|2006-05-06||Fabricate floorboards||I decided to start with wood, since I am most acquainted with woodworking. Aluminum sheet was included with the kit for floorboards, However I like the look of wood. I purchased 1/8" birch plywood for the floorboards.|
|2006-05-30||Complete fabrication of flap control||The flap handle had some alignment issues. I had to file away at it quite a bit to get the pivot point and the 'latch' to align. I cut the spring in half - that was about enough. Considerable trimming and fitting was needed to make the assembly work smoothly. I used the welded fittings on the fuselage to drill out the mounting plates - the diagrams in the manual were way off.|
|2006-06-03||Fabricate manual trim cockpit mount & fuel valve mount||Stan Bearup from Idaho gave me some templates for these parts - they were close, but needed some 'custom work'. The fuel valve was purchased from Wick's - not supplied with the kit.|
|2006-06-03||Manual trim - fabricate mount and lever||Fabricate manual trim mount from .060 aluminum sheet. Trim lever fabricated from aluminum bar.|
|2006-06-03||Fabricate fuel valve mounting plate||Fabricated fuel valve mounting plate from .060 aluminum sheet. Will be attached with adel clamps.|
|2006-06-04||Fabricate seat rails||The seat rails were basically 3/4 inch aluminum tubing that needed to be cut to length, drilled for seat stops and a stop bushing riveted to the end. There was a lot of work to be done removing powder coating and weld penetrations (and a little metal) to make the seats slide on the rails.
Tip: the manual says the stop bushing goes 2" from the end - this would allow the seat back to hit the frame. So put the seats together first and have them in place when you locate this bushing.
The rear bolt for the seat rail was difficult - when the seats were resting on the UHMW 'slide strips' the tube was not centered.
I finished this step on 6/15. A note in the log - it is best to drill the spring retention hole in the seat stop pin off-center a bit so it clears the housing that it slides in.
|2006-06-08||Create interior panel templates||I got a set of templates from another builder, but had to do them for my aircraft as they were slightly different. It was just a long sequence of cut/fit/cut/fit/etc. Completed 6/19/06.|
|2006-06-14||Fitting toe brakes to rudder pedals and 1st fit of the control mixer.||Considerable sanding & filing is needed to make the toe brakes fit. They are not lined up perfectly, so the bushing needs a pretty good amount of work before it slides in smoothly. Two of the toe brakes needed to be bent in a little in order to align the holes. I finished this job on 9/22.|
|2006-06-14||Install control mixer||Worked on this 14th - 19th. Installed control mixer with bushings and control sticks. Drilled control sticks for mounting bolts. Riveted UHMW strips to control mixer to hold it in place. Prep and prime control sticks for painting.|
|2006-06-17||Finish flap handle assembly||The flap control assembly fabrication must be completed. On my kit, the holes were not well aligned with the 'button' and the tube - requiring quite a bit of file work. The end result must be that the flap pivot bolt and the bolt that engages the notches in the control must pass through the assembly at the same angle.
Caution: the description of the flap handle mounting plate drilling in the manual is pretty lame - it is best to put the assembly in the airframe and drill it to the bushings, making sure that you have good clearance between the handle and the frame at 0 deg flaps. I blew it the first time and had to have the holes filled & re-drilled.
|2006-06-17||complete flap handle assembly||Due to the misalignment of the pivot point and the latch mechanism the flap mounting brackets were initially drilled in the wrong spot. Advice: look at this assembly carefully! A millwright friend 'made the holes go away'. I re-drilled the mounting plates and everything works quite well.|
|2006-06-17||complete fabrication of header tank||The header tank inlet and outlet were drilled and tapped for hose fittings. Mounting tabs drilled for attach points. I decided to use AN3-3A bolts rather than machine screws to mount the header tank.|
|2006-06-21||Fabricate interior panels||Stan Bearup from Idaho turned me on to Kydex. I saw his Highlander when I picked mine up and I was sold. This stuff is tough enough to resist baggage that might shift and hit it (like a bike) and reasonably light. You can learn more about it at http://www.sdplastics.com/kydex/kydex.html .
I used a sharp scissors to cut the Kydex and the Dremel tool with a diamond bit worked pretty well to make curved holes and adjustments. It bends and holds it's shape like sheet metal.
|2006-06-22||fabricate interior right front panel|
|2006-07-01||Make template for under-seat panel||This is best done in 3 sections, then taped together.|
|2006-07-02||Right rear interior panel||Lots of cutting and fitting. The template can be used for both sides with some modifications.|
|2006-07-15||Complete interior panels||And they look good.|
|2006-07-17||Attach side panels||Used self-adhesive velcro to attach panels. It appears to work pretty well.|
|2006-07-17||Rear bulkhead battery access||Drill and install fasteners to cover battery access hole.|
|2006-08-10||Remove powder coat from rudder cable guides||A really tedious process. I used a reamer, drill and a plain old round file.|
|2006-08-14||Landing gear fitting||Reamed lower fuselage fittings for landing gear. Very difficult to get to these fittings, and they were full of powder coating and weld penetrations.|
|2006-08-14||Fitting main gear||Finished fitting landing gear. Legs were labelled backward. Looks good sitting on gear.|
|2006-08-17||Final fitting of rear bulkhead||Final tweaks of rear bulkhead to fit with Kydex panels. A few cuts needed to finish Kydex panels as well.|
|2006-08-19||Prep and paint manual trim control||Clean and prep parts for painting. Painted 9/10 with other parts.|
|2006-08-19||Final install of fuel selector||cut panel and Kydex for fuel selector.|
|2006-08-19||Prepped header tank for painting|
|2006-08-20||Paint header tank||I hate painting.|
|2006-08-22||Fabricate seat backs, base||Seat backs/bases cut out from aluminum sheet. Drilled for rivets. Prepped, painted and riveted to seat bases on 9/10/06.|
|2006-08-24||Spar varnish floorboards||Applied 3 coats of spar varnish to all floorboards - top and bottom. This made an attractive, tough finish. They will be covered with carpet eventually, so hopefully will last a long time.|
|2006-08-26||Ream and fit vertical fin||Ream and fit vertical fin and rudder to fuselage. Two stainless washers added to rear plug-in to keep vertical fin level.|
|2006-08-27||Rear bulkhead||Fabricate rear bulkhead from supplied 040 Al sheet. Made cut-out for battery access and a cover plate for the cut out.|
|2006-08-29||Complete rear bulkhead||Completed trimming and fitting rear bulkhead in fuselage.|
|2006-09-04||ELT tray||Made a paper template of the ELT tray per Ameri-King instructions. Cut out tray from .040 aluminum sheet. Fit to rear fuselage tabs and checked to make sure access to ELT through the rear access hatch is sufficient to get ELT loose, out and replace batteries.|
|2006-09-06||Fabricate rudder pedal mount||I wanted to be able to remove the floorboard for annual inspection, so I fabricated a front mount for the floorboard using a design from Dave U from S. Dakota. I used floating nutplates along the trailing edge to secure the floorboard.|
|2006-09-10||Fabricate mount for rudder pedals||The original design calls for mounting the rudder pedal assembly on the front floorboard. I want to be able to remove the front floorboard to inspect. Dave U. from South Dakota gave me this solution: the rudder pedals are mounted on a sheet of aluminum and the front attach points of the floorboard are attached to the aluminum sheet with tab nuts.
Fabricated rudder pedal mount, trial installation. Will work very well.
|2006-09-10||Paint control sticks|
|2006-09-10||paint flap mounting plates|
|2006-09-10||paint ELT tray||Paint ELT tray and install with AN3-3A.|
|2006-09-10||Complete fabrication of instrument panel||The instrument panel supplied was a blank sheet of .050 aluminum with right angles bent at top and bottom. Trimming, and cutting was done around corners and throttle cable mounting plate. I made construction paper cut-outs of the instruments with depth of instrument written on front to check rear clearance and location.|
|2006-09-14||Modify Kydex interior panel for header tank||I wanted to be able to remove/inspect the header tank attach bolts so I cut 2" round access holes in the baggage compartment interior panels and then fabricated 3" diameter trim pieces to cover. The holes provide just enough room to get a wrench on the bolts that mount the header tank.
Mounted header tank with AN3-3A/nyloc and adel clamps provided.
|2006-09-14||Move header tank||After some consideration and consult with the a/p, I decided to move the header tank to the outboard fuselage support. The move gives the tank some protection in the baggage area.|
|2006-09-19||Cut rudder pedal assembly to size||I used an ancient Craftsman tubing cutter to cut the rudder pedal assembly to length. It worked very well - giving a clean, accurate cut. Prepped for paint.|
|2006-09-20||Install elevator push-pull tubes||Installed elevator push-pull tubes. A little bending of forward tube was necessary to aleviate binding. Reamed, installed and riveted bellcrank.|
|2006-09-21||Install baggage area floorboards||The kit came with aluminum sheet for the floorboards, but I liked the idea of the original plan with plywood. I bought birch plywood from a local supplier, cut out floorboards with the supplied templates, and finished them with spar varnish. Lots of hours getting the final fit correct.
The design does not allow for easy removal of the floorboards for inspection as the elevator push-pull tube and cable pulleys are in the way. I have decided to 'hard plumb' the fuel line under the floorboards for this reason, rather than using the included fuel line under the floorboards. More on this adventure later...
|2006-09-21||Final fitting and installation of floorboards||Finished floorboards fit and installed with self tapping screws. Started 8/17/06. Lots of small adjustments.|
|2006-09-24||First fit of horiz. stab.||Clearing the powder coating from hinges and mounting hardware took about 3/4 of the time. Really need a long-reach reamer. Elevators are not aligned when using factory holes. Re-installed elevator halves after talking with factory - still mis-aligned 3/16". Have asked factory to send me a right 1/2 with no holes drilled.|
|2006-09-25||Rough cut panel edges and drill for mounting||Used a cottage cheese container for curve and an air nibbler. Lots of filing. Panel mounts drilled.|
|2006-10-02||Second fit - horizontal stabilizer & elevator||Reamed powder coating on hinges & plug-ins. For this time I used rope to support in place of the flying wires to hold everything level & plumb. The leading edges of the horizontal stabilizer & elevator counterbalances are clamped in neutral position - then the hole for the bushing/bolt that holds the elevator halves together is drilled. On mine, there is too much difference between the holes - yet to figure out a course of action.|
|2006-10-04||Fabricate inspection hole/cover in rear floorboard||Oh well, back out with the rear floorboard!
I decided to hard line the fuel line between the header tank and the fuel selector because it would be nearly impossible to replace/inspect once the floorboards are in. The floorboards would be very difficult to remove due to all the other 'stuff' that is mounted over them (push-pull tube, pulleys, etc.) I made an inspection cover to facilitate inspection of the fuel line connections.
|2006-10-04||Fabricate fuel line||The kit included flexible fuel line that was to run from the header tank to the engine. Since the section under the floorboards was not replaceable or subject to inspection, I decide to hard-plumb that section with aluminum tubing and go through the floorboard with AN fitting. I installed an inspection hole in the rear floorboard so that I can look at/repair the connection.|
|2006-10-07||curtis drain||The instructions called for 'bonding' the curtis drain to a fuselage tab with glue - sounded wimpy. I brazed the fitting to a washer and riveted it to the fuselage.|
|2006-10-07||Bottom fuselage stringer standoffs||Fabricated standoffs based on scale of picture in the manual (!). Maximum size calculated was 75mm. To make smooth transition I used the following front to back (mm): 40,70,75,75,75,75, 70,60,45.|
|2006-10-08||Re-work rudder pedal assembly||The pedal assembly binds when installed. I heated the center crossover tube & re-aligned the sides which seemed to help. Much sanding!|
|2006-10-08||Drill and mount vertical fin||Once aligned, drilled and bolted vertical fin. I used the rudder as a guide to make sure there was no binding and misalignment.|
|2006-10-08||Completed cutting/deburring belly stringer standoffs||Finished cutting the belly stringer standoffs and drilling rivet holes to fasten them to the fuselage. Reamed spigot fitting of powder coat. The supplied SS rivets are too long (1/4"). Attached with 1/8" SS rivets purchased locally.|
|2006-10-13||Install manual trim lever and cable||Installed manual trim mounting plate with adel clamps. Installed cable along bottom stringers and secured with zip ties. Note: make sure the end of the piano wire is not sharp when sliding it into the cable housing - I didn't and it cut a 'plug' that eventually stopped the piano wire completely. Fortunately I had enough length.|
|2006-10-15||Install fuselage stringers||I installed the fuselage stringers by cutting them close to length and then drilling the requisite hole one by one starting from the front. Before installing the side stringers I cut the fuselage standoffs to give a good curve. On the belly stringer I set it based on the manual pictures.
I bought 1/8 inch grip SS rivets from Fastenal to fasten the belly stringer standoffs as the rivets included were too long.
I've not yet glued the stringers in place - standby for that fun.
|2006-10-15||Drill and fit side stringers||I marked straight line on both stringers by taping them together and marking with a sharpee. I then cut stringer to length and drilled for each spigot starting at the front. It worked well.|
|2006-10-16||Bottom stringer installation||Drilled, deburred and installed bottom stringer. Bent aft 6" of stringer up and cut off to form smooth transition. It was difficult to bend.|
|2006-10-19||Cut and fit top stringer||Cut top stringer to fit and drilled for spigots. Cut rear of stringer to match vertical fin.|
|2006-10-24||Install seat belt/harness assembly||Pretty straightforward. Bolts for shoulder harness were too short, had to use some from stock.|
|2006-10-31||Cut and trial install of instrument panel||I cut the corners on the instrument panel using an air nibbler and a cottage cheese container lid - very low tech but it gave me a very nice radius. Attached instrument panel with 6 adel clamps. There is still a lot of work to do on the panel! I cut out 'life-size' pictures of all the stuff I (thought) I wanted on the panel and then started to move it around - several times.|
|2006-11-04||Fabricate side floor panels||Fabricate side (floor) panels from 1/8 inch plywood. I applied 3 coats of spar varnish to both sides.
They will need to be cut for the aileron cable at a later date.
|2006-11-06||Fabricate elevator push-pull tube cover||The elevator push-pull tube cover is completed from partially bent aluminum sheet. Notched out cover for flap cable. Fabricated mounting points for attaching push-pull tube cover.|
|2006-11-12||Install fuel line||Installed fuel line from the selector to firewall area and jumper hose from hard line to header tank.|
|2006-11-14||Paint and install rudder pedals||After considerable work to make the pedal assembly work freely, it was painted and installed. The inner two mounts required shims to keep from pulling the assembly out of alignment and causing binding.
Brake assemblies were installed.
|2006-11-14||Tail wheel conrol horn||Cleared powder coating from tail wheel control horn, drilled and mounted with AN-3 bolt.|
|2006-11-15||Fabricate rudder control cables||Installed nicopress swag/thimble + turnbuckle on rudder end and left rudder end of cable long for finishing after covering and paint. Drilled holes in rudder horn for shackle.|
|2006-11-26||Install fuel selector||Installed fuel selector mounting plate to fuselage with adel clamps and cut Kydex underseat panel for valve. Installed valve.|
|2007-01-06||Fabricate horizontal stabilizer flying wires||Fabricated 6 flying wires (2 per side top, 1 continuous per side bottom) using 3/32 cable, thimbles and nicopress sleeves. I used ratchet straps to hold the empennage in place while I fabricated the cables. I found it very difficult to keep everything level and plumb while pulling on it. I used a simple spring scale to pre-load the cables to 20# evenly all around. See the tips page for a help on nicopress sleeves.|
|2007-01-29||Prepare instrument panel for cutting||After several mock layouts, I carefully located all of the instruments, switches and radios on the instrument panel. Corners of the radio stack, GPS and other square instruments were located with a center punch. The center of each round instrument was also located with a center punch. The panel is now at a hydrocutter.|
|2007-02-17||complete fabrication of instrument panel||I picked up the panel from the water-jet company. That is definitely the way to cut a panel. The holes are perfectly cut and located.
I fabricared radio tray supports from .050 aluminum - a little thick, but good support. The measuring, filing drilling and fitting took most of the day. Completed 2/18. Removed everything to take the assembly to the powdercoater.
|2007-04-07||fabricate and Install wing trailing edge metal||The trailing edge of the wing is aluminum that is pre-bent at the factory, but needs a fair amount of trimming and fitting. The first thing I did was fit the metal pieces to the trailing edge with tape and mark the cut points. Next, I made a little drilling guide to help with drilling the 3/32 holes for rivets to hold the trailing edge on. I drilled/cleco'd the holes.
|2007-04-07||wing trailing edge (continued)||Next, I marked the inside of the trailing edge where hinges would be with a Sharpie. I removed the trailing edge piece and drilled #40 holes at the top and bottom of the Sharpie lines. I turned the trailing edge piece over and connected the holes with another Sharpie line.
|2007-04-07||wing trailing edge (continued)||Next - I 'connected the dots with a skinny wheel on a die grinder. I cleaned up the slots with a file and sanding block, then put the trailing edge back on the wing with clecos. A small amount of filing and adjustment was needed, but they really fit great. Last, I countersunk the rivet holes and riveted the trailing edge in place.
Took all day, but it went pretty well.
|2007-04-20||Completed panel||Install instruments in completed, powdercoated panel. Basic radio wiring (the hard stuff) done by Pacific Coast Avionics. Looks nice!|
|2008-02-23||First coat of Ekofill - fuselage||Washed fuselage with 1:15 Ekoclean, 2x rinse with water. Ironed down any loose tapes. Brush coat of Ekofill.|
|2008-02-24||Drill holes for rib stiching||Made a small jig to center holes and snapped chalk lines to locate holes for rib stitching. Drilling took about 45 min for bottom of wing.|
|2008-02-24||Second brush coat of Ekofill primer - fuselage||Sanded seams and coated edges of tapes with an extra coat of Ekofill primer first. After dry, coated entire fuselage with second coat of ekofill.|
|2008-02-25||Sand brush coats of primer on fuselage||Sand down the two brush coats of primer on fuselage. Good smooth surface.|
|2008-02-29||Spray coats of primer on fuselage||4 coats of primer applied to fuselage. Sanded in between coats 2 and 3. When dry, sanded entire fuselage for color coat.|
|2008-03-01||Pre-drill holes for rivet-stitching||Rivets will be spaced 3" apart. I made a tool to locate the holes on the rib cap. All rivets on outboard side of rib.|
|2008-03-02||Base color coat on fuselage||Applied Eko-poly color coat to fuselage. Two paint sessions: did the fuselage bottom this morning, allowed to dry to tack-free, then both sides in afternoon. Assist from Scott to mix paint, etc. Looks GOOD!|