Thursday, September 5, 2019

More cabin top and door work

Its been a while since I posted a build update but not a lot has been photo worthy, nor have I spent my normal amount of time in the garage.  The temps here have been pretty high lately and since I took down the temporary wall dividing my garage I can't cool it with the single floor AC unit I used last year.  So...progress has slowed.  Progress has not stopped though and there are a few pictures to show but really its been a mass effort of cut, sand, epoxy, rinse, repeat. 

Since my last post I have completed the following:
  • Both doors fitted to the fuselage
  • Interior and low profile exterior handles installed and functioning
  • Center latch block installed (still need to install the brace that attaches to the fuselage)
  • Installed nut plates in the door side of the hinges so that I don't need to have nuts and washers on the back side.  This will allow me to cover that area with fiberglass ensuring a seamless door seal.
  • Door strut brackets fitted to the cabin top.
  • LOTS AND LOTS of fiberglass work on the door frame to make the McMaster-Carr door seals attach properly.  
  • Lots of time spent preping the cabin top for installation.  This includes a little more dimpling, some deburring, coutersinking, rivet backing strip fabrication, cabin vent holes cut and flanges drilled, and the list goes on.
Here is what I have for pictures...

This is one of the hinges that I installed nut plates on.  This will allow me to cover the hinge pocket so that the door seals have a nice smooth surface on the door to seal against.


Preparing the door strut and attach points.  In this picture you can see the two small aluminum inserts I turned on the lathe to act as spacers for the strut bracket.  

Working on the lathe to create the spacers in the picture above.  Washers would have worked here but this spacer was much more fun to create.

Here it is with everything loosely connected.  Next up it gets drilled and bolted to the fuselage and doors.
These are the attach points for the door struts.  I used a little bit of epoxy with flox to even out and make a nice seat bed for both brackets.

The cabin top console with the vent holes drilled, the lighting holes drilled, and the nut plates installed for the two removable covers.  The cabin top is not attached yet.

This is the area where you have to trim the console to fit the strut brackets.  You will also notice that there is quit a gap between the console and the cabin top.  This will require more fiberglass work.

The front portion of the console with the center support bar holes revealed.

This picture shows the profile that I created for the door seals.  There is still a bit more work to do on them but I am really happy with the way this all came together so far.

I had a spare piece of 1/2" tubing laying around so I epoxy'd some fasteners to the top of the cabin and tie wrapped the conduit to them.  This will give me a nice place to run the lighting and servo wires back to the aft end of the console.  This are will be inaccessible once the console is permanently attached.  You can also see in this picture where I am starting to clean up the cabin top around the rear windows.

Rear overhead vent holes drilled and the flanges cleco'd on.  I wont rivet these in place until the top skin is riveted on.  With these vents attached I wouldn't be able to buck the rivets above the vents.

Front side of vents.  This area will be covered by the overhead console which will allow cool air to flow through the console and out the vents.  Also note that I had to remove two of the previously installed nut plates.  I will re-evaluate this once the cabin is installed and the top baggage door is trimmed to fit.  Most likely I will install one more nut plate to the top of the center support brace.



Monday, August 5, 2019

Sturgis - Motorcycle Rally

Granted it was on the bottom of the list but I checked another item off the bucket list.  Jeff and I flew to Sturgis SD for a couple of days during the motor cycle rally.  We took off Thursday evening and had a nice evening flight to Helena Montana where we stayed for the night.  Got up early Friday morning, had a good breakfast, and launched for South Dakota.  Sturgis doesn't have a weather station (ATIS) so we had to use Rapid City weather which is a little further east and they were reporting overcast at 300' due to some fog.  As we approached we could see that it was breaking up over Sturgis but that Rapid was still socked in.  No biggie as we had just enough ceiling at that point to land and set up camp.  

Jeff has been here before and knew of the best camping spot on the field.  We were protected from much of the weather if any showed up and more importantly we were out of the morning sun!  Great spot!

After setting up camp we hitched a ride into town with a friendly local who dropped us off at the end of a long city street filled with motor cycles.  Lots to see in the pictures below but let me give you my impressions of Sturgis.  That place was nuts!  Some of it was not so good (everybody smoked it seemed), but overall the people were friendly, happy, and proud to be American which was very obvious everywhere you looked.

Anyway, here are a few of the pictures we took.

All loaded up and ready for departure from Puyallup.

Parked for the night in Helena.  We had to skirt the edge of some pretty nasty looking weather but we had no issues.

Devils tower in South Dakota.  It is requested that pilots keep at least 3 miles away so we didn't get the best of pictures.

Jeff formed up so we could get a couple of pics with Devil's tower in the shot.


Sturgis from the air.

Downtown area.  Not a very big town but with about a half a million people over the next week or so it will be well used!


One of many camp grounds that is only barely filling up as we arrive on Friday.

No, I don't think this is a camp ground...I think its a junk car lot!

A local drag strip...I swear some of those motor cycles were using this (or not) all night long!


We arrived!

Planes tied down...

Tents set up...

Off to town!  This is the "entry" to the main drag street.

A "light" day on the street.



Crazy?!?  This guy paid this bartender to beat a welt onto his back!  Seriously!

No caption needed...some very nice bikes here!

The ramp for a motor cycle jump scheduled for later in the day.

No helmets required in Sturgis....

The motorcycle jumper just as he launched off the ramp.  Yes, he made....barely.

The street starts to fill up a bit.

Cruizin the 'ave'...  

 Bartenders....




One of the local transportation options.  Notice the signatures all over the bus... walls, ceiling, floor, seats, "hostess", nothing was off limits...well almost nothing.

Metal sculpture at The Full Throttle Saloon


Another pretty cool metal sculpture.

Friday evening, back in camp after partying until the late hour of 9pm!!  We were living large!

This is a panoramic of the typical venue here.  Notice the open sides with balconies and a stage in the center.  The open sides makes it legal to smoke inside (ugh).  This happened to be one of many in the area and we stopped at this one because of all the screaming and hollering.  Turns out there was a Frozen T shirt contest going on.  In this contest the women were given Tshirts that had been frozen into a knot and they had to find a way to warm up the shirt enough to put it on.  The first one to put the shirt on won.

A had to get a picture of this sign posted in the mens room.

Stopping for fuel at Townsend MT on our way home.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Doors - the beginning

Based on the experiences of others I have decided to do the doors next.  This will allow me to fit the strut brackets before I install the overhead console.  As such this post begins what I expect to be a couple of months worth of door posts...

First step is to trim the door skins to a more reasonable size and then begin the process of fitting and (even more) trimming to fit the opening in the cabin.  The initial trimming is complete, the doors are bonded together, and the final door assembly has been trimmed yet again to fit into the opening.  The hinges have been attached and the doors actually operate as intended!

One other item of note is I've moved the fuselage over to the big side of the main garage bay and I've disassembled the divider wall.  I can still fit both cars in the garage and I now have room to install the motor mount, tail components, and maybe even the engine (without the tail installed).   I did have to order and install a new garage door opener for the small bay and while I was at it I decided to upgrade the lighting in the garage to all LED.

Door's cleco'd to the fuselage so I could drill the holes to hold the door on while the two halves cure...see more below.
Two things of interest in this picture.  First the fiberglass in the top of the picture.  This is a product called Parabeam.  Its hard to see but its actually a 3D type of material with two skin's sandwiched around a lattice structure that gives the whole thing a mattress look and feel.  Second is the spreader I used to lay the epoxy/Cabosil mixture onto the doors.  I used a little trick I learned while doing tile work.  The edge of this spreader is notched so that I can lay a consistent layer of epoxy to bind the two door halves together.

The inner half of the door sanded and ready for wet-out and epoxy mix.

Fuselage with a layer of plastic as well as some packing tape to keep the doors from sticking to them.

Left side door cleco'd to the fuselage after I spent about an hour wetting out the Parabeam, wetting out the surfaces where the epoxy/Cabosil mix will meet, and the finally the epoxy/Cabosil mixture applied.

Lots of squeeze out so hopefully I got a nice amount of coverage.
On the right side door I managed to take a picture of the epoxy/Cabosil mixture after I had "combed" it with the spreader I mentioned above.

A look from inside the cockpit through the baggage door after I had cleco'd the right side door on for curing.

Remember that Parabeam stuff I mentioned earlier?  Well this is what it looks like when its cured.  You can see the inner lattice from this perspective.  I took this picture looking inside from the center latch hole I cut.

Left side door trimmed to fit into the opening.
The plans have you cut an AN3 bolt to act as the hinge pin for the doors.  Its a good idea but I decided to use Ben's lathe to round off the head and trim it down a bit to fit in the pocket a little better.

Of course every RV-10 builder has to take a picture of the first time to door opens on its own hinges.  Those gull wing doors are just awesome!
Once the doors were trimmed to fit it was time to start putting the actuation mechanism in place.  This is the pocket that the handle sits in.

Trimming the Delrin guides to fit their pockets.

Center gear assembly installed and aft actuator rod attached to the rack piece that goes into the center latch.