Monday, June 17, 2019

Cabin Top

This week has been all about the cabin top initial fitting.  Travis helped me get it down from the overhead last week and its been a dusty several hours since then.  The good news is the top is on and fitted with most of the holes drilled.  I still have to drill the center support post but once thats done it will be time to remove it for lots of upgrades/modifications.  I'm glad to get this part of the project almost done because of the magnitude of fiberglass to be worked.  I don't really mind working with fiberglass but with the size of this piece it made it much harder to move around.  Not only that but I cut my hands several times on sharp edges trying to manhandle the darn thing.

Next up is to fit and install the overhead console.  Then there is a huge list of tasks that I want to get done before I do the final install.  These final steps include riveting the last two skins on and I think I want to take advantage of the access to install wiring, brackets, nut plates, firewall stuff, you get the idea.

One thing you will probably notice is that I moved the airplane into the main part of the garage.  I just didn't have room in the small bay to work on the cabin top.  I may take down the temporary wall at this time but I'm not sure that now is the right time.  I don't like leaving any of our cars in the driveway more than necessary, especially during the hot summer months.

First, or second, or third attempt at getting it to fit.  There was a LOT of cutting and sanding to get it to this stage.  You may notice that at this time the top didn't quite sit down against the fuselage.

Getting closer....

Ok, it fits, now its time to cleco the rear skin on so it can be drilled.  This took at least three more on/off cycles to get the fit just right.

All edges drilled for riveting.  

Look at all the dust and debris in there!  Just a small sample, believe me!
Countersunk screw holes for bolting the forward half of the cabin top to the airframe.

"When it starts to looks like an airplane you are half way done"...well its starting to look like an airplane.  :-)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Controls installed

It's kind of funny but the title of this post is "Controls Installed" which is not technically correct.  I've completed most of the work of configuring and installing the controls in the cockpit but there are still a number of steps that will happen later in the build as things start to come together.  Anyway for now that section of the plans is complete as is the flap controls and the rear seats.  No modifications to the controls but I will have to strip/prime/paint the control sticks.  See the picture below for more details.

There are no pictures of the rear seats because I used the seat frames that I built for the 9A.  When I purchased the new seats for it they came with their own frame so these were extra.  Now they have a home and they are identical to the rear seats that are designed for the 10.

Here is a picture I didn't want to see.  If you look closely at the powder coating on the control stick you will notice that it has a "hammered" look.  I've seen this before and its actually corrosion under the powder coating.  I pulled the control stick back out of the airplane and ran a scrap of aluminum over the "bumps" and this is what I got.  Rust.  I will have to completely strip the powder coating off of the sticks and then prime/paint them.  

Flap motor and actuation mechanicals installed.

I had a little fun this week as well.  This is the oil cooler mount that gets mounted on the firewall.  I decided to install an over-sized oil cooler on this engine so I don't have any issues with oil temperature.  However, the oil cooler mount is sized for a standard 3 row oil cooler.  So, I had to do a little modification.  I simply cut the opening larger by trimming the top of the mount all the way up to the edge.  Then I fabricated and riveted a piece of aluminum angle to the top of the mount.  Add a few nut plates and I now have a cooler mount that fits the 15 row oil cooler perfectly!

A little better view of the front of the mount.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Fuel System aft of the firewall

As I've mentioned before I am planning on installing the SDS EM-5/6 electronic fuel injection system in my airplane.  This weekend I took some time to try to finish up the fuel system aft of the firewall and while I think I have it mostly complete there are still a few steps to be completed.

The line on the right is the supply line coming from the fuel tank.  In this line I have a ball valve and a holey filter.  The ball valve will be lock wired open but will allow me to isolate the fuel filter from the fuel tank when it comes time to inspect the filter.  The middle line is the return line from the duplex valve to the tank.  The line on the left is the brake line.

I had to drill a new penetration hole for the return line.  This gives you an idea of where it is in relation to the other two lines and the control rod.

Interestingly enough you may notice that the return lines run up and over the control tube.  I've seen others put 90 degree elbows in and run the line straight down and then aft to the bulkhead fitting.  I tried that but found that it could interfere with the forward and aft motion of the controls.  Its really hard to tell right now since I don't have the tail feathers installed which means I don't know the exact location of the stops.  This seemed to be a good alternative.