Sunday, November 4, 2018

Starting the firewall

Travis came over this weekend to help me finish riveting the mid fuselage floor skin to the bulkheads.  It was nice having him over again to help with the riveting.  He, and many others helped a lot on the 9 when I was building it but the 10 has been a little different in that I have found ways to do most of the riveting solo. 

I started on the Firewall this weekend and I will say that it seems to be much easier than the 9 firewall.  Maybe its just experience but it seems to go together much easier and there are fewer self manufactured parts in this firewall.  More detail in the pictures below.

I have a few modifications to make to this next section of the plans.  First I had to drill another hole in the firewall for a return fuel line.  I plan on having either a EFI fuel return of at least a purge valve to help with hot starts.  Next I am cutting access panels into the side of the tunnel so I have better access to the fuel pumps and related fuel system components.  That requires a backing plate and a cover plate so I designed a pair and then started the cutting process this weekend (on the CNC).  So far I've made two covers but no backing plates.  There are a couple of changes that I still don't know about yet that will have to have a modification made to the firewall.  First I don't plan on using Van's method of oil cooler mount.  It basically bounces the air flow off of the firewall and then back into the oil cooler.  I think I can come up with a little better system than that.  Second, I plan on using stainless steel eyeball type control cable penetrations and the three small holes that Van's put in the firewall for this purpose are too close together for the 1" eyeball.  So a little work will be required there.

This is the mid fuselage section that Travis and I riveted the floor skins to.  Notice the bubble wrap?  Well those two bulkhead frames kept poking me in the face...

Oh yea, another modification that required some custom work.  This is the fuel selector mounting plate.  The Andair duplex valve that I purchased is different than the one Van's supplies in the kit.  So I had to modify the mounting plate to fit the new valve.  You can see the part that I cut out (blue) and the new section riveted to the side flanges.


Here are some measurements for the access plate that I am putting into the tunnel walls.

And here is the CNC happily cutting away on the first cover plate.
And finally, after several hours of deburring both the aluminum parts as well as the stainless steel firewall parts I was able to fully cleco the firewall together.  Next up is the round of final drilling the holes before disassembly.   See those steel plates on the bottom of the firewall that look like shovel heads?  Well those are not on the 9A firewall.  On the 9 I had to fabricate some beefy aluminum angle and I remember that giving me all kinds of fits.  In fact I had to drill them both out and "bend" the flanges to get everything to line up during final assembly.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Little fuselage pieces become bigger fuselage pieces

Today was one of those pretty satisfying days.  Lots of part came together and I didn't screw up anything that couldn't be easily fixed.  That's after spending about 8 hours in the garage!  Good day.


This is the passenger area.  The ribs on the left form the bottom of the seats and the black area is where the feet go.

Adding bulkheads one at a time working my way back.

Its hard to see in this picture but this section of the fuselage is only the passenger seating area, and the baggage area and its still over 6 feet tall.  Yes, that's the Seahawks game going on in the background.

This is the same section after I moved it to the floor so I could attach the floor skins.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Black Primer?

There are only a few parts of the fuselage that will be visible to the passenger in the section that I am working on now.  Most of these parts are sub floors, and interior supports.  However, there are still a few parts and I remember having a hard time with the painting process of the interior of the 9 so I decided to prime the visible parts with an almost black epoxy primer.  My hope is that the final coat will be tougher than on the 9 (less susceptible to scratching) but even if it does get scratched I hope that will be less visible with a dark primer under it.

This past week or so I have been priming, dimpling, deburring, and assembling the various bulkheads in the fuselage.  Here is the progress thus far.

Rear seat inner tunnel bulkhead panels.  These will be down in the foot well and as you can see have the front seat belt attach points riveted to them.  The holes at the bottom of the panels are where the rear seat heat will come from.

Its pretty hard to see the dark panels against the carpet but all 4 of the footwell panels are cleco'd in and you can finally start to see some structure come together.


Side view but even here it's still hard to see. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Fuselage bulkheads

This week I spend most of my time working on the bulkheads for the fuselage.  This is particularly relaxing because its simple follow the instructions type stuff.  I also have very little priming to do on this section of the fuselage because it will never see water.  The tail-cone does get wet inside when it rains as water rolls down the vertical stabilizer, under the fairing and into the tail-cone.  However there is no place for water to normally enter the forward section of the fuselage so I don't plan on priming anything that is Al-clad.

This is the set up I use to rivet the big 470 rivets on the spar carrier bulkhead.  You can see the rivets set in their holes but you can't see the scotch tape that I used on the back side to hold them there while I drive them from above with the rivet gun stabilized by the C-Frame.  This makes for some very consistent and strong rivets.

This is the other end of the spar carrier where I have completed the riveting process.

Here is the rear portion of the spar carrier bulkhead.  You can see that it has several seat rail brackets as well as a couple of stiffeners that get riveted and bolted on.  In this picture I had already completed riveting the two outside supports similar to the first two pictures.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Back to work on the 10. Wingtips and Fuselage...finally

I've been waiting for this day for months now it seems but I finally got to start work on the fuselage.  The fuselage was my favorite part of the 9 to build so I'm excited to get started.  However that means endless hours of deburring for the next several sessions.  Oh well its therapeutic. <just keep saying that>

I also decided to finish riveting/epoxying the wing tip hinges into each wing tip.  I know there will be more work to do once I get ready to do final assembly but at least the VOR antenna is in and the wing tips are attached to the wing.

Oh one more thing, I got to do a little evening flying this week.  It was beautiful and I took a few pictures.





Right wing tip with VOR antenna mounted and attachment hinges riveted and epoxied in place.

Finally the first steps in the Fuselage phase begin...and on a beautiful fall evening to boot!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Oil cooler outlet ducting installed

Finally I was able to install the oil cooler outlet duct this afternoon.  This project took much more time that I hoped it would.  I think I printed out 3 different version, used the CNC to make one version out of aluminum and finally came up with this final design made out of the fiberglass and carbon fiber.  I probably wont get a chance to fly it until next week but I don't expect much of a change in the oil temps, only now I will have the ability to regulate the oil temperature on really cold days. (Edit: 9/30/18 - After flying this combination for about 4 hours now I am happy with the setup.  Project success)

This is the outboard inside view.  The servo will control the flapper in the middle of the duct opening.

This side has the 2" outlet nozzle that the heater hose attaches to.

View of the installed duct from the side of the airplane.

Looking up at the bottom of the oil cooler.  You can see in this picture part of the problem I had with this duct.  That engine mount strut was routed directly over the middle of the duct.

Looking aft from the front of the airplane.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Still working on the 9

I'm getting a little antsy to get started on the fuselage of the 10 but I promised myself that I would finish up a few projects on the 9 before I dug in to the 10.  So, what are these projects?  First I formed a new induction shroud for my intake.  The one I had in place was a 3D printed shroud with some fiberglass haphazardly slapped on to protect it from the exhaust heat.  It looked horrid but it did the job.  Now I have a nice new (painted) shroud with a slightly different flow profile.  I flew it this weekend and it worked perfectly.

Second I have been wanting to install some sort of automatic alternate air induction system that would keep the engine turning if I had some blockage in the filter or inlet port.  The blockage could come from flying into a heavy snow fall, ice, or even a simple plastic bag on takeoff/landing. 

Both of the first two projects are complete and the only remaining project is getting close.  The final project was to fabricate some sort of oil cooler exit shroud that would allow me to regulate oil temperature in the winter.  With the new oil cooler in place I expect I will have a hard time getting the oil temperature up to 180 degrees in the winter without some sort of ability to control the air flow.  Some people just block off the inlet air flow but since I pull my cabin heat from the oil cooler outlet I need the inlet air to flow normally.

Wow, this one looks weird.  This is looking down the snorkel of the new induction cone.  That black circle in the middle is the top of my K&N air filter.

The new snorkel from the outside.  Much better looking than the old one...and a bit lighter too.

Here is the new alternate air induction ports.  Actually you only see one of them here but there are 4 of these little openings on the circumference of the induction base.  My finger is pointing at the spring loaded door that is kept shut by both spring pressure and induction air pressure.  If the inlet gets blocked for any reason the engine will quickly go to manifold pressure (which is a vacuum) and the air from inside the cowl will force these little doors open thereby providing air for combustion.  The little fan up front will keep turning which means the pilot stays cool.

Here I am pushing the spring loaded door open.