Monday, December 30, 2019

More Doors

The past few weeks have been dedicated to working on the door fit and the instrument panel.  I used my CNC to do some test cuts of the inserts for the instrument panel and found that there is a small error in the conversion from the Solidworks export DXF to the import process in Cambam (the GCode tool I use).  Turns out that everything I cut is just a bit over-sized.  So I took on the task of learning the Solidworks CAM solution.  It was a bit of a steep learning curve but I finally managed to get it working.  However....on my first test cut the controller board for my CNC failed.  I think it was in the USB connector but regardless it has become intermittent which is a problem.  Bottom line is I ordered some new parts for the CNC and will be making some upgrades to it soon.

Regarding the doors, I've been working on getting the seals to fit properly.  Once I felt they were about right I worked on the spacing between the doors and the cabin top.  Still lots of work to do but here is what I have so far.

This is the pilot side of the panel.  This is the insert that I cut that allowed me to discover the size difference in the DXF conversion process.  I had to do some significant edge sanding to get this one to fit properly.  I may have to do more since the paint will take up some room.  I'm considering having this anodized instead of painting but need to find a good local shop.

Passenger side door gap after inserting the foam spacer (seal), applying micro liberally on both sides of the foam, and then sanding the micro and foam spacer down to create an even transition.  In this picture the foam has not yet been removed.

Side view of same door as picture above.

In this picture the door on the right side of the photo still has the 1/8" rubber seal in place, the left side has been removed.  To open the door at this stage I had to use a razor knife to cut through the seal all the way around the door.  Then I could get the door open but had to remove the seal from both the door and the cabin top.  Both proved to be harder than I would have liked.

In this picture you can see the seam between the cabin top and the fuselage.  I sanded and then filled the small gap with micro/epoxy filler.

The door gap came out pretty nice by using some 1/8" rubber gasket material.  If I were going to do it again I don't think I would use the same stuff since it was a real bugger to remove.  The sticky side was up against the door and the plain rubber side was against the cabin top.  Turns out that epoxy loves that plain rubber and stuck like crazy.  I had to actually sand the gasket material off of the cabin side.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Preping for last skin riveting

Much of my time recently has been focused on getting tasks complete that will allow me to rivet the forward top skin to the fuselage.  This skin is the last skin and major riveting job on the airplane!  I think I'm about there.

One task that is not shown below in pictures is some time I spent (on a nice sunny day) sanding and forming both doors for an 1/8" gap around the perimeter.  This gap will be filled with some 1/8" thick high density foam and then a layer of epoxy/micro will be added to both sides to make a nice consistent and even door to cabin top transition (after lots of sanding.)

I installed and torqued the rudder pedals.  I also fabricated and installed the brake lines.  I used PTFE -4 stainless braided hose and I replaced the plastic Tee with an aluminum one.  Because my master cylinders are behind the pedals it was a little harder to find a routing that would not put excessive stress on any part of a hose or impede movement of the rudder pedals.

This is a picture of the back side of the pedals.  You will notice that in the lower ports I used 90 degree fittings and the upper ports I used nipples with the 90 degree fitting on the hose.  No particular reason other than that I had the fittings available and I was hoping this would allow for more room for the hoses to pass each other during the swing.  I don't know that it made a difference but it didn't hurt anything either.

See this pile of hoses?  Seen them before?  Well this is the entire fuel system I fabricated several months ago.  Turns out I used standard rubber lined hose which normally is just fine but if I ever wanted to use fuel with alcohol in it there is a potential for degradation of these hoses.  So, I rebuilt all of my fuel system hoses using PTFE hose.  Not only is it better for the long run but it is also a bit smaller in diameter which turned out to be an advantage.

One of the steps required before I rivet this top skin on was cutting out holes for the vent fans.  Well, I decided to go with the bigger fans on the 10 so these holes are cut to fit a 120 mm fan.
The center support strut is now installed so I took this picture so I can contemplate wire routing to the overhead console.

I installed the top skin and the panel frame so that I could test fit the VPX/Fuse location. All is well but I couldn't resist taking a picture while its all installed.

One more picture just because I was happy with the days work.

I thought I would throw this one in there as well.  Here are a few of the parts/templates that I have printed using my 3D printer.  I have been amazed at how useful it has been.  Here are two 3D prints of the GSU25 ADHRS, one GEA24 EMS control unit, and a couple of templates that I used for drilling various holes.  The avionics templates were very handy in determining mounting locations as well as drilling holes for nut plates on the sub-panels.

There were a few days when I didn't want to work in the garage so I started working on the FlyLED lighting system.  I purchased "The Works" kit from Paul while at Oshkosh this year and just now got around to soldering the kit together.  I have to say that while I don't consider myself much of an electrician I REALLY enjoyed putting this kit together.  Getting a nice solder joint is just as satisfying as a nice line of well set rivets.

I had to cut some openings in my wing tips and trim the boards to fit the openings.  Here is the left wingtip with the boards cleco'd in place before I had started doing any soldering of lighting components.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Interior Paint

The past couple of weeks have been packed with both small and large tasks that are in preparation for riveting the forward top skin on.  One of those tasks was painting the interior.  I don't really like painting on the interior because there just isn't a good way to orient the paint gun in a consistent manner.  So, it is what it is.  I am pretty happy with it for the most part but I haven't seen it out in the full light of day either....

A little masking and then some epoxy primer in areas I plan to paint.

Overhead console masked off and paintable areas primed.

Paint complete in the passenger and baggage areas.  Note that the areas not painted are going to be covered with interior panels.

Forward part of the fuselage interior painted.  no paint on the firewall for fire purposes.

Hard to see but this is the overhead area at the door openings.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Firewall work

Much of the past several work sessions has been work on the firewall.  I think I already mentioned it but I want to have as many nutplates and doublers installed as possible while I have access to both sides easily.

I used my CNC to cut out a battery box to mount on the firewall.  The RV-10 has its main battery in the tail but I wanted a second battery as a backup.  I made the battery box a little extra big so I could put insulation/padding around the perimeter to protect the battery from radiated heat.  

Test fitting many of the components with the engine mount on.

A couple of the doublers I am installing.  The top one is for the Air/Oil separator and the one down on the right is for the battery box.

This is a picture with all of the parts I have been working on circled in blue.  The red circles are tasks yet to be performed.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with the red circles...yet.
And the last item I am making mounting provisions for is the Fuel Pressure regulator.  This location should allow for an easy transition from the fuel block mounted on top of the engine case and the return fitting that penetrates the firewall just below the right heater valve.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Take one item off the list and add three more!

The list keeps getting longer!  Every time I tackle one task I find three more that need to be added.  Oh well, its lots of fun.

Door struts installed and doors in up position!  Very cool!

Much of the build time this week was composed of my trying to figure out where everything will fit under the panel. I made good progress and have fitted the following items.  The VPX, Engine bus fuse panel, Accessory bus fuse panel, backup power bus fuse panel, two ADAHRS, GAD 29, SDS ECU case, two voltage regulators, and the GEA24.  I've also located where I plan on putting the backup battery as well as its related parts (solenoid).

I used a little thermal paste and a couple of screws to mount the engine bus supply diodes to a heat sink.  

Close up with the door struts installed.

I got the static system run up to the front of the cabin.

I riveted these supports (black parts) on both side of the cabin.

With Travis's help I riveted the aft top skin on.  This in and of itself was a big project.  I had to not only rivet the skin and the antenna doubler I fabricated but I also had to remove, reinstall and torque the 8 bolts that hold the two longeron halves together.

Finally I turned the fuselage around so I can start working on the firewall stuff.  I learned on the 9A that installing nut plates and doublers is much easier when you can reach both sides of the firewall at one time.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Cabin top is on

The big news as the title says is that the cabin top is riveted in place.  There are a few steps left in the installation manual but I find myself spending more and more time trying to decide what my next step should be.  For example, where do I install the VPX so that its easy to access yet out of the way of other avionics and electronics?  Or maybe I should install X now since this is open... the list is endless.  So, that's how I am tackling it...I'm putting together a list and just working my way down.  I still spend a lot of time "thinking" and trying different approaches to things but honestly this is a very fun part of the project.

On a less exciting topic I got the dreaded "your medical has been denied" letter from the FAA last week.  I'm pretty calm about it now after talking to AOPA PPS lawyers but it still frustrates me to no end that the FAA medical staff can't take a few extra minute to verify some data and save us all lots of time.  But nooooo, they have to do the knee jerk reaction.  Oddly enough every FAA person I have ever met has been kind and a good person but this really smells of somebody who just wants to justify their job or simply doesn't care.  I'm confident this will all be resolved but this is definitely the last time I get a Class 3 medical.  I'm going Basic Med from now on. 

I got the master solenoid installed and wired up to the front of the aircraft.  Because of the second set of seats a little extra weight is required in the tail to try to keep weight and balance in check.  The extra wire there are for the battery monitoring system.

I got to use the CNC again.  This time I was fabricating the vent flow controllers for the aft overhead vents.  

I decided that I wanted an antenna on top of the airplane this time.  Here I am installing a doubler to help spread the load of the antenna when it gets mounted on top.

These two nut plates are here so I can hang the overhead vent flow controller assembly that you saw me cutting in the CNC picture above.

The RV-10 is designed to use a huge battery as you can see from the size of the battery box.  The battery I am using is this blue EarthX battery which has better electrical characteristics but is much smaller and waaaay lighter.

Cabin top is riveted in place.  Next up is to get a little help to rivet that aft top skin.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cabin Top and stick grips

Cabin top, stick grips, autopilot brackets, and more!  This past couple of weeks have been busy with a variety of tasks. 

Stick Grips

I decided to use a different stick grip type for the 10.  On the 9A I have Tosten grips which I like the feel of but they are made of molded plastic that tends to flex at the seam during hard pulls.  These grips are actually slid over the metal control rod which means there is no seam to split.  

The unmodified control stick does not have that small hole in the base of the upright tube.  It took a bit of creative drilling and deburring but I was able to create a hole that I can use to route the stick grip wiring through.  I've seen many installs where the wiring is run down the outside of the tube which is ok because most people put some sort of cover over the stick but I wanted a clean protected route.

Pilot side stick ready to install.

Auto Pilot brackets

Yaw bracket fitting.

Yaw and Pitch Autopilot servo brackets primed and installed.
Cabin Top

I used some smooth bore plastic hose to create a void and then used packing tape over it so I could lay fiberglass over it to form the cap.

The fiberglass cap is epoxied in place and the first batch of micro/epoxy filler applied.

After a couple of iterations of micro/epoxy treatment I used some high build primer to help fill some of the pin holes and voids.  

In this picture you can see the void that was created that I can use to route wiring into the overhead console.  This is available on both sides of the cabin.

A layer of epoxy primer as a final covering before paint.

Cabin top back on the fuselage.  The overhead console needs a little buffing but otherwise I'm happy with out it all came out.  Still have to do some interior painting which will be a Tan (similar to what Lexus uses).  That should create a nice transition between the black carbon fiber and the tan interior.

Under the overhead console I epoxied some standoffs in place and then mounted the LC-50 lighting controller.  Its hard to see in this picture but the connectors for the controller are easily visible and accessible but the rest of the device is hidden under the cover.

This is my rendition of the WAAS GPS antenna mount.  Its inside of the airplane but because the GPS signal is not attenuated by the fiberglass which makes this just as good as mounting it on the exterior.

Tunnel Cover

Following up on the changes to the rudder pedal modifications the tunnel cover had to be modified.  Here you can see the split, the slots for the arms, and the doubler to make up for the split.