Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bottom Skins and Flaps

I haven't posted in awhile, luckily more work has been being done on the plane than this blog. Quite a bit of progress has been made on the wings. The right tank is sealed up and waiting to be leak tested. Then it was time to move back to the left wing. We began by installing the rivets that attach the leading edge ribs to the main spar since we had skipped these before.

Left Wing Torque Tube
We constructed and installed the aileron actuation torque tube for the left wing. Getting this setup correct and tight was an important consideration. Having sloppy bolt holes would mean sloppy control feel, and having the part too short or too long would induce additional stress on the brackets. I think that we did a pretty good job of putting it together, and everything is good and tight. We also constructed the push tubes but set them aside until the bottom skins are riveted on.

Speaking of the bottom skins, they are all prepared for the left wing as well. I want to have angle of attack indication in the plane so instead of using the bent tube pitot that Vans has in the plans we needed a mast to attach either the Dynon or Garmin pitot aoa tube to. I went with the safeair1 pitot mast since it seemed to be the easiest to install and was reasonably priced, at least in comparison to some of the other on the market. I wasn't looking forward to making this cut in that large expensive bottom skin, but using the provided pattern and sneaking up on it with the Dremel tool made it not bad at all. The hole isn't perfect, but it's pretty close. There won't be too many people climbing under the wing to get a look at it anyway.

Pitot Mast
We began to rivet the left bottom skins on but quickly found out that the rivets around the flap hinge brackets were going to require a different tool. The flush set that came with the tool kit just won't get to the rivets that sit right next to the brackets. I've ordered up a long offset flush set but it will take a few days to arrive, so it was on to working on the flaps.

Flap Skeletons Clecoed Together

I got all of the various flap parts deburred and preped for both flaps at once as we have plenty of room to work on both sets of the smaller components. The plans have you cleco the skeletons together, add the skins, and then match drill some holes in the nose ribs as well as the trailing edge. The nose skin is one piece that you form around the nose ribs. When I was installing clecos I didn't notice that one of the ribs was not sitting correctly and the forward cleco pushed the front of the rib over rather than going in the hole like it was supposed to. When I match drilled through the skin the holes in the ribs ended up way off as you can see in the picture. It also tweaked the rib pretty good. I'll be having to order up a new nose rib on Monday. This pretty much killed my plan to have one completed flap today but in the big picture isn't that big a deal.

Misdrilled Flap Nose Rib, Note the Scar Near the Front From the Misplaced Cleco
 Until the long flush set arrives I'll continue preping the flap parts. Things are moving along well, and it won't be too long till we can get started on the tail kit.
Flap Hinges

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Working on right tank and tail kit gets delivered

Been doing some more work on the right tank, and will be closing it up this weekend. I've also been preping the flap and aileron gap fairings getting them ready to install. The big news of the week though is the fact that my tail kit arrived yesterday.

The kit arrived in one box, undamaged this time.

 The tail kit includes the tail cone portion of the fuselage, or everything behind the baggage bulkhead. The kit came in a single crate that didn't really weigh too much. Two of us were able to carry it easily. Once the top was off it was time to look at the new toys. The first thing you see are the two top side fuse skins.
Top off the crate and looking at some fuse skins.

There are a lot more small parts in this kit, and it looks like it will be fun building. Plus things are really starting to look like airplane parts as they go together. I'm also looking forward to being done with the tanks and proseal.

One of several bundles of small parts with some stiffeners and longerons in the background.

Another good thing is that I'm going to be home next summer so I'll easily be able to keep progress going instead of falling behind like this year.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back Home and Ready to Work

Well things did not progress as well as I had hoped this summer, but I'm back home for at least the winter and will be back to working on the plane frequently. Over the past few months we got the left tank complete and it tested leakfree so it's hung on the spar. I was also able to get the wiring harness in the left wing as well a tubing for the pitot static and AoA lines. I decided to go with the Safe Air 1 system for the air data tubing since the system seems to offer the best as far as ease of connection and possible future work. I also picked up and will be installing the Safe Air 1 mast for the pitot tube itself. The wing is really starting to look complete with the tank installed.

Left wing with the tank installed.

Left wing from bottom showing the wiring for landing light and tip strobes.
Air data lines and ADAHRS wiring.

Now it's time to begin working on the right tank. We started out again by riveting the bottom stiffeners to the skin a couple weeks ago. We were able to get all 5 interior tank ribs installed in one work session over the weekend. We've adopted the opinion that it's better to just cover every joint in a thick layer of proseal and work faster rather than taking a bunch of time to do a super neat job. No one should ever see the inside of the tanks again anyway so all of the masking and such was really just wasted effort. I'm comfortable with the small amount of added weight and the few ounces less fuel capacity.

Right tank with interior ribs sealed and riveted.
 The tail kit is supposed to be shipping the week of October 14th so it's unlikely that we'll have the wing complete prior to it's arrival as hoped, but we'll be pretty close. Hoping to get the right tank completed this week and next weekend.