Sunday, July 29, 2018


Even though I was at Oshkosh, Arlington, and otherwise distracted by the 9 I did get some time in on the 10. 

I started writing this post this morning (Sunday) with the idea that I would be able to finish up one flap and then get the second flap frame riveted together.  Well the second to last picture below is the way things actually ended up today.  I was not able to complete the first flap but I came close.  It was 97 degrees in the shop when I finally called Uncle.  I probably worked about 8 hours on that one flap so maybe by the end of this next week I will have the second flap to this stage....maybe.

Here I am test fitting the flap frame to the wing.  Specifically I am looking at the way the two parts connect.  I am considering some sort of fairing over the flap hinges.

Time to take everything back apart and debur, dimple, and prime those parts that need it.  Look at that pile of parts for one flap!

Ready for final assembly.  The flap frame is riveted together and the leading edge and top skins are cleco'd in place so I can do the final riveting.

This picture and the next show the rig I use to countersink the trailing edge wedges for the ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder.  I simply used a piece of wedge reversed and screwed to the board with a piece of aluminum as a guide.

Side view of the same setup so you can see it from a different perspective.

Oskhosh 2018

It's mid July and you all know what that means....OSHKOSH!  This year was a little different than the previous years because Harry joined me for the trip.  We had originally planned to drop him off in St Louis on the way home so he could drive his new Corvette home but that part of the trip was cancelled at the last moment.  So I had Harry with me both ways and we had a blast.  Instead of flying in to Oshkosh this year we parked the airplane at Appleton.  Turns out that was a great location with great ground staff and easy access to Oshkosh.  We stayed at a hotel near the Appleton airport which allowed us easy access to the airplane.

The trip over started early on Thursday morning with the plan of flying the entire distance in one day if the weather allowed.  Our first stop was at 8U8 (Townsend Montana).  This is a good first leg and one we use pretty much every year.  We topped off the fuel and launched for our next fuel stop.  The weather was pretty rough over eastern North Dakota and into Minnesota so we ended up making a couple of stops.  The first was at Devils Lake where we fueled up and had some lunch.  This was interesting because there was a guy who happened to be at the airport who drove us into town to a good restaurant and then picked us up when we were done and drove us back out to the airport.  You really have to love aviation types!

After lunch we launched for Brainerd Wisconsin.  The weather was moving through that area but it looked like we might be able to get in anyway.  As it turns out when we got close there was some heavy rain in the area so we make a quick diversion to Thief River Falls.  We fueled up, checked the radar, and realized that the weather was starting to break so we once again headed for Brainerd.  We ended up getting in with only a little bumpy wet weather.  I had sold one of my used oil coolers to a guy on VAF and was delivering it to him at Brainerd which is why we chose that location.  As it was getting late in the evening and the weather between us and Appleton was not good we decided to stay the night there.  The Lodge we stayed in had a free shuttle to the airport and a good restaurant for a decent price.

The next morning the weather still looked pretty much IFR with a little rain.  So we decided to file IFR and go on in to Appleton.  It was a good IFR flight with about an hour in IMC (inside clouds with no visibility outside of the airplane).  The approach was a bit exciting due to a big red (radar for lots of rain) cell directly over the initial approach fix.  We had wrapped our bags in plastic because the canopy tends to wick water in under the aft canopy skirt and that water drips all over the bags.  Otherwise the airplane does just fine in rain.  As long as there is no heavy convective stuff I don't mind flying in the rain.  After one exciting moment when the autopilot disconnected for some reason we managed a good approach and were on the ground, rental car delivered and on our way to the hotel just after noon.

Since we had the rest of the day to play with we drove down to Oshkosh and did a quick tour of the grounds.  This was Harry's first Oshkosh trip so this gave him a quick overview of the grounds and it allowed me to see the changes, of which there were plenty!

Saturday morning the weather wasn't looking good but we got up early and headed down to watch the arrivals.  We planted ourselves on the sidelines of runway 27 and watched for about 3 hours in MVFR weather (low clouds) before the clouds finally dropped to IFR (instrument flight only).  During that time the wind was blowing directly across the runway and gusting up to 22 knots at times.  This meant some very interesting landings and, more exciting to us, some very big base to final pattern overshoots.  We had airplanes fly pretty much directly at us as they corrected to get back on track to land. 

Since the weather forecast was calling for IFR weather for the rest of the day we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.  It turns out that there was some decent weather late in the day which allowed about 3 hours worth of arrivals to get in that evening.

Sunday...a day that will live in infamy.  Sunday will probably go down in history as the Fisk Furball.  It was a pure shit show with some airplanes flying low and slow for HOURS waiting to get in to Oshkosh.  If you don't follow the Oshkosh arrival process this wont mean much to you but basically you have to line up several miles south of the airport and then follow the railroad tracks in to a controller who is sitting on the ground at Fisk.  He then directs you to what ever runway is open.  However you have to stay in single file over the railroad tracks at 1800' or 2300' depending on which path you are on.  Well, because of the poor weather on Saturday there were hundreds of airplanes trying to get in all day with some very poor results.  There will be lots of discussions on the various boards and forums so I won't go into details but I will say its a miracle that there were no mid air collisions.  Tempers were running hot and with the typical type A personality that pervades the pilot community it was a recipe for disaster.

Anyway we stayed at the show for a couple more days and then bugged out early Wednesday morning.  We managed to fly the entire distance home against some pretty heavy head winds.  I think it was 12.5 hours in the air and at least 15 hours total but when I finally got home (another hour drive) I was beat. 

It was fun and I plan to do it again.  I really liked the Appleton location and I really liked the hotel versus camping (or glamping at Oshkosh) but who knows...

The Bailey bomber.  This was built by a guy who modeled it after an actual model of the airplane.  Incredible!

Here we are sitting on the edge of runway 27 on Saturday morning.  You can see the low clouds here.

My Monday schedule...I actually managed to go to one of these....only one.

Tuesday plan....didn't do any of these....

This is what I did most of the day on Tuesday....I toured RV-10's on the field.  This one had a nice landing light mounted in the lower cowling.  

I like the metal plates around the tow bar lugs...

Ok, this is interesting.  Here is an RV-10 with a full deicing setup.  Notice the hot prop, leading edge heaters? 

Interesting antenna location on the leading edge of the cabin top.  VOR?  Glide Slope?

Interesting wing root fairings.

Some interesting cloud formations we saw on the way out of Appleton.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Arlington 2018 and ... more deburring

July means that its Arlington fly-in time.  I don't know what it is about this particular fly-in that I enjoy but I suppose its the flight and camping with friends.  The airshow this year was not as impressive as the past few years but it was still very good with some great pilots.  There was a new "act" this year in the form of a 60 drone "swarm" after dark.  I almost missed it (I fell asleep in the tent before dark) but Jeff woke Harry and me up and I'm glad he did.  The drones were amazing!  Highly recommended if you ever get a chance to see one of these performances.

I had somebody ask me the other day what I meant by "deburring".  Well since I just started working on the flaps I figured the timing was good to show you what I mean.  I always try to edge debur as the first step in any new tends to save on bandages.

The weather this year was almost perfect.  The sunset in this picture was spectacular. 

Of course we had to send this selfie to a friend who "forgot" this was Arlington fly-in weekend.  The best part was he was still at work while we were here.  Sorry Martin! (not)

I thought the scene for the Friday airshow was very pretty so I took this picture.  Some ominous looking clouds in the background but they sure made for some great pictures.
Here is the pile of parts that need deburring for the flaps alone.  There are probably 50 different items here.  On this pile alone I probably spent 6-8 hours deburring.

This is what the edge of a rib looks like when it comes from Van's.  See all the rough edges and burr's?

Here is what it looks like after several minutes of filing and buffing.

Even the skins need to be deburred.  This one wasn't too bad.  Some of the skins are so sharp they cut fingers quite easily.

A little hard to get the focus right but you get the idea.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ailerons structurally complete, on to rigging

I finished up the priming and riveting of the flaps this past week.  Nothing new in the pictures but I did remember to take a picture of the backing bar I use for the back-riveting of trailing edges.  This 1/2" x 1" x 48" stainless steel bar really makes the job much easier and quicker with less chance of warping along the trailing edge.

Update to the 9A oil cooler project.  Last weekend I was sitting at the run up area for an extended period of time on a moderately warm day with the engine running.  During that period the oil temperature got up to about 201 but as soon as we got some air moving over the cowling the temperature dropped to 185 and stayed there.  I am curios to see how this will change on a hot day with a long taxi like we see at Oshkosh.  I may have to go back to the larger inlet ring and restrict the outlet (already planned) when needed.  All that said 201 degrees is not bad,  the caution alert doesn't come on until 220 and the red line is 240 I think.

Now its on to rigging the aileron controls and then starting work on the flaps.

One of the ailerons as I was riveting the skins on.
Weighted down and almost ready for back riveting of the trailing edge.  Notice that I am using a continuous 1/2" stainless steel bar as a back rivet surface.  I purchased this a while ago for this purpose and it allows me to do all of the rivets without moving the aileron around.  Works very well.

"Acorns in a hole" as the Van's plans describe it.  This is the back side of the double flush rivets.  Because you are forcing the rivet into a hole it tends to bend the dimples a bit as you can see from the reflection of a few.

Almost perfectly straight!

Top side of the aileron.  Nicely set back rivets.