|This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
May 11 2017 2.5hrs - 3235.5 total. Clecoed windscreen frame and plexi in place to check size of front fairing. It just looks
too large. Compared to photos of MKI and MKV full sized aircraft and decided to trim it down a bit. Marked and sanded back
about 3/16" from top of fairing. Had some stress for a while when it looked like the top wasn't level with the horizontal plane
of the aircraft - till I strapped a level across the longerons and confirmed that the SB side was sitting a few degrees low. Set up
a jack and level fuselage, then checked the top of the fairing again, and it was fine. Still need to be final shaped a bit more, but
looks much better with the smaller profile.
May 13 2017 4.5hrs - 3240.0 total. Re-leveled fuselage again, marked and final shaped top edge of windscreen fairing. Drilled
holes in fairing as needed for attaching to frame and forward lexan piece. Drilled all holes in lexan, enlarged and chamfered.
Drilled a couple missing holes on inner frame section. Drilled holes around lower sides of frame on each side. Clamped
windscreen frame in place on fuselage and marked where to cut out top skin. Rough cut skin, then marked and sanded back to
final shape. Started laying out for the two braces that go from canopy rail diagonally under top skin to top of instrument panel
|Researching the correct
size of the front fairing.
|After cutting the front fairing down a bit.
|Still need to trim port side
down a little more.
|Fairing finished, all holes
drilled in front frame area.
|Top fuselage skin trimmed
back under windscreen frame.
|Received replica flap lever today,
(5/13) photo shows original in place.
May 14 2017 3.5hrs - 3243.5 total. Sanded fuselage skin flush on forward side of instrument panel bulkhead. Also sanded
down skin where it extended above fuel tank rails, brining it flush. Spent about an hour going over the plans and photos to
determine how fuel tank cover fits. Made up aluminum bracket from angle extrusion stock to go all across forward side of
instrument panel bulkhead to support fuel take cover skin. Dug out .032 sheet metal skin piece and trial fit.
May 15 2017 1.5hrs - 3245.0 total. Measured, marked and clamped fuel tank cover in position on fuselage. Firewall is slightly
larger than fuselage just forward of windscreen so fitting this skin piece is a bit of a challenge. Researched how this piece is
held in place. Not clearly indicated in the plans, but found some photos that showed 3/16" nut plates along bottom edge.
|Trial fitting skin support bracket.
|Skin sanded flush with top of rails.
|Trial fitting fuel tank cover.
May 21 2017 1.0hrs - 3246.0 total. Cleaned up the garage and put everything back after the display yesterday. Dug out the ribs for
the forward fuselage that I had made earlier. Trial fit ribs, marked, and sanded down contact areas.
May 22 2017 1.5hrs - 3247.5 total. Finished fitting forward SB ribs. Ready to be glued in. Traced the SB ribs onto paper to use as
forms for port side ribs. Started working on those. Air Speed Indicator arrived today - scary numbers!
May 25 2017 2.0hrs - 3249.5 total. Glued in the forward ribs on the SB side. Received the vertical speed indicator and the starter
switch today! Tested the switch with a multi-meter and it works perfectly.
May 27 2017 7.0hrs - 3256.5 total. Managed to spend a lot of time working on the project today! Used the hand held belt sander and
ground down the inside of some of the SB ribs so they are flush with the longerons. Climbed inside the fuselage and spent two hours
sanding down the new ribs and inside surface of the skin around them. This inside skin surface never got its second coat of sealer so
this was to prep for that. Cut out templates for port ribs. Traced onto 1/2" ply, cut out, and shaped to fit. Used 5 min epoxy to glue
two 1/2" ribs together to make 1" X 1" ribs as called for at center of each side. Final shaped port ribs and glued them in place.
|Some photos of the process of loading up the fuselage and all the associated pieces and parts.
May 19 & 20 2017 - Fairbanks Aviation Day. Put the Spit on display in a friends hangar as there was no room for indoor
display in the regular venue. A bus tour of the airport, as part of the days events, stopped by a few times and a few people
came in and saw it. Certainly not worth the time, trouble and money it took to get it moved over there. Also, the move caused
some minor damage to the finished skin in a couple areas that I'll need to fill and re-prime. Overall not something I plan to do
again. It did give me the opportunity to put all the pieces together and get a couple of photos of it.
|Trial fitting forward ribs on SB side.
|Contact surfaces sanded down.
Trial fitting the ribs again.
|Traced SB side ribs to make
patterns for port side.
|ASI arrived today. 300MPH!
|Forward SB ribs glued in place.
|VSI (6000FPM!) and starter switch
arrived. Switch is an original Spitfire
starter switch from "new spare" stock.
|Forward SB ribs after glue and inside skin
sanded down, ready for 2nd coat of sealer.
|Prepped forward port side for ribs.
|Trial fitting port forward ribs.
|Port forward ribs glued in place.
May 28 2017 2.0hrs - 3257.5 total. Sanded down glue joints on port side ribs. Applied 2nd coat of epoxy on port ribs and SB side
ribs as well as interior skin on SB side.
May 29 2017 3.5hrs - 3261.0 total. Sanded down areas inside cockpit where remaining ribs need to be installed - 2 on the SB side
and 1 on the port. Made up 1 small rib for each side and started making laminates for large rib on SB side.
June 2 2017 3.0hrs - 3264.0 total. Glued in small ribs on port and SB side. Glued in 8 laminates of the bottom portion of the large
June 16 2017 5.5hrs - 3269.5 total. Sanded down sides of lower section of laminated rib, and other small ribs just glued in. Also
inside surfaces of skin and glue joints inside cockpit that were not finished before. Made up laminates for middle and upper section of
SB laminated rib. Dry fit pieces and set up clamping rig. Mixed up some thin epoxy and sealed all surfaces on inside of cockpit that
was just sanded. Glued in center and upper laminates for rib on SB side. Ordered Turn and Bank indicator toady. Received chassis
position indicator last week. Also spent some time researching landing gear. I'm hoping to find something that I can adapt rather
than having to have it built from scratch. The main gear from a Navion look promising, but I'll need to take some measurements and
do some comparisons.
|Taped the blind flying panel and
the flap switch onto the instrument
panel to see how it will look.
|Trial fitting port side rib.
|Small SB rib dry fit, starting on
large laminated SB rib.
|Dry fitting 8 layers of laminates
for lower portion of large rib.
|Small SB rib glued in, 1st set of
laminates glued in on large SB rib.
|Made up laminates for SB rib upper and mid section
|Dry fitting upper and
middle section laminates.
|Received replica chassis position indicator
|Laminates being glued in place.
June 17 2017 4.0hrs - 3273.5 total. Removed clamps from yesterday's glue job. Sanded down all surfaces of
laminates, upper, middle and lower. Also sanded and prepped other contact areas for last laminate. Made up last
laminate piece and glued in place. Put 1st coat of paint on forward inside skin section and ribs, as well as port inside of
June 18 2017 2.5hrs - 3276.0 total. Had to get up at 4:00am to pull the staples out of the laminate to be sure they didn't
get stuck in there. Applied 2nd coat of paint to area covered with first coat yesterday. Started sanding down last
June 19 2017 1.0hrs - 3277.0 total. Finished sanding down last laminate glue joint. Filled in the staple holes with left
over thickened epoxy I had stored in the freezer. Hadn't tried it before, but it works! Started to layout and plan for
supporting stringers that go under skin just under the windscreen.
June 24 2017 2.5hrs - 3279.5 total. Final sanded the long laminate and inside skin surfaces of SB cockpit for final coat
of sealer. Applied coat of sealer to these areas. Decide on how I'll install the reinforcement stringers under the skin
section under the windscreen. Marked some reference points on the skin. Made up a paper template for the stringers.
Cut out one, sanded to shape - its a pretty complex shape! Rough cut second one.
June 25 2017 3.5hrs - 3283.0 total. Put two coats of paint on laminate and area that was sealed yesterday, plus touched
up some other ares. Final shaped both under windscreen supports. Marked contact areas on bottom of skin. Sanded
entire inside skin surface and cleaned up glue joints on upper rail from when this skin piece was glued on. Ground back
edges of skin where it curves down to the top rail to create a smooth transition. Dry fit finished parts and marked areas
June 28 2017 2.0hrs - 3285.0 total. Glued in support braces.
|Last SB laminate being dry fit, then glued in place.
|Port side of cockpit
|Forward section of fuselage
|Starting on the support
stringers under the windscreen.
|Final coat of sealer on SB
side of cockpit.
|Received the turn and
|2nd coat of paint on SB
inside of cockpit.
|Support stringers glued in place.