Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Firewall work

Much of the past several work sessions has been work on the firewall.  I think I already mentioned it but I want to have as many nutplates and doublers installed as possible while I have access to both sides easily.

I used my CNC to cut out a battery box to mount on the firewall.  The RV-10 has its main battery in the tail but I wanted a second battery as a backup.  I made the battery box a little extra big so I could put insulation/padding around the perimeter to protect the battery from radiated heat.  

Test fitting many of the components with the engine mount on.

A couple of the doublers I am installing.  The top one is for the Air/Oil separator and the one down on the right is for the battery box.

This is a picture with all of the parts I have been working on circled in blue.  The red circles are tasks yet to be performed.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with the red circles...yet.
And the last item I am making mounting provisions for is the Fuel Pressure regulator.  This location should allow for an easy transition from the fuel block mounted on top of the engine case and the return fitting that penetrates the firewall just below the right heater valve.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Take one item off the list and add three more!

The list keeps getting longer!  Every time I tackle one task I find three more that need to be added.  Oh well, its lots of fun.

Door struts installed and doors in up position!  Very cool!

Much of the build time this week was composed of my trying to figure out where everything will fit under the panel. I made good progress and have fitted the following items.  The VPX, Engine bus fuse panel, Accessory bus fuse panel, backup power bus fuse panel, two ADAHRS, GAD 29, SDS ECU case, two voltage regulators, and the GEA24.  I've also located where I plan on putting the backup battery as well as its related parts (solenoid).

I used a little thermal paste and a couple of screws to mount the engine bus supply diodes to a heat sink.  

Close up with the door struts installed.

I got the static system run up to the front of the cabin.

I riveted these supports (black parts) on both side of the cabin.

With Travis's help I riveted the aft top skin on.  This in and of itself was a big project.  I had to not only rivet the skin and the antenna doubler I fabricated but I also had to remove, reinstall and torque the 8 bolts that hold the two longeron halves together.

Finally I turned the fuselage around so I can start working on the firewall stuff.  I learned on the 9A that installing nut plates and doublers is much easier when you can reach both sides of the firewall at one time.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Cabin top is on

The big news as the title says is that the cabin top is riveted in place.  There are a few steps left in the installation manual but I find myself spending more and more time trying to decide what my next step should be.  For example, where do I install the VPX so that its easy to access yet out of the way of other avionics and electronics?  Or maybe I should install X now since this is open... the list is endless.  So, that's how I am tackling it...I'm putting together a list and just working my way down.  I still spend a lot of time "thinking" and trying different approaches to things but honestly this is a very fun part of the project.

On a less exciting topic I got the dreaded "your medical has been denied" letter from the FAA last week.  I'm pretty calm about it now after talking to AOPA PPS lawyers but it still frustrates me to no end that the FAA medical staff can't take a few extra minute to verify some data and save us all lots of time.  But nooooo, they have to do the knee jerk reaction.  Oddly enough every FAA person I have ever met has been kind and a good person but this really smells of somebody who just wants to justify their job or simply doesn't care.  I'm confident this will all be resolved but this is definitely the last time I get a Class 3 medical.  I'm going Basic Med from now on. 

I got the master solenoid installed and wired up to the front of the aircraft.  Because of the second set of seats a little extra weight is required in the tail to try to keep weight and balance in check.  The extra wire there are for the battery monitoring system.

I got to use the CNC again.  This time I was fabricating the vent flow controllers for the aft overhead vents.  

I decided that I wanted an antenna on top of the airplane this time.  Here I am installing a doubler to help spread the load of the antenna when it gets mounted on top.

These two nut plates are here so I can hang the overhead vent flow controller assembly that you saw me cutting in the CNC picture above.

The RV-10 is designed to use a huge battery as you can see from the size of the battery box.  The battery I am using is this blue EarthX battery which has better electrical characteristics but is much smaller and waaaay lighter.

Cabin top is riveted in place.  Next up is to get a little help to rivet that aft top skin.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cabin Top and stick grips

Cabin top, stick grips, autopilot brackets, and more!  This past couple of weeks have been busy with a variety of tasks. 

Stick Grips

I decided to use a different stick grip type for the 10.  On the 9A I have Tosten grips which I like the feel of but they are made of molded plastic that tends to flex at the seam during hard pulls.  These grips are actually slid over the metal control rod which means there is no seam to split.  

The unmodified control stick does not have that small hole in the base of the upright tube.  It took a bit of creative drilling and deburring but I was able to create a hole that I can use to route the stick grip wiring through.  I've seen many installs where the wiring is run down the outside of the tube which is ok because most people put some sort of cover over the stick but I wanted a clean protected route.

Pilot side stick ready to install.

Auto Pilot brackets

Yaw bracket fitting.

Yaw and Pitch Autopilot servo brackets primed and installed.
Cabin Top

I used some smooth bore plastic hose to create a void and then used packing tape over it so I could lay fiberglass over it to form the cap.

The fiberglass cap is epoxied in place and the first batch of micro/epoxy filler applied.

After a couple of iterations of micro/epoxy treatment I used some high build primer to help fill some of the pin holes and voids.  

In this picture you can see the void that was created that I can use to route wiring into the overhead console.  This is available on both sides of the cabin.

A layer of epoxy primer as a final covering before paint.

Cabin top back on the fuselage.  The overhead console needs a little buffing but otherwise I'm happy with out it all came out.  Still have to do some interior painting which will be a Tan (similar to what Lexus uses).  That should create a nice transition between the black carbon fiber and the tan interior.

Under the overhead console I epoxied some standoffs in place and then mounted the LC-50 lighting controller.  Its hard to see in this picture but the connectors for the controller are easily visible and accessible but the rest of the device is hidden under the cover.

This is my rendition of the WAAS GPS antenna mount.  Its inside of the airplane but because the GPS signal is not attenuated by the fiberglass which makes this just as good as mounting it on the exterior.

Tunnel Cover

Following up on the changes to the rudder pedal modifications the tunnel cover had to be modified.  Here you can see the split, the slots for the arms, and the doubler to make up for the split. 

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'...  


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.