Friday, September 25, 2015

Moving Day!

Big Day!  I’ve been planning (worried) about this maneuver from day one.  I knew that the upside of building at home was the convenience and comfort of having the project close at hand, but the downside was getting it out to the airport.  Dale—best friend of 8 years and partner of the Cardinal, Todd—friend from work and owner of the trailer, Dave—new RV-12 builder who met me last month, all came over to help.

Although I had planned on working on the stabilator cable issue and maybe the placards, I ended up not getting any time off from work this week so the plane still has work to be done.  Oh, well.  Moving Day was here!   I started the morning by making dummy spars out of 3/4” plywood.   I also cut 2 pair of chocks.  Todd arrived with the trailer and we put a 2”x12”x8’ plank on his trailer and secured it tightly to the trailer bed.  The chocks were nailed/screwed to the plank.  2’x4” were cut and fashioned into braces against the dummy spars to handle braking loads.  The front wheel was tied to handle acceleration loads.  Dave reminded me to fashion a control lock for the H stab (which had been previously trimmed to Nose Down).  The sticks were taped in full Nose Down by running a length of duct tape from each stick to a rudder pedal that had been pulled as far aft as it would go.  Crude, but effective.   A full 45’ nerve wracking minutes later, we were at hanger C-1 at Delaware Muni Airport.

As mentioned previously, the vert stab & rudder are not attached due to increased susceptibility to side loads and the fact that there are no other systems that are dependent upon their installation.  

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Loaded up, ready to go.


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Half way there.


We unloaded the plane (and 3 cars full of garage stuff) into the hanger and drove back for the wings.  The wing caddy had its wheels removed and was simply bolted down to the trailer bed.  If you look under the spars, you can also see my two work tables on their backs, also held down with a screw through the table top.  This was much less nerve wracking.


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Wings ready to roll.

Alas, nothing is ever perfect.  We had no mishaps with the transportation of either the plane or its wings, but the picture below doesn’t show the fact that the flapperons didn’t connect properly to the fuselage.  I grabbed a quick picture anyway for sentimental reasons and then we removed the wings and put them back in their cradle.  We also discovered that the rope had put a pair of ‘lips’ on the lower surface of each wing where they abut the body.


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looks like an airplane!


The next day I went out and spent a few hours sorting & putting away much of the stuff that got moved.  I do admit to having a tool ‘pile’ rather than a well organized collection, but I got everything else put onto shelves and somewhat organized.  

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90° panoramic shot of C-1

After the unpacking was complete, I tackled the problems discovered on moving day.  Take a close look at the two photos below.

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 Notice the difference?  The slot is offset to the front (left) in the 1st picture and to the rear (right) in the 2nd.  Although I have no memory of removing the F-1214 torque tubes, I must have done so when I performed SB14-12-06. Since I wasn’t thinking about the torque tubes, I had a 50/50 chance of getting it wrong when I put them back.  I expect that when I get an assistant, the wings will go on easily with the flapperons attaching as designed.

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“Lip” from the rope.

The “lips” made from the securing ropes were smoothed out in a jiffy using a seamer that I purchased without ever having had a need for it until this.  Worked like a champ!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Upholstery & Carpet

I purchased the optional interior packages (12 lbs.) and installed it today.    Since I’ll have to pull it off in a day or so, I only used a few screws for the  rear bulkhead.  It took about 3 hours of folding & trimming the carpet and putting down velcro, but Wow! what a difference!  The interior looks very nice as we approach the finish line!

I’m going to be out of service for the next week due to an insane work schedule.  I’m hoping to make myself get up early a couple of days and put in about an hour of work on the plane before heading to the hospital.  Hopefully the cables will arrive tomorrow or Tuesday.  It should take <2 hours to install them. 

Remaining steps include 

  • remove & replace elevator cables
  • rear bulkhead
  • fuel tank
  • placards, 
  • install steps, with anti-skid tape
  • trim 1/8” from inside edges of flaperons
  • re-pitch prop IAW new procedure
  • reattaching the canopy
  • trim canopy to fit against the rear window 
  • sound proofing
  • move to airport
  • sand / fill fairing
  • weight & balance
  • carb sync

I also need to get some plywood and make dummy spars for tying the plane to the trailer and pack up the tools for transport.  Sigh.  This is such a short list compared to everything I’ve done so far, but it doesn’t feel that way.


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Upholstery & Carpeting 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

45A-09 & 45A-10 Audio Levels verified OK

This was an anticlimactic pair of pages.  The process here is to pull the Skyview computer out and remove the screws holding the ignition module in place on the left panel.  This allows you to have access to the potentiometers inside the AV-5000A ‘magic box’ so the various audio levels can be adjusted.  The Book states that the potentiometers are pre-adjusted to such-and-such a value (number of turns), but that I am to fiddle with them to get certain audio characteristics.    Turns out that the factory settings were just right and no adjustments were needed.  Everything got put back.  No photos taken.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

25-06 #2 install rear window (sealed)

I hate paying taxes.  I hate working with ProSeal.  I did both yesterday.  (Taxes have to be paid quarterly according to my accountant.)

As you may recall, I got the rear window placed the other day with the help of my son.  Yesterday, I tackled the final step of using ProSeal to achieve the required isolation from any possible fuel spill which will craze the material.   

I elected to use the large tube of ProSeal that is dispensed with a caulking gun because (1) I had purchased one earlier, not realizing its size and (2) the nozzle would be much better for squirting in between the edge of the window and the turtle deck.  Unfortunately, about 25 % of the way around the window, I realized that I wasn’t getting any material out of the nozzle, no matter how hard I squeezed.  Turns out the internal seal had failed, probably because the tip got gummed up, and all of my ProSeal had leaked around the seal and completely gooped up the piston from my gun.  Since I had already started, I cursed and got creative.  The second photo shows the result:  I used a large exacto knife to slice open the canister, scooped out about 30 ml of ProSeal and put it into a medical syringe.  A quick chop-chop with diagonal cutters removed much of the collar (Luer Lock) from the syringe, and I got back to work.  All in all, not too bad.

If I build another RV-12, here’s how I’ll do this step next time.  Insert window, as per The Book.  Insert all screws and start them (finger tight) with the washer and lock nut.  Apply the electrical tape per The Book, but don’t bother to put cut outs or lifts so you can get to the screw heads.  Squirt the ProSeal.   Have your assistant tighten the nuts from the inside while you hold the screws stationary with a screwdriver applied through the flexible electrical tape.  This will force out all of the extra ProSeal.  Remove the excess with the popsicle stick as per The Book, and remove the tape for clean up.  Remove each nut & screw on the right side, add ProSeal, re-insert and re-tighten.  I think this will cut down on the mess and contamination.


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Rear Window sealed in place


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dissected ProSeal dispenser 

trim position indicator debugged

Getting the trim motor connected wasn’t too bad.  I double and triple and quadruple checked the white wires to ensure that I was trimming in the proper direction. I then used the Product Acceptance Procedure to further verify that all linkages and trim directions were as directed.  I was then disappointed to discover that the trim position indicator wasn’t working.  Rummaging around in the VAF, I found the hidden menu item to do a calibration for the trim position indicator and I thought my problems were solved.  Alas, it was not to be the case.  Running through the calibration screen, the computer dutifully noted that the voltage on the sense pin remained about 5 v the entire range of operation.

Yesterday, I tackled that problem.  The biggest issue is that I am 55 yrs old and have had to wear trifocals for over 20 yrs now.  Sitting on a stool under the tail of the plane requires looking up to see the trim motor and its various wires.  That means that I’m looking through the ‘distance’ portion of my lenses and that everything is hopelessly  out of focus.  Did you recall that I’m 55?  That means I can’t crane my neck back far enough to get the ‘near’ sense to bear.  (BTW, it is possible to order “mechanics” glasses that have the ‘near’ lens ground at both the bottom and the top of the lens.  Unfortunately, they run about $500, and no, you can’t get trifocals in that arrangement.)

Eventually I was able to find a stool of the proper height, an acceptable head angle and sufficiently bright light source that allowed me to find a bent pin that wasn’t making contact.  In the process of trying to strip the wire for a new micro connector, I promptly ruined 2 “ by tearing through the soft insulation.  Sigh.  I soldered an extending replacement, heat shrinked (shrunk) insulation over it and eventually got everything reassembled.

Back to the cockpit, powered up, found the magic screen and did the routine.  This time the voltage on the sensed line obediently changed with position, and viola!, another bug taken care of.  On to the rear windshield!


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functional Trim Position Indicator

Friday, September 4, 2015

stabiliator cable problem update

I called Van’s last Monday and spoke with Gus.  He arrived at the same conclusion that the cables were just too short due to statistical variation and bad luck.  He had not heard of / thought of longer turnbuckles and said there was no reason not to give them a try, so I ordered a pair from Aircraft Spruce.

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MS21251-B5S and -B5L with appropriate locking clips


Unfortunately, as predicted by BigJohn (one of my fellow VAF posters who happens to be an EAA Tech Counselor), they were too long and I can’t get the proper tension on the cables.  (Not to mention being able to adjust them later when I get creep after the cables are in service for a while.)

OK.  Back to plan A.  Just got off the phone with Joe at Van’s and he’s sending me out two new pair of cables.  I’ll leave my current ones in for now and remove/replace in one operation rather than open up the seat ramp twice or leave it open for a week or so.  Joe said I can send the old ones back for credit against my account, and thus don’t have to pay up front for the replacements.  (Good thing—$430 for the pair!)

I briefly looked at whether cutting them (the long turnbuckles) by about 1/2” or so would work.  Probably, but now we’re wandering off into the realm of jerry-rigging and that’s someplace that I don’t to go.