Log Entries

Project Location: WA US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2007-05-03 Rudder completed working on stab I got off to a late start on the web page so I will do a quick update.
1/22/07 : I recieved my plans and got busy with the usual prep work cleaning the build area constructing a small hand brake,work table,ect.
3/1/07 : I have my work area secured ( 40 foot tractor trailer ) and ordered my first 3 sheets .020 & .025.
3/17/07 : I have started to cutout parts using my trusty Olfa Knife if you don't have one I suggest buying on as it is a easy way to cut aluminum.
4/1/07 : I have processed all 3 sheets and purchased 2 more of .032 & .040 to get all gauges to enable me to assemble the tail feathers.
4/21/07 : I have started to drill and cleco the rudder and found and corrected some mistakes along the way.
4/29/07 : The rudder has been primed inside and out riveted together and after I get through patting myself on the back it will be time to start the stab.
2007-05-06 Horizontal stab Today I started on the stab. I tuned in my spars added the doublers and went to drilling. By days end I had all the ribs clecoed on the front spar and both doublers on the rear spar. As soon as my home PC gets over its hissy fit I will add pic's. I should note that most of the parts were already cut and formed during the previous entries logged hours.
2007-05-08 Stab progress / side track I finished with drilling and clecoing the spars to the ribs. I cut and formed the front and rear mounts and was ready to install them when I had to cut the spacer for the rear mount. This part is 178mm X 55mm. After I got the sheet of .040 out I decided to make it worth my while and cut out the main wing spars and use the remaining Rem for the last of the parts needed to complete tail and wing. Using the Olfa to cut through .040 is a lot of work. To keep the burr to a min I made 25 passes the full lenght of the 12' sheet. Then cut off the end made another 25 passes to seperate the spars. set them aside and finally cut the parts I really wanted.It seems like the long way around but it made sense to me. Afterwards my arm was tired so I quit for the evening.
2007-05-16 Frame complete Over the past couple of days I have drilled deburred prepped the aluminum primed and riveted. After that I got out the skin and postioned the stab over it to get the location for the cutouts needed for the front stab mounts.I thought waiting to mark and cut out the mount reliefs would work better than all the measuring needed for the same result.
2007-05-22 Stab complete Over the weekend I was able to complete the stab less the piano hinge and fiberglass tips. those parts are installed after the elevator is built. The skin was time consuming and difficult to handle. But following Zac instructions and using straps helped to hold the skin down. I waited until after the bottom skin was clecoed before cutting out the front mount slots. That way I knew that I was putting them in the right spot.
2007-05-28 Rudder Horn I know I said the rudder was complete and it is minus the rudder horn and upper hinge. After cutting it out with a jig saw then spending time on the end of a file it is ready for bending. Seeing how the flanges are close to the tip and out of .125 I am going to take it to work and use a press brake.
2007-05-28 Starting on the Elevator Most of the elevator parts have already been cut and formed back in march. For this 10 hours I have cut out both upper and lower horns,added the hinge to the trim tab. I also made end ribs for the trim tab these are not in the plans but I heard about them and liked the idea and looks. I also cut out the skin.Being over 7 feet long and only getting one try per sheet I will probably elect to take it to work also for bending.
2007-06-02 snag I have run into a problem forming the elevator skin. In order to correct it I will need to order another sheet. This time around I will bend a test piece out of scrap until I get what is called for. I will also use this procedure for the remaining formed skins ailerons,flaps.
2007-06-12 Elevator skin After ordering another sheet and taking the time to figure out what I wanted to do different I finally got a Elevator skin formed to Zac's spec's. One more task complete and another lesson learned.
2007-06-12 Elevator skin formed After taping it down I added a piece of plywood and a 2"x4" and 5 wood clamps. This worked out great asd I was able to adjust each clamp to get a uniform trailing edge radious.
2007-06-17 Drilling Elevator skin Today I cut and formed the elevator ribs. Next step was to mark and drill the elevator skin. Then I marked the drill line on the ribs and installed them for pilot drilling. After drilling and clecoing the ribs in place I marked out for the rudder and trim tab cutout.
2007-06-19 Elevator cutouts The past couple of days have been spent cutting out for the rudder and trim tab. after all I went through to get a elevator skin that would work.I had to turn around and start cutting it apart. This wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Check and recheck your measerments then just dive in and get her done.
2007-06-25 Trim tab I finished filing on the trim tab cut out. Next I moved on to the elevator horns and braces. I applied the horns first then made the cutout for the angle extrusion that ties them together. After that I then drilled the front attach bracket to both the skin and angle ex.
2007-06-27 Trim motor panel After finishing up with the ribs and control horns I decided that the access panel for the trim motor needed a little help. The plans call for a cover that was rivited on but I just couldn't do that so I made a removeable panel
2007-07-03 Prep and prime For the past several hours I have deburred all parts of the elevator. Next I ecthed then alodined and at last I was ready to prime. I decided to protect both inside and out. Again this was something that I wanted to do rather than a have to.
2007-07-05 The tail feathers are almost complete The elevator got rivited today.The only thing left to do is the end caps of the stab. I will still need to rivit the hinge to the stab but they say to wait until after the stab is mounted to the fuselage.
2007-07-17 End rib After a few tries I finally got the fit I was looking for on the stab end rib. To get it I traced the stab skin made a new form block. After the third block the rib fit nice and snug. All I got to do now is prep and rivit then move on to the final piece, the fiberglass tip.I should have had this done a long time ago but we ran into a heat wave and at 100+ degrees the inside of the trailer was just to hot to work in.
2007-08-01 fiberglass tips I have been working on the stab fiberglass tips. For something that should be real easy to do I have spent a lot of time working on them. So far I have them clecoed in place. My plan is to have them go on the outside of the skin. I also decided to attach them with machine screws which adds time.
2007-08-09 Stab is complete I finished the stab today. As I mentioned I installed them on the outside. I ended up using Rivnuts. To make sure they wouldn't turn I added a internal 1/4" star washer. Sorry for no pictures. My camera went on vacation to Oregon should be back by the 14th.
2007-08-12 I have started the wings I went out today and cleaned my work area so I could start on the next mess. This happens to be the form blocks for the ribs. The nose ribs were completed back in May. When making your form blocks for ribs 1 through 4 you will need at least 1"X12" matrl.For ribs 5 through 9 1"X10" will work just fine. By evening all form blocks were marked and rough cut.
2007-08-26 form blocks I am still working on the rear rib form blocks.All 18 of them are sanded to shape with the over bend reliefs The only thing left to do is the fluting reliefs.
2007-09-01 form blocks I have finally finished with the wing rear rib form blocks. Sorry about not having any pic's. I am having a hard time catching my camera. The blocks seemed to take more time than I would have thought but there is a lot of work that goes into the whole process. Next throw in a finger that got banged up three weeks ago and still swollen. well that makes for a lot of slow progress.
2007-09-23 flap problems I tried forming the flap skins but for some reason they didn't come out right. I finally got over it and went back to work. I was able to use the skins for wing ribs so not all was lost. I marked out the remaing ribs and then started to cut to shape. By the end of the day I have ribs 1 through 6 cut to shape. I finally had to quit as my hand was getting tired of using the hand shears.
One final note on the flap skins you only get one shot per sheet. They cost $84.00 each all formed up from Zenith. The same for the aileron skins. I am going to buy them and keep moving forward.
2007-09-29 wing ribs I have combined a few days into one entry. The wing ribs take some time to map out, cut to size and form. To date all ribs are cut and ribs 9 through 6 are formed. There is still all the tuning and cutting the lighting holes ect. At least with the forming positive progress can be seen.
2007-10-07 lighting holes I cut out and deburred all of the rear wing rib lighting holes. To do this I made a cutter using a olfa blade. On one side I scored it around three times then turned it over and scored a additional seven or so times. After that they just popped out. It might have took me longer to this by hand but it was safer and the holes came out great.
2007-10-12 New Tools In order to flange the rib holes I needed to come up with a way to do it. At first I made a hand roller. But I didn't like the end results. The local A&P only had the 2.5" dies so I went ahead and made the other two. I used nylon and it worked great. For a press frame I fabbed up a small metel tube frame. To power it all I used the scissor jack from my pickup. I can tell you that GM never designed it to change 86 flat tires. I junked out the cheap ball bearing that the lead screw butts up against.
2007-10-13 Bell crank supports To get the best job out of the bellcrank supports I used a vertical mill with a stop. There are four pieces that need to be identical and with the tools I have at work well why not use them in your spare time.
2007-10-15 Rib Flanges I was surprised at how fast it went even when my jack bearing was trying to fall apart. The whole process went great.
2007-10-29 rib tuning I spent Sunday tuning in the rear ribs flanges to the degree's specified . Next I drilled and clecoed the aileron support angles and stiffners to rib #7. After that came cutting the angle stiffners for ribs 1 through 4.
2007-11-04 Rib stiffners I drilled and clecoed all of the stiffners for ribs 1 through 4. For this I built a simple drill jig so all of the stiffners would have matching holes. This should make it easier to rivet later on as all stiffners should fit any of the ribs. After that I got out my rough wing main spars and started to work them over. I deburred then put in the end flange of 20mm. After that I cut them to size and cut in the end lighting hole. Then called it a day.
2007-11-07 Center Spar I cut and debured both center spars and the four main spar cap strips. After that I cut and drilled both aileron horns.
2007-11-18 Wing supports I cut out the rear wing supports or rear spars. Then debured all cap strips and rear supports. Next I cut and deburred the fuel tank ends. I only did this as I was through with the .032 and didn't want to get it out for just those parts. I also machined the spacers for the center spar section.
2007-11-28 Wing spars Over the past few days I managed to get all of the wing spar cap strips,rear wing spars and center section formed. It just happened that one of the local buisness's had a twenty foot brakepress.And seeing how I had helped them in the past they were more than happy to return the favor.After that I tuned in the angles on the center section and drilled all pilot holes. Next I cut the spar doublers to size and quit for the evening just shy of drilling the center section doublers. Pic's of progress coming soon!
2007-12-03 Center section I have drilled to size the center section plus flanged both center section and main spar
2007-12-09 Main spar Over the past couple of days I have laid out the hole pattern for the main spar and all parts. I then pilot drilled the 1/4" doublers on my drill press.
2007-12-20 Left wing Spar After pilot drilling the doublers I laid them out on the spar and started to drill through the main spar. It took awhile since I only pre drilled the long doublers. So I clamped them in place then drilled through the spar.I next laid the doubler over the cap strips and drilled them. Lastly I added the doubler to the front of the spar and drilled it. Then everything got deburred then reassembled and drilled to size. After all of that came deburring again in prep for primer and rivits. Next time I get out to work it will be the same thing for the right wing.
2007-12-31 Closing out 2007 As the year comes to a end so has the prep work on the main wing spar. Over the past few days I have drilled and deburred and primed everything that gets a solid rivet. This included a couple of hat stiffners and three nose rib angle mounts Now that all of the prep is complete I can buck rivets and actually see progress.
2008-01-12 Riveting I finally got through all the deburring of which there is a lot. I have everything primed the nose rib angles installed. I also had to once again remake parts this time it was the spar tips. In my own mind if and when I build another. I won't jump the gun and build ahead. It just hasn't worked out for me. Next I started on the solid rivets. I have done rivet work in the past but I must have gotten rusty along the way. The local A&P's are quick to point out the bad ones. They are a great bunch to work with and I take their criticism seriously. They are just looking out for my neck.
2008-01-16 Riveting I have finally finished with the riveting. I suggest getting help with this if it isn't something you do often. I got my nephew Jared to help me. I learned that when drilling out a bad rivet to only drill the head off. Then punch out the body. That way the hole stays the same dia. After we finished the riveting I took everything to the local A&P for inspection. With that complete it is now time to mate the spars with the center section and drill the mounting holes. pic's to follow
2008-01-19 Setting Dihedral I have assembled the center section and started to set the wind Dihedral to it's 5.65 Degrees. To do this I ran a string line and set the center section next to it. Next I got on Auto Cad and figured out the distance from the main spar tip to the string line. After lots of checking and rechecking I clamped the spars to the center section and marked out the wing mounting holes. These holes are going to hand drilled so I'll make a drill guide in order to drill straight holes.
2008-01-26 center section After setting up the string line for checking the dihedral I finally drilled and reamed the spar mounting holes. Afterwards I took it all apart then reassembled the three sections to verify the angle and that both of them were the same. Next I took out the rear spar or support channel and tuned in it's bend angles. Next came the marking out for rear ribs and pilot holes on the rear channel. I have marked the rivet lines on the ribs and primed ribs and rib stiffners for rib 1 thru 4 and 7.
2008-02-03 rib stiffners & ribs Over the past couple of days I have riveted the rib stiffners to the first four ribs. I have also riveted on the brace and angle supports for the aileron bellcranks. Next I pilot drilled and clecoed all rear ribs to the main spar and rear support
2008-02-09 bellcranks I have fabbed up the aileron bellcranks. I changed the design slightly by adding bushings to reduce wear. This was done on the advise from the A&P's that are looking over my shoulder.
2008-02-23 debur and back stepping I have spent the last several hours deburring both spars and left rear ribs. I then got out the shrinker srtecher and tuned in both main spars. I probably could have just pushed them around to make them straight but then they would have already been stressed. So a little work with the S&S was in order They are now straight and relaxed as they should be.
Now comes the back stepping I have had to remake my nose ribs as when I tried to fit them up I noticed that they were 4mm to narrow. Again if and when I do this again I will not build ahead. For the very reason that when you do there isn't anything to check them against.
2008-02-24 Right Aileron clecoed For the ailerons I cheated and ordered the skins. I then made up the ribs and end cap which was a long process. The part shown in the plans didn't fit the holes predrilled in the skin so I had to fiddle with the design to get a fit I could live with. Seven hours later I have the right aileron drilled to size and ready for deburring.
2008-02-28 Aileron trim tab I decided to add a electric trim tab for the ailerons. I cut to size a piece of .025 then decided to practice on some smaller scrap to get the shape of the trailing edge of the aileron. I am glad I did as my tab is slightly different than the one shown. But in the end it looks like it belongs.
2008-03-02 Right Aileron complete Today the sun was out so I set up my rack outside and primed all of the sub parts of the right aileron. While it was drying I got out the left aileron and started on it. I have made the ribs and tip pilot drilled all then went to cutting it up for the trim tab. With the tab cutout complete and stiffner clecoed in I grabbed my now dry parts and assembled them for the last time complete with rivets.
2008-03-08 Trim access I have changed the trim motor access . The plans call for cutting a hole and riveting a cover plate to it. I decided to put in a backing plate with nut plates. This is going to allow me to get into the motor area without drilling . It is the same setup that most production planes use.
2008-03-16 Aileron hinges I decided to use piano hinges instead of the flex hinge. I called zenith and modified my ailerons as directed. The best thing would have been to order the ones from the option page in the plans. I fabbed up a couple of .025 angles then cut down the skins to fit the hinge. After a lot of drilling I have made the mod. All I have left to do is pick up the top rib holes. For this I need to borrow a tool that will locate the pre drilled holes behind the angle. pic's to follow
2008-03-22 Ailerons completed After 7 hours of deburring and priming I finally got to shoot rivets and finish the ailerons. Later on I will spring for the trim motor but for right now I can put those funds to better use.
2008-03-31 starting flaps I have spent the last couple of days working on the flaps. I cut out all the ribs formed them then assembled both flaps complete with hinges. Drilled to size and deburred all holes.
2008-04-06 Flaps and weather Today started out rather moist as the rain was once again spoiling my efforts. Along about noon the sun started to come out so I rushed my flap parts out to prime. Once everything was primed I got busy and riveted both flaps complete with hinges. Now that they are done it's time to get back at the wings.
2008-04-13 Nose Ribs I was planning to head to the big city and buy my wing skin aluminum until I called and they wanted $207 per sheet. So I elected to form my nose ribs and cut out the lighten holes. I will form them tomorrow at work. I also primed all wing mating surfaces in prep to riveting. I am also calling Aircraft Spruce and ordering my skins which is $110 per sheet and a bunch of rivets.
2008-04-20 aileron access While waiting for my alum shipment I decided to build aileron access covers. I didn't really like the simple ones that were shown on the plans so I built them like my other access covers. These are stronger and eaiser to use and they just plain look better.
2008-04-27 aileron inspection covers I finished off the aileron access plates. Even the simple jobs seem to take a lot of time. I first countersunk all holes using a hand countersink. Then back to the airport to borrow a rivet squeezer. That done I went to the nose ribs and finished the touch up work required on the flange angles.
2008-04-28 nose ribs I tuned in all angles on my nose ribs. I then rigged up the spar so it was straight and snugged up the spar holders that I made to keep it that way. After that I drilled and clecoed the first and last rib. I did this so I could run a string line to check the rest of the ribs.
2008-05-03 Nose ribs and skin I set up the wing assembly again and added the nose ribs to the main spar. I used two string lines. The first was to insure the spar was straight. The second was run to keep the ribs aligned both horizontal and vertical. That complete I once again took down the frame to make room for cutting the wing skins.
2008-05-04 Top Skin Once again I set up the wing assembly squared and leveled it. I then postioned the skin over the spars and marked out the rib lines. I then tore down the assembly and marked out the holes and drilled. Next I marked and cut in the wing tip curve. After that I once again assembled the wing and pilot drilled the skin. Two tabels and a bigger build area would be nice but I don't have either.
2008-05-06 Top skin I took a couple of hours tonight and drilled to size the left top wing skin with aileron hinge.
2008-05-10 Bottom skin With some help I turned over the wing and started to layout the bottom skin. Like the top once the rib locations were marked I removed the skin and mapped out the fluting on the ribs. Then transfered this to the skin and pilot drill. Once complete I again laid it on the wing assembly and pilot drilled that together with the flap hinge.
2008-05-11 More skins After I drilled the bottom skin to size I tore the whole thing down and rough cut the nose skin. I cut it wider than the plans to give me some wiggle room on bend location. I will trim it to size after forming. Since the table was clear I decided it was a good time to cut all the skins for the right wing as well.
2008-05-13 Forming nose skin Awhile back I had read a post about forming the nose skin. The builder had doubled over his sheet then placed it on the floor and set his table over it upside down. Seeing how I wasn't going to turn my table over in such a tight area I had to come up with plan B. It is going to require trimming to size but I decided to cut the skin alittle wide. That way I could be off on the bend lenghts and still have a usable skin.
2008-05-18 Before fitting the nose skin I marked out all the ribs. Postioned the skin and marked for my final trimming to match the spar angle, bottom side only. I then pilot drilled the skin again bottom side only and fitted it to the wing. Redrilled clecoed flipped it over and pulled the skin down with straps to mark out for the top side. The plans call for cutting the leading edge to size prior to forming. Without having a brake with a 12' bed I chose not to use best guess.
2008-05-27 I have finished drilling the leading edge. Next was take it down and add the hole for the pitot assembly. I put mine on the #7 rib just in case I needed to work on it later. I also mounted the tie down ring to the #9 rib and slotted the lower skin for it to pass through.
2008-05-29 In prep for riveting the wing I needed the pitot tube assembly. I built mine out of steel using a brake line I got at the auto parts store. I located mine at the # 7 rib just in case someday I needed to rework it.
2008-06-01 The wing has been taken apart so all the holes can get deburred and chamfer. So far I have completed the front and rear spars,all ribs and the lower skin. I stored those parts and while I had a clean table I got out a sheet of .032 and cut the fuel tanks out.
2008-06-09 I have cut out the fuel cel access covers in prep for the leading edge. After that I primed all ribs,spars and skins for the left wing.I then riveted the frame together added my pitot and static lines plus wires for tip strobes, postion lights and the wire for the aileron trim. After that it was time to square up the assembly and rivet on the top and bottom skins with flap and aileron hinges.
2008-06-17 Over the past couple of days I have been working on the fuel tanks.First I completed the sending unit access panel. I have also formed the tank ends. The plans call for beads in the tanks next to all weld seams. For this I machined a beading tool to fit a english wheel. My beads will probably be a little wider than needed but the same bead will work for replacing skins on a Globe swift which makes a nice trade for borrowing the english wheel and everything else I have and will in the future borrow.
2008-06-17 The past couple of days I worked on the fuel sender access cover in the leading edge. I then formed the fuel tank ends and machined a set of beading dies for the fuel tanks.
2008-06-21 I have decided to add tank baffles two per side. I marked and enlarged the fuel line holes in nose ribs 1 thru 3. I took the tank skin to work and had it bent.
2008-06-24 After priming the nose ribs I riveted them in place and went to fit the leading edge.
That didn't work well for a couple of reasons so I decided to remake it and try again.
2008-06-25 With the holes drilled in the new skin it was time to debur and prime. Next I riveted the leading edge to the bottom side of the wing and nose ribs. I need to do that in order to fit the tank and cut in drain and vent line holes.
2008-07-07 I cork taped up the leading edge for the fuel tank marked out for the gas cap hole and cut it in. while this is going on I am having the tank welded up so I can cut in the filler hole in the tank itself.
2008-07-15 I got the tank back. Since then I have fitted it in and enlarged the vent hole to get the fit I wanted. Then I marked out the filler neck hole in the tank. Cut it out and once again sent it off to the welder.
2008-07-24 The left fuel tank is welded and pressure tested and ready for the final fit up. My welder Les did a great job of welding the tank. I also cut down the vent tube and filed in the proper angle with the two holes in back just in case a big bug gets stuck in the front.
2008-07-28 I have spent the past 13 hours fitting the fuel tank and wing tip on the left wing. Both didn't give up easy. Be sure you check and recheck all measurements before drilling holes in the leading edge. Mine seemed to maove somewhat but not enough to cause grief. The tip involved a lot of trimming and filing. If you can get the one piece tip from Zenith it's the only way to go. You will have to ask for them as they are not on the on-line store page. But at a cost of $71.00 each they are well worth it. I haven't decided yet on nav lights. I did however run wires to the tip. If I ever add them all I have to do is drill the hole in the tip reach in and grab them. They are held in place just below the flat for the lights by a dab of foam insulation. That stuff really grabs and holds on to fiberglass but is easy enough to peel off.
2008-08-03 In order to keep building I need to move th e left wing to the hanger. I am waiting til Sat. afternoon when the fly-in breakfest gets over. They cook in the hanger that I rent plane space in. Anyway all I got done was adding the trim tab motor to the left aileron. It's such a short control rod that if a adjustment ever needs to be made you would have to drill out the mounting rivets in order to loosen the jam nuts. All that is left to do is crimp on a Molex plug.
2008-08-12 Right wing I have cut formed and prepaired the right fuel tank for welding and tomorrow I will drop it off to Les.I rough cut the right leading edge while the table was empty and set it aside. Just before calling it quits I clecoed the right rear wing ribs to the main and rear wing spars.
2008-08-18 During the past 8 hours I have Fit the nose ribs, drilled to size and debured all holes. Next I marked the rivet lines on front and rear spars. I then got out my precut top skin,and fit it to the wing. Marked the rib rivet lines and pulled it off and laid out all holes. I also trimmed the rear wing channel and added the hole for the aileron rod to pass through.
2008-08-20 Drilled to size and clecoed right top rear wing skin.
2008-08-31 The past few days I have fit and drilled the bottom skin to the frame. I riveted the nose ribs on and fit and predrilled the leading edge skin. When working with the nose skin make sure you keep the the 1x4's taped to both ends running the full length. This keeps the skin from buckeling during all the fitting and drilling etc. Also use plenty of duck tape to hold things together. It's cheap and works great when you need more hands than you can muster.
2008-09-07 Over the past few hours I have drilled and clecoed the leading edge to the nose ribs. next I took the entire wing assembly apart and added the aileron access hole. About all thats left is put in the slot for the tie down ring debur everything and start riveting the main skins.
2008-09-14 Since my last post I have deburred the rest of the right wing. I also cut in the fuel sender access. Then my favorite RIVETS. At this time I have the top skin, bottom skin and the bottom of the leading edge riveted in place. During all the fitting of the leading edge I never handled it without the 12' 1"x4" attached to each end. If you want to bypass the smiles in your leading edge make sure that you use the 1x4's every time.Tomorrow I will check on my tank and go from there.
2008-09-21 I got my tank back and started the fitting process. I put down cork strips on both nose ribs and skin bottom. After I fit the tank I cut in the holes for the quick drain and vent tube. I made the holes as small as possible in case they needed to move one way or the other.The plans call for overlaying a square of lexan to mark out the fuel fill hole. I changed it somewhat to hopefully give me a better fit up through the leading edge. I marked out where the tank hole was going to be then clecoed the lexan on to the nose rib and main spar. Next I drilled a #30 hole through both lexan and tank. After sanding down a template the dia of the tank hole I clecoed it to the tank and traced around for the final hole size. Then I simply cut it out and smoothed the edges and repeated the process on the leading edge.
2008-09-30 The right fuel tank has been welded, pressure tested, fitted and within sight of getting riveted in. When I cut in the holes for the vent and quick drain I tried to make them as small as possible. After final fitting I turned the wing over and traced the final dia. of both holes. It not only gives me some clearence from rubbing they are centered as well which just looks better.
2008-10-09 After fitting the fuel tank and making small adjustments. It is time to rivet it in. I pulled it down with the straps and cleacoed it on. Then I riveted the nose ribs followed by the spar cap rivets.
2008-10-12 Now that the wing is riveted I started to work on the wing tip. Once again I measured then I ran masking tape to smooth out the contour. After a lot of trimming and filing the tip is ready for rivets.
2008-10-18 The WINGS are complete. I had a little trouble with the right wing tip as some additional adjusts were made. It looked as the top flange was tipped in. This might have happened from taking it out of the mold to soon. To help correct the problem I cut some extra shims to go under the skin to help straighten it out and get rid of the slight dip in the skin at the trailing and tip edge. After the local A&P looked at it and said it was good to go I loaded it up and moved it to the airport.
2008-10-24 The first page of the fuselage had me work on the rear bulkheads and fuel selector console. These three parts were fairly straight forward to build. Just make sure that they are square.
2008-10-25 The rear longerons are formed up out of .040. roughly 6.8 feet long. Also there are some stiffners out of both .025 and .032 that needed cut as well. With only my Olfa knife to make these strips I settled in for a long evening of scoring. When I finished I figured I had dragged my knife roughly 1800 feet. If that wasn't enough fun I then debured all strips.
2008-11-02 With limited space I thought it would make sense to cut out the rear fuselage skins. After digging through all my matrl I found enough .025 for one side skin. At least it is a start. After cutting and deburing I set it aside and laid out my last full sheet of .025 for the bottom rear fuselage skin and started to mark it out for cutting.
2008-11-06 I cut and deburred the fuselage Z stiffners. There is a total of 8 in two different configs. I then worked on the access hole in the fuselage bottom. This I made like all the others in that when finished it will be flush mount. I then made templates of the stab mounts and sheared them out.last for the day was to visit a friend and form the 6.8 foot longerons made out of .040.
2008-11-10 After cutting the backing plate for the access I drilled the holes to mount the nut plates. Next I cut the 3/4 X 3/4 angle and formed it on the shrinker stretcher. When done with the stretcher you will need to smooth out the teeth marks .
2008-11-11 I ended up at the airport today to form the Z stiffners. It takes a good press to form those small flanges in .032. When I got back home I fit and drilled the formed longerons to the fuse bottom. The rear two bulkheads by design overhang the fuse skin so to get a nice straight fuselage I clamped a 3/4 x 3/4 angle to the formed longeron and then clamped the whole thing to the skin.
2008-11-16 Today I started off drilling the front longerons then cut, drilled and clecoed the front Z stiffner and the four Z stiffners that surround the access hole.
2008-11-20 I had to backup and remake a couple of parts. The first was the lower rudder hinge and the second one of the Z stiffners. after that I riveted on the blind nuts for my access. I then pilot drilled the aft L angles the new Z stiffner. I went back drilled to size deburred all parts and primed for assembly
2008-11-21 With the lower longerons and stiffners primed it is time to rivet in place. After all z stiffners and longerons were riveted I fitted the L angles made all joggles and clecoed them to the fuse side skin.
2008-11-26 Once the L angles were in place I set he skin up on the fuse bottom and pilot drilled it to the longerons the 2 back bulkheads and cross braces. to round out the day I cut out the lower seat cross member
2008-12-09 After getting another shipment of Alum. I layed the left skin on top of a new sheet drilled in the pilot holes then cut it out with the Olfa knife. As before I fitted all L angles and HB formers. I then finished off the rear top panel and drilled both sides to correct size.
2008-12-14 Debur Once again it is time for my least favorite task Debur. As much as I dislike it I take great care doing it as I want as tight a rivet to skin contact as I can get. Anyway I deburred all of the aft Fuselage skins stiffnners longerons and HB formers. Just before calling it quits I sprayed on corrosion protection. The next morning I riveted the fuselage side stiffners on and adjjusted the rudder hinges to line up. After that I moved on to page 6B5 and started to cut and form fuselage channels
2008-12-30 Holiday slow down Not wanting to push the people at UPS any harder I have decided to wait until after the holidays to order more Alum. Hopefully they will relax and not feel the need to toss my box's and dent the alum inside. So in the meantime I made a few stiffners for the firewall plus the gear leg channel. I was going to make the seat back but screwed it up. When I reorder matrl I will try again. The only good thing that came out of screwing up was I able to salvage a large portion of it for the floor stiffner. After forming the gear channel It needed to be cut down. The plans called for removing 27mm off of the front right and left. It also states to look at the floor which showed a width that was 5mm wider. Always look at the notes. With that task complete I pilot drilled it to the fuselage bottom. Next I cut and formed the rear spar attach brackets. The plans called for .063 however the new 650 uses .090 not having any .090 I settled on .100.
2009-01-09 Building ahead As I get closer to the end I would like to not have a lot of extra Alum left. I know I will need more .032 due to a couple of mis-cuts. So I decided to build up what I could from the remaining .032 to get a idea of what I needed to complete the project. I went around 10 pages down the plans and now I feel I have the information I need to place my order.
I also cut out the rudder pedals and built a weld jig to hold all pieces in place.
When I sat in a Zodie and started to work the controls I heard a squeak. and figured it to be some of the alum bushing they use. So I changed the plans to get rid of the alum bushings everywhere. For the rudders I am using nylon for all bearing surfaces. The outers will be 1" wide to bolt through the cabin stiffners like the plans show.
I have also cut and formed out of wood the upper rear bulk heads and instrument panel. For this I used 1"x12" pine.
2009-01-11 Turtle deck bulkheads Before forming the bulk heads I needed to add fluting reliefs to the form blocks. I used the same burr bit that was used to divet the pull rivet head. It worked better than any previous method I had used. Just set it up on the drill press and hold parts in your hand.
2009-01-25 firewall While waitng for my firewall to arrive. I worked on the turtle deck bulkheads. I set the rear and front bulkheads with the thought that if there was a mis in forming that I could move the middle around to fit. However they all ended up where the plans showed. After the firewall arrived I cut out and formed the top front stiffner. Got out the rear main and side stiffnerrs and proceeded to layout drill and cleco the assembly. It's not quuite complete but I felt I had made good progress for 6 hours. I ended the day cutting and forming the rear seat back complete with flanged hole.
2009-01-31 Firewall is getting close I have added a couple more stiffners to the firewall. I didn't like the way that the center stiffner looked with the gap at the top so I added a shim for a tight fit. I also joggled the side stiffners at the top. I believe that this also will make for a stronger firewall. With that done I finally drilled on the lower seat back. I still had a couple stiffners left out of .063 which is a little hard to cut with the olfa knife so I headed to the airport to use their shear. After cutting it out I jumped ahead and cut and formed the center section side supports.
2009-02-07 completed firewall / engine I have completed the setup and redrilled all parts to the correct dia. Next as always I enjoyed the deburring of all parts then prime. While setting up for riveting I heard a different sound coming out of my air compressor. It wasn't good so I spent alot of time hand setting rivets. Turns out that the majority of the firewall rivets can only be hand set anyway. That done it was off to the big city with warrinty in hand to trade compressors.
I also made a deal on a Lycoming 0290D 125 hp. I read a lot about both heavy and light engines. This is on the heavy side but I believe it will be a good match. It seems that the light engines have a tougher time trying to get into weight and balance. Anyway as with the plane it is a rebuild one out of two deal.
2009-02-21 forward bottom panel & stiffners ( Total build hours to date 885.5 ) I cut to size the forward bottom panel and forward side skins plus the forward top panel. I had to cut ahead while the fuse sides were taken apart. It's one of the down sides of building in a trailer,No extra room. Anyway after all the cutting I decided to add the rear fuselage angle stiffners designed to reduce oil canning. At first I wasn't going to add them but when I got the 0290D I figured that a little more tail weight with the benifit of noise reduction just seemed like the right move. With all that done I drilled to size deburred primed and called it a night. ( the stiffners are a new upgrade introduced on the 650 )
2009-03-01 Cabin Floor I started the day off by riveting the extra side stiffners to the fuselage sides. I then decided it was time to rivet the sides to the fuselage bottom. While gearing up for the cabin floor I cut and formed the brake pedals and cly mounts. Next came the cabin floor. Some of the layers are three deep so a lot of extra thought needs to go into rivet layout. In the end whats a couple of extra holes going to matter. By the end of the weekend I had the cabin floor plus lower longerons,heel support,rudder panel and center support.and lower rivet line on the firewall drilled to size and clecoed to the landing gear channel.
2009-03-08 Center Spar I finally set the center spar in place. Not only did I measure up from the cabin floor,but I also set up a block on center line in the rear of the fuselage. Then layed a tape from the spar stubs to the rear center line. Doing this I believe I have set it as straight as possible.
2009-03-15 Upper longerons I spend a great deal of the past weekend working on getting ready for the rest of the build. First off I took out a table and put the plane on saw horses per suggestion of Zenith. That alone took around 12 hours to do.
Then down to business. I borrowed the shrinker from the airport and worked the upper longerons into shape. The first one took a couple of hours to form. Then I figured out I was trying to shrink to much and moved to the outer edge for the second it went twice as fast. After I clecoed the longerons in place I finished building,up to and riveting the last of the vertical L angles and stiffners in the rear fuselage.
2009-03-21 Setting the longerons I spent most of the weekend measuring and remeasuring the firewall angle and squarness. After I was satisfied with the fit I bolted the longerons to the upper engine mounts. I found out later that I should have only set one bolt and the closest one to the firewall. When I set the distance on the instrument panel I came up a little shy , but rather than force the longerons out I am going to go with what I got. Next after bolting the the front I moved to the rear and drilled it to the rear longerons. Then got out my wing jig and set the rear spar mount brace and cut out the rear side skins for the spar bracket. My next task is to start fitting the cabin side skins.
2009-03-27 Cabin side skins I got to looking at the aileron torque tube and decided that I wanted nylon bearings rather than Alum. So I machined up a couple. Next I got my welder to weld up the rudder pedals and main gear brackets. Last for the day was fitting the side skins and cutting out for the main spar and gear leg.
2009-03-28 gear brackets After making the cut outs I fit the gear brackets and drilled them to both the side and lower longerons. Then added the upright braces. Once that was done I filed off the top of the side skins flush with the longerons
2009-03-29 Wing bracing ( Build hours to date 954 ) I found myself back out to the plane again on sunday as I was making good progress and the weather outside was lousy. So I worked on the main spar bracing and bottom gussets. Then drilled the side skins to the upper longerons. Last for the day was the front L supports and pilot drilling the side skins to the firewall.
2009-04-04 Trimming side skins I spent the last 19 hours trimming the side skins and deburring all the holes. At the same time I finished the upper and lower motor mounts. All thats left to do on them is weld them up. To round up the weekend I started fitting the front seat panels.
2009-04-12 Brake mounts & Rivits I changed the design of how the brake pedal attaches to the rudders. Instead of rivits and welding I machined a aluminum insert for the rudder tube and tapped it 10-30. I then used pem fastners for the pedal to the hinge. This way if I ever need to work over the pedals it will be easy to remove them. Also if I need to add them to the right side all I have to do is bolt them on. With the thought that I might need them the right side I also added the cly mounts to the floor. With that done it was time to disassemble the floor and side skins to prime. I needed to free up some cleco's so I ended up riviting the floor forward of the main spar.
2009-04-14 Prepping for the Baggage floor ( 1002 hours to date ) I started out the day by adding the rear spar upright supports. Next I added the outside seat channels. Then came the L angles that support the baggage floor. After studying the plans I first formed and then pilot drilled them to the skins. Then I cut them in two to fit around the upright channels. Next I added the front baggage cross support to the uprights. I didn't want to buy another sheet of .025 for the floor so I am installing it in two pieces.The first goes from the bulkhead to the front cross member. It actually is going to work out well as I am going to add a box to hold a bottle of oil ,windscreen cleaner ect. This will locate from the seat back cross member to the front baggage cross member on the left side. The rest I will add a filler piece to close up the floor.
2009-04-19 parts and pieces I didn't get a lot done this weekend on the plane. We had a poker run and one of my good friends showed up in a 1949 Cessna 195. He asked if I was interested in flying with him and well that plane is fantastic. So Saturday was spent flying from here to there and back. I came in fourth with 2 Aces King high.
What I did get done was drill to size and debur the baggage floor and stiffners. I then worked on the seat back center bracket and torque tube rear bracket along with the lower seat back doubler angle. It didn't seem like a lot of progress but none the less it's gaining.
2009-04-26 Baggage Floor (1040 hours and climbing ) I spent most of my time working on fitting the baggage floor. to get the fit I was wanting I made the front section four times. The problem was getting it to fit around the rear spar uprights. Whoever said third times a charm never tried buildiing a airplane! With that task behind me it was once again time to drill to size,debur and prime. Next I moved to the rear seat bottom and went through the drilling ect. all over again. Except for the part where I put in rivets in the doubler angle. From there I formed and pilot drilled the front seat bottom angles. Last for the weekend I fitted the front and rear aileron torque tube bearings. I never liked alum bearings so I machined out nylon bushings.They will last longer and run smoother. While I had the center section out I fitted the mounts for the sticks.
2009-05-03 Longeron doublers & Center arm rest I spent the past couple of days fitting the upper longeron doublers in the cabin area. I started by pilot drilling both ends then marking the area that needs removed. After rough cutting with shears I filed it down close then pilot drilled the lenght. All that was left was a lot of filling to get the finish that the plans call for. Next on the list was the center arm rest and angles. I cut my first side then marked it up to reflect what it should look like and remade it. I used the top for a guide and a width gauge so I could locate the side angles then added all holes. Last was drill to size debur and prime. Then I got out my trusty rivet gun and riveted the angles to the side. I got so excited that I also riveted the baggage floor to the side angles and cross stiffners. That needs to happen before you rivet the side angles to the fuselage skin. Or you can't get all the rivets in the floor.
2009-05-10 Little bit of everything ( 1075 Hours & climbing ) I started off by adding the inside lower seat belt doublers to the arm rest sides. Then took a break and had the motor mounts welded. With that done I installed them and riveted together the front cabin side skins. I do like putting in rivets! The last several hours were spent on the arm rest cap and console. I didn't like the cover that was in the blue prints so I decided to make my own and make it one piece. The top needs to be removable for inspection. 8/32 pan heads and nut plates will fasten it all together. When I was happy with the top I turned to the console. That took a couple of tries but I got it to fit inside the arm rest and angle up to the instrument panel. I plan on using four screws to hold the lower console on. All in all it came out better than I thought it would and it is one piece with top, bottom and side flanges for rivets and screws. Last for the day was cutting and fitting the seat pans complete with drill to size and debur.
2009-05-16 Rivets I finally broke down and pulled some more rivets. To begin with I added on the flap motor mount bracket. then riveted the lower seat back to the fuselage. Then the rear spar attach cross member and up rights. Next was the baggage floor. Last I formed and drilled the instrument center brace to firewall.
2009-05-23 Delay in building I only have five hours to show for this past week. All was spent on the shoulder harnass brackets and L angles. I also formed up the #2 tube brackets. With that done it is going to be slow building for awhile. It is time to order hopefully my last sheet of Alum. for the turtle deck. Which I can't do until I get the Lycoming O290 paid off. That should happen in five weeks. Until then I have the NACA's to work on.
2009-05-25 There is always something ( 1093 hours & climbing) Just when I thought that the build was slowing down I noticed a couple of stiffners that I could add. The first is to strenghten the baggage floor at the front cross brace. The second is for the aileron balance cable fairlead on the lower seat back. Both of these are in the plans but not on the CD. It just goes to show you can't reread the plans too many times. Back to baggage stiffner when I was making the L stiffner I decided to install a .100 shim on the lower cross brace to match the rear wing attach plate. It just seemed to me the angle would line up better. While I was there I noticed that the bottom fuselage skin in between the cross brace and opening was at the verge of oil canning so I added a couple of stiffners which really made a positive difference. The last thing for the day I installed the upper and lower rudder hinges. My next project is going to be to cut in the NACA air inlet in the fuselage sides. I need to think about them for awhile. The plans show them just above the rudder pedals. I don't like that as they would be easy to kick. I will probably move them up closer to the upper longeron.
2009-05-31 I keep finding things to do (1109 hours) In order to get into the tunnel for inspection I decided to blind nut the sides. It's a one piece design and Took 22 blind nuts to make me happy. After that I riveted in the center spar and seat pans and steel weldments for the landing gear rounding out the riveting with the #4's on the upper longeron to side skins. I waited til now to rivet center section over a issue that Zenith was looking into. After it was completed I pulled out my rivet gun and went to work. Next project was cutting holes in the fuselage sides for the ailerons cables. I also drilled the upper longeron doublers/ cap strip to size and then deburred them. Last I cut out the fairleads and the ones that didn't need slotted I drilled and clecoed to the plane.
2009-06-14 NACA I have taken a couple of weeks off to have a little fun camping and to also watch my friend and former bosses 1929 Great Lakes take to air for the first time since 1965. This plane went through a complete restoration starting in the mid 90's. It's history involves being owned by Betty Skelton who won the womans aerobatics title in it in the mid forties. Later Frank Price owned it and flew it to the world aerobatics contest in the middle of the comunist bloc during the height of the cold war uninvited and the first american to fly in it.. He brought back the fundamentals of what we neede to do to compete at the world level. Now to my own plane.
I finally got brave and cut the NACA inlet holes in the fuselage side skins. Now to attach the inlet housing to the skins I thought about rivets and bonding. I chose the later as the rivet pattern would just be to hard to look at. I talked it over with the local A&P and he gave me some glue that is used for fuel leaks and firewall sealent. I mixed up a batch and bonded on the inlets and sealed the firewall seams at the same time. To finish off the short day I finished building the fairleads and clecoed the lower rudder Fairlead in place.
2009-06-21 Glare shield ( 1126 Hours & climbing ) This weekend I cut and pilot drilled the forward top skin or glare shield. I started off with the forward side shields. Once I was happy with them I marked and pilot drilled both firewall and instrument panel. Next I got out the top skin that I had roughed out and placed it on the plane making sure I had extra hanging over on all sides. I started in the center drilling and clecoing and worked way out to the ends. For this you need help as you work under the skin from the opposite side. Afterwards I trimmed the skin to size and deburrd the ends.
2009-07-18 I'm back After a short vacation of sorts and finally getting my Lyc O290D
bought I am back to work. My funds are still recovering from the engine buy so gains will be slow for awhile longer.
I riveted on the upper and lower rudder hinges to the rudder. In order to get the spacing I wanted I assembled the upper hinge angle to the lower hinge/horn. This insured that my hinge line was in line from upper to lower pivot points afterwards I hung the rudder. Next I ran a string line to get a idea of how the rudder cables would look. I then lenghten the slots in the sides to allow for a straighter cable run to the rudder horns. Last for the weekend I primed and painted the rudder pedals.
2009-08-03 Rudder cable fairleads I made a simple form block for the rudder outlet fairleads out of a couple alum blocks and 3/4" dia metal rod. Once that job was complete I was able to form the fairings with oversized flanges. I wanted to be sure they were long enough to be flush with the lower skin line. With a center line marked out on the fuselage I lined up the fairings and pilot drilled them to the fuselage. I next sized the nylon fairlead to the alum fairing and pilot drilled the assembly together. Once clecoed to the fuselage I traced around the cable opening for the slot in the fairlead. To make the slots I will take it to work and use the mill with a 1/8" dia end mill. To round up the day I started to bolt the landing gear blocks to the lower longerons and side supports.
2009-08-15 Fairleads and Fairngs This past weekend I worked on the rudder fairing plus cleanup work on the rear rudder cable fairleads.
2009-08-22 sticks and stuff ( 1161 hours & climbing ) All of my gains this weekend centered around cutting the dual sticks assembly with torgue tubes and nose wheel sub assemblies. Later in the week I'll have them welded up.
2009-09-07 fitting the sticks Last week I had the sticks and aileron torque tube assemblies welded up. Today I started to fit them in the airframe. There are a couple of bushings I need to remake and order some different bolts for here and there. All in all they are looking good. Maybe by next weekend I'll even have a few more pictures to share.
2009-09-13 Fitting nose strut &stuff ( 1176 hours and climbing ) I added the nose strut lower bearing assembly. When I made the lower bearing I pre drilled the top rear hole. That was somewhat of a goof on my part as drilling it through the front firewall stiffner was harder. I started out by drilling and tapping the bottom holes. Afterwards I used a .500 drill and back drilled from the inside out roughly half way through. This did a couple of things for me first I was able to get a right angle drill in there to drill through the stiffner and second it's just a litte easier to install the bolt.
2009-09-19 Templates In prep for the turtle deck I plotted out and cut the templates for the turtle deck 3/4" tubes. To end the day I cut the stainless push rods that connect the nose gear to the rudder pedals.
2009-10-11 The turtle deck is forming up. ( 1191 & climbing ) I finally got some time to work on the plane. I figure I needed one more sheet of .025 to complete the plane. For it I headed to Spokane. It cost 75% over Aircraft Spruce but UPS didn't have a chance to dent it so I guess I can live with it. First thing was to filll the tubes with sand so they didn't kink during the forming. My form block was a tighter radious so I could overbend and adjust for spring back. Once they were formed I set my straight edge up and cut the tubes to size. I set the second tube first which ended up leaning a little forward of the intended mark. So for the first tube I had top remake it's brackets for the adjusted angle. If I had to do it all over again I would wait until the tubes were placed to make the brackets. Last for the day was pilot drilling and clecoing the assembly together.
2009-10-18 Turtle deck tubes Today I went back and visited the tube brackets I had formed up last week. They just didn't look right so I tossed them in the scrap bin and remade them. To get a tight fit I stretched the front flange only. Once I was happy with fit and looks I drilled to size, deburred, primed and riveted the assemblies to the longerons. For the remainder of the day I rough cut the turtle deck skins,mark the center line on the rear skin and pilot drilled the center holes in each of the bulkheads.
2009-10-25 Rear turtle deck ( 1205 & climbing ) This weekend I got busy and worked on the rear turtle deck. Doing this by yourself takes time but with a roll of duck tape I managed to get it done. By the end of the day I had drilled to size and trimmed the rear skin. Working mostly by yourself is another good reason to install the access panel in the bottom Fuselage skin. Just tape the skin down and drill from the access hole.
2009-11-04 Finishing the turtle deck ( 1234 and climbing ) I have combined several days into this entry. I fitted the front turtle deck skin and found that the front tube was bent wrong. To fix this I traced the curve on a piece of cardboard to use as a guide. The second tube turned out like I wanted after close to three hours of bending. Once that was fitted I added the four stiffners and then drilled all holes to size and deburred. I then primed the whole baggage compartment and last which is the best part I riveted the entire assembly to the fuselage. pic's to follow next week.
2009-11-10 FAA mandated upgrades As of last weekend the FAA has issued a service order to upgrade the wing structure of the zodiac 601&650 series airplanes. Plans and kits are to be ready within a couple of weeks. During this upgrade I will be removing and replacing various parts on both wings and center section. So for the time being I am just going to wait for the information needed to continue with my plane. For the record I am glad of the upgrades and will be more than happy to add them.
2009-11-14 accessary case Both O290D's that I bought came out of high wing pipers which are gravity fed. Mine being a low wing I need to add a fuel pump. I could use two electric but if you have a electric failure you also have a bad day. A friend had a 320 case which would have worked but had a lot of extra holes to plug. So I took his and mounted it to a base plate then to my mill and measured it out. I then took it off and mounted up one of my case's and machined the pump mount then tapped it for mounting bolts. It turned out great and the best part is I know it will fit the motor. It was a cheap and easy fix.
2009-11-15 Starting the upgrades Even though the final upgrade package isn't ready at this time I decided to start with what I think I know. First off I drilled out the seat pans. Then I got out some .025 and made L angles. These will be used on the seat pans, wing skins and bellcrank stiffners. All in all I made up 22 angles complete with deburring.
2009-11-26 Center spar upgrade ( 1253 ) and climbing I still don't have the final plans but in the video Zenith removed the center section and then took it apart. So thats what I did. After that I started to work on the seat pans. They called for .040 L angles so I first formed them up. Afterwards I drilled and deburred the right inside L angle. I ended the day with fitting the the remaining two L angles to the seat pan I won't drill them until I get rivet spacing from Zenith.
2009-12-11 Upgrade status A couple of days ago Zenith finished the upgrade package and are in proccess of building the kits to send out. With all the different matrl being used I have decided to order the kit. With Christmas right around the corner I am going to wait until Jan. to place my order. Hopefully by then UPS will have returned to normal and my kit won't get used for a pry bar or javelin. I haven't lost faith in the design or designer just going to get through the holiday season before I spend on my plane.
2009-12-28 Accy case Yesterday while talking to a fellow builder pilot I showed him my accy case. I thought I was through working on it but found out that I needed to drill out the boss for the fuel rod. So before I gave back the other accy case I went back to work and measured and drilled and reamed my case.
2010-01-05 Canopy latch I have decided to go with the 650 canopy latch system. It not only looks simpliar to fab it also is eaiser to tell if it's not secured. So I got out the plans converted MM to decimals. I then drew all parts in AutoCad And gave that info to the laser which in turn cut out all the parts to specs. I am going to call it a perk. Most people will call it lazy or cheating. Either one I can live with.
2010-01-07 aileron push tubes I have decided to use push tubes on my plane. They look eaiser to set up they are not under tension and most of all everyone says they just work better. So to get started I took some raw 6061T6 stock and machined rod ends to fit inside 1-1/4 Od .049 wall 6061T6 tubing. I did make extra as I will fiddle with tapping the holes to get the fit I want. Each tube will have 1 right hand and 1 left hand threaded end. Doing this makes it easier to set up as all I need to do is loosen the jam nuts and turn the tube rather than unbolt the fitting turn it install it check it then take back apart and re-adjust untill I get it right.
2010-01-14 motor mount design When I got to the plans for the motor mount I saw that the tubes were butt welded to a plate that in turn was bolted to the firewall. Not liking the design I went with a longer bolt sticking out of the firewall to which a tube slid over and all other mount tubes formed around and were welded . It is what GA planes use. All of this meant that now I had to fab up my own mount. So I got out AutoCad and went to work on making a jig to weld to. I have it drawn up and verified that the mount holes are in the corret location. All that is left to do on the jig is cut it out,weld together and make the mount itself.
2010-02-05 motor mount I changed my motor mount from the factory dwg and made it like GA planes with a post at the firewall. So today I took the jig and 12' of .750 X .058 wall tube to the plant and cut and fit the mount. Sorry I haven't taken any pics but I plan on it when the welder shows up to glue it all together. Hopefully it will happen this coming week.
2010-02-11 Welding the mount I got my welder lined oout on the project then just stood by in case he needed somthing. 3 hours later he finished the job. After welding I had to ream the bolt holes. It's a good sign of penetration. Now to see if it fits the firewall
2010-02-21 Canopy latch & access steps Maybe not getting my upgrade kit right now is a good thing as it makes me do the things that I normaly put off. In this case it's the steps. First thing I did was drill out more rivits. Then I slid a thin template under the skin and marked out all the drilled holes. I then transferred them to the step plate and drilled them plus the holes that I added. After drilling I put them on the plane and drilled all the holes deburred and primed. Seeing how most of the step is hid under a fairing I painted all but the step itself. The second half of the day was used to start fitting the canopy latch system that is used on the 650XL. Once the bearing blocks were cut to size I transferred the mounting holes through the fuselage. I am going to use 8-32 SS bolts instead od rivits. On the right block My first hole was through the center of the bearing hole in the block. It also covered up a old rivet hole from the side stiffner that I removed. On the handle side I made a bushing and back drilled the handle hole to get it in the center.
2010-02-28 Access Step Over the weekend I made up the landing gear fairings. First was the main tube fairing across the fuselage. After it I went to work on the step fairing. Dispite what the drawing shows the fairing is going to be your creation. Mine took 6 tries before I was happy with the fit and finish. During the process I always traced out a replacement should I mess up the one I was working on. And I messed up a total of 6 times. In the end all parts connected with the step fairings have been drilled to size deburred and primed ready for final assembly.
2010-03-07 Canopy frame (1306 hours & climbing ) Just got in my order from ACS and it is now time to start the canopy frame. Because I have the machines at work I loaded up and went there to cut the parts. A machined end looks a lot better than a bandsaw cut end. It is also eaiser to get the called out dimensions in the plans. So I cut and notched all the sqaure tubing for the frame and the latch blocks. Modified the nylon latch blocks somewhat as it looked like I had plenty of block. Being on a day off I couldn't cut out the plate steel. We don't have a shear so monday I will program those parts for the laser. To finish the day I decided to make a couple extra bearing blocks for the latch tube that runs from side to side. In the video it looked like the tube was bowing and giving the operator some grief. With a couple of blocks close to the handle should make it rotate without the bowing. pic's to follow.
2010-03-22 Canopy latch (1316 & climbing) Over the weekend I decided to work on the canopy latch. I made a laser template to clamp to the longeron as a guide to drill and slot the cap strip for the 650 style latch system. It worked great as the mount slid under the cap strip and was tight to the longeron side. I did have to remove a couple of rivets but once I know the mount is at the correct height I will drill the mount and put the rivets back in. I changed the solid arm for heims joints and rods it will work better and gives me some adjustment to the latch . I also added the bushings to the torque tube and I am going to weld the end tubes to the center torque tube. There is no reason to bolt it togeher other than lining up the control horns. When it came time to form the canopy frame sides I first cut the nylon guides to size. Shaping the nylon guides was harder than I thouhgt and glad it was. I spent alot of time on the belt sander trying to remove the extra matlr. Looks like it should last a lifetime as tube bearings. Forming the frames is straight foreward and works just like the plans say.
2010-04-04 Continuing on frame (1329 hrs and climbing ) After the first round of welding I ordered more supplies and made up the latch posts and gas strut posts. I also drilled small holes in the motor mount and added boiled linseed oil. With that done it was time to call the welder. I also took in the latch tube assembly and had it welded solid that way the bolts can never work loose and get the latch arm out of time. All said and done I cleaned primed and painted the latch tube and motor mount assemblies. Last I spent more time forming the canopy frames to get them as close to the same as possible. It should make sealing them easier. By this weekend my upgrade kit is do to arrive. I will then be back to reworking the center section and wing spars.
2010-04-11 upgrade started (1342 hrs & climbing ) before I get into the upgrade I drilled the canopy gas stut mounts for the cotter pin, cleaned them up and primed.
My kit arrived so I started the upgrade on the center section. I have added all the doublers and drilled ,deburred them minus the holes in the top of the center spar. I also added the angles and shims front and back.
2010-04-19 Center section during the past 23 hours I have finished rebuilding the center section. After riveting I did a trial fit in the fuselage, then removed it and started to trim the areas that didn't fit right. The one thing I should have done was trial fit the fuselage uprights. Mine overlapped the doublers and it took a lot of work with a file to get them to set flush. The last thing I did was add the lower fuselage side doublers. They also took some filing to get around holes and such.
2010-04-25 center upgrade During the upgrade on the web page I seem to have lost at least one entry and pic's. By the end of the 25th I have clecoed in the main spar drilled and fitted the front and back uprights complete with fuselage side doublers. Primed the doublers and riveted them to the upper longerons.
2010-04-25 center Section (1377 & climbing) I am getting close to finishing the center section. Over the weekend I fit the front uprights and pilot drilled. then I got out the side doublers took a few more rivets out of the upper longeron and fitted them as well. When it all looked good I drilled, deburred primed and clecoed it all back together. Somewhere along the way my rear uprights spar holes looked a little off so after a lot of remeasuring with no problem found I decided to remake them as well. In the end I am thinking that I will probabaly up size the spar bolts.
2010-05-16 wing spar upgrade (1407 & climbing ) I finished the fuselage minus riveting in the center section. With all the matrl being added the chance of all the bolt holes lining up are real remote. Once I finish the wings I will bolt the entire assembly together and fix what I need to.
The left wing to date has the top skin removed along with two nose ribs and two rear ribs to gain access to all the spar rivets that have to come out. The top spar cap and lower spar rivets are out and the new 1x2x.125 angle is getting drilled. I didn't remove the leading edge so drilling the angle is tough seeing how I can't get any leverage on it. I finally went to the airport and got a 3/16 bit to fit my right angle drill so I can push with my thumb.
2010-05-24 Wing upgrade I finished with all the holes in the upper spar cap and primed it.If you are doing the upgrade drill the extra holes in the upper spar cap first before you drill out any rivets. I next tackled the nose ribs with all of its stiffners. Afer completing the nose ribs I started in setting solid rivets until I ran out of reach. So I switched to bolting on the root doubler and riveting in the nose ribs. Last for the weekend I started on the aileron hole doubler and got as far as clecoing it on.
2010-05-31 Aileron bellcrank upgrade ( 1444 & climbing) I started this weekend by adding the rear channel top doubler. Then I finished the aileron rod doubler.last for the first day was to finish off the rear root doubler. I then primed all of the above parts and got out the rivet gun and set rivets. The next day I worked over the aileron bellcrank doubler. This needs to be as tall as you can make it so that when you add the upper and lower angles there will be enough meat to get a good rivet hole placement.After I was happy with those parts I primed and moved on. The last job for the weekend was the lower skin angles for oil canning. I measured off the main spar then ran a string line across the top of the ribs then got out a square and transferred the line to the lower skin. The rest was cut all L angles to size drill then debur them and prime.
2010-06-06 closing in on finished left wing upgrade I installed all of the wing stiffners top and bottom. Next I moved on to aileron and installed all of it's parts. Two rib gussets, two outboard ribs with balance arm. I then cut the slot for the balance arm in the rear channel. And I have started cutting out the access hole for the balance arm. Last for the weekend I got help and was able to finish the solid riveting of the main spar and install the rear ribs I removed to gain access to the spar rivets.
2010-06-16 Left wing complete In a nut shell I finished all upgrades in the left wing. So I got out my rivet gun and finished it as much as could til fitting and paint.
With that done I moved it back to the hanger brought out the right wing. Before I take it apart I measured all the spar doubler holes top and bottom and drilled them. This should save a little time along with handling the skin less.
2010-06-21 Right wing upgrade The left is complete and replaced on the table with the right. Which as of this morning all skin rivets and tails have been removed along with three inboard nose ribs.
2010-06-29 a short rest Iv'e had a hard time getting into tearing the right wing apart. Tonight I went back in and drilled off all the rivet heads. It's not much of a gain but I am back on it. One thing for sure I will be glad when its over.
2010-07-05 Spar upgrade ( 1507 hours & climbing ) Over the past 24 hours I have removed the rivet tails and 1&2 rear ribs. Then fitted the main spar root doubler in place drilled and reamed. Fitted and riveted the new main spar top cap angle in place.
I then fitted the aileron rod doubler and drilled it on. Last for the weekend I fitted the top rear channel doubler and pilot drilled the doubler.
2010-07-11 Upgrade continues I finished drilling,deburring,priming and finally riveting the rear channel top doubler,root doubler and aileron rod doubler. next I went to the bottom wing skin stiffners fabbed them drilled,deburred and primed all as well as deburring the inside skin holes. Last for the weekend was to add the top bellcrank bracket stiffners. These are just clecoed to the ribs and bracket. To complete I will need to pilot drill the top skin then place it on the wing to drill the stiffner.
2010-07-18 Upgrade continues (1534 & climbing ) I started off the weekend by reworking the three nose ribs. Cutting them down and fitting them with the new stiffners and finally riveting them and the rear ribs back together. I then moved the wing from the table so I could debur the bottom skin stiffner holes and rivet them in. I also started rework of the right aileron. I drilled deburred and riveted the rib gussets. then marked,drilled and primed the extra ribs with the balance arm. I will install that later after I mark the location of the balance arm on the rear channel.
2010-07-27 upgrade almost complete In the last 9 hours I have fabbed the upper skin stiffners drilled deburred,primed and riveted them on. I finished the aileron bellcrank upgrade minus the rivets in the skin. I also reworked the right aileron with the mass balance upgrade and trimmed out both holes. Last for the weekend I cut the access hole in the bottom right wing for the mass balance arm. All that is left is a little touch up on the wing tip and then rivet the top skin on along with the top and bottom aileron bellcrank angles and call it good.
2010-08-08 Upgrade in final stages ( 1555 hours & climbing ) The upgrade is coming to a end. Over the weekend I finished up the right wing. To insure the attach holes were still lined up I assembled the center section on the wings. Some of the holes were a little off so I punched them all out to .375. Once that was done I took the center section riveted on the front fuselage uprights then riveted it once again into the fuselage. All thats left to do is finish the seat pan stiffners and put the rest of it back together.
2010-08-19 I haven't given up It has been awhile since my last update. I haven't really worked on the plane other than form the front canopy tube. I have however continued to feed money to it. Next week 8/23/10 I should receive my Todd's Canopy. After I get back from R&R I will start installing it.
2010-08-22 Seat pans With the addition of the center section upgrade comes some trimming of parts that used to fit. The center console didn't quite fit so I trimmed off the bottom that meets up with the center section. I also did a little more trimming on the seat back center support where the canopy latch goes through. It now has around a 1/16th of inch clearence. Last for the short day I took my last forty rivets and riveted in the center seat support and the bottom row of rivets on the seat pans.
2010-09-02 Finishing Upgrade Still no photos as all I did was finish riveting in the seat pans ect. The upgrade is now completed.
A couple of weeks ago I received my Todd's canopy and was surprized that it was roughly 82 inches long. looks like lots of trimming. The other and bigger surprize was that there is no peel coat on it just shrink wrap on the outside. After a search of the web I found a company that made a spray on peel coat. Last friday it arrived so this coming weekend I plan on spraying my canopy so I can trim it without worrying about scratches.
2010-09-12 Canopy I received my gal of peel-coat and made a couple of test coats on scrap plexi. That worked out well so with the weekend looking warm and dry it is time to spray on the coating.
2010-09-14 Trimming the canopy Being a Todd's canopy it was bigger than what would have been supplied by Zenith. It is important that when you cut plexi you use a die grinder with a abrasive cut-off wheel. Then go slow so rather than cutting you are melting your way through. Don't take big bites and get help to move the canopy for fitting.
2010-09-16 Canopy frame When I got the canopy close to size I started to fit the frame tubes. After several trimmings of both tubes and canopy I got to a point where I figured it couldn't get any closer. At that point I riveted the frame together. I also installed a stiffner front to back on the glare shield. When fitting the canopy to the frame always have the rubber seal in place.
2010-09-19 Trimming out the canopy Next I taped down the canopy and pilot drilled the canopy to the frame starting in the center and working to the sides. That completed I then started working on the lower side trim. After my third attempt I finally got the right side clecoed to the canopy and frame.
2010-10-03 inside flashing My next step inthe canopy project is to make the inside flashing. To help I took a scrap piece of plexi drilled it and clecoed it to the outside flashing and inside angle. this was after I shrunk the angle to fit the curve of the frame. Next I cut and formed the inside flashing. I left the width long as to be able to trim it for the fit I want. I let it hang down .188 from the square tube. mission completed I got out my primer and satin black paint and painted the whole assembly in prep for install. now the hard part begins. The canopy i bought didn't have any peel coat so I got on the internet and found some that claims it works great. Mine doesn't peel worth a shit. So today it's back on the internet to find something to aid me.
2010-10-24 canopy saga Over the past forty hours I have been trying to remove the peel coat off of my new canopy. I am starting to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. It took another company chem and a pressure washer along with massive amounts of elbow grease but I believe at this point I am on the down hill slide.
2010-10-28 canopy mounting It is not perfect as recieved from Todds Canopy but I think I can live with it. I spent 8 hours with a DA and a windshield repair kit buffing and hand polishing. There is still some to go but I needed to mount it to see where the hazy spots are.
2010-11-21 Excuse's I haven't put much down on this site or the plane lately. I have however done more canopy work mostly fit and finish. I have also reinstalled the sticks so I could get a better idea of the location for mounting the fuel selector and gasolator. Besides that I have lots of excuse's. The biggest is that the plane is now in town at a unheated hanger and winter weather is knocking at our door. But the best excuse I use is that I am at the point where the items I need to continue cost a lot. Refusing to borrow money from credit cards and such means that I can only spend what I set asside. For this winter the gains will probably be slight as I gather my insturments. Stay tuned as I start work on the panel. I have already layed it out On Auto-Cad and all adjustments are getting smaller. Once I get it down I will laser cut a template for transferring to the real thing.
2010-12-15 temp panel In prep for my panel I laid out what I think I want and started to add instruments to verify. The main thing I was wanting to see is if the GPS dock would fit. If not I will rework it on CAD and try again. After that I finished up a cover for the access to the mass balance rod in the wing
2010-12-18 Replacing glare shield skin I started to work on the forward canopy rail flashing and noticed that when I got one to work there was a gap between the skin and the flashing. Not depth but front to back. So to rid myself of this eye sore I got another piece of aluminum and my trusty olfa knife and made another one. I am lots happier with the new skin and it does two things. The first There will be no visable gap front to back and second I made the front sction that overhangs the firewall longer and more finished. Feeling good about replacing the skin I called it good for the day and will start agian on the forward canopy flashing later.
2011-02-27 dont give up I know it looks like I have given up on my plane but I assure you I havent. With winter and a unheated hanger getting out to it is tough. Hopefully spring is around the corner and I can get back to it. I have found a gentleman that I am going to buy the landing gear from which should happen within a month or two. I am at the stage of the build where $400 to $500 doesnt go very far or last long and I refuse to pull out plastic.
2011-05-10 getting back into the build I havent logged any time as of late but I have been busy buying parts. I got my nose wheel assembly out of Zenith but instead of a grove wheel it is a Matco. The only differance I can see is that the hub is narrower and the axle spacers lack around .156 each in lenght to fit. I have also been busy buying out of ACS. panel switches,GPS panel dock, fuel gauge and main gear axles and spacers, front tire and tube and of coarse tubing for new spacers. I also have found a gentleman that has the main gear for sale and working with him to get a final price with freight to my doorstep. All in all making metal chips is just around the corner
2011-05-15 prepping the nose wheel Finally back to the build. My matco wheel was just ugly so I primed it and then painted it with some Aluminum paint. I next cut and painted two new axle bushing to fit the matco wheel. After the paint set for 24 hours I put it all together just to find out that the lower fork doubler bolts were going to hit the valve stem. To fix I simply turned the bolts around so the heads were inside the fork. Tomorrow I will drill the axle for the cotter pins and make a wrench to tighten the valve stem to the wheel.
2011-05-24 Prep for Axles I received my main gear last week and brought it into work for drilling and grinding.Sometimes I think that using to much Hi tech can sometimes hurt. I spent 4 hours drilling the axle mounting holes. They are tight .250 reamed holes. Next I ground and buffed the legs to get clearance for the brake calipers which took 6 hours from start to finish. to help me with the cutouts I took a piece of brass and turned it down to slip in the caliper bracket with one end at 1.030 dia. I used this as a guide to start the relief cuts with .
2011-05-26 notching Over the past few days I have been fitting and adjusting a laser template that is the same size as the gear leg. After three tries I was happy and decided to throw the gear on the mill and notch it to fit the brackets. For some reason or the other and or building tolerances I needed to mill .125 off the leading edge to fit my channel. All in all it is just removing a little more weight. I didnt really like the split hose for the rubber shims so I took a piece of conveyor belting that measured .140 and cut it to size. over the weekend I will trial fit it.
2011-06-03 main gear fit up After a little fine tuning I got my gear to slip into the brackets without fighhting it every thread. I next redrilled my angle holddown brackets to .518 for fit. I bought my wheel assemblies local from a pilot that was upsizing his landing gear. they had set awhile so I first cleaned the bearnings and hubs repacked them and then put it all together and set her down for the first time.
2011-07-28 Canopy Flashing For the past several weeks I have been working on the canopy flashing trying to get something that not only worked but looked better than the plans. All I managed to do was spend a lot of time for nothing. What I ended up with was plans with a small twist mine taper so the rubber seal looks parallel to the cutout. The front ended up at 50mm and the back 55 mm.
2011-08-05 canopy trim no pics but i finally have finished the fab on the canopy frame trim. It was a long battle one that could have been avoided if I would have just stuck to the plans. That done it is time to move on.
2011-08-19 gasolator After putting off drilling a 2 1/8 hole through the bottom of the fuselage I decided today to just do it and move on. In the end it turned out great. Some things just weigh on me more than others this was one of them and I am glad it is over.
2011-08-31 shaping wing root I started the process of trimming the wing roots to conform to the fuselage sides. when making the skins i marcked out a rough shape per guidlines. or i thought I did. turns out I need to add a little matrl in the wing center for a smooth and even fit of the molding. No biggy just a little more work and once the molding is in place no one will ever see it.
2011-09-03 fitting and trimming I was able to get the second wing on today and some trimming. My wings are still swept forward. It looks like I need to trim a little off the trailing edge to get them straight. but before I do i am gooing to the archives to see what everyone else did.
2011-09-05 finishing out root trim i have now got both wing roots trimmed and hoping the flashing will cover it and look good. only thing left is to drill rear spar bolt location. for this iam goping to wait until Iget back from vacation and flying one in Carson City NV. Just want to see if the factory ones have the swept forward wings. last for the day was to start the trimming and fitting of the horizontal stab to fuselage
2011-09-27 rear spar attach last night I finally drilled some more holes. I set the left wing to specs then measured the right to make sure they were straight according to the top rudder bolt. After I knew that they both were aligned and incidence set I drilled the left rear spar mounting hole. Seeing how everyone talks about the left wing is heavy, mostly due to pilot on left side and p factor. I talked it over with the local A&Ps and I lifted the right rear spar up 2mm to help counteract. This practice is done on most every plane out there so we thought it would be good for mine as well. everything set I then drilled the right rear spar. Next on the list will be drilling flap rod holes and aileron torque tube holes .
2011-10-27 Aileron torque tubes The past few days I have been working on my torque tubes getting them cut to size. First I ran a string line from bellcrank to bellcrank to make sure the 3/4 hole in the side was correct. Mine was off so I took a file and chased it. No problem as the 2" hole needed for the tube covered it up. When I found center I placed my hole doubler over it and drilled a couple of holes. Next I took the tubes and placed them inside the wingsd and installed the wings to the fuselage. pulled the tubes through the fuse side. Then bolted all rods to the outer bellcranks and the ailerons and marked the ends to get cut. While I was cutting I also cut the holes for the flap rods. Little by little I keep gaining
2011-11-15 flap torque tube I started work on my flap torque tube. Got the tubes cut to size then made a template out of scrap brass 1.25 dia with a piano size hole in the center. I then took these and pushed the piano hinge in the hole and up against the fuselage skin and traced out the location for the hole. After drilling both sides I then put smaller brass plugs in the tubes with hinge wire hole and installed that assembly to get a measurment for the tube bearing block. Again a small jig was made to measure the distance from tube to bulkhead. With all this in hand back to the shop and start drawing up the bearing blocks.
2011-11-17 Flap bearing blocks Sometimes I just cant go with the plans and the flap rod bearings is one of those times. The plans called for .125 alum with a .375 flange and a 1" dia hole for the tube. I couldn't do that as Alum is real soft and prone to wear fast. So I bought a small piece of Alum angle 6061T6 2"X2"X1/4" and a couple of oil bronze bushings. It is a little heavier but they are also going to run smoother with a lot less wear. The bearings themselves are 1" ID-1.25" OD with a .125" flange. Just to make sure they didnt rotate due to being dissimilar metals I also used red loctite and installed a roll pin.
2011-11-27 flap bearings When I installed my flap bearings they didnt quite line up which didnt surprise me . So I took the right bearing as it had the longest arm and tapered it so the tubes matched up. If I would of used the .125 matrl all I would have had to do is adjust the bend angle. That done the bearings working great I then installed the flaps and trimmed them to fit.
2011-12-19 sticks trying to work around the weather and holidays I have decided to link up the sticks to the aileron control tube. It was simply a matter of cutting stainless all thread and adding ball ends. After I did that I then took a string and ran a line from the elevator bellcrank to the back. This showed me that I had installed the first fairlead backwards which wasnt a big deal as I had drilled it to go either direction just glad I hadnt riveted it in yet.
2012-01-02 flap torque tube over the holidays I had my flap torque tube assembly welded. I then pre assembled it with flaps and pilot drilled and clecoed the assembly together. next I took it to the mill and drilled for # 3 bolts. then back to the hanger to again fit the wings. While I had the wings off I trimmed the root edge in prep for the gap seal. Next I installed the aileron torque tubes and put the wings back on to see and adjust flaps and ailerons. With all that done I next installed the steps and fairings to make it eaiser to get in and out of while adjusting stick throws and center point.
2012-01-12 Cable spacers I am installing the Mixture,carb heat and cabin heat cables in the center console. In order for them to pull straight I had to make spacers that offset the angle of the panel.
2012-01-24 Horizontal After days of prep and measuring the stab it was time to end it all and drill. Looking at the plans it called for 2 degree max positive to zero. After flying a factory built version it seemed that the nose had a tough time rotating on takeoff. So I decided to only instal 1 degree positive in hopes that takeoffs will require less stick force. Hopefully we will see this fall if I made the correct choice.
2012-01-28 elevator stops With the stab on i got out the elevator and started to work on its throw and lower stops. I made my stops angled so that there would be more contact and hopefully not bend or dent. pics to come.
2012-02-18 Tail Section Thought it about time to add another entry. to date I have set the rudder throw stops and lower elevator stops. having trouble with the camera so pics to follow. After I completed the stops I worked on the tail fairing which is also the elevator upper limit stop. I have it clecoed on until the cables are run. I checked the cable route with a string line and found I had a fairlead in the wrong spot so I corrected it while there. After all stops and cable routings were checked and corrected I for the last time bolted on the horizontal stab. I also painted the bottomn of the stab and stab saddle so anyone looking under it wont see green primer. I've also received my lycoming cowl but havent done any work on it to date.
2012-02-27 trimming I have started the fit and finish on my cowl. Zenith has done a great job of supplying what I need and always of great quality. The cowl itself came offset so the front would line up with the spinner. It looks funny on the ground but on the plane it all comes together. I tried to set up the cowl halves to meet on thrust center line. To this I drilled and clecoed the lowwer then taped off and started to size the top. My first cut might have been a little much but I still need to trim the back to make sure. Then there is the chafe tape. So in the end if my top cowl lacks in coming together tight with the lower half I will fill in the holes in the fiberglass bolt it all together with chafe tape then redrill the sides as a whole unit.
2012-03-18 trimming Fitting the cowl has been a long drawn out affair with first clecoing the bottom half on the plane then trimming the top half to size to fit the spinner. Once that was done I removed it from the plane drilled and clecoed the two halves together then refit it to the fuselage and redrilled the lower half. Doing it this way gave me a upper cowl fit that doesnt require a lot of tugging and pulling to get it all bolted together. For the fastners I used #8 stainless countersinks on tinnerman washers going into floating nut plates on both cowl and fusalage mounts. For cowl to cowl mounts I backed up the fiberglass side with a strip of .025 alum. to attach the nut plates to this should keep the rivits for starting to chafe from vibration and normal wear and tear
2012-04-01 trim tab Since the last entry I have installed the trim servo in the elevator. When i built the elevator i decided I didnt want the servo wire running outside the elevator to get to the fuselage. so I drilled and grommeted the inside then ran a string through the grommets so I could later fish the wire through. This has both good and bad points the good is not being exsposed to the weather the bad is now I had to leave slack in the wire to move with the elevator at full deflection. Once I made sure the servo was in the center of throw i cut the rod and added the clevises to postion the servo the best I could in the center of the cutout. Then i slid trhe assembly back and forth while trimming the opening to allow clearance for the clevis to pass. Next I pilot drilled the servo to the skin and marked out where the skin stiffner angle would go. After all of that was drilled to size and riveted on I added a tie down hole in the stiffner with a rubber strip for chaffing protection installed the assembly and tied off the molex connector to the angle. I also added tie straps on both ends of the wire loom inside the elevator and outside to keep the loom from working back and forth.
2012-05-07 Engine rebuild I am installing a lycoming O-290D in my plane. I had bought two basket cases from a guy that lost interest in his project. To date I have sent off everything to get inspected and rebuilt as needed. Everything has made it back except for the crankcase which is due in within a week or so. I've spent a bunch but in the end the engine will be new and should last through my remaing flying days.
2012-05-12 This and that over the past month I have installed my horizontal stab and run the trim wires to the front. I next took string and run them through all the fairleads to make sure they were going to work as well. After moving them around removed the sticks and rudder pedals and painted the cabin with zinc phosphate. reinstalled everything and replaced normal assembly bolts with the correct AN hardware. I then took out the panel and cut out for all switches and gauges.
2012-05-26 Cables and switches Over the holidays I got with the local AP and made up and installed the rudder and elevator cables. I started at the front and worked my way to the back. In hindsite I should of gone from back to front as marking the lower elevator cable proved difficult at best. After all cables were in place I pulled them tight to get as much stretch out of them as possible. To round out the weekend I installed fuel fittings and toggle switches.
2012-06-03 Upper Elev stop ect This past weekend I installed the upper elevator stop changed out control cable bolts with correct cotter key bolts and made up a fuel line from selector switch to gasolator.
2012-06-09 brake lines I strayed away from the nylon brake lines and used alum tubing and flared fittings . I installed bulkhead fittings just inside of the lower longerons at the firewall. then run my lines down the longerons until I got to the gear leg angles. I again installed bulkhead fittings through the gear leg angles then ran to the calipers with more alum tubing. Sorry no pics yet
2012-06-15 steering boots and tow bar following the lead from other builders I found rubber boots that fit the opening of the firewall. then searching the web I found a outlet that would sell them to me at somewhat a affordable price. I made up a tow bar assemble cause the plane doesnt back up worth beans.
2012-07-21 oil door It seems I have been working on the oil door forever. It has been for most of last month due to mind changes vacation and heat. I finally like everything before it said enough was enough and got out the rivet gun. the cowling already had a opening of sorts so I first fixed it then began trial and error on backing plates door thickness. I went with .040 on the door as there was compound curves. I used a hartwell latch shimmed out .040 just because of the curves.
2012-08-17 carb heat box I bought a carb heat box but found that it was a little over 1" to thick to fit inside the cowling. After searching for a smaller one I decided to just build one. mine is a little over a inch thinner and somewhat shorter. It's intake is 4"round going into a oval at the box.I will probably run scatt tubing as the box is close to 15" from the cowl opening
2012-09-07 O-290D Earlier this year I sent my engine out to get yellow tagged. When it got back I put everything in the bedroom where it set for months. This week it was time to assemble it. With the help and guidance of the local AP. I went to work. my first problem arose when I discovered that the new bolt kit I had ordered didn't have all the fastners that I needed. The first missing was all the cly nuts dont know how they thought those werent needed. by the time I got all the fastners to assemble it I ran into another $200.00 dollars. So far all is going great and by Monday I will have the case and clys torqued and ready for accy case and oil sump. Got so busy with task at hand forgot to take pics.
2012-09-26 slow progress I'm still building my engine. I ran into a shortage of fastners which took a couple of weeks to recieve. Some of the people thought i should have just gone to the hardware store and picked up what I needed. That just sounded like a bad idea. It would have been a lot cheaper but a bad idea. Then my A&P went to the Reno air races anyway I'm back on it and making progress. Hoopefully within a week I will hang it and start on baffling.
2012-10-01 looking like a engine Its been a slow go but I believe I am starting to get the upper hand on the build. I am going to redue the cly oil lines and get rid of the hose and band clamps in favor of flared fittings. So to date I bolted on the clys the accy case and oil sump.
2012-10-15 More gains Over the past couple of weeks I have worked on the engine plus panel. As I got to the end of assembling the engine I found that the company that reworked the steel parts didnt send back my tappet adjuster screws. Which took another two weeks to get just to find that they were the wrong ones. So I had to get another set. Finally I have my engine back on the plane but still not running. I need mags a carb rebuild exhaust things of that nature but at least its hanging. During the down time on the engine I wrinkle painted the panel, set the tension on the cables switched out hardware to the correct fastners. While building I used a lot of regular nuts and bolts just becasue you build the take apart then rebuild so on and so on. When I finish then I install AN hardware call it good and move on. It is a great feeling to able to put another piece of the puzzle together.
2012-11-10 panel and more During the past month I installed my engine. There is still a lot of work to be done before it starts but at least it is hanging.I have also tensioned all cables and saftey wired the turnbuckels. When tensioning the rudder cables make sure that the nose strut is fully extended otherwise the cables will end up to tight and hard to move once airborne. before the weather got bad I wrinkle painted my panel. Curing took awhile but I finally got it rivited in. I installed what insturments I have and started to route the engine control cables. I do enjoy installing parts for the last time as it shows that this plane is going to fly.
2012-12-06 Carb box & cables Ive been working on the cable routings for the engine. to get through the firewall I used shere alum grommets from aircraft spruce. They rotate up to 50 degrees to allow the cable to tuck in tighter to the firewall. I made the mistake on the cable end mixture cable and ordered what I thought would be long enough. had to reorder it cause it was way to short once I routed around everything mostly rudder pedals and feet. Always buy long and cut down it is a lot cheaper than the route I went .
2013-01-05 Cowl clearance One of the problems of installing the Lyc. into the zodiac is clearance not only on the bottom at the carb box but on the left side at the rocker covers. I compounded the problem by putting a blind nut into exactly the wrong spot. To fix the problem I added a piece of .032 with a 90 degree flange the lenght of the cowl side. Then got out the shrinker and formed it away from the rocker and flush riveted in place. I also moved the one blind nut one hole to insure that it no longer could rub the cover.
2013-02-15 building baffling I have started down the road of building baffling and it is proving to be a long teadious job. With the help of the locals I first made them out of cardboard. When I was happy with that fitup I then got out extra .020 and remade them. I then used those templates and cut and filed the real baffles out of .050 6061-t6. Progress is happening but it seems at a slower pace. But then again if your engine doesn't run within temps you ain't going to have a good flight.
2013-03-10 still baffling Trying to get the baffling to fit and pass muster seems like a never ending ordeal. It just keeps going and going. I have trimmed and trimmed the sides and front. When I was happy with the front baffling I called in the welder so he could add the side mounting straps to the front. Once that was done and back I trimmed more to get the fit needed. Now I need to add a couple of braces to the front and figure out the inner baffling, trim the rear and install the seal. A lot has been done and a lot is left to do for completion.
2013-04-06 baffling continues I took a break from baffling as it seems to just go on and on. Probably wouldn't if I just stuck to it. Constructing it has been more of a challenge than I thought but like the plane it is one of a kind. I formed the small barrel pieces and pilot drilled them to the front and rear baffles. I left the bottom flange off for now as I am not sure of the gap I should leave at the bottom for air to flow out. I also need to construct or find the the inner center pieces. I'm getting closer but still a long ways away from putting the baffling behind me.
2013-05-08 The baffling saga continues Since the last post I have added the nut plates and doublers to the outside baffling. I have given up on trying to find the inner baffling and went to work building forming dies to make my own. On my first attempt I got close enouogh to work with. I made the dies with 2 more degrees in the upper flange. For the radious I went with 5.25 dia. which was just about the tightest I could go and still have room to fit the flat parts in. Even with the smaller dia. I had to hand form them to get the 6 inch dia. of the cly fins. All in all they came out great and are the same matrl .050 6061T6 as the rest of the baffling.
2013-05-30 I know why its called baffling My journey into the building process of engine baffling goes on. I have formed the inner cly. head baffling which turned out to be one of the easiest parts to make. That is if you have a brakepress at your disposal.I believe I am on the home stretch with only having the inner baffle hangers and rubber wrap to go. For the hangers I am working on the same type used on Cont. engines. For the spreader fin I am going with .100 T6 for wearability. Getting them to fit snug without a lot of play has gone like the rest of it. Once you get the part in the fins you really can't see where it is you need to add or file so best guess comes into play with the usual amount of scrap parts in the end.
2013-06-08 Molex Over the weekend I started wiring in the trim servos. For the 26 gauge wire I bought a micro molex kit. They work great just a pain to assemble. All in all over the weekend I got pig tails on the servo wires, relays and indicators. About all that is left is the aileron servo and wiring in the sticks. I don't have the grips yet so I moved on to running wires to the flap motor and fuel gauge switch.
2013-06-14 Wiring the other day I started to make pigtails and harnesses. It got to be a mess with wires everywhere so I decided it was time to just hook them up to switches and gauges. Half way through I got to my flap and fuel sender wires which I ran through the tunnel. Decided that was a bad idea and rerouted them along the fuse side along with the trim servo wires.
2013-06-21 wiring sticks I purchased a set of grips from pioneer aircraft and started to install them. the first problem that arose was they hit the panel. to fix it I shortened the sticks by 1". then moved the elevator bellcrank linkage hole located on the torque tube back and down just around 1". This gave me the clearance I needed and was able to retain full up and down throws. for wiring in the PTT anf hat switches for both sticks I used Molex. The run to the relays was with a 5 wire bundle with pig tails on one end to connect the two sticks together saving a little weight but mostly reducing the overall bundle size going aft.
2013-07-03 trim relays As wiring continues I installed both trim relays. Just to make sure that it all worked I found a battery and tried everthing out. My wiring proved correct which was a big relief but I have a loose wire in one of my my indicators which when I wiggle the wires at the back of the unit it will come to life. Next problem was a stuck relay. It worked the first day but didn't the next time I powered up.I took it out thumped it with a screw driver and up worked but no down . So I thumped the other side and it started to work in both directions. Not a impressive start for Ray Allen. but that is why you run tests So Its on the phone monday and get a rma for replacements.
2013-07-21 relays and busses I got my relay and indicator back from Ray Allen. the indicator had a faulty ground strap the relay checked out good but they replaced it anyway. I wirerd them back in along with the flap motor and postion sensor and indicator. Then wired in all the switches and brerakers that went with them. Then I hooked up the battery threw the switch and watched the indicators come to life. When I was checking out the trim direction and throws The other relay would only work in one direction and had a faint click in the other. A lot of choice words later it decided to work. At this poinht I am not sure if maybe I like doing baffling better. However slow progress keeps moving forward and someday I will take to the air
2013-08-13 cabin heat box I've been working on a heat box that I could cram into the firewall with everything else. What I could find looked like a big bulky box that I knew I didn't want. Then the other day I was walking past a Globe Swift and noticed that their heat box was about as small as they come and of a simply design. After a couple of mock ups I figured I had gotten it as small as I could and went to work. It wasn't as simple as it looked but I did make one.
2013-08-18 EIS This past week I spent working on my Grand Rapids EIS 4000. The first problem I ran into was the plugs didn't screw into the unit. Not sure what they were thinking so I called them up and they didn't have a answer. I took the back off and added a couple of washers under the nuts problem solved. Next came routing the tangle of wires and there is a lot of them. Half way through I switched and ran my alt charge and field wire. That way I could bundle everything together. Iv'e drilled and installed all EGT and CHT leads. Once I decide how I want my display to look I will hook them up to the unit. The display can mimick the engine so if you were to tip the engine up the #2 cly is in the top left spot which makes #1 in the display. the second display is the #1 cly. and so forth. Or wire it in where #1 is #1. Which to me seems like the right choice. The instructions merely state its your choice you will make it and live with it.
2013-08-23 Wires and stuff When I got firewall forward with my wires I thought about all the stuff they had to miss. Things like oil filter and adapter,oil cooler,Mags,fuel pump. So I had to start aquiring those parts just to make sure that I had routed wires around them with enough slack for engine movement. At this point in the build just about everything is needed to make progress anywhere. I have old mags that will work for wiring I got my fuel pump installed.I bought a Casper Industries oil filter adapter and installed it. With some of that I went back and finished hooking up my right bank to Egt,Cht probes. I still need to get my oil cooler and install it so the left bank will have to wait. I made my alt.run to switch and buss bar,hooked up oil temp.Fuel flow the red cube and electric fuel pump. I also ran my 4ga starter wire to the starter solenoid. The last task for the day was installing the OAT. Directions say to stay away from heat and sun and exhaust and insturments. The A&P that is helping me told me that a lot of the RV guys hide theirs in the NACA inlets. That way they are out of the sun out of site and get all the outside air they need to sense temp. it is also close to the EIS so the wire run is small. I do need to call GRT as the directions also state to hook ground as close to the insturment as possible. I am not sure if they meen the EIS itself or the probe. I do have to call them anyway as they have one wire that doesn't have any direction printed as to what it does.
2013-09-07 cooler location Trying to find room for all the parts that go under the cowl is getting harder to do. The oil cooler being one of them it is big and needs fresh air. So the AP suggested that I mount it on the baffle like the RV boys do. So I picked out the spot and cut a big hole in my new baffle plate. Then I took a rem of .063 and made a doubler. It's looking like I need to rebuild the #4 cly baffle as well. One good thing about mounting it to the engine I won't have to worry about enough slack in the hoses to take the engine movement at start up and shut down plus they will be a lot shorter.
2013-09-20 Jumping around Sometimes it is hard to stay with one project and last week was one of those times. I started out with the oil cooler cutting down some 4130 tube to fit in between the mounting plate. Made a new doubler for the #4 cly side baffle. Then everything came to a halt. I had gotten a small order in with bolts and adel clamps so I went back to wiring. I installed a heat shield around the battry wire going to the starter then added adel clamps to secure it to both oil pan and motor mount. Then went to the right side and started to work on the alt wires and ground strap getting them from directly laying on the motor mount to standing them off. I also installed the electric solinoid for my primer system and wired it in. last for the week I installed both insturment air lines and ran them out the left fuselage side.
2013-10-27 Its still baffling Looks like it has been awhile since my last post. I've been trying to finish up the baffling. It is one part that just keeps going and going. I have painted the sides and backs of the baffling and added the cowl saver seal. Trial fit the cowling to insure it is doing its job.Since then I have fit the front seal again installing the cowl and trimming as needed. Now that it is fitted I can paint the front baffling or so I thought. I still needed to locate and drill for the breather hose and cut out and install the flange for cabin heat. So I got that done painted the front. Then I noticed that I still need to add the spark plug wire holes and covers to the back baffle. Someday I will finish the baffling but for now it still seems to have the upper hand.
2013-11-30 wiring and baffling my baffling has just about come to a end at least until I fire it up for the first time. All the seals are on which I used cowl saver.i only have two mor blind nuts to attach. I have also for quite some time been wiring.I told everyone that this palne was to be simple without a lot of wires. It appears I have failed cause it looks like a lot of wires. I installed a Grand Rapids 4000 EIS which keeps track of everthing and then some. I wired in electric trim on both aileron and elevator to both sticks. My radio is a flightline FL760 also wired into both sticks and a music jack. All that adds up to lots of wires going everwhere.Good things is when I hook it all up to power so far it works as planned.
2014-01-04 cab heater and exhaust work, panel access This past month I tied in my exhaust to the firewall. to do this I made a couple of brackets out of 6061T6 that bolted to the firewall with a strap 2.5" long that tied into a equal lenght of stainless strap and couopled to the pipe. it holds them nice and firm but has flex for engine movement. Next I located where my cabin heater was to mount and bored a 2" hjole throught the firewall and mounted the heater. To connect it I used the same setup as the rest of the cables going through the firewall.Which w is a rotating eyeball mount they work great. With it all hooked up I ran and clamped on my scat tubing. I then measured and marked out on my cowl the location of the exhaust and cut and trimmed it to fit around the pipe with a .500 gap. that in place I cut down the exhaust pipe to fit the plane and not look like it had fangs. I've been thinking about a access panel to the glare shield for if and when I need to work on something behind the insturment panel.in the end I decided it would be a wise move as I am not sure how I could wiggle around the sticks and through the fuselage to get it at the problem. i got out my shield I saw that I had rub marks where the canopy seal rested then went inside of the rubs and cut in two tear shaped openingsthat when done will be flush and protected from any outside weather.
2014-01-12 panel access my access to the rear of the panel is complete. I made my cutouts to stay inside of the canopy. I also used .032 for backing matrl in order to flush rivet the 6-32 blind nuts. When done my covers are flush with the top skin and held in place 9 #6-32 screws. giving me a fast and easy way to work on everything behind the panel should a problem accure
2014-02-01 Carb box & cables I was looking into rebuilding my carb then decided it would be better to just buy a factory rebuilt carb with all the upgrades included. In the end price wise they were close to the same. I made a throttle mount that hooked up to the carb studs which was just long enouogh to warrent making new carb studs. I bolted it all together with the heat box and connected the cables. heat box was straight forward but the carb cable took some work. My himes rod end was binding at idle.After looking at it I took a piece of 4130 tubing 1/4 od 3/16 id and made a couple of spacers for each side of the rod end. I also wired in the carb temp probe and ran the scat tube for carb heat. Last for the week I installed my oil cooler hoses and firewall to carb hose. All of them factory made lifetime teflon fire sleeved.
2014-03-02 Roughing in spinner Finding a spinner for the plane has proven to be a challenge as no one makes one already cut out. I ordered mine from ACS.When it arrived it had the front and rear bulkheads drilled for the prop bolts and nothing else. I took some construction paper and started to cut out the opening to fit around the prop blade. Once it was cut large enough to fit I took masking tape and closed the gap. Next I marked on the rear bulkhead where the template fit up then removed the prop and placed the spinner on the makeshift bulkhead. I taped on the temp and marked with a sharpie. Then cut and fit and filed till it fit with a even gap all around the blade.
2014-04-12 Getting lazy I'm still working on the plane just getting lazy about updating my page. I have finished mounting the spinner. It was lots of filing and trial fitups to get the gap even. After that I shoved it on the front and rear bulkheads made sure I had it snug by hitting it on the end with the palm of my hand. Maarked the outside for bolt locationwith a little nylon jig. Then removed it pilot drilled the cone deburred then shoved it back on and drilled then riveted on blind nuts. I still havent started the engine to see how I did but that will happen in the next week or so.
2014-04-12 etch primer Not knowing any better when I started to to protect my alum I used ecthing zinc phosphate and etch primer. What I didn't know was that if you don't scratch the surface then the etch doesn't really work. Now that I am prepping to paint the first thing I am working on is removing the primer I already put on. With a little bit of thinner it just wipes off.It is going to be a lot of work but in the end well worth it as now my paint has a better chance of staying put. The wings just had zinc lines on the outside where the rivet holes are.It comes off so so. the tail feathers and all control surfaces I primed complete. I have 1 wing and both ai8lerons reworked to date.Good news The alum stayed nice during the past 7 years of building. Bad news is it all has to come off get scotch brited then re-primed. Nobody said that building a airplane was going to be a walk in the park.
2014-05-24 prepping for paint As Iwas building I thought it would be nice to prime the completed components. What i didn't know wa that I didn't know what I was doing. The primwer says etch but I found out it doesn't really mean much. So i have been busy stripping off all the old primer cleaning and preppping for new. I have been told by several people that I need to scratch the surface to get it to stick. I did this with 320 grit paper and red sctotch brite pads. The job is now complete and ready for primer. To get at all the landing gear I decided to put the plane on blocks remove it paint then put it all together. Then bleed the brakes and start the enginge for the first time and check for leaks and such. The day I was going to pull the gear a friend came by and asked if I wanted to fly around the patch with him in his 120.To make a long painful story short we ground looped on landing and I got a vertaba compression fracture and put on the walking wounded list. Paint will havwe to wait till I can easily bend over which appears to be in the future. Till then I will cut out paper dolls of what the paint scheme will look like and wait.
2014-09-10 Paint , ELT, Interior I have installed the 406 ELT as much as I can which is panel wiring and hole for antenna. The rest needs to wait for weight and balance. Painting is proving to be a chore. All the prep of cleaning and roughing up the surface and more cleaning and taping. Mixed with all of that comes the interior which got farmed out but never the less took a lot of time prepping and adding brackets to mount panels to. Today we are putting the strips on the last wing half then the fuselage after that it is time to start bolting her back together.
2014-11-20 Final assembly Since my last post I have been assembling and tweeking. I have installed a Reiff engine heat system. placard everything I could see that might trip up the inspection. Weight and balance is complete and she is one heavy baby. With the additional weight being in the choice of a Lycoming O290-D. The good side of it is I have great CG through out all ranges of loads and fuel. What I do have is enough hp to get me safley in the air and over the mountains that surround me. The paper work suffle has begun I have contacted the dar and as with the palne the tweeking of paper work has begun.
2015-01-22 It's a plane On the 2nd of Jan. the powers to be issued my plane it's cert. The DAR spent over 3 hours looking her over. In the end I thanked him for going through it to the extent that he did. Since then I have done run up's full power static tests and a few high speed runs down the runway. On my last run I blew the front crank plug out of my Lycoming. When I pulled the plug the rest of the way out I saw that the company that overhauled the crank had installed the rear plug for a constant speed prop. I'm running a fixed pitch. To fix it I had to pierce the rear plug per such and such service letter to relieve the oil pressure. The replacement plug is en-route.