Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's ALIVE!!

Big week this past week!  The airplane is on its own power!  With the help of my friend Jeff N1605A came to life on Saturday the 21st of February.  I will post a video soon (video is on Facebook now) of the event but it took several false starts before it eventually fired up and ran nicely.  After shutting down, inspecting for leaks and letting it cool off for a few hours Harry stopped by and was nice enough to do a pretty thorough inspection of the airplane.  Then he twisted my arm into starting it up again and taxiing it around a bit.  WOO moved on its own step the FAA inspection for the air worthiness certificate.  Its getting real folks!

I have to stop real quick and say how much I appreciate all the help I have received from friends and family both this week.  Amy has been a model of patience with me being gone so much getting the airplane ready.  Jeff and Harry have given me hours of their time to get this airplane ready to fly and I can't tell you how much that helps, not only from a task perspective but from a peace of mind perspective.  They have both built and maintained their own RV's for years and having experienced eyes on my airplane is invaluable!

On with this weeks pictures.

This weeks task list..notice the first engine start category is gone!
First task of the week was to weight the airplane so I could calculate the weight and balance.

Jeff tying the airplane to his Suburban
Then there is a list of several small tasks that got taken care of this week.  This is a picture of one of them, the firewall pass-through had to be sealed up. 

The new Comm radio had to be wired up and installed.

And finally, Harry and I checked the compression on the engine as part of my initial engine/airframe log entry stating that I have completed all of the tasks outline in the FAR's for an airworthy airplane.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A day late and dollar short...sorta

Sorry for the late post this week.  I have been busy on that list I posted last week and I just didn't get time to put this post together until today.  I managed to get a few items removed from the list, and probably added a few as well but I am making progress.  I spent considerable time this week putting and electrical panel in my hangar so I can get heat going.  The good news is that I am almost ready for first engine start and if all goes well it will happen this week along with the final weigh in for my weight and balance calculation.  The weight and balance is key because I need it to submit the paperwork for my final inspection.  Woo Hoo!

Tasks status for this week.  A few items removed and a few added.

This is my new Navigation antenna before I wired up the BNC connector.  If you look closely you will see where I fiberglassed the tail end of it to the wing tip inside and riveted the closer side to the wing tip attachment hinge (as a ground).

All wired up and ready for use!
First fuel for N1605A!  I am filling this container so I can flush the fuel tanks and do a fuel flow test for the boost pump.

This is the fuel flow test.  I think that stream of fuel should suffice!

I finished up the plenum with a little primer and some platenuts.  It is now ready to install.

I got the top cowl primed, and the oil door installed.  I still have a little work to fill a few pin holes I missed but that wont happen until I am ready for paint.

Really dusty but this is the wing tip lens that I trimmed and got ready for final install.  I will mount the navigation and strobe lights under the Plexiglas before these get installed later this week.

And last but not least I found a new favorite Asian food....BACON fried rice... OMG this was good!  I never thought I would be one of those people who posts food but this pyramid of pleasure deserves some recognition.  I got it at the House Of Gee near the airport.  Look at the size of those bacon chunks!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Final assembly continues

It is so much fun seeing all of the parts come together.  This was a week of endless details but the big news is all of the major parts are now on the airplane and torqued down.  In fact bolts, torque and wiring pretty much sum up this week completely.  I did do more fiberglass work in the garage which is hardly worth taking pictures of but necessary.  It has been raining hard this week with lots of fog so there hasn't even been many airplane distractions at the airport.

First, here is where we are as of Sunday evening...

I'm going to start something this week and try to carry it through until first flight.  That being sharing my list of tasks that I have mentioned in the past.  This week I broke the list down into categories as you can see from the picture.  Still lots of tasks to complete but this way we can both watch them least until I add a few more.

Speaking of bolts and torque, here are the prize winners this week.  These are the 10 bolts per side that hold the wings on.  I got them installed and torqued as one of the first tasks of this week.  Sounds like a simple task huh?  Well the top 4 bolts and the two down the side are pretty simple, but the bottom 4 are a different story.  See the washers on this side of the bolts?  Because there is no access on the other side for a wrench all twisting has to be completed on this side hence the washers being on this side.  Well the first time I put those bolts in I forgot to put washers on them and had to remove them...that was a chore.
Here is what it looks like on the other side where the nuts go.  As you can see there isn't even room enough for a wrench on a couple of them.

This is the line that hooks the fuel tank vent up to the overboard vent fitting.  I fabricated this a long time ago and waited to install it until the wings were on so that I wouldn't keep banging into it and bend it.  

This is the view of the elevator attach point in the tail.  Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the windows I had created in the access plates?  Well this is the reason why.  That connection is pretty important to being able to control the airplane in flight and I wanted to be able to inspect it during pre-flight.

There are only a couple of known failure points on the RV-9 and this is one of them.  Under those silver plates is an aluminum plate that holds the forward end of the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage.  There have been cracks found that start at the upper bolt holes and propagate outboard.  If those crack were to go completely across the vertical stabilizer could bend or break off.  A company I have talked about before (AntiSplat Aero) makes a simple little modification that prevents that possibility from occurring and that is the silver (Stainless Steel) plates you see in this picture.

This was another of those "discovery" pictures that I occasionally take with my phone to get a better view of an area I can't get to with my eyeballs.  I decided to post this one because of something unusual I discovered.  See under the black tubing, that little silver thing?  Well, that is the nut that I have been looking for that holds the outside air temperature probe (the white wire) on.  I have a habit of attaching nuts/bolts to items before then get installed so I won't lose them.  I thought I did that with this one too, and it turns out I did, but I must not have put enough turns on the nut and it spun off during some part of the move to the airport.  I was very happy to see this but my arm almost didn't fit that far in to get it back out.

This is the tail light (strobe and nav) that got installed today.  It was just one of many wiring tasks that I managed to complete this week.

And just because it wasn't raining I decided to pull the airplane out into the daylight and take a few pictures...

And at the end of the day it is safely tucked back into its home...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Back to the beginning

I was in the garage this weekend working on a few different tasks when I realized something...I am back to where I started.  If you look at what I have left in the garage it matches what was there 22 months ago when I started this project, the empennage.  I have been working both at the airport and at home and the items remaining at home are mostly fiberglass tasks on the empennage.  At the airport I don't have much for pictures because its been pretty much little tasks that don't really warrant a picture.  I have finished running the wiring in the wings, installed two outside air temperature probes, and installed some new lighting to help the light level in the hangar.  Lots of tasks but I find its hard to know what tools to keep at the airport and what to keep at home.  I did find that the hangar really needs some insulation because its darn cold in there.

One task I did get accomplished this week was to put the close tolerance bolts in.  When the wings were mounted last week we used a couple of temporary bolts and I was worried about how hard the final bolts would be to put in.  Turns out it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I still have to put a few of the nuts on and torque the bunch but the worst part is done.

On with the show....what there is of it anyway.

See that gap where my fingers are?  Well thats all the room I had to work between the wings and the fuselage.  Needless to say I had to find other creative ways to run the wiring that needed to span that gap.

I took this picture as I was installing the outside air temperature probe.  Man, it sure is dusty in there!

I managed to get some primer on the horizontal stabilizer tips.

The empennage fairing has a bunch of pinholes that need to be filled.  This is the first attempt at that task.  Here I used a batch of epoxy with a squeegee to try to fill as many as possible.

I had a little epoxy left over so I went ahead and started the process of finishing the nose gear fuselage fairing.

The lower cap on the rudder got its final resting place made permanent.

And, the top of the rudder gets a little smoothing love.

First coat of pin hole filler on the top of the engine cowling is layered on here.