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.