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.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Wings go to storage

I know its only been a few days since my last post but today was a big day in that it marked a shift in the build process.  Today Harry and Ben helped me load up my completed wings, drive them to the airport, and then Harry and Martin helped me unload them for storage in the hangar.  I still have a little fiberglass work to do as well as a few final assembly tasks such as riveting the pitot tube mast in but for now they are done.  Yaah hooo.

Here is a quick time-lapse video taken from one of our front security camera's.

Wing tip attachment hinges riveted to the wings.  This was the last step I needed to complete before putting the wings in storage until final assembly.  

Not an everyday sight.  The wings had to be removed from the cradle so we could load the cradle into the back of my truck.  Here I laid a few blankets down on the driveway and then gently set the wings on the blankets.  Such an unusual sight that I had to take a picture.

Loaded and ready to go!  Thanks Harry and Ben!

Finally the wings in their storage hangar.  You can see the 9's wingtip on the right side if you know what you are looking at.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Aileron actuation

Its been a busy couple of weeks since my last post but a lot has happened...not all of it RV related.  ;-)

However, what is RV related is posted below and includes completion of the aileron actuation linkages as well as the start of the wing tip work.  For the wing tips I opted to use the hinge method of attachment that I used on the RV-9A.  It looks great and seems to hold up very well.

With the RV-10 the aileron linkages are a little more complicated due to the added row of seats.  In the picture here you see the torque tubes and associated bell-cranks that get employed to transition the forward location of the control sticks to aft of the wing spars.

Here is the bell-crank that converts the left to right motion of the stick to an up/down motion that moves the ailerons.

Using the hinge method of attaching the wing tips requires almost double the amount of rivets compared to screws.  In this picture you can see that I am using a rivet fan to space the holes out evenly.

Another view of the rivet fan in use.

After trimming the wing tip to size I was able to get it taped, drilled and cleco'd in place for this picture.  Still lots of work left before this is complete.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Geez....any more "flapping" and I'm going to be airborne

This week was again all about the flaps.  I finished up the left flap early in the week and the right flap on Saturday.  Both turned out great as you can see in the pictures below.  Sunday was spent working on the control systems (Aileron Actuation).  The system in the 10 is much more complex due to the location of the ailerons in relation to the pilot.  Since the control sticks sit forward of the spar there are a series of bellcranks that get installed to transmit the side to side stick motion aft of the spar.

I really like the new way of doing the trailing edges of the long flaps.  As you have seen in pictures I went out and purchases two 10' square steel tubes that are about 2" on a side.  These are quite heavy and the surface was surprisingly smooth.  I was able to lay both of them on my work bench, use a level to make sure they are "flat" and then assemble and rivet the flaps on top.

As an added bonus the two square steel tubes will be used to build the fuselage cart when it comes time to build one.  :-)

Two items of note in the picture.  The first is you can see the two steel square tubes I mentioned above.  If you look close you can even see where the rivet manufacturer heads where driven on the bar to the right of the photo.  The second and main reason I took the picture is you can see how straight the flap trailing edge came out using this method.

Another view of the finished left flap.  Also notice the portable air conditioner sitting in the background...its been hot here this past couple of weeks!  The garage is on the South West side of the house so the sun beats on it all day long and without full insulation it gets warm!
Both flaps installed on the wings.

Another view of the wings with the flaps installed.  Its getting pretty tight in the work shop right now!
Aileron actuation parts.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


Even though I was at Oshkosh, Arlington, and otherwise distracted by the 9 I did get some time in on the 10. 

I started writing this post this morning (Sunday) with the idea that I would be able to finish up one flap and then get the second flap frame riveted together.  Well the second to last picture below is the way things actually ended up today.  I was not able to complete the first flap but I came close.  It was 97 degrees in the shop when I finally called Uncle.  I probably worked about 8 hours on that one flap so maybe by the end of this next week I will have the second flap to this stage....maybe.

Here I am test fitting the flap frame to the wing.  Specifically I am looking at the way the two parts connect.  I am considering some sort of fairing over the flap hinges.

Time to take everything back apart and debur, dimple, and prime those parts that need it.  Look at that pile of parts for one flap!

Ready for final assembly.  The flap frame is riveted together and the leading edge and top skins are cleco'd in place so I can do the final riveting.

This picture and the next show the rig I use to countersink the trailing edge wedges for the ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder.  I simply used a piece of wedge reversed and screwed to the board with a piece of aluminum as a guide.

Side view of the same setup so you can see it from a different perspective.

Oskhosh 2018

It's mid July and you all know what that means....OSHKOSH!  This year was a little different than the previous years because Harry joined me for the trip.  We had originally planned to drop him off in St Louis on the way home so he could drive his new Corvette home but that part of the trip was cancelled at the last moment.  So I had Harry with me both ways and we had a blast.  Instead of flying in to Oshkosh this year we parked the airplane at Appleton.  Turns out that was a great location with great ground staff and easy access to Oshkosh.  We stayed at a hotel near the Appleton airport which allowed us easy access to the airplane.

The trip over started early on Thursday morning with the plan of flying the entire distance in one day if the weather allowed.  Our first stop was at 8U8 (Townsend Montana).  This is a good first leg and one we use pretty much every year.  We topped off the fuel and launched for our next fuel stop.  The weather was pretty rough over eastern North Dakota and into Minnesota so we ended up making a couple of stops.  The first was at Devils Lake where we fueled up and had some lunch.  This was interesting because there was a guy who happened to be at the airport who drove us into town to a good restaurant and then picked us up when we were done and drove us back out to the airport.  You really have to love aviation types!

After lunch we launched for Brainerd Wisconsin.  The weather was moving through that area but it looked like we might be able to get in anyway.  As it turns out when we got close there was some heavy rain in the area so we make a quick diversion to Thief River Falls.  We fueled up, checked the radar, and realized that the weather was starting to break so we once again headed for Brainerd.  We ended up getting in with only a little bumpy wet weather.  I had sold one of my used oil coolers to a guy on VAF and was delivering it to him at Brainerd which is why we chose that location.  As it was getting late in the evening and the weather between us and Appleton was not good we decided to stay the night there.  The Lodge we stayed in had a free shuttle to the airport and a good restaurant for a decent price.

The next morning the weather still looked pretty much IFR with a little rain.  So we decided to file IFR and go on in to Appleton.  It was a good IFR flight with about an hour in IMC (inside clouds with no visibility outside of the airplane).  The approach was a bit exciting due to a big red (radar for lots of rain) cell directly over the initial approach fix.  We had wrapped our bags in plastic because the canopy tends to wick water in under the aft canopy skirt and that water drips all over the bags.  Otherwise the airplane does just fine in rain.  As long as there is no heavy convective stuff I don't mind flying in the rain.  After one exciting moment when the autopilot disconnected for some reason we managed a good approach and were on the ground, rental car delivered and on our way to the hotel just after noon.

Since we had the rest of the day to play with we drove down to Oshkosh and did a quick tour of the grounds.  This was Harry's first Oshkosh trip so this gave him a quick overview of the grounds and it allowed me to see the changes, of which there were plenty!

Saturday morning the weather wasn't looking good but we got up early and headed down to watch the arrivals.  We planted ourselves on the sidelines of runway 27 and watched for about 3 hours in MVFR weather (low clouds) before the clouds finally dropped to IFR (instrument flight only).  During that time the wind was blowing directly across the runway and gusting up to 22 knots at times.  This meant some very interesting landings and, more exciting to us, some very big base to final pattern overshoots.  We had airplanes fly pretty much directly at us as they corrected to get back on track to land. 

Since the weather forecast was calling for IFR weather for the rest of the day we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.  It turns out that there was some decent weather late in the day which allowed about 3 hours worth of arrivals to get in that evening.

Sunday...a day that will live in infamy.  Sunday will probably go down in history as the Fisk Furball.  It was a pure shit show with some airplanes flying low and slow for HOURS waiting to get in to Oshkosh.  If you don't follow the Oshkosh arrival process this wont mean much to you but basically you have to line up several miles south of the airport and then follow the railroad tracks in to a controller who is sitting on the ground at Fisk.  He then directs you to what ever runway is open.  However you have to stay in single file over the railroad tracks at 1800' or 2300' depending on which path you are on.  Well, because of the poor weather on Saturday there were hundreds of airplanes trying to get in all day with some very poor results.  There will be lots of discussions on the various boards and forums so I won't go into details but I will say its a miracle that there were no mid air collisions.  Tempers were running hot and with the typical type A personality that pervades the pilot community it was a recipe for disaster.

Anyway we stayed at the show for a couple more days and then bugged out early Wednesday morning.  We managed to fly the entire distance home against some pretty heavy head winds.  I think it was 12.5 hours in the air and at least 15 hours total but when I finally got home (another hour drive) I was beat. 

It was fun and I plan to do it again.  I really liked the Appleton location and I really liked the hotel versus camping (or glamping at Oshkosh) but who knows...

The Bailey bomber.  This was built by a guy who modeled it after an actual model of the airplane.  Incredible!

Here we are sitting on the edge of runway 27 on Saturday morning.  You can see the low clouds here.

My Monday schedule...I actually managed to go to one of these....only one.

Tuesday plan....didn't do any of these....

This is what I did most of the day on Tuesday....I toured RV-10's on the field.  This one had a nice landing light mounted in the lower cowling.  

I like the metal plates around the tow bar lugs...

Ok, this is interesting.  Here is an RV-10 with a full deicing setup.  Notice the hot prop, leading edge heaters? 

Interesting antenna location on the leading edge of the cabin top.  VOR?  Glide Slope?

Interesting wing root fairings.

Some interesting cloud formations we saw on the way out of Appleton.