This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
May 20 2016 17.0hrs - 2960.5 total. Day is kind of a blur. Started at about 9:30am
and kept at it till 4:00am on the 21st. Put some ekofill primer on the fiberglass fin
fairing and the antenna mast. Finished sanding the entire airframe. Wiped it down
several times with water to remove all the dust. Removed all the masking.
Vacuumed out the inside. Installed forward door latch. Modified the rolling front
end support with a wider base and new bigger castering wheels. Also cut away
part of its structure to allow the chin cowl and carburetor intake to fit while it was
in place. Made up a frame to support top cowling and chin cowling. Inflated the tail
wheel. Lots of other details that I've lost track of...
May 21 2016 (10.5hrs not counted) 0.0hrs - 2960.5 total. AVIATION DAY 2016 Not counting any of this time, as I wasn't actually
working on the project. Took it out to Fairbanks Aviation Day and put in on display. Guys showed up at 5:30am to help start loading
(gave me about 1 1/2 hrs sleep). We got it in the U-haul along with everything else for the display and headed over to the airport. Got
there about 7:15am and the place was already packed! Had to clear a way through the crowds to carry it in and set it up.
Unfortunately, the display space was about 4ft shorter than promised so I was unable to attach the cowlings. Very disappointing as I
didn't have these available last time and really wanted to have them on there, as they look great and really make it look like a Spitfire.
Still, from the time we got it in the door I had literally non-stop questions. By 1:00pm I realized I hadn't sat down or had anything to
eat or drink since the day before. My throat was sore and I'd gone hoarse from talking non-stop. So if the mission was to show it to
lots of people and generate interest in wooden airplanes, I think it was a success. We loaded it up to leave with people, again literally
following us and asking questions as we carried it out to the truck. Got it home and unloaded by about 4:00pm. Cleaned out and
returned the U-haul, then I took a shower and collapsed! Will take a lot of cleaning up in the shop to get things back to where I can
start working on it again. Expecting to take a break for a few days. For those of you who follow my progress daily, there will be a
short break in my postings until I get the energy to get started again. Several people were taking pictures. I had planned to myself,
but didn't get a chance until we were loading up to go home. As I get photos of the event I'll add them here.
|Photos taken by friends at Aviation Day 2016
|Just before we loaded it up to leave. Tail
surfaces, hatch covers, etc. removed.
|Back home again,
getting ready to cary it
out of the truck.
June 3 2016 (2.0hrs not counted) 0.0hrs - 2960.5 total. Hi Everyone! Well I've gotten enough of the Honey-Do list done (planting
bushes, putting in landscaping bricks,etc) that I can get started working on the Spit again, without too much guilt. Just posted some
more photos from Aviation Day - the new ones have the yellow date stamp on them. Spent about 2 hours cleaning up the shop, hanging
the engine cowlings up on the wall and putting all the hatch covers,clamps, blocking, books, tools etc. back in their places. The
fuselage is basically sitting on the workbench now and I need to figure out how I can reach all the surfaces for final paint prep and
painting. I'm thinking about building some sort of a jig that will allow the fuselage to be rolled over easily so its not a major production
involving multiple people to get to the belly.
June 20 2016 1.5hrs - 2962.0 total. Put some milk crates with a blanket for padding under the front end of the fuselage to raise it off
the forward workbench support. Removed forward support from the workbench. Sanded back forward edges of fuselage skin to be
flush with the firewall. Did this so I could clamp a piece of plywood to the front of the firewall as a base for some type of roller pivot
point. Started laying out how this will be set up.
June 24 2016 3.0hrs - 2965.0 total. Did some research on-line and decided to use an engine stand for the pivot mechanism. Went and
picked one up and put it together (without the wheels). Marked and cut the 3/4" ply piece that will clamp to the front of the firewall.
Started laying out how to attach it to the pivot base.
June 26 2016 2.5hrs - 2967.5 total. Continued working on the pivot base that will get clamped to the firewall. Its almost done, but
need a couple more large washers.
June 27 2016 2.5hrs - 2970.0 total. Picked up some washers, finished mounting pivot base to clamp plate. Clamped in place on
firewall. Set up some sawhorses and plywood to extend the table then got some help and rolled the fuselage backwards onto the
sawhorses and got the engine stand up onto the workbench and the pivot base fitted into it. The tail sits a little lower than the stand
wants, so I'll probably end up shimming the stand a bit when I bolt it to the bench.
July 2 2016 3.0hrs - 2973.0 total. Adjusted the position of the engine stand then shimmed, clamped and strapped it to the bench top.
Attached some vertical members to the tail end of the bench, clamped on some bracing and used it as a frame to hold large cargo strap
like a sling to lift up the tail. This, along with the rotating engine stand, make it pretty easy for one person to roll the fuselage 360
degrees. The only issue is that the strap is in the way. Will need to work out how to support the tail end so the strap can be removed
July 3 2016 1.5hrs - 2974.5 total. Set up a couple of jack stands and some blocking and padding under the aft part of the fuselage and
removed the strap sling. Now have full access to the bottom of the fuselage and both sides of the horiz stab. Sanded on the belly a little
by hand. Looks like I might need another coat of green primer in some spots.
July 6 2016 2.5hrs - 2977.0 total. Sanded the entire bottom of the fuselage. Also sanded the fairing on the bottom of the SB horiz
stab. I'm planning to put at least one more heavy coat of the green sealer on the belly.
July 10 2016 2.0hrs - 2979.0 total. Borrowed a compressor so I can get the primer applied to the belly and bottom of the horiz stab.
Final sanded the bottom of both horiz stabs - they were pretty rough as I had always had to sand them before from below. Got them
all cleaned up and hand sanded lower port fairing. Masked off areas in prep for applying sealer and fiberglass. Got everything out and
setup and for sealer. Got out fiberglass to cut to shape - and I don't have enough! Could maybe patch together enough scraps to do
one side, but not both. Will order some more fiberglass tomorrow.
July 30 2016 2.5hrs - 2981.5 total. Was on vacation out of state for the last couple of weeks. Should be able to get back to work on
the project fairly regularly again now. Fiberglass arrived before I left. Also bought a big compressor at a garage sale, so I won't have to
try to borrow one when I need it. Laid out and cut fiberglass for bottom of both stabs. Mixed up several batches of green primer and
applied fiberglass and primer to bottom of both stabs. Also put a thick coat of primer over the existing primer on most of the bottom of
August 17 2016 2.5hrs - 2984.0 total. Trimmed off excess fiberglass from edges of stab. Hand sanded the bottom SB fairing. Hand
sanded entire belly with 240 then 400 grit paper. Sanded leading edge of SB stab. Still need to finish SB and do all of port bottom stab.
September 6 2016 1.0hrs - 2985.0 total. Finished sanding bottom of SB horiz stab. Messed around with sanding the white primer that
was sprayed on the fuselage back in May. Its all orange peeled and will need to be sanded down fairly aggressively and then will need
another coat - at least.
September 7 2016 2.0hrs - 2987.0 total. Hand sanded lower port horiz stab fairing and stab leading edge. Used orbital sander to finish
sanding all of underside of port horiz stab. Sanded all of belly area where 2nd coat of sealer was applied back in July. Also sanded most
of the white primer area on SB side. Am ready to apply white primer to belly and bottom of horiz stab. Will need to hang up some
plastic sheeting to make a paint booth, and work with the primer and paint gun on some practice areas before trying on the airframe.
September 8 2016 1.0hrs - 2988.0 total. Went and bought some plastic sheeting. Stapled it up to the ceiling all around the fuselage
forming a sort of paint booth. Not planning to ventilate it. Will see how that works out...
Started trying to come up with a pivot
support to make it easier to get to the belly.
|Engine stand without the wheels.
|Laying out to attach plywood
piece to rotating base.
|Pivot base trial fit to large
|Engine stand on bench top
and pivot base in place.
|Fuselage rotated onto port side
on engine stand and strap sling.
|Bottom of stab ready to be primed.
|Bottom of both stabs covered
with fiberglass and primer.
|Extra coat of primer over
most of bottom of fuselage.
|Bottom of SB stab. Fiberglass
trimmed back, starting to sand.
|Bottom of both sides of horiz stab
sanded and ready for white primer.
|Plastic sheeting hung up for
makeshift paint booth.
September 9 2016 1.5hrs - 2989.5 total. Picked up some larger (3/8") air fittings and replaced all the smaller (1/4") fittings on the
compressor, air gun, hose and silica dryer. Got one of the genders wrong. Will need to exchange it at the store to get them all set up
September 10 2016 1.0hrs - 2990.5 total. Went and exchanged last fitting and installed on compressor. Hooked up all the pieces
including paint gun and fired up compressor to see if all the new fitting were air tight. Tested setting airflow on paint gun and
pressure valve was leaking quite a bit. Took it over th the paint shop where I bought it. They said the valve was bad and gave me a
new one. Haven't hooked it up to try out yet. Also picked up some tack cloths designed for water based systems.
October 9 2016 3.0hrs - 2993.5 total. Have had serious "builders block" recently. The prospect of painting at this point has been the
problem. Finally determined that this isn't the right time for it. Pulled down the plastic sheeting. Put away the paint supplies. Moved
the big compressor out of the way. Turned the fuselage back upright. Still need to move it forward some more on the workbench
and remove it from the rotating engine stand. Have spent several hours over the last month researching how to form plexiglass with
heat. Am planning to start working on the windscreen, canopy and fuel tank next. Also got some great photos from Steve showing a
prototype for a gear selector from a friend who may be willing to make several for use by Tally-Ho builders. Its 80% scale and looks
October 10 2016 2.5hrs - 2996.0 total. Got the fuselage moved onto a forward brace on the workbench and sitting on the tailwheel.
Removed the rotating engine stand and pivot base that was clamped to the firewall. Cleaned up all the extra bracing and blocking from
workbench. Ready to start making some progress again! Talked with Steve on the phone briefly about potentially getting the wing
ribs CNC cut soon. Also sent an e-mail to the engine guys to start planning for getting the engine put together.
October 13 2016 2.5hrs - 2998.5 total. Have been studying the plans for the canopy. Dug out the large template sheet and rough cut
out the paper canopy templates. Glued the windscreen frame template onto some 1/4"mdf and cut and sanded to shape. Glued the
front windscreen template onto cardboard and cut to shape. Found that I'm missing the SB windscreen frame base. Cut out and
traced pattern onto .090 steel. Trial fit the windscreen templates onto the fuselage.
October 15 2016 7.5hrs - 3006.0 total. Bought a piece of 1/4" 4130 steel tubing for the windscreen frame and dropped of with the
machinist yesterday along with the template for him to bend to shape. Picked it up today. Cut out, ground to shape and formed the
SB windscreen base. Located, marked and clamped in place. Made up a couple of 75 degree templates from MDF then started trial
fitting and grinding material off the ends of the frame tubing. Got it to final size. Removed port windscreen base and clamped it and
the SB one onto the tubing with the MDF templates. They are basically jigged up for welding now. Also bought some more 1/4"
MDF to make up the canopy templates.
October 16 2016 5.5hrs - 3011.5 total. Made up the 2 small plates that are welded to the inside of the windscreen frame and base.
The jig pieces I made up yesterday, and held in place with all the clamps just wasn't going to work to keep things aligned well enough
to take it out to the welders shop, so made up a new, much more substantial welding jig. Went ahead and marked and drilled the steel
SB frame base. Also pilot drilled holes in SB canopy rail. Had to re-bend the frame tubing a little and grind down the angle of the end
of the tubing to get a better fit. All seats together in the jig very nicely now.
October 17 2016 2.0hrs - 3013.5 total. Talked with Steve some more today and discussed the type of wood to use on the wing spar
as well as planning to order the plywood for the wing ribs. Dropped off the windscreen rail at the welder, he tack welded it, I brought
it home and verified it fit, then took it back. He will get it welded up in the next day or two. Trimmed the paper canopy templates a
little closer then glued them to the 1/4" MDF board. Rough cut with jigsaw, then sanded down to final shape. One piece still needs to
be sanded down.
|Replaced smaller air fittings with larger
to allow better CFM flow at paint gun.
|Prototype gear selector
from a friend of Steve's
|Pattern for SB windscreen
frame base transferred to steel.
|Trial fit pattern pieces on fuselage.
|Windscreen bases and frame
tubing clamped to welding jigs.
|Two guides plates ready
to be welded in place.
|New and improved welding jig
for windscreen frame and bases.