Thursday, July 6, 2017

Initial Cabin Top Fitting

My father was around for fathers day and I had the day off. What better way to spend it than taking the cabin top down from the ceiling and getting its initial fitup done! I am happy to say that with a fair bit of sanding and cutting everything fits perfectly. I know everyone has horror stories of dealing with fiberglass, but I found it to cut like butter with the right tools (25K 3M cutoff disks) and a dust mask.


I need to actually do the write up here, but I was finally able to do the final assembly on the rudder pedals / brakes!  Attached are some images of the progress.

Rod end bushings:

Drilling the bearing blocks

Drilling the center bearing block

Cutting the center bearing block

Monday, April 17, 2017

Step clean-up and paint

The steps are pretty straight forward. Most people tend to recommend step bushings, others hate them and tell you there is no need. I began by cleaning up the welds on the steps. A lot of the Vans welded pieces look really great, my steps look like a 9th grade welding research project. I ground down a bunch of the excess metal and TIG welded a couple of areas that I was not happy with. From there I hit the steps with red scotchbrite on my 3 inch 90 degree grinder.

I took the primer that was on the steps down to give my paint/primer a little tooth.

I was wondering what to do in terms of paint, but then in my gun room found an extra can of duracoat paint/hardener. I have been pretty dang happy with duracoat on guns, so why not paint my steps in them. This is probably way overkill, but it is a really good coating that should stick up to the abuse that they are going to take. On top of it, Tactical Extreme Grey is going to match my paint scheme well!

Finished step.

Inserting the TCW step bushing (yes, I did put a loop of 550 cord around this before tapping them down the tube. To my surprise both of the bushings lined up perfectly with the hole and neither needed any clocking post install [I am not sure how that happened]).


 I intend to install the Aerosport center console and Andair fuel valve so one of the obvious "upgrades" is providing side access to the tunnel near the fuel boost pump so that I don't have to dissassemble half of the plane to inspect or change the fuel filter. At this stage, this is a pretty easy task and I am glad I did it now rather than at my first annual. I feel pretty bad about the fact that I purchased this access plate cover. This is the access plate from airward. I thought it was a great idea because everything was set and ready to go, no measuring (in theory). I say in theory, but I ended up with one of the plates where the rivet holes do not match the rivet holes in the floor pan. So I ended up offsetting the backing plate and match drilling new holes. Given that, I would not recommend the cost of purchasing a plate from airward. Sorry airward.

Finding the location / offset

Marking and cutting

I drilled the corner holes with a step drill and then used my Sioux mini reciprocating saw to cut the straight lines. From there a little touchup with a disc sander and everything was ready to be riveted.

Installed and ready to go! Too easy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

SB08-6-1 (Part 1)

One of the things I have been dreading is applying the SB08-6-1 service bulletin. There are a lot of rivets to remove, and to make it worse most of those rivets are in the longerons or the bulkhead angle

I started with center punching and drilling all of the deck rivets.

Using an angle drill I drilled the 8 rivets connecting the aft deck to the F-1009 bulkhead. These did not turn out as nice as I wanted and I will end up enlarging the holes for some larger -5 rivets.

With the aft deck up, I filed down the rivets to flush with the Longerons and then used a punch to knock the remaining part of the rivet out of the longerons.

From there I tackled the F-1010 bulkhead. The service bulletin called for drilling out the outer most two rivets in order to put the doublers in.

After removing the two outer rivets I decided to remove all of the rivets from the horizontal stablizer attachment angle in order to properly clean up the angle and rivet holes.

That is it for the dis-assembly. All of the rivets are not removed and I can start adding the doublers and putting things back together.

The disassembly was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. That is probably because I had a great helper today!

Parking Brake

I installed the parking brake today. Nothing too big to note, a lot of people have already covered installing the PVPV-D, so enjoy the photo:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Final tail to fuselage mating

I spent the last couple of days cleaning the shop and getting parts organized (something that piled up on me). Today I felt it was time to get things on the plane itself moving. Over the last couple of nights I got all of the priming, deburring, and dimpling on both the tail and mid-fuse skins and bulkheads done. Everything was set to bring the tail and fuselage back together for riveting!

The last photo before the two parts permanently become one (hopefully for a long time!)

Christie was at the movies with Mackenzie and I could not wait to get things moving so I fumbled around for 45 minutes and finally got the two assemblies lined up.

I clecoed everything up and triple checked the skin alignments. I noticed when I was taking the tail off of the fuselage on initial fit-up that one of the mid-fuse bottom skins got under the tail skin and it should be the other way around. So make sure to double check all the corners of the skin fit ups.

I set the side skin rivets and then skipped forward a couple of steps to rivet some of the ribs. I am going to need someone inside of the plane laying on the ribs in order to help buck, so I felt it was better to stiffen up some of the ribs before putting weight on them.

Just another day of riveting.