Log Entries

Project Location: CO US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2008-06-10 Rudder spar prep First holes drilled! Today I drilled the spar doublers on the rudder.
2008-06-10 Starting the rudder I drilled the first holes today, starting with the rudder spar doublers.
2008-06-10 Starting the rudder I drilled the first holes today, starting with the rudder spar doublers.
2008-06-14 Rudder skeleton I deburred, corrosion treated and riveted the rudder skeleton together
2008-06-15 Building the rudder Over the last several days I finished the rudder skeleton and riveted it together, then fitted, drilled and clecoed the skins on. Now to take it all back apart to debur, clean, corrosion-proof, and rivet.
2008-06-18 The finished rudder I took the rudder all back apart and deburred cleaned and corrosion proofed it. Here it is all finished. On to the horizontal tail!
2008-06-18 Rudder finished I disassembled, deburred and corrosion proofed the rudder. Then I reassembled it with clecoes, riveted, and finished. On to the horizontal tail.
2008-06-18 Rudder finished I took apart the rudder, deburred, corrosion protected, and riveted it back together. The first piece is done!
2008-06-21 Horizontal Stabilizer Skeleton Yesterday I began the skeleton for the horizontal stabilizer. So far, I've got the front spar drilled and clecoed and some of the ribs and hardware attached.
2008-06-27 Riveted horizontal stabilizer skeleton I finished drilling the rest of the stab skeleton, took it back apart, deburred and corrosion treated it. Today I riveted it all back together, my favorite part. Next I begin work on the stabilizer skin.
2008-06-28 Drilled horizontal stab skin Today I measured, marked, and pilot drilled the horizontal stabilizer skin. Next I will fit it to the skeleton.
2008-06-29 Skinning the bottom of the stabilizer Today I skinned the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer. First I deburred and corrosion protected it. Next is work on the top side. It cant be riveted until several attachments are put on.
2008-07-03 Fitting skin to the horizontal stab top This has been more work than I would have thought. I finally succeeded in strapping down the upper skin. Then I squared it up and leveled it to assure there was no twist in it. Then I drilled and clecoed it to the skeleton. All this took me the last 3 working sessions.
2008-07-04 Making cutouts for fittings Today I took it all back apart to make the cutouts for the fittings and for the elevator cable. Then I clecoed it back together and put it in storage with the rudder until I get the elevator done, then they will be finished and fitted together.
2008-07-05 Elevator skeleton Today I assembled, drilled, and clecoed the elevator skeleton together. Next I take it apart for corrosion treatment and deburring.
2008-07-06 Riveted elevator skeleton Today I disassembled, deburred, cleaned, corrosion treated, and reassembled and riveted the elevator skeleton. Now on to skinning it!
2008-07-07 Laid out rivet lines on elevator skin Today I measured and laid out the rivet lines on the bottom of the elevator skin.
2008-07-12 Building the elevator In the last few days I've laid out the rivet lines and drilled the elevator skin, top and bottom. It's my best effort so far; I think I'm starting to get the hang of this. Before I rivet it together, I have to install the electric trim.
2008-07-13 Installing the electric trim I measured and clecoed in the trim servo, then assembled, drilled, and clecoed in the trim tab and piano hinge. I adjusted the length of the actuator rod using a drill battery to run the trim back and forth. Then I cut the hole in the bottom skin for the actuator rod. Next I'll cut the hole for the access plate on the bottom skin.
2008-07-14 Cutting the trim access hole I cut the access hole in the elevator skin for the trim tab servo. As you can see, I drilled a series of holes, then took a file to it. Then I fitted, drilled, and trimmed the cover plate. When I got done, I disassembled the elevator for deburring and corrosion protection, which I'll do next.
2008-07-18 Assembling the elevator Yesterday I mounted and wired in the trim tab servo. Today I assembled the elevator and clecoed it together, ready for riveting.
2008-07-19 More work on the elevator Today I riveted the skin on the elevator. I had my first try at squeezing solid rivets for the trailing edge. With a little practice on scrap pieces first it went fine. Then I made the cutouts for the rudder. Next comes the front cutout.
2008-07-20 Forward elevator cutout Today I made the forward cutout on the elevator. Now that I'm getting the hang of making cutouts, this was relatively easy.
2008-07-26 Elevator hinge building This week I have been working on building and fitting the hinges for the elevator. I had a little setback because I had to redo the elevator control cable horn; I'd drilled it wrong. But now I'm back on track and ready to finish the elevator.
2008-07-30 Getting ready to finish the horizontal tail This week I've been preparing to finish the horizontal tail. I've corrosion treated and riveted the hardware for the elevator and the horizontal stabilizer. Next I'll rivet the horizontal stabilizer top skin on and be done with it.
2008-07-31 Riveted horizont stabilizer skin Today I finally riveted on the top part of the horizontal stabilizer skin. Now all I have to do is finish connecting the hinges to the elevator and I'm done with the empennage for now.
2008-08-03 Done with the horizontal tail The last 2 sessions I made the bushing for the center elevator hinge and fitted the hinges together, and riveted on the end hinges. Now all the tail pieces are stored in the crate so I can start work on one of the wings.
2008-08-06 Began work on main spar After a few days off, I began by cutting, drilling, deburring and Cortec treating the L angles that go on the spars.
2008-08-09 Began assembly of right wing skeleton Yesterday and today I started assembling, drilling, and clecoing the right wing skeleton together. I also took time to make the jig for the slat brackets, since attaching them is next.
2008-08-12 Slat brackets The last two days I worked on the slat brackets for the right wing. The metal jig I built (per instructions) was indispensable.
2008-08-14 Rear channel prep The last 2 days I've built the jig to position the rear wing channel, and fabricated the ends of the chanels for the right wing.
2008-08-16 Assembled, drilled & clecoed rear channel Today I fitted, drilled and clecoed the rear channel in place on the right wing skeleton.
2008-08-22 Fabricating brackets The last 3 sessions I've fabricated, drilled, and clecoed in the rear wing attach bracket, flaperon attach brackets, and the rear strut attach brackets.
2008-08-23 Installed fuel tank channels Today I built and installed the fuel tank channels, then I dissasembled the back part of the wing for cleaning, deburring, and corrosion proofing. Next I'll rivet it back together and start on the top skin.
2008-08-26 Starting the top skin The last few sessions I riveted the rear channel together, then began fitting the top skin to the skeleton. It took a lot of moving it back and forth to finally get it where the pre drilled holes line up correctly on all the ribs and spars.
2008-08-30 Beginning the right wing bottom skin The last 2 sessions I finished drilling the top skin on the right wing, then today I turned the wing over and began preparing and drilling the bottom skin.
2008-09-01 Fabricating and drilling trailing edge Yesterday and today I finished fabricating, drilling, and clecoeing in the 2 trailing edge pieces.
2008-09-03 Leading edge skin Today I placed the nose skin for the right wing in place and drilled and clecoed till I ran out of clecoes. I've ordered more.
2008-09-08 More nose skin work and fittings These last two sessions I worked more on drilling and fitting the nose skin, and installing the front strut bracket and started on the flaperon brackets.
2008-09-09 Began mounting flaperon brackets Today I mounted flaperon bracket #1. Three more to go on this wing.
2008-09-10 Mounted more flaperon brackets Today I finished mounting the flaperon brackets for the right wing. I was able to use a Dremel tool with the flexible shaft with a #40 bit in it to drill pilot holes in the tight place next to the rear strut bracket.
2008-09-12 Jury strut brackets Today I fabricated and mounted the jury strut brackets for the right wing.
2008-09-13 Fuel tank preparation Today I began the preparations to install the fuel tanks in the right wing. First I had to turn over the wing and remove the nose skin and the top skin and roll them up. Then I fabricated the fuel tank support channels and stuck the cork strips onto them. I tried the fuel tanks in their bays to see how they fit...like a glove! But then they had to come back out. Next I will install the fuel senders in the tanks.
2008-09-15 Installing fuel senders Today I installed the fuel sender in the right main tank. It was scary cutting a hole in an expensive tank, but it went fine.
2008-09-20 More fuel tank preparation The last 3 sessions I installed and tested the senders in the main and aux tank, and checked for leaks. The main tank sender would not work for a while, because I hadn't grounded it right. It took me several hours to track that down. I also cut the holes in the bottom wing skin for the sump drains, and the holes in the ribs for the fuel lines.
2008-09-30 Finished fuel tanks and began nose skin The last few sessions I finished the fuel tank brackets, made the templates for and cut the holes for the fuel filler necks. Then today I fitted,drilled, and clecoed the nose skin.
2008-10-04 Built right wing tip Today I fabricated and clecoed in the right wing tip. First I had to flute the angle strips to match the curve of the wing, then fit the fiberglass tip, then trim and install the wingtip skin.
2008-10-13 Wing root, tip, and AOA The last few days I finished the wing root skin, then today I began the installation of the Angle of Attack sensor mast. I ordered the necessary fasteners from Aircraft Spruce. As soon as they get here, I'll finish with the AOA.
2008-10-18 Getting ready to rivet the wing together The last 3 sessions I've dissasmbled the wing, riveted the skeleton, deburred and corrosion protected the skins, and begun the final assembly. I have the bottom skins clecoed on and ready to rivet.
2008-10-22 Bottom Skin The last two sessions I riveted on the bottom skin, then riveted in the mount for the AOA sensor. I used the engineered drawings that came with the AOA to install the mount.
2008-10-25 Installing fuel tanks Today I installed the fuel tanks in the right wing and ran the fuel line to the aux tank. I also ran the wires for the fuel guages & grounds, and the pneumatic tubing for the AOA. Then I corrosion treated the top of the skeleton, so it will be ready to rivet on the top skin next.
2008-11-01 Riveting the wing skins The last 3 sessions I reinstalled the top and nose skins on the right wing and riveted them on. Now I've turned the wing back over so I can install the hardware on the bottom side and finish riveting it.
2008-11-08 Finishing the right wing In the last 2 sessions I refitted and riveted the wingtip. Then today I built a "wing sling", copying the idea from someone's picture on the internet. Tomorrow I plan to put the wing in one of the slings for storage.
2008-11-10 Began left wing Today I drilled and clecoed the nose ribs onto the left spar.
2008-11-11 Drilled main ribs Today I drilled the rear ribs and clecoed them to the spar.
2008-11-15 Root rib & slat brackets Today I drilled the root ribs and clecoed them in place, then used the slat bracket template from the other wing and drilled and clecoed the slat brackets to the nose ribs.
2008-12-09 Left wing skeleton, continued Due to a Thanksgiving vacation, and the subsequent cold I came down with, I've not done much lately. But I'm back at it now. I've fabricated & installed the rear channel and, today, drilled & clecoed the slat brackets.
2008-12-13 Rear strut fitting and tank channels Today I fabricated and drilled & clecoed the parts for the rear strut fitting on the left wing, and drilled & clecoed in the fuel tank channels.
2008-12-20 Left wing top skin The last two sessions I deburred, corrosion protected and riveted the rear skeleton together. Today I fitted, drilled and clecoed the top skin on. Next I'll turn the wing over and start on the bottom skin.
2008-12-27 Drilling left wing skins The last two sessions I drilled the bottom skin, fabricated and drilled the trailing edge, and drilled the nose skin to the bottom of the left wing spar.
2008-12-29 Front strut fittng Today I fabricated the parts and drilled the front strut fitting for the left wing.
2009-01-04 Flaperon brackets The last 2 sessions I drilled and mounted the flaperon brackets for the left wing. Of course, they'll come back apart for deburring and corrosion proofing before the final wing assmebly and riveting.
2009-01-06 Jury strut brackets In the last 2 sessions I fabricated and drilled the jury strut brackets for the left wing. Then I turned the wing over and removed the top skin so I can start installing the fuel tanks.
2009-01-17 Installing left main tank The last three sessions I've fabricated and installed the fuel tank brackets, and installed the fuel sender in the left main tank. Next I have to do the same for the aux tank.
2009-01-20 Installing Aux. fuel sender Today I modified and installed the left aux fuel sender. The sender, as it comes, is too long to fit into the tank so it has to be shortened and then adjusted to fit. I also tested its electrical output, then after installing it, leak tested it.
2009-01-22 Fitting left aux tank Today I fit the aux tank to the left wing. I measured and made the holes for the fuel drain and fuel outlet. I also made the template for cutting the fuel filler neck hole from the top skin.
2009-01-24 Working on the nose skin & tanks In the last two sessions I cut the filler neck holes in the top skin, glued cork strips onto the fuel tanks, and fitted and drilled the nose skin in place. The time consuming part (for me, anyway) was bending the nose skin around the nose ribs using the straps. It takes a lot of fiddling.
2009-01-26 Left wing tip Today I fabricated, installed, drilled and clecoed the left wing tip in place. I'm not sure why this was such a pain, but getting everything to fit sure was.
2009-01-29 Fitting the left wing root skin Yesterday and today I began fitting the left wing root skin. First I fabricated the angle that the skin rivets to on the outboard edge, then I rough-cut out and began fitting and drilling the skin in place. I have yet to do the hard part...bending it around the leading edge.
2009-02-03 Getting ready to finish the left wing The last 2 sessions I finished the wing root skin, which won't be installed till later, drilled the trailing edge, then disassembled, deburred and corrosion treated the wing skeleton. It's back to looking like a pile of parts, but soon that will change.
2009-02-14 Getting the left wing ready for final assembly In the last four sessions I riveted the wing skeleton together, deburred and corrosion treated all the skins; today I riveted on the bottom skin, turned the wing over and began installing the fuel tanks.
2009-02-17 Getting ready to close up the left wing This last weekend I put int the wiring for the fuel tanks, ran the pitot line, and the aux fuel line. The fuel line for the main tank will wait till later...it's accessible in the wing root. I'm almost ready to rivet on the top skin.
2009-02-21 Getting ready to close up the left wing - part 2 Today I fitted and clecoed on the top skin and the nose skin for final riveting, including bolting the strut bracket in place, and drilling the nose skin for the pitot tube.
2009-02-25 Riveting the left wing skins In the last 3 sessions I riveted on the top and nose skin, the trailing edge, and riveted the wingtip on. Next I have to turn the wing over and finish riveting the bottom skin.
2009-02-28 Left wing is done! I finished riveting the bottom skin and hardware, and stored the wing with the other in the "wing sling". On to the flaperons!
2009-03-05 Constructing the slat jig Yesterday and today I built the slat jig, which I'll use to build both slats. I also started preparing some parts.
2009-03-06 Slat brackets Today I built the slat brackets for the right wing slats.
2009-03-07 Building the right inboard slat. The slats are built in two sections, inboard and outboard. Today I began drilling and assembling the right inboard slat section.
2009-03-09 Began riveting inboard slat assembly Today I began riveting the slat assembly together. First I riveted the ribs to the bottom of the slat, then I strapped the slat to the jig and bent the skin over the top of the ribs and clecoed.
2009-03-13 Riveting the inboard slat Yesterday I drilled, deburred and corrosion-protected the rest of the slat. Today I riveted on the top skin.
2009-03-16 Starting the outboard right slat section Building the outboard slat section is just like the inboard, but here it goes, anyway. On the 14th I drilled and deburred and corrosion protected the L angle for the skin. Then on the 16th I riveted on the L and cut the slots for the slat brackets.
2009-03-20 Drilling the outboard slat skin to the ribs In the last 2 sessions I riveted the bottom skin onto the ribs. Then I used the jig to bend the top skin over the ribs and drill and cleco. Then I turned the slat over and strapped it into the other side of the jig to drill the rear rivet line.
2009-03-23 Drilling the trailing edge Today I drilled and clecoed on the trailing edge. For this operation the slat has to be strapped into the jig to get the shape just right.
2009-03-24 Getting ready to rivet outboard right slat Today I disassembled, deburred, and corrosion protected the right outboard slat section. Next is riveting it together.
2009-03-25 Began riveting right outboard slat skin Today I riveted all but the trailing edge of the right outboard slat skin. The trailing edge will be riveted with soft solid rivets.
2009-03-27 Right slat finished! Today I riveted the trailing edge of the right outboard slat, and installed the fiberglass tip. It's all finished now except for fitting it to and drilling it to the wing.
2009-03-28 Fabricated left slat ribs Today I began the left slat by fabricating and drilling the ribs for the slat supports. Next I'll drill them out to #30 and deburr, corrosion protect, and rivet.
2009-03-30 Working on the left wing slats Yesterday I deburred and primed the slat ribs and slat supports that attach to them. Today I riveted the slat ribs and supports together, then I began with the skins by drilling, deburring, and priming the L angles and skins where they attach.
2009-04-01 Preparing left slat skins Today I riveted the L angles onto the inboard and outboard slat skins. Then I took the trusty Olfa knife and made the slots for the slat supports on the inboard slat skin.
2009-04-04 Building left wing slats Yesterday I drilled & clecoed the slat skins to the bottom of the ribs, then deburred and primed them. Today I riveted the ribs to the bottom skins, then put the slats in the jig and bent, drilled & clecoed the skins to the top of the ribs. Putting on the trailing edges is next.
2009-04-14 Getting ready to rivet the left wing slats together Yesterday and today I drilled the trailing edges, then deburred and primed the slats and the trailing edges. Hopefully tomorrow I'll rivet them together.
2009-04-15 Riveting slat skins Today I riveted the top slat skins on. Next I'll rivet the trailing edge onto the bottom, then the end caps and I'll be done.
2009-04-17 Finished left wing slat fabrication Today I riveted on the trailing edges and tips of the left wing slat sections. I'll have to fit them to the wings, and join the halves together before I can call them done.
2009-04-18 Fitting slats to the wings Today I fitted the slats to the wings, and drilled the brackets out to 3/16" for the bolts that will eventually hold them on. I drilled the slats where they join halves, but didn't rivet them. It's easier to store them in halves now, and rivet them when I'm ready to permanently install them.
2009-04-21 Began rear fuselage Today I pulled out the bottom fuselage skin and began drilling the bulkheads and L angles to it.
2009-04-22 Adding longerons Today I added a Z angle across the bottom skin, then began drilling the longerons to the skin. I got most of one longeron done.
2009-04-23 More longerons Today I drilled the lower longerons to the left side of the fuselage bottom skin. Then I drilled the aileron torque tube bearing plate to the cross member. I'll have to go buy a 1 1/8" bit to drill them for the torque tube.
2009-04-24 More work on fuselage bottom Today I drilled the 1 1/8" hole in the torque tube bearing, then I drilled the crossmember and the Z angles that surround the access hole in the bottom of the fuselage.
2009-04-27 Longeron doublers Today I drilled and trimmed the lower longeron stiffeners. They are drilled for A5 rivets.
2009-05-02 Drilling the longerons Yesterday and today I drilled the longerons to the predrilled holes in the side skins, and mounted the L angle stiffeners to the side skins of the rear fuselage.
2009-05-05 Continuing fuselage bottom Yesterday I deburred and corrosion treated all the pieces of the fuselage bottom. Today I clecoed them back together, and began work on the access panel cover. I miscounted the holes around the perimeter of the cover and drilled 16 instead of 12, so I've had to order more nut plates, screws, and A3 rivets. Other than that, no harm done.
2009-05-07 Rear access panel Today I drilled the skin for the nutplates that will hold the rear access panel.
2009-05-13 Finished the rear access panel In the last two sessions I riveted on the nut plates, and made a final fitting of the access panel.
2009-05-15 Top skin Yesterday and today I drilled the top skins to the longerons, disassembled, deburred and primed. I also fitted, drilled and primed the L angles that go across the top skin.
2009-05-16 Joining the bottom to the side skins. Today I clecoed the bottom skin assembly to the passenger side skin assembly. Amazingly, it all fit perfectly.

Also today, Graham Meyer, EAA Technical Counselor and homebuilder extraodinaire, came and examined my project to date, and gave me some valuable suggestions.
2009-05-18 Left side of fuselage Today I fitted and clecoed the left side of the fuselage in place. I also drilled the rear bulkheads to the side skins, and fabricated and drilled the diagonal angle braces.
2009-05-19 Finishing rear bulkheads Today I fabricated L angles for the tops of the rear bulkheads, then deburred, treated, and riveted them on. I also deburred and corrosion treated the sides of the bulkheads.
2009-05-21 Fitting the top skin Today I removed the top longerons and clecoed them to the top skin and fitted it to the sides. Amazingly, it fit well. Before drilling the top skin to the rear bulkheads, I squared up the fuselage by propping a board in diagonally till it was square. Then I drilled the skin to the bulkheads, then took the rear of the top skin back off to deburr and corrosion proof.
2009-05-23 Starting to rivet the rear fuselage Today I drilled the stabilizer support brackets to the fuselage, deburred and primed them. They will be riveted later. I then riveted the top and both sides of the rear fuselage together. Next I'll do the bottom.
2009-05-25 Riveting rear fuselage Today I finished riveting the rear fuselage. I then drilled and shaped the gussets for the inside corners, crawled into the fuselage and drilled and clecoed them in place. I need to open them up to a size 30, then deburr and rivet. I just ran out of energy today, so that will have to be in my next session.
2009-05-29 Riveting in gussets and baggage comp. back The last 3 sessions I removed the corner gussets, deburred and primed them, then riveted them in. Then I trimmed to size and drilled the baggage compartment back wall, then deburred, primed and riveted it in.
2009-05-30 More rear fuselage work Today I cut, drilled, and clecoed in the rear segment of the baggage compartment floor, including a cross piece that supports it in the middle. I then drilled and clecoed in place the upper longeron gussets.
2009-06-01 Shoulder harness brackets Today I fabricated and drilled the shoulder harness brackets. I also drilled the forward uprights, but when I fit them with the top cross piece, I realized I had drilled them wrong, so I ordered 2 more from Zenith for a redo.
2009-06-11 Uprights and baggage floor After taking almost a week off for a visit from my son and granddaughter, and waiting for the parts to arrive from Zenith, I resumed by correctly drilling and clecoing in the uprights and the front half of the baggage floor.
2009-06-12 Wing mounts and more drilling Today I finished mounting the rear wing mounts and the seat back, and began drilling all the holes out to their intended size. Tomorrow I'll finish the drilling, then dissasemble, deburr, and corrosion proof.
2009-06-13 Finished rear fuselage Today I disassembled all the parts that have not yet been riveted on the rear fuselage, deburred all the holes, corrosion treated them, then clecoed and riveted them together. The rear fuselage is done for now, so next I'll start on the forward fuselage.
2009-06-19 Began forward fuselage Today I began the forward fuselage by getting out the firewall, laying out the centerlines on it, and drilling and clecoing on the cross channel.
2009-06-20 Constructing the firewall Today I added more hardware to the firewall, step by step. Everything is only drilled to a 40 drill right now and clecoed. Later I'll open up all the holes to their right size.
2009-06-22 More firewall prep Today I drilled the top vertical channel to the firewall, drilled the rear mounted Z angle, and cut the slots for the steering rods.
2009-06-25 Trying on the nosegear Today I trial-fitted the nosegear onto the firewall. I fabricated the two ramps that the steering studs will ride on. They started as 2 pieces of aluminum angle, and using the dimensions in the plans I cut a "V" shaped ramp into them and drilled and mounted them. These will provide a center dentent for the nosewheel steering.
2009-06-26 Building the bottom bearing I fabricated the bearing that the nosegear runs through on the bottom of the firewall. It's a 3 layered sandwich, with a nylon block between 2 aluminum pieces.
2009-06-27 Finishing the firewall Today I drilled out all the holes in the upper and lower bearings, and drilled out all the other holes to final size. Then I dissasembled, deburred, cleaned up, and corrosion protected the firewall parts and riveted them togther. Next I'll start the cabin floor.
2009-06-30 Starting the cabin construction Yesterday I trimmed and drilled and added doublers to the bottom channel that goes across the cabin floor, above the main gear. Today I began drilling and trimming the cabin floor, fitted the front & rear piece together, and drilled the bottom channel to the cabin floor.
2009-07-02 Parts prep for the cabin Yesterday and today I trimmed the cabin sides to match the floor, and the rear fuselage. Then I fabricated the seat front, which serves as a bulkhead under the seat. It had to be cut out and drilled to let the control mechanism pass through.
2009-07-03 Fabricating seat front The last 3 sessions I trimmed the cabin sides to fit the floor and rear fuselage, fabricated the seat front, and fitted the gear/strut fittings to the fuselage floor and sides.
2009-07-03 Drilling the seat front The plans call out very specific locations for the holes for the rudder cables, pitot line, brake lines, and electric trim cable to pass through the seat front. Not shown here, but I placed the required doubler with it and drilled them simultaneously. Then I fitted the sides to the floor, and fitted the gear/strut fittings in place.
2009-07-06 Drilling the floor and adding stiffeners The last two sessions I positioned the cabin sides to the floor, measured to exactly fit the rear fuselage, then drilled and clecoed them together. Then I took everything back apart so I could fit and drill some floor stiffeners to the bottom of the bottom skin. There are about 4 more stiffeners that have to go on the top of the bottom skin. Those should be next.
2009-07-11 More forward fuselage work Today I finished most of the prep work for the forward fuselage. I fabricated the bearing for the control torque tube, fitted and installed the tunnel that covers that torque tube, fabricated and fitted the seat belt attachments, and fitted and drilled the top floor stiffeners. Now I need to drill out all the holes to the proper size, then dissassemble, corrosion treat, and rivet it together.
2009-07-16 Drilling and deburring The last two sessions I've drilled out all the holes in the forward fuselage to their final size. When I finished that today, I disassembled the whole thing again and began deburring all the holes. I'll finish that, then apply corrosion proofing next session.
2009-07-18 Finished riveting forward fuselage Today I assembled the forward fuselage and riveted it together. Then, with my wife's help, I put the rear fuselage back on the work table, and fitted the forward fuselage to it. I drilled the rivet line across where the bottom skins meet and clecoed them together.
2009-07-24 Preparing to fit cabin frame Today I leveled the fuselage on the work table, then trial-fitted the upper cabin frame to it. There's a good bit of back and forth adjusting to do, and I'll have to trim the verticals a little to make it come out level. Next I need to make templates that reproduce exactly the wing attach brackets as I built them on the wings. I'll use those templates to get the exact correct distance on the upper cabin frame before I drill & cleco.
2009-07-25 Drilling the upper cabin frame Today I drilled & clecoed the upper cabin frame together. First I had to make a template for each wing's fittings, and used them to get the exact distance between the attach fittings on the upper cabin. Then I spent a good deal of time leveling and getting all the angles right so the cabin would be level and square, and so the firewall fitting would end up in the right place.
2009-07-27 Engine mount Today I fitted the engine mount to the firewall. The bottom brackets of the engine mount had to be ground/cut to an angle to fit into the bottom angle stiffener. Next I'll drill the mount to the firewall and the forward fuselage frame.
2009-07-30 Engine mount and landing gear brackets In the last two sessions I finished pilot-drilling the engine mount to the firewall, then I fabricated the two longeron gussets that go on the cabin walls, then I pilot-drilled the right main gear fitting to the cabin wall. Next I'll drill the left one.
2009-08-07 Preparing the forward fuselage for riveting The last four sessions I've been doing prep work for the joining of the forward to the rear fuselage. I drilled the landing gear/strut brackets to the channel pickups, and to the cabin structure. Drilling inside the channels was the biggest challenge. I had to use a slow drill with oil on the bit to drill cleanly through the 4130 chromoly pieces. I then drilled the engine mount and cabin frame to final size, then deburred and corrosion treated all surfaces. I primed the steel parts, and today topcoated the cabin frame and engine mount.
2009-08-08 Riveting the front fuselage to the rear Today I riveted the front fuselage and the upper frame to the rear fuselage, and bolted the landing gear/strut brackets to the fuselage side. Next I'll start working on the sheet metal that connects to the firewall.
2009-08-11 Forward fuselage skins In the last two days I cut out the forward fuselage skins and drilled and clecoed them in place. Then I fabricated and drilled & clecoed in place the stiffeners, 2 Zee angles and one L angle. I got the right side drilled out to the proper size holes. The left is still size 40. I'll drill the left side out to size next time.
2009-08-20 Intrument panel and forward skins In the last few sessions I drilled out the forward skins to size, trimmed them, deburred & corrosion protected, and riveted them and their stiffeners on. I fabricated the gussets that hold the instrument panel in place, and clecoed it in. Next I'll fabricate the top forward skin. It covers the top from the firewall rearward to the instrument panel, and hangs over about 50mm to form an eyebrow.
2009-08-22 Completing the top skin Yesterday I made the "Y" cutout in the top skin to accomodate the forward frame bars, then today I mounted, drilled, and trimmed the top skin. I'll deburr and corrosion proof next, but I won't rivet it on till all the instruments and wiring are done, later on.
2009-08-27 Top forward skin and seats In the last few sessions I deburred and corrosion treated the top forward skin, drilled and painted the steel firewall brackets, and drilled and riveted the seatback in place. Now I'm beginning to work on the seat bottoms.
2009-09-03 Seat pans Today, after a week off, I started working on the seat pans. I put them in place and drilled them to the fuselage. I also cut and drilled the L angles that support the pans on the sides.
2009-09-05 More forward fuselage work Yesterday I fabricated the seat corner gussets and drilled them. Then today I dissasembled the seats and deburred and corrosion treated them. Then I began drilling and preparing the nosegear for mounting on the firewall.
2009-09-07 Installed nosewheel Today I mounted the nosewheel on the firewall. I'd fabricated all the parts earlier with the firewall, so it wasn't too bad a job. What took more time than I'd have thought was mounting the tire on the Matco wheel. It was a learning curve for me.
2009-09-17 Preparing the main gear Yesterday and today I mounted the main tires on the rims and began preparing the main gear spring. The main gear spring has to have notches filed in it for the mounting bolts. I tried a round file, but ended up using a Dremel tool for the notches.
2009-09-19 Drilling the main gear for the wheel assemblies This was a somewhat challenging task. I used a transfer punch to mark the locations for the holes, using the axle & mount as a template. Due to the shape of the gear spring I had to drill from the inside, so I put my drill press on the floor and used a 2x4 screwed to the work bench as a kind of jig to hold it in place. I broke off a 1/8" pilot bit in the last hole, and it was a chore to get out, but in the end, everything came out fine.
2009-09-19 Installed main gear Today I bolted the axles and brake assemblies and wheels onto the main gear, then installed the gear onto the fuselage. My wife helped me turn the fuselage back rightside up, so it's on its wheels now. Next are controls.
2009-09-24 Building the control mechanisms This week I began building the control assemblies. First I had to install L angles to the back of the seat back and the floor of the baggage compartment. These are accessed through the access door on the bottom of the fuselage. I've put the wheels of the plane up on dollies, so it's a good height now to roll my chair under and sit up with my upper body inside the fuselage.
2009-09-26 Flaperon belcranks Yesterday and today I fabricated the flaperon belcranks and fitted them to the flaperon mixer. I cut the pieces of the belcrank sandwich on the band saw, then sanded them smooth and riveted them together with solid rivets.
2009-10-06 Building the controls (continued) In the last few sessions I fabricated the elevator bellcrank, fitted, drilled, painted, and installed the control mechanisms. I did not bend any of the cotter pins yet, as I'll probably have to disassemble/reassemble parts of it yet. The next step I'll begin installing the rudder pedals.
2009-10-09 Installing rudder pedals and rudder In the last 3 sessions I installed the master cylinders onto the pilot side rudder pedals, mounted the rudder pedals in the cockpit, and hung the rudder on the airplane.
2009-10-15 Getting ready to run the rudder cables Next I installed the reinforcing Ls on the tailcone, drilled the rudder spar fairings to the rudder, then fabricated the pulley brackets for the rudder cable.
2009-10-19 Rudder cables In the last 2 sessions I fabricated the rudder cables and installed the cable pulleys. I found an ancient nicopress tool on ebay, and it works fine.
2009-10-24 Rudder stops and flaperon bungee Next I installed the rudder stops. There's not much to the stops; just fabricating and riveting two aluminum plates. The trick was to accurately measure 23 degrees rudder deflection on both sides and place the stops to ensure that. Then I fabricated the brackets and the bungee for the flaperon handle. It, like most things on this airplane, is very simple; just a bungee stretched over the flaperon handle, under the seat, to keep the handle down in the detents.
2009-10-31 Fabricated upper door sills Today I fabricated and clecoed in the upper door sills, and riveted on the piano hinge for the doors.
2009-11-07 Getting ready to hang the engine I've begun preparations for hanging the engine on the airframe. The first order of business was to mount the ring mount to the engine. That involved taking off the water pump and hoses, and taking loose some electrical connections, as the wires will have to be routed through the frame of the ring mount. I successfully got all that done, but now I'm waiting on an L for my water pump. My engine came with all 45 degree Ls, and for this ring mount you have to replace the bottom left one with an 80 degree L to clear the mount. Fortunately, they are easy to get out by heating them up with a heat gun, then threading them out. While waiting for the part, I've been mounting the oil tank, then bolting the engine mount on (it had been clecoed). I also ordered and installed a quick drain on the oil tank.
2009-11-11 Engine is hung! I got my water pump parts in yesterday, so today I finished putting it back together and attached the hoses. Then I installed the throttle bellcrank, since that needs to be done before the engine goes on. Then, with some help from my wife I hung the engine. All in all, it went fairly smooth. Now I'll have to put in all the plumbing and wiring, cables, etc.
2009-11-15 Installed oil cooler, lines, & coolant lines Next I bolted on the oil cooler and began running the lines. I have an oil thermostat that came with the engine. It took a little research to find out exactly how to plumb it in, but I'm happy with how it came out. I also installed the radiator hoses.
2009-11-30 Choke cables and overflow bottle In these two sessions I installed the coolant overflow bottle and the choke cables.
2009-12-03 Throttle controls The last couple sessions I built up the throttle controls. I ran the cables from the throttle belcrank to the carbs. I then flattened and drilled the belcrank lever to accept a cable stop. The throttle cable from the instrument panel will go through this stop.
2009-12-05 Brake lines Today I put the fittings on the brakes and master cylinders and ran the brake lines. I used zip ties as standoffs from the inside of the fuselage. I didn't have time to put in the brake fluid and try them out. That will have to wait till next session.
2009-12-12 Electric Fuel Pump Today I installed the electric fuel pump. It is a backup for climbing at high angles of attack, or in case the engine driven pump should fail. I chose a Facet solid state pump. There wasn't an ideal place to mount it in the engine compartment, so I mounted it to the inside of the firewall, behind the rudder pedals. It has a 74 micron filter screwed into the intake side of it, per manufacturer instructions. I came out of the output side with a 90 degee fitting that connects through the firewall to a 5/16 fuel line which in turn feeds the engine driven pump. I also fabricated the bracket for the fuel selector, which will be mounted on the floor in front of the pilot's seat.
2009-12-18 Fuel selector & lines In the last two sessions I installed the fuel selector (clecoed in only for now), and put some of the firesleeve on the fuel lines. I had been waiting for two fuel fittings from Zenith that had gotten lost in the mail. They finally came, so I got the fuel selector in place and the handle of it rubbed slightly on the rudder cable when in the outboard position. After trying unsuccessfully to move it to a different location, I filed down the handle and put a notch in it, so now it clears nicely.
2009-12-19 Filled and bled brakes Today I filled the brake lines and cylinders with mil-spec hydraulic fluid. It didn't go as fast as I thought. When I put the fluid in the first wheel, I saw (thanks to the translucent nylon brake lines) that air bubbles were staying in the bends I had put in around the wheel cylinders. So I drained the fluid, pulled and rerouted the lines. I like this better, and no air bubbles!
2009-12-24 Mounted gascolators Today I drilled and mounted (with clecoes only) the two gascolators. In this airplane, unlike most Cessnas and Pipers, the lowest point in the fuel system is behind the main gear. So I put the gascolators there, per the plans. These gascolators (provided with the kit) do not have filter screens in them, but I have finger screens in the tank, and a .74 micron filter at the auxilliary fuel pump.
2009-12-26 Mounting the horizontal tail Today I mounted the horizontal tail. The job was not that hard, just time consuming. First I had to level the airplane so I would have a reference to be able to level the tail. I, of course, had to level it left and right, level it front and rear, and square it to the fuselage. Then I installed the rudder and spent some time trimming it where it interferes with the elevator. By the end of the day, all the controls were moving freely and not contacting each other.
2010-01-02 Elevator Cables Today I began the prep work for fabricating/installing the elevator cables. First I set the elevator at neutral and clamped it in place. Then I stretched strings between the elevator horns and the elevator belcrank in the fuselage, just like the cables will go eventually. Then I set the angle of the belcrank per Zenith's instructions (an article in the Zenair news by Caleb Gebhardt details the procedure). Then I began fabricating the cables. They will be in 2 segments each, so I can put turnbuckles in for adjustment. I got one of four segments fabricated, then ran out of time for today.
2010-02-01 Beginning instrument panel I began by laying out a design on the panel blank, using a sharpie pen. Then I put the panel in the plane and sat and tried it on for size. Next I began to cut the round instrument holes, using a fly cutter. Then I cut the rectangle for the radio and transponder, and for the engine monitor.
2010-02-13 More instrument panel work I used 3/4" angle on each side of the radio stack, and screwed the racks to the angle. The angle will be riveted to the panel.
2010-02-26 Building the power bus My electrical system is going to be very simple. I decided to use fuses to save weight and expense. Following the advice in Tony Bengelis' books, I decided to make the fuse panel removable. I built the basic fuse panel using a piece of chanel with the sides mostly removed, just a small rim left for strength. After drilling and mounting the fuse bodies, I used a copper bar that I drilled and tapped to attach to them. I drilled holes in the instrument panel that are just slightly larger than the fuse bodies so they can slide right in from the rear.
2010-02-27 More cutting and drilling Today I drilled the holes for the master switch and the fuel pump switch. Then I cut the opening for the Hobbs meter.
2010-03-06 Repainting/assembling the panel My first attempt at painting and labeling the panel turned into kind of a disaster. And I found I didn't like the color I'd chosen, so I stripped the panel and did it over. I used a label maker to make clear labels with white print. The rest of my time was spent reinstalling the instruments. I decided to add an intercom, also. Next I'll beging wiring the panel in earnest.
2010-03-06 Repainting/assembling the panel My first attempt at painting and labeling the panel turned into kind of a disaster. And I found I didn't like the color I'd chosen, so I stripped the panel and did it over. I used a label maker to make clear labels with white print. The rest of my time was spent reinstalling the instruments. I decided to add an intercom, also. Next I'll begin wiring the panel in earnest.
2010-03-13 Getting ready for wiring I reinstalled the painted instrument panel with instruments, switches and fuse holders in place. Next I installed the throttle, choke, and cabin heater cables. Now begins the electrical. I started by fabricating a ground bus from a copper bar and some slip on terminals I ordered from Terminal Town. I drilled the copper bar, then riveted the terminals onto it, then soldered them for a little better electrical connection. Then I bolted it to the firewall. The engine ground cable is connected to the head of the bolt, on the engine side of the firewall.
2010-03-26 Mounting the battery The battery is mounted on the floor just behind the passenger seat. I fabricated two 1/16" x 3/4" angles and clecoed them to cross members to distribute the weight. The angles will be riveted to the floor skin, also. My battery is an Odessey battery, so it can be mounted on it's side, and it needs no ventilation or drain. I mounted the battery solenoid to a cross member just aft of the battery. Now I'm routing the cable through the firewall to the starter solenoid.
2010-04-11 Wiring, wiring, wiring The last four sessions I've been making and connecting wires. At one point I discovered my terminal strip had cracked and begun to crumble. So much for the expensive Amp product. I went to Radio shack and bought a couple cheap bakelite ones and I like them better already. Naturally, I had to remove every wire from the old one and wire the new one. That killed an afternoon. Yesterday I decided to tackle the EIS (engine monitor). I have to say, the harness, connectors, and diagram that Grand Rapids sent were great. I managed to wire the entire thing in one 7 hour day, including OAT, CHT, EGT, OT, OP, Coolant temp, fuel pressure, voltage, RPM, with the associated probes and senders. The best part, it works! To get wiring through the firewall, I bought a couple 67 cent threaded conduit connectors and lined them with leftover oil hose. Not shown in the picture is the short length of firesleeve I put on the firewall side. When clamped up, it provides a chafe-free fire barrier.
2010-04-17 Trim control cable The Belden cable supplied with the elevator trim is supposed to be run down the right side of the fuselage, according to the plans. However, the cable came up about 3 feet short when I did that. By running it down the left side I can make it reach the trim control, which is on the left side of the panel on my installation (as it is on most). It was a little bit of a trick securing the cable to the fuselage sides to keep it from chafing, and to keep it away from the rudder cable. Had I installed the cable earlier, it would have been easier, but it turned out okay.
2010-04-24 More wiring In the last 2 sessions I wired in the ignition switch and connected the radio/transponder/intercom harnesses. I had a local avionics shop wire the harnesses for the radio/transponder/encoder/transponder, so all I had to do was put them in and hook them up.
2010-04-28 Comm antenna In the last 2 sessions I mounted the comm antenna and ran the coax for it. It was a tight squeeze, but I got it where I wanted, behind the baggage compartment. I put in a .040 plate and a .025 angle to reinforce the antenna mount.
2010-05-17 Engine start! For the last several sessions I've been preparing for the engine start. I tidied up the wiring, mounted the propeller and purged and filled the oil system and the coolant. Today, with the help of my A&P/IA friend, Steve Harless, and with my wife standing by as photographer, I started the engine. It started almost immediately and ran smoothly. The only hitch was that I'm not getting voltage from the alternator. Further investigation revealed that the "powergenie" device I installed (so the hobbs meter would only run when the engine is running) is acting as a diode and preventing the battery bus from energizing the alternator field. This afternoon I took it out of the circuit and ran a jumper straight from the battery bus to the field terminal. Tomorrow morning I'll try a start again and make sure that fixed it. Stay tuned.....









2010-05-29 Installed dorsal fin Today I fabricated and installed both sections of the dorsal fin. It was pretty straightforward, except trimming around the horizontal stabilizer was pretty exacting.
2010-06-04 Oil cooler shroud Today I trimmed and fitted the oil cooler shroud. I sealed the edges with cork and a small bead of RTV sealant, then attached with two zip ties.
2010-06-05 Air lines Today I installed the pitot and static lines in the fuselage and connected them to the instruments. I ran them to the access area behind the seat and terminated them with a water trap fitting. I mounted the static port on the left fuselage side just behind the baggage compartment. When I mount the wings I'll connect the pitot line at the T fitting I left for it.
2010-06-19 Windshield and skylight Today I fitted the windshield and skylight. Since they overlap and will be screwed together to the frame, it was necessary to do them both together. I used a band saw with an 18T blade to cut the plexiglass. For smoothing and trimming I used a sanding block with 150 grit sandpaper, and a dremel tool with a sanding drum.
2010-07-01 Fitting the left door Today I fitted, trimmed and installed the left bubble door. It went much easier than the right one, as I'd already made most of my mistakes on that one. After I finished, I removed the pin from the piano hinge and took off the door and stored it for later.
2010-07-03 Yesterday and today I fitted the cowling. First I had to duct-tape the cowling in place and find just the right spot. One critical area is clearance with the prop and spinner. The engine is offset to the right a little to compensate for torque and p-factor, so the cowl had to be offset so the prop shaft is centered in the air opening. Then I drilled #40 holes through the cowl and fuselage and clecoed it in place. Then I took it off and installed nut plates and drilled out the holes to final diameter. It really fits well. Next is the oil door.
2010-07-05 Oil door Today I fabricated and installed the oil door on the cowl. First I had to cut out the frame that would be installed under the cowling. I used the time honored method of drilling holes around the perimeter, then cutting it out with a chisel. Then some work with the file made it smooth. Then I fit the door to the frame, and using the door as a template, marked and cut the hole in the fiberglass cowl. Then I flush riveted the frame to the cowl.
2010-07-10 Began flaperons Today I began construction of the flaperons. I started with the right outboard. I got the skeleton done and riveted to the bottom of the flaperon skin. Next I'll be attaching it to the top skin.
2010-07-21 Fabricated radiator shroud Due to the way I mounted the cowling, and due to the irregularities in the radiator mount, the radiator opening in the cowling does not line up well with the radiator, and does not have a natural seal. Using L angle and strips of silicone, I fabricated a shroud very similar to a baffle you would use in an aircooled engine. Now it seals up nicely and should direct all the airflow through the radiator.
2010-07-30 Hanging the wings In the last few days I built 4 wooden wing stands, per Jon Croke's (HomeBuilt Help) idea. It only took a couple hours to build all 4, and they are a lifesaver. My wife helped me lift the wings from the wingslings and lay them on top of the stands. It was a simple matter to mate them to the fuselage, but it took me 4 hours of fiddling and adjusting to get them at just the right angles. I clamped and drilled the attach points with a size 20 drill and clecoed them. When I take the wings back off shortly I will open up the holes to 5/16".
2010-07-31 Right jury struts Today I finished mounting the wings on the fuselage (temporarily) and began the jury struts. I finished the right wing; it took about 2.5 hours. First I had to take the aluminum tubing and squash the end somewhat in a vise and insert aluminum plugs that I'd fabricated from square stock. Then I drilled the ends and mounted the tubes on the wings and struts.