|This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
December 18 2017 2.0hrs - 3353.5 total. Still trying to figure out what type of
vibration dampener/standoffs to use for the blind flying panel. Decided to trial fit
the standoffs with the instruments in there. Drilled all instrument mounting holes
into the blind flying panel. Trial fit the four instruments I have. Installed the three
standoffs I have and discovered I didn't come close to allowing enough room for
the instruments in the flying panel to clear the main panel. Turns out the bases on
the instruments are pretty large and thick and protrude much further into the main
panel space than I had thought. I can enlarge the main panel hole further, but it will
be much easier to see the gap from the side. May need to make a new blind flying
panel that is a little larger around the edges. I made this one very small to allow as
much additional space on the main panel as possible for other instruments.
December 26 2017 4.0hrs - 3357.5 total. Marked around edges of instruments onto main panel, removed flying panel, and cut out
marked areas on main panel. Covered all edges - internal and outer - on the main panel with electrical tape to allow me to trial fit the
flying panel with instruments, as well as the main panel into the fuselage, without risk of scratching everything up. New cutout area
allows instruments to clear fairly well now, but the flying panel does sag a bit on the three standoffs. At this point I'm planning to add a
few more standoffs and mount them onto the flying panel with countersunk screws, so that they won't show. The three primary
standoffs will still have large visible bolt heads so it will still look like an original.
Spent about an hour messing with the flap lever I purchased on-line, trying to figure out the best way to hook up some micro-switches
to it so that it can activate the flap motor. The original had a big plunger that passed back through the panel and acted as a valve for the
flap system. I'll end up drilling a hole or two through the base, hidden behind the lever, and using same type of push rod or lever to
pass through the panel and activate the micro-switches.
Also, as promised, I opened the package containing the throttle quadrant that I had under the Christmas tree!! I've spent several hours
fiddling with it, partially disassembling it and making vroom-vroom noises while moving the throttle lever. Did some "creative
clamping" and temporarily clamped it into place in the fuselage to see how it would look and to allow better hangar flying. The
workmanship and craftsmanship that are evident in this unit are just amazing. I only hope I can bring my project up to a high enough
standard that it won't stand out as much as it does now as so much higher quality than my work!
January 5 2018 5.0hrs - 3362.5 total. Tried to take a few days off over the last two weeks, but things kept propping up at work, so
only managed to finally get today off. Over the last two weeks I did spend a few minutes here and there looking at the plans, taking
measurements, and ordering some screws, washers, etc. I've been worried that the masking tape I put on the inside and outside
surfaces of the windscreen plexi might harden or be difficult to remove if I left it on too long. Kept hearing stories about that
happening. Pulled the windscreen out of storage and pulled the fiberglass frame off the outside of the plexi. That butal tape is a LOT of
work to remove! Peeled all the masking tape and other tapes I had on both surfaces and wrapped the whole thing in several layers of
plastic cling wrap. Pulled the instrument panel and started planning for placement of the starter button and other switches below the
flying panel and how to add a brace to BH-8 that won't interfere with them.
January 6 2018 4.5hrs - 3367.0 total. Made up bevelled strips to go on top of fuel tank rails as called out in plans. Reinforces the rail
as well as making the top surface level, rather than canted inwards. Sanded down top of rail and prepped for glue batch. Mixed up thin
epoxy, finished gluing in last four nut plates for fuel tank cover. Covered all surfaces of bevelled strips with thin epoxy as well as
contact areas on top fuel tank rails. Mixed up thickened epoxy and glued bevelled strips in place.
January 7 2018 0.5hrs - 3367.5 total. Sanded down the strips that were glued in yesterday. Spent about 3 hours - not counted toward
build - trying to determine what I can do next. I'm in a real bind as I don't have the space to build the spar or wing until I extend my
garage, one way or another. Also, many of the parts I need now either need to be purchased, or contracted out, as I don't have enough
experience welding to trust anything I could make. I'm thinking of making the fuel tank out of fiberglass rather than aluminum, because
I'm at least competent in that medium. Trying to decide if I should try to get a set of rudder pedals custom casted, or just have them
welded up on a fab shop - even though they won't be quite right. So between the rudder pedals and their assemblies, the fuel tank, and
the instrument panel, it involves a lot of buying parts and contracting out work. One thing thats left is finishing up the rudder and
elevator and covering them. I might do them while I wait for parts I've ordered to arrive or be made. I've had a bit of a mental
breakthrough on the blind flying panel vibration standoffs. Need to try something first, then I'll post here if it works or not.
January 8 2018 1.5hrs - 3369.0 total. Got out some clamping and blocking material and clamped the rudder to the bench. Started
working on the filler plates that go between the upper and lower skin pieces in both the elevator and rudder, at the trailing edge of the
nose skin. These reinforcements will help the skin from deforming when the rib stitching and fabric shrinking is done. Pieces are made
from 1/16" ply and will have lots of lightening holes. Also may have found someone who will make the fuel tank for me out of
aluminum. Waiting for a quote and an ETA.
January 10 2018 2.0hrs - 3371.0 total. Finished rough cutting all the skin stiffener plates for the rudder. Still need to cut lightening
holes in them.
January 11 2018 2.0hrs - 3373.0 total. Used large spade bits and fly cutter to cut lightening holes in rudder skin stiffener plates. Hand
sanded inside of holes. Still need to sand contact areas on plates and rudder skin in preparation for gluing them in.
January 14 2018 4.0hrs - 3377.0 total. Sanded all contact surfaces on interior of existing rudder skin. Also sanded all surfaces of
stiffener plates. Applied thin layer of epoxy/sealer to all sanded surfaces. Mixed up batch of thickened epoxy and glued stiffener plates
into position. Also, picked up the engine mount brackets from the welder. He had tacked welded them for me to try them in position
before the final weld. Bottom brackets fit fine, but upper brackets are going to take some work on the interior surface of the longerons
to get them to fit properly. Returned them to him for final weld.
January 15 2018 2.0hrs - 3379.0 total. Removed clamps from glue job and started sanding down new glue joints. Got carried away
and started saning all the little rough spots all over the rudder. Have now basically sanded all of the outer surfaces and edges of ribs as
well as the new stiffener plates. Will finish sanding the whole thing and put one final coat of filler over it all in preparation for covering
with fabric. Met with a welder today to review plans for the fuel tank. Have been studying the plans for the wings. Need to determine
just how much plywood I'll need for the ribs and get it on order.
January 17 2018 0.5hrs - 3379.5 total. Plotted out all 29 of the plan pages concerned with the wing. Will need to get my hands on
some 44" paper to plot out the full size template pages. Measured all of the ribs and have begun calculating how much wood to order.
January 19 2018 0.0hrs - 3379.5 total. Not counting this time toward build - Started plotting out the full size rib templates. Cut out
paper templates for ribs #1 and #6. Have accurate count of how much plywood is need for the wing ribs. Shipping from regular
sources is crazy. Getting quote from local hardwood shop to see if they can bring it up with regular order. Also researching if it will
be OK to use Baltic/Finnish birch ply rather than aircraft grade for the ribs.
January 21 2018 0.0hrs - 3379.5 total. Again, not counting this time as build time, but did spend about 4 hours cutting out paper rib
templates. Have ribs 1 through 6 cut out now. There are 22 ribs in each wing, so still a ways to go! Center most ribs are 6 1/2 feet long
and 1 foot thick tapering to most outer rib that is about 16" long and 2" thick.
January 22 2018 1.5hrs - 3381.0 total. Sanded down some rough spots on the rudder a little more, vacuumed and cleaned it up, then
applied a final coat of epoxy over all sanded spots, stiffener plates, and any unsealed areas. Used extra epoxy to apply 2nd coat of
sealer to fuel tank rails. Called EAA HQ and talked with a tech counselor about plywood. Still waiting to hear back from the local
hardwood shop, but it looks like the plywood I can get locally will be fine for the ribs. As it comes in 5ft X 5ft cuts, the largest ribs (6
1/2ft) will fit diagonally. If this will all work out, it will save me a huge amount on shipping.
January 23 & 24 2018 0.0hrs 3381.0 total. Not counting this time, but have spent about 6 hours over the last two evenings carefully
cutting out paper rib templates. Still trying to determine if I'm going to get the rib material locally or not.
January 25 2018 1.5hrs - 3382.5 total. Picked up the completed engine mount brackets from the welder today. He had glass beaded
the inside welds and much of the surfaces. I wire brushed them thoroughly, wiped down with acetone, then put on a coat of self
January 27 2018 3.5hrs - 3386.0 total. In addition to the time noted, also spent about 4 hrs (not counted) cutting out paper templates.
Sanded down the top port side of the rudder. Its the only spot that hasn't gotten two coats of primer yet. Pushed the wires and plastic
tubing through the rudder spar and zip tied wires in place. All it needs is the tail light connector finished up and the last area to get
another coat of epoxy and it will be ready to cover. Took down the engine mount brackets from their drying wires and inspected them,
found a few spots where the primer needed touched up. Applied 2nd coat of primer as needed. Found that I had a 4' X 4' piece of 1/4"
aircraft birch in my stock pile. Dug it out and started tracing the rib templates onto it. Ribs 18 to 22 are all less than 4' long so fit on
here fine. Looks like I'll be able to get them all out of this single sheet. Received a new flap lever in the mail today. This one is FAR
superior to the one I had before. Spent some time researching contact switches to use with it.
January 28, 2018 2.5hrs - 3388.5 total. Along with time noted, also spent another hour or two cutting out paper templates. Traced
ribs 18 and 19 (2 each) yesterday. Did rib 20 (2 each) on 1/4 ply, and rib 21 (2 each) on 1/8 ply. Was digging through some toggle
switches I had in a box and found some very nice contact switches removed from military aircraft that will work great for the flap
lever. Photos of that when I put it together
January 29 2018 2.0hrs - 3390.5 total. My wife used her paper cutting machine to cut out the words "up" and "down" that go in the
gear position indicator out of black paper and also out of vinyl - after weeks of fine tuning the font and letter sizes. Still need some
colored glass for the windows in the indicator. Finished tracing out rib 22 (2 ea) on 1/8 ply. Rough cut ribs 21 and 22 - total of 4 ribs -
with band saw and sanded to final shape. <-----Officially have made first parts for the wing! I've started on the wing!!
January 31 2018 2.5 - 3393.0 total. Spent about 3hrs yesterday cutting out the rest of the rib templates - not counting that time.
Tonight used a jig saw to rough cut out ribs 18, 19 and 20 - 2 of each from 1/4 ply. Trimmed down with band saw, then started
sanding to final shape. Finished sanding both rib 18s, still need to sand down 19s and 20s. These are all the ribs (18-22) that are less
than 4 ft long. Still making arrangements to get the rest of the longer ply I'll need for the rest of the ribs.
February 1 2018 1.0 - 3394.0 total. Finished sanding ribs 19 and 20 - 2 ea - and touched up a couple of spots on the other finished
ones. Tried one more time to order the wood from the local hardwood shop and was told they couldn't find suppliers who would ship
to them. Tried ordering from Aircraft Spruce, but the kept putting on hold then transferred me to someones voicemail. I left a message,
but never heard back. I'll try them again tomorrow, or maybe Wicks? This is what I get for living in Alaska!
February 2 2018 0.0 - 3394.0 total. Reached someone helpful at Aircraft Spruce who helped me with the various product description
contradictions and promised to get me a quote for either 4X8 or 2X8 ply, including shipping.
February 3 2018 3.0hrs - 3397.0 total. Started cutting the lightening holes in the 1/4" ribs with a fly cutter. Also researched, for quite
a while about the idea of scarfing the plywood for the ribs. FAA 43-13 talks about using ply panels and scarf joints in repairs, and
mentions that in production aircraft any replacement rib needs to be equal to the original manufacturers part. There's also general
guidelines on wood properties as well. There's a fairly thorough publication from 1916 for the Army on wood aircraft , including
studies of materials and rib structures. When I started reading through the Tony Bengalis books, I realized that many of his quotes and
drawings are from that old Army study. What I've concluded is that scarfing wood is fine as long as you keep them to a minimum, and
locate them in positions where the "structure has a significant margin of safety built in" - from the Bengalis books. There are many
direct guidelines about scarf joints as used in spar webs. Also, mention is made that ribs are not under that much stress and rarely fail.
My thinking is that if its OK to put scarf joints in the spar web, then it must be OK to put them in the ribs. And if I can put them in the
ribs, I may not have to have 8ft pieces of ply shipped to me after all. Still waiting on the quote from Aircraft Spruce.
February 4 2018 2.5hrs - 3399.5 total. Drilled and tapped the plunger on the new flap switch. Broke the tap off in the hole and spent
an hour getting it out. Cut off a brass screw to make small piece of threaded rod. The contact switch mechanism that I found in some
old switches was already tapped, so I just matched it. Now have a solid mechanical connection between the switch and the contact
switch tray. By placing an appropriately sized spacer between the two pieces, the switch operates the contact switches perfectly!
February 5 2018 0.0hrs - 3399.5 total. Decided I wasn't happy with the depth of the tap in the flap switch. Went and bought two
more taps. Clamped everything down again, drilled the pilot hole deeper, put in a new tap and worked it very carefully for quite a while,
didn't feel right, finally it broke off. Spent the next 2 hours digging it out. Realized I was using the wrong size pilot bit for the tap size!
Drilled the hole out larger and tapped it. Have to admit its not a very good tap, but threaded the rod in there along with a nice quantity
of 5 minute epoxy. It think it will hold just fine now, better than what I had yesterday, but what a waste of about 3 hours! Still nothing
from Aircraft Spruce - I'm beginning to think they don't want to sell me the plywood!
February 7 2018 2.5hrs - 3402.0 total. Continued cutting lightening holes in the ribs I've already cut out (18-22). For the larger
irregularly shaped holes, drilled pilot holes and started rough cutting them out with a scroll saw. Still a little more to do. Aircraft Spruce
came back today with a quote for the rest of the plywood needed for the ribs, and the shipping is actually reasonable! Will likely go
ahead and place the order in the next day or two.
February 10 2018 3.0hrs - 3405.0 total. Finished cutting and shaping the odd shaped lightening holes in the ribs. Started sanding all the
surfaces and holes by hand. About 1/2 way through sanding. Ordered the plywood for the rest of the ribs a couple days ago. They don't
have it in stock, and their site says it won't be stocked for several weeks, so I'm guessing its going to be a month or more at least
before it actually shows up here.
February 11 2018 5.5hrs - 3410.5 total. Finished hand sanding the ribs that are cut out so far. Nothing more I can do on the ribs till
the plywood arrives. Removed rudder from bench and got down the elevator and clamped it to the bench. Started working on finishing
up the small skin details on the leading edge of the elevator. There's actually quite a bit of clean up and sealing to be done to the elevator
before it will be ready to cover. The rudder just has one small patch that needs a second coat of sealer to be complete and ready for
covering. I'm going to try to focus on getting these control surfaces complete, including covered and primed before the rib plywood
February 14 2018 1.5hrs - 3412.0 total. Made up skin pieces from 0.75mm ply. Scarfed skin pieces where they will be glued to
elevator leading edge. Marked and started scarfing contact areas on elevator nose skin. Removed elevator hinge bolts in these two hinge
areas where the skin extensions will go and sanded all surfaces in prep for gluing. Plotted out full size templates for fuel tank.
February 15 2018 1.5hrs - 3413.5 total. Finished scarfing the elevator leading edge skin where the skin extensions will go. Have been
trying to find some green plastic to use in the "down" window on the gear position indicator. The "up" window has a nice piece of red,
with another piece of white that goes behind it as a defuser. But he green that came with it wasn't usable. Have been thinking about it
for a couple of weeks, and was having a sandwich at Subway when I noticed the plastic cup I was drinking from was green with white
behind it. Cut a piece out of it and glued it behind the clear piece that I had already put the vinyl lettering on - and it looks great! Also
put a piece of clear plastic from a toothpaste container over the front of each window. Glued everything in place with my wife's hot
glue gun. Now I need to rig up some lights for it.
|Blind flying panel with some instruments
trial fit - looks OK from the front.
|Serious amount of material will need to
be removed to allow instruments to clear.
|Top down view shows instruments
not fitting through main panel hole.
|Throttle quadrant temporarily
clamped in place.
|Bevelled strips added to
top of fuel tank rails.
|Starting on rudder skin stiffeners.
|Stiffener plates on lower portion
of rudder being dry fit.
|Stiffener plates on upper portion of
rudder, dry fit, still need lightening holes.
|Lightening holes cut in
the stiffener plates.
|Stiffener plates being
glued in place.
|All of the wing plan pages plotted
out - less the full size templates.
|Cutting out rib templates. Finished
on the left, trash on the right.
|Engine mount brackets primed.
|Starting to trace rib
templates onto plywood.
|The last ribs in the wingtips,
#21 and 22 are 1/8" ply.
Tracing them here.
|Ribs #21 and 22 cut out of 1/8"
ply and sanded to shape. Also
shown - gear indicator lettering.
|Lettering that goes in gear
position indicator. Vinyl on the
left, paper on the right.
|Ribs 18, 19, and 20, 2 of each,
rough cut from 1/4" aircraft ply.
|Starting to cut the lightening holes
in ribs 18, 19, and 20, 2 of each.
Note the pile of removed material.
|Flap switch drilled and tapped
with small threaded rod installed.
|Flap switch assembled with
|Ribs 18 to 22 - most of the
lightening holes rough cut now.
|Ribs 18 to 22 - Complete except for
large cutout for spars. (Cat for scale)
|Roughing in backing strips for
skin extensions over hinge areas.
|Preparing skin extension pieces for hinge notches. Skin piece and contact
areas on leading edge of elevator both need to be scarfed before gluing.
|Green plastic piece from Subway cup, clear
window covers from toothpaste packaging.
Lettering cut from black vinyl.
|Holding it up the light.
Looks pretty good!