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.