Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Cowling Part 2

Lots of work on the lower cowling this past week or so.  The scoop has been cut and drilled for quarter turns, the flanges have been completed for the top cowl interface, and yet there is still a ton of work left on the cowling.  I did find that I will be cutting the lower cowl in half.  Removing the scoop also removes the only easy place to hold the cowling up when installing it so I pretty much have to cut it in half if I want the installation and removal process to be relatively pain free.

The cowling isn't the only part of the airplane being worked on.  You can only do so much fiberglass before you either need to wait for some epoxy to set up or just need a shower to get the itchy stuff off of you!  My friend Ben has been coming up and helping work on the baffles.  So far is just lots of off engine fabrication, deburring, and sizing.

I've also started installing some of the accessories (starter, alternator) and the oil cooler.  I want to have as much of this stuff installed as possible (minus the exhaust) so I can finish the wiring and to make sure I have clearances with the cowling.

Holes drilled for the quarter turn fasteners.
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Lower cowling installed without the scoop.

Lower cowl mounted and the scoop cleco'd in place to check clearances.
Backup alternator installed but not yet wired up.

Starter installed but not yet wired up.

Oil cooler installed and hoses attached.

What the heck is this?!?  Well, this is my engine dehydrator.  Since its going to be at least several months until the engine will run I filled it with about 5 gallons of oil, and then put together this dehydrator to constantly pump dry air into the oil filler location.  The exit air comes out of the breather hose fitting.  There is a small fish tank air pump wrapped in a breathable bag (sock) that sucks air in from the top of the Tupperware container, through the blue desiccant and then discharges it through the rubber hose into the block.  This should help prevent any sort of corrosion inside the engine.

Cowl flap openings marked and corners drilled.

Cowl flap openings cut.  I'm using the AntiSplat Aero cowl flaps in these locations.  These cowl flaps are servo actuated so that they can be closed in normal cruise.



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Cowling part 1

I never do things the easy way....

I started the cowling a week or so ago.  As is my standard I feel I need to "improve" things a little.  In the case of the cowling I am using quarter turn fasteners (I did this on the 9 as well and was glad I did) and I'm doing some cosmetic alterations as well.  This cowling is much larger than the one on the 9 and there were times when it was difficult to get the lower cowling on and off.  For the 10 I decided to cut the snorkel section out to make it easier to work with while installing and removing.  That requires lots of work and a bunch more quarter turn fasteners.  You will see what I mean below.  Once that is complete there is a strong possibility that I will split the lower cowling in half so that I can install/remove one side at a time.  more fiberglass work and more quarter turn fasteners.  I'll make that call once I have the scoop complete.

The top cowling half gets fitted first.  You can see the overlap with the skin.  If you look closely you can see the blue line I drew 3" back from the firewall edge.  This line helps me measure forward to determine the precise cut line.  Actually it wasn't one single was one big cut and a bunch of iterations of sand, install, measure, remove, sand, get the picture.

There are actually many steps in the process before we get to this point but in this picture you can see I am using my laser level to set the horizontal line.  You can also see the wood disc that I made to simulate the back side of the prop spinner.  This helps me set the gap between the prop spinner and the forward edge of the cowl.

Both cowl halves fitted to the airframe.  You can see the line on the upper cowl where I measured forward 3" from the blue line for a cut line.  The bottom cowl will get cut once I have fitted the top cowl.

This picture shows the method I used to locate the quarter turn fastener holes.  I taped those aluminum scrap pieces to the fuselage skin in such a way that I could fold them back once the holes were aligned with the receptacle location.  This worked quite well but I still have to go back and adjust hole positions.

Here both the top and bottom cowl halves have been fitted to the firewall.  I still have some work on the horizontal line but its getting close!

Using these aluminum scrap pieces I positioned them such that I could hold the scoop in a precise position.  Then I used my dremel and a hacksaw blade to cut along the blue line.

Skip ahead several hours and this is what it looks like.  The scoop has been cut out and the flange has been glassed in under it.  (See picture below)

This is the inside of the lower cowl where you can see the fiberglass flange being worked on.  I still have two layers of glass and lots of sanding/filling/etc to do before this is done.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sad day for me - but good too

Today is the end of an era for me...  I sold N1605A yesterday and she left the nest today on her way to her new home.  I think I have mentioned this in the past but I always knew this day would come.  The 10 is getting pretty darn close to ready to go to the airport and I don't have room for two airplanes so the obvious question was 'when' do I pull the trigger.  I know I wanted to sell the airplane to somebody who would take great care of her and I think I got what I wanted.  The guy who bought the airplane is a well respected A&P (aircraft mechanic) who wanted a commuter for his wife and himself.  He had some specific wants and N1605A met them all.  

Needless to say its a hard time for me but I am mollified by the idea that she is in good hands and that the 10 is not too far away from being an airplane.  As I write the blog post I am watching the progress of her flight across the country to her new home in Missouri.  It looks like she is performing as well for her new owner as she did for me.  :-)

Anyway, I made some new friends and can be content with how things turned out... on to the pictures.

My security camera sent me this image of the guys loading up for departure.  

I took this picture using my cell phone...using the webcam that Spanaflight offers for the Puyallup airport.  You can see my baby leaving the nest!

And here she is mid flight on the first leg of the trip to Missoula.  Performing well!