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...