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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beringer Brake Kit Arrival

A couple of months back I started looking at items that I wanted to delete out of my finishing kit in order to purchase upgraded parts. The wheels, tires, and brakes were on the cut list. I was
planning on purchasing the Matco main wheel kit for the RV10 and probably putting the Beringer nose wheel on.

In early February I came across the following flyer:

I realize that the full Beringer main and nose wheel kits are probably a little over the top for my build, but after speaking to a few people who recently upgraded from the Matco wheel kit to the Beringer, the special offer savings started to look a little more attractive. In late February I bit the bullet, emailed EAA 186 to see if anyone else was planning on using the offer, and when I heard that nobody was I purchased the kit. Beringer US initially quoted that the wheels would come in late March. In early March I received an email that the wheels were going to ship!

The fit and finish on all of the parts looks amazing. This is a really nice setup! The one thing I did not order was the Beringer parking brake. I already had the Matco PVPV-D, and additionally I had already milled a bracket for that parking brake. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Work Weekend

I know this is pretty boring for everyone to watch, but I started to post these in order to record the memories.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Heater bypass valve comparison

One of the complaint I have always read about on the -10 was the VANS heater boxes. Some people complained that they leaked a lot, others complained that they were made of aluminum (too low of a melting point), others complained just to complain.

I will admit, that prior to getting my fuselage (and thus Vans heater boxes) I was not planning on upgrading the boxes. People will complain about anything and heater boxes are pretty simplistic mechanical devices, so I figured the Vans units were just fine.

Then my fuselage arrived and when I inventoried the boxes I had second thoughts. Again, these are pretty simple things, with that said, there is no reason to not have high quality parts here.

On the left is the stainless steel part that I order from Aircraft Spruce (Part # 08-06230) and on the right is the part that Vans ships with the fuselage kit. I may be wrong, but I think the aircraft spruce parts are just the Plane Innovations parts.

You will notice a couple of things. One, the Plane Innovations unit is stainless steel. It has nicely spot welded connections, the larger flat area on the flapper has some stiffening ribs pressed in (which I am sure help a lot with warping when heated), and finally the flapper and door have a 90 degree frame on them that look like they will do a much better job of closing out completely.

All in all I am happy with the Plane Innovation units. I will be installing them! As an added benefit, these things will take a bunch of heat in the unfortunate event of an engine fire. (Image from Plane Innovations).

Fuselage to Tail mating

I think there are two events that are something that I have really been looking forward to. One is the completion of the canopy and doors with the other being the mating of the tail to fuselage. It was finally time to tackle one of those!

We started with getting the tail lined up to the fuselage. Thankfully the tail is pretty light and easy to maneuver. That doesn't mean however that it is not a pain in the butt to get the two to line up so that you can get enough clecos in to have the fuselage support the tail. What seemed to work well for us was to support the tail aft (around where the rudder brackets are) from a line suspended from the ceiling, and then block the forward part of the tail up to a height pretty close to the fuselage height. This allowed for enough movement of the tail to shimmy everything into place.

With the tail and fuse skins clecoed the ribs could be final drilled. The threaded 90 degree drill was a live saver with these holes.

With that done, the fuselage and tail longerons could be drilled and bolted. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fuselage Inventory

With the fuselage safely on the jig and able to move around the shop, now it is time to start unpacking all of the parts! It is February and a little cold, so I brought my screw bins into the house to do the small item inventory.

For the main parts inventory I found myself a little helper. This is really the first time Mack has been able to have a legit job on the plane. She was able to unwrap, call off part numbers, and re-organize all of the components. I think she actually had fun doing it too!

Fuselage Stand

With the fuselage safe and sound in the shop, next up was a jig to support the fuselage so I could begin work on it. Unlike the wing stands, everyone seems to have their own design for the fuselage stand. Not to be outdone, and wanting to get rid of a bunch of scrap aluminum that has been sitting in the shop I decided to make a metal jig leveraging some wheels from a previous project.

I made the uprights that connect to the center section out of 2x2 1/8 6160 24 inches long. The center section had some nice wood blocks already bolted into them, so I used that for my interface.

With a way to connect the center section to my jig, I started welding up a T structure that would support the wheels. The main structure of the jig was a 64" long  2x2 1/8" square tube that falls directly under the center section and connects to the main wheels and the 24" center section up-rights. The structure heading aft is 1x1 1/8" 6 feet long.

After I had the main T structure built up I ended up going back and re-inforcing all of the 1x1 connections with 1x2 angle. The jig was going to have two front wheels directly under the center section and one rear wheel under the tail, so there shouldn't be that many torquing forces on these joints, but with that said, I had this bad vision in my head of this connection failing sending 1x1 up through my fuselage.

The main structure complete:

This was really an after-thought, but I ended up really liking it. I was not exactly sure where I was going to need support under the belly of the fuselage. I was going to start putting cross braces in the main section heading aft, but I had some 5/4"x10" boards around and it just so happened that I built my structure ~9" wide. So I lag bolted the 10" board to the aluminum structure and everything stiffened up really nicely.

From there, I slide the jig under the fuselage and lifted everything into place. After that I added a couple more bolts to secure the uprights to the jig.

Done! I used a lot of material that was just around the shop and I when with a lot of the lengths that I already had sitting around. The height ended up being perfect and if I were to do it again from drawings, I would dimension everything the same way.