Thursday, July 24, 2014

30-all. fitting of Wings

 Big day!   Nick (“Big Nick”—fiancée to my daughter, Melena) helped with the lifting and moving to get the wings fitted onto the fuselage.  Looking through the instructions, I noted that I needed to fully deflect the ailerons upward to check for interference.  Oddly, the instructions have you insert the wings & remove them, then tell you to fit the ailerons.  That’s dumb.  We fit the ailerons first.  Biggest problem he had with that was getting two washers at a time on each side of the applicable bolt.  I have a very cool tool—washer pliers—that permit the placement of one washer, but doing two required some jiggling.  Overall, not bad and the ailerons went on nicely.


IMG 3473Left Aileron installed on wing 


IMG 3475

Right Aileron installed on wing 

After that came the big event of the day.  We moved the fuselage out onto the drive way and shifted it from the cradle onto heavily padded sawhorses.  Nick held the wingtip and I directed and guided the spar into place.  It got hung up due to interference from the fuselage skin (lower) and the F-1204H Bulkhead Caps.  I used a dremel tool to shave off about 1/8” and we tried it again.  Viola!  The Left Wing was installed!  The Right Wing went in on the first try and we had something that actually looked like an airplane!  Just for fun, I pulled the tail cone out of the garage and positioned it behind the fuselage for the photos.


IMG 3477

Left Wing installed on fuselage 

IMG 3478

Both Wings installed!

IMG 3480

Left Wing

IMG 3481

Right Wing

IMG 3485

Wide angle shot

30-02 wing pins

This page is documenting the assembly of the wing pins, steps 1-4.  The remaining steps involve actually inserting the wings and are documented on the next entry.

These steel pins have a long tube that houses a magnet epoxied into an aluminum bullet.  When the pins are fully engaged, the magnet can be placed in close proximity to a pair of reed switches that will act as safety switches to tell the computer that the wings are installed.  Of course, it’s perfectly possible to place the pins in the housings and thus close the switches even if the wings are in another hanger, but you probably won’t be trying to take off without the wings, so I guess the system is to make sure that they’re correctly installed.

IMG 3555

Wing Locking Pins

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

29A-11 instrument panels

Ta-da!  With this step, I have finished the Fuselage kit (omitting tail cone attachment).  The left panel is only a dummy and will be replaced with the avionics kit.  Accordingly, I left the blue film on the aluminum and didn’t bother to countersink the holes.


IMG 3470

Instrument Panel installed



IMG 3471

Instrument Panel, side view

29A-10 right panel installation

If you look really closely, you’ll see two screw heads in the back of the map box.  It was a bit of a challenge to get both arms into position so that I could attach the hardware.  I also had to drill from beneath the instrument panel through two pre-placed holes.  I missed one by about 1 cm, so there’s an extra hole down there.

The exciting part about this installation is that I’m only 1 step away from finishing the fuselage kit!

IMG 3468

Map Box installed in Right panel


29A-08 map box installation

Putting together the map box was straightforward.  The only tweaking I had to do concerned the opening of the door.  It only opened about 75° or so.  I used the scotch bright wheel to remove just a touch of material at the bottom of the door until it opened a full 90°.  The door opening is now limited by the piano hinge, so I stopped there.


IMG 3465

Map Box


IMG 3466

Map Box, door open

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

29A-09 center panel prep

A very simple page, just counter sink holes for the center panel and install two nut plates.  I did this page right after I did the countersinking for the right panel since I had all of the tooling set up.


IMG 3462

Center Panel

29A-07 map box prep

This page was pretty straightforward preparation of parts.   The map box is a standard sub kit that appears to be used on all of the RV’s.  The only problem that I had was that it assumes that you are using driven rivets.  I’m not.  Check out one of my first postings about the tool box that called out for using driven rivets.  I hemmed and hawed and fidgeted before I realized that I wanted to learn how to use pulled rivets, not driven rivets and so I substituted LP4-3’s for AN426’s.  Same here.  I used regular LP4-3’s most places and CS4-4’s where the door closes flush against the door.  

IMG 3460

Map Box parts

29A-06 Upper Fuselage Skin

IMG 3453

Oil Reservoir & Battery Bracket 

I wonder where the battery is going to go.  It looks like it rides on top of that bracket, but I would have put it lower (on the shelf).  Let’s find out in a few weeks (probably months, but who’s counting?)  The little bit of blue is tape over the fuel return nipple (to keep out debris.)  The two bolts are where the gascolator will be re-attached sometime in the future.


IMG 3456

Upper Fuselage Skin 

That makes a big difference in appearance!  Having the upper skin in place adds another bit of visual confirmation that this is indeed becoming an airplane.  On the other hand, I really wish I had a working electric screwdriver!


IMG 3457

lateral view of Upper Fuselage Skin 

Monday, July 21, 2014

29A-05 Canopy Ribs & Panel Deck

Well, I’m back, figuratively and literally.  I’ve had a couple of vacation trips, so I was physically out of town twice for about a week each. I was also “out” motivationally.  I really hit a wall when the fuel system didn’t work and I found that I just had no motivation to work in the garage. Then I had  the fiasco of mistakenly countersinking the wrong side of not one, but two, parts.  That really put me in a funk. Anyway, i got my mojo back and found myself ready to go back to work.  Hurray!


IMG 3449

Canopy Ribs with nut plates  


IMG 3450

Canopy Ribs in place

 There was a 3rd hole in the F-1202B Panel Base that isn’t called out in the plans.  I put a snap grommet into it just on general principles that it looks better.  I’m pretty sure that there’ll be something going through it when I pull the wiring harness.

IMG 3451

Close up of Canopy Rib with RTV sealant


Monday, July 7, 2014

fuel leak at transducer

OK, I finally got the correct reducer and was able to plumb the ‘short circuit’ that would let me run the fuel pump and start looking for leaks.  I had a pretty big leak at the bottom of the tank, but I chose not to use any sealant for the temporary connection, so I’m expecting that.  


IMG 3361

Short Circuit of Fuel Supply to Fuel Return Line

What I didn’t expect is no flow at all through the circuit.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zippo. Ничего.  Nothing in the gascolator, no dribble or drainage from the fuel return line at the filler neck in the tank.    Aha!  Open the fuel cut-off valve!  Still nothing.  Wait, there’s something—a leak from the input port of the Red Cube fuel flow transducer.   I shut things down and cleaned up the mess.  When I get back from vacation, I’ll pull the red cube and see if I did something stupid like leave a protective cap inside.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

trial fit of fuel tank

well, I bet you thought I died or something.  No, but I’ve been on vacation and/or working my tail off to catch up on the vacation hours.  Today’s posting isn’t typical: it’s not a page completion but it is a milestone worth commenting on.  I’ve been worried about my fuel lines ever since EAA Tech inspection #2.  The inspector commented that I might have some leaks since I didn’t buff the edges of my flared tubes.  Rather than barging ahead, I’ve been planning on doing some leak testing before I bury the fuel lines in wiring harnesses and flight control linkages.  

Yesterday, I was finally successful in installing the fuel tank.  I couldn’t get the thing in there until I realized that there was a cleco inside the fuselage that was obstructing a good fit.  Clearing that up made all the difference in the world.

The main fuel line was amazingly close to the nipple on the bottom of the tank and was actually “easy” to attach, once I figured out that I had to get under the plane and reach up through the access holes.  (How’s that for a “duh!” moment?)  The fuel return line?  Not so much.  It was at least 1.5” too high and about the same distance too forward.  I cut & re-flared the tube to address the first issue.  I finally had a Light Bulb Moment and loosened up all of the clamps and was able to rotate the aft clamp (which is oriented transversely) and that moved the fuel return line aft very nicely.

Below, you can see the two lines attached to the bottom of the tank.  Up front, I fashioned a couple of quick lines to “short circuit” the fuel circuit, only to discover I had the wrong size reducer.  AN819 reducer’s are specified as the larger size, not the smaller size.  When the proper AN819-6D (to 4D) reducer arrives, I’ll connect the two and put a gallon of gas in the tank and run the pump.  I expect leaks at the tank, since I didn’t use any sealant, as well as at the “short circuit” in the front.  Everywhere else should better be dry!


IMG 0008 2

Fuel Line & Return Line on bottom of Fuel Tank