with all-metal locknuts.|
|2016-03-26||wires||Wrapped wire bundle that runs down to the starter contractor area, with nylon spiral wrap; this will protect the diode that is installed on starter wire, and give this bundle some rigidity.|
|2016-03-26||new bolt||replaced short AN3 bolt with a new AN3-42. Had to make 2 spacers similar to the adjacent bolt. This should make it easier to R & R the cooler, since the short bolt was hard to get a wrench on; only 1/8 turn at a time!|
|2016-03-27||Vent hose||Attached vent hose to plastic vent in right wing. Capped end with plastic bag.|
|2016-03-27||Pitot wiring||Pulled Brn/Blu pito status wire from right wing root area ( I mistakenly wired it there?!), and re0wired it to left side of fuselage.
Also added a 14 awg black ground wire from FOT to left wing root area. I gues I originally decided to ground the pitot heat out on the wing, but I reconsiderd and giave it a dedicated wire back to the FOT.
|2016-03-28||Autopilot wires||Decided to make a decision; measure the distance from fuselage to A/P roll servo, and cut/crimped female subminiature pins on all wires. Coiled wires in ziplok bag, along with the d-sub plug that will be used after wing is installed.
Also pulled a string thru the conduit in the wing that I will used to pull the A/P wire bundle out to the servo.
|2016-03-29||Canopy slide stop||Found the slide stop I must have ordered some time ago and started installing. Immediately discovered that the precision cut aluminum bushing only fits the canopy frame IF THE SCREW HAS BEEN DRILL EXACTLY IN THE CENTER. I had eye-balled it when I drilled, so I had to file some of the bushing away to get it to seat.
Decided to mount my stop further aft (just behind the crossbeam). than most, since I will be using the seatba k a lot for ingress/egress. My long arms will still allow me to reach back for the canopy.
|2016-03-29||Canopy slide stop||Found the slide stop I must have ordered some time ago and started installing. Immediately discovered that the precision cut aluminum bushing only fits the canopy frame IF THE SCREW HAS BEEN DRILL EXACTLY IN THE CENTER. I had eye-balled it when I drilled, so I had to file some of the bushing away to get it to seat.
Decided to mount my stop further aft (just behind the crossbeam). than most, since I will be using the seatback a lot for ingress/egress. My long arms will still allow me to reach back for the canopy.
|2016-04-13||New GPS antennae||Located and drilled mounting holes for Dynon GPS antenna behind windscreen. Cut and pinned wires with d-sub pins.|
|2016-04-14||Priming tips||Taped, sanded and primed tips of VS, rudder, and elevators.|
|2016-04-14||Latch hole filet||Added some epoxy filler around latch hole.|
|2016-04-14||Taped canopy bow||Masked off the edges of the canopy fairing and bow. Sanded with 150 grit in prep for EX Prime.|
|2016-04-15||RE-primed HS tips & painted rudder bottom||Sanded off poorly adhering primer (thanks to more bad prepping) from HS tips. Re-primed tips with Rustoleum filler/primer.
Also added some additional epoxy filler to canopy latch hole, as the first batch sunk into the hole, leaving a depression.
Also, painted the rudder bottom with 2 coats of Krylon Classic Gray primer & paint. Looks OK...may overspray with orange.
|2016-04-19||Resanded/reprimed elevator tips...||...with Rustoleum Filler/Primer gray.|
|2016-04-19||Canopy latch spacer||Bought a wide nylon spacer to use on canopy latch. Had to cut it to width. Perfect fit...it may help keep the rain out.|
|2016-04-19||Interior panel & misc.||Primed and painted the Fuel Selector panel with self-etching and Hammered silver.|
|2016-04-20||Cowling and interior panels||Sprayed 2 coats of white appliance epoxy to insides of cowling sections.
2 coats of self-etch and 2 coats Hammered Silver to all remaining interior panels, except floorboards.
3 coats of International Orange spray enamel to rudder tip.
|2016-04-21||Rudder tip-wet sanded||Wet-sanded the slightly rough orange tip, and re-sprayed.|
|2016-04-24||Canopy||Mixed and applied the Pettit Metal primer on exposed aluminum on topskin around canopy fairing. Allowed to dry 2 hours.
Applied EZ Prime, thinned with a splash of thinner, to canopy bow with small roller and tipped with small brush...with produced ridges that did not flow out smooth!!
Also applied 1 coat of thinned EZ Prime to inner & outer canopy skirt. Used a better quality brush than the canopy bow, but still ended up with brush marks that did not level out.
|2016-04-24||Floorboards||Sprayed another strengthening coat of Rustoleum, Gloss Enamal gray to floorboards, after scuffing slightly.|
|2016-04-24||Used seats||Bought/received a complete set of used, gray seats from a fellow RV-er in Colorado.|
|2016-04-25||Sanding bow and skirt||Block sanded the inner and outer canopy skirt to remove brush marks.
Also sanded canopy bow and windshield fairing.
|2016-04-26||Rear Baggage panels & seat back||Cleaned/removed blue film/sanded and sprayed 1 coat of self-etch and 1 coat glossy enamel to rear baggage compt. walls and panels.
Prepped and applied 1 coat self -etch and 2 coats orange enamel to outer, exposed sides of rear seatback.
|2016-04-26||Sanded cowling...||...with 150 in prep for EZ Prime. (Too humid today to paint).|
|2016-05-13||ELT install||After receiving my Kanaad Integra ELT kit from Aircraft Spruce, I discovered that my plan to bolt it on my unused aft battery tray was not going to work, since the dimensions of the ELT don't allow it to fit behind the baggage panels.
After spending a full day "staring and mulling", I decided to remove the existing XPDR bracket and replace it with a bigger one to attach both the XPDR and the ELT.
The required reversing the lower angle and adding 2 small angles forward of the others, for the bigger plate.
Many bothersome details required "work-arounds" but after a few hours, I got the new bracket installed.
I then focussed on the antennae. The new 406 antennae is too long to hide in the empennage fairing. I elected to tuck it on the right side of the cockpit, just forward of the aft seatback bulkhead. This required another special angle-bracket to be fabricated and a couple of large holes drilled out of the aft, right armrest and seatback bulkhead with a Unibit. A couple of Adel clamps pull the whip antennae around, out of the way of the canopy.
|2016-05-14||ELT Remote controle panel||Located/drilled/cut instrument panel to accept ELT RCP. Wired D-Sub 9-pin plug that plugs into RCP.
Was disappointed to discover that my black, textured truck-bed paint is not adhering very well to the panel.
|2016-05-18||ELT plug||Installed/pulled shielded 3-wire cable from behind instrument panel, down rt. grar tower, back to ELT. After determining proper legnth. with suficient service loop, cut and soldered wires to D-12 plug.|
|2016-05-18||ARINC= unneccessary. Avionics trial fit.||Per Dynon Support, now that I have a -2020 compliant GPS, I do not need the ARINC module, so I removed it from my avionics tray.
Installed avionics tray and connected all plugs. Discovered that a couple bundles to the Vertical Power box were a little tight, so I had to pull some slack into them.
The Dynon EMS sensor wires were also a little taught, and I had to loosen couple of adels in the engine compt. to get some slack in them.
Discovered that I had not properly planned for the EMS bundle because I didn't plan for the COMM box being in position, which required the EMS bundle to go around it.
Also discovered that my access to the plugs were more constricted that I had thought they would be, but I still will be able to R&R the screen and tray without too much difficulty.
|2016-05-19||Conduit holes in floors||Measured and drilled/cut access holes that will allow electrical conduit to protrude through rear floorboards.|
|2016-05-19||Gear attach panels||Notched the small panels that hide the gear leg attach hardware, and where the fuel vent tube exits. This made me analyze whether this section of each panel would be covered by a fiberglass intersection fairing, so I installed one gear leg fairing and clipped on the fuselage intersection fairing. This was the first time I had fully installed a leg fairing...found a good orientation to bend the pin into the hinge.
Bent and trimmed the vent tubes.
|2016-05-19||Testing epoxy paint on small parts||Sanded and prepped the gear leg fairings and the lower rudder cap. Applied one coat of epoxy paint by rolling & tipping.
The results were satisfactory, with only a couple of runs that I will sand off before the second coat.
I decided NOT to add the flattening agent, which would have given a more satin, or semi-gloss finish. This meant that imperfections will be more noticeable, but I think I'll like the shiny parts better.
|2016-05-19||Rubber shield over contactors and shunt area.||Designed/fabbed a rubber shield from baffling material to drape over the master/starter contactors and Ammeter shunt. This should help avoid sparks if I drop a wrench or something onto the hot contacts.|
|2016-05-19||Fuel vent line||After working on the end of the vent lines, I tested for leaks by blowing into the blue fitting in the side of the fuselage. The left one had big leaks. Discovered that the B-nut on the flare was loose. I tightened this, but I also ended up turning the orientation of the fitting, so I had to borrow a big wrench from Adam S. to re-secure the blue fitting in the fuselage side. I had to tie-wrap one wrench in position on the outside so it would not turn, while tightening the nut inside the left gear tower.
While I was inside the towers, I cleaned up some of the loose wiring with tie-wraps.
|2016-05-20||Tail tips||Took advantage of a nice day to slap the first coat of epoxy on all the tail feather tips. The parts I painted yesterday were not quite cured enough to sand...there were a couple of runs and blemishes.|
|2016-05-20||Trim installation||Installed the Ray Allen trim unit, that was previously prepared ( years ago!). Decided that having the thick wire bundle exit the same hole in the elevator spar, that the trim jack screw was going to extend/retract into was a bad idea. Drill another small hole in the inboard rib of the elevator; added a snap bushing and routed the wire thru there.|
|2016-05-20||H.S. Install||After the paint was dry to the touch, I started on attaching the HS to the fuselage. Discovered that the "easy-peasy" bolt-on procedure had been highly complicated by the addition of the turtle deck. It was very hard to get a wrench on the forward attach nuts, but with the help of some Super Glue to glue the washer and nut together, and a strategically placed flashlight and mirror, I was able to get a socket on the nut, and another socket (with universal joint) on the bolt head. Torqued all 4 forward attach bolts from the top/bolt head to about 30 in-lbs.
The rear 4 bolts were readily accessible, but I had to add a couple of "adaptive" washers to one of the bolts, since I did not match-drill that hole perpendicular to the spar & bracket. These washers meant I needed a longer bolt...
I have a longer one, but it's a little too long, so will have to order and replace this one bolt. The other 3 were torqued.
I then hung the left and right elevators onto the HS. I stripped off the masking and newspaper from these parts, and noticed that I did not quite get a straight edge on the left elevator & H.S. tips. Will try to fix that in the second coat, or by adding a black trim line.
|2016-05-21||Attach & Torqued||Attached the H.S. to tail. Found out that the nuts are MUCH harder to access with the turtle-deck on!|
|2016-05-21||Attached & torqued||Attached the V.S. to tail. Forward attach bolts were somewhat difficult to get a wrench on now that the turtle-deck in riveted on.|
|2016-05-21||Elevator Trim||Before I attached the V.S., I made final connections, with crimped d-sub pins to the 5-wire bundle for the elevator trim wires. Decided to relocate the exit hole for the wire from the jack-screw relief hole to a small hole that I drill in the inboard rib of the lefy elevator, within the horn bracket. I tie-wrapped the wire to the horn-tube, and looped it over the top of the spar; secured it with an adel clamp on on of the aft H.S. attach bolts, and another one added to the deck just aft of the large lightening hole where the wire exits the fuselage.|
|2016-05-22||Hinge pin||Removed & replaced elevator trim hinge pin with a longer one that I bent, in order to safety-wire it to inboard rib.|
|2016-05-22||Setting sweep, incidence and drilling rear spars||The instructions call for hanging 4 plumb-bobs from the leading edges, which I did initially, but it was impossible to site down these strings, or pull a tight string in front of them due to gear leg interference. Instead, I used a technique I read on-line; hung them from the trailing edge. Also used another on-line technique to measure equal sweep; used safety wire from the tail. Precisely, from the lower rudder attach bracket, and strung/measured to aft-most screw hole for wingtips. Tied a rope between 2 work table legs just behind the bob strings.
Thanks to many of my N40 friends, borrowed a 4' carpenter's level, and "milled" the spacer block called for in the plans, so I could set the incidence in each wing. After many marks, and clamp-ups, I finally settled on where to drill, only to discover that I did not have a 5/16th drill bit. But...again, thanks to the N40 community, I borrowed a "M" bit and a 5/16 reamer. Even better!
Fabbed a block to help me drill square, but it was a chore to get it clamped in place with another clamp holding the spar in position. After several clamp swap-outs, I drilled a pilot hole with the block to 1/8th, then hand drilled 3/16th, then the M, then reamed to final size. The bolts slip in nicely, and the inside surfaces of the holes are noticeably smoother after using the reamer.
This was another momentous day!
|2016-05-22||Initial wing fitting||Thanks to Sam, who came out on one of his day's off from work, we were able to slide the wings in, and pin them with 4 7/16th bolts. Before we started, I ground down the thread-end of the bolts to a slight taper, so that the threads would not scar the inside of the holes while being used as drift pins.
I also found that while the wings have been sitting in their rack for a couple of years, they have collected a little dirt and grime. I tried to clean the spar ends with WD-40, and test fit the bolts in the fuselage holes; they fit...but there was still some resistance.
This was remedied by pulling a oil-soaked rag through the holes and aggressively "buffing" the holes. The bolts were also cleaned and lubed, which led to a smoother insertion.
Sam was the muscle at the wingtip, while I inserted the spar, and barked out commands for which way to move the wingtip.
The second one went much faster. The fuel lines might have been bent in the process of pushing the wing into position...we'll have to see, later.
A satisfying accomplishment, to see the wings on the fuselage; where they belong!
|2016-05-26||Wing tank attach brackets||Spent a lot of time "whacking" the brackets that will be bolted to the fuselage and wing bracket., in an attempt to bend them so they sit absolutely flush with the fuselage skin and the wing bracket. I did not have my big bench vise, so I had to clamp them in a wooden carpenter's vise, which was also clamped to a worktable. This proved less than efficient, but I think I managed to get it bent.
While attempting to center the bracket over the 2 holes in the fuselage, I found that it would be easy to mis-drill these holes. I drew several lines emanating from the holes so I could more easily see where they would be after I placed the bracket on top of them.
I did not match drill, since I have to order a short, screw-on #12 drill bit for my 90-degree snake drill extension. These holes will be difficult to access from the inside; I plan on using a long #30, to match drill, then final drill with the #12 from the outside.
|2016-05-26||Aileron connections||Borrowed Adam's creeper so I could more easily scoot around under the wings.
Removed the access plate under each aileron bellcrank. Inserted the large aileron pushrods through the wingtips, into the fuselage. Attached the rear control stick, and taped it to a wooden stick taped across the fuselage, in the neutral position.
I discovered that when I disconnected the small pushrod to the left aileron, that the bellcrank did not swing freely...I remembered that I might have trimmed the brass bushing a little too short, so that when I torqued the bolt that passes through it, the bracket was pinching the bellcrank, instead of the bushing. I bit the bullet, and removed the bracket and bellcrank, so I could trim the bellcrank shaft to be shorter than the bushing.
Temporarily bolted the ail pushrod to the control column, used the centering jig on the aileron bracket, and adjusted the lengths of the pushrods in order to get them attached at both ends.
I then used the wooden centering jig I built to center the ailerons when I was working on the fiberglass wingtips, to center the ailerons and, similarly, determine the proper length of the small pushrods...they were already very close.
Released the control stick, and confirmed that the aileron movement was within limits.
|2016-05-26||Flap pushrods||Started fabricating the 2 flap pushrods; cut steel tubes to length, drilled out both ends, and tapped fro the screw-in rod-ends. The tapping was slow-going.
Only got one done today, before my fingers started cramping up.
|2016-05-26||Hung flaps on wings||Had to squeeze about a dozen rivets that I had put off when closing the wing, that went thru the wing panel, flap brace and flap hinge. I guess I had put these off since I was using the pneumatic rivet gun when I was attaching the wing panel, and I could hand squeeze these.
Installed flaps to trailing edges in prep of connecting to pushrods...which I had to stop and make.
|2016-05-27||Lower skin screwholes||Using the previously drawn 3" lines radiating from the partially hidden pre-punched holes in the lower wing skin, I matchdrilled through the fuselage skin. These will be the screw holes for platenuts.
Of course, after I did this, I realized that I had a perfect tool to do this; a strap hole-finder, which would have been far more accurate and avoided a couple of oblong holes.
|2016-05-30||Wing root fairings||Had to trim the long pieces of aluminum in order for the pre-punched holes to line up. Am wondering why they didn't...is the wing on right?!
Bent a joggle in both aft sections of the fairings, clecoed them onto the plane, then formed the forward fairings by bending it around a scrap piece of tubing.
After they fit fairly snug, I drilled #30 holes thru the PP hole of the fairing into the wing skin. These will eventually have platenuts under them, and the holes will be dimpled.
|2016-05-30||Connecting flaps||Finished tapping/fabricating the flap pushrods. Trimmed flap skins so they would fully retract against the fuselage. Had to enlarge both left & right pushrod access holes to eliminate interference. Used the jig I built for installing the wingtips, which hold the ailerons in their neutral position in order to determine "UP Position" for the flaps.
Trimmed the lower flap skin per instructions to fit on lower fuselage skins.
|2016-05-31||Canopy Bow & Skirt||Solvent wiped, then applied one coat of epoxy paint to bow and skirt. Rolled and tipped. Kept hangar door closed for several hours until paint was less than tacky, so dust/detritus would not get on it. Somewhat successful.|
|2016-05-31||Flap fairings||Spent some tome trying to form fairings to fit snugly to fuselage. It required a LOT of forming/finessing. Quit for the day, before I drilled any holes.|
|2016-06-01||Screw holes||Final match-drilled all the the root fairings and lower wing sking-to-fuselage skins with #19.|
|2016-06-01||Flap fairings||Tried like hell to get the flap fairings to fit per the Van's plans, but eventually gave up and drilled them to fit flush onto the fuselage...sacrificing the "proper" angle in relation to the flaps. I don't see much negative consequences.|
|2016-06-02||Root Fairings||Peeled blue plastic from fairings, and de-burred/rounded the edges of all 4 pieces. Tried to round off the exposed edges, and also ran the edge roller along those edges that will be seen...I hope they will lay flat/flush.
|2016-06-02||Vent lines.||Fabricated the 2 vent lines that connect the wing tanks to the fuselage vent lines.|
|2016-06-02||Cowlings||Sanded the coat of EZ-Prime in the morning, and applied one coat of epoxy paint in the afternoon, so I could leave the hangar door closed, and quit for the day. It was pretty hot inside...maybe 90 degrees, and I was sweating like a pig. One time, the sweat that had pooled in my latex glove ran out and dripped onto the fresh paint while I was reaching across to "tip" the just rolled paint. I blotted it off with paper towel, and tried to re-roll and tip. Results were not acceptable.!|
|2016-06-09||Tank attach brackets||After finally getting the small #12 drill, I was able to drill the holes in the wing tank attach brackets.
The lower holes were relatively easy to drill from the inside with a 12" long #12 bit. After drilling this hole I slipped in a bolt to hold it in alignment, then used a 12" long #30 bit to drill a pilot hole. I then drilled #12 from the outside using the snake attachment and the short #12 screw-in bit. The #30 pilot hole was necessary, since I could not get clear access to the upper hole from the inside. I had to use a flexible bit with a guide to drill perpendicular to the weldment.
After drilling the fuselage holes, I removed the brackets, deburred them, then bolted them in place. After clamping the fuselage bracket to the wing bracket, I drilled the 1/4" hole thru both brackets.
|2016-06-09||Fuel lines||Marked fuel lines for final fit.|
|2016-06-09||Upper cowl||Wx today was ideal for painting. 70 F, low humidity.
Sanded upper cowl with 220 in prep for second coat of epoxy paint.
Unfortunately, instead of stirring the paint can, I shook it violently, which resulted in patches of "skin" floating in the paint. When I poured paint into the tray, I saw these globs of "skin", which I tried to remove, but soon realized that I could not risk painting these blotches onto the cowl, so I called it quits until I got some paint filters.
|2016-06-10||Cowling- 2d coat||Built a "clean room" from a foldout/pop-up sun tent, and plastic drop cloths clamped around the sides. This is an attempt to eliminate the many, sma;; specks of dirt/dust that are sticking to my painted parts.
Applied 2nd coat of paint to upper cowl, after sanding it the day before. While is was setting up, I hand-sanded the lower cowl ( outside the closed hangar), with 220 grit.
By the time I was done sanding, the upper was only slightly tacky, so I moved it off the table, but kept it inside the tent. The lower cowl's 2nd coat went on fairly well; no runs, but the "tipping" seemed less effective for some reason. i.e. the brush strokes from the tipping did not seem to level very well.
Hopefully these slight imperfections can be polished out after the paint fully cures, since I do not intend to add more coats unless it's absolutely necessary.
|2016-06-11||Removed wings||Recruited some guys from another hangar, and got both wings pulled off.
Started working on dressing holes in wings and fuselage in preparation for nutplates. Deburred, countersunk, and dimples almost all holes in wings.
|2016-06-12||Nut plates, nutplates...||Riveted about 30 nut plates (platenuts?) onto both wings.
Dimpled screwholes in root fairings and lower fuselage skins.
|2016-06-13||Flap fairings||Dimpled rivet holes in flap fairings and their matching holes in the fuselage...except, I machine countersunk the fuselage holes that have a thick rib behind them.
Clecoed the fairings into position.
Can see the need for some pop rivets...so placed an order for some, along with some single-lug plate nuts for the wings.
|2016-06-15||Attach brackets||Cut the slots in the wing tank attach brackets with a cut-off wheel. Deburred the edges.|
|2016-06-15||Nutplate for wing fairing||Discovered that I missed riveting a nutplate...the one on the main spar flange. Got it done.|
|2016-06-15||Left fuel line||Trimmed and flared left fuel line from fuselage.|
|2016-06-15||Initial fit and trim||Put the empennage fairing in place, and drilled #40 holes to cleco it in place...had to trim the aft part to clear the elevator tube so it could sit flush on the HS.
Initial eval says that I'll have to cut/slash/re-fiberglass some of the forward flange that sits on the HS. Will also have to fill some parts of the VS flange to fill gaps.
Carved/trimmed the aft portion to clear the elevator tube, and marked the edges to be trimmed flush with the rear bulkhead.
Located lower aluminum empennage fairings. Determined where to trim for rubber channel, and cut with shears. De-burred on Scotch-brite wheel. Decided that since the plans call for a 3/16th gap for the wing root fairings, the same dimension should work for this part too. It did.
Fitted rubber channel, and cleco-ed lower fairing in position. Looks OK.
|2016-06-16||First "fill & fit"||Mixed some thick epoxy with micro-balloons and a little flox and applied it to the roughed up underside of the fairing. I squeezed in down tight to the fuselage, which I protected with packing tape, with cleco clamps.|
|2016-06-16||Polishing bottoms of wings.||I thought that laying on my back holding a polishing machine over my head would be VERY hard for me, so decided to clean and polish the bottoms of the wings while they were still in the rack.
I first used Dawn soap to clean off several years' worth of congealed WD-40, that I had sprayed on them in an attempt to protect them.
I then used Mothers' aluminum polish from the auto parts store to return the shine to my scratched up QB wings. This proved more arduous than I anticipated, but I got both wings done before the sun went down.
A compassionate EAA chapter-mate lifted my spirits late in the day by giving me a motivational back-seat RV-8 ride....it worked!
|2016-06-17||Final wing install||I gathered a few fellow N40 tenets and EAA chapter-mates to help my bolt my wings on. The bolts had been in the freezer of my mini=fridge for a few days. I set up and pressurized my compressor and rivet gun in anticipation of some determined pounding, based on my experience helping Oliver S. install his wings about a year ago. I guess I got lucky...
The wing was slid into position, while I tapped in the previously used hardware bolts. This allowed the boys lifting the wingroot end to let go and fetch/lube bolts. Adam S. loaned me a couple of 3-lb hammers, which was all it took to tap in each bolt. We had both wings hung within 20 minutes!
I worked on installing the nuts for the rest of the day. I managed to get all of them on and torqued, but not without having to partially disassemble some of the fuel lines in front of the left bolts.
I could not get the 2 left "web bolts" to engage in their plate nuts...even using a little tapping while screwing. The right ones went in OK.
|2016-06-20||Connections at wings||I thought I had the fuel lines at the perfect length, but after the wings got bolted on, the left one was a little short. I had to remove that fuel line and rebend a couple of bends to get it to stretch to the wing fitting.
The right fuel line, while only a fraction of an inch short, was a little easier, since I had already disconnected the other end from the fuel selector in order to gain better access to the nuts for the wingbolts. The "Z-bend" near the right side of the fuselage just needed a little straightening for this line to reach the wing fitting.
I installed both fuel vent lines between the tanks and the fuselage.
I installed and safety-wired the right wing tank support brackets. Drilled a tiny hole in the center of the bracket to thread safety-wire through.
I could only find one bolt with it's head drilled, so I must of used the other on the mixture bracket under the engine. Will have to order another on to use on the left brackets.
Temporarily slipped the 2 bolts thru the rear spars.
|2016-06-20||Right Tank support bolt||Installed and safety wired the right tank support bracket bolt. Drilled a tiny hole in the center of the fuselage bracket to accept safety wire.|
|2016-06-22||Fuel line connections||Finished finessing the left & right fuel lines to their proper alignment, and secured/tightened the adel clamps and connected them to the fuel tank nipples.
Spent a little time bending the line to the right tank, near the fuel selector valve, to eliminate contact with another fuel line.
|2016-06-22||Micro filler to fill gaps in fairing||Applied another filler of micro filler. Fitted empennage fairing in place.|
|2016-06-22||Painting||Applied 2d coat of epoxy grey to tips. Masked a straight line on the HS/Elevators...resulted in a slight gap, which will need filling.|
|2016-06-22||Sand/Prime||Removed fairing after micro filler was set. Sanded and primed with Pettit primer/filler...really thick this time to fill pin holes and low spots.|
|2016-06-22||Rear spar bolts||Installed and torqued rear spar bolts with cotter pins.|
|2016-06-23||Sanding and leading edge||Sanded primer on fairing. Added Bondo to the leading edge area to create a securly fitting "notch" .
Later, painted second coat of primer/filler.
|2016-06-23||Straightening paint line||After installing the elevators, it was obvious that I failed to make a straight paint line between the HS and the elevators.
I masked a straight line with electrical tape with the elevators installed, and applied 2 coats of thick coat of paint in the unpainted areas, in an attempted to fill it in.
|2016-06-23||Right fuel sender wire||Crimped a ring terminal on the sender wire and installed it to the tank.|
|2016-06-23||Roll servo wires||Pulled the bundle of wires for the roll servo from the fuselage, out to the servo in the right wing. Crimped pins and used D-Sub plug to connect to existing D-sub plug at the servo. Installed adel clamp for strain relief and used zip-tied to "screw" the plugs together.|
|2016-06-23||2d coat of paint||Painted 2nd coat of primer/ filler to fairing, after sanding with 150 grit.|
|2016-06-23||Removed mask from canopy||Removed all the blue masking tape, black electrical tape, and bubble wrap from canopy and windshield.|
|2016-06-26||Nav/strobe terminal block||Crimped ring terminals to all wires from rt & left nav lights and tail light. Attached wires to terminal block Pulled Yellow wire for strobe grounding from block to switch area, but did not terminate to switch, yet.|
|2016-06-30||Left Fuel sender wire||Crimped a ring terminal to left fuel sensor wire and screwed it to the tank screw.|
|2016-06-30||Sanded and painted||Sanded the 2nd coat of thick filler/primer, and applied first, thin coat epoxy grey.|
|2016-06-30||Wiring terminals||Crimped Fast-on terminals to all wires in the wingtips and tail wires. Plugged lights in, and applied power to test them.
Sync not wired yet.
|2016-06-30||AOA/Pitot line||Slipped a corrugated plastic tube over the 2 lines to protect them from abrasion in the left wing root cavity.|
|2016-07-01||Circuit testing||Used test leads to test wire continuity/voltage per VPX manual.
Tested switch operation on all switches on the switch panel.
Tried to add the strobe sync/ground wire, so the switch could kill the strobes, while leaving nav lights on. Low confidence.
Ran flaps and trim motors; checked OK
|2016-07-07||VP-X configuation||Connected all the plugs to the avionics and to the VP-X.
Ran the VP-X Configurator from my Walmart laptop.
It was fun to start doing some "details"...means theat the end is near!
|2016-07-07||Pitot/AOA lines||Using Home Depot sourced "push-in" connectors, I trimmed and connected the 1/4" plastic lines from the wing, inside the fuselage. I added a shrink-wrap sleeve to the connectors to insure they would be air-tight, and to provide a little strain relief.|
|2016-07-07||Flap Fairings||Riveted 50% of the rivets on the left & right flap fairings...I couldn't reach some, and a couple need either a special bucking bar, or a pop rivet.|
|2016-07-08||Dynon Update/programing||Downloaded all the updates for the Dynon system and put them on a thumbdrive at home.
At the airport, I plugged the thumbdrive into the USB plug on the EFIS, and...lo and behold, I was able to get almost everything up to speed! Continued using the VP-X Configurator to designate CB values and and pin assignments to electrical devices, like lights, boost pump, seat heat, P-Mag, etc.
Almost everything tested OK, except for the Boost Pump; it seems to be siezed and pops the breaker. Have sent an e-mail to manufacturer for advice.
Nav/strobe switch does NOT work as designed; I cannot get the strobes OFF, with the NAV light still ON. I suspect my wiring on the switch is wromg.
PFD, and Map look good. GPS works!
|2016-07-09||Dynon programming||Set more parameters in the Dynon system...screen settings, etc.|
|2016-07-09||Platenuts||Drilled and installed about 24 platenuts on the HS and VS for the empennage fairing.
Decided to use panhead screws vs. countersunk ones, as I think it will leave me the option of "adjusting" some holes...making them a little oblong, to eliminate a "bubble" in the fiberglass fairing.
Managed to get most rivets "squeezed",..only a couple of pop rivets used.
|2016-07-09||Transponder||Temporarily installed XPDR antennae to continue initial seting on the Dynon.|
|2016-07-10||ELT antennae wire||Borrowed crimper teeth from Joe P. and while watching a video from Stein's, crimped the BNC connector to the ELT antennae wire.
|2016-07-10||Flap fairings||Recruited Adam S. to buck some rivets...managed to get 90% of flap fairing riveted.
Also got the one 'missed rivet' on the right , rear fuselage.
|2016-07-10||Empannage fairing install||Tapped the longerons for #6 screws along the section under the HS which will secure lower, aluminum fairing with rubber channel.
Sanded a couple of high spots on inner side of fairing, and temporarily installed upper and lower fairings with c/s screws, since I didn't have any pan-heads.
Had to trim some of the rubber channel away on the back sides, so they would lay flat when screwed tight to fuselage.
|2016-07-10||Lower skins to wings||Screwed the wings and lower fuselage skins together with #8 screws. Only a little bubbling.|
|2016-07-10||Empty step holes||My QB fuselage came with holes pre-drilled for a step on both sides, even though it is not an -A model with a nosewheel.
I filled the 2 rows of empty holes with some 'Oops rivets"...-4 rivets with very small c/s heads. usually used when a -3 rivet hole is butchered up so bad that a -4 rivet is needed to fill it. Since these "step" hole are only being plugged, these Oops rivets were perfect.
|2016-07-10||Empennage Fairing||Slapped on the 2nd coat of gray on the empennage fairing, before calling it a day.|
|2016-07-11||R & R tail feathers for access||Reluctantly accepted the fact that I would have to unbolt the VS and HS in order to gain access to the inside of the aft fuselage, so I could buck the row of missing rivets under the HS.
The forward HS attachment bolts were a real pain to install previously, so I managed to only loosen them, which gave me enough room to place the rivet gun underneath the stab. I accidentally dropped one nut into the fuselage, but, after a little contortion and bruising of my forearms, I got the bolts re-torqued.
This day sucked.
|2016-07-11||Removed BP||Cut the wires and disconnected the fuel lines of the BOP. Mailed it to AirFlow for inspection and diagnosis.|
|2016-07-16||Nav/Strobe switch re-wire||Figured out how to re-wire the DPDT Nav/Strobe to work as planned. Now I can turn on just the Nav lights, or nav lights with strobes.
|2016-07-16||Tach drive cap||Received a cap from ACS. Installed and safety-wired.|
|2016-07-16||Installed fairing||Used newly received SS large, pan-head screws to install empennage fairing.|
|2016-07-17||Boost Pump power lead change||Discovered, through the travails of having my BP blow its circuit breaker on initial power up, that I had put it on a 5 amp circuit, vs a 10 amp circuit, per the manufacturer. I was dreading the job of pulling a new heavy gauge wire, but as it turned out, it was an easy fix. I unplugged two of the VP-X power plugs, removed the power lead from the J-10 plug, and rewired it to the J-12 plug which had a couple of higher amp circuits available, with very little effort. I had thought that I'd have to cut away shrink tubing, but I only had to snip a couple of zipties.
Used the VPX Configurator to re-designate the BP to the new circuit with a 10 amp CB.
Piece of cake.
|2016-07-17||BP Re-Install||Thanks to Joe P., got the proper crimper heads for Molex plug terminals, and added a Molex plug to the fuel BP. This required some deep, heads-down diving into the footwell area in 95 degree, stinkin', sweaty heat, but I got it done properly with nice shrinktube and zip-ties.
Powered it up...tests good!
Used a little Fuel Lube on all fittings.
|2016-07-17||Wing root fairings||Temporarily installed the wing root fairings with their rubber channel, using Cleekos, vs. the screws, as I'm only putting them on to get the rubber bent into shape so it will be easier to install next time.|
|2016-07-17||Fuselage/leg intersection fairing initial fit||Installed both left & right leg fairings, and then fit the upper intersection fairings. They fit OK, but will need a re-glass under the wing, as they both have about an 1/2" gap in that area.|
|2016-07-17||ELT antennae||Screwed the adel clamps, which guide the ELT antennae around the rear seat bulkhead.|
|2016-07-18||Flap Fairings||After removing the flap arm and their bolts, I was able to get a bucking bar on the rivets left undone. I ended up having to use pop rivets on only a couple lower ones that I had drilled too close to a fuselage bulkhead.|
|2016-07-18||Flap installation||Installed flaps and connected pushrods to flap arm. Ran the VPX configuator in an attempt to set UP & DOWN limits. Didnt quite accomplish this.
Flaps need to be trimmed where they meet the belly when retracted.
|2016-07-18||Ailerons installation||I first had to remove the right aileron in order to squeeze a messing rivet on the wing's training edge. Re-installed the right, and installed the left ailerons. Connected both pushrods.|
|2016-07-19||Rudder Install||Installed lower rudder cap with CS4-4 pop rivets. I then attached the rudder to the VS, torqued the pivot bolts, and pulled the tail-light wires through a rubber gromet I had install on the lower rudder cap.|
|2016-07-19||Pushrods...!||Connected the big pushrods from the aileron brackets onto the control column. When I was checking for free and full movement of the ailerons, I detected a little bit of resistance with some scraping noise coming from the right aileron's small pushrod, where it travels through the rear spar. I had to drop the right flap to see that a couple of rivet heads were scraping the edge of the access hole. Initially, I thought I'd have to remove everything and file/grind the hole a little larger, but I discovered that by rearranging the existing washers on the rod-end connection on the aileron, I was able to shift the pushrod sufficiently to eliminate the interference.|
|2016-07-19||Belly seam..||After installing the flaps, and running them electrically, I noticed what many other builders have discovered..that the lower flap skin does not rest flush onto the belly skin.
I examined the gap and determined a couple of bend lines to try to close the gap somewhat. removed the right flap, bent the 2 pieces of sking and riveted them into position. Re-installed the flap, and was not happy with the result. The gap is closed a little, but the edge that used to fit fairly flush is now bowed out slightly. I looked at a neighbors plane today, and that builder had done nothing to this area, and I think I might try to un-do my mess, and leave it alone.
|2016-07-20||Left wing wires||Crimped/connected/labeled and zip-tied the wires from the left wing inside the fuselage; below the left footwell/wing-root area.|
|2016-07-20||Throttle linkage cotter pins||Decided that I could "finalize" my linkage set-up, so I installed 3 cotter pins in the various nuts...except for the one on the rod-end that connects to the throttle arm. This one I left 'open', since I might need to adjust it after running the engine.|
|2016-07-20||Adjusted breather line||My compatriots informed me that I had the oil breather line too close to the exhaust, so today I loosened the adel clamps and re-positioned the big aluminum tube a little higher.|
|2016-07-20||Oil filler neck||I tightened and then safety-wired the oil filler neck to the engine block.|
|2016-07-20||Cotter pins & safety wire||Installed cotter pins in the nuts securing the flap pushrods to the flap actuating arm. I also safety-wired the flap motor arm, per Van's SB.|
|2016-07-20||Springs & chains||Cut & installed the "screen door" springs and chains between the tailwheel and the rudder horn. The tailwheel needs grease, and I cannot tighten the axle bolt enough to get a cotter pin thru the nut. Either need a longer bolts, or I have the wrong wheel.?|
|2016-08-07||Removal/grease attempt||My tailwheel has always felt "tight"...it did not spin freely about the bearings. I removed the wheel and tried to squirt some axle grease into the fitting, but the fitting is snuggled down too tightly in the rim, and the greae gun nozzle could not snap onto it.|
|2016-08-07||Torqued exhaust studs||Finally concluded that I propably wasn't going to remove the exhaust pipes, so I applied some more anti-seize to the studs, and torqued them down.|
|2016-08-07||Fuel pump overflow line||Replaced the mechanical fuel pump's overflow line with a longer one, and secured it to a position where it would drain out the cowling without dripping on the hot exhaust pipes, with an Adel clamp, fastened to the lower firewall.|
|2016-08-07||Snorkle, cowling, prop & spinner fitted.||Trimmed/cleaned up the fastener holes and re-installed the screws. Re-installed the inlet baffles to the left & right lower cowling, then put the cowling, prop and spinner on to get a few pictures. Discovered that I could not tighten the prop bolts without them bottoming out. After contacting Catto, I learned that they had packaged the wrong length bolts; 6-1/2" bolts in a bag marked "5-1/2". Replacements are being sent.|
|2016-08-08||Hat shelf||Rivet platenuts on the hat shelf, to hold the rear bulkhead cover.|
|2016-08-08||ELT/Transponder Tray||After speaking with my DAR, I became more cognizant of "doing things right", so I drilled out the pop rivets holding the ELT tray, so I could replace them with squeezed rivets where I could, and CherryMax elsewhere. This resulted in removing the Adel clamp I had placed behind the ELT tray, and relocating it to the right longeron, where I could get at it in the future. I also added another Adel under the rear seat, right armrest so the wire bundle wasn't held by only a "stick-on" tie-wrap retainer.
Reinstalled ELT & XPDR. Encased the wire bundle in some split conduit where it ran under the edge of the baggage sidewall.
Connected the XPDR antennae, after encasing it in conduit and taping it to the fuselage floor, in an attempt to protect it from chafing/rubbing from the right rudder cable.
|2016-08-08||Tailwheel greasing.||Bought a syringe adapter fo my grease gun, and tried to fill the wheel bearings with grease. Eventually, after many pumps, it became apparant that I was filling the axel hole with grease, but not the bearings. The ball in the grease fitting also failed to reseat, so after sliding the axle bolt into it's hole, in an attempted to get the grease into the bearings instead of the axle hole, the grease, instead squirted back out the fitting. Total fail!
Will order a sealed wheel from FlyBoys, along with a steering arm to replace the chain/springs.
|2016-08-09||Gouge repair||At some point before I moved out of my garage, something gouged the top skin of the fuselage just forward of the windscreen. Inspired by repairs I have seen at work, today I masked off the area with speedtape, and tried to smooth it out with various grades of sandpaper. The scratch is still evident, but it's much shallower, and not smooth.|
|2016-08-09||Rear vent||Trimmed the mounting bracket for the rear seat vent. Drilled holes in plastic backing.|
|2016-08-09||Electrical shield||Installed a rubber shield on the battery box, that will protect the battery contactor/starter contactor/shunt assembly from falling metal debris/tools that could potentially spark or short the electrical system.|
|2016-08-10||Fixing leaks||partially drained the brake system, and disconnected the steel braided hi-pressure hoses from the blue fittings screwed into each master cylinder...which were leaking. After cleaning the fitting, I gobbed some EZ-Turn on the threads and re-installed them. I think I got another complete turn out of them with the EZ-Turn (aka Fuel Lube) .
This stopped those leaks.
The plastic lines were also leaking a little so I continued to crank those nuts down until I felt some "significant resistance"...as one VAF poster said. This solved THAT problem.
Pressure tests were satifactory!
|2016-08-10||Brake fluid||Went to AutoZone and bought an oil can; the hand squirter type, and worked on assembling my one-man brake bleeding apparatus that I had read about on VAF. Vinyl tubing, safety wire and lots of paper towels...managed to fill my system. The initial pressure test showed a couple of leaks in the plastic fittings, which I tightened up easily. Subsequent pressure tests showed leaked from both of the 90-degree blue fittings screwed into the base of the brake cylinders. This means I have to disconnect the steel, braided pressure lines and re-install these blue fittings with better goop; like fuel lube. It was too big of a messy job to start at 5 pm, so it will have to wait for tomorrow.
I was pleased, thought that it looks like full brake application can be donw with very little movement of the brake pedals. This might mean that I won't have to re-adjust the pedals away from the firewall.
|2016-08-10||Fastener tweaking||Adjusted the balky SkyLoc fasteners. Hope I got it right. Did not re-install cowling yet.|
|2016-08-10||Deburring||Used drill-mounted rotary sandpaper, and small sheets of sand paper to de-bur the trimmed edges of the flaps where they were trimmed to meet the fuselage when retracted.|
|2016-08-10||Torqued Prop extension||Applied Blue Permetex thread locking sealant to each of the 6 bolts, and torqued them to 50 ft-lbs.|
|2016-08-10||Trimming front edge||Removed the canopy. Discovered that I can not remove the slide the rail block off the aft end with the VS mounted. I had to squat inside the cockpit and remove the retaining pin, with someone outside, then open the canopy so I could get out, then pull it up and off.
I put electrical tape on the front edge, as a guide, about 1/8" aft of the existing edge. Using drill-mounted drum sander, and then a sanding block, I trimmed the front edge back so it wont hit the windscreen edge when closed.
Will have to wait and see if this creates a whistle/draft, but it's important now, to not have the plexiglass halves bumping into each during the closing/locking process. I don't want to introduce any stress to the plexi.
|2016-08-10||Wires and foam||Heated and shrank the heatshrink tubing over the electrical connections of the bag door light. Cut a strip of foam, and stuffed it into the hinge area.|
|2016-08-11||Canopy bumpers||Fabricated 2 rubber bumpers from fuel hose and placed them in canopy rails. Re-installed canopy and checked forward edge clearance and latching ....Checks OK.|
|2016-08-11||Axle pins||Borrowed a wing jack, but used a block of composite wood as a pad, and placed it under the landing gear attach area as a jack pad.
Lifted each tire, tighten axle nuts and drilled holes thru the axles for cotter pins.
Had to drill them horizontally, vs. vertically as shown in plans. Unfortunately, this step was listed in the plans when the fuselage was upside down on a workbench, but I didn't have the foresight to see why it was a bad idea to put this step off.
|2016-08-15||Missing dimples in L wing root.||Dimples left, lower wing root fairing and screwed in #8 screws. Unfortunately, I bent the single lug plate nut up and pushed a rivet thru the skin. Had to drill out remaining rivet and replace both with larger headed rivets.|
|2016-08-15||Drains installed||Removed a plug and air valve from drain ports. Cleaned ports and installed fuel drains, using EZ-Turn.|
|2016-08-15||New tailwheel and pushrod||Removed and replaced the original tailwheel and springs, with better stuff from FlyBoy Accessories...a cast aluminum tailwheel and solid pushrod for steering.|
|2016-08-16||Pre-oiling||In preparation of the first engine start, I purged the preservation oil from the engine; draining from sump, and hand-cranking to pump it out sparkplug ports.
I then filled the sump with Phillips XC 20w50 mineral oil and also filled the oil cooler using a hand oiler inserted into the upper oil cooler fitting.
Using a couple of prop bolts screwed into the hub, I hand-turned the engine about 20 revolutions and eventually saw oil pressure on the gauge...up to 20 psi!
|2016-08-16||Calibrating Right tank||Bought a 5 gallon gas can and some 100LL and started calibrating my fuel senders. First I poured about 3-4 gallons into the right tank, and sloshed it around. Then I used the fuel pump to pump it out, which would give my a "ZERO" point...leaving about 1/2 gallon of unusable fuel in the tank. The boost pump was not as steady as I thought it should be,...the tube was full of bubbles vs. a solid stream like I would have imagined. I would find out later, that the plug was loose and sparking...while I was battling fuel leaks in the cabin, due to me leaving a couple of fittings loose from when I had to re-bend a line during wing attachment.
|2016-08-17||Left Fuel tank calibration||I used the fuel from the right tank, removing it by gravity feed thru the fuel hose that connects to the engine-driven fuel pump inlet. The first pour into the tank was sloshed and pumped out in order to get to "ZERO", leaving only unusable fuel. I decided to lift the tail to almost level, in the theory that this attitude would be the more apt one for running out of fuel...or trying to stretch my fuel.
After the second pour, the sensor did not show any change...indicating that it was either stuck or inop. After pour another couple of gallons in, I was able to 'slosh' it free. Maybe it was stuck to the bottom of the tank?.
Anyway, I had to stop the process over.
This time, after reaching about 16 gallons...about 1 hour..I forgot how many one-gallon pours I had done, and screwed up the calibration; had to start over AGAIN!
Finally got it right, but am curious about how the sensor continued to register changed well past 14.5 gallons--where the Right tank stopped increasing. The left went to almost 18 before it stopped changing, making me suspect that I screwed one of the tanks up, so will re-do this after I empty the tanks for weight & balance.
|2016-08-17||Prop mounting||With my newly received, correct-length bolts, I mounted the prop with the spinner bulkhead, and crushplate. Torqued bolts.|
|2016-08-17||COM antenna doubler||Received my new Delta Pop bent whip COMM antenna. Fabricated a double to rivet inside the fuselage.
|2016-08-18||Antenna installation||With Chandler's help, we riveted the COMM antenna's doubler inside the fuselage, and screwed the antenna into position.
We also tightened the two post antenna I'm using for ADS-B and the transponder.
|2016-08-18||P-Mag set up||Completed the Setup procedure for both P-mags.
Saw spurious tach readings, despite the engine not running. Hmmm... Maybe it's because I wired both tach sensor leads to the Dynon EMS. P-Mag says use only one, unless your system accepts 2; Dynon says you can wire both because it will use whatever signal it picks up first.
|2016-08-19||P-Mag switches.||Re-orientated the 2 P-Leads, aka IGNITION switches, aka "Kill" switches so they will match the POWER switches positions. In other words..all the toggles will be UP/ON when the engine is running, or they will be DOWN/OFF when it's off.|
|2016-08-19||ELT trouble shooting||Yesterday, after getting the COMM antenna installed, I tried to test my Kannad ELT. Unfortunately, while I can hear it go off, it displays a fault code which tells me something is wrong with the external antenna. I called RAMI and followed their advise about checking continuity on the antenna (checks OK), and the cable checks OK, too. I later read on a blog that other people have had this fault and someone said it could be where the antenna is mounted.
Am awaiting responses from Kannad and VAF re this.
|2016-08-20||Fuel Flow checks||Ran boost pump with fuel line disconnected at the engine-driven oump to check flow rate.
In both T/O and cruise attitudes, flow exceeded 1 gal/min.
eRe-installed fuel filter.
|2016-08-23||Dynon programming||Programmed various sensors, and setup EFIS display.
Discovered that COMM does not appear to transmit. Rx is fine.
|2016-08-24||MAP line snap rings||Installed snap-clamps on large MAP lines in engine compartment.|
|2016-08-25||Engine Start||With the help of Adam S. and Joe P. I got my engine started for the first time. Initially, the starter switch was dead...but after 40 minutes of trouble shooting, we discovered that I had left the Starter Cutout switch in CUTOUT. Doh!
We then cranked the engine with some plugs out, in order to get the oil pressure up. After this, we pulled the plane out onto the taxiway, tied it to my car, chocked it, and cranked it...and cranked it...and cranked it. Oops..I forgot to select a fuel tank.
Crank, crank crank...oops I forgot to turn the mags ON.
The tach was reading high, but the engine ran well. Adam directed a shut down because there was some fuel leaking from a fitting at the Red Cube. When the hose was removed, we discovered a sliver of steel...from the hose fabrication?..was obstructing the flange seating. After that was cleaned out, the leak was fixed.
The internal generators of the PMags were tested, and the engine was shut down.
|2016-08-28||Transition Training||Travelled to Oleechobee, FL to fly with CFI Jan Bussell at River Acres. While the location leaved something to be desired...especially in August, in South Florida...the training was excellent. I flew Jan's RV-6 over to Okechobee Muni for many, many touch and goes...3-point and wheel landings.
After 4 flights, I felt "competent"...and will work on being proficient.
|2016-08-31||Labels||Cut and installed a couple of labels on the control stick.|
|2016-08-31||Safety Wired the prop||Threw away as much as I kept...but I got the six bolts safetied with three sets of wires.|
|2016-08-31||Safety wired the oil drain plug||Safety wired the oil drain plug.|
|2016-08-31||Prop bolts||Safety-wired the prop bolts in sets of 2.|
|2016-08-31||Started engine for tach check||Re-programmed the Dynon tachometer sensor...it was set to read too many pulses per revolution. I pulled the plane out onto the taxiway, and started it up without any hesitation. The new tach setting fixed the high readings observed on the initial start.
Tried to establish the low-RPM point where the P-Mags cut out, but after one more start, the battery was lagging, so I quit and moved the plane back into the hangar.
Post-run inspection revealed small leaks in both master brake cylinders in the 90-degree blue fittings.
In disgust, I cleaned the fittings/MC off, put a towel under the pedals and left for the night.
|2016-09-01||Side Panels||I've spent years looking at my cockpit with most of it's interior panels removed, that it looks normal that way...I realized today that I had not prepared the 2 U-shaped panels, that cover the sidewalls above the wing spar. I installed the pins on the wires for the cabin light that will go on the right side.
Spent a long time match-drilling and de-burring holes only to find out I used a .125" drill vs. a #30 (.128"). My LP3-4 pop rivets don't fit.
Will have to re-cleco and re-drill.
|2016-09-01||Labels||Printed/trimmed/installed several switch labels; Joystick and fuel selector panel.
Crimped pins on the cabin light and match-drilled the covers that fit over the wing spar. De-burred all holes.
Cleaned master brake cylinders and surrounding area; applied brakes to investigate source of leaks, but could not duplicate the leaks.
|2016-09-02||Cover panels||Riveted the left cover panel, that fits directly over the wing spar. Had to partially remove the throttle quadrant, but managed to get the pop rivet squeezer into position for all holes.
Will hold off riveting the right side, as that compartment has many wires...some of which I might need access to when trouble-shooting my COMM Tx problem.
|2016-09-02||Wheel and cable pins||Installed cotter pins in L & R cable attachment at the rudder horn.
Also pined the tailwheel axle nut.
|2016-09-02||P-Mag timing||Performed the timing sequence again for the P-Mags, after speaking with a tech at AeroSport to discuss where TDC markings should line up.|
|2016-09-02||Cleaning canopy||Used mineral spirits to remove tape residue, paint overspray and epoxy from the canopy.|
|2016-09-03||Comm Radio troubleshooting||I thought my original DeltaPop antennae was faulty, so I had another one sent. I swapped them out, without any improvement in my transmitting ability.
Eric, from Sky Manor Avionics brought his diagnostic test equipment, and deduced that the antenna was apparently incompatible with my radio. An old Commint antenna worked fine. He also adjusted my reception strength.
Ordered a certified antenna from Pilot Shop.
|2016-09-03||N number application||Applied the vinyl N numbers on the tail.|
|2016-09-04||Initial weigh-in||Jacked up the plane to rest on a pair of scales, and used our bathroom scale for the tailwheel.
|2016-09-04||Battery Charger||Received a Battery Minder. Installed leads and plug to battery and secured plug to engine mount where it will be accessible through the oil filler door.|
|2016-09-04||Trimming with spinner installation||My carbon fiber spinner protruded about 3/16' aft of the spinner bulkhead, and it was touching the upper cowl.
When I removed the spinner, and turned the prop a little, I still felt something rubbing on the cowl; discovered that the starter ring was hitting one of the intake ramps...so I used the Dremmel to carve out a little room.
Trimmed the aft rim of the spinner on a belt sander.
These 2 actions eliminated all interference.
|2016-09-04||Nav light install||Applied reflective aluminum tape to the wingtip light wells. Installed left & right Nav lights.
|2016-09-05||Fuel tank recalibrations||I was not totally confident that I had performed my fuel level calibration correctly...so since I had emptied the tanks for my W&B, I re-performed this operation. Looks like I have a little more unusable fuel in the left tank...I assume due to the location of the fuel pickup tube.
I also used this opportunity to accurately measure for a dipstick, and wrote down visual cues for future reference.
|2016-09-05||Stick grip cable||Shortened the bundle of wires from the joystick, so there would be less to store/secure in the right "E & E" compartment. ( Covered area just aft of right gear tower.)|
|2016-09-06||Finalized radio/intercomm wires||I shrank all the heat-shrink on the connections on the wire bundles for the headset jacks. Stuffed and secured them in their compartment, and started working on a panel to cover them up.
Used a cardboard template, and fabricated a sheet metal plate that is attched with three screws. Painted it silver.
|2016-09-07||Plates and placards||Had my EAA-supplied data plate engraved at the mall, and riveted it on, under the left HS.
Applied the 'Experimental", and "Warning..." placards in the fuselage.
|2016-09-07||Dynon programming||Spent several hours over the last few days programming the digital screens of the Dynon. Layout on 100%, 50% and 20% screens...
Modified the green & yellow arcs; established limits and warning alert thresholds, etc.
|2016-09-07||Mags Alternator testing||Performed an engine run & taxi test in order to accurately determine the PMag low RPM cutout speed.
Also checked that the alternator works OK.
Taxied around the hangar area, and also performed the Dynon ADAHRS compass calibration.
|2016-09-07||Autopilot Setup & Calibration||Performed the Dynon setup of my A/P, but the "test" failed, as the pitch servo chattered continually as it slipped and could not move the stick forward.
Asked for help from Dynon.
|2016-09-10||New antennae, but...it wasn't the problem||Received and installed my new certified comm antennae. It was still hardly transmitting. After much head-scratching I looked deep in the Dynon menus and discovered that the microphone squelch (or maybe "sensitivity" ?) was set to 'zero'. Not sure how that happened, but I suspect Eric, from the avionics shop reset it when He was "helping".
Anyway, after setting it to 50%, the radio works great, and I have no doubt that it would have worked great with the DeltaPop antennae, too.
|2016-09-10||Tailwheel pushrod||Removed "screen-door" springs, and replaced them with a single pushrod. Also replaced the Van's tailwheel with a cast aluminum wheel ; both from FlyBoy Accessories.|
|2016-09-12||DAR visit||Today, after an inspection watched over by his FAA supervisor, DAR Jon Ross left me with the much coveted 'pink slip'
I am now 'AIRWORTHY"!
|2016-09-14||First Flight||After recruiting Adam Silverstein and Don Kugler, and after running out of reason NOT to fly, today, I flew N148BW for it's maiden flight!!
Uneventful start, taxi & takeoff. Don launched just before me, so he could be available for....what?
Adam manned the radio by the runway.
Takeoff was smooth and easy. Climbed over the airfield (N40, Sky Manor, NJ) to about 3500' before pulling the power. Flew around for about 10 minutes, then performed a series of stalls to determine stall speed.
Re-entered the pattern and tried to fly just like I learned in Okeechobee....to a pretty good 3-point landing.
Post flight inspection revealed that the right rubber baffle, closest to the flywheel had not been positioned right, and it had a hole ground thru it. No other problems.
So we put the cowling back on and I went back up for an hour or so.
|2016-10-03||Pants and Intersection fairings||Re-installed the wheel pants so I could position the intersection fairings on them.
Determined where to drill attaching screws. Removed the pants, and installed the platenuts for attaching the fairings.
Also worked on positioning the upper intersection fairings to a good fit.
|2016-10-07||Upper intersection fairing-filling gaps||I masked off the fuselage and wing with packing tape, so I could squeeze some filler onto the fairing. Used a slurry of micro balloons and a little tape to strengthen the big gaps. This came out OK.
After trimming & sanding, It needed a little Bondo to finalize a close fit. This went quickly, and after sanding each fairing to a pleasant shape, I shot them with gray filler/primer.
I also spent a little effort in reinforcing the holes and platenuts on the wheel pants by adding some fiberglass cloth on them.
|2016-10-15||Wheel Pants||Sanded wheel pant parts. Filled some residual pinholes with spackling.|
|2016-10-16||Rear Seat Heaters||Installed rear seat heat pads.
Trimmed heater elements to size and slipped into the rear seat cushions.
Crimped and joined power plugs. Drilled access hole in side panel; installed snap bushing. Drilled hole for switch and installed switch in left, rear armrest.
|2016-10-16||Tips and Pants||Prepped wingtips and wheel pants for painting by blowing dust off with compressed air, and wiping with acetane.
Appilied first coat of epoxy paint.
Left tip had some spots that seemed to "reject" paint.
Also painted the upper intersection fairings.
|2016-10-17||2nd coat on tips & pants||Thanks to unusually warm weather, continued painting.
Sanded all parts with 220, and painted with gray epoxy paint, ala 'rolling & tipping'.
|2016-10-18||Tips, etc||Sanded tops of tips... first with 150 grit to eliminate ridges, then with 220 all over.
Recoated with another coat of gray epoxy paint.
Touched up cowling nicks and scratches, and painted intersection fairings.
|2016-10-18||Rudder cable "wiffle balls"||My left rudder cable's clevis/bolt connection can get caught on the flange of the gear weldment. I solved this problem by slipping a 'wiffle ball' over the connection.|
|2016-10-19||More pants||Painted the inside of wheel pants with white primer. This should make it a little easier to clean.
Also painted the insides of the lower fairings with white primer.
Re-drilled holes in pants that had been inadvertently filled with epoxy or paint, and cleaned out countersunk holes with de-burring tool.
|2016-11-23||Scratched wheel pants||Today, I found it difficult to roll my plane out of the hangar, and, upon closer inspection, found the left tire flat, and the plane resting on the wheel pant!
I hustled all over the airport until I found a jack, and lifted it up. I found the nozzle cap loose, so I suspect I left it that way when I pumped up the tires last week.
When I removed the left wheel pant in order to remove the wheel, I discovered a lot of scratches from riding over the edge of the concrete hangar floor.
I removed the right one, and left them both off for the winter.
|2016-12-27||Reflector tape||After scorching my cowling, both inside and out, with the 100 watt lightbulb I was using to pre-heat my engine, I've lined the exhaust tunnel with aluminum tape to act as a reflector shield.|
|2017-01-26||Storage Pouches||Used velcro strips to add a couple of storage pouches to the left and right sidewalls. Had to heat the adhesive on the Velcro with my heatgun, to get it to stick, since it was only about 40 degrees F.|
|2017-01-26||No-slip wingwalks||I bought a couple of orange checkerboard skateboard covers...known as GripTape, for only $8 each. I applied them to my wings today, along with the left "NO STEP" decal on the flap.
Unfortunately, the left griptape 'departed' my plane sometime during my flight today. The right one seems to be on securely. I cleaned both wings with water, and then acetone before applying them, but it was cold, so maybe I'll warm up the adhesive and wing for the replacement.
|2017-06-22||Lightning Bolt vinyl graphic||With the help of my chapter-mate, Joe Preston, I got both left and right vinyl graphic applications (aka decals) on. Got them from AeroGraphics.
Their size made it pretty difficult to get them on straight, but we managed, by keeping them wet, so they could be slid into proper position.
Was happy to get these on before my maiden trip to OSH.