This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
October 17 2014 1.0hrs - 2151.5 total. Started sanding down surfaces where the fiber lock nut plates will go. Cleaned up the
surfaces where the brackets will go, leaving the newly created molded areas that act as the bed/platform for them. Reamed out
the bolt holes slightly to make it possible to slide the bolts in an out without having to use a wrench or hammer.
October 19 2014 5.5hrs - 2157.0 total. Mounted fiber lock nut plates with small brass screws. Coated brackets and bolts
with mold release then coated all surfaces, including inside the bolt holes with epoxy. Bolted brackets in place using nut plates
till glue dries to insure proper alignment. Used extra sealer to seal most of the bottom longeron. Marked and drilled the cover
for the port access panel. Trial fit then sealed holes. Started working on the metal door covering the access panel behind the
pilots seat. Waited a couple hours till glue was partially set then backed out bolts and removed brackets till glue cures.
|Nut plates being glued in place.
|Port access panel cover - dry fit.
|Pilots seat back access panel cover
cut to size, marking for latch cutout.
October 25 2014 6.0hrs - 2163.0 total. Temp installed tail wheel strut and bungee oleo. Attach bracket for oleo is supposed to go
on the downside of the bulkhead, but its a little to close and allows the bungee to rub when the strut is fully compressed. Made up
some blocking and bracing to move the oleo bracket forward and on top of the BH joint plate. Made up small piece of oak hardwood
backing for where the nut plate will go. The brace is made of two pieces of plywood so glued them together as well as glued
hardwood backing plate in place. Didn't glue this piece into fuselage yet as I want to be able to drill the bolt hole on the drill press,
Glued blocking piece in place on downside of BH. Cut out material to allow placement of latch in pilot's seat back hatch cover.
Ground, filed and sanded the cutout to shape. Placed and drilled mounting holes for latch. Flush riveted latch mechanism in place on
hatch cover. Cut piece of piano hinge for hatch cover. Started fitting it in BH slot.
October 26 2014 1.0hrs - 2164.0 total. Finished trimming hinge to fit in BH slot. Started making up small blocking strips to support
hinge in slot. Sanded down tail wheel oleo strut brace and did some more dry fitting of the bracket.
November 7 2014 1.0hrs - 2165.0 total. Continued fitting oleo strut brace. Drilled hole for bolt and dry mounted nut plate. Still
doesn't sit quite flat.
November 8 2014 5.5hrs - 2170.5 total. Finished prepping area for bracket to sit. Cover bracket, bolts and end of oleo strut with
mold release. Applied sealer and thickened epoxy to area for bracket and brace. Glued in brace, glued and screwed on nut plate,
positioned bracket on end of oleo strut and pressed into thickened epoxy. Will wait for it to harden a little then pull bracket and bolt
out to let cure. While that was drying made up wood strips to act as base for hinge on pilots hatch. Glued the strips together that will
go onto the pilots BH. Drilled, counter sunk, primed contact areas, and flush riveted the hinge onto the pilot's hatch cover.
|Pilots seat back hatch cover
with latch riveted in place.
|Blocking and brace to move oleo
bracket up and forward. Block glued in.
Brace and metal bracket being dry fit.
Hinge flush riveted in place.
Brace being glued in place.
Thickened epoxy bed being
formed around bracket with
mold release applied.
November 9 2014 1.0hrs - 2171.5 total. Knocked bracket out of glue bed and gleaned off extra glue on bracket. Cleaned up glue
joint on wood strips and cut to length for hinge base on pilot's BH. Sanded contact areas on BH where glue will go. Dry fit the
strips in place. Ready to be glued in.
November 16 2014 3.0hrs - 2174.5 total. Sanded all surfaces on and around the block and brace in prep for final coat of sealer.
Drilled bolt hole vertically down through bracket, blocking piece and longeron. Drilled and counter sunk holes in hatch cover hinge.
Cleaned up, sanded and primed holes in hinge and hinge joint itself.
|Lightening holes drilled. Final
coat of sealer over all.
|Strips that will form base for
hatch hinge, being glued in place.
November 22 2014 4.0hrs - 2178.5 total. Marked and drilled lightening holes in blocking and brace
for tail wheel strut oleo. Prepped a long 1/4 bolt with mold release along with bracket. Put coat of
sealer over all surfaces on blocking ad brace piece including inside lightening holes and bolt hole.
Seated bracket and long 1/4" bolt in place. Will allow to set up partially then remove bolt and bracket
for final cure. Glued strips in place for pilots seat-back hatch hinge plate. No way to clamp easily so
tacked in place with nails. These will also need to be removed before the glue sets up completely.
Was looking at the overall aircraft and noticed the tip of the SB horiz stab seemed to be much lower
than the port. Started measuring and found it to be almost 3" closer to the garage floor than the port
side! This is Fairbanks, and the floor in the garage does move around a little and is far from level,
but usually not that much! Checked level on the worktable and found SB a little lower. Jacked it up
and bolted in place, but SB stab still almost 2" low. Checked overall level, and somehow the entire
fuselage had slipped about 1/2" low on the SB side at the firewall, where its braced up and clamped
in place. All I can figure is that it must have moved one of the times I climbed in and out, or if I
was leaning on it for some reason. Anyway - re-levelled everything and checked horz stab is still
level when vert stab is exactly vertical. So its just that the whole fuselage had rolled to SB a bit.
The problem is that I used a level to align the tail wheel strut to vertical when I installed it. Got a
piece of string, made temp plumb bob, and...yikes! Tail wheel strut is pretty far off from vertical!
December 8 2014 3.0hrs - 2181.5 total. Unbolted strut brackets. Sanded down epoxy beds to
create flat surface on back side of BH to allow the brackets to be repositioned. Removed nut plates
that had been screwed and glued in place on front side of BH.
I'd read that you could remove screws and other metal parts that had bee epoxied in place by
applying a soldering iron, but I'd never tried it. It works!
Aligned strut with centerline of fuselage and vertical in relation to the fin post. Took a long time to
convince myself that it was as far off as it was. Aside from the strut being canted, it was also off
center by about 1/4". Got it all aligned and centered and clamped in place. Will need to drill the new
December 9 2014 1.5hrs - 2183.0 total. Drilled new holes in BH. Removed strut and brackets and
sanded front and back of BH in preparation for backfilling the holes with epoxy. Ground down port
inside of BH to prevent strut from rubbing in its new position.
December 27 2014 4.0hrs - 2187.0 total. Prepped all metal pieces with mold release. Filled bolt
holes with thickened epoxy and created bed of thickened epoxy on down side of BH. Inserted bolts
through epoxy and bolted strut into place using large washers on upside of BH to hold epoxy in the
holes till it set a little. Waited about 4 hours till epoxy was stiff yet slightly rubbery and removed
strut, bolts and washers. Re-inserted bolts to insure inside of bolt holes cure up with correct shape.
Also re-sealed small wood strip in pilots BH for hinge plate. Dripped some thin epoxy into screw
holes and ran in screws. Waited till it was partially setup and removed screws.
December 28 2014 6.5hrs - 2193.5 total. Applied two coats of paint to hinge plate and surrounding
area. Painted hatch cover. Also put two coats on internal skin surfaces on forward SB side that I
never got around to painting before. Sanded up side of taillwheel bulkhead to prep for nut plates.
Sanded down side of same BH to prep for final coat of sealer. Drilled holes for nut plate screws.
Applied heavy coat of sealer to both side of BH and mounted strut brackets with nut plates. Glued
and screwed nut plates into place. Used extra sealer on down side of rudder post, which for some
reason I had not done yet. Still had some extra sealer so finished sealing forward portion of bottom
|Much better! Centered
|After re-aligning, you can
see how far off it was.
|New holes drilled, ready for epoxy fill.
Had to trim BH on the left to prevent
rubbing on strut with it so far over.
|Brackets removed, bolts loosely in place,
waiting for epoxy fill to cure. Note the
nice bed created for the brackets.
|Upside of BH. Can see epoxy fill in
holes and where washers were.
This will be sanded down before
nut plates are re-installed.
Hinge plate for pilots seat back
hatch finished, ready for paint.
|Nut plates re-installed in new positions.
|Hatch in pilots seat BH - finished except for the metal striker plate that will engage the latch.
|This shows the areas of the inside of the
SB skin that was just painted today.
December 30 2014 4.0hrs - 2197.5 total. Measured and cut out a piece of .040 steel to make hatch strike plate. Ground to shape, wire brushed, then marked, drilled, and counter sunk mounting holes. Ground recess into
front surface of BH to receive metal strike plate. Drilled holes for mounting screws in BH. Temp installed plate with CS screws then ground down the ends where the screws protruded out the back side of the BH. Sanded all
around the strike plate location and prepped for glue. Sealed then applied thickened epoxy to hatch strike plate location including through the screw holes. Mounted plate on thickened epoxy bed and also over front surface as
well as screws. Sanded down the area on the rudder post I glued yesterday and applied a second coat of epoxy.
December 31 2014 2.5hrs - 2200.0 total. Sanded down glue on hatch strike plate. Also had to remove some glue and wood from the back of the plate to get the latch to seat completely. Got it all sanded down and cleaned
up then applied two coats of paint. Pilots seat back hatch is now completed. Started looking at what to do next. In order to skin the back part of the fuselage, I need to basically finish all the internal components in this area
as much as possible. This means installing the control cables and the wiring for the trim tabs and rudder light - or least the conduit for the wiring. Got out the rudder and attached the control horn then temp mounted the
rudder in place. Determined where the rudder cables will exit the fuselage and cut a hole in the port skin for the control cable to pass through. Spent some time looking at options for locating the conduit for the rudder trim
tab and tail light .