|2006-11-01||Sent order in for Waiex Kit - picture||Most expensive 39 cent stamp I ever mailed...especially for a toy...|
|2006-11-22||Picked up Angle kit - chatted up Heather for a while...||Drove to Oshkosh today and picked up the angle kit and plans for both Doug Boyd and me. Met Heather for the first time after numerous calls regarding delivery/billing etc. She's great to work with - and cute to boot!
The level of detail in these plans is mind-boggling! Professional is the only way to describe it. I deal with professional engineering drawings daily and the plans from Sonex meet that standard.
Spent the rest of the evening reviewing the plans. It takes all of about 5 minutes to understand them as they use standard drafting callouts and clarifications. Excellent!
The Waiex flight manual accompanies the plans and is well written - it appears to be modeled off the Cessna manuals.
All-in-all, my comfort level is high working with this company and this plane.
|2006-11-26||Inventory of Angle kit - picture||Inventoried every single item in the kit and started putting together a cut list for it.|
|2006-11-27||Purchased new bandsaw and plans review - picture||Continued creating cutlist|
|2006-11-29||First parts cut! - picture||Cut the two right side longerons F27-02R and F27-03R|
|2006-11-30||Cut some more angle||Cut longerons F27-02L and F27-03L and F13-03R.|
|2006-12-01||Cutting Angle - picture||Cut F13-03R, W11-09 and finish cut F16-10|
Studied plans for addtional 2 hours
Travelled to South America (Brazil and Chile) for 2 weeks on business.
|2006-12-17||Cut angle||made some significant headway today. Have 19 1" angle pieces cut to size now. The only thing I'm not doing is drilling the rivet holes as I'm not sure which skin holes are already drilled.
After using six 120" angle pieces to date, have a grand total of about 1/2" scrap left for each piece. Extremely efficient. This horizontal bandsaw is the way to go. I bet I save an additional 15 minutes cleaning up cuts cause I can cut so close to correct angle - and straight- the first time.
|2006-12-22||still cutting angle - picture||A lot of angle to cut here! Starting to make a dent in the angle kit though - finally. Cut the following:
I have 29 or 31 pieces finished of the 1/2" angle.
|2006-12-23||Cut the last of the 1"x1"x1/8" angle||Cut W11-11 and T09-04.
Spent a LOOOOOONG time measuring and cutting W11-01 - the lower angle. Simple name for a piece out of 2"x2" by 3/16 inch angle. Every side has multiple cuts and different angles. That would be a piece that every builder probably thinks should be in the "quick build" kit after they make it.It's used in the main spart - it is part of the joiner piece where the two wings main spars cross each other.
Spent an hour going through plans again putting the cut list together for the rest of the angle. Unless I calculated wrong - it looks like I may be a foot or so short on both the 2x2x1/8" angle as well as the 1.5x1.5x1/8" angle. Have an extra piece of 2.5"x2.5" by 3/16" angle though that is not needed. Will have to see if can trade for what I need while at the Sonex builders workshop.
|2006-12-24||Cutting Angle - picture||There is a lot of angle to cut...
Spent 2 hours tonight also studying plans and setting up jigs for the bandsaw and drill press. Kicked the blade off of both bandsaws.
|2006-12-25||Cutting Angle - picture||Can't wait to type something else in the Summary line...
Only finished two pieces tonight: F10-05L and F10-05R.
Spent some time making templates for F15-01R&L, and F15-02R&L. Took awhile as I had to trace a total of 8 templates, then cut them out fairly close, and glue them onto four pieces of angle that I had already cut to length. Used 3M spray adhesive that I've had for almost 10 years. It worked just fine after replacing the nozzle. Now just waiting for glue to dry before cutting out.
Made my first goof. Cut one of the angles on piece W11-05 wrong. Threw away 4.5" of angle. First mistake after 38 or 39 pieces - oh well!
|2006-12-26||Cutting Angle||Only worked a short time tonight. Reviewed the motor mounts that I glued the templates to. Started cutting on one. Took the rest of the night off.|
|2006-12-27||Cutting Angle - picture||Continued working on the motor mount F15-01R&L, and F15-02R&L. These are by far the most painful pieces fabbed todate. Bought a set of fine grade 3" Scotchbrite pad wheels for the die grinder. These mountes required it as they are of such a complex shape.|
|2006-12-28||Continued working on motor mount plates||Learned that gluing templates to aluminum isn't such a good idea. Worked an hour and a half on just getting the templates and glue off the aluminum. Then spent another 1/2 hour cleaning up the cuts and rounding the edges. Completed F15-02R and F15-02L. 01R & L are close also now.|
|2006-12-29||Completed F15-01R and F15-01L||Finally.|
|2006-12-31||Cutting Angle||Completed: W11-07
Cut to length and marked out final cuts - but did not bend:
Happy new year - finished at 1:15am! What a way to bring in 2007.
|2007-01-01||Cutting Angle||Finished cutting to length all angle in the kit. As I suspected, the angle kit is short by 37" on the 1.5x1.5x1/8 angle and 7.5" on the 2x2x1/8 angle. I made three very small mistakes - all on the 1x1x1/8 angle, for a total of 8" of lost product. No mistakes so far on the other types of angle.
Completed following pieces:
Have many of the 1.5"x1.5" angle pieces cut to length and marked for cutting - just need to readjust angle in/out as required. Will do this using the press as Wolf Country Customs. I think I've got around two solid weeks of work yet to finish the rest of the angle kit - maybe more like three. Should be done hopefully before I pick up the rest of the kit - and definitely before the workshop in February.
|2007-01-05||Cutting Angle||Found the column in the title box with the title "Quantity". Well - nuts. Spent an hour going through every page in the plans reviewing the cut list and the quantities of all the parts I'd already cut out. I got lucky and only had to add 9 additional parts. Unfortunately.. not easy ones though.|
|2007-01-06||Purchased Combo 4" Belt /6" disk sander & Cutting Angle||Finished the following parts:
F15-06 part 2
W11-11 part 2
W11-09 part 2
W11-07 part 2
W11-01 part 2
Cannot make 6 angle parts because the angle kit didn't have enough angle included. I need 24" of 2x2x1.28 and 54" of 1.5x1.5x1.28
Bought a combo belt sander/6" disk sander. Love it! Saving a ton of time off the file.
Marked W21-03, W21-04, W21-06 and W21-07 for cutting
Traced full scale patterns out for F29-03, F29-04, F29-05 and F29-06. Just have to glue on and cut out.
|2007-01-07||Cut Angle - Picture||Nice day to work inside. Chilly with a biting wind.
Finished following parts:
The sander makes this a faster and more precise process. Wish I would have gotten it initially.
|2007-01-12||Inventory Hardware Kits||Been gone for the last week in Tampa, Florida. Got there the day it changed from 80 degrees to 50. Left the day it changed from 50 degrees back to 80. Oh well... It was sub 20's at home, so no complaints.
Recieved my hardware kits and Sonex misc. tools from Wicks while gone. There is an amazing amount of nuts/bolts/cotter pins, and a ton of piano hinges here. Also ordered/recieved the spare hardware kit from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. Spent several hours inventorying and putting away into hardware storage compartments I used to use for go-kart racing specialty stuff. Got another two hours to go yet, then should be done.
|2007-01-13||Finished Inventory of hardware kit and cut angle - picture||Took me another three hours to inventory the entire kits from Wicks and Aircraft Spruce. Glad I did. Wicks shorted me a length of 3/4" square tubing. Will have to call them on Monday. Also found that there was about 9 parts on backorder - no big deal. AS&S general hardware kit for experimental aircraft builders had everything in it per specs. Bought some new storage bins. Decided that I didn't like the other ones I was going to use as they didn't seal perfectly around the edges and bottom, and I didn't want washers and other stuff migrating from one bin to the next.
Finished the following pieces tonight:
|2007-01-14||10 hour day. Cut angle - picture||Got to the stuff that you tend to delay working on - yes... the wicked multiple angle/paste paper to it/ton of time drawing out the cut lines - stuff. Finished eight parts today.
Learned something VERY usefull. Do NOT use 3M77 glue - use something much faster, easier to put on, no mess, and dirt cheep. Get some Scotch Glue sticks. You know, the stuff that your kindergardner uses? Works great! Cut out pattern, roll the glue on just like putting Chapstick on your lips, put the paper on it and you are done. It dries in about 10 seconds after the paper is on. Center punch all your holes you will need to drill, then cut the anlge. As soon as you are done cutting, then pull the paper off. It takes just a little carefull prying, but you should get most off. Acetone takes the sticky stuff right off.
Finished the following parts:
D02-14 (latch for canopy)
|2007-01-15||Marked up pieces for cutting and drilling||Took it easy tonight, just one hour spent marking for cutting and drilling four pieces. A lot of dimensioning on these.
These pieces must be bent before cutting. Down to about three parts left of this before time to bend.
|2007-01-16||Short one hour night - traced cut patterns onto angles||Traced out cut patterns on F23-06R and F23-06L. These are the ruddervator pulley brackets. Lots of measurements to these.|
|2007-01-19||18.5 hour day... Picked up the rest of the Waiex Kit!!! - Picture||Doug and I drove up to Oshkosh and picked up both our kits. By the time we fought the wind on the way back, dropped his kit off in his hanger, came to Colo and dropped them off at my house, then ran the enclosed trainer back to the rental place, then I got back home - it was an 18 hour day. Will post a pic of the kit pick up when I get it from Doug. It was bloody cold and blowing bad - we froze.|
|2007-01-20||13.5 hour day inventory and building a table - pic||What a doozy. 13.5 hours of kit breakdown and inventory. Found a number of parts fabricated that are not listed in the instructions as being pre-fabbed. Excellent! The packing of the boxes, labelling and all it premium. I deal with stuff like that for my company on a daily basis and the Sonex packaging is as good as you can get.
Ripped the pallet down and built a work table. Used every piece of the pallet and an additional 8 2x4's that I had laying around a built a nice solid, yet simple 4x10 table. That took about six hours, but I was being anal on getting everything right. Built a bottom shelf on it so that I can store all the aluminum sheeting. Otherwise it would be exposed to the possibility of the 6 year old destroying it.
Total of 32 hours in on the kit the last two days. Unfortunately not of it is actually building.
|2007-01-21||Short day - built hydraulic press and bent pieces - picture||Very short day as feeling sick. Built an easy hydraulic press and bent some angle to corrected angle of 95 degrees and such.|
|2007-01-22||Another short day - Picture||Still sick. Spent one hour only studying plans trying to figure out what next. Decided to start on the rudder as it's pretty small and simple. Found pieces and started mocking up.|
|2007-01-23||Rudder Drive horn work - picture||Started putzing around with the rudder tonight. Spent research time trying to find out what size Cherry CCP-44 rivets are as called out for in the plans. After I found that I cross referenced the drill size for it then the cleco size. Found a nice website that references these: www.marfas.com/rivets.shtml
I ended up going with one size smaller - a size 40 drill and the silver clecos just because I was gunshy on the first part going to full size initially - which would actually be a size 30 drill.
Still have to bend the drive horn 5.2 degrees up. How in the heck you bend something like this exactly 5.2 degrees has me scratching my head. Cad based plans are nice at times, but they do make you wonder on just how accurate you've got to really be... 5 degrees +_ 1 sounds good to me.
|2007-01-24||1.5 hour rudder work - picture||Starting to get in the mode of just doing - not staring - on the actual stuff that looks like airplane... stuff...
T04-04 - which is a small mid flange on the rudder drive horn. Drilled it out and cleco'd in. Part shifted when drilled the first time. Had to make a new one. Cheep goof/lesson learned. Clamp parts tighter and use multiple clamps when drilling.
Started marking up the rudder skin for cutting.
|2007-01-27||Short 1/2 hour night on Rudder||Only 1/2 today. Went to Wolf Country Customs motorcycle shop and bent my rudder drive horn to 5 degrees up. Nailed it perfect first time - nothing like using good equipment!
Spent 20 minutes finishing marking up the rudder for cutting tomorrow.
|2007-01-28||Injury accident with vacume cleaner prevents work....||Hell of a day. Was vacuuming up some aluminum and saw dust in the basement, bent down to shut vacuum off and sneezed. Strained all the muscles in my lower left back. Spent the entire day watching Men in Black, Men in Black II, Happy Gilmore and 13 going on 30 while laying on the couch chugging Tylenol. Getting old sucks.|
|2007-01-29||Rudder skin cut to shape||Spent an hour tonight cutting rudder skin to shape. A little nerve racking cutting first major piece of skin for the plane by myself. It worked out okay and everything fits perfect. Trial fit entire rudder assembly together to make sure.|
|2007-01-30||Bent angle pieces||Bent seven of the angle aluminum pieces out to the readjusted angles required. F23-02 is a real goofy piece that has to be bent at two different angles - not easy to do at all. I've got it done, but am not convinced that I may not have to readjust it. It all depends on the stack up of tolerances allowed.
Easiest way to bend angle aluminum? When opening up the angle, use the hydraulic jack as I have the picture of. Then use a dead blow on a smooth concrete floor to fine tune it. When taking in the angle just use the dead blow hammer. Sneak up on the angle, don't try to get it all at once, otherwise you go back and forth trying to correct too much angle, then not enough, then the angle starts to warp, etc... don't ask my how I know.
|2007-02-07||Drilling on rudder - Picture||Drilled and cleco'd the fiberglass rudder cap into place.
Drilled to final size the rudder horn.
Drilled to final size the rudder rib.
Had some Zinc Chromate and sprayed the rudder rib.
After discussing with a guy who's degree is in materials - have decided that aluminum on aluminum contact can potentially cause a problem if the moisture doesn't have a path to easily evaporate. I don't know if I'm going to have this bird outside or not at times. While 6061 is not near as prone to the corrosion issue - it can slightly help to have a small protective layer of chromate separating the two. What the heck, I was assured by him that it wouldn't hurt. I'm only going to coat one of the pieces that touch each other - not both. This will cut weight as well as provide most of the protection possible without a hardcore alodine process.
Haven't put any time in for over a week - feeling guilty. Work and family slightly interfered, and Diana and I went to Oshkosh over this last weekend to the Sonex builders workshop. She absolutely loved it! She proactively marked, center punched, drilled and riveted while I helped out a friend at times. She came away pumped up ready to start the wings, as well as really impressed with the design.
|2007-02-08||Riveted rudder horn and made hinge jig - Pictures||Spent a short hour preparring a hinge drilling jig, and riveting the rudder horn/rudder rib together. Nice way to finish the night after our local chapter EAA meeting.|
|2007-02-10||Cut rudder hinge and started work on Ruddervator||Went flying today. It was 7 degrees f out. Sure wakes you up...
Bent two of the longer angle aluminum components for the fuselage to the correct angles of 93.9 and 86.1 degrees. Not happy with the very last one of these crazy things I had to bend. Used a dead weight hammer on the 93.9 part and it ended up making a nice slight U in the part when looking at the backbone. I'd say it's a marginal part and may need to be made over again, only using the hydraulic press next time. Depressing to mess up on the very last part like that.
All that's left to do on the rudder is to drill/rivet the skin to the rib and drill/rivet the hinge on. Probably 45 minutes work at the most. The wife wants to help do that but was unavailable, so I started on the ruddervator assembly.
Got the two ruddervator horns bent and drilled to final size. Drilled the two ruddervator end ribs to final size. Chromated the ribs. Should get them riveted onto the horns tomorrow.
Overall not hard to do these parts. Just a lot of double checking the hole measurements and such.
|2007-02-11||Riveted rudder skin and ruddervator horn/rib - pictures||I successfully made a 45 minute job last 6 hours today.
Final drilled rudder skin and hinge, then deburred everything. While doing this I noticed that the rudder horn was making a "tinking" noise when I moved it. Upon investigation found that one of the rivets had a stem that had broken early and the ball was moving in the barrel. I drilled it out and replace it.
While starting to rivet the skin to the rudder horn/rib, found that 5 of the rivets holding the horn to the rib were in the way. The back side of them was too close to the rivets I was going to install. So I drilled them out. I then put 4 rivets into the skin and realized that they were the wrong rivets. They were flush mount ones, not the normal ones. So I drilled them out and put the correct ones in. So, to re-cap, I drilled out 10 rivets before I even got a permanent one in the skin.
As I was coming around to finish the riveting of the skin, I had to use the hand riveter for some tight spaces. Drilled out two rivets because they weren't flush. Didn't make that mistake again.
Finished riveting the skin and got ready to rivet the hinge when I realized that if I did so, the hinge would interfere with the last rivet for the rudder cap. I needed to be able to paint the ruddercap after final assmebly, so I bent a small portion of the hing that locks the piano wire in place - out of the way. Works fine. Just before I actually riveted the hinge then, I realized that it would be much easier to polish this area before vs. after assembly.
So, I put the rudder asside, prepped the ruddervator horn/rib assemblies and let Diana rivet them in place. I went and had a beer. Total rivets drilled out - 12. Total successfully installed ~ 30. 5 hours 15 minutes wasted. Lesson learned.
|2007-02-12||Worked on Ruddervaters||Cut both hinges out to size. Marked up the right ruddervater to cut - everything lines up perfect. The left ruddervater isn't going to be so clean. The aluminum sheet wasn't lined up perfect when they bent it and it is about 1/16" off side to side. So, I need to trim 1/16 off, tapering it to nothing about 2" or so from the end. Not a really fun thing to do and have it look good. Otherwise it's been a pretty good night - much better than the mild disaster yesterday...|
|2007-02-14||Trimmed Ruddervator||Trimmed the ruddervator skins square. Now I can markup for final cutting.|
|2007-02-17||Polish rudder and marked ruddervators - pictures||Before I riveted the rudder hinge on I went ahead and polished the rudder up. First time doing this so there was a learning curve. Took about 3.5 hours messing around learning how to polish it and actually getting it to look good. Used the Nuvite polish system with just a regular car polisher and a wool pad. Used the F7 compounding polish only. It's amazing how this thing looks after just the rough polish! Can't wait to get the good Cyclo polisher and get the fine finish.
Finished marking out the ruddervators for cutting.
|2007-02-18||Cut out ruddervators and trimmed. Table mod for control skins - pictures||Made some pretty good headway today - about 7 hours worth of work. Got the ruddervators final cut to size and trimmed/filed to final fit. Made a mod to the table to easily work on these things - as well as polish them easier than what it was on the rudder. Got the right ruddervator final drilled, including the hinge. Looks like a good porcupine. The Daytona 500 kept interrupting me, a shame that Mark Martin didn't win.
Spent an hour just polishing the ruddervator horns. Painful to do this - but they ended up looking good.
|2007-02-19||Almost finished the ruddervater... almost..- Picture||Well - this was fun. Polished the skin for about 3 hours. I can't imagine doing this while the plane is together. Finally finished up the polishing and cleco'd the thing together when... when... I found an issue. (note - this is marketing speak for "a problem") The middle rib slipped back a little when I was drilling it- leaving a gap of about 3/32" between its flange and the ruddervator skin on the leading edge of the ruddervater. Not only does this cause the skin to deform here - but the hinge also pulls in. This would cause a bind in the hinge. Also- because it slipped down towards the trailing edge of the skin, it causes a slight hump in the skin giving more camber. So - ordered a new rib today from Sonex. What a blessing not having to make it over. All I've got to do is drill it and deburr - then rivet the whole thing together. Nice!
All told, put about 4.5 hours in.
|2007-02-22||Working on left Ruddervator - Pictures||Cranking away on this one and everything was going good... then the snake bit again. Accidentally ovalled the hole in the horn rib. You can see the pic below. I'm beginning to understand why scratch builders claim they actually build 1-1/2 airplanes upon completion. I'm well on my way to a ruddervator assembly. Yes - I'm ordering another one. Can't just let something like this go. Outside of this, I'm really enjoying this. The plans are really easy to follow while building assemblies like this.
Total of 122.5 hours to date.
|2007-02-24||7 hour day on ruddervators, wicked ice/snow storm - Pictures||Had a good day today. Drilled, polished and final riveted the left ruddervator - except the horn rib assembly. That will be a 15 minute job when I get the replacement in next week. Found it's best to leave several clecos in on each side after final riveting - gives the assembly something to rest on while you flip to the other side to rivet. That way you don't scratch the freshly polished surface. It pretty much take one hour per side of these control surfaces to polish them - and that's not the final polish, just the compounding. Hope the final polishing doesn't take as long!
Started laying out for the Stabilator assembly after was finished.
We had a record ice/snow storm during the day. I had 1/2" of ice and most of my tree's and bushes either collapsed or shattered due to the weight. My power line pole is bent over about 15-20 degrees because of the weight of the ice on the lines. After the ice, we got about 8" of very wet snow and winds 20-30 mph. Power surged from about 2:00 in the afternoon till I went to bed at 1:00am. I spent some time and went to the store and got necessary supplies (milk for the boys, chips for me for the race on Sunday) and gas for the generator.
|2007-02-25||Solid 10 hour day. Stabilator work - Pictures||Had a good day working again. I've come to realize that I'm not an exceptionally fast worker. I tend to spend time studying an entire assembly before I make a part. Understanding where it goes I find critical to performing a reality check on the part dimensions. Example tonight was a part call out where the cut dimension listed on the description was shorter than what the dimensions shown on the part were. And no - it wasn't the final dimension of the part after bending the flanges either - so, I don't have a clue where that one came from.
Items completed today:
1) Cut all channel to length for both Stabilators.
2) Prepped both hockey sticks for bending - including drilling out the pilot holes and cleaning up the laser flash and cleaning up all edges.
3) Made wooden forming blocks for stabilator ribs you have to make out of channel.
4) Cut to final size and drilled pilot holes in T11-05L and 05R, T11-06L and R.
5) Prepped tip ribs T04-05 and leading edge ribs T04-06.
6) Cut to final size and bend up all bibs for right stabilator.
|2007-02-26||It was a 3-stooges evening for me...||What an eventful evening. Just couldn't seem to keep the concentration going and made mistake after mistake after... The part started as T11-01R, then changed to T11-02R when I realized that I was taking measurements and cutting off the wrong drawing (this after it was already cut to -01 length), then it migrated to T11-02L when I realized that I had cut the channel opposite of what it was supposed to be for -02R. Fortunately - that was exactly what T11-02L needed to be... sigh... Completed the night by fabricating 3 of the stabilator parts and making one very nice scrap piece.
This will be my last log entry for a little over a week as I'm heading to Guadalajara, Mexico, then Buenes Aires, Argentina on business.
|2007-03-08||Finished both ruddervaters||Just got back from a week+ in Argentina and Mexico. Glad to be back home and working on the plane.
Spent 4 hours prepping the 2 new ribs I got in in from Sonex, fitting in and drilling, clecoing, pulling apart, deburing, and final assembly with riveting. Yes!! Both ruddervaters done!
|2007-03-09||Working on the Stabilators||Spent time cleaning up the shop and going over the plans again tonight and removing pages I don't need. This actually helps shorten the stack enough that it's more reasonable to work with. Signed off two more boxes in the builders tree. That's probably the most satisfying part of this as it shows your overall progress.
After the goof two weeks ago on the the aluminum channel part, I made that part into the instrument pannel cross tie. Only wasted about 6" that way. So, made F07-05 tonight.
Remade T11-01R also, bent it up, and trial fit it in place. At this point all parts are made for right stabilator. I trial fit the entire piece together with plastic clamps. Love them things. It looks like an actual airplane part also now. Will post pics in the next day or so.
Total time tonight just getting back up to speed on where I left off at and getting everything done was 5 hours.
|2007-03-10||Working on Stabilators- Pictures||Slowed down a little bit as I found the measurements and bends of the stabilator ribs are critical due to the multiple angles you are working with. Right stabilator the ribs are okay, but took a bit of tweeking to fit perfect. Taking more time on the left stabilator. All ribs fitting perfect so far. Have much better control now on cutting/bending of the thinner angle stock. Instead of using the wooden forming block for the rib flanges on the Stabilators, found it is much more precise to use the flanging tool from Wicks.
Remade rib T11-12 for right stabilator to get it to fit better.
Cut and fit T11-01L rear stabilator spar. Need to drill and dimple for the flush rivets.
Cut and fit T11-02R front stabilator spar
Cut and fit T11-04 rib
Cut and fit T11-12 rib
Cut and fit T11-11 rib
Two more ribs to go.
|2007-03-11||Working on Left Stabilator||Spent a solid 6.5 hours remaking two ribs, and jigging up the assembly, drilling in the spar and clecoing in the perimeter. Have some serious work to do on this yet.|
|2007-03-14||Worked on Stabilators for 1 hour||Continued squaring in the assembly. Realized that you have to use the skin(precut and pre-drilled) as the jig before you start drilling ribs into the spars. Threw away two ribs because of that late epiphany...|
|2007-03-17||Final rivets in Ruddervators||Put in the final rivets in all ruddervators. Been holding off till I could figure out how to store these things so they don't get scratched. Was using 4 cleco's on each side for stands. Ended up hanging them from the ceiling joists - cut a small length of hinge rod and bent up on one side. Then put the rod in on each side of the hinge riveted on the ruddervators. Ran zip ties through the gaps... and viola - a nice hanger.|
|2007-03-18||Bunch of misc. stuff for 6 hours||Went flying this morning in the C-172. 14 knots gusting to 21. Good day to practice crosswind landings. Was able to land and finish role out in the first 200 ft of runway. Haven't done that in awhile.
Was tired of working on Stabilators, so didn't mess with them today. Instead worked on several items that just plane looked fun (pun intended). Goal was to find a sheet or two that would be easy to complete so I could actually remove a drawing sheet out of the stack and sign off on the assembly tree.
Put wheel and tire assemblies together. Had to work on the hubs as they are the split type and didn't perfectly align with each other. Did some filing on flashing to get everything perfectly flat. Also mounted the brake hubs on them. Aired up the final assemblies and now have real airplane wheels in the basement. They are amazingly small.
Completed F29-01 and -02 fuselage pulley bracket assemblies.
Completed assembly on all push rod tubs and heim joints.
Began assembly on control triangle assembly.
Began assembly on mixer frame assembly.
|2007-03-20||Made two fairlead assemblies||This has to be one of the most God-awful smelliest experiences of building an airplane. Drilling and cutting through phenolic material is worse than changing any "teething" diaper you can imagine...
Plan on killing a bandsaw blade and any drill bit that touches it. Also, have a shop vac at hand and in use while drilling. The material residue needs to be gotten rid of post haste.
|2007-03-22||Builder visit tonight for 1.5 hours||Doug Boyd - fellow Waiex builder (#80) came over tonight to inspect progress. Had a good time going over parts and talking about tricks and gotcha's I've learned to this point. Didn't realize everything I've soaked up till explaining it to someone.|
|2007-03-23||Worked on right stabilator and table for 3 hours||Spent time getting the right stabilator jigged up and the ribs in place. Everything looking pretty good on this one. Measurements are almost identical between the two. Looks like I cut the channel to the right length!
Also spent 1.5 hours modifying my build table. Noticed that it was starting to sag between the horizontal table top supports, so put 3 extra supports in. Took care of the issue.
Spent .5 hour playing around with the control triangle and sticks.
|2007-03-24||Worked on control triangle and sticks/ mixer assembly||Wanted to work on the controls today - so had some fun. Had to sand off a heap of powder coat paint - that was painful. The bushings easily slid in and out of their cups, so had to peen the cups with a punch to get them to stick in good. Then used a Sunnen pin hone to hone the bronze bushings to size so the control horns slid through.
One of the more painful things to do so far is drilling threw the stick and control horn assemblies. The control horn pivot is reaaaally hard and I had to up-drill considerably, which took a very long time. Finally finished up the entire control assembly though. Found a discrepancy in the drawings. The bolts for the control rod link called out are much longer than the ones in the drawing. The ones in the drawing are about 1/2 the length. Found some the correct length as shown in the drawing in my extra bolts kit from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. Glad I ordered that kit!
Started working on the Mixer assembly after finishing up the control triangle. Got the bushings pressed in and honed. Was going to assemble - then noticed the taper pin. Decided to call it a night and investigate tomorrow.
|2007-03-25||Worked on right Stabilator||Kept plinking away on this bugger. Had a minor scare when I got to looking at which was right and which was left. Were they upside down as I had them?? spent about 1/2 hour actually lining up as if on the plane before I realized that I actually had everything right originally. What a night...|
|2007-03-26||CATASTROPHY!!! BASEMENT FLOOD||Walked downstairs and stepped into 3+" of water. Oh my @#$$. The dang sump pump float hung up. Ran the 2800 gallon per hour pump for about 50 minutes before it started shutting down. Spent all day and evening Monday and all evening Tuesday cleaning the entire basement. Also bought a new backup sump pump that has a battery backup system for it. Thank heavens I only had the canopy box and the leading edge skins box on the floor. Everything else was up. No tools lost, only a bunch of "redneck" china ( plates/mugs/cups and paper plates with pictures exotic and far away such as the "Ames Iowa" parade of 2000, several boxes of toys and clothes, etc etc etc.) I now have the cleanest basement that I've ever had before. It's beautifully vacuumed, has no dirt or cobwebs/cat hair anywhere in it.
Hung the leading edge skins from a 12" 2x4 that I cut the corners at 45 degrees from the ceiling. It seams to work okay.
|2007-04-01||fitting of skin to left stabilator||Haven't done the final riveting of the spars and ribs, but want to get a feel for how the skins fit over. Suggest everybody do that as the ribs can be just a little off - enough where they look okay- but when you drill for rivets you'll may find that you are too close to the end of the rib, or too close to the bend. Lay skin over and use a blue sharpie to mark where the rivet holes are in the skin. Then take skin off and see where the blue drill marks will be at. Do the before final drilling of the ribs as you can slightly correct still.
Took a while to work through this procedure, sure wish there was a construction manual.
|2007-04-02||Still working on left Stabilator - Pictures||There is a lot of holes you have to drill in these airplane things. It's amazing just how much aluminum is removed by drilling holes. Drilled somewhere around 100 or so tonight and finished one side of the left stabilator. Ready to flip and drill out the other side - but am running out of clecos. Will order some more silvers and golds tomorrow.
Once both sides are drilled and I've reviewed that the ribs all look good, then I will start dimpling the spar where needed and nailing everything down. Hope to have it all done in the next 2 nights of work. Course that means that it will take more like 4 nights then...
There is definitely a work order to these stabilators. May document and make available.
|2007-04-04||Left Stabilator work still||Got the skin on and drilled ribs, then all holes to final size tonight. It's starting to look like a real piece now. Have about 200 holes to debur tomorrow. Only thing left to finish this piece is:
1) Debur skin and rib holes.
2) Dimple and drill to final size spar/ribs
3) Rivet spar and ribs
4) Rivet skin
Hoping to actually finish this tomorrow night. We'll see...
Have realized that I need to double my quantities of clecos I have. Suggested numbers just isn't near enough. It only lets you work on one side at a time of the stabilators. When it comes to the wings, dble the amount might not even be enough.
|2007-04-05||Left Stabilator work||This is taking longer than expected. Spent 3 hours drilling holes out to final size in the stab spars and deburring the drilled holes just in the ribs and the spars. Have 3 holes in a rib that I have to dimple yet - but have to grind on a dimple tool to get it to fit a rather tight corner. Haven't even touched the other 200 holes in the skins yet... I figure I've got another 6 hours into deburring, cleaning, clecoing back together before riveting skin in place.|
|2007-04-06||Left Stabilator work. continues||Finished deburring all holes and dimpling the final flange holes in the end rib. Had to grind flat one side of the dimple die to do this. Squirted the flanges of the ribs and spars with zinc chromate. Started polishing. About 90% done on one side of skin. Took one hour just to get to the 90% level for the compounding on the one side. Total spent today was 4 hours.|
|2007-04-07||Finished left Sabilator -finally. 12 hour day||Had a lot of time today to work. Spent 1 hour at Prohaska's race shop, then came home and "had at it".
Completed and closed bottom side of left stabilator assembly. Top skin is only cleco'd on due to accessibility issues when drilling and installing stab on "Y" spar mount on the fuselage. Have to be able to deburr inside after final fitting. Got hinge mounted and trimmed fiberglass wingtip. Polished for 3 hours then ran out of gumption and started on the right stabilator
Fitted and drilled hockey stick to front spar including angle pieces and nose rib.
Drilled front spar for all ribs
Fitted drilled and cleco'd rear spar, ribs 1,3,4,5 and 6.
This stabilator is somewhat more square. I was more precise in my bending, finally really have the hang of it. Where I'm at right now in 3 hours, it took me 9 or so on the left one. Know what I'm doing this time...
|2007-04-08||Worked on right stailator. 9 hour day - making up time!||Finished top side except for ruddervator hinge. Getting ready for bottom side. This one went much easier. Ended up going with bigger channel for Rib 2 to get it to fit correctly. Everything lined up right on money with every rib except for rib 2. All dimensions were within 1/64" but the rivets would have been within 1/8" of the edge, so I went with the Z04 channel that has 3/4" flanges instead of 1/2" flanges. I had this same problem with the left stabilator and the rivets are okay, but any closer to the edge and I would have used the Z04 channel there also.
One mistake on this one, but no big deal. Accidentally drilled #11 bit into the wrong hole in the hockey stick and front spar channel for the rib support angle. There is an AN3-5A bolt through it now. Will post some pics tomorrow.
Only things left to do tomorrow is to drill in hinge and drill/updrill and deburr bottom skin of the stab. Will zinc chromate the spars and ribs flanges, cleco the skin down and call it good. Hopefully will finish tomorrow.
|2007-04-09||Right Stabilator work||Final drilled skin. Running out of clecos. Started drilling ruddervator hinge.|
|2007-04-10||Right Stabilator work - almost done||Finished drilling/clecoing hinge for rivets. Deburred entire assembly and primed top half of frame. Tomorrow night will prime bottom half and then final rivet the bottom side skin in. Have to leave to top side skin un-riveted due to access requirements after mounting stabilator to the fuselage. Expect to start flaps or ailerons tomorrow night.|
|2007-04-11||Right Stabilator and Ailerons||Polished bottom side skin of right Stabilator. Final coat of primer on frame. 1 hour of polishing tomorrow night then 1/2 hour of riveting and will be done with right Stabilator. Outside of right Stab skin was scratched quite a few places when I took it out of the box. It didn't have anything touching the outside except the box itself, so when they bent it up the scratched it pretty good. Was able to polish most of it out, but some of the deeper stuff will need some work.
Started going over aileron assembly. Still looking for aileron drive plates. They are not in the boxes of pre-made components.
|2007-04-14||Finished right Stabilator||Done. Finally.|
|2007-04-15||Started right aileron||Cut aileron to length. Cut reliefs in for drive horn plate and the counterbalance lead. The end of the aileron is cut at about a 30 degree angle and has a rib that fits in it. Spent quite a bit of time messing around with the rib to get it to fit right - but I finally won.|
|2007-04-17||Continued on right aileron||Cut lead counterbalance to size. Drilled out lead and counterbalance plates. Found it's best to start with the #40 drill and that the hinge wire is then perfect for holding both plates and lead together to step drill them out to the right size.|
|2007-04-18||Worked on right aileron||Just drilled out the lead tonight for the counterbalance. Didn't get home from work till almost 8:00.|
|2007-04-21||Right Airleron counterbalance fitting - Picture||Filed and final fit for the lead counterbalance.|
|2007-04-25||Right Aileron counterbalance assembly/channel - Pictures||Fabricated the counterbalance channel that keeps the counterbalance mounting plates spaced correctly.
Work and family really interfered the last week. A visit from ExxonMobil Chemical kept me tied up. Then a huge family birthday party killed my weekend.
|2007-04-26||Working on right Aileron - Picture||Fitted counterbalance ribs to counterbalance plates and channel. Final drilled assembly. Marked and drilled bottom side of ailerons for ribs.|
|2007-04-27||Right Aileron||Put 2.5 hours into marking and drilling the skin. Also got the end rib/drive horn assembly drilled/cleco'd and in place. Marked center line on all ribs.|
|2007-04-29||Right aileron... still (another seven hours today)||I figured that after the ruddervators that the ailerons would go fast since it's the same techniques. I couldn't have been more wrong. The end rib is canted at a 45% angle and getting it and the counterweight brackets/ribs aligned is a real pain in the %@#$. Have to buy a extra long 1/8" bit tomorrow then I will will be into the deburr, polish and rivet phase... finally.|
|2007-05-05||Finished right aileron - 6.5 hours - Picture||This puppy took a lot longer than I thought it would. It turned out okay though. Closed it up and called it good.|
|2007-05-06||Started left aileron||Got the left aileron skin cut to size and shape, marked and drilled all holes. Marked center line of ribs. Started trial fitting in ribs.|
|2007-05-07||Worked on left aileron||Drilled and cleco'd drive and center rib in place. Drilled and cleco'd counterbalance plates onto ribs. Things went very smooth - about 1/3 the amount of time to get as far as on the right rib - was just over thinking the process on the right rib...|
|2007-05-12||Left Aileron work - Pictures||Put together counterbalance assembly. Drilled and cleco'd in all ribs except for angled end rib.|
|2007-05-13||Worked on left aileron - PIcture||Finished drilling all holes to final size and deburred all holes in ribs. Next is to prime flanges and deburr skin, then polish skin.|
|2007-05-19||Polished left Aileron and primed ribs||Spent 3 hours polishing, priming and getting left aileron ready for final assembly. Have to replace the aileron drive plate though. Accidentally grabbed the wrong drill bit and drilled out the rod end hole a size too large. Kerry recommended to just replace instead of trying to bush it.|
|2007-05-20||10 hour day. Finished left Aileron and started on Flaps - Pictures||Had a good day. Finished left aileron except for the drive plate that I drilled out too large. Waiting for new one to come in.
Also had to fabricate a back piece for the left aileron angled edge rib as the drill holes were just on the edge of flange. Made a strip 1/2" wide and match drilled it to the edge rib holes - then drilled new staggered holes through the skin, rib and back piece. Nice and solid now.
|2007-05-20||Right Flap - Picture||Marked and cut right flap. The flaps are bloody huge on this plane! You don't appreciate the size of them till you take them out of the box for the first time. They are each 6 feet long! Drilled and primed drive plate rib and final fitment of drive plates to the ribs. Cut the flap skin to size, filed and cleaned up the edges. Marked drill lines for ribs.|
|2007-05-21||Cut and marked left flap||The flaps are the easiest of all surfaces so far. Only a couple of cuts. Two hours spent on both flaps and I've got both cut and marked for drilling, and have the flap drive plate/ribs final drilled and ready to go.|
|2007-05-22||Marked and pilot drilled both flaps||Easy night - 1.3 hours spent marking and drilling 160 holes in the flaps.|
|2007-05-23||Trial assembly of right flap||Center lined the flap ribs. Assembled right flap and drilled rivet holes in ribs. Cleco'd right flap together. Drilled in hinge. Need to final drill all holes, polish flap skin and final rivet. Probably 4 hours of work left for right flap.|
|2007-05-24||Right Flap work||Drilled rivet holes to final size. Deburred ribs and primed flanges. Went to be early...|
|2007-05-27||Flaps||Good eight hour work day. Got both flaps completely final drilled and deburred. All ribs primed and hinges drilled to final size. Only have to polish and final assembly. Started laying out for rear spar as I don't have a polisher pad right now.|
|2007-05-28||Finshing Flaps||Almost completely finished the flaps today. All I have left to do is final rivet the hinge on the left flap and done.
Had a major issue pop up. Di was polishing the right flap and I had it supported on a roller brace like is used to support long pipes in a horizontal bandsaw- and the flap slid on the brace to the edge - and scratched the the skin really bad. I sand papered with 220 grit working progressively to 600 wet sand paper. Looks a lot better now - but... I don't know. The flaps may end up getting painted now... Didn't pre-polish the left flap cause I didn't want to scratch it.
|2007-05-29||Finished Flaps!! - Pictures||They are large enough that it's getting tough to store stuff in the basement now.|
|2007-05-31||Starting on rear spar||Finished up some of the angle aluminum that I hadn't finish cut to size and drilled out.|
|2007-06-02||Prepping parts for rear spar - Picture||Cleaned up all edges on prefabricated parts. Fabricated the 4 spacers required to bolt the root rib bracket in place. Fabricated the tip rib flange mount. Drilled/cleco'd the attach bracket to the rear spar.|
|2007-06-03||Right Rear Spar work - Pictures||Spent a good 8 hours today on the rear spar. Not hard work, just time consuming making sure you don't cut anything wrong. The flycutter is really coming in handy with some of these larger oblong holes. I'm concerned about how close the aileron counterbalance will be to the rib. The hole basically goes about 1/32 under the rib.|
|2007-06-09||Right rear spar almost all done||Everything done except final riveting. Primed all parts and deburred holes after drilling to final size. Started marking up the left rear spar.|
|2007-06-10||Finished right rear spar. Almost finished left rear spar||Final rived the right rear spar together. Pneumatic rivet gun started slipping and I had to take it apart for some maintenance. Would have had the left rear spar possibly finished - but the 13-5/8" part you splice in on the end... I cut the 45 degree angle the wrong direction... sigh... another part ordered from Sonex.
Hopefully will be able to start the main spars on Wednesday night.
|2007-06-13||Left Rear Spar work||Spent some time filing on the oval holes.|
|2007-06-16||Started laying out right main spar - Picture||Spent 7 hours laying out the right main spar and trying to understand the drawings. Found it was best to cover the top half of the sheet that detailed out the left spar. It helped me focus on the right one only and not get overwhelmed by the amount of detail and instructions. Finally started understanding the layout and determined a plan of attack and order in which to follow it.|
|2007-06-23||Making main spar parts||Finishing up fabricating some of the spar parts that I hadn't made yet.|
|2007-06-30||Finished left rear spar||Finally got around to ordering the extra channel I needed and fabbed the tip extension piece, drilled and riveted into place|
|2007-07-01||build spar jigs and layout both spars - Pictures||Spent 3 hours today just laying out spar jigs so I can build both at the same time. Screwed four 2"x4"x10' to the table - each pair 3.5" apart. That's the spacing needed to clear everything but still support the upper and lower spar extrusions.|
|2007-07-05||Fabricating parts||Spent time fabricating and assembling spar blocks. Having an interesting time with them. The two mounting bolts callout a "tight fit" for the 1/4" bolts. By definition that means that it takes a moderate strike with a hammer to drive them through. The best size drill I could find was a D size, which is .246". It was a little tight, but I was able to get the bolts in okay.|
|2007-07-11||Finally finished main spar blocks tonight.||Still fabricating misc spar parts. Took a week off for some family vacation down to Cocoa Beach Florida. Toured Cape Canaveral and the Warbird museum in Titusville. Well deserved time laying out on the beach!!|
|2007-07-14||Main Spar work||Spent 2.5 hours doing some final jigging and making sure I really knew what I was doing - before I began drilling and clecoing the spar webs to the spar caps. The first drill through was nerve wracking - I kept wanting to go back and read the plans "just to make sure". However - after about the fifth hole - "in for a penny, in for a pound" and I just focussed in on drilling. There is about a zillion holes in each spar...|
|2007-07-15||Working on right main spar - 9 hour day - Pictures||Had a VERY productive day. Spent the day working on the right main spar - drilling about a zillion holes through the spar caps. There is definitely an order you need to do this in. I spent about an hour just going through a dry run on exactly what I wanted to do and when. If you do it right - everything works out perfectly. If you make a small mistake - you have to remake pieces... sigh... Oh well, at the end of the day I have everything drilled through and trial fit onto the spar except the root rib angle. I even trial fit a set of ribs and the rear spar just to see how everything lines up. It looks really good!|
|2007-07-16||Worked on spar root ribs brackets||Spent 1-3/4 hours marking, cutting, bending and drilling the two root rib brackets for the right wing.|
|2007-07-17||worked on root rib attach brackets||Drilled in the right spar root rib attach brackets. Marked up and cut left spar root rib attach brackets. Mocked up right spar with ribs and rear spar.|
|2007-07-19||Laying out and drilling left main spar||Next step on the right spar is final drilling, dimpling and counter sinking. Decided to get the left main spar to the same stage as the right one. It took about 2.5 hours to finish fabricating root rib angles, then lay out the spar caps and web, then drill about 90 holes into it.|
|2007-07-21||Working on left main spar||Spent 3.5 hours drilling in the stiffening support angles. Not completely done, but will be in another hour or so.|
|2007-07-22||Completed drilling out left main spar caps||Drilled my second set of zillion holes tonight. Got the spar caps drilled into the web.|
|2007-08-01||Final Drilling of right main spar||Spent an hour just planning and final drilling right main spar.|
|2007-08-04||Completed final drilling right main spar||Took almost four hours to finish up final drilling of right main spar. Rivets in the thickest part aren't perfectly perpendicular to the web, but definitely usable. Will use a portable drill press on the left main spar.|
|2007-08-05||Deburr right main spar||Spent 4 hours (!!...) deburring and cleaning up all the holes in the right main spar. A lot of work required on this puppy!|
|2007-08-11||Finish deburring right main spar||Found the best way to deburr this thing is to use the 3" scotch brite twistlock disks that Craftsman makes, on the die grinder. After using them, I just have to touch up with the deburring tool. That would have saved me about 2 hours of deburring on the spar already...|
|2007-08-12||Countersinking and dimpling right main spar - Pictures||Spent 4 hours today determining countersinking depth and then practice riveting. After dimpling, then countersinking and riveting, would cut joint apart to determine quality of rivet. Very glad I did this. When countersink wasn't deep enough, the aluminum sheet wouldn't lay flat on the 1/8" practice piece. Below are some pics.
The plans call out for a hole countersink diameter of .19. After much practicing, I found out that is incorrect - the same as others have determined. Best to countersink the hole until the rivet is exactly 0.027" below the surface. That gives me a rivet that ends up being about 0.001 below the surface of the web spar after riveting.
|2007-08-13||fine tuning countersinking and starting to dimple web||Still working this issue on the right main spar. This is a time consuming portion of the build.|
|2007-08-22||Countersink and dimple right main spar||Reset the dimple depth and completed dimpling right main spar. Life/family/work has interfered with this project the last several weeks.|
|2007-08-24||Right main spar countersink - Pictures||Continued countersinking the right main spar now that I've got the sizes down. Used an extra piece of 1/8" scrap and made it into a guide on hole sizes for the screw countersink and dimples, and the rivet countersink and dimples. The countersink and dimples are actually different sizes if you want everything to actually fit flush - the countersink is slightly deeper than the dimples.
After done countersinking, I then put a number of the flush rivets and crews in to get the alignment correct and cleco'd the rest of the spar together. At this point, all I've got to do is primer the spar and start riveting.
|2007-08-25||Left main spar - drill to final size||Began drilling left main spar to final size tonight. All parts have previously been pilot drilled and assembled/cleco'd together, so this is going quick.
Lesson learned from first spar - I'm using a portable drill press to make sure holes are perfectly verticle. The right spar has some holes slightly canted because I drilled them free hand. Am using a drill press from Sears that you just clamp your electric drill in. It's extremely light but keeps everything aligned. I've had it for probably 15 years, but haven't used it in 10 since I bought my normal drill press. Nice and cheep!
|2007-08-26||Left main spar - drill to final size||Spent a very long day(7 hours) drilling the entire left main spar to final size. Next is countersink and dimpling. Used a portable drill press this time and the holes all look to be perfectly perpendicular to the webbing.
Hit 402.5 hours total time tonight. Not bad considering the entire empenage is almost complete, the flaps, ailerons are done - and the spars are getting there.
Hoping to be final riveting the spars by Thursday night. If the schedule keeps up, would hopefully be done riveting both spars by the end of next weekend.
|2007-08-27||Deburr left main spar||Spent 1.5 hours just cleaning up the edges of the spar caps. These new "non-finished" ones are pretty rough. There is a lot of mill chatter on them and scuffing. Tomorrow night the countersinking should begin.|
|2007-08-28||Left main spar countersink||Spent 1/2 countersinking the left main spar cap. Management interrupt when the wife's stove burned up...|
|2007-08-29||Left main spar countersinking||Spent 2 hours completing the countersinking the left main spar for the rivets and the screws. About 70 some odd holes you have to work on. The drill will be quite warm when you are done with them. The very frigging LAST hole I countersunk, I ovalled out and will have to convert from a rivet to a screw. Not a big deal - but jeez - the LAST one...
Started priming the individual pieces with Zinc Oxide spray.
Borrowed a c-frame and nice rivet squeezer from a local EAA chapter member. Ordered the correct die set, and am looking forward to using it. It looks like I will be able to get about 2/3 of the rivets with it.
|2007-08-30||Worked on both right and left main spar||Getting both main spars ready to go so that I just have to rivet both at the same time and am done with them.
Primed most of the extruded stiffener and support pieces for each spar tonight. Primed one side of the center web for the left spar.
Fabricated a new horizontal stiffener for the inner portion of the spar. I just wasn't happy with how close the rivet holes in the original were to the 90 degree extrusion. Was about ready to "ah... it's good enough", when I thought of Tony Bingelis's statement of "Make haste, slowly...". It took me another 45 minutes to fabricate a new one and drill it out. Will post a pic of this sometime soon. No big deal on fabbing another and the additional peace of mind made an immediate difference in my outlook!
I'm hoping to start riveting over this weekend if the rivet squeezer dies come in. If not -well - no stress, I'll just start on the ribs and all the modifications they require.
Am getting ready to order the landing light kit and the wing tip lights. Looking at the Aeroflash position/navigation/strobe kit. For the landing light I'm looking at the HID light kit by Duckworks Aviation.
Am at a total project time of 410 hours. This includes the entire tail assembly(stabilators/ruddervators/rudder), flaps, ailerons, spars, control triangles, wheels/brakes, and 95+% of the extruded pieces cut to shape
|2007-09-02||Working both spars||Took Saturday off and the wife and I went to the Blakesburg antique airplane fly-in. I can't believe that I've lived 2 hours from about the best aircraft event that I've ever seen - and this is the first I've ever been there. Out of around 100 and some odd airplanes there, I only saw 4 tri-gear planes. 2 of them were Aercoupe's, one was a Navion, and the last was a vintage 1950's straight tail C-172. There was a bunch of C-195's that my wife absolutely lusts over. She claims someday one will be parked in our garage. Yet right - maybe if win the lottery or something... Otherwise, for guys(and gals) who prefer round engines and tail draggers, it was heaven!
Spent 5 hours cleaning, deburring and priming right main spar, then clecoing all together. I could start riveting right main spar right now if I wanted to... but I decided to wait until the left main spar is also ready to rivet so I can do it all at once. It looks good sitting there ready to go!
Primed about 1/3 of left main spar. Only have to deburr and clean spar caps and web yet, then ready to finish priming the rest of it.
I'm getting close on these things, close enough that I'm forcing myself to slow down and make sure I do everything right and don't cut corners. Again, make haste - slowly.
I will easily have 90+ hours just into the spars. And that's with a significant amount of them precut. I can't even imagine how much time the initial builders that had to bandsaw cut the spar caps spent on these things. Probably 200 - 300 would get it right. I can see where a lot of projects would slow down and even eventually stall out and stop right here.
|2007-09-03||7.5 hour day prepping spars for riveting||Did final assembly on the right main spar. All parts are on it just waiting to be riveted.
Deburred, prepped and primed the left main spar. The upper spar cap was really rough from the factory. A lot of rash, lots of scratches and even some corrosion starting. I used the scotchbrite disks in the die grinder and gave it a really good once over. It took a long time to really clean it till I was happy - but I'm done now and I primed it with Zinc Oxide anti-corrosion spray. Actually, I've primed both main spars with Zinc Oxide - much more lung friendly and supposedly just about as effective. I"m in the final stages of assembling the left main spar now - should have it all cleco'd in tomorrow night and ready to start riveting both spars.
Good day, few interruptions. it went for a total of 7.5 hours.
|2007-09-04||More time spent prepping spars for riveting||I bolted down the last of the stiffeners and such tonight for both spars. Tomorrow night I will probably finish prepping the wingtips for them, then start practicing with the rivet squeezer. It would be nice to actually start the riveting then - but not until I'm ready.|
|2007-09-06||Riveting Left Main Spar||Spent 1.5 hours in the beginning stages of riveting my left main spar. Found out the rivet squeezer won't work without purchasing a special head to fit over the spar caps. I'm not going to spent $100 on a new head for a borrowed tool - so am now using the tried and true bolt method.
After hammering in 50+ rivets tonight, I struggled to my feet and
hobbled around walking out the kinks. After a minute of this the 6
year old (Scotty, who's also my biggest helper) asked me "Dad, why are you walking around like a penguin?" I just had to laugh. That pretty much summed up the night.
|2007-09-07||Riveting Left Main Spar||Knocked in another 56 rivets tonight before calling it quits. Much more consistent and fewer I will need to drill out. Getting the hang of it.
|2007-09-08||Still riveting left main spar - Picture||Spent 6 pretty enjoyable hours in the basement with the 6 year old and riveted the left main spar. Got all the way up to the wing blocks/doublers - then went back and drilled out the 12 rivets that didn't pass the sniff test for me. Also put in 4 of the really long AD5-12 rivets that are flush mounted on the inboard side of the spar. They ended up fitting perfectly - major relief there!! 148 to go yet on this spar.
Slowed down and took more time making sure I had the bolt perpendicular to the rivet, and rivet set correctly in the hole. I also took more time measuring to ensure correct shop head set. I've realized this isn't a race to the finish. It looks a ton better than the initial couple of dozen where you can tell I was hurrying it. Almost all rivet shop heads are now round and correct height instead of oval. I did purchase the rivet gauge set from Wicks for checking the shop heads and am very glad I did. I found initially I was way over squishing them.
The bolt head is now ground down to within 2 - 3mm of the bolt shaft - I then chamfered the edges so nothing digs into the spar caps. Again - this made a huge difference in the overall fit and finish of the assembly. Much less rash to deal with.
|2007-09-10||Riveting left main spar - Pictures||Am still waiting for the camera charger from the babysitter who accidentally took it one night with her MP3 player, so no pictures yet.
I've decided that you can reasonably do about 50 rivets a night using the bolt method on the floor. After that you're crippled for the next 12 hours... Using this method, plan on a week of riveting for each spar. I'm taking extra time with the root end of the spar, the rivets are so difficult to knock out if you goof up that you want to take extra time making sure the bolt is perpendicular for each strike. Will probably build a frame for this pretty soon.
The flush rivets on the root side look really, really good. They are almost perfectly flush so far. Looks like all the extra time I took playing with the microstop and dimpling setup is paying off.
|2007-09-12||Still riveting left spar - Pictures||Broke down tonight and built a jig to ensure rivets are flat and round, not ovalled. This after the first three rivets were bad enough I have to drill them out. After building the jig, they all end up almost perfect!
The jig is simple to build. I am using a 6" long 3/4" diameter bolt. I purchased a 3/4" spade bit and drilled a perpendicular hole through the middle of a 2x4 that was 12.5" long. Then cut the board in half exactly in the middle of the hole and put the bolt in it. Then spliced the 2x4 together again with a sandwich joint using two other short lengths of 2x4's. Then I cut the legs(4 of them) to length of 9-1/8" each. Then I cut a center leg that fits underneath each side of the beam and is sandwiched by the legs. Each of these center legs is 5-3/4" long. This dimension is actually rather important, you need to measure to the top of the spar when the bucking bar is underneath it and give yourself an extra 1/4" room. This means the beam with the bolt in it will be 1/4" above the top of the spar cap.
By cutting the board in half the hole is perfectly snug on the bolt so it doesn't rock in the hole, yet lets it move. I did not attach the legs to the beam. It lets me adjust it for width. You are hitting the bolt instead of the wood, so this isn't required.
Wish I would have done this initially. Was able to hammer out 40+ rivets tonight in record time with no more misfires/drill outs.
|2007-09-15||Riveting left main spar||Still hammering rivets. The jig definitely helps keep them aligned, but tonight seamed to slow me down. The spar is warped enough that it's a pain to get the bucking bar square on the rivet head. Spent more time doing that than hammering them. Down to 37 to go - with 9 needing drilled out and replaced.
|2007-09-16||Almost done riveting left main spar||Have 3 more rivets left to put in, then drill out 9 bad ones and reset them - then am finished with left main spar.|
|2007-09-20||99% comple riveting left main spar||Thought I was done then realized that I have to prime the wing tip triangle yet and rivet it on. That shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour of work tomorrow night though. Hopefully will finish it start the right main spar tomorrow night.|
|2007-09-21||Riveting right main spar||Deburred, final drill to size and primed both the wing tips. Stuck in 27 rivets on right main spar.|
|2007-09-23||Right main spar riveting||Spent over 6.5 hours today just riveting. It actually went really fast with this spar. Knocked in 171 rivets - with only 4 to drill out. The bolt jig is really helping out a lot. Down to nothing but flush rivets to put in now. Probably 120 or so left to go.|
|2007-09-24||Riveting right main spar||Into the flush rivets now. Did 36 rivets in 1.5 hours.|
|2007-09-25||Riveting right main spar||Pounded in 17 rivets tonight in 45 minutes. Still have 60 to go ... plus at least 6 to drill out and reset.|
|2007-09-26||Riveting right main spar||3/4 hour riveting right main spar. Got about 34 done. Getting close!|
|2007-09-27||Riveting right main spar||Got all the rivets in except the wing tip tonight. Had to drill out a total of 11. Didn't get those back in yet. Tomorrow night I should be able to finish up all riveting on both main spars!!!|
|2007-09-29||Finished both main spars... maybe... Pictures||10/6/07 note: Contacted Kerry and he said to go with just countersinking through the doubler and the thick center web for the screws. Whew! 15 minutes and finished it up. So... Both spars done except for the final 1/4" reaming through the spars after they are aligned. I have to get some extra hardware to do this, so it may take several days before I start.
Well - this is a day that I won't forget for a very, very very, very very very, long time. It may qualify as a day in infamy for me. The spars are either 15 minutes away from being done - or 15 hours. We'll see what Sonex says.
After I completed the final riveting of both main spars - drilling out the bad rivets, then pounding in some new ones, I discovered I have a problem.
I was attaching the final wing mount bracket to the left wing when I found that I forgot to countersink and dimple two of the screw holes. There are 2 bolts not countersunk, 2 screws that are to be countersunk, and two rivet holes (1 to be countersunk) in the very thick extruded aluminum bracket. After waffling out the rivet hole because the countersink shifted on me, I changed it to a screw hole - so okay there. Unfortunately, I didn't go back and finish countersinking the other 2 screw holes. Lack of attention to detail.
I could just drill out all the rivets in the doubler, pull the doubler and countersink the center section, then re-rivet --> but I would have to drill out approximately 150 rivets :( All the thick ones, all the flush ones... all the hard ones. Ugh!!! We'll see what Sonex says tomorrow. My only option is to countersink the thin doubler and the center section both. I don't know if Sonex is going to go for that.
So, I may have just added 12 - 15 hours of work on this portion of the project. I will also have to buy a bunch of new rivets...
|2007-10-06||Finished putzing around with spars||Only thing left to do is ream the alignment and bolt holes out to 1/4". I have to purchase some hardware first, so will be next week earliest before I can get stuff in.|
|2007-10-07||Worked on nose ribs and gussets - Pictures||Spent a good 7 hour day flanging all the nose rib gussets, deburring them, and deburring the nose ribs themselves. Relieved the number one ribs per instructions for the spar caps.|
|2007-10-08||Prepping nose ribs||Spent 1.5 hours finish relieving the nose ribs. Also drilled and cleco'd in the gussets for both #4 nose ribs. Piece of cake right now compared to the spars.|
|2007-10-09||Working on nose ribs||Pilot drilled and final drilled all nose ribs and gussets. Deburred nose ribs and gussets. Primed gussets and on nose rib where gusset lays against. Started riveting 1st nose rib.|
|2007-10-10||Completed Nose Ribs||Finished riveting all nose ribs. Layed out the aft ribs- when I discovered I may have made a mistake on the nose ribs. On the root nose ribs it looks as if I should have placed the gussets differently. I may have to order two new ribs. I can't tell for sure until I start laying out the spars and see what's up.|
|2007-10-14||Working on Aft ribs||Spent 5 hours today working on the aft ribs. Marked and bent all aft rib gussets. Marked and cut out spar cap reliefs in the 10 aft ribs required. Final deburring of 6 of the 10 ribs.|
|2007-10-15||Main spars mated tonight!! Pictures||Whew!! Huge scary accomplishment tonight - the two main spars were mated together without a hitch. Everything fit absolutely perfect first time through. Ahhhh... 4 months of pain completed.|
|2007-10-16||Deburring aft ribs||Spent an hour just deburring and cleaning up eight aft ribs. Around 14 more to go.|
|2007-10-18||Aft ribs debur||Deburred last of aft ribs and began pilot drilling gussets.|
|2007-10-20||Aft ribs completion||Pilot drilled and final drilled/primed/riveted gussets onto aft ribs. Cut out and deburred all shims required between aft ribs and main spar.|
|2007-10-21||Laying out ribs - Pictures||Cleco'd all ribs to spar and layed out skin to confirm fit. It is actually starting to look like a wing! Fabricated a jig to hold the ribs 90 degree's so wing is square. Pretty easy, just used an extra piece of extruded aluminum angle I had and bent the ends/drilled bolt holes through them. Bolted one end to the rear spar - the other to the main spar. It worked perfectly. Thanks Kip for bringing this to my attention!|
|2007-10-30||Jigging in aft ribs||Spent 3 hours tonight just drawing the center lines on the aft ribs of the right wing, then clamping the skin on and seeing how close everything lines up. After dinking around with it for several hours, the rear spar bolt hole ends up about 3/64" off. Not bad at all considering the amount of Houdini work it takes to get this far into the wing. Next on the list is to double check rib/spar alignment so the skin lays about flush on both. I can tell now that I've got about 3 ribs I will have to adjust slightly. After that though, I should be drilling them to size 30 - finish primering everything, then riveting them down. I need to finish the aileron bell crank assembly in the process.|
|2007-11-03||Time spent jigging ing in ribs||Spent about 5 hours jigging in ribs, drawing center lines, and seeing how the top skin fit. It fits pretty good so far. Haven't gotten the root ribs fabricated yet to try out.|
|2007-11-05||Working on root ribs||Just started fabricating the root ribs and the doublers.|
|2007-11-10||Fabricating root ribs and doublers||Spent 4 hours fabricating the root ribs and doublers for them. Had to make the entire left wing set again as I final drilled them to fit on the inside of the rib instead of the outside. Duh... Knocked out all 4 doublers in 20 minutes, getting pretty good at them. Primed all doublers and riveted the right side doublers to the root ribs.
Started working on Aileron bellcrank assemblies. Have the right side drilled out most of the way.
|2007-11-13||Working on Aileron bellcrank assemblies||Got the right bellcrank assembly finished tonight.|
|2007-11-17||Working on Aileron bellcrank assemblies||Spent a good 5 hour day today working on the aileron bellcranks and mounting brackets. Thought I initially had them adjusted correctly, but realized at one point that the castle nut for the pivot point pin has to be tight enough so the bellcrank does not rotate on the pin, but instead the pin/sleeves rotate in the bronze bushings. After I got both done, the assembly is amazingly smooth. Instead of oil like the plans say, and white lithium grease like the factory suggested - I went with an anti-seize lubricant. Personal experience has taught me the hard lesson that lithium grease will in fact become chalky over time if not used. Had to tear down a stockcar motor one time that sat in storage for 3 years because the lithium grease just chalked up in the bearings.
Finished assembly for right wing except for final riveting. Most of left wing assembly is fabricated, just need to drill and rivet in place.
|2007-11-21||Good 8 hour day - Pictures||Spent 8 hours today finish fabricating the bellcrank assemblies and riveting them and the support structure to the ribs. Did this for both right and left wings. Did not rivet in the top gusset. Decided to wait until I had the skin cleco'd on so they were flush with the bottom of the skin instead of creating a hump or a dip.
Fabricated all pitot tube guides.
Started jigging in wing before I called it quits.
|2007-11-23||Love vacations! Spent 5 hours today on the wings - Pictures||I'm on a 6 day vacation and loving it! Got another 5 hours today on the wings. Spent most of the day jigging in the wing skins, drilling to final size all the main and rear spar rivet joints. Deburring everything, then riveting the last of the solid rivets in the main spar. I'd waited to rivet/bolt in the last wing attach block, but knocked that out. Found one extra solid rivet that I'd drilled out in the spar cap/web and hadn't put back in yet. Jeez, it's amazing how easy it is to miss stuff.
One thing I'm not quit happy about is the root rib fitment. It doesn't lay perfectly flat to the fabricated rivet plates you have to rivet it to. Neither is it flush with the edge of the skin. Both Doug Boyd and I have had this exact same issue.
If I were to do this project again, the one other thing I would change would be to not pre-drill the rear main spar rib holes ahead of time. The ribs now aren't perfectly perpendicular to the spar, they are off by about 3/32" top to bottom when the wing is verticle on a sawhorse. Putting the skin on first and then using the pre-drilled holes in the skin and matching to the center line on the rib would be a much better method to do this. This is where it would be nice to have a factory assembly manual instead of just engineering sheets.
|2007-11-25||Riveting ribs to main & rear spar||Took several hours to rivet all the ribs to the main spar. Had to order CCP-54 rivets due to accidentally drilling out rivet pilot holes in spar cap to #21 size.
Began jigging wing with top skin clamped in place for pilot drilling of ribs.
Ordered GS Air strobe/nav/position light kit. Ordered Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Pitot assembly and misc. other stuff needed.
|2007-11-26||Drilling out upper skin - Pictures||Spent a good 5 hour day pilot drilling, then final drilling the upper skin to the right wing. Also attached the aileron bellcrank support gussets to the wing. Pilot drilled the aileron hinge to the rear spar/skin.
Item of note: This makes exactly one year on this project today and 540 hours spent working on it. Inventory of progress:
Completed Ruddervators, Stabilators, Rudder, Ailerons, Flaps, Control Triangle, Mixer, Wheel/Tire assemblies, Right & Left rear/main spars, Right wing has top skin cleco'd in place.
|2007-11-30||Drilling out bottom skin - Pictures||Spent 6 hours today fitting and drilling out the bottom skin to the ribs. Everything went well. I am not happy with how the root rib fits either the top or bottom skin. The potion by the rear spar is perfect. The part on the main spar just seams to be off by about 1/2". I may remake the root rib angle and slide it a little closer to the flap hole through the main spar, I think this will help.|
|2007-12-01||Another minor basement flood. Finish drilling lower skin and fitting root ribs||We started the morning by having the 6 year old running up stairs at 7:30 this Saturday and screaming there was an explosion down stairs and something was hissing like snakes. I hate snakes... Di and I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to - once again, find water on the floor in the basement. I hate sump pumps. The pipe going outside froze. The water softener was recycling itself and it dumps into the sump. It filled up enough to kick off the pedestal pump. The pedestal ran but couldn't empty the sump. Then the emergency backup high volume pump kicked in. The combined pressure of the two blew out the rubber boot between two pipes and we dumped probably 20 gallons of water everywhere. All tools are now nice and clean due to the high pressure spray. Four hour clean up job. The one nice thing about the two basement floods this year? I have a really, really clean basement. No damage to airplane parts.
Continuing from yesterday, I moved the forward side of aft root rib to the other side of the support bracket (got it, right?). That made the rib fit absolutely perfect! Everything lined up just like it should. I wonder if the plans are not correct here?
Completed drilling in the upper side of the leading edge skin.
|2007-12-02||Working leading edge skin||Spent 6 hours and pilot drilled the entire upper leading edge skin into place - except the most forward portion. I need to do some playing around with that last row of rivet holes.|
|2007-12-05||Drilling in lower side of leading edge skin||Spent 2 hours tonight drilling a jillion holes in the bottom side of the leading edge skin. The skin is riveted into the lower spar cap every 1.5", and the wing is 10' long. You count them... I currently have cramps in my right forearm.|
|2007-12-07||Leading edge and Pitot Assembly - Pictures||Took a day of vacation and spent 9 hours focusing on the plane. Completed drilling in the leading edge assembly. Spent 4 hours putzing around with the pitot assembly. I purchased the $15 Aircraft Spruce one, and modified the mounting plate used in the plans to get it to fit correctly. Worked like a charm, just took time scratching the chin to make sure I didn't screw any thing up.|
|2007-12-10||Skins and flaps/aileron hinges||Well, spent 6 hours today final drilling in the skins and leading edge. Also got the hinges in. In the process, I determined that I used the incorrect hinge on the right aileron...sigh... I have to drill the hinge out now, and drill another one in... sigh. I needed to work on that one anyway due to not getting the balance weight brackets on symetrical, but I sure didn't want to do this. The pile of miscut/misdrilled/etc parts is building daily. Outside of that, the wing is looking good. I have several dents in the upper aft skin due to moving the wing with the clecos in it. I can straighten them out and clean them up I think.|
|2007-12-11||Disassembled right wing for last time||Spent 1.5 hours disassembling right wing for the last time and started deburring process. Holy moley, but the deburring is going to take a long time. Also drilled in the aileron support bracket gussets.|
|2008-01-01||Finished deburring ribs and spars||Completed deburring ribs and spars. Spent an hour just getting back into the frame of mind to work on the project. Holidays killed me as I didn't get to work on it at all and had to take a last minute business to trip to North Carolina. Put together a detailed list of items to complete and the order to complete them in - to finish the right wing. That helped a lot to get back on track.|
|2008-01-02||Minor stuff||Spent time tonight just doing busy work.
1) Pulled all the wing plan sheets together and stapled them. Was tired of chasing them around.
2) Put last rivet in rib 13 to main spar. I had to order oversized blind rivets cause I drilled out to #21 accidentally.
3) Fabbed aft root rib gussets - again. Since the root rib is going on the inside of the mounting bracket to get the flange to match the skin correctly(already documented earlier), the gussets have to go on the back side of the rib. I can do these gussets in my sleep now.
|2008-01-06||6 hours working on ribs||Spent 6 hours getting root ribs nailed down and taking care of some details that needed to be cleaned up. In the process forgot to rivet the leading edge root rib before I riveted in the rib assembly #1. I compounded mistake by trying to rivet the leading edge root rib with a hand riveter through the lightening hole of rib 1. Ended up butchering up rib 1 when the handles of the riveter crunched in on it. I'm screwed on this one I think. Lesson learned - next time just do it the right way and drill out all rivets and do it right instead of trying to make do.|
|2008-01-07||Aft and leading edge ribs all riveted in - Pictures||Boy oh Boy. I estimated it was going to take me 4 hours to fix the mess I made last time. It took 2. I had to drill out 14 rivets to get it done right, but I was able to salvage the leading edge rib by just carefully bending it back in place and cleaning up the burs. All ribs are riveted on. Was just finishing up when I happened to glance at the number 3 rib and about fainted - two of the rivets through the rib/mainspar/leading edge rib - were not there!!! I had to drill out the 4 rivets on the rear spar to get in and put the last two rivets on the main spar, then re-rivet the rear spar. I spent another 1/2 hour going over the wing substructure meticulously to make sure all holes requiring rivets had them in! And - I just plain checked everything to make sure it it was all done right.
I put a white board up in the shop to keep a lists on. After the taking so much time off the last month, I found it invaluable to put a list of everything you need to do still to finish the specific portion of the project you are working on. It makes you create a plan and you can get to work faster.
|2008-01-09||Deburred lower aft right wing skin||Spent 1.5 hours deburring both sides of lower aft wing skins, and taking out mars in the aluminum where the cleco's left some small round rings. Lessons learned for left wing skins. Filleted the skin off right ring finger knuckle on a burr somewhere and bled all over skin before I realized it. Got it all cleaned off good since blood is so corrosive. All I've got to do on the lower skin is drill the tie down hole and clean it up, then polish skin and rivet it. Sounds easy - probably 3-4 hours of work. May have done before I leave on Sunday for Orlando for a conference for a week.|
|2008-01-11||Deburring lower aft wing skin||Spent 4 hours final deburring of aft lower wing skin. Bled all over the skin again. Drilled pilot hole for wing tie down.|
|2008-01-20||Drilled nose ribs||Drilled out nose ribs to size 32 drill. Was going to use the Sonex super simple die, but the dimple size is just huge compared to the standard Wicks 1/8" dimple. Using the the Wicks dimple meant I had to drill out to the larger 32 size drill to fit the nail for the dimple dies. So I had to drill out all the nose ribs top and bottom sides to 32 and start deburring them.|
|2008-01-21||Final deburr nose ribs and dimpling||Spent the evening finish deburring both sides of the nose rib rivet holes. Also drilled the two last holes (that I forgot to do earlier) in the tooling holes in the front of the nose ribs to put the rubber grommets in so I can run the wingtip light wiring.
Began dimpling the nose ribs. Finished four of the ribs. This is a rather tedious job.
|2008-01-23||Dimple nose ribs||Only getting 15 minutes tonight - got 4 nose ribs dimpled.|
|2008-01-24||Dimple nose ribs||1/2 tonight dimpling nose ribs. Finished bottom side nose ribs. Primed bottom side nose ribs. Have to order new dimple die set as I accidentally gouged the ones being used. Officially went over the 600 hour night on the project tonight. Am guessing about 1/2 way done.|
|2008-01-26||Polishing lower right wing skin||Spent a little over 5 hours polishing lower wing skin. Used the F9 grade. I may play a little with the next grade, but won't get too serious as this is the lower skin.
|2008-01-27||Polishing right upper wing skins - Pictures||Spent about 7 hours today finishing the lower aft wing skin - last bit of polish (didn't go to final Nuvite S grade, but did 4 coats of F9 and then 1 of C.) Also had to slightly enlargen wing tie-down bolt hole in skin to get the washer to fit inside it for spacing purposes.
Polished upper aft wing skin for about 6 hours. 4 coats of F9 on about 3/4 of the skin, starting to really look good. Am just not happy about the grooves I left in the skin from having the wing sit on the cleco's. I really buggered them pretty good and had to sand the skin pretty heavily in places. You can see the dips and where the sanding was done. They are still structurally sound, the plane just won't win the "best in class" award with them, unless I can get creative with some type of paint scheme.
|2008-01-30||Dimple leading edge ribs||Spent some time dimpling leading edge ribs then priming them. Also sanded down some more nicks and such in the lower skin.
I have decided to get a new upper aft skin for the right wing. The grooves are just too deep for me to comfortably sand out and:
1)feel 120% comfortable that the strength is still there
2)they just esthetically look bad.
In the overall scheme of things, $200 (compared against a $35k airplane) and 10 hours of extra work (vs.1500 hours total build time) is round-off error, and it would bug me every time I walked by it. It's easier now to replace it than it will be to drill out 300 holes and do it in the future.
So, tomorrow I fall on my sword and order yet another bunch of replacement parts I need (been gathering a list).
1)Upper wing skin
3)Q2 Aileron ribs (I have to replace hinge and rebuild aileron)
4)More Nuvite F9 cream
|2008-02-02||Cleaning up lower aft skin||Spent sanding out some scratches/grooves and then re-polishing the lower aft skin. Cleco'd onto wing frame.
Cleaned and primed nose ribs. Wing frame now complete.
|2008-02-03||Polishing leading edge skin||Spent 4 hours deburring and polishing leading edge skin|
|2008-02-06||Polishing leading edge||Spent 1 hour learning how to use the new Cyclo polisher. There must be a technique on using this thing because it actually seems to take some of the shine off the surface after I use it. Will study it up some more. Also spent about 1/2 hour looking around in the shop trying to find my dimple die set so I can start dimpling the leading edge. After 1/2 hour I finally looked in the spot where I usually store it...and found it sitting there. Must have been a mouse that put it back there because I swear it wasn't there the first time I looked...|
|2008-02-10||Finished right wing leading edge skin - 7 hours||Spent a good 7 hour day today finishing up the right wing leading edge skin. Polished, dimpled,and installed the nutplates to hold the pitot assembly. Also polished the pitot plate and riveted it to the pitot assembly. You can see the pics of the pitot below - I used washers under the screws so I didn't have to tighten the screws all the way into the nylock.
Went to Oshkosh on Friday with my parents and brother. We visited Sonex (first time for them ever to Oshkosh - and to see completed Sonex airplanes!) I picked up a new upper wing skin, nose rib and aileron rib (yes, I had issues with this wing...) Jeremy was nice enough to give us a tour of the factory and answer all my families tons of odd questions. It was a good 1/2 tour and I really appreciated it as it gave them confidence in the design and the company.
|2008-02-10||Deburred new upper aft right wing skin||Spent two hours drilling out the new upper wing skin and deburring it. I layed the old wing skin over top and drilled through both so I matched the holes correctly. This new wing skin is in much better shape that the first one I got. This one has no scratches, corrosion, flashing, or dings. The first one I got was a mess and took a long time to clean up. This one went fast!|
|2008-02-11||Deburring new upper aft right skin||Spent 1 hour deburring new skin.|
|2008-02-12||Deburr and polishing upper right skin||Spent 1 hour finish deburring and starting to polish upper right skin. Only 7 more to go!|
|2008-02-16||Finished polishing upper right aft wing skin||Spent about 4 hours finish polishing upper right aft wing skin. It looks really good - much better than the one I was sent originally. The original one was really scratched had corrosion on it when I got it from Sonex. I was never really get out, but the new one was perfect. Began prep work for the wing for final assembly.|
|2008-02-17||Riveted right lower aft wing skin - Picture||Spent a good 8 hour day today starting on final assembly of wing.
1) Riveted on the lower aft wing skin after priming it.
2) Primed the leading edge wing skin.
3) I started to put the control rods on when I found that Sonex sent me Xenos ruddervator pushrods instead of Waiex aileron pushrods. Will call tomorrow. Clearanced bushing for aileron bellcrank/pushrod rod and installed short aileron pushrod.
4) Polished inspection port covers for both wings.
5) Cut and ran Pitot tubing.
6) Cut and ran wing strobe/nav/position light wiring in leading edge ribs.
|2008-02-19||Drilled out all rivets on Aileron||Had to replace piano hinge with correct -3 style vs. -4 (which is taller). Also pulled out the counterbalance ribs and drilled out the u-channel and fixed so ribs were perpendicular to each other.|
|2008-02-22||Started riveting right aileron back together||Spent some time messing around and reassembling the right aileron. Drilled out all the hinge rivet holes and started deburring.
Installed/riveted flap hinge.
|2008-02-23||Put aileron rods in||Spent several hours general cleaning and then installed the aileron push rods that I got from Sonex. Got parts ready for the EAA tech adviser to come over and give a once over. Les and Corey came over and didn't find any squawks - so am happy about this. The looked over the wing, stabilator, other spar, and misc. other pieces and parts.|
|2008-02-29||Riveted upper skin and bottom of leading edge - Pictures||Spent 8 hours today just riveting the upper skin and lower leading edge skin of the right wing. Also riveted most of the aileron back together including the hinge so I could rivet the hinge on the wing.
The only thing left to do on this wing is rivet the upper leading edge skin on and get the fiberglass wingtip on it.
|2008-03-02||Finished rebuilding right aileron||Completed riveting together and polishing out scratches of right aileron.|
|2008-03-02||Working on wing tip||Spent 2 hours trimming the fiberglass and trying to get the right wing tip to fit. It's not quite perfect, but is now fitted. There is a slight gap between the nose skin and the fiberglass. I'll probably end up puttying this to make it look better. Will drill holes and cleco this week. A nice way to finish the week. Finished up the wing and almost the wing tip. Also got the Van's wing tip extensions in so I can get the lights mounted.
Will pick up Paul Adams wing carriers this week for Doug and me so we can store them.
|2008-03-07||Right Wing tip||Drilled in pilot holes of right wing tip.|
|2008-03-08||Completed right wing and stored it - Pictures||I completed the right wing. Wing tip is cleco'd on, but I didn't put the wing tip light on it as I want it level during flight and I can't tell yet where level exactly is. So, I assembled a wing stand that Paul Adams gave to me (Thanks man!!), cleaned out the entire basement and reorganized it, then moved the wing to the other room. I put the aileron and flap on to help get them out of the way.
After all that was done, I started working on the left wing. Progress was amazingly fast! After 2 hours I had the wing structure all together and the rear spar final drilled. All the prep work I did while fabricating the right wing has really helped.
|2008-03-09||Left wing ribs and lower aft skin - Pictures||Spent a good 6 hour day today working the right wing. This one is going so much easier than the first, everything is fitting perfect first time.
1) Pulled all ribs off and center marked them
2) Installed root rib and drilled hole
3) Fixed rib#1 where I cut 1/4" off it as I was duplicating the right wing - didn't have to cut at all though. So, I made a flange and riveted it on. Getting pretty handy on stuff like this. They say you can always tell a good carpenter from a lousy carpenter by how well they hide their mistakes - I'm getting there!
4) Leveled sawhorses.
5) Marked where skin is supposed to go and trial fit the lower aft skin. Everything came out to within 1/32" of where it is supposed to be. Even the root rib was flush with the skin. Totally different from the first wing experience!
6) Made a detailed list on my whiteboard of every step I have to do until left wing complete. Exactly 40 steps.
|2008-03-15||Left wing - deburring and priming nose ribs||Spent 3.5 hours tonight final drilling the root rib and riveting it to the extrusion, deburring and priming nose ribs. I've got a question about running landing light wiring - basically where and how.|
|2008-03-16||Left Wing - deburring aft ribs and priming||Spent the afternoon deburring and priming aft ribs and rear spar. Got the aft ribs cleco'd in place with the rear spar also cleco'd in.
Ordered the headlight kit from Duckworks last night. Am mulling over the wiring that I will have to do - how many wires, where they will be routed and what size of grommets will be needed. Will scope them out tomorrow at Menard's.
Ordered the Jabiru 3300 this week. There was a $2k discount if ordered at the time. I didn't really want to order it right now - but a $2K discount won't show up again any time soon.
|2008-03-18||Started on forward fuselage||Started on forward fuselage tonight. Am waiting for parts to come in on left wing, so I started the forward fuse sides. I've already got most of the extrusions cut out and deburred, just started drilling pilot holes. Also inventoried the pre-made parts and started deburring them.|
|2008-03-20||Layed out forward fuselage||Spent 3 hours studying the plans,laying out the extrusions and cleaning up the pre-made parts. It all goes together pretty nicely. If I would have actually "completed" making all the extrusions (deburr, prime and pilot drill), I could have actually pilot and final drilled everything tonight. These sides go together fast, one weekend and you should have one completed and the other started.|
|2008-03-21||Left wing lower aft skin||Fitted and pilot/final drill lower aft wing skin.|
|2008-03-22||Flap hinge fit and upper aft skin fitted||Spent a good 8 hour day today nailing down the flap hinge and fitting/pilot drilling the upper aft skin. Ran into an issue with the aileron rib support brackets. The brackets stick out right where the rivet hole is for the rib. Had to drill out all the rivets for that bracket and relieve it by 1/4" to clear the rivet - then put in one extra rivet holding the bracket to the rib. Pictures will explain it when I upload them.|
|2008-03-23||Final dril left upper aft skin and main spars to both aft skins||Spent a good 5 hour day today doing the "cleco dance" with my two boys. They sure helped out a lot (7 and 11 years old). Final drilled the upper aft skin and pilot drilled both sides of the wing. It really goes fast when you know what you are doing. Pilot drilled two of the aileron support bracket angles that rivet to the skin.
Building another set of wings, I could do in less than 1/2 the time it took these two.
|2008-03-24||Rivet last rib in place||Spent 1.5 hours tonight doing the following:
1) Final fitment and modification of aileron bellcrank support angle brackets fitment to wing skin - drill holes and rivet angles in place to channel.
2) Final drill of wing skin to aileron support brackets.
3) Rivet last rib into place (Aileron bellcrank rib).
4) Rivet last 5 ribs to rear spar.
|2008-03-29||Final drill left wing lower aft skin to main spar||1) Final drilled the left wing lower aft skin to main spar.
2) Final cleanup and tweaking to the hole in the skin for the wing tie down bolt.
3) Deburred lower aft skin.
4) Began polishing lower aft skin.
5) Final fit and drill aileron hinge.
Got my BFR scheduled today for next week Sunday. Will spend most of the week reviewing, so won't get much work time.
Dave Leners from DeWitt, Iowa gave me a call out of the blue and stopped by for the afternoon. He was dropping his son off at college in Ames (Iowa State University where he's a mechanical engineering student). Dave has Waiex kit #27 that he's working on. He went over my wings pretty thoroughly - it's good to have other people do this as occasionally they will find stuff. So far I've been pretty clean though.
I think there's only 3 of us in Iowa building a Waiex, and I now know both of the others, that's kind of cool.
|2008-03-30||Polished left wing lower and upper aft skins||Spent 4.5 hours today polishing the left wing lower and upper aft skins, and then pilot drilling the lower for the inspection plate screws.|
|2008-04-07||Deburr left wing ribs and rear spar||Spent 1 hour deburring stuff. Sliced my knuckle open and bled like a stuck pig. Bloody painful...
Had to take a week off and study for my BFR. Took it on Sunday the 6th and am considered safe again to fly.
|2008-04-08||Drilled & cleco'd upper leading edge to wing||Spent a quick hour tonight drilling and clecoing the leading edge skin upper side to the left wing main spar. Everything fits perfect so far.|
|2008-04-10||Started on left wing leading edge||Spent an hour tonight clecoing in place the top side leading edge skin on the left wing and final drilling it to the main spar.|
|2008-04-12||Left wing leading edge final drill both sides||Spent 4 hours today final fitting the leading edge skin on the left wing. Got both sides on and final drilled. Starting to look at the cut out required for the landing light. Got the trim strip doubler also final drilled except for on the leading edge. I still have to final attach the leading edge root rib.|
|2008-04-13||Root rib - left wing||Spent multiple hours today getting the new root rib fabricated and riveted to the extrusion angle. Started to bolt it in place. Also began the fab work for the Duckworks landing light kit.|
|2008-04-18||Left wing root ribs||Spent 1.5 hours tonight attaching root ribs to spar, and drilling out skin to root ribs.|
|2008-04-19||Prep left wing for landing light||Spent 2 hours tonight drilling the last of the holes for the root ribs, deburring most of the wing surface, and cutting the hole for the landing light.|
|2008-04-25||Polishing left wing upper aft skin|
|2008-04-26||Polishing Left wing upper aft skin||Spent 8 hours doing a good solid polish job on this skin. First time I ever really took it all the way to finish. You can't even see aluminum anymore, it's just like looking in a mirror!|
|2008-04-27||Re-polish left wing lower aft skin||Spent another hour polishing the right wing lower aft skin. It really came in good, I finally have the method down.
Started deburring nose ribs, and also primed rib contact points on both upper and lower aft skins.
|2008-04-28||Dimpling left wing leading edge ribs||Spent 2.5 hours tonight dimpling the leading edge ribs, priming them, and final deburring of main spar.|
|2008-05-03||Polishing left wing leading edge skin||Spent 1 hour today polishing the leading edge skin. Have about 3/4 of the top side done.|
|2008-05-04||Polishing Left Wing leading edge skin||Spent 2.5 hours today polishing the leading edge skin of the left wing. It's starting to look really good. Hopefully will finish it up tomorrow night.|
|2008-05-05||Finished polishing left wing leading edge skin... finally||Spent the last 1.5 hours tonight polishing the leading edge skin for the left wing. All that's left to do is deburr the inside and dimple it - then final riveting of the wing to occur.|
|2008-05-06||Debur and dimple leading edge left wing||Spent 1.5 hours tonight deburring and dimpling leading edge skin for left wing. Gave myself a heart attack when I thought that I didn't need to have dimpled the first four leading edge ribs/skin because of the wing walk extra skin doubler... then after 15 minutes of chewing myself out - I realized that the doubler doesn't go over the nose skin. WHEW!!
All I've got left to do on the leading edge skin is dimple the upper side skin and prime the inside of the skin where it lays on the ribs. After that, all I've got to do is install the aileron push rods and rivet all the skins on. The end is in sight for this wing. Looking forward to starting on the fuselage.
|2008-05-07||Finished dimpling left wing leading edge and primed it||Also started clecoing the lower aft wing skin in place.|
|2008-05-09||Rivet left wing lower aft skin - Pictures||Spent 4 hours fitting the control rods and riveting the lower aft skin on the left wing. Finally.|
|2008-05-11||Rivet upper aft wing skin left wing - Pictures||Finish riveting both aft wing skins and the hinges in place.|
|2008-05-15||Ran landing light wiring and final assembly of landing light ballast Pictures||Put in all the grommets and ran the landing light wiring. Final assembly of the ballast to the spar - including blue Locktite to make sure the screws didn't loosen up. Spent quite some time planning how to secure the wiring for the light to the spar and what connectors to use.|
|2008-05-18||Cleco top leading edge left wing in place||Finished all connections on landing light, shrink tube wrapped them, and zip tied them through two holes I drilled through the wing spar webbing. Turned out well.
Cleco'd the top of the leading edge skin in place.
|2008-05-19||Left wing leading edge riveting||Riveted top side of left wing leading edge tonight. Got the wing flipped over and have the leading edge cleco'd to the spar.|
|2008-05-20||Working on landing light lense assembly||spent about an hour studying the landing light lense assembly and how to fabricate the retaining brackets. Not exactly clear, but not too bad.
Cleco'd all the leading edge skin on the bottom side of the left wing in place.
|2008-05-24||Fabricated landing light lens lower bracket||Spent 1/2 hour fabricating and riveting the landing light lens lower retention bracket.|
|2008-05-25||Closed up left wing!!! Pictures||Final riveted leading edge to the left wing. Good day today!|
|2008-05-26||Working on landing light lens bracket||Not so good of a day today... Flipped the wing over and found that when I final riveted the leading edge skin yesterday, there was a cleco partially under it. So- the top side of the left wing leading edge now has a nice mar/dent between the leading edge root rib and rib #1. I'll see if I can't dry ice it out, then sand some of the marring. Otherwise, it's not bad enough to be a saftey issue, just an aesthetic issue that torques you off. Dumb mistake.
Finish fabricating landing light lens brackets.
|2008-05-27||Landing light plexi fabrication - got engine today! - Pictures||Spent 2.5 hours trimming the landing light Plexiglas to fit the leading edge. Got it done, just am not going to final attach it till I actually put the wings on. I don't want to bang around and scratch it.
Also, so the time to final attach the left spar wing attach bracket to the spar. 6 bolts/screws in. Have one left to torque down. The only thing left on this wing then is the wing tip! The fuselage is in sight!
Oh yea, big news is that I got my new Jab3300 today. Yehaaaa!
|2008-06-01||Final fitment of left wing wingtip/ start laying out forward fuselage||Finished putting wingtip on left wing. Still have to fiberglass the strobe/tip light extension on.
Moved wing from table to wing stand and put it in temporary storage.
Got out plans for fuselage and got them organized. Started laying out fuselage parts
|2008-06-04||Fitment of right side lower longeron||Final fit the right side lower longeron and drill the pilot holes.|
|2008-06-07||Fitment of upper longeron||Spent 1/2 hour tonight just marking pilot holes and fitting longeron to length.|
|2008-06-15||Fabricating extrusion for foward right fuselage side||Spent 6 hours today finish fabricating the right front fuse side extrusion pieces. They are all cut to length and shape, but final cleanup and pilot holes had to be drilled yet. Down to 3 pieces of Z02-03 to cut and that's it - time to start putting it together!|
|2008-06-21||Parts fab and prep||Spending time finish making some of the parts for the right from fuselage. Almost completed.|
|2008-06-29||Work on right foward fuselage - 7 hours||Spent a good 7 hours today fabricating parts and getting ready to start pilot drilling the right forward fuselage. It took longer than expected to fabricate the rudder pedal pivots.
Once I started the actual pilot drilling of the skin with the extrusion pieces, it went really fast. I literally only takes about an hour to pilot drill the whole side I think. I got about 1/2 done, and had to call it a night.
|2008-07-02||right hand forward fusealage wing angles||Spent an hour positioning and drilling/clecoing the right hand forward fuselage wing angles and the seat angle.|
|2008-07-04||Right side forward fuselage pilot drilling||Spent 4 hours today just getting all the extrusion pieces pilot drilled in place.|
|2008-07-05||Right side foward fusealage||Spent 4 hours again today just pilot drilling all the gussets ad the last of the pieces/parts for the right side forward fuselage. All I've got to do is drill to final size, deburr, polish the skin, primer the extrusions and plates/gussets, and rivet/bolt the parts together.|
|2008-07-07||Right foward fuselage final drilling - Pictures||Spent 3 hours tonight (!) final drilling and fitment of all the extrusions and gussets. All I need to do is deburr, prime and rivet. This is taking longer than expected for these.|
|2008-07-10||Deburring & priming right forward fuselage||Spent 1.5 hours tonight deburring and priming right forward fuselage. Have to prime the other side yet and polish the skin, then rivet together.|
|2008-07-12||Completed right foward fuselage - Pictures||Spent 8.5 hours today finishing the right forward fuselage. It turned out quite well. Polished the skin through the C level and it also looks good.
Right forward fuselage = 39 hours of work. Course that includes fabricating a bunch of pieces for the left side also. HOPEFULLY the left side will go quicker.
Started laying out left forward fuselage and ran into a problem. The upper longeron is warped pretty good. It is off by over an inch in less than 5 feet. Will get another piece.
|2008-08-11||Extrusions for left from Fuselage||Spent 3/4 of an hour finishing some pieces for the front left fuselage. Have to order some new 1" extrusion for the upper left longeron.
Spent two weeks on vacation, and family interruptions kept me occupied for several weeks. All in all, I didn't get any work done for almost a month. Went to Oshkosh and Sturgis the last two weeks. Needed the mental break, and am now motivated again. Rode the Honda Goldwing to Oshkosh. Doug Boyd and I camped out beside each other and spent most of the week together going to a variety of symposiums and talking life over. It was definitely the best of my Oshkosh visits, and I've been to at least six of them now (that I can remember) since 1988.
|2008-08-12||Left forward fuselage extrusions||Spent a little over an hour tonight marking and drilling holes in extrusion pieces. Also fabricated the firewall cowling hinge.
It's taking a little bit to get back into the building mode after being off it for a month on other stuff. Have been able to pick right up and go again, but am definitely more careful on the measuring and drilling - and it's payed dividends already. Already found one mistake that would have required making a new piece if I would have drilled where I marked. I think the mental break is good to re-energize you.
|2008-08-13||Left forward fuselage fabrication||Spent almost 2 hours tonight just working on the angle pieces that the hinge rivets to on the firewall. Pretty easy stuff.|
|2008-08-14||Left forward Fuselage||Spent an hour this morning working on extrusion parts for left forward fuselage.|
|2008-08-15||Left foward fuselage extrusions||Spent another 6 hours tonight after work cranking away on extrusions for the left forward fuselage. A lot of double checking and trying to avoid mistakes. Found during a double check that my RIGHT upper longeron cut-out hole (elongated hole 1/2" diameter at the front of the cockpit) is about 1/8" off from where it should be. Don't know if/how this will impact me. I may (oh boy...) have to drill out the rivets and make a new one - and man, I don't want to do that... I haven't figured out yet what this hole is actually used for.|
|2008-08-16||Left foward fuselage work||Spent some time this morning cranking away on extrusion pieces still.|
|2008-08-17||Left forward Fuselage||Spent another several hours working on the motor mounts (rounding the angle so they fit snugly into the longerons). Also marked and cut the phenolic pieces for the canopy locking bar. I hate phenolic - when cut it smells like a 3 month old cat liter box that has never been changed.|
|2008-08-18||Left forward fuselage||Working on the canopy latch striker plates out of phenolic. They are a pain to file.|
|2008-08-21||Left foward fuselage||Still working on latch strike plate phenolic blocks.|
|2008-08-22||Left foward fuseelage||Making latch strike plate phenolic blocks.|
|2008-08-24||Left foward fuselage extrusions - Picture||Realized that I screwed up on the phenolic blocks and put the slot 1-13/32" instead of 1-13/16" back from the edge. This totally screws up how it latches and is unusable. Have to order another phenolic block tomorrow and remake them.
After that I spent about 4 hours drilling/clecoing the extrusions to the skin. Only thing left to drill in beside the new latch plate phenolic blocks - is the flap doubler and the rudder plate. Finally making some progress again.
Found that many times the only time I have left that I can work on the plane is 1/2 hour or so in the morning before heading to work.
|2008-08-25||Left forward fuselage pilot drilling...stil...||Spent another 2 hours pilot drilling the gussets and extrusion pieces into the skin. I'm now remembering that this took longer with the right forward fuselage that I thought it would also...|
|2008-08-27||Left forward fuselage - pilot drilling extrusion||Still pilot drilling the extrusions in place.|
|2008-08-31||Left forward fuselage - final drilling and priming||Spent 8 hours today final drilling the extrusion pieces in, deburring everything, priming the extrusions, and deburring/polishing the skin. Finished the F9 stage, only gong to polish through the C stage at this point.|
|2008-09-01||Left forward fuselage almost completed - Picture||Would have finished this portion today except that I can't rivet on the upper longeron in place until the I get new phenolic blocks in for the canopy striker plate. That should be next week.|
|2008-09-01||Started laying out the aft fuselage pieces and cutting uprights - Pictures||Spent 4 hours this afternoon working on the aft fuselage uprights. Every one of them were time consuming just laying out the rivet pilot holes.
Also cut to length all the left aft fuselage uprights. I didn't final cut or drill them as I wasn't for sure what exactly "opposite right" meant for them. This is one of those situations where you have to mock the pieces up with the fuselage sides before you can tell what opposite means. I've had several of those situations where I cut them wrong, and have since decided to wait on fabrication until I can adequately mock the assembly up.
|2008-09-04||Left forward fuselage striker plate for latch||Spent 3/4 of an hour tonight working on two new phenolic pieces for the striker plate/latch assembly. Got them drilled out and slots cut in them. The only thing left to do with them is bevel the edge so they will sit flush with the upper longeron.|
|2008-09-08||Aft fuselage upper splice plates||Spent an hour tonight cleaning up the edges of the upper splice plates - only to have a drill bit break off in one of them. Drilling carefully and such still resulted in a moderately ovalled hole. Will see what end result is.|
|2008-09-12||Right aft fuselage - putting in vertical channel||Spent an hour tonight starting to drill in the longerons and installing the vertical channel.|
|2008-09-15||Right aft fuselage vertical channel and longerons||Spent several hours today drilling in vertical channel and finishing up pilot drilling longerons.|
|2008-09-16||Right aft fuselage - vertical channel - Pictures||Spent an hour and a half tonight finishing putting in the vertical channel, and trying to figure out why the rear most and forward most one didn't fit right. The rear one I cut out the wrong way (watch those prints!!). Maybe (doubtfully the way my luck is running) - it will work for the left aft fuselage. The forward most vertical - I couldn't get the pulley assembly to fit, only to realize that the z-channel is bent at slightly different angles -and of course I oriented them wrong. I think all I've got to do is bend them slightly more on one side(maybe 3 or 4 degrees), and slightly less on the other (maybe 3 or 4 degrees) and everything will be okay (although the way my luck is going, something will preclude this...)
Also spent time slotting the rear of the fuselage for the control rods to go through for the rudder and ruddervators.
All in all, I'm still enjoying myself but am finding that I'm making more mistakes than I'd like as there are some subtle items in the print that I miss as they do take some staring to see them at times.
|2008-09-21||Right rear fuselage parts||Spent some time tonight remaking the rear verticle channel (out of tailpost channel). Made it right this time. Also slightly modified the forward most fuselage Z-channel - as I slightly modified the angle on the bend by about 7 degrees so I didn't have to remake the piece. It worked out quite well and you can't tell that I originally made it with the wrong angle on the wrong side (83 degrees vs. 90 degree angle bend). Also had to modify the pulley bracket assembly that fits on the z-channel. It was slightly too long and one of the corners was right up against the fuselage skin. So, I used the file for awhile and everything fits just right.|
|2008-09-22||Right aft fusealge splice plates - Pictures||Spent some time tonight finishing the rearmost verticle channel upright and the drilling the pilot holes for the farelead that gets riveted to it.
Spent most of the night bending and filing the right aft fuselage upper splice plate assembly. It turned out well.
|2008-09-25||Right rear fuselage lower splice joint||Spent an hour tonight just piddling around trying to get the lower splice joint two brackets chamfered/drilled/bent into shape to fit each other and the dimensional requirements when on the longeron - not exactly one of the easier things I've had to do. It's like trying to hold 3 fighting cats with only your two hands.
|2008-10-05||Right rear fuselage side||Primed and riveted the rear channel phenolic block on place. Primed and riveted the forward channel pulley in place.
Final drilled the lower longeron and the vertical channels.
Pilot drilled the last of the splice plates in place.
Only thing left is to get some aluminum plate to make the rudder stop plate. After that, only need to deburr and polish skin, deburr and prime vertical channel, and final rivet.
Had to take a week off as I went to Washington DC on business for a week. Went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC (actually on business). My company rented it for the entire evening and we had dinner there - didn't know you can do that!! It was too cool to each shrimp and other good foods while walking around looking at all the historic aircraft. I spent most of my time hanging out in the WW1 stuff.
|2008-10-06||Left forward Fuselage complete||Spent 2-1/4 hours tonight finishing up the left forward fuselage. No that I have room on the fab table again, I pulled apart the fuselage side and drilled/countersunk/screwed the canopy striker plates (phenolic)in place. After they were complete I final riveted the upper longeron in place.|
|2008-10-11||Right aft fuselage preparation||Spent 3 hours today prepping and priming left and right side fuselage verticle channels. Also deburring fuselage skin.|
|2008-10-12||Right rear fuselage polishing||Back to the old grind of polishing skin... Right rear fuselage skin is now polished with F9.|
|2008-10-13||Right rear fuselage side final polished and riveted||Completed riveting right rear fuselage side together tonight. Only thing left is to come up with the rudder stop plate and polish/rivet it in.|
|2008-10-18||Left aft fuselage side||Drilled the holes in the rear of the aft fuselage side for the ruddervator and tailwheel rods.|
|2008-10-19||Left aft fuselage side||Spent 5.5 hours today pilot drilling in the longerons and trimming/pilot drilling the verticle channel. Also riveted in the furthermost farelead assembly.|
|2008-10-20||Left aft fuselage||2.5 hours tonight marking, pilot drilling and cutting the forward Z-channel. Pilot drilled it into place. Started trimming pulley brackets to fit.|
|2008-10-21||Left aft fuselage||Spent 4.5 hours tonight getting the splice place pilot drilled, chamfered and bent. Installed them and drilled "tight fit" screw for the bottom side splice plate.|
|2008-10-23||Left aft fuselage skin||Three hours tonight of final drilling the aft skin assembly, disassembling and deburring, then polishing with F9 grade and cleaning up. Will be able to polish with C tomorrow night and final rivet together.|
|2008-10-24||Left aft fuselage side completed||three hours tonight doing a final polish with the C grade Nuvite, the cleco'd back together and final riveted. Started laying out the aft fuselage section.|
|2008-10-27||Aft fuselage sides - made both rudder stop plates||Finally found some 1/8" 6061 big enough to make both rudder stop plates. Cut out and polished both plates. Primed the back of both.|
|2008-10-29||Completed both aft fuselage sides||Riveted in countersunk CCC44 rivets into the rudder stop plates. This completes both aft fuselage sides. Started laying out aft fuselage sides for cross channels.|
|2008-10-30||Begain working on the Y tail spars that bolt to the tail cone||Spent almost an hour tonight cleaning up the edges of the Y pieces for the tail. Clamped both pieces together and started pilot drilling them.|
|2008-11-01||Tail cone work||Spent 6.5 hours today bending the tail "Y" spars, and fabricating misc. other pieces.|
|2008-11-02||Tail "Y" piece and parts fabrication||Spent 10-1/2 hours today putzing around on the plain. Got the "Y" piece completely drilled out and primed. All parts are primed and bolted to it except the upper forward angle mount. I'll wait until I have the fuselage ready before I do drill that piece in so I have a nice snug fit on the longerons.
Fabricated almost all pieces on sheets SNX-F22 and F23.
|2008-11-03||Fabricating rear fuselage pieces||Spent another 4 hours today just fabricating rear fuselage pieces. There are a lot of pieces back there!|
|2008-11-06||Fabricating parts on sheets SNX-F23 and F24||Spent the evening fabricating cross webbing on sheets SNX-F23 and F24. Man, there are a lot of parts in the back of this plane!|
|2008-11-07||Rear fuselage parts... still||Took the day off and spent 9 hours just making pieces/parts. Completed sheet 22 and 24. Working on sheet 25 right now. Have to order new channel (Z04-03). There is corrosion inside the 48" piece I've got, enough that I'm not going to even attempt and clean it up an use it. When the basement flooded the second time late last year/early this year - it sprayed salt water from the water softener all over the place. Evidently some of it hit this piece. The corrosion has been working on the part for over a full year and you can see nice fuzz bunnies on it - but there is no pitting damage to the part yet. I deal with corrosion related issues every day on industrial instrumentation installed on offshore platforms - the instrumentation is made of aluminum. Normal non-treated aluminum would have been eaten through by now, or at least badly pitted. This 6061 part isn't even close yet.
First snow of the winter hit today. Winds gusting 30-50 mph at times. Flipped a mobile home being transported last night on highway 30 between Colo, Iowa(where I live)and Nevada, Iowa. It's upside down on the roof in the ditch now. Huge blizzard yesterday in South Dakota (Deadwood/Rapid City, etc) Winds gusting up to 87 mph, 31 inches of snow with drifts up to 6 feet. Heck of a start for the winter season!!!
|2008-11-08||Rear fuselage parts fabrication||Spent 10 hours again to day just putzing around. Messed up on a part, spent another 2.5 hours making another - then messed up drilling the rivet holes on it. I need to make yet another piece... I'm to the point where the last thing I can do before I start actually putting the aft fuselage together is cutting out the access hole in the bottom skin. It's all marked and the rivet holes are drilled.|
|2008-11-11||Cuttout rear fuselage bottom skin access hole||Cut out the hole and started filing it to final size.|
|2008-11-14||Jigging in rear fuselage||Took the day off and spent part of it filing and deburring the access hole in the aft fuselage bottom skin.
Spent most of the day jigging the rear fuselage in place and trial fitting the bottom skin on. Had to clamp the tail piece in place to determine exact placement of the bottom skin. In the process I determined that I had cut the tail post channel (that is already bolted to the stabilator rear main spar and rear wheel spring mounting framework)incorrectly.... sigh... This means that the Y frame probably isn't the correct height and the tail spring mounting framework isn't quite right either... sigh... Looks like new parts may be ordered as I've already got the bolt holes through everything. The Y frame is definitely okay though as those holes were pre-drilled. Will most likely have to order a new tail spring mount and tail post channel. Will almost definitely have to make a new F23-05 channel mount as it didn't fit correctly and was the key that something wasn't right.
All in all, a pretty good day. I'll just have about 2 extra hours fabrication that would not have been required if I'd been reading the plans more carefully.
|2008-11-22||Rear fuselage bottom skin and cross channels attached||Spent 7 hours today pilot drilling the rear fuselage bottom skin and some of the cross channels in place. Had to trim the big cross channel box a bit to get it to fit. Lots of measuring-remeasuring, double checking, and leveling before I started to drill holes. After I got several of the lower cross channels in place, I took the fuselage off the table and put it on saw horses so I could get to them easier. It's a little big intimidating because if you screw up - it's a big one...
It's kind of amazing, all the precise measuring you do, when you start actually putting it together everything magically fits!
Most of this week was spent building a front deck for the house and putting a new front storm door on before the weather today. We got our first measurable snow of the season.
Today is exactly 2 years into this project and right at 965 hours. I picked up the angle kits for both Doug Boyd and I two years ago today while on vacation up at my in-laws in Wisconsin. I got home on the 26th and started inventorying and making cut lists. Time fly's!! (pun intended...) Progress is as follows:
Both wings complete
Front and Rear fuselage sides complete
Control stick assembly complete
Rear fuselage assembly better than 1/2 way complete.
|2008-11-24||Rear fuselage cross channel||Starting to final fit the cross channel in. During this process I realized that I needed to measure the fuselage bottom at specific points and then use that as a datum point for measurement across the top so that the sides remain verticle. Otherwise, my sides slanted inwards. Glad I caught this as it made a two and three inch difference mid length.|
|2008-11-25||Rear fuselage cross channels||Still fitting them in place. Finished the last of the upper ones, and working the lower ones.|
|2008-11-28||Rear fuselage cross ties||Got the last of the cross ties drilled and cleco'd in today.
Also spent some time lifting the right upper longeron up .020" to be flush with the top of the aft skin. I'd goofed this up during side assembly by dropping the longeron thinking that this was the bottom side (where the bottom skin requires this). I had decided that I'd wait to see the impact of the lower longeron first before deciding on correcting this minor issue or not. I trial fitted the cockpit side skins and found that I indeed I did need to lift it the .020" up to be flush with the top of the skin so that the splice plates between the two fuselage sides fit correctly.
Many things to do with the aft fuselage - more than I was expecting.
|2008-11-29||Rear fuselage parts||Spent 4.5 hours today making and fitting mixer support brackets, and remaking one of them that I goofed up on. I accidentally measured one in longer for the position to mount the doubler bracket. Also marked up another mixer pulley bracket to cut out tomorrow because I drilled the rivet holes too close to the angle in the angle extrusion.
It seams like I'm puttering around and not making good time on this part of the project, I expect it to go faster - but multiple errors have caused a slowdown as I re-fabricated stuff.
As I was digging through my aluminum pile, I found the spar channel z panels - and they are horribly corroded! There is corrosion fuzz all over both of them. I think this may be residual from the basement flood that I had. I will definitely have to replace them.
|2008-11-30||Rear fuselage - fabricating mixer mounts - Pictures||Had an excellent 10.5 hour work day! Items accomplished:
1) Mixer mounts fabricated and drilled/cleco'd in place
2) Front upper cross member clips drilled/cleco'd in place
3) Seatbelt mounts drilled/cleco'd in place
4) Upper splice plates drilled for AN3-7A bolts
5) Lower cross member #3 with the pulley plates drilled/cleco'e in place
All this took a ton of trial fitting and double checking. The mixer mounts were a 7 hour event themselves.
Started studying the Y-tail assembly and the shear web to understand how these should be mounted.
|2008-12-04||Aft fuselage - pilot drill tail post channel||Bit the bullet and pilot drilled in the tail post channel. Slightly nerve wracking as you really hope everything is lined up just perfect. I measured everything about a billion times to make sure everything was centered - but it's hard to really tell.|
|2008-12-08||Aft fuselage preparation||Got F24-09 cross tie pilot drilled in place. Also pilot drilled F23-07 forward lower angle mount in place after slight bending readjustment. Finish pilot drilling in tail channel assembly.
Spent all of last Friday through Monday morning down in Orlando on business. Got the chance to do the Ricard Petty ride along experience. It's a kick in the pants to do 150mph in a NASCAR stockcar on a 1.5 mile track. The G's you pull are incredible.
|2008-12-14||Tailwheel assembly work||Spent several hours tonight working on the tailwheel assembly. It was painful to drill through the titanium. I got a pilot hole drilled through, then decided to take it to the machine shop to make sure that the mounting holes are drilled exactly perpendicular to each other. This was decided after breaking a bit in the bar stock. I got the bit out okay - but is bothered me enough to think about bailing on this portion of the project - especially when one of my best friends owns a machine shop...
Reaming the pivot assembly out to 3/8" was actually probably the most painful portion of this assembly. The weld bead had drooped through slightly and I ended up drilling through the tube with a 3/8" bit, then reaming with sandpaper on a metal rod. Finally got it after 45 minutes of work.
|2008-12-15||Aft fuselage work||Happy birthday toooooo meeeeee.... Well, another year for me comes - and goes. My wish this year was to get a year younger- it doesn't seam to have worked.
Had a good day today working the tail spring assembly. Took it to the machine shop to be correctly drilled.
Worked on deburring all holes in and horizontal channels. Once I got that done I began priming all the horizontal pieces. In process, I saw something on the plans that caused my heart to stop. After carefully putting all the tools down and slooooowly reviewing the plans in detail vs. the fuselage verticle channels riveted to the fuselage - I had to perform some good old fashioned cursing. Hadn't had a reason to do that in awhile. I found that I installed the pre-drilled channels on the wrong fuselage side - upside down (to get them angled correctly). After several minutes of counting rivets that would need to be drilled out (again), I got to seriously looking to determine if the situation was salvageable. In the end, I determined that it was. The only difference between the top of the channel holes and the bottom of the channel holes, was a quantity of about 4 more holes/rivets. So, I clamped the turtledeck bulkheads on the verticle channels and drilled out the additional holes to make sure I've got the same number and general placement of what the original holes/rivets were supposed to be. The bottom part of the channel will now have about 4 extra rivets beyond what is needed. Philosophically speaking, all I've done is made the structure stronger (albiet with about an extra 2 ounces of rivets). It does damage the ego though.
I called it quits for the day after that event. The heart can't take many more of these type of situations.
|2008-12-24||Rear fuselage fabrication||Spent some nice time in the shop listening to Dean Martin and working final fitment of several of the crossmembers.|
|2008-12-25||Drill to final size all holes in rear fuselage||What a great Christmas day! Worked on drilling all the holes in the rear fuselage to final size. Also got the aft shear web in place and final drilled.|
|2008-12-27||deburring rear fuselage||Spent 5.5 hours today deburring the rear fuselage and also fixing the farelead assembly placement on the rearmost of the verticle channels. I had the assembly 2-13/16th up vs. 2-3/16th that the plans call for.|
|2008-12-31||Working on rear spar assembly for stabilators||Spent 3 hours tonight working on the final assembly for the rear spar Y assembly for the stabilators. Had to tweek the extrusion angles somewhat for a nice tight fit.|
|2009-01-01||Trial fitting empenage on rear fuselage||Had some concerns about how well the empenage would fit the rear fuselage. It appears that both the front spars for the stabilators may be slightly off 90 degrees when set in place. Need to discuss with others to see what happens and how critical this is.
|2009-01-03||Riveting rear fuselage assembly together||Began riveting the rear fuselage assembly together. Everything went pretty well. Before I riveted the very back section (tail post and Y-spar assembly), I trial fit the stabilators on. Trouble--- they didn't fit exactly as intended. The stabilator spars are not exactly perpendicular to the longerons. Both are off by about 1/16th of an inch. I suspicion that it's a stack-up-of-tolerances issue because I've remeasured everything I can remeasure and it's all really close. Will talk to Doug Boyd tomorrow and see how his fits.|
|2009-01-04||Still working the aft fuselage||Spent another hour today just measuring everything and cannot find anything off. Talked to Doug and we'll be trial fitting his together early this week to see if he's got the same fitment issue. Hope he doesn't!|
|2009-01-04||Began working turtle deck today||Started cutting out the parts for sheet F20. Got the splice plates bent as required, and the majority of the splice angles cut. Clamped the bulkheads to the verticle channel to see how everything fits. Am running into the same issue that Doug had where the seat belt sheer plate slightly interferes with the bulkhead. Will have to slightly modify the bulkhead flange to fit.|
|2009-01-06||Turtle Deck splice channel parts||Spent some time tonight finish cutting out all 6 F20-10 splice channel parts that hold the splice channel to the turtle deck bulkheads.|
|2009-01-10||Attach bolts in tail section of fuselage, inspection port preparation.||Spent a good 8 hour day working the details.
Drilled in and dimpled all the holes for the lower skin inspection port. I ended up going out and purchasing several Cobalt 3/32" bits - wish I would have gotten these before. They are so sharp that almost no deburring is required!!
Put the bolts in the tail section of the fuselage. I've heard many people moan and groan about how difficult this is. I purchased a 12" extension and knuckle for my 1/4" drive socket set - it took me a grand total of 10 minutes to put all 10 bolts in and was the easiest part of this build project to date.
Drilled to final size the splice channel and turtle deck joint. Have not drilled in the bulkhead splice joints yet - will do so only after I trail fit the assembly so that I know everything is aligned correctly.
Had to completely rearrange the basement so that I can work around the fuselage now without the build table being in the way.
|2009-01-11||Began attaching turtledeck||Spent a 6 hour day getting the turtledeck attached. Got bulkheads #5 and 1 pilot drilled.|
|2009-01-18||Turtle Deck Bulkheads installation||Spent 6-1/2 hours today and got the turtledeck bulkheads all in place, as well as the bulkhead brackets that attach to the turtle deck spar. Also got the #1 bulkhead splice plate and the two attach plates that mate the bulkhead to the fuselage cone. All in all a very productive day.|
|2009-01-19||Turtle Deck front and rear clips to splice channel and rear bulkhead - Picttures||Tackled the two clips that everybody complains of being a bear to get in place. I think these were probably the two easiest portions of the build tonight.
All I did was clamp the front clip in place and pull the right turtle deck skin up and hung it from a string from the ceiling, and did the pilot drilling into the channel. Then put the skin back on and finished the pilot drilling into the #1 right bulkhead. Then did the other skin for the back clip. Pictures will be added in the next week or so. Piece-o-cake!
Only things left to do are to updrill to final size, deburr and polish.
|2009-01-20||Turtle deck - drilling pilot holes to final size||Drilled out almost all holes to final size. Have about 30 on each side skin, and internal bulkheads and attach clips to do yet. Should be able to finish final drilling tomorrow night within one hour. Then 3 hours of deburring, 2 hours of priming, and 16 of polishing (including lower aft skin)... ugh. Of course, after this, there are very, very few parts needing polished... ye haaaaa!|
|2009-01-22||Deburring turtledeck||Lot's of holes to deburr. Spent some time removing the turtle deck skins, drilling the support structure holes to final size, then removing everything and starting to deburr.|
|2009-01-22||Drilling pilot holes in turtle deck to final size||Lots of holes in this portion of the project. Did final drilling of all the holes on the bulkheads and the turtle deck to skin joints.|
|2009-01-23||Completed turtledeck cleanup||Completed cleaning up the turtledeck. Only thing left to do is polish. Tried to polish it and Doug Boyd is right, the polisher is seriously screwed. Will take it in on Monday to be worked on.|
|2009-01-23||Attaching foward fuselage sides - Pictures||Spent some time attaching the forward fuselage sides today. Got them cleco'd in after I flipped the fuselage side upside down. Note Make sure that you level everything!!!|
|2009-01-26||Allignment of forward fuselage halves||Still working on alignment of the two forward fuselage halves. Got them nailed down pretty good and drilled in the lower fuselage skin. Working on the upper cross tie. Trying to get 32" out-to-outside longeron distance is not possible with the length given for the upper cross tie. I've had to do some filing to get it even close.
Interesting note - looking at the fuselage from above, it is in the shape of an old time wooden coffin - leaves you something to ponder about....
|2009-01-27||Misc. cleanup||Spent some time elongating the hole for the windshield bow per Kerry from Sonex. I drilled it in 1/8" too close to the front of the plane, he said no big deal just correct it. Also drilled the windshield bow bolt hole through the skin. It was already through the longeron, I just hadn't finished it up.|
|2009-01-28||Attach upper and lower firewall cross ties||Spent a nice hour tonight trimming the upper and lower firewall cross ties to fit. Once fit in (upper measures 32" to outside up longerons), then got both pilot drilled and cleco'd.|
|2009-01-31||Foward fuselage issues... bottom skin.||Found some fitment problems with the firewall that I bent up today. Basically - it didn't fit. It was too wide to getin between the motor mounts on the longerons. I then trial fit the welded up engine mount - same deal. As I went through and did some troubleshooting, I realized that when I had fit my bottom skin on, that I had brought the outside edges of the bottom skin flush with the outside of the side panel skin. This put me 1/32" short on both sides. That was the exact measurement that I was too narrow to get the motor mount and the firewall in place. So, all I did was uncleco the bottom skin, pulled the sides out 1/32" each, and ovalled out the holes in the bottom skin. No big deal since they were still at size 40's. When I drill out to size 30, they will just fit. If need be, I will drill out one size larger rivet size - had to do that on one of the spar/rib flange joints, and it's no big deal.|
|2009-02-04||Upper firewall fabrication||Been working on the upper and lower firewall getting them in just right. Definitely have an issue with the upper firewall pre-formed flutes as they interfere with the SouthCo fasteners per plans. Contacted Kerry and he said to flatten flutes (or "rework" flutes) and sent me a pic of what they should look like. Definitely one of those situations where it would have been nice to scratch make this part instead of preforming it. Even the flange has to be rebent to a different angle.|
|2009-02-07||Forward fuselage - parts fabrication||Spent 10 hours yesterday making pieces/parts for the spar tunnel.|
|2009-02-08||Foward Fuselage parts prep and pilot drill||Had a good seven hour day today.
1) Firewall pilot drilled in place
2) Firewall stiffener pilot drilled in place
3) Forward spar channel Z pilot drilled in place
4) Rear spar channel Z 1/3 pilot drilled in place
5) Splice plate pilot drilled into forward fuselage assembly
I think I will remake the angle bracket that the spar bolts through. The angle bracket on the forward side of the spar channel (passenger side) is about 1/32" off of where it should be. This will make the spar channel narrower than I'm comfortable with. It's one of those potential "pay me now or pay me later" scenarios. If I replace now - 2 hours of work. If I need to replace later - a lot more than two hours...
|2009-02-09||Forward Fuselage Z Channel pilot drill||Pilot drilled the aft Z channel.
Marked up new right side forward spar channel attach extrusion. Just have to cut it out and bend it.
|2009-02-10||Forward Fuselage - fabricating replacement parts...||Got the new forward wing attach angle fabricated for the right side of the fuselage. Took me 1.5 hours to drill out the old one, mark-cut- and cleanup the new one. Got it place correctly and 4 holes drilled already.|
|2009-02-14||Forward Fuselage - Spar Tunnel||Spent 2.5 hours tonight finishing drilling in the new forward verticle channel for the spar tunnel. Also completed pilot drilling the vast majority of the spar tunnel rivet holes. This tunnel really stiffens up the structure.|
|2009-02-18||Firewall fuel box fabrication||Spent time tonight bending up the sst fuel inlet box that goes through the firewall. Got all parts bent and most of the structure pilot drilled.|
|2009-02-19||Firewall fuel box||1/2 hour tonight pilot drilling and fitting the the firewall fuel box together.|
|2009-02-19||Spar tunnel fabrication||Spent some time tonight finish pilot drilling all holes for the spar tunnel. A lot of holes in the bugger!|
|2009-02-20||Firewall fuel box assembly||Got the firewall fuel box assembly riveted together
Pilot drilled the fuel box to the upper firewall assembly
Pilot drilled the blind connectors to the upper firewall
|2009-02-21||Upper firewall fabrication complete - finally||Spent a very, very long day finish fabricating the upper firewall assembly. I think I've got around 14 hours into the crazy thing. You've got to be careful of the stainless steel. It's very sharp and tough. Cut my hands in a dozen different places. Drilling holes and deburring is challenging.|
|2009-02-24||Fabricating new upper cross tie for firewall||Well - I made the mistake of positioning the firewall 1/8"too high and pilot drilling it through the upper cross tie and the firewall attach angles on the fuselage sides. I began fabricating a new upper cross tie. This may not be required, but I'm concerned that the predrilled holes for the upper firewall would place it 1/8" too high and the cowling would not be flush with the windshield.|
|2009-02-25||Fabricating new firewall attach angles and upper cross tie||I finish fabricating the new upper cross tie tonight and cut out the two new upper attach angles.|
|2009-02-26||Firewall clips fabrication||Spent 1.5 hours tonight finish fabricating the new firewall clips.|
|2009-02-27||Firewall attach brackets final drilled||Got the original firewall attach brackets drilled out and the new ones in place and drilled/deburred. Did the first spray of primer. Will be able to finish both sides tomorrow - pretty easy job,easier than I thought it would be.|
|2009-02-28||Firewall attach clips fabrication||1) Drilled out the old firewall attached clips on right and left fuselage sides.
2) Final drilled in the new firewall attach clips.
3) Primed all 6 new clips and deburred.
4) Riveted the right side firewall attach clip in place.
5) Bolted the upper right side firewall attach clip in place.
6) Bolted the lower right side firewall attach clip in place.
|2009-03-01||Firewall attached||Spent 6 hours today putzing around with the firewall.
1) Got the new attach clips riveted to the forward fuselage sides. 2) Pilot drilled the lower firewall in place.
3) Trimmed and fit the upper firewall into place.
4) Fit and cleco'd in the lower firewall stiffener gusset.
5) Fit and cleco'd in the upper firewall stiffener gusset.
|2009-03-02||Forward fuselage splice joints||1) Positioned the splice joints for pilot drilling.
2) Pilot drilled last of the holes in the spar carry through Z-channel.
3) Re-leveled the fuselage trying to get a very slight twist out of the forward fuselage.
4) Began studying plans for next phase, identifying parts to make sure I had enough channel. I'm okay for now.
Next to do:
1)Pilot drill the splice joints
2)Final to size all holes
3)Pull everything apart and deburr
4)Prime parts required
5)Reassemble and cleco/level assembly
6)Bolt splice joints in place/level assembly
7)Rivet front fuselage in place/level assembly
|2009-03-07||forward fuselage fabrication- Pictures||Started working in earnest on the forward fuselage. Final drilled firewalls (upper and lower), forward fuselage sides, most of the fuselage spice plates, and other misc. parts.|
|2009-03-08||Rear Z spar channel fabrication||Spent quite some time today dimpling, counter sinking, priming, then final riveting together the rear Z spar channel. Also primed the upper cross tie, forward wing attach angle (right side, and both rear wing attach angles, and rear z channel stick hing point brackets.|
|2009-03-09||Lower cowling piano hing fabrication||Spent some significant time today (while at work on break...:) ) planning out my next moves on this portion of the project. I feel like I've been just jumping from one portion to the next with no plan and have been very inefficient. Got home tonight and knocked out 3 of the 22 steps in 30 minutes. Glad I did this!|
|2009-03-10||Drilling Z-channel and angle brackets||Working the plan that I made yesterday. Because of the written planned out steps, I made huge progress tonight. Didn't mess around trying to figure out anything. Will develop the planned steps from now on instead of "winging it".
1)Final drilled upper splice plates (12" size 40 bit required due to angle)
2)Final drilled forward Z-channel (except bottom)
3)Final drilled both forward wing attach angles
4)Deburred Z channel and forward wing attach angles
5)Countersunk right forward wing attach angle
6)Final drill forward Z channel skin attach angles (right and left sides)
|2009-03-11||Drilling lower splice plate||Drilled out the bottom holes in the lower splice plate.|
|2009-03-14||Preparation for final assembly||Drilling parts to final size and deburring. Ended up drilling out and removing the left forward wing attach angle also. I wasn't able to countersink the rivets without doing this.
1) Final Drill most parts
2) Debur most parts
3) Primed most parts
4) Final assembly upper crosstie (bolted in place)
5) Final assembly splice plates - bolted all in place except lower ones that go through the floor.
|2009-03-15||Riveting together forward fuselage to tail cone assembly - Pictures||Began riveting the forward fuselage to the fuselage assembly.
1) Riveted about 1/2 of the lower firewall
2) Riveted both forward wing attach angles in place
3) Riveted the forward Z-channel in place
4) Riveted the forward fuselage sides to the aft fuselage sides
It's looking like a fuselage now! It's pretty big at this point. I have to flip it upside down tomorrow and have to call a friend of mine over to do this as I think it is too heavy and bulky for Diana.
At this point I need to final drill floor to Longerons and the lower cross tie/firewall. Final drill in the Z-channels and the floor stiffener assembly. Then deburr, polish the floor, and rivet it in place. I may hold off on final riveting this floor till later on.
|2009-03-16||Forward fuselage work||Flipped the fuselage and pilot drilled in the lower cross tie and floor stiffener.|
|2009-03-17||Final drill lower skin - Pictures||Spent several hours tonight final drilling the lower skin and lower crosstie.|
|2009-03-18||Forward fuselage - lower cowling hinges pilot and final drilled||Lower cowling hinges pilot/final drilled and deburred. Removed all cleco's from bottom skin and removed skin. Removed floor,firewall stiffener and lower crosstie in preparation for deburring and priming.|
|2009-03-21||Forward Fuselage deburring and Cub flying||Spent an hour tonight deburring the lower skin.
Had a very busy day today. It was CAVU so I flew the C172 from Ames down to Pella and got an hour in their Cub. I've got about 4 hours total in it now working on my taildragger endorsement. Chad Nablo has been going with me, and got signed off today after about 2 hours of flight time - but he already had over 40 hours in an ultralight Team Mini-Max - so he kind of cheated... :)
The Cub is a hoot to fly. It's a 1946 J-3, and with 2 of us in it, it struggles to get 200-300 ft/minute climb rate - but talk about simple back to the basics flying! While there, I met Bill Weyer from Des Moines who has a beautiful vintage 1958 or 1959 Cessna 170 that he stores in Boone. Bill flew in with a RV-9 jockey out of Boone. It's got a 120 horse Lycoming in it, and it a gorgeous plane. Next, the AME doctor out of Ottumwa flew in with his freshly built Zenith 601XL with a William Wyne Corvair in it. It sounds really impressive! We flew back to Ames and promply ran into a guy at the Ames hangers who is building a Zenith 801. Very big plane. He's been building it for about 1.5 years and is getting very close to completing it. I saw Brian Aocus out of Des Moines who has his own private Hanger in Ames - so we slipped over to his place. He's quitely been building his own WWII museum. He's got a very nice 1943 or 1944 AT6 Texan in side it, and a 1944 Stearman that looks like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday. Nice dreaming looking at the heavy iron in that hanger!
Next, the glider guys were flying and Chad and I went over there on the other side of the airport to check them out and ran into Ray Robison who is just finishing up putting a new Lycoming in his 1939 Aeronca Chief. We yacked away for about an hour to complete the day. It was the end to a perfect aviation day.
|2009-03-22||Forward fuselage prep work||Spent part of the afternoon deburring parts and priming.|
|2009-03-23||Forward fuselage pilot drilling||Spent some more time pilot drilling the holes through the lower skins for the splice pieces. There are spacers that go between the splice piece and the lower bulkhead crosstie that needed to be drilled out to full size. Also, the center hole in the rear of the forward bottom skin wasn't laser'd in like it was on the aft bottom skin. Had to align it up, flip upside down, then pilot/final drill the hole.
Started laying out the F10 sheet parts.
|2009-03-24||Forward Fuselage sheet F10 parts fabrication||Spent part of the evening fabricating parts (idler arms,etc) off of sheet 10.|
|2009-03-25||Forward Fuselage sheet F10 parts fabrication||Still making parts off this sheet. Another 5-6 hours and I should be done... hopefully...|
|2009-04-05||Forward fuselage parts fabrication||Still working on sheet F10. Many parts to make here. Put in 4 hours today.
Haven't been able to work on the plane for awhile. I just got back from a business trip to Brazil. It was 80 degrees down there and not a cloud in the sky. Was out in the mountains at an old coffee plantation.
|2009-04-10||Forward Fuselage - cockpit structure||Spent another 2 hours today fabricating sheet F10 (cockpit structure) parts.|
|2009-04-11||Forward Fuselage parts||Spent 1/2 hour trial fitting cockpit structure parts in. Also flipped the fuselage right side up.|
|2009-04-12||Cockpit structure||Spent a good 10 hour day today putting the cockpit structure in under the seat. Also built a shorter stand (20" tall) to put the fuselage on so I can lean into the cockpit easier.
Had a great day yesterday. It was David's birthday and both sets of grandparents came for a party for him and Kyle (since Kyle's birthday is on Wednesday).
Got my tailwheel endorsement in the Piper Cub yesterday morning before the birthday party.
|2009-04-14||Forward fuselage parts||Spent an hour tonight pilot drilling in the cap assembly (F10-02) into the rear seat support assembly. Not completed yet, but getting there. Very tight fit.|
|2009-04-15||Forward fuselage parts||Spent time pilot drilling in seat structure parts.|
|2009-04-17||Forward Fuselage seat structure||Spent an hour tonight drilling in the seat structure.|
|2009-04-18||Forward Fuselage seat structure||Got all the seat structure placed, pilot drilled and mostly final drilled. Fabricated the hat channel.|
|2009-04-29||Forware Fuselage hat section||Ground down the edges of the blind nuts used to secure the hat section, cleaned them up and primed them.|
|2009-04-30||Forward Fuselage underseat structure||Spent one hour tonight riveting in the blind nuts used to secure the hat section. Also started drilling out the mixer taper pin. Doug Boyd is letting me use a taper reamer that he borrowed from a fellow Waiex builder.|
|2009-05-02||Mixer work||Spent an hour tonight drilling and reaming the taper pin assembly. Also reamed out the mixer plate and installed the pivot bushings and bolted the mixer in place.|
|2009-05-02||Underseat structure||Removed the aft spar box panel and cleco'd the underseat structure to it. Began marking for the final rivets for the standard gear plane. Final drilled the pivot points for the control stick.|
|2009-05-08||Seat||Spent a long time tonight marking out the seat. Was about ready to start pilot drilling the inner radius of the cutouts when I double checked some measurements because the market out portions didn't look quite symmetrical. Determined that the factory laser cuts were not square - actually 1/4" off side to side on the 36" by 48" sheet provided by Sonex. Spent an additional 2 hours marking everything up again, cutting the seat to final dimensions, and pilot drilling the radius points for the relief cuts.|
|2009-05-10||Seat||Shaping seat. Filing away reliefs.|
|2009-05-10||Under seat structure - including joysticks||Spent an hour tonight riveting in the final portions of the under seat structure - the H support structure. Got it all final fit into the cockpit - I just didn't final rivet it in place. Learned my lesson on this - don't rivet until you absolutely have to.
Also fit the bushing into the joystick assembly and fit the joystick assembly in place in the cockpit. Will have to pull it out and dimension the bushings for clearance purposes, but that's about it for the Joystick assembly.
|2009-05-16||Seat fabrication||Got the seat fabricated and trial fit in. Got the control stick and hat holes cut in place. Also bent per plans - pretty easy to do. Have to rivet the hinges in place still.|
|2009-05-27||Seat fabrication||Spent an hour this evening fabricating the seat and support hinges.|
|2009-05-29||Seat support structure fabrication||Finished drilling out pilot holes in seat attach hinges.|
|2009-05-30||Fitting seat||Spent most of the evening final fitting seat structure in and pilot/final drilling attach hinges and priming them. The seat center cutout marked on the plans must be relieved quite a bit more to fit the hat assembly. Ended up using a carbide tool in the dremel tool chuck to whittle out the center cutout more.|
|2009-05-31||Seat construction||Almost finished up the seat today. Only thing left to do is trim the hinges from the center cutout. All supporting hinges riveted in place.
|2009-05-31||Misc. work on cockpit area||Did a bunch of small stuff that needed completion. Riveted quite a few of the support structures in place (firewall support square tubing, spar tunnel support angles, support structure for bottom of seat, etc.|
|2009-06-01||Spar tunnel||Final drilled and countersunk(only the outside 3 holes on each side)the spar tunnel.|
|2009-06-02||Seat supports riveting - sat in cockpit tonight for the first time!||Riveted the seat supports together. Decided to not rivet in the bottom skin of the cockpit until the very last if possible It seams that everybody wants to access stuff during rudder/fuel tank/panel assembly that would be easier this way.|
|2009-06-04||Flap and brake detent bracket fabrication||Fabricated the flap and brake detent bracket. Started measurements to install it on the inner fuselage side.|
|2009-06-07||Instrument pannel parts fabrication||Started fabricating instrument panel parts.|
|2009-06-07||Seat completion and flap detent bracket installed||Successfully jammed 4 hours of work into a 6 hour work session today... Spent as much time dinking around as actually working. Got the seat cleaned up and the last little bits filed away. Have it installed and looking good.
Finish fabricating and pilot drilling the flap detent bracket into place. Final drilled and riveted in the attach brackets. Bolted the detent bracket into place.
|2009-06-08||Rudder installation||Spent 7 hours today (yes, I took the day off from "work") and installed the rudder pedal assembly. It was a lot of work cutting/hogging/reaming out the phenolic pivot blocks so the pedals rotated smoothly. I must have installed them 25 times before everything was completed.
Trimmed the rudder drive plate so that I got full movement of the mini-rudder.
Cut to length, and bent ends of one rudder return spring. Ended up fabricating a neat little tool to do this without spreading the spring windings.
The wife sat in the cockpit for the first time.
|2009-06-14||Rudder pedals and cables||Spent 4 hours today reaming out the rudder pedal cable attachment pivot points to 1/4" per plans. Then had to remove the fairlead clips to run the cables back to the rudder.
Also fabricated the rudder pedal cable attachment plates and the flap handle and got it mounted.
|2009-06-28||Instrument panel cross brace fabrication||Fabricated the instrument panel cross braces and the fuel tank stop brackets.
Finally got back to work on the plane after a several week hiatus. Was traveling for work, and had to do other misc. stuff around the house.
|2009-07-01||Fit and pilot drilled instrument panel cross brace||Got the instrument panel cross brace fitted in tonight and pilot drilled. Also pilot drilled in the corner pieces.|
|2009-07-02||Fitting glare shield||Whilst fitting the glare shield today, I discovered that I didn't leave quite enough gap for the glare shield to fit between the motor mount and the upper longeron. I ended up removing the motor mount and filing it down some to get it to fit. Re-primed the motor mount after completed.|
|2009-07-03||Fitting glareshield||Got the glare shield cut to fit tonight. I cut it 1/4" longer than plans, I like how it fits that way - not quite as angled back.|
|2009-07-05||Glare shield fabrication||Working on getting the glare shield in correctly and fit correctly. Pilot drilled the 4 corner holes.|
|2009-07-06||Glare shield fabrication||Still cranking away on this. I pilot drilled in most of the glare shield and the brackets attaching it to the firewall.|
|2009-07-08||Glare shield fabrication||Still working on cleaning up the glarshield installation.|
|2009-07-10||Glare shield||Final drill glare shield and cut rudder attachment extensions to fit rudder cables.|
|2009-07-11||Rudder pedal cable attached/flap/brake bars||12 hour day:
Final fitment and attachment of rudder pedal cables.
Fabricated brake handle assembly and mount.
Final fitment of flap drive assembly and brake handle assembly.
|2009-07-14||Final fit flap drive handle and detent bracket||Took some messing around, but finally got the flap handle to go full travel and had to trim the detent bracket for it to fit correctly.|
|2009-08-05||Back from Airventure '09 - Time with dad and brother...||Took two weeks of vacation. Spent 5 days with my father knocking around doing stuff. We worked with Doug Boyd for 2 full days trying to get his wings rigged on his Waiex. Some issues interviened and we couldn't finish. Then we went fishing multiple times. It was great spending time with him like this - it's been a very long time.
After dad went home, I went to Brodhead, Wisconsin for the 80th Anniversery Pietenpol fly-in. By brother came up with me - we spent 2.5 days together up there. It was his first fly-in ever and he couldn't beieve how much fun it was. He took a lawnchair out to the edge of the grass runway at mid field and sat thier for hours just watching them take off and land. He's took big to fly passenger in a Piet - so he just dreamed. He couldn't go to Airventure, family commitments. We met some great people up there - including one family - Bill Clopton and his wife Christine, thier two boys and Christine's parents - John and his wife... Jeeze - my memory escapes me - I can't remember her name. Bill flys for Jet Blue and is a First Officer on a A320 doing coast-coast flights all week.
I towed my 16' toy hauler trailer up there with my wife's Buell Blast motorcycle in it. The trailer is loaded with a bed/air conditioner/refrigerator/microwave/port-a-potty/cabinets and full ac/dc lighting. Have a nice quiet new Yamaha generator to go with it. I'm glad I took all this up as it rained a LOT and was COLD this year. Very different that years past.
After I got back from the trip - was very motivated to get some work done on the Waiex. Unfortunately - work catchup and family time precluded this. The "Cash for Clunkers" program got in the way and we started looking for cars. We did later on purchase a new Honda Fit for my wife - I traded in my 1995 Cougar XR7. It was a very sad moment for me. She had 215k miles on her and I had a lot of good memories with the old girl. I actually purchased it brand new when I first started with Fisher Controls 14 years ago. Unfortunately in the last year the fuel lines above the tank began leaking and the head gasket started leaking coolant into the block. Outside of those two issues - it was the most solid/dependable car I'll probably ever have. I went through 4 sets of tires and two sets of brakes, and one set of spark plug wires and 2 sets of spark plugs. Nothing else ever went wrong with her. The day I traded her off - she still looked brand new, not even hardly any rust and the paint was almost perfect.
I finally did start working on fitting the fuel tank in though. Got the rear two support bands bent.
|2009-08-08||Fuel tank brackets fabricated||Got the fuel tank brackets bent and in. Need to glue felt to the tank in several places.
The fuel tank is a very snug fit between the glareshield and the forward cross brace at the firewall. No room for error there!
|2009-08-09||Throttle quadrant and misc||Got the throttle quandrant bolted in place and the trim mount bracket fabricated.|
|2009-08-15||Cleaning up the shop||That time again. Had a bunch of relatives come over and I needed to clean the shop anyway. Spent several hours putting stuff away and cleaning up.|
|2009-08-16||Aft spar carry through fabrication||Fabricated most of the aft spar carry through assembly. Only thing not completed was the upper extrusion piece - need to order it as I'm out.|
|2009-08-17||Begin laying out brake pulley pivot assembly||One hour tonight laying out the brake pivot pulley assembly.|
|2009-08-22||Working on brake pivot block||Hogged out the brake pivot block that the pully rides in. Used the end-mill for that. It's the first time that I actually used the mill as a mill - am very happy with the results.|
|2009-08-23||Moved wings to the hanger||Took the big step today of moving the wings to the hanger. Doub Boyd came over and we hauled them out of the basement shop and put them in my enclosed trailer. There is a TON of room down stairs in the shop now!|
|2009-08-23||Polishing lower fuselage skin||Spent 1 hour today polishing the lower forward fuselage skin. I forgot how much fun this was...|
|2009-08-29||Polishing skins for 6 hours, attach cockpit floor skin||Spent 6 hours today polishing the forward floor skin and one of the turtle deck skins.
Started the arduious task of riveting in the floor skin of the cockpit. Began at midnight and it took about 1 hour.
|2009-08-30||Polishing skins||Spent another 3 hours today polishing turtle deck skins and trial fitting in the motor mount.|
|2009-08-31||Drilling motor mount bolt holes in the landing gear||Had fun tonight drilling the holes through the titanium main gear legs. These are the holes that bolt the gear to the motor mount.
It was an absolute bloody piece of cake!! I've been freeked out about this portion of the build process, but so far - so good. I do have a cheep Chicago end mill in the basement and I put a V-block in it, centered the bit (Drill Bit City 1/4" bit and matching lubricant), dropped the revolutions to 300 rpm, and had at it. I was leary about buying the drill bits from Drill Bit City, felt like I was talking to a "vegimatic" dealer" (it slices, it dices, it'll do your laundry and make your bed to!!)
But - I gotta hand it to them, I drilled through both legs in less time that it takes to tell about it. The lubricant is like honey and really sticks around. Totally recommend it to anybody for this situation.
|2009-09-01||Engine Mount preperation||Removed the fuel tank, instrument panel, fuel tank straps and upper firewall so I can begin putting in the engine mount. Initial measurement shows it centered side-to-side perfectly.
Also completed fabrication and assembled the brake arm pulley block assembly.
|2009-09-06||Misc. cleanup and odd jobs||Spent 7 hours today just taking care of misc stuff that I hadn't gotten to yet/finished:
1) Put in all screws for forward cabin floor
2) Final rivet in mixer support assemblies. This required drilling out some previous rivets as there was a rivet clearance issues.
3) Clearencing the rudder cables as they went through the aft fuselage sides. The right side required an additional 2 inches of filing away.
4) clearencing the rudder cables as they went through the aft bulkheads. The plans holes weren't really even close. Everybody with Waiex's has to do this. It makes it into a teardrop hole as the mixer has both forward and backward movement - as well as rotational movement.
5) Final rivent in the firewall assembly. Only had about a dozen rivets holding it in previously.
6) Started jigging in motor mount.
|2009-09-07||Motor mount installation||Had s good working labor day. Spent 10 hours working on the plane. Got the motor mount in place!!! All screws are flush fit perfectly. Have to order some shorter screws for the bottom of the mount due to interference issues with the gear leg tubes. This is a common problem that all builders have.
Trial fit the gear legs in place. Am not happy with the right gear leg fit - the predrilled hole they have you put in the titanium leg isn't perfectly straight with the gear bolt tube pre-welded into the mount. The hole through the titanium rod is absolutely perfect - I did it myself on my mill and have double checked since. The motor mount wasn't jigged very well originally, the left side bottom motor mount tube is high and out by a full 3/32". I don't think the right side gear bolt tube is exactly in the middle either. Will have to investigate futher.
Also finished clearencing the right side rudder cable as it exits the right aft fuselage.
|2009-09-10||Prep fuselage for basement removal||Spent 4 hours today getting the plane ready to move temporarily out to the hanger so I can rig the wings. It took almost 3 hours just to remove everything so tha I can flip the fuselage on it's side and get it out of the basement doors.|
|2009-09-11||began process of rigging wings||Doug Boyd and I spent 7 hours today rigging the wings. Have a variety of pictures that I will poste later.
Things went quite well. Fuselage levelled pretty good, wings all fit into the spar tunnel okay, got them pinned very easily and levelled with the water level that Doug made. They ended up being less than 1/32 from each other. The wing sweep came in at exactly 5/32 differential per plans, and the wing incidence was set.
|2009-09-12||Rigging rear spar carrythrough||Spent 3 hours today with my brother Lance finish fabricating and rigging in the rear spar carrythrough. It worked out very well, got the wing incidence nailed down quite nicely.|
|2009-09-13||Rigging wings||Completed rigging the wings today. Doug Boyd came over again and we completed the wing rigging excersize. The only thing left to do is rivet everything in place - including the under seat support structure, rear spar carry though and the aft tunnel assembly with all the associated attach angles and gussets.|
|2009-09-15||Drilling cotter pin hole in axel||Began jigging, then drilling the cotter pin hole in one of the main landing gear axles.|
|2009-09-16||Riveting main spar box in place||Final riveted the main spar box aft section in place.
Final riveted the under seat structure in place.
|2009-09-18||Riveting spar box to fuselage and misc - Pictues||Went to the hanger at 6:00am this morning worked for an hour riveting the spar box and associated stuff to the fuselage.
Got home and worked on the landing gear this evening. Got the gear legs drilled into the motor mount. Used a 6" cobalt bit in my end-mill.
Got the brake pivot bar filed down and the sharp edges radiused per plan.
|2009-09-19||Main gear installed on plane !!!||Installed the main gear on the plane for the first time today. It's on legs for the first time!|
|2009-09-20||Continuing riveting interior after rigging wings - Picture||Lots of riveting to complete after final rigging of wings. Today I spent 6 hours final riveting in the under seat structure, rear spar carry through and other misc stuff.
Prepping to rig in axle placement of landing gear. After these are in place, I will be dismantiling everything again and putting the fuselage back into my basement for working out the windshield/canopy, instrument panel, wiring, engine install, fuel system install and cowling installation - only to pull it all back apart and take it out of my basement again...
|2009-10-03||Prepping landing gear for final drilling||Spent time at the hanger prepping the landing gear for final drilling. Got them jigged in to 0.7 degrees toe in.
|2009-10-11||Moved plane from hanger back to shop||After the plane had sat in the hanger for about a month with little to no progress, I decided to pull it apart and move it back home to the shop for the winter so that I could continue construction in a more easily accessible spot. I actually got more work done tonight on rigging the landing gear in place than in the last month.|
|2009-10-13||Final jigging main landing gear - Pictures||Final jigged the main landing gear axle assemblies in place and then applied some blue locktite. The goal is to have the locktight provide the initial clamping force so that I can remove the main gear and then drill them out on the end-mill. We'll see how well this works...|
|2009-10-14||Main landing gear on!! - Pictures||Major success tonight - I drilled the lower leg gear in place. After all of the trepidation about how this was supposed to be the hardest part of the project - putting these gear on by far ended up one of the easier parts. I put blue locktite on the lower legs when jigging them in place last night, let them dry for about 24 hours - then drilled tonight. I put the legs on my v-blocks on the endmill and ran a cobalt drill through them in about 3 minutes each. Everything turned out perfect - at least that I can tell right now...
Excellent! Have some happy photos to post at some point here.
|2009-10-17||Working on control pushrods||Spent almost 10 hours today doing a bunch of misc stuff, but spent 1/2 of it working on getting the control stick assembly in and the control push rods.
1) Cut a 20 degree detent in the flap detent bracket.
2) Finish riveted the spar box in place, including the 3 flush rivets on the outer portion of each side. I goofed on one side and the pneumatic riveter actually butchered up the aluminum pretty good, cutting a nice smiley face all the way through the alumum sheet around a solid rivet. It's not structural, so no big deal at all - just pissed me off real good.
3) Drilled out a couple of rear spar carrythough rivets and put in the spacers that I'd neglected to before. Re-riveted them in place - this was a painful 3 hour process...
Issues I ran into:
1) Ran out of a variety of AN bolts (AN3-6, AN4-7, AN4-7A, AN3-20, etc. And that's with having the extra Aircraft Spruce misc bolt kit. The AN5-20 bolt required for the indler/mixer pushrod wasn't included in the hardware kit.
2) Multiple bushings called out in plans are too short - the powder coating of the steel adds significant length. I have to order at least 5 new bushings.
3) There is a significant gab between the bushings and the support brack for the mount for the control stick triangle assembly - like about 1/2" or so. I double measured everything also - and it is all correct. The plans don't call out this part very well. I'll make a spacer on my lathe.
4) I didn't get any motor mount bolts in my hardware kit either. Understand this as it's a generic hardware kit. HOWEVER - the installation manual for the Jab3300 that I purchased from Sonex doesn't tell you what size bolts to use either. Will have to research that part.
I'm pretty much at a standstill after a 10 hour day today. I guess that I'll work on some final polishing of the turtle deck tomorrow and also start working the front windshield assembly this next week till parts start to arrive.
|2009-10-24||Boiling locktite of of gear leg axle assembly||Spent severak hours last night boiling the gear leg axle assemblies loose from the titanium gear leg, and cleaning the locktite out. Had to use the deadblow to knock them off - but totally worth it considering the ease of drilling the assemblies on the end-mill. Used paint stripper to soften up the residue in the tubes.
Also felt lined the fuel tank straps, deburred the instrument panel assembly and upper longerons.
|2009-10-25||First engine install||Spent almost 10 hours today working on getting lots of misc stuff completed on the plane - to include priming the glare shield, completing gear leg and brake assembly installation - and finally starting to mount the engine for the first time. Ran into an issue where the weldline needed to be ground down on the engine mount bolt for the nut to sit flat. It took about an hour just messing around with that - and I still didn't finish it.|
|2009-10-27||Engine installed tonight for first time! -Pictures||Last 1.5 hours required to get the Jab3300 in for the first trial fit tonight. Everything worked out excellent! It's been interesting getting this thing out of the shipping crate and mounted entirely by myself...|
|2009-11-01||Bushing cut to length - Pictures||Spent 4 hours today custom fitting bushings to length for the control triangle assembly and the pushrods. Used 1/2" flangless bushings for the control rods, chucked them in the lathe and cut all 10 to perfect length - no filing required. Used 812-4 v. 812-3 bushings as called for in the plans for the pivot points on the control rods and the control triangle. The powder coating is just too thick and I"m not going to grind it off. Cut down the 812-4 bushings to correct length - again for the 0.015 play called out in plans.
Had to cut out a special aluminum spacer for the control triangle. It's about 1/4" narrower than plans call for, so I had to use an AN4-10 bolt instead of AN4-7 as was called for in plans. The spacer had to fill the gap due to the 0.015" side-to-side play called for in the plans. Had the alumunum bar stock, again just chucked it up in the lathe.
|2009-11-02||Creating hardware list to order||Spent an hour tonight just working on creating my next hardware list to order from Wicks and AS&S. This is getting bloody old.|
|2009-11-03||Engine work and parts ordered||Installed the Jab3300 oil filter spacer so that I can install the oil cooler lines on it. Also removed the mechanical fuel pump per plans and prepped the blockoff plate. No fuel pump required, just a header tank with adequate pressure head.
Ordered the first of the next big batches of stuff from AS&S. Ordered the throttle cable (push pull. PN 05-16972, model A950), Mixture cable (vernier, 05-08172, model A790), two Ray Allen stick grips (11-09930), and an AN929-6D cap to cap off the oil separator tank since I'm not going to return oil overflow to the engine.
|2009-11-06||Polishing - again...||Spent 5 hours on an absolutely beautiful day today finish polishing the turtle deck skins and started the aft fuselage floor skin. It was 70+ degrees out - not back for early November in Iowa!|
|2009-11-07||More polishing||Spent more time today polishing the aft lower fuselage skin. Getting really bloody tired of this, almost out of Nuvite F9 again.|
|2009-11-08||Still polishing...again...||Finally. Completed polishing the lower aft fuselage skin. I delayed this for almost a year - so it's a releaf to complete it.
Only one item left for major polishing - one of the flaps. I got it about 1/3 of the way done and ran out of F9.
I'm done polishing for the year.
|2009-11-09||Finished intalling throttle cable||Actually got the cable installed tonight - correctly. Had to cut off the black plastic sheath to get it to fit in the cable adjusters on the ends.
You can sit in the cockpit now and seriously make airplane noises. A working throttle, control stick assembly and rudder pedals make it much more realistic. I don't even have the kids with me sometimes when I do it now... :)
|2009-11-13||Gascolator installation||Spent 2.5 hours tonight getting the gascolator fittings in place, marking out where it's supposed to mount at, and drilling holes through the lousy stainless steel firewall. I hate working with stainless, it's very tough to drill/cut/deburr/etc...
Got the gascolator mounted.
|2009-11-14||Mixture cable installation||Drilled out the firewall and deburred for mixture cable. Removed the Aerocarb and drilled out 1/2" deep of the side that the mixture cable goes through. Had to drill it out with a "C" drill size so the mixture cable would fit into it far enough that the cable clamp capscrew would be able to pinch it in place. Nobody really has any info on this on thier web pages or on the Yahoo groups - but it's something that you will probably have to do - especially if you use a vernier cable with a larger dia cable housing like I did.
Also fabricated and attached the steel braided fuel line between gascolator and the Aerocarb. It turned out really nice and looks quite professional. I watched the video on how to fabricate these lines on the EAA video hints website and it was worth it's weight in gold!
|2009-11-18||Gascolator issue||Well, after fooling around for 4 hours today, I stumbled onto the fact that if you only use the measurements on the plans - that the fitting on the back of the gascolator does not clear the rudder pedals in the cockpit. I have to move it about 3/4" towards the left side of the plane. This means.... that I've got an extra big hole now that has to be patched up. Am ordering a 6"x6" 301 sst patch. Will also be mounting the gascolator on this patch. In the end - this ends up being a better solution anyway as it stiffens up the firewall right where the gascolator is - which definitely needs it.
Got fuel tank inlet cut down to size.
Drilled out carb to fit fuel mixture cable.
Started working on wiring diagram.
|2009-11-18||Wiring diagram layout||Spent several hours working through a wiring diagram layout and starting to determine switches, types of switches and fuses as well as bus bars.|
|2009-11-24||Firewall patch fabricated||Well, I have now spent about 6 hours messing around fabricating a firewall patch. I drilled the gascolator through holes according to plan - which ended up being 3/4" too close to the passenger side of the firewall and the rudder pedals hit the 90 degree angle. I needed to bring it back towards the center. I ended up finding another 0.16" thick piece of sst and cutting it out to fit over the other holes. Drilling out the oblong new firewall hole was painfull - ended up using a carbide shaper bit that fits in my Dremel tool. This worked exceptionally well and went quickly.|
|2009-11-25||Battery box design and area cleanup||Spent 3 hours today designing a battery box and was ready to start fabrication when I found out that I didn't have enough of the .032 aluminum sheet. Sigh... another order to AS&S or Wicks...
Did a major cleanup of the work area.
|2009-11-28||ELT mounting bracket fabrication||Started the design and frabrication of the ARTEX ELT mounting bracket. Decided to put it in the baggage area behind the passenger seat. Realized that I will have to space it back about 6 inches or so to account for antanae coming out of it on the front side.|
|2009-11-29||ELT mounting hardware fabrication||Spent 3 hours today finishing up ELT mounting bracket fabrication.|
|2009-11-29||ELT mounting bracket design||Started noodling around how to mount my ELT bracket. I looked at what Doug Boyd (Waiex #80) and really liked the design. I did initial layout and realized I needed to make a pattern for this.|
|2009-12-02||Marking & filing on engine cooling fins||Spent an hour tonight marking the cooling fins on the front right of the engine that have to be trimmed to fit the tight Sonex cowling. It's a little unnerving when you masking tape these off and put the hacksaw on it the first time...|
|2009-12-03||Filing on cooling fins||Spent more time tonight cutting, then filing on cooling fins|
|2009-12-04||Filing on cooling fins||Finally finished filing on the cooling fins. Took about 3 hours total time.|
|2009-12-04||Installing Sonex "Dial-a-Trim"||Worked on fabricating mounting brackets and installing the Dial-a-trim system. Already had the dash mounting done, just working on the portion on the push-pull rods and running the cabling.|
|2009-12-05||Completed "Dial a trim" installation||Spent another 3 hours getting the system installed. It works quite simple. Spent some time putting together another big order of hardware for Aircraft Spruce.|
|2009-12-13||Fabricating oil cooler mounts||Got a big shipment of hardware in and was able to take care of a number of small things. Then started working on the oil cooler mounting brackets. Ended up putting them in the end mill to relieve the area that needs to be removed from the bracket to clear the oil cooler fins. I can't imagine doing this any other way without a ton of filing.|
|2009-12-13||Oil cooler installation||More time working on this portion of the install than I expected. Had to drill out the engine oil cooler addaptor to 7/16" holes and will need to tap 1/4-20 for the AN fittings as the existing Jabiru threading is a really goofy non-standard size.
Got the oile cooler brackets completely fabricated and the oil cooler shroud in place. Got the entire assembly installed. Am one AN fitting short (as usual). I am getting to the point where I will need to purchase my EFIS so I can get the RDAC in place and put the EGT and CHT probes on. That way I can get the baffling final fitted.
|2009-12-15||Fabrication||Wasted about two hours today on stupid stuff for the oil cooler fittings. For some reason I thought the tap needed was a 1/4-20 NPT tap for the fittings that go to the oil cooler adaptor on the engine - and I went shopping. Couldn't find any NPT tap that was 1/4-20, only 1/4-18. Confirmed at home later that 1/4-18 it was... Next, I was getting ready to install lines on the cooler - only to discover that they changed the cooler design to use 3/8 NPT fittings - this is not in the Sonex design - even though it's been like this for quite some time. I now have to order a 3/8" to 1/4" pipe reducer fitting. Sigh... wasted 2 hours.|
|2009-12-26||Research on air filter||I have been reading over the last several years that Sonex supplies an air filter that is about 20% undersized. My calculations show it is undersized more like 10% or so - but it is technically undersized. With very little more investment, you can purchase a K&N air filter that clamps directly to the Aerocarb meaning you don't have to purchase any special adaptor for it. I found that K&N filter assembly RU-1710 is probably the best fit as it has plenty of flow capability - giving you spare room in case you get some plugging - and also has a 20 degree tilt to it so it will fit inside our motor mounts easier.|
|2009-12-27||Research an beginning planning on electrical system||Today was my first really hardcore day researching the electrical system design. Spent a ton of time on the web looking at other builders schematics and matching up with my systems. As I got to looking at some of them - I found stuff that I didn't really like about the design (complexity or oversimplification).|
|2009-12-28||Wiring planning||Started writing down the wiring plan. Broke out the individual items to be wired and am creating schematics for each one. i.e. EFIS, transciver, transponder, charging system, landing light, strobe light, nav/position light, etc..|
|2009-12-29||Wiring planning||Finished up the planning for wiring. What a fun time! I realy enjoyed all the reserach time in this aspect - but that's because I'm an electrical engineer though... :)|
|2009-12-31||Wiring Planning||Still working the wiring schematic.
Also, Doug Boyd (Waiex #80) came over for several hours and we fabricated a battery box, drilled and tapped out his oil cooler adaptor, and fabricated one of his fuel line braided hoses. Since I had just done this about 2 weeks ago, we made this a 2 hour job instead of a 10 hour (at best) learning experience.
|2010-01-01||Wiring planning and research|
|2010-01-02||Wiring planning||Still doing research.|
|2010-01-03||Wiring Planning complete!!||I can honestly say that I'm pretty sure that the wiring schematic planning is complete at this point. I'm on about revision 5 of my origial design. It took a ton of research for this portion of the project. It's funny, I've designed power subsystems for satallites (about 15 yrs ago when I first got my Elec Engineering degree), but this was a major learning experience for me. I've probably enjoyed this portion of the project the most.
Will post my schematic today (as soon as I get it scanned in). I also put together a packet of each individual subsystem of the design with a specific drawing identifying components, wiring, and specific notes. Will .pdf it and also post.
Spent some time putting together my BOM (bill of materials) and deciding where I'll be ordering from.
|2010-01-08||Planning||This is a log entry for a week. I've spent the last week tweeking the electrical design - confirming it with some experienced folks, and creating my bill of materials from several sources (B&C electronics, Aircraft Spruce, iBoats.com). I'm impressed with B&C, almost a one-stop shop.
|2010-01-13||Fabricated cabin heat box||Spent an hour tonight fabricating the cabin heat box. Copied a friends of mines unit that he purchased from Aircraft spruce. They are MUCH cheeper to make than buy...|
|2010-01-15||Fabricating cabin heat box||Got the box about 75% done or so. Will post pictures soon|
|2010-01-16||Cabin heat fabrication||Continuing to fab cabin heat box. Taking longer than expected - which is to be expected...|
|2010-01-17||Fabricating cabin heat box||Another 4 hours today screwing around with this thing. Finally almost finished it up. Am using cowling baffling as the seal between the cabin heat tri-box and the firwall. The seal will hopefully help keep potential carbon monoxide out.
I made the internal flap out of sst firewall material. That will keep a direct blast of flame out of the cockpit.
Also ripped the motor mount and landing gear off. Final drilled in the battery box and primed it.
|2010-01-18||Final riveted battery mount in place||Whew! Completed the battery mount finally! Nothing left to do on it anymore. Had to fabricate the top hing assembly and rivet it in place also. Will post pics soon.|
|2010-01-19||Drilled hold through firewall||Drilled the cabin heat tri-box hole through the firewall. Drilling a 2" dia hole through stainless is one of the more painfull things I've done in life...
Ordered Stratomaster Ultra with flowmeter and magnetometer. Gulp...
|2010-01-20||Installation of Cabin Heat box||Spent some time tonight cleaning up the rather ragged 2" diameter hole I drilled through the firewall for the cabin heat box. Ended up using a hardened dremel cutting bit to do this and it worked extremelly well.
Drilled the blind nut holes. Have to order some smaller rivets to attach them.
|2010-01-21||Oil overflow resevoir in place||Drilled and placed the oil resevoir. Also installed the brake guide on the engine mount and put engine mount back on firewall.
Ordered Prince Propeller
|2010-01-23||Naca vent installation||Got the NACA vents installed and cleco'd to the side walls.
Layed out the under-dash subpannel that the Van's eyeball vents will be installed in. Am also putting the headset plugins and the on/off fuel rod in the subpanel
|2010-01-23||Installed main bus and EFIS bus||Got the two Blue Seas combo buss/fuse boxes installed. They are a combo bus (pos and neg) as well as fuse box - clear cover. Very nice units. Installed on the passenger side. Installed a 12 hole as and 6 hole version. Didn't need that many buss connections - but I also needed a separate switched EFIS bus, so I bought the 6 hole version also (without ground bus) because there are so many Stratomaster accessories that will need power (Ultra base unit, Sonex fuel probe, RDAC, Magnetometer).|
|2010-01-24||Drilled holes through firewall for brake cables||It took two removals of the motor mount, but I got the holes drilled through the firwall and the brake cables do not drag on it.|
|2010-01-25||Fabricating eyeball vent sub panel||Spent several hours fabricating an eyeball vent sub panel. The panel is huge with the big Van's vents with 3" flanges - don't know if it will fit without smacking my knees into it.|
|2010-01-26||Completed fabricating eyeball vent sub panel - can't use it...||Completed fabricating the sub panel. Tried it out in the cockpit - and I can't use it. The vents are just too big!! My knees hit the sub panel and I will have to trim the stick assemblies. Besides - the Van's vents really are lousy quality. There's a large gap all around the shuttoff vane. Waste of money.
Did some reasearch and stumbled on the AveoAir vents. They are very small and appear to be high quality - and are waaaaay cheaper than the Steinair types (by about $35 each). Plus - you can get them engraved!!
Other vents I looked at:
and a variety from Aircraft Spruce.
|2010-01-27||Fabricating cabin heat diffuser||Began planning/fab of cabin heat diffuser.
Ordered AveoAir vents - $75 each. Also paid to have them engraved with "Waiex N81YX". Hope it looks good!
|2010-01-28||Fabricating cabin heat diffuser||Spent another hour tonight fabricating my second version of the cabin heat diffuser. The first one ended up being 1/8" too narrow.|
|2010-02-07||Fabricating cabin heat diffuser - Pictures||Spent another 2 hours tonight fabricating rev 3 of a cabin heat diffuser. Also fabricated the push/pull arm that connects to the heater tri-box flapper that actually opens and closes the flapper assembly. Started working on the cable end connection plate.
I had a very bad accident on Friday night (the 5th), in my wife's new 4 month old Honda Fit. Was going to a basketball game in Des Moines and a lady and I collided at an intersection. The Honda was completely totalled. I'm still sore and stiff but not injured.
|2010-02-12||Fabricating cabin heat assembly||Just about finished up fabricating and installing cabin heat system. Only thing left is to make second attach point for the cabin heat actuator arm protective bracket so the pilot's foot doesn't get caught under it. Probably 5 minutes worth of work.
Finished up the night by accidently cutting my brand new cabin heat cable short by 18". Come to find out there were identical marks on the cable - one I put on, and one from somebody else. Guess which one I cut???? Sigh... another order to Spruce in the works...
|2010-02-14||Completed fabricating heat box assembly||Yahoooo!!!! Man, am I glad to have this done!! Have waaay to many hours into this portion of the project. The 5 minute estimate I gave 2 nights ago actually lasted 5 hours. Made a protective skirt to completely shield the cabin heat diffuser arm assembly. Only paid $2 for entire assembly (not including cable I would have had to get anyway) vs. fairly significant $$ if I were to have purchased it. Time vs. $ saved don't look good - but end product makes me proud I engineered and made it. As soon as I find my camera (that the 9 year old was playing with), I'll try and get some pics posted.
Started cutting to thick primary panel aluminum that will attach with blind nuts/screws the original sonex pane (that will be mostly cutout). A pain to cut out .063 aluminum.
Watched the Daytona 500 today, I LOVE having an HD flatpanel in my shop. Jamie McMurray won and totally broke down bawling in the winners circle. Can't say as I'd ever seen that before in my several decades of being involved in racing.
|2010-02-16||Cutting panel for EFIS||Finally decided on how to approach my panel. I'm not going to do do a fully removable panel, will have the EFIS (Stratomaster Ultra) and the Xcom transciever mounted to the regular panel. The EFIS removes from the front side of the panel and the Xcom only ha one plug on the back to pull off, so not really a big deal with these two components. The switches though - they are by far the most problematic of electronic components - will be on thier own separate removable removalbe section of the panel. That way it's a smal portion that I have to deal with. Only the keyed starter switch and the engine/alt master will be on the panel, again, those are pretty solid parts. The EFIS, Nav/Position, Strobe and landing light switchs will be on the removable panel.
Kind of exciting actually starting to cut on this thing.
|2010-02-17||Still cutting out EFIS hole||Spent another hour tonight just carefully trimming the EFIS hole out. Should complete tomorrrow night as I'm getting very close to having a very nice fit.|
|2010-02-19||EFIS panel cutout||Spent several hours tonight finishing up cutting out the EFIS hole in the panel. Also marked up and cut out the radio hole. Marked up the transponder hole.|
|2010-02-20||Cutout transponder and other holes in panel||Good progress tonight! Cutout the hole for my future transponder (slip indicator right now).Also got both 12v receptacle holes drilled out as well as the keyed starter switch hole.
Before I called it quits tonight I put the panel back in, and populated the two 12v recepticles, the EFIS, radio and keyed starter switch. All that's left on the panel to cutout is the split master switch, the 4 on/off switches (various stuff) and the EFIS warning light. I'll get that done tomorrow easily (yea right...)
|2010-02-21||Cutting panel for all switches and misc. other stuff||Got most of the panel completed today. All holes cut except for the ELT manual arm/indicator and the two eyeball vents. After that, I only have to fabricate headphone jack plugin points.|
|2010-02-22||Panel cutout for remote ELT switch||Spent time tonight cutting out ELT remote arm/reset switch. Come to find out, if you have a 406 MHZ ELT, you are required to have a remote arm/reset switch. It's an attempt to reduce the number of false positives the 205 MHZ system had.|
|2010-02-23||populating firewall||Spent 1.5 hours tonight marking and drilling holes for the regulator, main relay, alternator relay and starter solenoid.|
|2010-02-23||Mount of ELT remote arm switch||Final mount and drilled holes for ELT remote arm switch.|
|2010-02-26||Mounting EFIS RDAC and Magnetometer - Pictures||Got the RDAC unit for the Stratomaster mounted on the firewall below the battery. Fabricated the Magnetometer mounting bracket. I will be mounting the SP-2 magnetometer behind the cockpit on the passenger side turtledeck bulkhead.|
|2010-02-28||Started wiring panel - Picture||Spent 5 hours today just getting going wiring the panel. Ran into problems right off the bat when I realized the end connections and shrink fit tubing are not correct sizes that I actually needed in many instances. Oh well... off to the store again...
The big news is that I got the EFIS powered up and running for the first time - yea!!!
|2010-03-06||Wiring panel||Started wiring panel in earnest.|
|2010-03-07||Wiring panel||Spent another 5 hours today wiring the panel.|
|2010-03-09||Wiring Alternator switch and relay||Got the alternator fuse, relay and switch (part of Cessna split master) wired up tonight. Also started on the regulator relay.|
|2010-03-11||Wiring panel||Happily wiring the panel.|
|2010-03-13||Wiring panel and busses||Still wiring away. Not a whole lot of wiring to do - it just takes time - and the correct end connections.|
|2010-03-14||Wiring panel and busses||Got the EFIS warning light wired in. Also got the magentometer (electronic compass) wired in and working correctly. Had to buy an extension RCA cable and female splicer to add some length for the Airtalk digital communications for the compass.|
|2010-03-15||Wiring main starter switch and solenoid||Started adding wires to the main starter switch and solenoid.|
|2010-03-17||Wiring starter switch - Picture||Drilled hole through firewall, installed grommet and ran l/r mag wiring. Began bundling the main wire harness. Pulled seat to start install of nav/position/strobe box.|
|2010-03-18||Working on strobe/nav position lights||Started the installation of the nav/strob/position box. Got it pilot drilled/final drilled in position and started making the power wire.|
|2010-03-19||Wiring Stobe light pack still - Picture||It's definitely taking longer to wire the strobe system than I expected. I'm getting there though. Not more than 1 more hour and I'll be complete.|
|2010-03-20||Still wiring Picture|
|2010-03-21||Panel almost completed! - Picture||got the last of the switches wired up today. Also got the panel about completed. Only have to paint it and install instruments/switches for last time.|
|2010-03-26||ELT wiring harness||Started crimping the molex pins and then soldering the on the 15 pin D-sub connector.|
|2010-03-27||ELT harness||Just finishing up the ELT wiring harness. Only have to wire in the inline fuse and that's it.|
|2010-04-02||fab/installed headset sub panel, completed ELT install||Completed fabricating the ELT cable cable and also got the ELT buzzer installed.
Fabricated the headset/microphone sub-panel, got it riveted to the panel crossmemeber.
Drilled hole and fit the master switch green LED in place. That way I can tell if I left the switch on again in the future instead of running the battery down...again...
Also solderied together the control stick push-to-talk switches and got them installed on the control sticks. Drilled the access holes in the sticks and fit rubber grommets in place for running the wires for the push-to-talk switches.
|2010-04-04||Prep garage for fulelage final assembly||Spent 5 hours today working on the claptrap garage getting it ready to be able to move the plane into it from my shop in my basement. I'm to the point where I need to start doing final assembly on the windshield/canopy/cowling/enigne. I can't do this in my basement...
Sealed roof again, and went around tightning up the garage structure, building shelves and prepping the floor for a plywood overlay so I've got a nice floor to work on. Only thing left to do is lay the floor and put a big lock on the front of the garage door so nothing wanders off. It's getting exciting to be a the stage where stuff is going permanently into the fuselage now!
|2010-04-05||Building XCOM radion wiring harness||Spent 2 hours tonight fabricating the XCOM wiring harness. Thank God for reading classes and alligator clips!! Out of a DB15 Dsub shell end connector, I have to soldier in 13 pins. Pain in the ... Only have the power and ground wires to complete.|
|2010-04-07||Completed part of XCOM wiring harness||This bloody harness is a lot of work! Another 1.5 hours into it tonight and I have just finished up the radio side of the wires. Also solderied in the copilot mic plugin. Probably another 3-5 hours worth of work and the harness will be complete. I now understand why XCOM and the others charge $100 plus for a pre-fabbed harness.|
|2010-04-13||Soldering in microphone wires||Back to soldering again after taking a week off to unwind. I was checking continuity - and boy am I glad I did!!! Found that I had mislabelled one of the mic wires as a headphone wire.|
|2010-04-14||Soldering on the radio harness - pilot mic jack||Still soldering away on headset/mic jacks. It takes about 3/4 of an hour for each jack you have to connect. Both mic jacks are complete now. Both headset jacks to go yet.|
|2010-04-19||Soldering headset jacks||Back at it again. Took a week off for other stuff around the house. Soldered both headset jacks in tonight. Only thing left is to solder in the MP3 jack.|
|2010-04-25||Fabricating radio harness||Spent 6 hours this weekend continuing the work on the radio harness. Only two wires left to go - the intercom on/off/pilot isolate wires.|
|2010-05-04||Got the radio working tonight!!||Finally got the XCOM radio working tonight!! Excellent reception. What a relief that this portion is getting close to done. I've got to order a 3 way switch for the intercom and wire the harness in - otherwise I'm done with the wiring behind the firewall. Only a little to do in front of the firewall. Can't do it till the engine is in permanently though.|
|2010-05-09||NACA vents||Final drilled NACA vents. Am having to add some fiberglass to the front of one to get some extra material for the rivet to hold on to. Primed one of the vents. Will chrome paint both.|
|2010-05-12||Flaring fuel lines||Spent an hour and a half tonight cleaning up the shop and flaring fuel lines. Life is starting to calm down slightly, and I can start putting more time on the project again.|
|2010-05-19||Misc. interior stuff||This is a catchup log for the last 7 days. Cut and installed carpeting, painted naca vents, installed blind nuts in firewall, modified glareshield to be able to install it with fuel tank strap bolts already in place (Thanks Doug Boyd for showing me how!!!!), completed last of MP3 wiring, greesed eyeball vents and hot glued a snap ring in place that has a tendancy to fall out if "man handling" the vents when rotating them to open (Aveo Air). Also cut to fit the naca vent flexible tubing to the eyeball vents. Bundled all the wire for the panel, and removed the entire pan and main bulkheads (behind pilot/passenger head) to have them powdercoat painted by a friend of mine.
I know I did other stuff, just can't remember.
Oh yea, bought a BEAUTIFUL Grega GN-1 Aircamper yesterday. The wife took one look at it, taxi'd in it with me, and told me to write a check. WHO-HOOO!! N30PP is the tail number.
|2010-05-20||Rudder pedals final installation||Pulled the rudder pedals out, greased everything and started final assembly.|
|2010-05-24||Fab fuel line between tank and gascolator||Finally broke down and fabbed the fuel line between tank and gascolator. It was as painful to do as I expected.|
|2010-06-04||Painted instrument panel - catchup for the week||Took the instrument panel in and had it powder coat painted. Also had the main bulkheads and panel support brackets powdered. Did final installation of instruments into the panel when I got it back.|
|2010-06-07||Bundling||Spent 1.5 hours tonight cleaning up wiring. Much more of it in the plane than I expected. Also cleaned up and noted the fuse box wiring connections for all equipment.|
|2010-06-08||Wiring in EFIS RF supresser||Realized tonight that I forgot to wire in the RF supressors on the EFIS. Ended up cutting apart the entire wire harness zip ties to get everything out and wind the wires through the choke. What a pain.|
|2010-06-20||rewiring busses||Spending time going back and bundling the wiring in a more logical manner. Just about finished it tonight.
Purchase of the Pietenpol has sunk about 40 hours of my time the last month. Had to get the plane ready for it's annual condition inspection. Also have spent time flying it.
|2010-06-21||Bundling buss wires||Still re-bundling and zip tieing buss|
|2010-06-22||Bundling busses||Last of zip tieing and putting plastic stripping around buss|
|2010-06-27||Completed bundling||Finished bundling up wires in cockpit tonight. Also put a wire harness standoff for the bundle going through the firewall. Fixed the ELT plug that I forgot to put a little washer on the screw points. Drilled and glued into place the OAT in the pilot side NACA vent assembly. Also riveted both outside airvents in place. Used backup washers so I didn't crack the fiberglass.
Next is to wiretie the OAT wire into place, ziptie the ELT wire into place, put fuel tank back in and drill hole for vent.
|2010-06-30||Install OAT||Spent some time tonight reinstalling and permatexing in the OAT sensor in the NACA vent. Wasn't happy with the first glue attempt. Zip tied harness back together and supported over radio.
Spent some time planning next steps before closing up the cockpit and final riveting on the glareshield.
|2010-07-03||Wiring cleanup||Spent several hours tonight wiring in the ELT, digital compass, final attaching ELT mounting bracket, and clamping cabin heat cable in place.|
|2010-07-03||Wiring cleanup||Sigh... still working on cleaning up the wiring harnesses in the cockpit. Getting close to coming to an end, but need to get some specific types of cable retainers to have a clean installation. I cut out probably 50 temporary zip-ties.|
|2010-07-04||Wiring cleanup continues||Holy smokes, the wiring cleanup is taking forever! Seven hours today. Many little things that have to be done, and done correctly. Had to shorten quite a few wires - which means remaking the ends. Also had to extend several - which means splice in some extra - not something I wanted to do. Completed bundling the major harneses inlcuding running the radio antanae wire and electronic compass RCA cable - that I had forgotten about. Have used about a zillion zip ties for temporary holders - and permanent attachment.
The good news is that the wiring behind the firewall is almost complete - about another 1/2 hour, then done (knock on wood)...
|2010-07-05||Misc. stuff and wiring cleanup||1) Spent some time tonight finishing up the wiring harness under the seat - only thing left to do was shorten the push-to-talk switch wires for the passenger. Completed that.
2) Shortened the RDAC cable to the EFIS by about one foot, re-tinned the wires and reconnected to the EFIS.
3) Re-installed the carpeting.
4) Put correct bolts in and nyloc nuts for fuel tank straps.
5) Final tightened down the cabin heat cable assembly.
|2010-08-15||Lots of misc - catchup for a month of no log||I've been slacking off and not logging in my work for the last month - bad me!! I've actually accomplished a whole lot of stuff on the interior - here's the list,and will add some pics soon:
1) Finished fabricating and installed remote fuel shutoff valve assembly. Bought a 3/16" steel rod, threaded both ends, bent one end 90 degrees and welded a washer on it. Fabricated an L-bracket that I riveted to shutoff valve hanlde and drilled a large enough hole to run a 3/16" bushing into it. Made an bracket out of 1" extrusion that I cut down and then riveted to lower dash support and drilled a hole in it for steel rod to ride through. Works perfect!
2) Completed carpet installation. Added insulation to floor under carpet.
3) Final assembly of fuel level pickup in fuel tank.
4) Final rivet of lower cowling attache hinges.
5) Completed cleanup of interior wiring.
6) Final assembly of instrument panel.
7) Riveted in strobe control unit.
8) Final installation of ELT buzzer on bulkhead behind seat.
9) Final installation of mixture cable assembly.
10) Installed (but not completed yet) for last time the throttle cable assembly.
11) Final installation of OAT (Siliconed in place) for EFIS.
12) Final installation of Motor Mount.
13) SST screws into bottom rivet hole on each side of firewall because it was too tight to rivet in. (thats why had to remove motor mount)
14) Installed ground bus assembly to firewall (purchased from B&C). Don't know if I will need this, but suspect that I will.
15) Final installation of RDAC on firewall.
16) Final installation of Solenoid on firewall.
17) Final installation of alternator relay on firewall.
18) Riveted oil overflow tank on firewall. (I don't think I documented this before - but I might have)
19) Final assembly of ELT mounting bracket to support bracket.
Also went to Oshkosh this year (also called "Sloshkosh" due to the huge flooding that happened. Also, Jack Rousch crashed is $6 million jet. Rumor has it that he lost an eye. Had to go to Mayo clinic afterwards for facial reconstuctive surgery.
Went to Brodhead the week before like ususal with Lance for the Pietenpol flying. Kevin Purtee hand a landing gear collapse and we watched a picture perfect landing about 100 ft. from the crowd. He didn't even take any paint off the wing. 6 hours later he had a new landing strut welded up and was flying again.
|2010-08-17||Final prep before fuel tank install||Final review of wiring and bolts before closing in the interior. Slightly scary to do this. Found seveal bolts that needed nyloc nuts, and seveal castle nuts that needed cotter pins. I believe that the last thing I need to do is vacume the interior, then take a bunch of pics to document this for future trouble shooting if necessary - then final install fuel tank and glareshield.|
|2010-08-22||Misc bolting||Spent some time tonight on my back in the cockpit. Pain in the hind end to get in there. Started permanently bolting in the fuel tank. Got to a point where I need somebody to help and everybody was in bed, so started positioning the plane to put the engine back on.|
|2010-08-24||Reinstallation of engine||spent 1.5 hours tonight reinstalling the engine. Pretty much have this down to a science, can install by myself pretty easily. Also reinstalled the Aerocarb, throttle cable and mixture cable.
Sitting in the plane tonight, I realized that I need to cutoff the optional center flap actuator mount bracket as it hits my calf when rotating the flaps.
|2010-08-26||Cutoff flap torque tube extra bracket||I cutoff and repainted the center flap torque tube bracket in the cockpit. It had been hitting my calf and it was sharp.
Also installed oil overflow puke tube assembly.
|2010-08-31||Firewall forward wiring||Began wiring effort to complete firwall forward wiring.|
|2010-09-01||Firwewall forward wiring||Spent some time tonight wiring up the alternator master relay.|
|2010-09-05||Misc wiring||Still spending time cleaning up firewall wiring. Also fabricated and fit in the fuel tank retainer angles that get riveted to the glareshield. I glued felt padding to these also.
Watched the original Star Wars with the boys tonight (9 and 14 yr old). They were totally enthralled with it - the first time I saw it was in 1977 and was 11 yrs old and I still remember it, so I could sympathize with them.
|2010-09-06||Rewiring P-leads to switch||Sigh... figured out tonight that I didn't wire the shielded P-leads correctly originally. I just crimped the switch ring terminals onto the shield at the dash instead of cutting it off - stripping the actual inner wire - and crimping on it. This was a serious wiring faux-paux for an electrical engineer that works with wiring and electrical troubleshooting on a weekly basis...dumb dumb dumb... At least I caught it and corrected. It was just easiest to rip out the glareshield and fuel tank to do this - I wanted to do that anyway so I could more easily tighten some of the fuel tank staps down more as they are painful to get to when you are upside down under the dash.
This ****may*** be the last time the tank and glareshield come out. Will put back in next run a fuel system leak test to make sure that no leaks are present around the fittings. Heard many horror stories about that happening due to over tightening the connectiosn on the tank.
|2010-09-13||Firewall forward||Got the P-lead for left mag wired tonight. Started routing the right lead.
Attanded Jabiru school on Friday/Saturday and Sunday of this week. It was an excellent school and I'd recommend it to anybody who's looking at installing a 2200 or 3300. Learned a LOT about this engine. I personally will be very comfortable with performing a complete teardown if needed - however, my past history in building racecar engines and motorcycle engines is definitely a big help.
|2010-09-14||Wiring p-lead||Spent the evening just wiring up the right side mag p-lead and creating another (sigh) order list for B&C.|
|2010-10-13||Misc cleanup||Been travelling for the last month on business and pleasure. I new I was going to not be able to work on the plane for about a month, so I took the time to document where I was at and what the next steps were - which helped a lot. Spent time just cleaning up the shop and then reviewing everything to get back in the groove.|
|2010-11-24||Firewall forward...and backward||Over the last month I've spent another 20+ hours messing around with wiring. I truly am actually getting close to finishing it!. Have to wire in the Flowscan yet - then that's it.|
|2010-11-28||Completed install of fuel lines and Flowscan||Finish refabricating the SST fuel lines so I could add the FLOSCAN fuel flow transducer. Completed this as well as fabricated a mounting bracket to rubber mount the transducer to the engine mount.|
|2010-11-30||Wiring in Floscan transducer||Started wiring in the Flowscan fuel flow rate transducer tonight. Had to run the hot wire back through the main wiring harness through the firewall and back to the fusebox.|
|2010-12-01||Firewall forward wiring||Completed wiring FLOWSCAN transducer to RDAC. Finished all the wiring firewall forward that I can do except three ring terminals to be ordered and purchasing a battery/starter solenoid cable.
Cleco'd glareshield in place in preparation for final riveting.
|2010-12-04||Final rivet panel and glareshield in place||Finally!! Got the panel all wired and completed and riveted the entire glareshield and panel in place. Have to order the screws that go through the glareshield and upper motormounts yet and install - these will probably be the worst to install.
Doug Boyd and Don Feld (Ex-U-2 pilot) stopped over today before we all went to an Iowa State basketball game. Don brought along his wife Ruth- quite the independant and capabile lady!!
|2010-12-05||Working on windshield bow||Center marked everything getting ready to installing the windshield bow. However... I screwed up and drilled the very first attachment hole 90 degree's in the wrong direction. Will see how expensive this mistake was. It was the first hole no less...|
|2010-12-08||Working on Windshield bow||Spent some time tonight working on fitting in the windshield bow. Had to trim some on the longerons to get the bow to fit through.|
|2010-12-10||Working on windshield and bow||Spent more time today cutting windshield to shape. Got the front fit now, just need to get a belt sander and smooth everything down good.|
|2010-12-12||Winshield and bow fitting||Still spending time fitting in the new bow. Got it finally fit to the correct height, and attached to fuselage. Windshield appears to fit pretty well also.|
|2010-12-18||Fitting in windshield - Pictures||Drilled the windshield bow screw holes. Also initial drilled the front of the windhshield and cleco'd it into place on the firewall as it keeps moving so much I can't tell how the back end is fitting. Now that the front of the windshield is nailed down - much easier to chase down the rear.|
|2010-12-27||Working on windshield still - Pictues||1. Did some more trimming on windscreen.
2. Final marked and cut the canopy side.
3. Installed the metal windscreen shim that the canopy sits on.
4. Drilled extra holes on the front of the windscreen into the firewall to keep the wavyness out that you see in many of these planes.
5. Final drilled and tapped the windscreen bow
6. Countersunk the windscreen above the bow for the flush screws.
7. Final tightened fuel tank strap bolts and screws on the longerons. That is painfull crawling upside down into the cockpit. Diana accidnetally stripped out one of the bolts, so I had to grind the head off to get it out. Reinstalling was a piece of cake :)
|2010-12-28||Completed fitting windshield - Pictures||1. Did final trimming of windshield.
2. Bent fuselage sides in to match windshield angle.
3. Drilled the side holes into the windshield.
4. Removed windshield and countersank sides.
5. Dimpled fuselage sides.
6. Sanded down windshield sides.
6. Reinstalled windshield.
To do yet for windshield: paint bow, windshield strap and forward mounting strap black. Drill front 4 holes and countersink them on the front of the windshield. This will wait until ready to disassemble plane and pull it out of shop and move to hanger in spring.
|2010-12-30||Canopy frame fabrication - Pictuers||1. Drilled and cleco'd the right side canopy frame to the attach hinge.
2. Drilled and cleco'd the attach hinge to the right side upper longeron.
Can't find my -30 countersink, will see if I can borrow one from Doug when he gets back in town on January 3rd.
|2011-01-01||Canopy frame fabrication||Had to refabricate the passenger side hinge assembly as it wasn't supposed to be coutersunk like I'd done originally. When countersunk, the rivet holes are made so large that the rivets don't really hold the hinge in place. Had to backdrill the new hinge piece from below using an angle drill attachment and 12" drill bit. Real pain the the wazzoo!
Cleco'd the turtledeck skin back in place to make sure the angle of cabin bulkhead was correct while fabricating canopy frame.
Draped canopy over cockpit and heated all day.
|2011-01-02||Canopy frame fabrication||Spent several hours again today working the canopy. Had to go purchase some 1/16" think nylon washers for the canopy latching mechanism. Remade the bottom square tubing piece that the canopy screws into to on the pilot side as I didn't have the slider mechanism set correcly inititally and it wouldn't sit flat on the longeron.
Put canopy over airframe and heated to 90+ degrees F
|2011-01-08||Fabricating canopy framework||Spent 5 hours today fabricating the canopy bows - tweeking them in. Even though they fit pretty good right off the bat - it still takes quite a bit of fiddling to get everything nicely fit in with close tolerences. You have to reshape the bows somewhat. Completed the front bow and it is cleco'd in place. Began fitting the back bow.|
|2011-01-09||Canopy frame fabrication||Spent another 2 hours tonight fiddling around on the canopy frame. Pilot drilled the canopy frame sides and cleco'd the rear welded pieced in place. Rear canopy frame is fitting very well, just need a little more tweeking.|
|2011-01-11||Canopy frame fitting||Final fit rear canopy bow. All around fit for front and rear canopy bows looks really good.|
|2011-01-12||Canopy trimming - Pictures||Took windshield off tonight and trimmed each of the rear corners just a tad for a perfect flush fit to the fuselage skin.
Made first cut on canopy, cut front side to factory taped edge. Using a dremel tool with a fiber cutting disk. Sanded with belt sander from 80 grit to 240 for a smooth edge.
|2011-01-15||Canopy trimming - Pictures||Spent 2 hours today trimming canopy to fit. Marked center line of canopy frame bows and drill points.|
|2011-01-25||Fitting canopy||Back at it again. Had to travel to San Antonio, Texas to attend a nuclear (powerplant) conference for a week.
Pilot drilled rear canopy bow attachment points. marked center points in front and rear bow and drilled to final size. Have to purchase 6-32 tap yet. Will see if I can borrow Doug Boyd's drill bits he made for drilling his canopy.
Refit canopy back on frame and made sure center marks were measured correctly on canopy. Next have to clamp canopy in place and drill center marks - cleco in place, and mark cut lines with black electricians tape.
|2011-01-26||Fitting canopy||Centered canopy on fuselage and marked front and rear cuts. Used straps to pull it down some. Starting by cutting front and rear first - then will cut sides after they are fit.|
|2011-01-30||Canopy trimming||Just taking it easy trimming canopy. Would like to get a nice fit.|
|2011-01-31||Trimming canopy||Trimming away on canopy. Not hard, just time consuming. Kyle (my 14yr old) is helping out lift if off and putting it back on again.|
|2011-02-01||Canopy trimming||Still slogging away trimming the canopy. Kyle is now helping pull it off and put it on every 20 minutes or so - and totally loves it... It's starting to fit very well now on the front and rear canopy frame hoop. Should be trimming the sides next.|
|2011-02-02||Trimming canopy||Just taking my time trimming the canopy to fit. Many hours into this already - probably around 10 - 12 hours. Tapped the 6-32 holes for screws in the top of the canopy frame hoops so that the canopy stays centered from now on as final fitting occurs. Also tapped and screwed the canopy frame to the hinge trim piece.|
|2011-02-03||Trimming canopy||Spent another hour tonight poking around and trimming the canopy.It's getting to the point where it just about drops in now.|
|2011-02-06||Trimming canopy||Getting closer to finishing up trimming the canopy. Passenger side fits - but a little close. Pilot side still needs about 1/16" trimmed off.|
|2011-02-13||Still trimming the canopy to fit||Catchup posting, worked about 5 hours this last week trimming the canopy. Today the canopy started dropping in place pretty good now, am quite pleased with the fit. Have drilled all holes but on on pilot side rear of canopy, and 1/2 of the holes pilot side front of canopy. Trimmed sides of canopy today and started sanding to fit.
|2011-02-15||Still trimming canopy||Getting very close to finishing up the pilot side of the canopy.|
|2011-02-16||Canopy trimming||Still whittling away at the canopy.|
|2011-02-18||Whittling away on canopy||Got the pilot side finally fit in tonight, no more trimming to do on it. Am now drilling holes through Canopy and frame on pilot side only. Still have to final trim passenger side. Canopy has been on/off at least 50 times now...|
|2011-02-19||Canopy trimming and frame fabrication||Spent 7 hours today whittling away on the canopy. The pilot side is final fitted in and all holes are drilled except the bottom rail. Passenger side front and rear is fit, side still needs to be final trimmed.
Completed most frame fabrication. Lots of additional holes to drill, tap, final drill, rivet, etc. Also fabricated and final fit the rear canopy hoop crosspiece.
|2011-02-20||Canopy fitting almost complete...I hope...||1.Painted canopy frame.
2. Drilled and tapped all holes but one on the passenger side frame.
3. Made initial cut on right side canopy for fit, only moderate trim left for final fit.
4. Drilled all passenger side holes in the canopy (except one I found out afterwards).
5. Riveted rear bow crosspiece in place.
Getting close to the most nerve wracking part - drilling the side holes to attach the canopy sides to the frame sides. The most stess in the canopy is at these holes as you've really got to pull the side in for it - and it concerns me considering all the cracked canopies I've heard of to date.
|2011-02-26||Canopy fitting||After 7 hours of work today, got the canopy all fitted in and drilled. That should have been it - but, unfortunately, it wasn't... sigh... Pulling the sides in at the bottom caused the front and rear edges to bubble up. So, I have to continue trimming and will most likely have to oval some of the holes to fit. Frustrating.|
|2011-03-01||Canopy fitting||Pulled the screws out on the passenger side canopy and found that additional trimming was required on the bottom of the canopy to keep from pushing the front and rear edges up. Started the final trimming and it is starting to fit in quite well. Another hour or so and I should be done final trimming.|
|2011-03-02||Trimming canopy||Well - the canopy is starting to look a little butchered up right now. By the time I sanded the bottom edge down to the point where it actually fit the way it was supposed to... I had to slot the screw holes significantly under the hinge. These holes are hidden - so no big deal aethetically - but wow - do they look bad. I don't think they will crack - but some of them are pretty darn close to the edge of the canopy and I don't know if there will be a tendancy to crack because of that.|
|2011-03-03||Trimming canopy||Spent the evening ovalling out the passenger side canopy attache screw holes. I believe - hopefully - that the passenger side canopy is finally fit. Upon further review - I can see that the pilot side needs further trimming - probably about 3/32" off the side to get the front/rear to snug down.
In retrospect - I think I made the canopy frame hoops just a little too tall. The canopy isn't exactly flush height-wise, with the top of the turtledeck skin. The canopy sits slightly higher in places, and that's without any spacers. Should have made the hoop about 1/8" shorter and just used spacers.
|2011-03-06||Cracked canopy- Picture||Ugh. The canopy cracked in two screw holes on the pilot side. It had been screwed in and attached on that side for quite a while, but I'm pretty sure that it cracked over the last 3 days. I pulled the side trim off and stop drilled it. Frustrating. I'm tempted at this point in time to get a new rear frame hoop and canopy and start over again on it. The canopy fits pretty good, but am not happy with how the hoop ended up fitting as it is a little high and the canopy sticks 1/16" to 3/32" above the turtle deck some in places.
a. Final trimmed the canopy to fit.
b. Finish painted the canopy frame.
c. Cut slot in canopy for external latch/locking mechanism.
d. Marked the right side cowling for trimming.
e. Cut out the oil check door.
f. Marked right side cowling cooling hole for removal.
g. Up drilled the prop flange bushings from -3 to -6 bolt size on the lathe.
|2011-03-08||Frame fabrication||Spent time riveting on the frame sliding latch plate and the rear canopy crossbrace gussets. Attached the sliding latch mechanism to the frame.|
|2011-03-09||Canopy frame work||Spent more time tonight prepping the canopy frame. It was dragging with excess friction why trying to latch. Filed down one of the lower hooks for more clearance. Removed inner canopy protective film so I can attach to the frame. Cleaned up inner edges of plexiglass including slight deburring of inside holes. Started working on attaching the canopy support cable - only to realize that the required screws and bushings need to be ordered.
Machined Doug Boyd's prop hub bushings to the correct size for his propeller attach bolts (AN6 size).
Assuming no more crack issues with the canopy, am getting close to final attachment to frame.
|2011-03-11||Canopy frame misc||1) Started putting some thin electrical tape on frame to protect it from scraching canopy.
2) Appied some touchup paint on frame where canopy scratched some paint off.
3) Attached Canopy cable to frame.
4) Custom machined a 1/4"od x 3/16"id bushing 3/32" long to attach cable to passenger bulkhead. This because the AN3 screw goes through a 1/4" hole in the bulkhead and the cable end is too small to drill out to AN4 bolts.
|2011-03-13||Misc stuff||Final screw attached the lower motor mount support to the longeron mounts. The lower screws had to be shorter than called for in plans due to interference with the landing gear tubes.
Double checked the prop hub center height agains the plans height. This is measured against the bottom of the longerons. Without the motor mount spacers it's about 5/32" high vs. plans. Not too bad. The motor mount itself is just about this high as well.
Started machining out a fuel shutoff button knob on the lathe.
|2011-03-14||Machined fuel shutoff knob||Finishee machining out a button knob out of 1/2" square bar on the lathe. Painted it red.|
|2011-03-16||Installing CHT leads||Spent the evening installing the right hand bank cylinder head leads on the Jab3300. You have to remove the cylinder head bolt right by the exhaust port to do this. When you install the probe, the ring terminal gets bent to shape under the head bolt washer (bends into a Z-pattern) and fits between the washer and the head just fine.
The one problem I had was the ring terminal spinning around under the head bolt clockwise and twisting/kinking the wire. You have to account for this during installation by twisting the ring terminal lead as much counterclockwise as possible so that when it starts twisting under the head bolt, that it doesn't kink when it goes too far clockwise. I think I may have kinked and weakened the #3 cylinder, but am not for sure. #1 and #5 went on just fine.
Marked on the cylinder head and the valve cover all cylinder numbers (1,3 and 5 on the right side of the engine, 2,4 and 6 on the left side (pilot side)).
Put some more electrical PVC tape on the canopy frame but broke the hole punch before I got more than about a foot on. After that all I"ve got to do is polish the pilot side canopy trim piece and then do final assembly of canopy on frame... hopefully...
|2011-03-27||Installing EGT probes||Spent part of the day installing EGT probes in the exhaust pipes. Found a pipe that the mounting flange screw was loose on it when I decided to take the pipe off to make it easier to drill the holes.
Canopy has developed several more small cracks. I've decided to bail on this canopy now and go with the newer material. Will work on this later this summer when it is much warmer out as it is a pain to have to heat the shop up so much.
Began working on modifying the seat. Drilled out all the hinges on the seat and am moving them 1/2" lower to raise the seat 1/2". It is too low right now and riding on the floor stiffeners.
|2011-04-02||Fabricating wooden cowling prop flange plug - Pictures||Spent some time on the router and bandsaw fabricating the cowling prop flange plug|
|2011-04-03||Prepare for cowling installation - Pictures||Prepped for cowling installation:
1) Installed cylinder head cooling tin.
2) Installed cowling flange plug.
3) Measured and marked cowling for correct cut distance to prop flange.
4) Cut cooling inlet bowl from cowling.
5) Cut semicircle out of cowling for prop flange clearance.
6) Made initial cut to length of cowling. Also cut for gear leg fit.
|2011-04-24||Trimming cowling to fit||Something strange happened today. Worked on trimming to right side cowling to fit, and pretty much had it nailed down after about 3 hours of work. I was expecting a nightmare, but so far it's looking okay. This has not been my normal experience lately... Have spent most of my time pushing the cowling up to fit the right side lower corner. This is the key that you use as the index. Everything else can be trimmed to fit - but this corner has to be absolutely correct for the cowling bottom and the transition from the flat side to the rounded upper corner to fit correctly.
Drilled hole for fuel overflow tube to stick out bottom of cowling.
In the process realized that the engine was actually pointing down by about 0.6 degree's. Put a shim under each side of the lower engine mount rubbers and lifted it so that it is 0.1 degree up. So - the engnine is now level - but the propeller hub centerline is probably high from where it should be in the plans by over 1/4" or so (at a guess). This actually matches up with where Doug Boyd ended up as well. Factory told him that it's okay - no biggie. Nothing you can really do anyway.
|2011-04-30||Trimming cowling to fit||Lots of progress today.
1) Cut to fit and drilled all cowling attaching hinge pieces, cut and bent all hing pins.
2) Finished up fitting the right side cowling.
3) Installed side mounting hinge and spacer.
4) Marked and drilled right side cowling for Southco fasteners.
5) Markedup and cut initial fit left side cowling.
6) Cut prop flange releif on left side cowling
7) Marked and cut cooling inlet on left side cowling.
|2011-05-01||Trimming cowling||Well - I was trimming the left side cowling to fit and got a little too agressive on material removal. I now get the pleasure of adding back some material to the side and top of the cowling to get a decent fit. Never done fiberglass work before - this will be a first.
On the bright side, got the left side cowling fit in also now. Have both cowling halves in place on the plane and am fine tuning the fit at this point.
|2011-06-26||Trimming cowling||Back to work on the plane. Have been piddling around a little here and there, but family and work commitments have been getting in the way. Spent 4 hours tonight trimming the right side cowling more to get it to fit better and not bulge out so far on the right upper longeron corner. It's getting there - but not yet.
Also glued all the foam blocks to mount the cockpit passenger interior sidewall.
Also mixed and added some more resin to the left side cowling portion that I'd re-attached so that I can better trim to fit.
|2011-07-28||Trimming cowling||Back to working on the plane again - finally had some time. Started trimming pilot side cowling to fit - got it close. Got the passenger side cowling to fit but am having to do some surgery on the corner by slicing it to get everything to lay flat.|
|2011-07-31||Cowling trim to fit - Picture||Continued trimming cowling to fit. Attached lower left hand cowling hinge attached piece. After trimming the right side cowling a little more, everything magically fit into place. WOW - after about 4 months of screwing around, trimming, cutting, fixing/repairing/fiberglassing, more cussing and trimming - something actually worked out right...
Had to make a cut on the upper corner of each of the cowling halves to get them to fit the corners and lay flat. For some reason the cowling corners as molded weren't tight enough and bowed up and out too much.
|2011-08-01||Trimming to fit||Trimmed the bottom right side cowling a little to fit better. Have decided to split bottom cowling hing pins into two pieces instead of one monster long one for ease of assembly/dissasembly. During this process realized that I did not place the hing pieces that are riveted to the firewall in the correct place - they are supposed to be each side of the firewall centerline by 3/4" and I place them about 1.5" each side. No big deal, will make two small pieces and rivet them in. It will provide just a little additional support for the cowling pieces at the center of the fuselage so they don't droop down.|
|2011-08-02||Adding hinge attach points||Spend some time tonight adding two small additional pieces to hold the cowling on to the lower firewall. Cut, drilled, deburred and riveted them in place.|
|2011-08-04||Mounting cowling||Attached the 3' long hing attach pieces tonight on the lower side of the two cowling halves - pinning them together. Only one more hinge attach piece and have them all in place.|
|2011-08-06||Cowling fitting||Final fitting of all cowling hinge attach points. Cut out right side cowling fuel door hole and oil check door. Trimmed the oil cooler inlet hole out and did additional trimming of cylinder head cooling inlet.
Also trial fit propeller to make sure there was no cowling interference issue.
|2011-08-07||Fitting cowling||Fabricated aluminum fuel door per plans. Cut out fuel door hole from cowling and pilot drilled assembly in place. Drilled out fuel door southco access hole threw passenger side cowling. Cut out all cooling holes in right side cowling. Cut outoil check access hole in right side cowling, trimmed and riveted in Southco recpeticles.
Next to do is fabricate the exhaust protective shields and install, then final drill and counter sink attach hinges and rivet in place. Then fiberglass in the attach tab and rivet Southco recepticle just under propeller hub on cowling. After that just a ton of body putty sanding cleanup work. Probably 20+ hours of work to go yet.
|2011-08-14||Countersinking for rivets||Final drilling and countersinking for flush rivets is taking quite a while. Realized that there are almost 200 rivets in the cowling that you have to drill out, deburr and countersink,.|
|2011-08-20||Trimming NEW canopy to fit||After looking at the canopy that I had already cut to fit and drilled the holes through - I found a number of new cracks that had started while the canopy was in the relaxed state over the last 5 months. So - PUNT - I bought a new one from Sonex. This one is quite a bit more flexible and is easier to work. Am also keeping the basement between 82 - 86 degrees F. It was money well spent - am glad I'm making a new one.
Started cutting today with the bandsaw - with a 15 tpi blade which is absolutely perfect for cutting this material. The canopy is fitting is proceeding very well.
|2011-08-21||Trimming canopy to fit||Working canopy again today. Another 6 hours trimming and sanding to fit. The fit is already better than the original, but still not done yet.|
|2011-08-22||Canopy Trimming to fit||Worked the canopy another two hours tonight. Second time around on the canopy with the new material and keeping environment warm makes it a rather nice experience!! Understand the trimming to fit aspect much better - if canopy bows up somewhere - that's because it's binding against an edge somewhere else, you just have to find it. Even the sides when trimmed to fit correctly have very little bow in them to deal with when pressing in. Not like the first time around!!|
|2011-08-24||Trimming Canopy to fit||Spent a little time tonight trimming. Getting much closer to getting it fit in nicely.|
|2011-08-25||Trimming Canopy to fit||Spent 1.5 hours tonight continueing fitting canopy in. Completed pilot side, taped it down nice and tight, and marked the passenger side bottom where needed to cut with the bandsaw. Cut about 1/4" off with bandsaw and sanded with belt sander. Almost have it completely fitted now. Only have to sand about 1/32" off to get a nice clean gap all the way around and drop a tad bit of lift on the front end of the canopy. Hopefully not more than 1/2 hour and the canopy is completed being trimmed in... hopefully.
Am at 1922 hours total on this project to date and closing in on 5 years. I log absolutely everything though, including cleanup time and planning/research (like wiring diagrams and such). This also includes at least 150 hours of polishing. Probably another couple hundred to go before completion. Most of it will be in body work involving the cowling, wheel pants, and wing tip light installation.
|2011-08-28||Drilling attach holes in canopy||Drilling holes on the bottom side rails of canopy. Drilled all holes and deburred on the pilot side. All holes on pilot side of canopy now drilled and deburred. Passenger side has about 2/3 of the holes drilled. Keeping shop at 84 degrees till completed. Canopy is looking really good this time around!|
|2011-08-29||Drilling attach holes in canopy||Finished drilling all the screw attach holes through the canopy. Everything worked out quite well, no cracking...yet. Also cutout the sliding lock slot in canopy. Drilled the corners, then used a dremel tool with fiber cutoff wheel and file to cut the rest of it out. Perfect fit first time and no cracks... yet.
Lesson learned - cut the canopy to fit slightly below flush to the skin (smaller than you want final fit to look like) - becuase when you pinch the side rails in when screwing the canopy to them - it does push the canopy up somewhat - actually about 3/32" or so all the way around.Mine fit a litte small originally on back, but not quite small enough - so the canopy actually sticks up about 1/16" around about 1/2 of the back. If I ever have to fit a 3rd canopy... well you know what they say, 3rd times a charm :)
|2011-08-30||Countersinking canopy screws||Started countersinking canopy screws tonight. Got all but six done.|
|2011-09-05||Countersinking screws||Spent more time countersinking the last of the canopy screws and fine tuning everything for final assembly.
Took a week off to attend the annual Antique Aircraft Association fly-in down in Blakesburg, Iowa. What an absolute blast! Met some great people and saw some beautiful airplanes this year.
|2011-09-06||Canopy fitting||Spent more time final attaching canopy to the framework. Did a little sanding to clean up a couple of edges and lengthened the locking slot slightly. I had to use longer screws for four of the attach points as the standard countersunk screws were too short. The canopy looks quite good at this point.
Deapened the seat pan control stick hole as the control stickhits the pan. Still need to recess it further. This is a common issue to all Waiex.
Found that I dropped a clamp on the seat pan hinge riveted to the bottom of the fuselage. It partially crushed it making it impossible to get a hing pin through. Haven't figured out yet how to correct this - may end up just cutting the one ear out.
Took lots more time on this today than expected.
|2011-09-07||Modify seat attach hinges||Accidentally dropped a clamp on the lower seat attach hinges in the cockpit. It crushed about 1/3 of one of the ears. I ended up using the dremel tool with a cutoff wheel and just cut that 1/3 portion off. Reinstalled seat. Need to trim seat more for stick installation clearance.|
|2011-09-08||Canopy fitting||Wow - the canopy fittment is a never ending saga... Tonight I spent an hour making correct length spacers to fit the canopy to the frame. I used grommets that I then trimmed to the correct thickness so that the canopy is resting against something as the screw pulls it down. Only thing (?!...) left to do yet is black permatex the screw tips to help lock the threads in place, install 4 newly ordered shorter SST screws on the side rails, and trim the locking mechanism to fit better. The screws were hitting against rivets that hold the frame together, so I ordered shorter ones.
Ordered several different lengths of potential prop bolts and washer thicknesses, as well as a bunch of Southco fasteners to hold the cowling on.
|2011-09-10||Almost complete with canopy - Picture||Spent an hour tonight fiddling with the canopy. Filed away on the locking mechanism to get it to slide/lock freely. Finished that. Only thing left to do at this point is permatex the screws so they don't back out, and install the four new shorter screws. Then done.|
|2011-09-10||Fitting sidewalls - Pictures||Began fitting and trimming the pilot sidewall into place. The Sonex instructions on how to do this are really out of whack if you aren't using thier Leather kit. If you are using any of the other materials, you've actually got to cut out for the throttle and the flap bar extrusion - otherwise it just doesn't fit correctly.|
|2011-09-11||Final attach canopy screws||Put Permatex gasket silicon on the screws to help lock the threads so the screws don't back out of the canopy. Only thing left on canopy is putting in 5 short screws when I get them from Wicks. Should be tomorrow.|
|2011-09-11||Glue sidwall attach blocks in place||Spent some time today gluing the sidewall attach foam blocks in place. Also worked on fitting the seatbelts in place. Realized that I may have to cut part of the sidewalls away for the seatbelts to fit correctly. Drilled out seatbelt attach holes in center section.|
|2011-09-12||Sidewall fitmet||Continuing to work the interior sidewalls. Had to trim the bottom side of it and cut a triangle piece about 2"x2"by3" out on each panel for the seatbelts to fit. Also decided to clearance the seatpan by 3/8" in two different spots to keep the other end of the seat belts from rubbing on the aluminum pan. Glued two more foam supports in place for sidewalls and cutout an addtion two more as well.|
|2011-09-13||Glued sidewall attach blocks||Fabricated and glued in 4 more sidewall blocks. Also took time tonight and consolidate all the rivets into smaller bags and get a bunch that were laying aroud put away. Got the canopy off and put in storage till I need it for final assembly. Cleaned up shop for awhile. Got the cowling pieces back out to start working on them, started reviewing exhaust tunnel plans.|
|2011-09-13||Mounted propeller and measured for bolt lengths||I had ordered AN6-42, 43 and 44 bolt lengths as well as thick and thin washers and elastic stop nuts to determine the correct bolt lengths. Determined that with the Prince prop and the Sonex spinner that acts as the crushplate, that you use an AN6-43 bolt and one each thick and thin washer between the nut and the prop hub/bolt spacers. This leaves exactly 3 threads showing. Don't forget that you have to use the Jabiru provided prop bolt spacers to fit between the prop hub and the prop. These are the same spacers that you have to drill out to AN6-size bolts (6/16 = 3/8" bolt diameter)|
|2011-09-14||Riveted attach hinges in place on pilot side||Final riveted in all attach hinges on the pilot side cowling piece. Drilled out to final size about 80% of the holes on passenger side. Will have to do some fiberglass repair slightly on the lower end of the cowl as I cut it too short originally by about 1/8".|
|2011-09-16||Working on cowling||Updrilled to final size, counter sunk, deburred and then riveted right side cowling attach hinges in place -all except for the bottom one. I need to add a 5" long strip of glass about 1/8" wide tapered down to nothing to fill where I took a little bit too much off. Not a big deal, getting pretty good at glass repairs... sigh...
Gotta tell you, the lower center hinge pin is an absolute NIGHTMARE to get in and out. Right now I'm chucking it into a drill and doing it. If I'm travelling somewhere though and need to remove a cowling half and then try to put it back on...? Don't know how I'm going to do it. Am seriously considering doing like others and splitting cowling horizontally. I definitely have time to do it over the upcoming long winter.
|2011-09-17||Cowling fabrication||Fiberglassed in the small piece needed on the lower side of the passenger side cowling.
Also took the oportunity to do some further glass cleanup on the pilot side cowling to fill the gap between the filler glass piece and the rest of the cowling.
Made pattern for aluminum exhaust tunnel to be fabricated and riveted in place in the lower cowlings halves. Polished the aluminum then marked and cut out the pieces. Next is to final trim pieces and the bend to final shape.
|2011-09-18||Fabricating exhaust tunnels - Pictures||Spent 4.5 hours fabricating exhaust tunnels. A LOT more work than I expected... Because of the compount curved flanges, I ended up baking a flange buck to hammer them out. Once that was made, everything went pretty fast. Made the first cowling flap... only to find that I made it 3/8" too long. Oh well. Measure twice, cut once bites me again...|
|2011-09-19||Fabricate cowling flap - again||Okay, so I fabricated a new cowling flap - only to bend the last ben 90degree's the wrong direction. Sigh... Bend it back 180 degree's the correct direction - only to see the aluminum start to change color and surface fracture. Jeez - I've got to make two of these total, have already made two - and they both ended up screwed up. Other lesson learned - don't predrill this piece. Wait to drill it till you fit it on the exhaust tunnel as the pilot rivet holes may not align correctly on the tunnel piece.|
|2011-09-20||Fabricating cowl flaps and misc||Finally made two cowl flaps correctly! They are now done. Also sanded lower cowling edge to correct thickness, from Sonex it was over a 1/4" think in places on the bottom end, very incosistent. Also trimmed the oil cooler baffle as it was rubbingt up against the cowling during fitment, so I took 1/2" off it.|
|2011-09-21||Still fitting cowling||Got the fiberglass sanded and the lower attach hinge fit in on the passenger side cowling piece. However.... drum roll please... however... now the oil cooler interferes with the cowling fit... sigh. The only option that I can see is to fabricate another oil cooler mounting bracket that lifts the oil cooler slightly higher (by about 1/4" or so) - which means that more of it will be blocked by the lower engine oil sump cooling fins. Hopefully this won't be an issue, will just have to make sure that the oil cooler channel is very tight and no air escapes. The only other option is to cut out two little blisters on the lower cowling to clear the cooler. Not something that I *really* want to fiddle with. It is a future option though if it is an issue.|
|2011-09-22||Oil Cooler fittment - Pictures||After worrying about the interference the oil cooler was creating against the pilot side cowling, I found an easy fix tonight. I moved it back and up by 1/8" each, and cut-down the lower left flange slightly, and it now cleares the cowl perfectly. Once I did that, then all the hinge attach pins all slide in place quite easily also - including the long lower center one. Hallelujah!!! I have to remake the mounting bracket to the engine - but it is a simple one to do.
Also riveted in the lower right side cowling hinge in place.
|2011-09-23||Oil Cooler fitment||Made another oil cooler mounting bracket tonight. It still didn't clear the cowling by enough, will have to lift the oil cooler by another 1/4", but then it will fit.|
|2011-09-25||Oil Cooler fitment||Made rev 3 of the oil cooler mounting bracket tonight and everything cleared the cowling just fine.|
|2011-09-26||Exhaust Tunnel baffling||Cut in and cleco'd the pilot side exhaust tunnel baffling into the cowling. Fits perfect first time around... which makes me nervous. But boy, does it look good! I polished the baffling.|
|2011-09-28||Exhaust tunnel drill final size||Drilled to final size pilot side exhaust tunnel baffling and cowl flap to cowling.|
|2011-09-29||Fitting passenger side exhaust tunnel - Pictures||Cut out the exhaust tunnel in the passenger side cowling. Pilot drilled one side to confirm exhaust pipe will fit okay as it is at a different angle than the pilot side. It will fit, but is fairly close at about 1/2" clearence. Am considering cutting away some of the tunnel to give more clearence. Don't know why Jabiru would make the two sides with different geometry - no reason to.|
|2011-10-01||Exhaust tunnels fittment||Final drill and fit exhaust tunnels. Also countersunk the rivets.|
|2011-10-01||Cowling nose attach tab fiberglassed in place||Marked out and fiberglassed a nose attach tab on the internal of the cowling per instructions.
Order of work:
1) Pulled both cowling pieces off plane
2) Attach both pieces together with piano hinge attach pieces.
3) Mark insides of cowling pieces where the nose attach tab will be fabricated in place.
4) Sand right side cowling to remove all existing cowling plug removal agent.
5) Remove piano hinge and cover all of left side cowling piece where the tab will go with shipping tape (it's the thinnest and fiberglass resin won't stick to it. Put piano hinge back in and pull nose piece together with packing tape as hard as you can to ensure nice tight fit.
6) Surround the rest of the internals marked up tab with duck tape - it gives a nice edge to the fiberglass.
7) Cut fiberglass tapes to correct dimensions (I am using four 9oz pieces of fiberglass tape) Plans call for three 10oz pieces.
8) Wet out a tape and lay first one on the cowling. Use squeege to make sure that you have correct amount of resin in tape and not too much.
9) After about 20 minutes, I added a second layer to the layup. Will let this set tonight.
Will add the third and fourth layers tomorrow.
|2011-10-02||Fiberglass nose tab||Layed in two more layers of 9 oz. cloth on the nose attach tab.|
|2011-10-02||Prep wheelpants for install - Pictures||Marked wheelpants to cutout and install on main gear. Interesting that the axel is 6" long, yet the wheelpants are only 5-1/2" wide. They end up bowing out some. I don't particularly like this, may rivet a very thin piece of aluminum on the inside for the axel to rub against. May also rivet in a thicker piece of aluminum on the outside at the same time to support the screw that attaches the wheelpant to the axel. Otherwise there is nothing supporting the screw and it will wear into the fiberglass.|
|2011-10-03||Pilot side wheelpant installation - pictures||Final fitment of pilot side wheelpant. Had to trim out for the brake crown - but outside of that everything fit perfect. Drilled all four mounting holes with size 21 drill and tapped them for 10-32 attach screws.
Only thing left to do with pilot side wheelpant is paint.
|2011-10-04||Passenger side wheelpant cut to fit||Got the passenger side wheelpant cut to fit, axel hole drilled. Fit's perfect first time.|
|2011-10-08||Finished passenger side wheelpants||Completed fitting in wheelpants and tapping brake backing plate for attach scews. Wheelpants fit very nicely - both pants ready for paint.|
|2011-10-08||Cowling fitment||Continued work on cowling tonight after finishing up the wheelpants. Drilled pilot hole through the cowling tab while everything was still together. Then took cowling halves apart and drilled holes to final size per plans. Installed Southco receptical in tab and countersunk small rivets. Drilled cowling side hole out bigger than plans state as the hole is way too small to fit the Southco fastener through it. Trimmed tab up some to make it look good and sanded sides.
Final drilled out cowling flaps on the exhaust tunnels to final size.
Fit cowling sides back on the plane and am ready to start on the bodywork of making them look good. This portion will be a chunk of work!
|2011-10-09||Stickers on dash||Put all the identification stickers on the dash. Used the kit that you purchase from EAA when you get thier registration packet of instructions. They look just fine and worked well. Had to mix in a couple from Aircraft Spruce pack as EAA didn't have all I needed. So, slightly different ones - but not a big deal.
Also - put the big "EXPERIMENTAL" sticker on the passenger side bulkhead. It looks good!!
|2011-10-09||Cleanup bodywork on cowling||Used the heat gun and reformed the corners of the cowling to fit better. I've been dreading this - only to have it be the easiest thing that I've done so far. Jeez. Once got that done, then I took the cowing halves off the plane, taped up the cowing corners with packing tape - then reinstalled. After that I clamped the corners tight and then mixed some more fiberglass resin an pushed it into the slits in the glass that I had to make so the corners could be tightened up. Will find out tomorrow just how effective that exersize was.|
|2011-10-09||Glareshield fabric fitment - Picture||Removed the windshield today and started fitting the glareshield fabric. Have had to trim each side by 3/8" and the front by 5/8" so far. Not done yet fitting it in. Thing I'm going to put velcro on the longerons and sew velcro on the fabric to hold everything in place instead of gluing it. It''s removeable that way if I need it to be.|
|2011-10-09||Windshield cleanup||Pulled the windshield off today and started final cleanup of it. There were still a couple of rough endges that needed sanded. Also countersunk the rest of the holes in the front that I hadn't done it to yet. Bought some Kerosene and cleaned Lexan windshield per instruction on the windshield protective cover. It cleaned the residue right off. Then washed with hot soapy water and dried with microfiber cloth. Looks good now! Windshield won't go on again until it's put on for the final time. Need to paint the windshield bow and strap on firewall yet.|
|2011-10-11||More cowling work||Spent some time tonight removing all clamps and then adding more fiberglass resin into the slots that I'd cut to get the cowling to fit better. This is the last that I'll have to do this.
Cut and trimmed the glareshield fabric to final shape.
Cut out initial pattern for gear leg fairings. They are too long by at least 2 inches and I don't quite understand how the bottom end fits yet.
|2011-10-12||Bodywork on cowling||Bit the bullet and started sanding/applying body putty to the cowling to clean it up. I'm using aircraft grade two part Polyfiber Superfill stuff. Stinks to high heaven, but seams to be okay. Covered everything and sanded the edges down then started applying the putty. A little bit goes a long way! Will see how it worked out tomorrow. If it works out okay, final finishing the cowling won't hopefully take too many hours.
Also played around with the gear fairings again tonight. They just don't seam to fit right, will consult with Doug Boyd on his.
|2011-10-15||Cowling bodywork continues - Pictures||The body putty/bodywork continues on the cowling. Getting better at it now. Sanded down last attempt - which actually turned out quite good. Pilot side cowling corner turned out very well. Went ahead and prepped both cowlings and filled all flush rivets with putty.
The wheel pants come fiberglassed together - but it appears to only be one tape on the inside. There is a deep gap all the way around the outside on both wheelpants. Decided to fill this gap with fiberglass resin tonight. Mixed it and let it sit for about 20 minutes to start stiffening up before putting it in the gap. If you were to fill right away it would just run everywhere and never stay in the slot.
|2011-10-23||cowling prep||More work on cowling - further sanded Polyfil body filler. Also rivted the exhaust tunnels in place. Had to order some additional rivets to complete (CCC-44).|
|2011-10-24||fitment of stabilator tips||Spent time fitting the stabilator tips. Finish cutting them out and drilling them to fit. also sanded them for Polyfil putty.|
|2011-10-30||Bodywork prep for painting||Spent an hour tonight putting Superfil on the wheelpants, wingtips and cowling halves. Getting closer to being ready to paint all fiberglass.|
|2011-10-31||Bodywork on fiberglass||Prepping fiberglass for paint. Continueing to putty/sand down countersunk rivets and imperfections on all fiberglass. Time consuming.|
|2011-11-02||Bodywork pretp for paint of fiberglass||Prepping fiberglass for paint. Continueing to putty/sand down countersunk rivets and imperfections on all fiberglass. Time consuming.|
|2011-11-05||Cooler baffling work||Continued work on oil cooler baffle. Made a flanged "H" piece to fit around the oil cooler to help direct the most air possible through it. Lots of trimming to fit.
Primed the wheel pants and stabilator tips.
|2011-11-07||Baffling fabrication - Pictures||Fabricated pilot side entry baffling from front of cowling.Much more time consuming making cardboard templates - but required for a good fit.|
|2011-11-09||Passenger side baffling fabrication||Spent an hour tonight fitting in the passenger side baffling piece that fits on the front of the engine right at the air inlet through the cowling.|
|2011-11-12||Passenger side baffling fabrication||Worked on fabricating the passenger side cooling baffling. Just about done on it.
Started moving airplane parts into the rented garage. Moved the stabilators, build bench, toolbox, combo seat/creaper and tripod light kits. Kind of exciting knowing that I will be moving the plane from the basement for the second and last time in five years!!! Whew!
|2011-11-13||Baffling fabrication||Completed fabricating engine baffles tonight. Only thing left is to add the rubber cowling seals.|
|2011-11-22||Baffeling seal fabrication||Worked the last two days several hours each on fabricating the cowling baffling seal on the passenger side. Not hard to do, just never did it before and taking my time. Much trial fit taking the cowling on/off. Had to make an extra aluminum deflector and rivet it on the inner side of the baffling (closest side to the prop flange) to make sure that air coming in the inlet doesn't escape easily around the baffling.|
|2011-12-08||Complete pilot side cylinder head baffling||Taking time - but I finished the pilot side cylinder head baffling anti-chaffing seal. Only have to do the oil cooler next.|
|2011-12-11||Cargo sling fabrication||Asked a friend of mine's wife to do some stitching for me to get the velcro on the baggage sling for the seat to attach to. She's also going to try and restitch the side pannels where I had to cut them to fit around the throttle/seat belts/flap bracket and the fuse boxes. After I got the cargo sling back I punched in eyelets all around, screwed in some small 6x32 x 1/2" stainless screws on the front and just started drilling and tapping 6x32x1/2" panhead machine screws on the longerons. About 40% completed tonight.|
|2011-12-12||Cargo sling install completed - control stick boot install - Pictures||Finished up the installation.|
|2012-01-25||Oil cooler baffling installation completion||Lots and lots of screwing around on this over the month of
December and January. Took more time than expected to cut the baffle seals to fit and to seal up underneath the oil cooler. Must have had the cowling on/off about 100 times to get everything to fit snug - but easy to install.
|2012-01-26||Body work cleanup for painting||Spent a ton of time in December and January working on getting all the fiberglass components ready to paint. Forgot how much I didn't really like to do bodywork even though I'm pretty good at it. Time consuming and meticulous to make it all look good. Wheel pants, stabilator tips and rudder tip are all complete. Cowling is getting very close, only have a couple more small rounds of glazing/priming to complete it. Then have to hit the wing tips. Haven't installed the light mounts yet, that will take some time.|
|2012-01-27||fiberglass parts paint prep||Cleaned up and worked on stabiltor tips and wheelpants. Also did some more paint prep on cowling.|
|2012-01-28||Paint prep on fibergalass parts||Completed paint prep/bodywork on rudder cap, stabilator tips, and wheel pants. Also got a significant amount done on cowling.|
|2012-01-29||Fitting stabilators to rear spar Y bracket||Fitting stabilators to rear spar bracket. Much time spent measuring to ensure the assembly is same height side to side and same length from center of plane to stabilator tips. Couldn't get exact same length - about 1/4" off. Side to side height is identical though. Much better than many of the other planes that I've looked at!! Made initial pilot holes and cleco'd assembly together.
Key is to level fuselage front/rear and side to side, then measure stabilator tips down an tips to center of box behind pilot seat. Didn't have turtle deck riveted in place when I did this and it made it extremely easy.
|2012-01-29||Cowling bodywork||Completed all bodywork and priming of right side cowling. Worked left side cowling and it is getting very close as well.|
|2012-01-30||Drilling stabilators rear spar to Y bracket||Drilling/clecoing the stabilator rear spar to the Y bracket.|
|2012-02-01||Stabilator installation||Final drilled all of rear spar rivet holes.
Begain work on front spar "hockey stick" attach to fuselage. Decided that the lower extrusion that bolts the front spar to the upper longerons needed to be remade about 1/4" longer so that there is adequate edge clearance for the AN4 attach bolts that hold the front spar to the fuselage. Completed the new extrusion and began pilot drilling it.
|2012-02-01||Stabilator front spar attach to fuselage||Still working the stabilator front spar attachment. Bent lower extrusion to fit angle of front spar hockey sticks vs. longeron. Pilot drilled all holes in lower extrusion and front spar.|
|2012-02-03||Attaching front stabilator spars to fuselage - Pictures||Spent some time working bolt holes to bolt the front stabilator spar to the upper longerons.|
|2012-02-04||Closing up right stabilator - Pictures||Finally getting to close up the stabilators. Unfortunately when I took all the cleco's off from 5 years ago, I found that I had drilled into the stabilator ribs... First thought was that I had to remove them, fabricate new ones, and rivet them in. Ended up taking a file and cleaning up the mess to remove any stress risers, then made an extrusion piece and riveted it in place on the other side of the flange.Worked out well.
Drilled out some of the front spar holes on the hocky stick for right side.
|2012-02-05||Closing up left stabilator||Again had the issue of drilling into the stabilator ribs when drilling to attach the rear spar. Had to make an extrusion piece to support the stabilator rib. Ran out of CCP-42 rivets when closing up the skin, only got the top half riveted on. Ordered more from Spruce. Polished the skin also. After it sat around for 5 years in the hangar, garage and shop after being built - it only took about 5 minutes worth of work to bring the luster back and looking good.
Giants won the Super Bowl in OUTSTANDING fashion - yea!
|2012-02-07||Installation of front spar support brackets||Continued drilling out for front spar support brackets that attach to the upper longerons. Only have to install replacement 7x8" square bar and am finished.
Also put Passenger warning sticker on dash
|2012-02-09||Final fitting of stabilators... WHEW!!||Completed fitting of stabilators. Also finished riveting on the skins.|
|2012-02-09||Stabilator Service Bulletin fitting||Got the bar stock in for the stabilator service bulletin. Since I didn't give enough room between bolt hole and edge, I had ordered more and made it oversize, then trimmed back. Drilled 1/4" hole for bolt to attach to longeron before trimming back to make sure had enough bolt hole edge distance.|
|2012-02-10||Cylinder head baffling supports||Watching the Sonex news groups, many people have had issues with Jabiru 3300 cylinder head baffling cracking right above the oil return tube slots that you have to cut into the baffling. Many people are successfully combating this by riveting in doublers in this area. Completed this activity tonight on both sides.|
|2012-02-11||Began working on empanage fairings - Picture||Mounted the stabilators, attached the rudder and ruddervators. Fit the ruddervator push rods, clearanced holes in fuselage sides. Cut out full size paterns from plans for pushrod fairings and the rudder cable fairings. Getting ready to polish aluminum before cutting it out.
Also attached turtledeck bulkheads. Primed turtledeck backbone.
|2012-02-11||Fiberglass work on cowling||Filled Southco holes in cowling with resin and microballoons so I can redrill them more accurately now that cowling is final fit. First time I've ever used microballons, mixed to conistency of peanut butter per recommendation. Easy to do, almost like working with thick paste.
The old holes were ovalled out too much for me. Easy to fix now before paint.
|2012-02-13||Cowling completed except for paint - Pictures||Halleluiah!!! I've been waiting a year to be able to say this!!! It took forever to get the cowling to fit correctly and look good. Not all year was spent working on it of course. There were many times when I just got so frustrated that I had to put it down and go do something else to keep the work from getting shoddy. I cut it too short on one side and had to glass a piece back in - that extended the project by probably 10 hours. Another issue was that both upper corners just didn't fit snug to the plane - but stuck out about 1/4". I had to slot each corner about 5", then hit it with a heat gun and reform the corners, then re-attach with fiberglass resin. Lots of cleanup after that excersize -which easily added another 10 hours to the project. All told, my guess is around 120 hours on the cowling alone. I spent LESS time building TWO canopies (yes - one was a replacement for a cracked on).
All glass and putty work is done, fit and finish appears to be nice and smooth. The sides are symetrical to each other.
Will let the painter squirt it and hope for the best now.
|2012-02-15||Polishing fairing aluminum||Spent some time polishing the aluminum to be used for the ruddervator and rudder pushrod fairings. Cut out one ruddervator fairing and tried to make initial radiused bend and promptly botched up the piece. I bend the flanges first which is the wrong thing to do - at least it is for me... Decided to make some wooden forms to assist in this.|
|2012-02-17||fabricated fairings - Pictures||Fabricated the ruddervator and rudder pushrod fairings.|
|2012-02-18||Fabrication of fairing between stabilators- Pictures||Spent to entire day prepping for, fabricating fairing between the stabilators. Started by polishing the 4'x4' sheet of .025 6061 sheet. Then restalled the turtledeck - only to realize that I now needed to trim to stabilators some to clear the turtledeck skin. I had both installed previously - but not at the same time. After several hours of trimming/filing - everything fit. Next went on a scavenger hunt to find some thin cardboard to make a patern - ended up going to the local cardboard recycle bin and dug some out of there. My 15 year old was appalled that I had him come along for this... Next, cut the cardboard to plans as best as I could - the plans are extremely sketchy on this part - a little explanation would have helped. Next pulled the cardboard off and marked up the alumnum sheet. Note - realize that your flanges aren't bent exactly on the bend line - so actually bend them on the inside of the line for the assembly to fit. The front side goes UNDER the turtledeck skin. Otherwise - the flanges get in the way and it is almost impossible to slide it under the turtledeck skin. Hard to explain - but when you do it - you will immediately understand. Next I bent the flanges per plan using my Black&Decker Workmate. It has a table top that is also a long clamp. I clamped the 20+" flanges in place and bent them over using a block of wood and the palm of my hand. Next was rolling the skin to shape. .025 skin is amazingly tough to bend- I had to work it initially over the largest tube I had (about 2"), then started carefully working it over the edge of the workmate trying to not crease it. I did end up with some slight creases here and there - but not bad at all. The rolling of the assembly easily took two hours to get it all fit right. Everything ended up fitting quite well. Took some "english" to get it to fit correctly. but it does now.
So, after about eight hours of work for the day, the stabilators are final fit again...this time with the turtledeck on, and the upper stabilator fairing is fit and done. Only have to order to sst screws and drill holes for them next week.
|2012-02-19||Fabricating main gear fairings - Pictures||Made gear fairing pattern, checked fit on the plane, then proceeded to cutout the left side aluminum fairing. Got the left side fairing all cut to shape, bent, and the hinges drilled into it. Started fitting it into place, Already shortened it by 1" from plan. Need to shorten by another 1/2" at least to get it to fit correctly. Also going to modify attach hinges by cutting out one of the hinge lugs so that I can use the split hinge pin attach method (allows one person installation) instead of the factory method that required two people to put the fairings on.
Whilst I had the left side fairing cut to shape, used it to mark out the right side fairing which is just the inverse of the other.
Bending fairings is not easy. 0.025" thick aluminum is much tougher than you would think. I ended up fabricating a "Taco clamp" with two short 2x4 pieces, spread them 2" apart, and screwed to the build table. I then marked the center line of the fairing and duct taped my rake handle down the middle of it (yes - my leaf rake). The rake handle is 1" dia. Next stood on the handle after centering everything over the space between the 2x4's. This gave a nice consistent bend radius. Next I further forced the handle to the bottom, then grabbed the edges of the fairing and forced it together, further bending it. Took it out of the pattern, then used a piece of 1/2" hard copper pipe (plumbing type), taped it down the center line, and further forced the sides together by hand, taking my time to do it a little at a time so that it didn't kink or warp grossly out of shape. End product looks like it was done in a professional sheet metal brake.
You gotta love using rakes for stuff like this instead of what they where intended to do - much funner and more satisfying!! :)
|2012-02-20||Fabricating left side gear fairing||Tonight I finish pilot drilled and updrilled to final size the attach hinges on the trailing edge of the fairing. Also cut out the lugs for the split pin method of attachment. Clearanced the fairing side to be able to access the pull pins as well. Started to meaure for final fitment.|
|2012-02-21||fabrication pilot side gear fairing - Pictures||Spent an hour tonight riveting attach hinges in place and further trimming to fit the fairing.|
|2012-02-22||Fabricating pilot side gear fairing||Finished up fitting the gear fairing tonight. Trying to determine best way to safety the hinge pins so they don't slide. Think I've determine an easy way to do this, will try it out tomorrow night.|
|2012-02-25||Began fabricating passenger side landing gear fairing||Laid out, cutout the passenger side gear fairing. Cut attach hinges to length. Cut lugs out for center hinge pin access. Cut relief out of lower side of fairing. Pilot drilled, final drilled and deburred fairing in preparation for riveting hinges on.|
|2012-02-26||Completed passenger side gear fairing fabrication and fitment - Pictures||Riveted the attach hinges in place, bent per the same method as the pilot side gear fairing. Fabricated attach hinge pins. Fitted the assembly to the plane. On/off many times for fine tuning to get close fitment.
Did the layout out the tail wheel fairing. This is a very complex piece, it took over 50 minutes of just measuring and marking to get it all ready to cut out. Last piece of aluminum sheet I have. Hope this part works okay!!
|2012-02-28||Tail Wheel fairing fabrication - done! - Pictures||Fabricated tail wheel fairing tonight. Much easier than I thought it would be. Did all the bends using boards and clamps. Took about an hour of fiddling to complete it. Also cut out the top support rib. Trial fit but cannot final drill it for screws and attach until I get the bottom skin on.
This is the LAST metal piece in the plans that I needed to fabricate. YEA!!! 5 years and 3 months exactly to the DAY!
|2012-03-01||Fuel drip pan on fuel tank inlet - Pictures||Made a pattern and started fabricating a fuel drip pan to sit on top of the fuel tank inlet so that fuel doesn't get into the cockpit.|
|2012-03-03||Fuel drip plate - Pictures||Designed and fabricated a fuel drip plate. This sits in the fuel box and keeps fuel from running into the cockpit if you spill a little during fueling. I don't understand why Sonex doesn't have this in the plans, it's definitely needed. I sealed it using Permatex gasket sealant. Not the best seal in the world, but it should work okay.|
|2012-03-03||Began fabricating cabin heat system - Pictures||Started laying out the cabin heat system. Changed the design mid steam. Found some good plans on line for this on the Sonext Talk group files. Plans are excellent!|
|2012-03-04||Cabin heat system fabrication - Pictures||Continued fabricating the cabin heat system. Fabbed a new inlet baffle lip on the passenger side so I can fit a 1.5" diameter air inlet that I'll Scat tube to the heater box. Completed this. Next fabricated the heater box body. The plans were absolutely great - except that the measurements are in 1/10 of an inch. I don't have a ruler around like that, so i converted to millimeters with my HP48SX calculator. Worked great! Bent the box up on my 18" box brake and it was absolutely perfect. Started laying out the heat box ends for fabrication.
Sizes of tubing: inlet to cabin heat box on exhaust pipe - 1.5". Outlet from cabin heat box to firewal Tri-Y box I fabricated is 2". Not sure hour this will work out, two different sizes, smaller coming in, larger going out.
|2012-03-05||Fabricating cabin heat box ends||Layed out and cut out both cabin heat box ends. Drilled both and bent one and installed/pilot drilled.|
|2012-03-06||Cabin heat box fabrication||Finished fabricating end caps for cabin heat box assembly. Pilot drilled and drilled to final size. Drilled and cleco'd 2" attach piece for Scat tubing in place. Have to order one that is 1.5" dia for the inlet side of cabin heat box.|
|2012-03-07||Misc preparation||Realized that I hadn't installed the tail tip ribs into the fiberglass tips yet. Went ahead and drilled them, deburred and primed for final installation - to be riveted in place.
Got my sst screws and drilled out ruddervator pushrod fairing screw holes. Have to final drill and do the same with the rudder cable fairings and stabilator fairing yet.
|2012-03-09||Fabricated jig to make new rudder cable fairings||Have decided that the first set of rudder cable fairings that I made were too tall and not long enough. They didn't fully cover the cable hole in the fuselage skin. Made the new jig out of a cut down 2x4 just like last time. The fairing piece is only going to bo 7/16" tall this time as opposed to 2.5" tall like the first ones were.|
|2012-03-10||Finish fairing installation||Made two new rudder cable fairings that were not as tall as the original ones, and were also 1/2" longer to completely cover the cable hole in the fuselage skin. Also drilled all holes for rudder, ruddervator and stabilator fairings. Attached the ruddervator and rudder cable fairings with SST #6 screws. Attached stabilator fairing with SST #4 screws from the hardware store. On the right side fairings, had to drill and tap into the upper and lower longeron and use machine scews to attach one screw due to location limitation. The plans don't show this, but there is absolutly no way around it. Left side works out perfect per plans - and that's the side that the plans show.|
|2012-03-10||Redrilled axle castle nut cotter key hole||The original plans call for you to predrill the cotter key hole in a specific place. Whatever you do - DON'T DO IT. They revised the plans several years after that and said to trail fit the castle nut first and THEN mark the hole to be drilled. I had to drill a second hole in the axle since the first one was off by about 1/2". Drilled it perpendicular to the original. Sonex says this is perfectly fine.|
|2012-03-12||Balancing ailerons||Final attached lead weights to ailerons and began balancing procedure. You hang them from the ceiling on safety wire from the hinge point. The trailing edge can be no higher than 1/2" above the edge closest to the rear wing spar. This means the lead weight can be just slightly heavy. However, you really want to remove as much weight as possible, so best to try and get it level. You can remove the most weight by taking it out of the thickest part of the lead closest to the aileron body as it has the least impact on balance - it has less of a moment arm. I have two 3/8" diameter holes drilled into it about 1" deep at the thickest point and am almost completed. The trailing edge is up about 3/4". Removing just a couple of oz's now will complete it.
Easiest way to start the excercise is to flip the aileron upside down and drill out until the aileron is almost balanced on the hinge. At that point you are close. Then flip the aileron back over hang it. I didn't want to drill holes on the top of the lead weights like the plans show because if it fills with dirt and water over time, it will out of balance the assembly and you will have to pull the aileron off to rebalance it.
|2012-03-13||Completed balancing ailerons - Pictures||Finished balancing up the two ailerons.|
|2012-03-13||Fabricating brake cables||Cut pilot side brake cable sleeve to length. Made initial trim of passenger side but have to determine exact routing and secure points before final cut. Cut with tin snips initially, then over to the dremel tool and drimmed off square and cleaned up end.|
|2012-03-14||Wing tip preparation||Final drilled fiberglass wing tips to attach to wing. Then center marked the cord line and determined where wing tip light fiberglass extension piece from Van's will be glassed into. This is determined mostly by whether you have the light wiring cable running in front or behind the main spar. Mine is in front - so the lights will also be in front of the spar. The extension is used to allow a vertical installation of the wing tip lights on a shear type of wing tip (Hoerner vortex retarder wing tip - which is what a Sonex uses). This will make the lights visible above the aircraft too per FAA regs.|
|2012-03-15||Fit brake system cabling||Cut brake cable shield to size. Attached cable shield to motor mount via adel clamps. Ran brake cable to Asuza drum brake arms and attached. Brakes now work perfect!|
|2012-03-16||Packed main gear bearings||Finished installing wheels tonight. Packed all four main gear bearings. Cotter key is slid in place. Did not safety the cotter key - expect the DAR will want to inspect wheels.
Bought a cheep $6 bearing packer from O'Reillys Auto parts. Best investment I've made in quite some time. Wish I would have bought it long ago for all my other timpken bearings.
|2012-03-17||Began cutting out wing tip light extension holes in wing tip- Pictures||Market out and cut out one of the wing tip light extension holes in the wing tip. This so I can run wiring through after I get the fiberglass with tip light extensions glassed in place.|
|2012-03-18||Fiberglassing wingtip light extensions in place - Pictures||Cut out the holes in the wing tips and fiberglassed the wing tip light extensions in place. These will fare in very well, they are about flush already - when I sanded the edge down through the white gel coat (used a dremel tool sanding drum setup)- found that the gel coat was same thickness as the light extensions. Mixed some resin and mixed with micro ballons to make it thicker and fill gaps, then put the extensions on and clamped in place. Everything looks good so far.|
|2012-03-18||Attached seat cushion Velcro - Pictures||Fitted the velcro in place for the seat and back cushions as well as the control stick leather boots. Went one step further and rived the velcro in place so that when it gets hot - that they don't smush around.|
|2012-03-18||Attached door spring to exhaust pipe for heat transfer box - Picture||Bought a door spring and twisted it around the exhaust pipe to increase surface area for the cabin heat box setup. This was per Tony Bingelis plans. Used safety wire to tighten it, then used two pieces of welding rod that I safety wired in place on each side to keep the spring from eventually collapsing on itself due to vibration.|
|2012-03-19||Fiberglass work on wing tips||Added a layer of glass on the inside of the wing tip to light extension joint to strengthen it.|
|2012-03-19||Drilled cabin heat aluminum adaptor to heat box||Pilot and final drilled the 1.5" aluminum spool piece adaptor to the carb heat transfer box that goes on the exhaust pipe.|
|2012-03-22||Body putty cleanup on wingtips||Spent some time tonight putting a light layer of aircraft putty on the wingtips blending the tip light extensions in.|
|2012-03-22||Map light installation||Fabricated a cockpit light mounting bracket and installed. Also drilled hole for a single pole-double through toggle switch since this is a combination red/white LED cockpit light setup. Really nice unit from Aircraft Spruce, cost about $60 US.|
|2012-03-23||Completed cockpit light installation - Picture||Finished wiring in the cockpit lighting. Put the battery back in the plane and tested - everything works perfect.|
|2012-03-24||Wiring for oil pressure/temperature||Finished wiring the cockpit light. Installed tackometer wiring as well as wiring for the oil pressure and temperature pickups. Also took some time to wire up a custom battery charger setup using the accessory 12V system. Checked to confirm that EFIS system and radio is still working okay.
My 15 year old German Shorthair (Britt) stroked on me at 11:00pm tonight right when I was finishing up sanding a little on the wingtip lights. She's been my silent supportive building partner by my side most nights for the last 5.5 years. Don't know if she's going to make it or not. Will miss her if she doesn't.
Update: Came down the next morning and Britt is better. She can walk now. Last night she had no control of her left side legs. This morning she can get around much better. Still wobbly, but better. My wife (who happens to be a veterinarian) things she had a siezure.
|2012-03-24||Sanding body putting on wing tips||Continued cleanup of the wing tips. Sanded down the Polyfiber blue aircraft body putty and blended in to the fiberglass wingtip. Will prime tomorrow and then work the fine glazing putty for final cleanup.|
|2012-03-25||Fitting cabin heat exchanger||Working on the cabin heat exchanger tonight. Got it fit on the pipe and ran the Scat tubing - only to find a moderate interferance fit between the inlet tri-Y cabin heat valve assembly mounted on the firewall. Ugh. Absolute best fix it to move the tri-Y to another spot on the firewall - bu that would entail cutting another 2" diameter hole through the firewall - and I don't want to do that. Also, the three feet of Scat tubing I bought is 1 foot too short. Nuts. Another order to Spruce.|
|2012-03-25||Body work on wing tips||Primed the tips today and did some light sanding. Added some spot putty in several spots to take care of minor blemishes.|
|2012-03-26||Completed body work on wing tips||Finished body putty work on wing tips. Drilled holes for wing tip lights. Completed the last of the fiberglass work on this plane!! Been waiting over 5 years to say that... ;)|
|2012-03-26||Near completion of cabin heat exchanger||Got the cabin heat exchanger all together and on the exhaust pipe. Had to pull off the spring so that I could the exchanger end cap on. Then put the spring back on again - it's painful to stretch it and safety wire it in place with the welding rod to hold it from unwinding. Note that I had to cut one of the end tabs off to clear the EGT probe since the EGT probe clamp also clamps this exchanger in place. You can see the EGT probe hole in the pipe below.
Only thing left to do is put 24 rivets in on the end caps.
|2012-03-27||Completed and installed cabin heat exchanger - Pictures||Completed riveting together the cabin heat exchanger tonight. Intalled it/clamped in place. Only issue was slightly screwed up the threads on the head that I tightening the exhaust pipe into. Soft aluminum vs. hardened bolts means you have to be very, very care. Easy to crossthread. Had to chase them with a tap to clean them up. Suprised they aren't automatically helicoiled from the factory actually.|
|2012-03-27||Glareshield fabric - more fitting - Picture||Decided to glue glarehield fabric in place instead of velcro. Velcro just doesn't tighten it down well at all. So, had to trim an inch off each side again, still fitting. Put a bunch of encyclopedia's on top it to help flatten and press down before final trimming and gluing in the next night or so.|
|2012-03-28||Gluing glareshield fabric in place - Pictures||Final trimmed the glareshield fabric and then glued in place. Hopefully it worked out okay. Got spray glue all over my hands... yea...|
|2012-04-01||Re-glued glareshield fabric||Original glue didn't hold very well. used the 3M -77 high strength glue and nailed it down good. Was tough to get it to fit as well last time, had to rip it off once, respray and put it down again. Looked good - we'll see if it holds.|
|2012-04-02||Dropped fiberglass parts off to be painted||Dropped all my fiberglass parts off to be painted with Mark Stricher auto-body here in Marshalltown, Iowa. He's a good friend of mine with a viewpoint towards quality on end product - just what I wanted. We settled on paint and prep required, as well as lightly hitting the inside of the cowling to protect in case oil gets everywhere.|
|2012-04-04||Filling out registration paperwork||No really good area for this in the construction log - so it now sits in Pre Flight. Spent 1.5 hours today just filling out paperwork for the registration of the Waiex. Have all the federal side done, just need it notarized, and to send it in. Have more work on the state of Iowa side to go though. Lots to do on paperwork in preparation of the DAR inspection.|
|2012-04-04||Garage preparation||Spent lots of time over last 3 days working on garage getting it ready to move the fuselage into it so I can begin the initial part of final assembly. Resealed roof, cleaned garage out, layed new flooring down, installed locking hasp, and fixed lower panel on garage door since it didn't go all the way to the ground initially. What can I say, the garage is a pole shed with a garage door on it - and that's about it. It sucks, but is usable.
Intent is to assemble complete fuselage in garage and do first engine run and tuning. When I move it to the hanger, the goal is to just have to plug the wings on and finish installing the wing related sub-assemblies.
|2012-04-06||Dissasembly to move fuselage to garage for final assembly||Had to rip pretty much the whole plane apart to be able to move it out of my shop and into the garage. On April 11th a number of friends are coming over to help move everything.|
|2012-04-09||Working final garage prep and minor fuselage prep||Worked on the garage floor getting ready to have the plane moved in this Wednesday evening at 6:00pm. D-Day for next phase of construction.
Also was working the bottom fuselage skin and found that I hadn't deburred the front portion of the reat lower skin. Spent some time doing this. Also have yet to debur a section I found that needs it on the rear bulkheads that the lower skin attaches to.
|2012-04-10||Continued prep for fuselage move||Did some more work prepping for fuselage move tomorrow night. Pushed stuff around in the shop for better access and cleaned up some more.
Also deburred lower skin, cut observation hole in lower skin per Sonex AD. Deburred lower bulkhead rivet holes.
|2012-04-11||Final install radio antanae||Final installed RA Miller radio antanae.|
|2012-04-11||Final install seatbelts - Picture||Bolted them in place - took one extra washer for correct spacing than plans called out for in the cockpit center belt attach points.|
|2012-04-11||Moved plane from shop to garage for final assembly - Pictures||Banner day today! Doug Boyd, Chris Arnold and his girlfriend Sara, and Brad Busse came over and helped me move the plane from the basement shop to the garage. They also helped me move the engine. All told it only took one hour to do this and worked out per plan. Thanks all!!!
I also began moving tools and airplane parts to the garage. Final tally of work accomplished today:
1) Moved plane and engine to garage
2) Final installed seat belts
3) Final installed RA Miller Comm antannae
4) Final riveted 1/2 of right side turtledeck bulkheads in place
|2012-04-13||Riveted turtle deck support structure in place||Went ahead and riveted the turtle deck bulkheads and backbone spar in place. Made one goof and riveted the bulkhead in front of an L-bracket that connects it to the center spar. Had to drill out all the rivets and re-do this.
During final riveting my Arrow hand pull riveter finally gave up the ghost. It pulled many, many rivets in tight spots. The teeth that grip the rivet stem finally all sheared off. Back to using my 30+ year old Bosch-Stich hand riveter in tight areas.
My wife - Diana - got her left hip replaced today. Spent the majority of the day in the hospital. Everything went well and they had her walking around a little within 5 hours of the surgery. Came home to be with the boys after school and then worked on the airplane project.
|2012-04-14||Installing mixer pushrods||Spent quite a long time today fine tuning the ruddervator pushrods. The ball rod ends are slightly binding up at maximum travel. Spent time playing with different washer thicknesses under the big safety washer and ended up putting the saftey washer on the lathe and cutting the circumfrence down. Think I've got it nailed finally.
Also got the ELT back in place.
Had a MONSTER storm system come through the state. Spent a lot of time tarping over the plane and getting everything protected. Glad I did, we had over 2.5" of rain and tornado's dropping. No tornado's around here, but over 120 dropped in the midwest over night. The rain found every hole in the roof of my shop.
|2012-04-15||Finazing control stick pushrods and mixer pushrods||Spent more time tonight fine tuning the mixer ruddervator pushrods. Ended up using one size longer drilled bolt than plans called for and added one extra washer under the castlenut to get it to fit correctly. Finally test fit the stabilator and ruddervator assembly again to test fit the geometry. Had to cut down the large washer just a tad more on the lathe - then everything fit absolutely perfect.
Greased and final installed the control triangle pivot bolts, as well as the control triangle push rod assembly. Everything is saftey cotter keyed as well.
Final installed and saftey keyed the mixer pivot bolts as well.
Diana will be getting out of the hospital tomorrow. She had low blood counts after her new hip was put in.
|2012-04-16||Final rivet turtle deck in place||First I trial fit the stabilators and ruddervators one last time so that I could get the rod end heim joints fit correctly - i.e. - the correct length. The ruddervators are supposed to be 10 degrees up at maximum rear stick deflection. Much easier to do this with the turtle deck off. Also took the oportunity to install the cargo sling. Again, much easier to do this with turtle deck off. Once I got everything nailed down, Kyle came out and helped me move the turtle deck skins from the shop to the garage and put them on the plane. Cleco'd them in place and riveted them down. When I finished I had a total of 4 CCP-42 rivets left. Will need to order more from Sonex for the wing doublers and stabilator skins over the hinges.
Diana came home from the hospital after having her left hip replaced. She's doing very good now.
|2012-04-17||Bolted Stabilators in place - dropped one...sigh...||Rather topsy/turvey day today working on the plane. Only worked 3 hours on it - but very frustrating at times. Went to put my Stabilator on the passenger side and it slipped out of my hand and fell on the floor on the outer leading edge. Crushed it. Heart faillure. Quietly berating myself, looking for somebody to blame it on - only nobody else around... So, sighed and took it in the house to my shop and worked on straitening it out. By the time I was finished, nobody will be able to tell. Worked out pretty well. The old saying applies - "You can always tell a good carpenter - they know how to hide their mistakes..."
After repaing the damage, CAREFULLY put the passenger side stabilator on and proceded to bolt it in place. The narrow space you have to work in makes it rather difficult. I ended up using a magnetic screwdriver and at times a set of forecepts that I have at home. The top bolts were much easier. All told, 12 bolts took me 3 hours.
Took Kyle over during a short break and we got his drivers license. He turned 16 on Sunday. DOT wasn't open Monday. He about died when we got over there Monday only to find it closed. Talk about crushing a dream... :)
Took a 1.5 hour break during the work on the stabilators to listen in on the John Monnett Subsonex jet webinar. Really neat plane, but out of my price range. Also, you have to have a LOD (Letter of Deviation) to fly a jet. Getting that means some jet familiarization time - again - I am not president of the company I work at, so I can only watch from afar... Pricing is estimated to be in the $100k+ range.
|2012-04-18||Riveted stabilators in place||Riveted the stabilators in place today. Had to order additional CCP-42 rivets to final rivet hinges on|
|2012-04-18||Began final installation of windscreen||Installed windsceen hoop and metal strap that goes between the hoop and windscreen. Started installing the windscreen and realized that I didn't have any -S49 screws for the sides and front. Have to order a bunch more.|
|2012-04-18||Performed Sonex AD on landing gear bolts||Per Sonex AD - replaced the SST bolts both upper and lower with steel bolts and castle nuts. Getting the cotter key bent over he bolt end was a challenge due to proximity of firewall.|
|2012-04-19||Performed Sonex AD on lower gear bolts||Putzed around today and performed the Sonex Service Bulletin on the lower gear bolts holding the axles on. They require removing the SST bolt and replacing with a stanardar steel drilled bolt. Plans call for an AN4-17 bolt, which is actually too long. I used a An4-16 bolt with a small washer under the bolt head and a standard thickness washer under the castle nut. Cotter key'd the assemblies.|
|2012-04-20||Completed install of upper splice plates||Made the mistake of not getting the upper splice plate to bolts in before I riveted in the turtledeck. Ye-hah. Boy was that fun getting them in place and the nuts tightened. All 8 bolts ended up taking 2 hours to get in place.|
|2012-04-20||Finished installing brake cables||Used shrink tubing to connect the brake wire tube to the metal tubes on the axles. Ran cables and connected brakes. everything works fine.|
|2012-04-20||Drilled inspection holes in the rod end bearings||Removed rod end bearings and drilled inspection holes in them per plans. Neglected to do this initially during first installation.|
|2012-04-21||Final mounted engine||Finally - the big day arrived for me!! I'm a gear head, and engines are one of the loves of my life. As a hobby I used to build racing motors for guys on the local stock car curcuit. So, it was a big deal for me to actually finally mount this beautiful Jabiru 3300 engine for the last time... before some major event happens requiring pulling it off... Determining the proper torque was interesting. The best info out there was to "tighten it up till it feels right"... whatever that means. The issue is that you are compressing the rubber mount donuts while doing this. Plus, you are using self locking metal nuts - which are high friction as well. Basically, you tightnen then up till it feels nice and snug - making sure you have at least three threads showing on the bolt.
Started pulling the EGT and CHT wiring around getting ready to put it in place. Realized that I still have a lot of work to do to support ALL the wiring properly..
Put the diode in between the starter switch wire and ground. Had neglected to do this originally. While I was at it, I replaced the end connector for the left mag wire as well. The original spade connector didn't fit tight at all and would easily slip off the mag spade. Used an extra one that I had from B&C.
Put the Aerocarb back on. Had to pull all the mag wires on the pilot side mag to do this. Took a while to decifer the Jabiru manual to confirm plug order.
Changed Aerocarb needle from #2 to #3 and adjusted to be rich. Per all accounts on the chat groups this is required.
|2012-04-21||Cleco'd shoulder bulkhead bottom in place||As I am waiting for more CCP-42 rivets from Sonex, I decided to cleco in place the bottom of the big square bulkhead that is behind the pilot shoulders. Whilst doing this, I realized that my baggage sling from Sonex is in VERY close proximity to the rudder cables on the Pilot side. If I pushed down on the sling bottom very much the cable would rub the bottom of the sling. Have to mull over a fix for this one. Initially I can go without a sling if need be, but longer term I really need it. Plus, the top flap of the seat back velcro's to it holding the seat back in place.|
|2012-04-22||Final oil cooler insallation||Final installed oil cooler and associated lines.|
|2012-04-22||Final installation fuel lines||Final installation fuel lines and high temperature protective sleeve.|
|2012-04-23||Routing wiring||Spent the evening routing the wiring: EGT, regulator sense wire, mag wires. Put a new end and put the name strip on the oil temperature wire.
Put fireproof wrap on the oil lines by the exhaust pipes on pilot side. Secured the oil lines against each other. Also secured the oil puke tube plumbing.
Still haven't finalized EGT wiring routing. There is almost two feet of excess wiring on the passenger side that I must determine how to loop and secure. Can't shorten these wires.
|2012-04-26||Final rivet stabilator skins in place||Finally got correct rivets (CCP-42, not CCC-42) from Sonex and finished riveting my skins/ruddervator hinges in place.
Drilled out all rivets on turtle deck that had pulled through and started replacing with new CCP-42 recieved.
Also got multiple parts in from Aircraft Spruce. These inlcude additional windscreen screws, correct castle nut on mixer push bar (installed it), and got correct length rudder cable clevis bolts in place (installed them). The rudder cable clevis bolts called out in plans are too short.
|2012-04-28||Installing screws to hold windshield down||Begain nailing down the windshield. Lots of #8 screws holding it in place. Had to use an 11/32 wrench I purchased at Menards, duct taped it to a long slim wooden stick to get the self locking nuts in place. Had to super glue the washers to the nuts to get everything in place.|
|2012-04-29||Completed final assembly of windscrean to fuselage||Completed screwing the windscrean to the fuselage.
|2012-04-29||Final installation of wiring||Final connected EGT wiring to RDAC.
Cleaned up and supported left mag wiring.
Supported oil temperature wiring
|2012-04-30||Riveted bulkhead crosspiece bottom in place||Riveted the bulkhead crosspiece lower cap in place. It's the bulkhead right behind the pilots shoulders that the seat attaches to. While in the process of doing this, noticed that I had neglected to safety cotter key the pilot side rudder cable pulley clevis bolts (two pulleys). Passenger sides were okay. However, due to this incident, I went through a thorough inspection of all bolts in the aft fuselage to make sure I had correct thread engagment as well as castle nuts were safetied as required. I changed two washers under rudder cable guide clevis bolts to make sure there was 3 full threads of engagement - all other bolts were okay.
Riveted airplane nameplate in place under pilot side stabilator. It is parrallell with the upper longeron - which of course makes it look like it is dropping since the lower and upper longerons angle in towards eachother. I got my FAA/DOT registration for the Waiex today. YEA!! It's officially a registered airplane!!!
Decided to connect the ELT whilst under the fuselage during my bolt inspection. When I connected the buzzer (optional) - the unit started emitting. OOPS - no antannae!! Unscrewed the cable - then realized that I had accidentally moved the ELT switch to ON while I was putting the cable in place. Hope everything is okay!! Think I'll wait to the very last before I reattach this thing so I don't upset the FAA...
|2012-05-01||Bundling wiring||Starting to clean up all wiring. Using Adel standoffs where I can. Others wrapping engine mount with silicon tape and zip tying.
Completed wiring CHT and EGT wires into RDAC. Also found that I had not connected the oil pressure wire into the correctr spot and fixed it.
Tested EFIS to make sure everything looked okay.
|2012-05-03||Bundling wiring||Spent some more time tonight bundling the wiring. CHT, EGT completed.|
|2012-05-04||Completed bundling wiring||Finished installing all wiring, checking for secure routing and bundling so nothing wavers around. Found that I had missed the regulator ground wire fabricated and installed.
Installed silicon tape over multiple areas of the engine mount structure as well as the throttle/mixture cabling to buffer against possible rubbing of wiring.
|2012-05-05||Installed propeller and turned over today||Lots of work today.
1) Finished cleaning up some additional wiring
2) Mounted exhaust pipes and springs. Haven't safety wired the springs yet nor red-RTV'd them.
3) Shortened the mixture cable to fit the carb correctly.
4) Fabricated ground cable from battery to engine.
5) Fabricated power cable from battery to starter solenoid
6) Connected starter cable to solenoid
7) Finished draining storage oil and filled with 3.5 quarts of Shell 100
8) Pulled spark plug from each cylinder and turned engine over to ensure oil pressure
9) Installed propeller and spinner assembly. Torqued per Prince specifications which works out to 12 ft-lbs.
10) Reconnected passenbger ptt wiring
|2012-05-06||First engine start today!!! Pictures||Major milestone for me today. Very first engine start. The Jab3300 started first blade!! Growled like an... "Aluminum Drag'in", the name for this beast - compliments of my youngest son Scotty.
Many things happened today - here's the list:
1) Installed the throttle cable grommet in the firewall.
2) Final installed the throttle quadrant assembly.
3) Put one gall of fuel in tank and marked it while tail is on ground and also while tail is simulated level flight. Added a second gallon and also marked it - this will give me about 20-25 minutes of flight. Started calibrating the fuel tank at this level.
4) Tracked the propeller. It was less than 1/32" off - almost perfect!
5) Started engine three different times and ran it about 45 seconds each time. Engine ran perfect but have to figure out why the tacho isn't reading correctly. Also need to finish calibrating the fuel tank.
6) Found that I hadn't tightened the windshield bow/longeron bolts.
7) Final installed control sticks... again.
|2012-05-07||Final install cylinder head cooling tin||Final installed the cylinder head tin tonight. Well - it's never "final" installed - but it should be on for the last time before a DAR is scheduled to inspect and first flights occur.
One of the things I had to modify tonight was the spark plug wire routing. I realized that when the tin was on, the the plug wires were laying on the cylinder heads, also, the inside of the rivets for the doublers (that everybody has to put on this tin to keep if from cracking right over the oil return tube lines) was almost rubbing on the wires. So, cut all zip ties to the wires and redirected them so that the wires point up instead of down, and re-zip tied them. This actually works better with the Sonex provided baffling anyway as it makes it a straight run to the plug wire outlet at the back of the baffling. Everything worked out perfect - after much dinking around.
Also took the time to confirm that the exhaust pipes were still securely bolted to the engine after first run. #4 and #6 cylinders are about impossible to check without removing the #2 pipe.
Safety wired the exhaust pipes. Ran the wire inside the springs in case a spring breaks, the pipe won't fall off.
|2012-05-08||Double checked that exhaust pipes bolts were secure. Ran red RTV on exhaust springs to dampen vibration.
Started looking at cabin heat scat tubing routing. Pipe clamped in place and determined how to secure to engine mount.
|2012-05-09||Fabricate pilot side cooling blocking plate - Pictures||Spent the evening fabricating the pilot side front cylinder blocking plate. This is used to keep all the air coming into the cowling from immediately dumping through the front cylinder fins and exiting without going through the rearward cylinders as well. Also made a pattern for the passenger side. This side is a more convoluted to make as the method of attachment is different due to clearance issues. Pilot side is a flat plate and just uses tinnerman nuts and sheet metal screws. Passenger side is a 90 degree bend and uses blind nuts riveted to the lower side of the inlet scoop.|
|2012-05-11||Fabricated and installed remote air filter system - Pictures||Using K&N air filter RU-1710 with a short piece of 90 degree bend fuel fill hose (Gates 24718), was able to make a very clean intake assembly with minimum of hard sharp bends. Connected the fuel fill 90 degree hose which was oriented downards and the air filter assembly (that has a 30 degree offset) together with a 2" length of thin wall 6061 pipe that's 2-1/4" diameter.|
|2012-05-12||Misc. wiring and cooling work||Spent more time tonight supporting wiring as well as fabricating the passenger side cooling tin block plate on the front. The cooling block plate keeps all the air from entering the cowling and dumping down only over the #2 cylinder before exiting. Also cut new scat tubing to length for the cabin heat system. Have decided to fabricate a support bracket that attaches to the side of the engine so that the tubing doesn't sway around.
Scotty spent 2 hours out playing in the yard with 2 pieces of cast off scat tubing that he tied together about 2 feet apart with a piece of twine and tried to throw/wrap aroung stuff. After that he played with a big rubbermaid storage box that used to have airplane parts in. He beat the tar out of it for over an hour pretending it was an "alien monster". I'm going to miss this evening fun as the project gets moved to the garage for the final stage of assembly .
|2012-05-13||Fabricating passenger side baffling block off plate||Spent time today finish fabricating the baffling blockoff plate on the passenger side.|
|2012-05-13||Running engine/fine tuning and troubleshooting||Spent an hour today just working over the engine after starting it and running for awhile. Realized that I have high oil pressure and need to figure out what's going on there. Also found the fuel line going to the Floscan unit was leaking fuel. The oil line feeding to the oil cooler unit was leaking. The Flowscan unit was not working either, and the tach wasn't reading. Also, the headset was cutting out.
So, I tightened all the oil lines and fuel lines, found the Flowscan unit didn't have a fuse in the fuse box and put one in. Tightened the headset connectors and wiggled the tacho wires. Started engine again. Still high oil pressure and found the root cause oil leak was right at the VDO unit where it was leaking between that and the block. This has me concerned now, I must have a blockage somewhere in the system. The engine started running rough I believe (hope) due to hydraulic lifter pumpup causing the valves to not shut all the way.
Headsets worked much better, no engine noise. Unfortunately - no RPM reading
Somewhat disheartening to go throught this, but it is what it is I guess.
|2012-05-16||Oil system work - tacking down a leak and other misc stuff||After looking around to figure out where the oil leak was coming - I thought it was from the oil pressure transducer in the block - I decided to start with the easiest stuff first. I investigated to see if the oil filter was on tight. It wasn't. Sigh. Snug enough to mostly seal - but loose enough to let oil weep out and blow all over the enigine.
Regarding the high oil pressure issue. I thought maybe the oil cooler system was blocked. Once again - started with the easy stuff. Looked at the oil pressure transducer calibration. Sigh. It defaulted to 200 ohm for the Stratomaster Ultra Horizon XL. The Jab3300 transducer is supposed to be set at 250 ohms. Problem solved. At 200 ohms - the engine was reading 111 psi. At 250 ohms - the engine was reading 76 psi. Perfect.
Next was working on the Tachometer. No go. Tried working all the different options with the ballast and DC clip on the RDACX. Still no measurement. Switched the readoff to the other alternator pigtail. Nada on the first option. Re-read the instructions and it states that "YOU MUST GROUND THE RDACX TO THE ENGINE BLOCK". I didn't - just grounded it to the firewall bus bar. Will investigate this variable next. There may just be too much noise in the ground system.
Began working on the radio plugs. Much noise and cutting out. Realized that they were just plain loose - I hadn't fully tightened up the nut on them. I cranked it down and voila - both pilot and passenger headsets nice and quiet. No noise in them when engine was running.
Next began troubleshooting a rough running engine. First engine and second engine runs it ran smooth. Extremely smooth. Incredibly, beautifully smooth. Third run, I cranked the RPM up to mid throttle - and it began sounding like it was missing. Or it sounded like a stockcar motor. Shut it down and checked the plug boots. One had blown off of the mag. Plugged it back in - didn't help at all. In the process, noticed a significant fuel leak. Fixed that, I evidentally hadn't fully tightened up thte fuel line right at the fuel flow rate transducer. Pulled it apart and resealed it with putty. Put back together, no leak. Still running really, really rough. Pulled plugs on pilot side, sooty black. As I think about this, I'm speculating that there was enough of a fuel leak before that it was actually not getting all the fuel - but just enough. As I throttled up, I leaned the engine out, that was why the rough running. Fixing the fuel leak - suddenly the air/fuel mixture went the other way. No leak now means way to rich. Next is to lean it out and see if this takes care of the issue.
|2012-05-17||Fuel tank calibration||Spent the evening calibrating the fuel tank display in the Stratomaster Ultra Horizon XL EFIS unit. I have decided to calibrate it with two gallons in the tank. That is my reserve. When the guage reads empty - there will still be a little less than 1/2 flight time left. The tank supposedly holds 16 gallon. I put 2 gallons in it and told the stratomaster unit that it would be calibrated for 14 gallons (13.9 actually since it goes in incriments of .3) I dumped my fuel to the specified amounts at the 5 settings required by the instrument. Unfortunately, it didn't work out right. Here's why:
You are supposed to calibrate the tank with the plane in a level flight attitude. When you do this - the tank actually only holds 15 gallons - and not a bloody drop more! This means that when I tried to get the last gallon in - no go. The calibration across the whole characterization curve is off. End points are just fine. In between though can be off by as much as a gallon - not what I want. So, I have to drain it all out and recalibrate. This time, I have to plug 13 gallons in as the calibration gallons.
One thing that will cause you a problem is if you fuel up when you've got the tail on the ground. You can actually stick that extra gallon in for 16 gallons total. Unfortunately, the moment you put your nose down for level flight, the tank will vent out the rest of the gallon that you didn't use in warmup and climb. Probly not very much, but it will be kicking out the bottom of the cowling and against the firewall some, not what I want to do.
|2012-05-19||Completed engine and instrumentation setup - Pictures||Finalized engine related installation issues and other misc stuff:
1) Got the tachometer working correctly. It took - grounding RDAC to the block, removing DC clip on the RDAC - but leaving the Ballast clip in place. Setting the Rev counter in the EFIS to 60 counts per 10 revs - and everything is solid, stabil and working fine.
2) Drilled out all rivets on turtledeck that needed to be cleaned up. Also had to grind several flat due to the stem being proud.
3) Fabricated two 3/8" spacers and stuck them using double sided sticky tape under the corners of the luggage sling. This lifted the luggage sling so that it doesn't touch rudder cables.
4) Adjusted the air fuel mixture of the carb. Cranked the jet in to the seat, then backed it out 3-3/4 turns. Engine runs like a top. Slightly rich at idle and it loads up a little. You can easily lean it out though,. Considering it was 86 degrees when I did this, it's probably good to be rich. During winter, may need the extra fuel for the more dense air.
5) Re-calibrated the fuel tank. Calibrated it with 2 gallon in - and set this as empty. In level flight, the tank can only hold 15 gallons max. This means you calibrate the EFIS for 13 gallons. However, because this is a conventional gear plane, you can actually add one more gallon in during fuel since you will most likely burn this all off during taxi and then climb. Best of all worlds.
Am at a stand still now. Nothing else to really do till the plane goes to the hanger for final assembly.
|2012-05-24||Installed Tinnerman nut||Installed the last of the tinnerman nuts to hold the intake block plate in place.
Also glued the last two foam blocks to the cockpit wall. These hold on the side pannels.
|2012-05-25||Picked up trailer to move fuselage to the hanger|
|2012-05-26||Moved plane to hanger - Pictures||Spent the day packing, moving the plane to the hanger, unpacking, and plugging the wings in.
Also attached the passenger side flap
|2012-05-27||Installed wing castellated nuts||Performed the time honored tradition of installing the "wing nuts" on the Waiex today. Tight tollerances means that this is a little challenging. I had installed the rear bolts backwards and had to reinstall them. These bolts can be very challenging to get installed, but mine worked out pretty well.
Installed pilot side ruddervator.
Spent time with Doug Boyd and EAA Chapter 675 president Paul Adams planning for the FAA/DAR inspection. Paul has been through this at least three times already, so we picked his brain.
|2012-05-28||Install and rigging ruddervators and flaps||Installed and rigged the ruddervators and the flaps. Had to drill the ball end rod joints for inspection holes of the flaps and ailerons. Putting the saftey cotter key in the flap hinges (keeps the hinge pin in place) was a challenge. If I were to do it again, I would NOT recommend following the factory method. Not only is it tough to do, but getting the hinge pins out in the future will be very, very tough. I will be using a different method to secure the aileron pins when I get to that point.
Item of note: Sonex claims that 2 people can remove the wings in 20- minutes. That, my friends, can probably only be done after they've actually been removed about 10 times and all the holes are loosed up -- and you've got two people who've done it all 10 times and know what they are doing. Otherwise, plan on about 2 hours. Also, evidentally, they are using easily removeable trailer pins to hold the flap bar to the actuator rod. Installing the flap bolts per plans requires somebody extra flexible. I cut out between the lightening holes in the root rib per Sonex to help access during this phase of assembly. Without doing this - you better have access to a 10 year old to get thier small hands in there.
Had to file out the aileron counterbalance holes in the rear main spar by an additional 3/32" over plans to clear the bolts that secure the lead to the aileron.
Installed/greased the tailwheel steering tube between the rudder and the tailwheel bracket. I'm using the bracket that Kip Laurie of Atlanta made for me as it allows a bigger 6" soft rear wheel (Vans RV type).
Also spent several hours cleaning up and organizing the hanger after the big move. Much more room to get around. Also regorganized the hardware storage boxes as they were a mess from being in the garage and then moving.
All in all, an excellent Memorial Day weekend.
1) Moved plane to hanger
2) Installed wings
3) Installed ruddervators
4) Installed flaps
5) Tailwheel assembly ready to be final installed
6) Ailerons fitted to wings. Installing pushrods to control sticks. Also have to saftey hinge pins in place.
7) Bottom skin cleco'd in place, ready to rivet.
8) Fiberglass parts at paint shop being painted this week.
|2012-05-29||Final assembly of empanage control surfaces - riveting on the fiberglass tips||My previous post on removing hinge pins was prophetic... I had to pull of the Ruddervators as I had installed them one hinge lug too low. What a PITA !! I attempmted to straighten the ruddervator hinge pins, pulled them off and reinstalled them-putting dabs of greese here and there in the process.
While I had them off, I pulled the rudder off again, riveted the painted fiberglass cap on, reinstalled it and safetied the hinge pin. After that I final riveted the stabilator tips in place. Next I reinstalled all cables and pushrods. Held off on cotterkeys on the control cables/rods until I'm ready to finalize all control surface rigging - hopefully this weekend.
|2012-06-01||Installed ailerons||This should be the final installation of the ailerons. Safety-ed and greased the hing pins. Drilled the ball rod ends for the inspection holes. Almost completed the rigging. Found that if I install all ball rod ends about 7 - 9 threads (backed out from beginning of the threading by the weld) that almost all ball rod ends will be close to final adjustment.
Ran out of AN3-11 bolts for the aileron connection and have to order more.
Still to do: final rigging and safetying of all the castellated nuts on the aileron push rods.
|2012-06-02||Fitting wing edging||Trimmed the wing edging to fit. This is the strips that act as skin doublers between the wings and the fuselage. I am using Vans wing rubber seals between them to give a nice seal and appearance.
Very easy way to mark and trim the edging to fit first time- especially with the vans rubber seal (it covers up any imperfections). Install the aluminum edging to the wing - but slide it out one set of holes. That way the inner holes on the edging strip are cleco'd to the matched out holes in the wing. The holes are exactly 1/2" apart.
Next - measure out from the fuselage and mark the edging piece. You will measure and mark out from the fuselage 3/4" all the way around on the edging except for the leading edge where you will neck down to only 11/16". Reason for these measurements: you need 1/4" spacing between the edging and the fuselage for the rubber seal - except for the leading edge of the wing where you should neck down to only 3/16" gap as the rubber stretches. 1/2" + 1/4" = 3/4". 1/2" + 3/16" = 11/16"
Next I began polishing the edging strips. Got about 3/4 of the way done and had to head home.
|2012-06-03||Polishing wing edging||Completed polishing wing edging/wing doubler. Need to touch up fuselage and wing before Irivet these in place.|
|2012-06-04||Riveting wing/fuselage edging in place||Completed the polishing and began placing and riveting the edging pieces with the rubber seal in place. Passenger side is partially riveted in place.|
|2012-06-07||Riveting wing endging in place||Completed riveting the wing edging in place. Very frustrating, I had 22 of the 157 rivet stems pull most of the way through the rivet heads and not break. Will have to trim them off. Cherry Avidel quality sucks on these new style rivets. I have pulled over 10k rivets on the plane to this point, and only these new ones have every failed. All others perfectly fine.|
|2012-06-08||Trimming off rivet stems||Having a bad time with the new style rivets that Avidel is using. Had 22 out of 125 rivets partially pull through. I had to trim the stems off down to the head.
The Emerson corporate pilots came down to my hanger and visited for a while. They flew a Falcon in. The Chief Pilot - John - owns a 1946 Champ that he used to keep in Coer de Couer in Missouri just outside of St. Louis. They literally crawled all over my Pietenpol.
|2012-06-09||Polish, install pitot tube, working on wingtips||Spent time today touching up the polishing of the left wing leading edge so that I can install the landing light cover. Also started the installation of the wing tips. I drilled out for the rivets in the middle and trailing edge of both tips. Had to touch up the trailing edge of the left wing. Installed the light on the right wing. Next is to connect the wiring. Have to get a crimper for fabricating the molex plugs.|
|2012-06-10||Wiring up strobes and nav/position lights||Spent the day installing the the wing tip lights and wiring them into the strobe box. Had to make 4 Molex plugs. Finished up strobe wiring and installation. Nav/position lights wiring almost completed, ran out of spade connectors with one to go, and heat shrink tubing at the same time.
Also installed the landing light lens.
Wing tips are ready to be riveted on now.
|2012-06-15||Fit wingtips and started riveting||Got the wingtips fit in place and started to rivet them on.
Picked up the painted cowling from the body shop. They did a really nice job, a little bit of orange peal, but not bad at all. I'd rate paint job an 8 out of 10. All other fiberglass was a 9.5 out of 10 - almost perfect.
|2012-06-16||Final rivet on wing tips||Final riveted on the wing tips.|
|2012-06-16||Completed wiring of all lighting||Finished wiring in the nav/position lights and the landing light. Cleaned up all wiring harnesses.|
|2012-06-16||Pitot/static system||Ran the hoses for the pitot static system in the cockpit. Brace the hoses so they don't rub against anything. Only have to order two 1/8" x 1/4" plastic barb adapters so can connect the smaller 1/8" inner diameter soft hose to the EFIS.|
|2012-06-16||Continued tweaking flap installation||I had to file some on the trailing edge skin of the wing to get the flap to fit correctly on the passenger side. Completed this and rerigged the flaps. This allows the flaps to come further up per the plans specifications. Had to do some trimming of the pilot side rear spar hole for the ball rod end bolt to clear adequately. Finished this, only have to hit it with a light file to make sure it's clean and then lightly prime it. Flaps will be completed then.|
|2012-06-17||Rivet on lower aft skin||Big day in the life of this project. Riveted on the lower aft skin, the last part that needs to be riveted on. Ran out of CCP-44 rivets with 23 to go. Also fit and riveted on the blind nuts for the access hatch for the mixer assembly.
Final fit and drilled in the ELT mount. Partially riveted it in place till ran out of rivets.
|2012-06-20||Wing tie downs installed||Installed the wind tie downs. Also installed canopy.|
|2012-06-20||Installed pitot static tubes to EFIS||Got my tubing reducers yesterday in the mail and installed them today after work. Had to purchase two 1/4"x1/8" reducers since the tubing for the pitot system is 1/4" and the EFIS ports are 1/8".
Installed the ELT today and registered it with NOAA per the new requirements for 406Mhz systems. You have to reregister them every 2 years. In the process, tested the ELT and it works just fine. However... the remote switch on the dash has an issue. It is diplaying a solid red warning light indicating that something in the wireharness between the remote switch and the ELT isn't correct. Sigh.
One piece of dissapointment today. When crawling into the cockpit, I discovers a small crack in the canopy in the locking mechanism slot. Sigh... I hate this material.
|2012-06-23||Final riveted in bottom skin||Had 23 rivets left to rivet in and completed this. Also replaced screws holding fuseboxes to inside of cockpit with longer ones.
Replaced oil cooler mounting bracket nyloc nuts with high temp rated steel lock nuts. Also pulled out oil cooler mount bracket cap screws and applied lock tight. I'd neglected to do that during "final" installation.
Had an A&P IA (Wayne Bausch) come over from Ames and inspect the Waiex at the same time he was doing my annual on the Pietenpol. He was happy with it and had no suggestions/gigs.
Recieved N -number stickers for the fuselage sides yesterday.
|2012-07-04||Final rigging of ruddervators and rudder||Checked final rigging of ruddervators and rudder. Safety'd all castelated nuts. Checked rig of rudder and safety'd the rudder cables.|
|2012-07-04||Misc work||Replace hing pins with longer ones. Changed the safety method of the hinge pins vs. what Sonex does. Drilled out a rivet on the rear main spar and ran a screw threw it to hold the hing pin in place.
Rigged both aileron bellcranks to neutral position (25 degree angle fron nearest aileron). Completed rigging passenger side aileron. Started pilot side but did not finish.
Trimmed wing/fuselage black trim to fit.
|2012-07-04||Final rigging of flaps||Cleaned up the hole I had to open up a little for pilot side flap bolting to clear. I used a dremel tool sanding drum for this.
Final rigging of flaps and safety'd the castelated nuts.
|2012-07-05||Rigging ailerons||Spent several hours tonight in the hanger rigging the ailerons. Intense heat outside - it never got less than 100 degrees f in the hanger.
Got the aileron bellcranks set in the neutral position and the rods that attached ot it are now safetied. As I was safetying the actual ball end rods that actually attach to the ailerons I noticed that I wasn't getting full travel out of them. Upon further investigation I determend that on both ailerons that the large washers are too large to get through the holes in the rear spars. Next I have to remove both ailerons and using a rat-tail file, and enlargen the holes. Thank heavens that I made my aileron hinge pins easily removeable!!! Otherwise I would have had to drilled out the wing tips if I did it per Sonex plans...
At this point in tiime all control surfaces are complete rigged, Just have to final attach and safety the ailerons again.
|2012-07-07||creating condition inspection checklist||spent 3 hours today creating a condition inpsection checklist. Have to have this completed and submit with final paperwork to FAA to schedule the final inspection.
Sent in the state registration paperwork on Tuesday, July 3rd.
|2012-07-08||completed rigging ailerons||took me over 6 hours, but I got the ailerons rigged today. The right aileron has more up and down travel than the specs call for and slightly more than the left aileron does. However, everything checks out fine, no binding, and the aileron bellcranks are in the neutral position as required. Ailerons are perfectly in line with the flaps - which is good. All castle nuts are safetied as required.
specs are: up - 20.5 degrees. down - 11.5 degrees
left aileron = 20.5, 11
right aileron = 21.3, 12.8
Checked the rudder as well and travel both directions was 28 degrees per spec of 25 degrees. life is good.
|2012-07-09||Install longeron splice joint screws. first taxi test||Finally got around to installing the lower longeron splice joint screws.
Readjusted the carb to make it richer and went for first taxi test - Yahoo!!! Engine runs better - still needs some work fine tuning carb though.
|2012-07-10||Put wing walk tape and N number on||Spent the evening polishing so that I could put the wing walk tape on, and the N-numbers on the fuselage. Got the passenger side N-number on, but it got too dark to put the Pilot side on.
Also readjusted the carb again for richer setting. RPM up to 2710 before it started bogging out from beeing too lean. Need to richen it up another 1-2 - 1 full turn again. In the process, this was the hottest that I'd gotten the engine and Number 3 EGT isn't reading. Will look at wires and see if something isn't right.
Took George Gassman out for a taxi test. He's officially the first passenger now that it's moving around on it's own power...
|2012-07-11||Registration numbers on sides||Put the registration numbers on the sides of the plane. Also final bolted the ailerons push rods on the control triangle assembly.|
|2012-07-11||Worked on carb mixture||Spent time tonight trying to tweek the Aerocarb mixture. Ended up pulling out the #3 needle and putting the #2 back in as that #3 was incredibly right. Dropped 200 rpm down to 2750, but I think I can get back up to the 2950 I had with the #3. PITA with the Aerocarb tweeking the mixture...|
|2012-07-12||Cowling on and engine run - Pictures||Spent some time tonight re installing the cowling after paint. Ran into an issue, the cabin heat transfer box that I built interfered with the cowling and I had to rip it off. This meant pulling the exhaust pipe and drilling out all the rivets to remove it. Also pulled off the SCAT tubing. Disappointing, but okay. Amazing. It only took me 20 minutes to do it all.
I richened up the carb mixture one full turn and now the engine is too rich, I need to back it off.
Took Corey Butcher for a taxi ride.
|2012-07-13||ELT||Troubleshooting the ELT trying to understand why the remote switch was erroring out. Pulled the wire harness apart to find that I'd solderied several wires to the wrong pins.|
|2012-08-03||Combine log entry from July 15 to August 3rd||Lots of work the last 3 weeks.
1) Checked calibration of airspeed indicator - it checked out just fine
2) Ran fuel flow test. With 5 gallons in tank for head pressure and plane in takeoff attitude - flowrate was 10.55 gallons per hour - or 1.6 times approximate max engine requirement.
3) Trimmed fuel tank vent tube to 45 degree angle per plans
4) Fit Southco's to cowling
5) Installed two washer head screws in aft lower skin
6) Corrected ELT wiring harness and tested ELT to conform working
7) Polished sides and wings and installed "No Step" stickers
8) Installed wing walk tape
9) Gooped (technical term...) high temp sealant over all firewall penetrations of wiring and cables
10) Completed checking and installing all control surface drive bolts to ensure everything is safety'd acoordingly
11) Completed, submitted and recieved State of Iowa DOT registration
12) Spent significant time rough setting carb to get static RPM of 2850 RPM. Lots of work to do yet to get carb final adjusted
13) Final fabrication of special bushings and installation of canopy attach cable and bolting with bushings to allow cable movement
14) Ordered new MATCO hydraulic disk brake system to replace manual drum brake system that I don't really like at all. Too many things going on with my left hand to make me comfortable
15) Final bundling of wire harness after fixing ELT cabling
16) Installing additional identification stickers to dash switches and cockpit lighting
|2012-08-04||High speed taxi tests, misc assembly||1) Purchased and installed compass on glareshield.
2) Confirmed compass accuracy on the two Marshalltown runways.
3) Put high temperature sealant over more firewall holes into the cockpit.
4) Continued polishing right side wing.
5) Removed all protective plastic on top side and bottom side of canopy.
The the Waiex went on her first high speed taxi tests today as well. She did three of them the entire length of the 1 mile runway. Speeds got up to 62 mph. Ran straight and true, no wheel shimmy. Engine accelerated smoothly up to 2750 RPM initally then I had to throttle back significantly to keep from taking off.. Brought tail up and kept the nose centered on the runway centerline the whole time - all the hours in the Pietenpol and Cub sure helped out on this! The plane ran perfectly.
|2012-08-12||Installing brake system||I installed the Matco brake system this week. It took some work, but I've completed it at this point including bleeding the brake system. I used the small tubing that was recommended by Matco - it's 1/8" dia and works well. Bleeding the brakes is fun, I ended up using a syringe sold by Menards for adding oil to outboard motors and connected it to the bleed valve on the calipers with a clear tube that came with the syringe - and pressurized the system from the bottom up. This worked out very effective - much better than using the oil can pump that they suggest. That thing leaked all over the place and couldn't keep the pressure on the lines required. Note - if you try to bleed from the top down, - the handbrake from Matco leaks all over the place. Do NOT try it, it's a mess to clean up...
When installing the brake handle, I had to lift it pretty high on the stick so that the 90 degree fitting on the bottom would clear the seat pan. I ended up trimming the foam strick grip up about 3/4" to get everything to fit okay.
The parking brake is right in front of the stick on the forward side of the spar tunnel. I installed rivnuts and it works just fine. Trying to placard it will be about useless though. Pictures to follow within a day or so for the entire system.
|2012-08-19||Summary for week||Spent this last week:
1) finalzing Matco hyraulic disk brake install.
2) Performaning weight & balance measurements and calculations
3) taxi testing
4) tweeking carb mixture needle
5) performing annual condition inspection
Taxi testing is definitely insperational!!
|2012-08-26||Log for week of 26th of August||For all practical purposes, I've about finished this project. Yea!!! This week I completed all my paperwork for the FAA and sent it to the local FISDO to schedule a final FAA inspection. Most of the time is now spent just going over everything and taking care of little esthetic things like pollishing.
Weight and balance came out excellent - the plane was lighter than I expected it would be at 679lbs with all fairings on. Without wheel pants and fairings - it came in at 674lbs. This puts it right in the middle - if not on the light side of most other Waiex's with Jab3300's installed. All the eforts to keep weight down worked out well. I also completed reinstallation of the brakes after fixing them. A screw worked its way out that holds the disk brake onto the Matco wheel. It gouged into the brake caliper pretty good. I filed it smooth and everything works fine. Did 2 high speed taxi tests today to confirm and all is okay.
Have spent a lot of time re-polishing the plane. After 3.5 years of sitting after my initial polish work, it definitely needed some work. However, using the C grade of Nuvite has really broght the luster back.
I spent about 3 hours tweeking the carb mixture again. I pulled the #2 needle out and reinstalled the #3. Turned it all the way down and then backed it out 3.5 turns. This gives me a great idle capability where rich to lean is only a 150 rpm increase or so. Then started scraping and fine-tuning. It now runs up to 2850 no problem and sounds great. This has drasticallyt reduced the black soot all over the place as well as not gassing me out in the cockpit when taxiing around.
Determined that my #4 EGT is bad. Swapped it to the #3 position on the RDAC and it still doesn'[t read. Will have to replace.
|2012-09-18||Preparation for final inspection by FAA||Over the lasts several weeks I've been taking care of just small items and polishing. The FAA inspector will be here tomorrow (9/19/2012) and hopefully give me a thumbs up for first flight and repairmans cert.|
|2012-09-19||FAA Inspection -passed!!!||Got my pink airworthiness certificate today as well as the repairmans certificate. The FAA inspector said that he liked what he saw, that it was an incredibly stout plane, and he had no squawks at all. The inspection lasted 1/2 hour, paperwork 1 hour. WHEW!!! 5 years, 10 months, 4 days. 2550 hours.
Only things left to do at this point to truly complete the project is finish polishing and figure out how to mount the wheel pants with the Matco brakes, and adjust the gear leg fairings appropriately. At some point I want to resintall the cabin heat - but that can wait a while as I also need to re-design the heat muff.
Oh yea - also have to put the nose-art on as well. That will most likely be a job next spring/summer.
Also - activated my insurance today. First flight coverage is allowed due to transition training by Scott Scheetz in his Sonex with the LODA.
|2012-09-20||Polishing the plane||Working to bring the luster of the polish back up to snuff. Upper surface of the plane is looking really good at this piont in time, about time to start on the lower surface.|
|2012-09-21||Polishing||Spent about 1.5 hours polishing the plane. Focussed on the front of fuselage and the upper part of the ruddervators. Am finished with Nuvite C grade on top of plane now.
I have to polish entire plane bottom side with it yet to spruce it up after several years of not being touched.
Lastely, I have to hit the upper side of the plane with the Nuvite S grade to complete. I'm not going to use S grade on the under side - too much work and nobody can see it.
Took some time to start fabricating extra cold air block plates for the intake plenum.
|2012-09-30||Tweaking rigging the last week - installed GoPro camera - awesome!!||I spent the last week flying - then tweaking the rigging. I had a heavy left wing, and had to carry a lot of right rudder. Added a rudder trim tab. Also adjusted the ruddervators (up one turn for one, down one turn for the other). Net result, rudder is just about correct. A little more on the ruddervators then they will be done.
For the aileron, I put trim tab on the right aileron and bent it down. I also drooped the left flap one turn. I think one more flap 1/2 turn and it will be done.
Scraped and readjusted the carb needle tonight. Got pretty aggressive. Net result was a HUGE gain in static RPM. Went from 2830 to 2960. When I flew N81YX afterwards - straight and level RPM hit 3150. I will be verifying RPM with a separate tool soon - but feel that this is about right. I think that I've got a little I can go yet on the needle - but am about there.
Flew formation with Dan Adams tonight as well. He took a couple of pics. It took some work to slow down to 100 mph for him since that's what his Piper Colt cruises at.
Insulated the fuel line. Am getting the "Jabiru Burb" pretty bad at times. I need to correct this issue before I will ever feel really comfortable doing long distance cross country flights.
Installed a GoPro camera system on the Waiex today also. Took my first ever inflight video - awesome!!
Action items yet to take care of :
1) add some seat stiffeners. The seat is bowing down and hitting the ruddervator trim spring.
2) Mount wheel pants
3) Mount gear fairings
4) get rid of "jabiru burb" somehow...
5) purchase/install 320 Southco fasthener on cowling
6) Re-glue cockpit side panels foam blocks in place
7) Nose art... :)
8) 10 hour aircraft review (annual condition inspection basically)
9) complete polishing plane
|2013-04-07||Installing new mounts for gear fairings - Pictures||Since I changed over to the Matco hyraulic disk brakes last September, I had to completely redesign the wheelpant mounting method. The Matco brakes did't mount on the axles in the orientation that the plans called out for, I had to rotate them about 120 degrees forward. This meant that there was no really good way to mount the wheel plants. Over the last month I ended up pulling the axle/wheel/brakes off, machining out the Matco adaptor brackets, machining out a new bracket to bolt onto the adaptor brackets, then relieving the wheelpants to get them to fit and clear the wheel cylinders. Tonight I got the wheelpants on, new brake lines run (better than I had before), and the gear fairings trimmed and fit onto the gear legs. All that I've got left to do at this point in time is final attach and bleed the brakes, and then final attached the wheel pants. I don't want to put the gear fairings on yet because the cowling is still in the phase of on/off routine due to fine-tuning the air cooling ducting. All told -chaning to the Matco brakes cost me about $800 and 40 hours of work. I'd do it again though - they are that good.|
|2013-04-07||Rigging fine- tuning||Spent about 10 flight hours fine-tuning the aircraft rigging. Ended up with a left wing heavy plane, so I drooped the left flap 1.5 turns of the ball rod end. Any more than that and the plane wants to roll to the right when I drop the flaps. This still wasn't enough to rig the plane to fly straight and level. I ended up putting a trim tab on my right aileron - forcing it slightly up and left one down. Works fine.
Also had a situation with the amount of torque of the Jab3300. Had to hold left rudder all the time and got tired of it. Had to put a trim tab on the rudder - come to find out, all Jab3300 Waiex pilots have had to do this - and it's not exactly a small trim tab either...
|2013-04-07||Diatribe on adjusting carb mixture||I have spent hours and hours fine tuning the Aerocarb with the Jab3300. This is an ardous job and can't really be cut short. The fact of the matter is that the #3 needle needs to be used with the Jab3300/Aerocarb combo (stock is #2), and you still have to shave the #3 needle quite a bit to get the mixture rich enough at max throttle conditions. I start by bottoming the needle out, then back it out 3-5/8 full turns for warm weather (3-3/4 for cold weather) - then fiddle with it from there. That will set you such that at idle (800rpm), you are not so bloody rich that you gas yourself out. You can fine tune idle setting from there - but KEEP A LOG OF WHERE YOU END UP AT... The goal is to get around 2950-3000 rpm static. More than that is great (don't expect 3200-3300 though), less is okay, but nothing less than 2800.
You start the fine tuning procedure by doing a max RPM run, then shut down without moving the throttle. Then you mark the needle with a permanent marker - then remove and shave the needle at that point to get more fuel to flow at that throttle position. I used a very sharp pocket knife to do the shaving - measuring with a mic each time, and didn't shave more than one thousanth of an inch off. Do this about 10-15 times and you will be about done. Do not perform long protracted ground runs to do this. Start the engine, get the oil temp and cylinder head temps to min required for max power, then smartly throttle on up. This doesn't take but about a minute or so each time at most including warm up. I did the initial tuning on the ground (till I got to about 2800 rpm), then completed by flying/pulling/shaving/flying... etc. Most folks take 10-15 hours - I'm at 11.5 and I think very, very close to completion. At max throttle - you should be able to lean it slightly before the engine starts to drop significant RPM. That means you are running ever-so-slightly rich. When it gets colder out, you don't have to readjust the carb needle then.
Others had suggested on the news groups to adjust the needle initially to run best at max power, then just use the mixture control for lower power settings. I tried that. The problem was, during landing, I pulled the throttle to idle and it was so bloody rich that it killed the engine for me on first flight. I had forgot to lean it during the landing sequence (against previous training). And yes, if you agressivley lean it ( like almost to the point of shutting fuel completely off - it works. I didn't want to do this all the time. And yes, I landed dead stick the first time I throttled all the way back during final on my first landing. Greased a perfect landing - whew!
|2013-04-21||Lots of sucessfull work today fine-tuning the plane||1. Another trial setup trying to balance CHT's. Riveted flow diverters in place.
2) Checked and reset Ruddervators so they are balanced.
3) Reset left wing flap so the plane doesn't want to barrel roll to the right when pull flaps on.
4) Tightened canopy sliding latch so that it works smoother instead of "jiggling" it around to get it open or latched.
5) Fabricated a tail wheel dolly so that I don't have to carry tail around to get it in the hanger and hit the Pietenpol in the process.
6) RE-read the instructions on the FlowScan totallizer and found out that I never reset the MGL Stratomaster Ultra Horizon from defaul to the correct settings for this unit. Correct K factor was 9091 for my specific unit. MGL default start point is 8454. Default in the EFIS is 7000. Upon runup - setting it correctly made about a 2 gallon per hour indicated flow rate difference - which is actually right on to what I was actually getting vs. indicated. Pefect! The FlowScan comes with the specific calibration info on a paper tag attached to the instrument originally. You can't really tell what it is and many people just throw this away- you totally blew your opportunity to get a pefect factory calibration on your EFIS vs. just best guess if you did so! I kept it - and was very, very lucky to have done so! The default MGL suggested setting is about 15% off from what the actual specific unit setting is.
7) Pulled the jumper off of the ballast resister on the RDAC X unit and the Tachometer began working correctly right away. Yea!!! Also removed the 22k micro farad capacitor as i didn't need it at all. Waste of time and money for me.
8) Put a mark on each of the wheels indexing them so that when I need to check tire pressures, I can easily roll plane until the index is in correct spot - then push the access spring/cam loaded door in and just measure it istead of pushing it around trying to find it.
|2013-07-03||Fuel system modification - remove gascolator||Do to burps still happening with my Jabiru3300, I decided to remove my gascolator and replace with an Edelbrock unit (AN6 ends already on it, 40 micron cleanable filter mesh). Flew the plane last night (without insulation around the fuel line or filter) and pushed it hard to see if I could get the burp to return. It appears that the issue may be resolved. Tonight I will put insulation wrap around the new line and filter. During this reconfiguration I also spent some time adding additional slope to the line between the firewall penetration and the carb inlet.
I made this change becuase about 3 weeks ago I was about 5000ft msl (after some hard flying) and the EGT's started to go up suddenly and the fuel flow rate started going down. To me, this indicated that I may have had either 1) carb ice blocking the fuel flow past the needle, or 2) fuel vapor bubbles partially blocking the system somewhere. I abruptly pushed nosed over then back up only loosing about 100-200 ft in the process, engine yacked at me, then EGT's immediatly came down. To me, this indicated vapor blockage.
I was immediately suspicious of vapor blockage because previously I had definitely had the engine stumbling/surging at times on the ground during taxi after landing, and in the air after some hard flying had heated up the EGT's.
If fuel filter does not work, then I will remove the Aerocarb and put the Bing back on with a fuel pump to keep this from being an issue in the future.
|2016-12-12||Updates on lessons learned||PAINT THE BOTTOM OF THE WINGS - do NOT polish these things. It is enormously tiring to try and polish the wing bottoms and quite frankly you won't do it which means you will start seeing some corrosion at some point. Just use a rattle can and paint them, nobody see's them anyway.|
|2016-12-12||Updates on lessons learned||After flying the plane for 4 years... big lesson learned is to PAINT THE BOTTOM FUSELAGE SKINS!! Don't thing you are going to save weight and not paint the bottom of the fuselage - and instead polish it... You will never polish it again and eventually start seeing corrosion. Just paint it and call it good. Rattle can is good enough, nobody will see it!|