Sunday, May 19, 2019

Section 35 and 36 complete

I am done with section 35 (Access Covers and floor Panels) and section 36 (brake lines).  I started section 37 which is the fuel system but quickly ran into a lack of parts.  Since I plan on using electronic fuel injection I need to have a return line.  A return line means more and non standard fuel supply lines and the fittings I purchased a few months ago are not enough.  So, I have an order in to Summit Racing as well as Aircraft Spruce for several more parts.

Its getting toward that part of the build where you don't just follow the instructions quite as much.  I have a back-order with Van's that is supposed to ship at the end of this month.  That order includes a few parts I need to finish up section 34 as well as start on the firewall (finishing kit).  In the mean time there are a number of things to do including section 38 (rudder pedals and brake system), section 39 (control systems) and section 40 (flaps).  I suspect those three sections will keep me busy for the better part of a month or two.  Once those are done its time to start buttoning the fuselage up but as I said the plans get pretty vague at this point and I have lots of modifications planned so it's going to take longer than I would want.  :-)

Here are a couple of pics of the progress this past week.

Here you can see the fuel supply line going from the fuel valve down to the fuel pumps and then forward to the firewall.

Brake lines installed and torqued.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Section 34 and 35 almost done

Not many pictures so far but with the tail completely attached it was time to finish the baggage area.  That included the floors, the baggage aft panels (top and bottom) as well as the side panel covers.  I didn't complete the top aft tail cone cover because I will likely make a modification to it when I do the seat belts.  I also plan on installing an access door in the bottom panel that will allow me to access the battery and the ELT without needing to remove a bunch of screws.  That will probably happen much later and probably even after first flight.

I've almost complete the baggage area access door as well.  The first attempt at getting it to fit flush didn't go so well so I have ordered a replacement piece from Van's to give it another shot.  I want that door as flush as possible.  I did make a small modification here.  Similar to many other RV-10 builders I wanted the baggage door to be removable so I cut the back side of a few of the middle hinge eyelets to allow me to install two half size pins from the middle. 

I am now working on the last of the aluminum fabrication work (section 35).  There are a number of access panels and cover panels that get installed in this section of the plans.  Once that is done the fabrication of aluminum structure is basically complete.  I still have to rivet the top forward cover on as well as the flanges for the quarter turn cowling fasteners but that is pretty minimal.  I also have a number of modifications to do to the center tunnel cover to accommodate the rudder cable modification I am planning.

As with every year this past few weeks I have been working on the 9.  The Annual inspection was due by the end of April and I needed to make a couple of changes (of course).  I hooked up the O2 sensor but still haven't configured the EFIS to display it.  I tried a few things to try to eliminate the drip of water that comes into the baggage area when I fly through rain.  So far nothing I try has eliminated the issue.  Well anyway this years annual is in the books.  I found out during this annual that my differential pressure rig that I use to do engine compression's was off by 5 pounds!  Now that I know the error I found my compression's all at or above 72/80.  Nice.

This is a picture of the hinge assembly with the center eyelets cut in half.  You can see how the pins will slide in and out to allow me to easily remove the baggage door.

This is an outside view so you can see that this modification will not be visible from the outside.

Speaking of modifications...  Since it was time to rivet in the rear seat pans I needed to install the standoffs that will hold the FlyLED lighting control board.  This is a central location between the wing lights and the tail strobe so I figured it would be a good location.  This area is covered by the flap actuator covers and will not be accessible unless I remove that cover.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Section 32 - Attaching the tail

I've been both looking forward to this step as well as dreading it.  Looking forward to having a full sized fuselage in the garage and one less step in the rapidly declining metal-work steps yet to do.  On the other hand I've been concerned about both pieces fitting in the small work bay of the garage.  Well, I'm happy to report that it does fit...barely.  I have about 14" of space on one end to walk around to get to the other side.  That's enough for me... for now.

Here it is with both halves cleco'd together.  The firewall is pushed up against the garage door and there is still room for me to squeeze around the tail.

Another view of the assembled fuselage.  In this picture I had already started doing some riveting.
This is all I have to squeeze around to get to the other side.  
I'm not sure if I posted this in the past but I printed this little tool on my 3D printer.  It holds the end of my back rivet bar over the rivet while I drive with the rivet gun.  I found that the secret to back-riveting is to make sure the rivet gun does not move around and this little tool really helps!

Here is that same tool with my back-rivet bar in the hole.  I would normally hold the free end of the tool with my left had but it was busy running the camera.  :-)

Hold my beer and watch this!  Sometimes you just have to be creative when finding a way to hold the back-rivet bucking bar against the head of the rivet.  Trying to do most of my riveting solo and this little configuration worked wonderfully.  This is the bottom of the fuselage where the tailcone and fuselage meet.  There are two rows of rivets that have to be driven.  Since I like the looks of a back-riveted rivet I try all kinds of things to make it happen.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Section 31 - part two

This past couple of weeks I was able to able to finish this section.  As I mentioned last time there are several modifications that need to be done and here are a few of them.

The first modification is the use of the Aerosport 310 instrument panel.  This is a beautiful carbon fiber panel that is designed to support 3 10" screens (hence the name).  I did run into a small issue in that the frame I received is actually backward with the flanges pointing aft instead of forward.  I contacted Geoff at Aerosport and he said its no big deal, just drill the center hole in the proper location as the rest of the panel is symmetrical. Easy enough to do by laying the van's provided instrument panel on top of the support frame and using the pre-drilled hose as a drill guide.

I'm also installing nut plates so I can just bolt on my avionics and wire supports.

Oh, since I had to do some priming for some non alclad parts I went ahead and finished the fuel pump brackets so I could install them as well.  See below for more.

I snagged this picture from one of the security cam's in the garage.  I realized I don't have many pictures of me building the airplane.  This happens to be the first day I was able to actually sit in the airplane.  No airplane noises yet....

Here is the support frame that I mentioned above.  See that screw at the top center?  It should be a little more to the left so I can flip the panel around and have the flanges at the bottom facing the other way.
The fuel pumps sitting on their brackets.  Bolts are not tight yet as I have lots of work to do down here but at least everything fits.

Another view of the fuel pump through the side access panel. These pictures were taken before I finished riveting the brackets in place.
Finished product.  Its not riveted to the fuselage yet as that comes in a step much further down the road.  Still lots of stuff to install under that section (rudder pedal for example) so it sits like this for now.

If you look closely at the sub panel you will see where I installed nutplates in several locations for avionics mounts and wiring organizers.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Section 31 Begins

After a rather busy work week that included some travel I got a chance to start working on section 31.  This is the forward top skin and the instrument panel assembly.  There are a few modifications to this section simply because this is where most of the avionics will be installed.

Oh, and I did finally finish riveting the last parts for section 29 so I can officially close the book on that chapter.

First things first...Jeff and I had our first day of sitting next to the runway watching airplanes for the year.  Nice day!

This is the section of the airplane I am working on now.
This is the first modification I had to make the this section.  The center pane of the Panel will have a 10" G3X display (currently that is the plan anyway) but this rib interferes with the placement of the display.  So, I cut back 3" and then formed a doubler that will restore the integrity of the part.

Here it is all riveted together

This is what the panel looks like in a stock RV-10.

In this picture you can see that I overlaid the stock panel with the Aerosport 310 panel frame that I will be installing.  Its actually on backward here because of the flanges.  I wanted to see how much of a difference there was between the two and since both panels are symmetrical it didn't matter when way I put it in.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cleaning up a bit

I got a little help from some friends this past week...well actually two weeks ago to get the fuselage moved over to the new stand.  Harry also helped me finish riveting the aft top skin on the tail cone.  I'm almost ready to join the two but as I mentioned in my last post I want to try to keep things in the small garage bay.  That means its spring cleaning time!  I sold a few things, moved a few things, and trashed quite a few things.  Now there is enough room for the fuselage with the tail cone attached and it leaves me about 12" of space to walk around one end.  I hope this is enough for a while anyway. 

Not much for pictures this week simply because of the clean up work but here is the garage almost ready to get back to work.

In this picture it doesn't look as clean and open as it does when you can see the entire garage.

A few tools/parts that I am going to put up for sale soon.  I also have an extra pneumatic squeezer that I should probably add to the pile.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Steps are in

After spending at least two months on section 29 I felt kind of weird when I was able to finish up section 30 in just a few work sessions.  Section 29 is not technically complete but its close.  This week I did get the gear weldments bolted in and that was quite a project.  Those weldments require a little "persuasion" to line up properly but I had already created a small AN3 persuasion tool (AN3 bolt with the threads removed and a tapered end) so I was ultimately successful. 

The steps were not too terribly hard to install.  I did remember to install those bushing I turned on Ben's lathe a few months go.  They fit nicely and I think the steps will stay nice an tight....or at least I hope so because getting those bolts back out will be a bugger with the floor installed on the baggage area.

Finally I finished off the week by building a fuselage stand that I will use for the remainder of the build (until I finally get it up on the gear).  I had grand plans of building a all metal adjustable stand that would last generations but after a few hours of cutting, a few welds, and a trip or two to the welding supply store I gave up on that project.  The design I used will allow me to use jacks to raise the entire fuselage high enough to put the gear in and that's all I really need.

The next section I am going to complete is the tail cone attachment.  Unfortunately that also means I may have to move to the larger bay in the garage.  I did a little measurement and its going to be darn tight in the smaller bay once the tail cone is attached.  I may be able to do a little rearranging and get it to work but its going to be very tight no matter what.

One of the first tasks to installing the steps is to cleco the baggage floor into place to hold the ribs in the proper position.  Once cleco'd in you bend them up and cleco them to the seat brace.  I did a modified version of this.

Next step is to install the step and the support block so you can drill the block into the rib.  I stopped taking pictures at this point because there wasn't much to take pictures of.

Oh yea, I had a little help from Jeff to get the tail cone down from the hangar ceiling sling I had it stored on.  Then Harry helped me load it up into Ben's Suburban.  Finally Ben came over and helped me unload it.  Now it sits in the ever shrinking garage waiting to be installed.  That is the next section.

Pilot side gear weldment installed.

Co-Pilot side gear weldment installed.

And finally, the new fuselage stand sitting under the aft end of the fuselage waiting for some help to lower it down.  

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Section 29....still

I think I'm beginning to understand why people don't like section 29.  I've been almost done for two weeks now!  Well actually I've been on vacation for the past two weeks with not much time to work on the airplane but still...shouldn't it work on itself while I'm gone?

Travis came over and helped me with the last of the skin riveting before we left for vacation.  That was a huge help to me.   I almost hope he decides to build an airplane some day because he has an amazing ability to visualize parts as well as read the plans.  Anyway in addition to the skins I was able to finish up the rear vents (which I don't really like but...) and I've finished riveting the front floor skins in.  Actually I'm not 100% done with the front floor skins because I still have a few side rivets to put in that will have to wait until I am done with the fuel pump mount that goes in the tunnel.

The only steps left for this section is to rivet in two side ribs (which should go pretty quickly) and to install the main landing gear weldments.  That last step will probably be a bugger since it involves many bolts and holes that all have to line up properly...and never do...depending on the temperature in the garage, the phase of the moon and how I position my head while banging it on the wall.  :-)

I'm probably going to step forward to the next section before I try to install the gear weldments.  I have a couple of shims that I need to prime before I install the weldments and the steps (next section) are made of steel and need priming also.  If I'm going to mix up a batch of primer I might as well try to use all of it.

Did I mention we went on vacation?

Yep, definitely vacation...

meanwhile back at home.... and this was only the first night...there was even more snow fall after we left for the Dominican Republic...24" in fact!

Floors riveted in place.

Outside of rear side vents installed.

Inside of rear side vents installed.

And a really hard to see picture of the fuselage with the side skins riveted cleco's except those that wont be removed until I do the firewall steps later on.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Riveting....lots of riveting

Most of the past week has been devoted to assembly and riveting.  As the title suggests its a lot of riveting and I'm trying to do it mostly by myself.  There are many rivets I just can't do by myself so at some point I will have to call for help but so far so good.  :-)

On a related note I finally made the decision to use the Grove brakes that come with the kit.  Originally I was concerned about the brakes based on comments I read on VAF but it seems Van's has made a change from the older Cleveland brakes to the newer Grove brakes like the ones I have on my 9A.  With that decision made I was able to order my finishing kit.  They say its a 10 week wait so I figure it should come just about the right time, or a little early is fine too.

Oh, one more thing, Jeff and I did a little IFR practice this past week and were treated to a beautiful sunset.  Obviously the pictures below don't do it justice but I thought I would share.

I decided to insulate the floor area both in front and back.  There will be carpet on the floor but I like the idea of extra insulation to keep our tootsies from getting too cold in the winter.  This picture is of the passenger side front.

I took this picture after the assembly process was completed and just before the marathon riveting started.
And here is the same side after day 1 of riveting.  Note that the fuselage riveting is broken into 4 sections starting with the aft half of each side.  This week I was only able to get half the riveting done or more specifically the aft half of the assembly.  As I already mentioned I do have about 8 rivets in the aft half that I need help with.

Aluminum is really a bugger to photograph.  This is the aft half of the left side of the assembly but the reflection of the blue tarp on the side skin makes it hard to see.

Finally I had to take a picture of the whole thing as it sits this afternoon.  Now its time to go watch the Superbowl...for the advertisements only since I don't really give a rats butt who wins.  :-)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Dimpling, deburring, countersinking, etc complete

As I mentioned last week this week was about dimpling, deburring, countersinking, and even some priming.  I finished up the priming last night and had to do it in the garage because its too cold to use my basement (crawlspace actually) painting booth.  That means hanging lots of plastic and putting up with the smell of Akzo 2 part epoxy that seems to permeate anything!

I can't believe I am saying this but I miss the priming process.  The parts look so nice when they are fully primed but I'm trying hard to stick to my plan to not prime things that don't need it on the interior of the fuselage.  It just adds weight and no benefit.  Some parts still need priming such as anything made from the aluminum angle we work with.  The longerons and a few other parts that I manufactured all got some primer.  I also primed a few small parts simply because they were pretty scuffed up from the initial assembly process.

Looking at the pictures below reminded me that I don't think I have ever talked about the priming system I use.  A couple of years ago I purchased the 3M Accuspray system and have been very happy with it.  Its a system of disposable cups, and spray nozzles that makes mixing, spraying, and clean up a very simple task.  The spray pattern has been excellent, in fact its as good or better than the expensive paint gun (Devilblis) I purchased when I was working on the 9.

I'm afraid I only have two pictures for this weeks post...

Longerons, and other parts after priming.

Fuselage under plastic to keep the primer dust off.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Section 29.. getting there

I think I expected section 29 to last for several months but from where I am at now I think I will be done before the end of February.  I will need some help riveting but the fabrication part is complete.  It's now time to disassemble, debur, dimple, and prime a few parts.  Then its rivet it all together and go on to section 30.  I'm pretty excited about that prospect.

This weekend was probably the most physical session I've had working on this airplane.  Drilling 72 holes in steel at a very slow pace is just hard!  Given that half of those required the drill to be pointing up makes it all the harder.  I took a couple of pics (below) of the parts I am talking about.

I am quite happy with how well the longerons fit after the bending process.  I used a bending die that I purchased on VAF and it really did make the job much easier.

On a related note, I ordered the electric boost fuel pumps this weekend.   Its not too many chapters before I have to install the fuselage fuel system.  I plan on using electronic fuel injection on this airplane and redundant fuel pumps are a must because there is no mechanical fuel pump installed on the engine for this configuration.

Here it is fully assembled (for section 29).  I was preparing for the marathon drilling session when I took this and the next picture.

This is one of the two lower mounts that needed to be drilled.  Notice the cleco's both top and bottom.  Those bottom holes were very tough to maintain any pressure on and keep the boelube (drilling oil) flowing into.

This is a view of the upper bracket.  I had already removed most of the cleco's in this picture.