Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fun night of dimpling

I know its not in character but I just had to post tonight. First I had a great night in the garage using a DDRT2 dimpling tool that I borrowed from a fellow RV builder (thanks Shawn!)  Amy was also busy tonight with "the boy" and I had to take a picture to show you how beautiful the Christmas tree is...especially considering the background!

This think makes beautiful dimples!!

See, isn't that a great tree...ok its a little out of focus.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another week goes by

I just realized that it has been a week since my last post.  With that large of a gap you would think lots got done and while I feel that is true you won't be able to see it by the pictures tonight.  I realized I only have one new picture and that is of the rudder pedals.  I also managed to get the following done...

1. Installed the baggage compartment ribs and one cover on each side.
2. final drilled all fuselage holes.
3. Installed and drilled forward floor stiffeners.  (forgot to take a picture)
4. Travis came over and helped me move the wings and their storage rack.  (see picture below)

One more thing I forgot to mention this week... I ordered my Vertical Power VPX-Sport!  This little device will assist me in making my wiring runs, and its computer controlled so I will have some really neat options.

I didn't get much "plane time" this week but I was able to build the rudder controls including the brake pedals (not shown).  Here is the rudder pedal controls, upside down of course.  
Yep, that's the living room.  Amy even approved it...until she saw how big the wings are.  Now she is asking me when the storage area in the basement is going to be ready.  Not sure why...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Longerons and firewall

Time for the weekend update.  I got to spend a fair amount of time in the garage this weekend. Friday evening I hung the firewall on the fuselage and started the process of mounting the many, many longerons, gussets, bulkheads spacers, and many more parts that seem to take way longer than they should to get right.  The lower longerons needed a "small" twist, the auxiliary longerons needed a twist, oh and also part of one side of the angle removed.  I don't think there was a single part that got installed this weekend that didn't require some sort of bending, twisting, or at least "fitting".  I have been reading many accounts of problems with the F-996B and C parts.  Turns out that Van's plans actually have the wrong dimensions for the location of two of the end holes.  Took me 2 tries apiece to get the C correct.  Anyway the forward angle work is complete and now I get to move on to the rudder pedals and associated mounts.  Not much for pictures but here is what I ended up with at the end of the various days.

Friday nights work ended with the firewall mounted, drilled, and the floor cleco'd on.

Closeup shot of the upper firewall mount.  This required lots of finess to get it "right" then I had to add a few clamps to make sure nothing moved while I was drilling it out.

This is how things sit tonight.  I spent all day on this section of the fuselage as I noted in the comments.  10 hours of work.

Here is a look at the inside where I spent most of the weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Forward progress once again

Back from our trip to Boston and working on the plane again.  So refreshing!  Anyway tonight I was able to move forward once again.  I finished up the re-work and tweaked the longerongs a little to make them fit a little more closely to the skin.  I did all that with the fuselage sitting upright and then Travis helped me flip it over on its top as the plans call for.  Finally I drilled the longerons to the skin and trimmed the forward end of each longeron to be at least 3/4" from the end of the skin.  Doesn't sound like a lot but thats a lot of holes! See pics below.

I just had to post this picture that I took while in Boston.

Oh yea, I also made the bend at the aft end of the skin to wrap around under the fuselage.  this was not really fun but they turned out pretty goo.

Here is the fuselage after drilling the longerons to the skin.  All thats left is the forward 5 or 5 #30 holes that I will get to next.

This is the fuselage upside down on the saw horses.  Pretty cool under there!

Friday, November 8, 2013


Well, the new parts came in and can you see what is missing from the picture below?  Yep, I have to drill some holes that are going to be a little hard to line up properly.  The big holes on each end where the spar-wing bolts go.  I guess I should have expected that since the spar is machined as a single unit.  Oh well, I did manage to get most of the aileron trim parts ready for installation.

See those missing "BIG" holes?

Hard to see but the aileron trim bracket and arm are sitting dead center of the photo

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Crotch work

Get your mind out of the gutter I'm talking about the crotch strap mounts!  Last weekend my friend Jeff was curious as to why I hadn't installed the crotch strap mounts and the aileron trim components yet.  Well I didn't have a good answer for him so I thought I better look into it.  Turns out that now is the ideal time to do these tasks so that's part of what I was doing tonight.  I also managed to finish up the drilling out and removal of the parts that I have to replace on the main bulkhead that I mentioned in my last post.

However, that's not all that happened today.  I had a little retail therapy today.  Yep, I needed a few rivets to replace the large ones that I had to drill out so I spent a little time ordering up a few items from Aircraft Spruce.  Odd that when I finally checked out there were a few more items in the shopping basket than a few rivets.  A couple of cylinder head wrenches and a few more drill bits ended up in there too.  But wait there is more!  Since I'm in the mode of installing a few things that are best done before I zip up the fuselage I sauntered over to SteinAir and had a chat with Jed about a few items.  At the end of the conversation I had a list of items that included autopilot servo mounting brackets, magnetometer mount, and a bunch of wire for tail lights and elevator trim.  All in all it was a very therapeutic day!  Ok, on to a few pics.

The crotch strap mount on Amy's (the co-pilot) side.

Another shot of the crotch strap cleco'd in.

The fwd half of the bulkhead after I removed the uprights.

The uprights about to go into the scrap pile.  Its just a shame!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Epic weekend!!!

This is one of those weekends you wish you could have every weekend.  Let me tell ya about it.  Friday evening Travis and I went to see the movie "Ender's Game" which I thought was a great movie.  It doesn't hurt that my favorite book growing up was the impetus for this movie.  After the movie we came home and he helped me finish up a couple of rivets in the tail cone that I just couldn't reach.

Saturday was a good day as well.  I was able to do lots of little prep work and even got in a little riveting on the center section.  You can see the pics below.  I also got to do a project visit for a fellow EAA chapter member that is building an RV-7.  He is a long ways ahead of me and is almost ready to hang his engine.  That turned out to be a super visit where I not only got to take a bunch of pictures but I also found out that there are several chapter members building RV's as well.  Thats something I didn't know about the Redmond EAA chapter since the RV guys seem to be a minority there. Amy came out in the early afternoon and we started doing a little clean up of the garage and we were able to reduce the stuff we have stored out there by a significant amount.

Sunday however was the day that made the weekend.  It was also the day that I found I made the worst mistake of the build but more on that later.  The day started out early with a little more rivet work on the center section, followed by breakfast out with a couple of friends whom you have all heard me talk about before.  Jeff and Harry came up from Puyallup to help me work on the plane today.  Oh My God!  I was amazed at how much work we got done today.  Obviously they both know what they are doing better than I do as they both have built an RV.  Anyway we were able to finish up the center section riveting, get the floor skins cleco'd and screwed in, and most excitingly we got the center section mated up to the tail cone.  Its really starting to look like an airplane fuselage now.

I was so excited about the progress that we made that when they left I decided to do a little more work.  Well, now the bad news.  I drilled the 904H doubler on the center section backwards.  None of the holes would line up when I tried to get it all put together so after about an hour of scratching my head I finally figured out what I had goofed up so I came in and ordered $35 worth of parts from Van's to fix the problem.  Fortunately it will be relatively easy to fix.  Anyway, off to some pictures!

Jeff (on the left) and Harry clecoing the skin onto the center section.  After the cleco's were in we prepped and riveted this whole skin in a little over an hour.  I was shocked at how efficient the whole process was.

Jeff drilling out some holes on the floor skin just prior to us mating it up with the tail cone.

There it is.  Center section mated up to the tail cone.

And here is the mistake.  That Silver piece with the H shaped bottom (904H) is the part that I put in backwards when I drilled it out.  Now I have to replace it and the two gold uprights (904C & D) that are on the left side of the picture.  Of course this means I have to remove a bunch of rivets....no fun.

Side view of the fuselage with the skins cleco'd on.

Center shot of the fuselage.