Project Log - December, 2002 
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December, 2002

December 2, 2002 - 0.75 hours
Reassembled the flap mechanism with the safety wire that keeps the rod end bearing from twisting.

December 2, 2002 - 0.5 hours
Made a pitot tube out of some thin walled stainless tubing from work and started laying out the placement for it on the wing.

December 4, 2002 - 1.5 hours
Installed the Pitot tube in the left wing and changed the little washers out that go between the bushing halves of the flap center bushing. I also ran the flap motor back and forth several times to make sure that my safety wire installation wouldn't get in a bind.

Pitot tube detail with the aileron bellcrank

Another view of the pitot tube

December 5, 2002 - 0.5 hours
Cut the elevator push rod tubes to length, cleaned and etched them in preparation for priming the inside.

December 5, 2002 - 1 hours
Started trimming the aft end of the fiberglass wing tips. The aft end of the tips stuck out about 3/8" past the the aileron, and both need trimming.

The aft end of the fiberglass wingtips were off by about 1/4-3/8"

It didn't take too long to get them carved down

December 6, 2002 - 0.75 hours
Primed the inside of the elevator push rod tubes.

December 6, 2002 - 0.75 hours
Finished trimming and sanding the wing tip aft edges. That was easier than I thought that it would be.

December 7, 2002 - 1 hours
Drilled both of the elevator push tubes to the end pieces and riveted the end pieces to the big tube. I screwed up the little one by only drilling 4 holes in each end instead of 6. I'll call Van's on Monday and see what they say. I most likely will build another one. This is the elevator after all and it's a cheap mistake.

December 9, 2002 - 1.5 hours
Mounted the Tru Trak autopilot servo in the right wing.

December 11, 2002 - 2 hours
Played with the new NOVA strobe power supply. What a show! Drilled the holes in the wingtips for the strobe head and the position lights and started fitting the lenses for the wing tip.

This is the position and strobe light positioned on the wingtip

I duck taped the lense to the tip to mark the initial cut line.

December 12, 2002 - 1 hours
Finished up the wingtips.

Finished Wingtips

December 12, 2002 - 1 hours
Finished mounting the autopilot servo in the right wing.

Tru-Trak autopilot servo installed in the right wing

Another shot of the Tru-Trak autopilot servo

December 14, 2002 - 7 hours
Finished all the little spacers for all of the aileron push tubes. Installed the AOA Sport probes in the right wing, and put a right angle fitting on the pitot tubing where it exits the wing.

This is the Proprietary Software Systems AOA port on the top of the wing.

This is the PSS AOA port on the bottom of the wing.

I installed a right angle bulkhead fitting on the root end of the wing. The blue RTV is left over from pressure testing the tubing. (Addendum: The fitting needs to point down not aft. It interferes with the aileron pushrod if it points aft and besides the hole where it enters the fuselage is below this point.)

December 14, 2002 - 1 hours
Started making another F-789 elevator push tube. I messed the other one up.

December 15, 2002 - 2 hours
Finished building the F-789 elevator push tube. Primed all the aluminum push tubes. Drilled the hole in the elevator bellcrank for future installation of a pitch servo on the autopilot.

December 22, 2002 - 2 hours
Pressure tested the AOA ports, did a little rewiring on the position lights in the wing tip.

December 28, 2002 - 5 hours
Installed the control sticks and the electric aileron trim.

The electric aileron trim uses two springs and a MAC trim servo for biasing the ailerons.

December 29, 2002 - 4.5 hours
Finished checking the electric aileron trim. Pressure tested the Pitot tubing in the left wing. Mounted the NOVA strobe power supply, and ran the shielded strobe wire down the rear of the fuselage to the tail. I also installed a small aluminum clip to hold the static line under the longeron.

I installed this little aluminum clamp to hold the static line. The little black wire ties are to keep it from moving fore and aft.

I installed the Nova X-Pak 904 powersupply right behind the rear baggage compartment bulkhead.

January 11, 2003 - 4 hours
Deburred and dimpled the bottom wing skins and prepared them for priming.

January 12, 2003 - 3 hours
Primed the wing skins, cleaned up the shop a bit. Removed the ailerons from the wings and set the right wing on the table getting ready to install the bottom skins.

January 12, 2003 - 1 hours
Installed the mount for the Tru-Trak pitch servo. I'm not buying the servo just yet but Tru-Trak gave me the mount so that I could put it in while it was still fairly easy to get to.

Tru-Trak pitch servo mount installed at the elevator bellcrank

January 19, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Did a pretty major cleanup of the garage, and drilled the holes for the engine mount.

Engine Mount as it looked in the box.

Engine Mount installed on the fuselage. Now if I just had an engine to go on it.

January 19, 2003 - 3 hours
Aligned and drilled the flap hinge to the right wing. Started riveting the bottom skins to the right wing.

January 20, 2003 - 1 hours
More riveting of the bottom skins.

January 22, 2003 - 1.5 hours
More riveting of the bottom wing skins.

January 25, 2003 - 2 hours
Still riveting the bottom skins on the right wing.

January 26, 2003 - 3.5 hours
Finished riveting the bottom skin on the right wing. Moved the left wing over to the bench and drilled the flap hinge to the flap brace.

The right wing is finally finished. All it needs now is a few bolts and some paint.

This is a bad picture of the flap hinge pin securing mechanism. Just a couple of nylon tie wraps.

January 27, 2003 - 1.25 hours
Finished drilling and countersinking the flap hinge brace and finished preparing the bottom skins for riveting onto the left wing.

January 29, 2003 - 2 hours
Started riveting the bottom skins on the left wing.

January 30, 2003 - 0.5 hours
A few more rivets go in the bottom of the left wing

February 1, 2003 - 1.5 hours
More rivets into the left bottom skins

February 2, 2003 - 3.5 hours
Finished riveting the wing skins. The wings are now ready to go on the fuse. Also turned the fuselage around in the garage and rearranged things so that I'll have room to attach the wings. Started getting the tail ready to mount.

February 4, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Fixed and redrilled the center hinge holes in the elevator control horns.

February 5, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Drilled the holes in the elevator horn where the control push rod attaches, removed the elevators and started installing the tail on the fuselage.

February 6, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Fabricated the up elevator stop and the two little spacers that go under the HS forward spar. Clamped the Horizontal Stabilizer onto the fuselage and measured it all.

Up elevator stop. It still needs to be trimmed a little.

Horizontal Stabilizer clamped in place.

February 8, 2003 - 4.5 hours
Finished installing the HS and started getting the VS clamped and lined up.

This distance from the aft deck to the tooling holes should be the same front and back to achieve the 0 degree incidence angle.

Eight bolts hold the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage.

The horizontal stabilizer is installed!

Clamping the rear spar of the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage.

Clamp arrangement for the forward spar of the vertical stabilizer.

February 9, 2003 - 2.75 hours
Cleaned up a little bit and rearranged the garage for installing the wings. Vern, Steve and John all came over and we managed to get the wings installed. Thanks a million guys.

Trying to get the wing lined up.

Vern and Steve are trying to get the bolt into the spar.

There it is with the wings on. (The wheels were John's idea. Nice touch.)

The wings are on!!

A couple of hardware store bolts and a little wheel bearing grease hold the wings on for now.

February 10, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Checked the alignment of the wings and discovered that I have too much forward sweep. The wings are going to have to come back off so I can trim the rear spar a little more.

February 12, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Worked on aligning and drilling the VS to the fuselage.

February 13, 2003 - 2.2 hours
Shannon and Kelly came out to give me a hand with the wings and we managed to get them off and and after a little trimming they went back on and lined up just right.

To check the forward sweep of the wing, four plum bobs are hung from the leading edge of the wings.

If all four plum bobs line up then the wings are straight relative to one another.

After the forward sweep is checked and the wings are square with the fuselage I marked the rear spar with a sharpie.

February 13, 2003 - 4 hours
Finished the baffle seals on the engine baffles and spent the rest of the time trying to figure out how to seal around the inlets. I drilled the seal material for the inlets.

February 15, 2003 - 3.5 hours
Measured the sweep, incidence angle and angle from the fuse again. Mounted the flaps to make sure that they would close properly, then took them off. Then I took a long break, came back out to the garage measured everything again, stood back and scratched my head, and then once I had measured everything one more time, I finally got up the nerve to drill a 1/8" hole through the rear spar attach point. Whew a whole day and two holes.

Measuring the incidence angle with my calibrated 2x4

It's hard to see but the center of the hole has to pass through that little square to maintain the PARAMOUNT 5/8" edge clearance. That square is only about 1/4" x 1/4"

The pilot hole is drilled and I am going to wait until tomorrow to drill it out.

February 16, 2003 - 3.5 hours
Measured the wings again, and then started enlarging the holes in the rear spar attach. Finally got them out to 5/16" and started breathing again. Then I drilled the holes where the bottom fuselage skin overlaps and will be screwed to the wing once that was done I started working on the fuel tank attach brackets.

The attach points are drilled, and I don’t think that I screwed them up.

This is a little gadget that I made to mark the holes on the bottom fuse skin.

Marking the holes for the bottom fuse skin / wing attach point.

February 17, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Had some trouble getting the left fuel tank bracket stuff riveted together. Finally got it all drilled and ready to bolt on and primed the steel parts, I'll finish it tomorrow.

February 18, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished the fuel tank attach brackets and drilled the hole in the tank bracket. Attached the ailerons to the wings and set the pushrod lengths. Also mounted the flaps to the wings.

Finished tank attach bracket. All it needs now is a platenut.

The backside of the fuel tank attach bracket.

The flap attached to the wing and just hanging there.

February 19, 2003 - 2.1 hours
I didn't like one of the original flap push rods that I made so I made another one. I set the right flap pushrod length and cut the funny looking hole in the bottom of the fuselage for the pushrod to move through.

February 21, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Finished the flap pushrods.

This is flap push rod / actuator attachment and the hole where the rod passes through the fuseleage.

Close up of how the flap pushrod works the flap.

February 22, 2003 - 2.75 hours
Worked on the fuel tank vent lines. The seats also came today so I put them in the cockpit.

The seats still need some upholstry but they are things of beauty aren't they?

February 23, 2003 - 5 hours
Finished both the fuel vent lines. Made the little screens that go on the bulkhead fittings that serve as the vents, and JB Welded them to the fittings.

February 24, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Finished installing the vent lines (the bulkhead fitting finally cured) and started putting the fuel valve together. I didn't finish the fuel valve because I am waiting on fuel lube to come in.

Here are my little bug shields for the fuel vent lines. They are little garden hose washer screens cut to fit and J.B. Welded to the fitting.

Fuel tank vent line

February 25, 2003 - 1 hours
Bent the fuel line that comes in from the right tank. This is the easiest of the two since the left tank has the inverted modification on it and it's pickup comes in from the front of the tak

Detail of the wing root of the right tank the small line is the vent and the large is the fuel pickup.

February 26, 2003 - 0.75 hours
I got my fuel lube in so I installed the fittings to the fuel selector valve and fit the right fuel line to the valve.

February 28, 2003 - 2.2 hours
Finished up the fuel line going from the fuel selector valve to the left tank. This is the tricky one because the fuel pickup is at the forward end of the tank so there are bends inside the wing root.

Detail of the wing root of the left tank. This tank has the flop tube modification and that is why the pickup is out on the leading edge.

This is how the fuel line runs from the sidewall to the tank selector valve.

This is all that shows of the fuel line after all the covers are installed.

Fuel tank selector tubing.

March 1, 2003 - 1 hours
Took the right tank off so that I could cut and flare the fuel line. After I flared the fuel line I put the tank back on with a few screws to make sure that everything would fit, and allow me to fit the wing root fairings.

March 1, 2003 - 2.4 hours
Fit and drilled the wing root fairings. It is nice to do something easy and simple for a change.

The wing root fairing trimmed and clecoed in place. I just put the rubber on temporarily just to make sure it would fit.

March 2, 2003 - 3 hours
Started on the new rudder today. I got as far as cutting the stiffeners out and back drilling half of them to the left rudder skin.

The stiffeners backdrilled to the left rudder skin.

March 3, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Finished back drilling all the rudder stiffeners, deburred all the stiffeners and both skins and started dimpling.

March 4, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished deburring / dimpling the stiffeners and skins. Primed the stiffeners

March 5, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Backriveted the stiffeners to the rudder skins and started fitting the rudder skeleton pieces together

The stiffeners back riveted to the rudder skin.

March 8, 2003 - 3.9 hours
Drilled all the rudder skeleton parts together and started deburring / dimpling the parts.

March 9, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Finished the deburring and dimpling of the rudder parts except for the trailing edge piece. I still need to countersink that thing

This is what the new rudder looks like with one skin removed.

March 10, 2003 - 1.9 hours
Finished all the dimpling and countersinking and primed the rest of the rudder parts.

March 11, 2003 - 2 hours
Started riveting the rudder parts together. I got as far as the reinforcement plates the bottom rib and the counterbalance skin.

The rudder skeleton is starting to go together.

This modification was the only way that I could get in and rivet a couple of the counterbalance skin rivets on the rudder.

March 13, 2003 - 1 hours
Inventoried and stored the firewall forward kit. All I need now is an engine.

The firewall forward kit from Van's.

March 13, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Did a little more riveting on the rudder.

March 13, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Measured and measured and measured the lower attach points for the VS and finally drilled one of the holes. I got nervous about the bolt callout and decided to call Van's tommorrow and ask before I continue, so I finished up by building a little stand to hold the fuselage up while I install the engine mount for good.

March 15, 2003 - 4 hours
Finished the second rudder. I must say I liked the first one better. I did'nt care for the whole riveted trailing edge thing.

March 15, 2003 - 2 hours
Took the wings off and rearranged things to get ready to finish the tail installation, the fuselage and canopy.

March 16, 2003 - 2.25 hours
Drilled the VS attach plate (number two) to the HS forward spar. It shouldn't have taken two hours but I had already messed one up and I didn't want to mess up another one. I also got the VS aligned and a couple of the holes drilled that hold it to the attach plate.

March 18, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Finished drilling all the holes that attach the vertical stabilizer, and started working on the empennage fairing.

March 22, 2003 - 1 hours
Worked on the lower emp fairing. F-794A. After I tried trimming it so that the rubber channel would fit I decided that I would rather not use the rubber channel. It is just too dificult to get it to fit well. So I'll do the other side by just cutting the aluminum piece to fit close.

March 23, 2003 - 5.2 hours
Spent all day on the !@#?% emp fairing. I am much happier with the 'close fit' method for the lower fairing as opposed to the rubber channel. I think I'll reorder the piece for the other side and do it the same way. The fiberglass piece is a real pain and I still don't have it fitting right.

March 24, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Countersunk the longerons where the aft canopy decks will rivet. Clecoed the forward fuselage structure together to make sure that everything would fit. I am trying to get what I need installed so that I can paint the inside of the cockpit.

March 25, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Worked on finishing up all the little details inside the cabin that I seem to have left undone.

March 26, 2003 - 1 hours
Trimmed the plastic from the rivet lines on the top fuselage skin. Installed the nutplates in the bulkhead for the emp fairing and started riveting the top fuse skins on.

March 31, 2003 - 1.2 hours
Did some more riveting of the top skins.

April 1, 2003 - 1.25 hours
Riveted the armrests in, and started riveting the aft canopy deck.

Here is a shot of the right armrest.

April 2, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Did some more riveting on the top fuselage skins.

April 3, 2003 - 1.25 hours
Trimmed and fit the F-6111 L&R skin stiffeners.

The left side F-6111 top skin stiffener. This had to be trimmed on each end to fit right

Here is the right F-6111

April 5, 2003 - 4 hours
Drilled the forward decks to the longerons and aft canopy decks. I cut the extra material off of the fuel tank selector box (where the manual trim knob would go).

April 6, 2003 - 2.2 hours
Made a little spacer to fill the gap that is left after cutting the extra material from the fuel selector plate. Started getting all of the parts of the cabin ready to prime. Shannon gave me a hand and we nearly finished getting the top skins on the fuselage.

I cut a piece of extra rudder stiffener material to cover the gap that is left when I cut the extra material off of the fuel selector valve box.

This is the inside the fuel selector box.

April 7, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished all the riveting on the top skins. Finished all the side skin to longeron rivets that I could. The ones where the top forward skin goes are still open. I started masking off all the places in the cabin were I don't want paint to go.

The top fuselage skins are finally on.

April 8, 2003 - 2 hours
There were a few parts left that need to be riveted onto the fuselage that needed to be primed so I primed those. Then I finished masking off the rest of the cabin.

April 9, 2003 - 1.6 hours
Riveted the caps on the side of the center section and riveted on the the forward and aft canopy decks. The center section covers turn out to be a mistake. I'll have to drill them out tomorrow because the roll bar bolts have to go in there.

April 10, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Un-riveted the center section covers from inside the cabin. Finished masking the cabin off and scuffed all the places where paint is to land. All I need to do now is clean it real good and paint it.

April 13, 2003 - 3 hours
Painted the inside of the cabin with some gray epoxy primer. The plan was to stay with the gray primer since it is pretty tough but I may put some paint on it.

Cabin area masked and ready to spray.

Here is what the cabin area looks like after I put the gray epoxy primer on.

April 14, 2003 - 2.4 hours
Painted the seat backs and baggage bulkhead covers. I also touched up a few places that I didn't get quite right yesterday. Hopefully the painting is over for a while.

April 15, 2003 - 0.75 hours
Cleaned and painted the roll bar black. I don't like the way the white powder coat looks on the slider canopies so I painted mine with a black satin enamel.

April 16, 2003 - 0.75 hours
Mixed up some more primer and touched up some areas of the cabin that showed up after I opened the garage door and let the sun hit it.

April 23, 2003 - 0.3 hours
Didn't feel much like working on the airplane but I did manage to get the bend in the top of the firewall.

I used three C-clamps and a couple of pieces of wood as a brake for bending the top of the firewall.

April 24, 2003 - 1 hours
Fabricated four little funny looking strips of aluminum to back up the rivets on the NACA ducts.

April 26, 2003 - 4.5 hours
Finished installing the NACA ducts on the side of the fuselage. Started fabricating all the little parts for the forward top structure of the fuselage.

Used the pattern that came with the NACA ducts to lay out where to put the duct.

This is the inside view of the NACA duct.

This is the outside view looking aft.

April 27, 2003 - 2 hours
Vern came over and helped me with my painting technique. Now the inside of the cabin looks much better. He also helped me figure out how to fill the gaps in the emp fairing.

April 27, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Still working on the top forward fuselage structure. I messed up a couple of parts so I have to send off for some more material. This is going slower than I thought that it would.

A lot of little parts for the forward part of the fuselage.

April 29, 2003 - 0.75 hours
Worked on the emp fairing a little more.

April 30, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Smeared some SuperFil on the emp fairing to fill the gaps.

I used Saran wrap to protect the aluminum and filled the gaps with Super Fil. Thanks Vern for the help.

Close up of how the Super-Fil fills in the fairing gaps.

April 30, 2003 - 0.9 hours
Worked on the forward fuselage structure some more. I drilled the holes for the center rib to firewall rivets and tweaked all the flanges to get them to line up a little better

The holes drilled in the firewall for the center rib.

I used a straight edge to help me get all the flanges lined up.

May 1, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Put some more Super-Fil on the emp fairing and re-fit it to the tail. This should be the last time.

May 1, 2003 - 1 hours
Drilled some of the forward top skin holes.

May 4, 2003 - 3 hours
Reattached the elevators and the rudder, fabricated and installed the rudder stops.

I used a plumb bob hanging from the trailing edge of the rudder to help get the angle set.

The finished rudder stop. I'll put the last two rivets in after the VS comes off.

May 4, 2003 - 1 hours
Finished drilling the top forward skin holes out and started fitting the panel.

May 4, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Sanded the Super Fil on the emp fairing and took off the rest of the Saran wrap. It fit's pretty good.

The emp fairing fits pretty good. Now I just need to countersink the screw holes and attach the nutplates after the VS and HS come back off.

May 6, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Finished fitting the panel into the forward fuselage, drilled the little angles that go around the forward canopy deck to fasten the panel and started fitting the eye-ball vents to the bottom of the panel.

May 7, 2003 - 1 hours
Finished the eyebal vents. Did some last minute adjustments on the Rudder Pedals. They seemed to stick more than I would like so I spent some time fine tuning them.

Eyball vent asseblies. I still need to drill them to the side of the fuselage but that can wait until the panel is mounted.

May 11, 2003 - 5.4 hours
Finally finished fabricating all the parts for the top forward fuselage. Finished drilling all the holes and took it all apart, deburred, dimpled and countersunk all the holes and just nearly got it all ready to prime.

Forward fuselage structure and panel all drilled and clecoed into place.

May 12, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Deburred all the holes in the fuselage where the top forward structure will go. Re-installed (hopefully for the last time) the fuel vent lines. Played around with rudder pedal location until I was comfortable.

May 13, 2003 - 2 hours
Installed the brake fluid reservoir. Built and installed a doubler plate for the parking brake valve. Installed all the fittings into the brake master cylinders.

This is the brake fluid reservoir.

This is where the brake fluid reservoir comes through the firewall. I used a little Pro-seal to help keep the fumes out.

I used one wrap of 1/4" Teflon tape on the 1/4" NPT threads for the brake line fittings.

Tubing fittings installed on the parking brake valve.

Parking brake valve mounted to the doulber plate and firewall.

This is what the firewall side of the parking brake mount looks like.

May 14, 2003 - 1.6 hours
Tubed up the parking brake valve to the firewall bulkhead fittings. Re-installed the rudder pedals (hopefully for the last time). Fabricated the little plates that attach the rudder pedals to the rudder cables, and started tubing up the brakes.

I used 1/4" aluminum tubing to tie the parking brake valve to the firewall bulkhead fittings. Note: Don't mount the valve like this. I found out later that it interferes with the rudder pedal travel.

May 17, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Moved the parking brake valve to the new location, and tubed it up.

The old position of the parking brake valve interfered with the brake pedals. This is how I wound up mounting it.

Another view of the parking brake valve.

May 18, 2003 - 2 hours
Retubed the parking brake valve. I didn't like the way the flares came out the first time and was afraid it wouldn't seal. It's much easier to fix it now than to crawl under the panel later so I decided to play it safe. I also went ahead and tightened up on all the plastic/brass fittings on the brake system.

These are the little spacers that go under the aft deck to hold the roll bar. They are needed because the bolt goes in very close to the longeron and these spacers give the bolts a nice flat spot to grip.

May 18, 2003 - 2 hours
Pilot drilled the aft decks for the roll bar attach bolts. Trimmed and primed the little spacer blocks that go under the aft deck and started trying to bend the roll bar to the right width.

May 19, 2003 - 1 hours
Cleaned and primed all the parts of the forward fuselage structure.

The rudder pedals are in and the brakes are tubed up.

May 23, 2003 - 2 hours
Riveted all the structure together for the forward fuselage.

The forward fuselage structure is all riveted in. The top skin will have to wait until I'm done with the panel.

May 26, 2003 - 5.1 hours
Finished bending the roll bar, clamped and drilled the roll bar to the forward fuselage. Spent way too much time putting the little spacers and nuts up under the aft decks, and bolted the roll bar to the fuselage. I had to make a couple of shims to get it perpendicular to the fuse. Then I cut and fit the roll bar brace and drilled the holes to bolt it to the fuselage and the roll bar. I cut the slider rails to length and drilled the little nylon guide that goes on the back of the canopy frame. Started building the canopy guide track, but I didn't get very far.

I clamped the roll bar to the table, wrapped some rope around it and used a wrench to make a turnbuckle to bend it.

The roll bar and the roll bar brace.

This is the little roller assembly that attach to the canopy frame and allow it to roll in the rails.

May 27, 2003 - 1.6 hours
Finished building the slider track and taped the track to the fuselage. I started trying to figure out how to fit the slider frame to the fuselage. This is going to be a patience testing exercise.

The canopy slider rail is duct taped to the top of the fuselage for initial fitting.

May 28, 2003 - 1.25 hours
Today I worked on bending the canopy frame. Cussed a little, bent a little, cussed some more, unbent a little, measured, cussed, bent, cussed.....

June 1, 2003 - 1.9 hours
I was a little bit more calm today so I didn't cuss as much but the bending on the canopy frame still progresses slowly.

June 2, 2003 - 1.2 hours
More bending and tweaking on the canopy frame. I am getting close but I am not sure where 'good enough' is on this thing. If it has to be perfect then I am going to be here for a while.

June 8, 2003 - 1.5 hours
More bending and scratching of the head on the canopy frame. I think I may have actually gone backwards today.

June 9, 2003 - 1 hours
Tweaked on the canopy a little more. It goes well for a while and then a little backwards then better for a while then backwards. I just have to quit working on it when I start to get frustrated. I think I have the front bow right and the side rails about at the right shape but it seems to taper out a little as it goes aft. I also cut a piece of hardboard to lay in bottom of the aft fuselage so that I can crawl back there and fix a few things. That'll give me something to do when I can't stand the canopy anymore. Maybe I just need to be less picky.

June 12, 2003 - 1 hours
Bending on the Canopy frame a little more. I just about quit on the whole thing and then after playing around with a paper sack I decided to try twisting the frame along a different axis, and it seemed to work better. I know have the canopy lined up excpt the aft bow is 1/4" off.

June 12, 2003 - 0.2 hours
The canopy frame was about to drive me nuts so I decided to start building my battery box. I got the parts out and marked the center of the lightening holes.

June 14, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Worked on the Canopy frame some more. I'm still bending it this way and that and it still does not want to assume the right shape.

June 15, 2003 - 3 hours
I think I may have the canopy frame close enough to work. The left side rail is a little low on the aft end but if there is a way to make it work like that then I'll leave it. I'm gonna give myself a couple of days and then maybe I'll feel like tweaking it just a little more.

June 16, 2003 - 1 hours
I messed up on locating the shoulder harness anchors in the aft fuselage. I only missed by a whole bulkhead. Anyway I have to fix it so I made a couple of parts and started gathering up the tools that I will need when I crawl back there.

June 17, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I crawled into the tailcone to fix a couple of problems. I had drilled the shoulder harness anchors to the wrong place and there was a low spot in my static tubing that I wanted to fix.

I cut a piece of hardboard to put in the back of the plane to crawl around on. I didn't want anything too stiff since the bulkheads are curved on the bottom. This worked really well.

Here is the properly placed shoulder harness anchor with the cable attached.

This is how I fixed my static port problem. I just moved the T up a little and let the slack gather at the top.

June 21, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I installed the last of the nutplates that attach the panel to the structure. I started working on the cabin vents and I replaced one of the bolts on the autopilot servo with a longer one.

These are the brackets that the panel screws into to hold it to the forward deck.

The panel screws to the upper two brackets and the one with the curve is where the air vent attaches.

June 22, 2003 - 4 hours
Today I was trying to get as many little things done that I could so I can get a bunch of stuff out of the way for the canopy. I finished the cabin air vents, replaced the other bolt,and put in those big washers next to the rod-end bearings for the autopilot servo and I ran the static line through the cabin and up behind the panel. I also took off the rudder and the elevators, getting ready to remove the HS and the VS so I can make some more room in the shop.

Test fit of the cabin air vent. Notice that you can see the white plastic inside the vent.

I didn't like the fact that I could see the white plastic inside the air vent so I painted them black.

This is where the air duct attaches to the NACA vent

This is where the air duct attaches to the eyeball vent inside th cabin. I have not attached them permanetly yet because I still have some rivets that have to go back there for the last fuselage skin.

This is where the static line transitions through the baggage compartment. I ran the line under the longeron all the way to the panel.

The static line comes along the aft canopy deck and through the panel substructure.

June 22, 2003 - 0.45 hours
I installed the little piece of all thread on the rear canopy track. This should help me fine tune the height of the rear of the canopy frame.

The forward bow of the canopy is not quite parallel with the roll bar but this will be covered with fiberglass later so it won't matter.

The rear bow of the canopy acutally fits pretty well.

This little piece of all-thread is there to support the overhanging slider rail. It also gives some fine adjustment on the height of the rear of the canopy.

June 24, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Drilled a couple of holes for the strobe / position light wires to pass through the aft two bulkheads and the VS spar. I called Van's before I drilled the hole and they said that it would be okay as long as I drilled the hole close to the bottom hinge bracket. I also removed the VS and the HS from the airplane. I was going to need to do that anyway and I am really starting to need the room.

It's a little hard to see but the black spot is the snap bushing where the strobe and postion light will come through the vertical stabilizer spar, and aft bulkhead.

June 26, 2003 - 1 hours
Primed the little spacers and attach pieces of the tail assembly, and riveted the VS attach plate to the VS spar.

This plate is how the vertical stabilizer forward spar attaches to the horizontal stabilzer forward spar.

June 28, 2003 - 2 hours
Drilled the slider rails to the aft canopy decks. Drilled the rear track to the top of the fuselage. Cleaned up the shop a little bit to make room for moving the big ol piece of plastic around.

Well there it sits. All ready for me to start carving on it.

June 29, 2003 - 5.5 hours
Started cutting on the canopy. I acutally got as far as making the Big Cut. I started by trimming off some of the excess around the outside of the canopy. This is more for practice than anything. Then I put the canopy on the table upside down and figured out where to drill the hole for the latch handle. After that I cut the canopy along the side bows (with plenty of extra) an then I clamped it all together to mark the line for the Big Cut. After taking a break I cut the bubble in two. It is exciting to have that part behind me with no cracks and the cut in the right place.

The frame is set in the canopy to determine where to drill the hole for the latch mechanism.

After drilling and smoothing the hole I put this home grown clamp to help me hold it in place while I mark other cuts. This is barely finger tight only, don't put a wrench on it.

Once the sides were trimmed sorta close the Big Cut is marked. This still needs some support before I start cutting it.

Well I did it! It had my nerves frazzled but there it is and with no cracks.

It even fits the frame, kinda.

June 30, 2003 - 1 hours
Positioned the canopy on the frame and clamped / taped it down. Layed out the places where the holes will go into the front bow and the top. I couldn't get the nerve to actually start 'drilling' so I read the manual some more and took another look at the plans and went to bed.

July 1, 2003 - 1 hours
I trimmed the canopy a little more. I still had it overhanging the side rails a bit and missed the part in the book where it said to cut it to just above the rails.

It only took a couple of minutes to make a nice plexiglass scraper out of a hacksaw blade

July 4, 2003 - 3.5 hours
I almost finished drilling the canopy to the frame. I left the aft bow undone because the sides were a little long so I trimmed a little bit of the sides to make it fit better. I didn't feel like drilling those holes while I was tired so put the latch mechanism together.

This is the canopy latch mechanism.

July 5, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished drilling the canopy frame. Marked the sides to the final cut line and started trimming all of the excess from the edges of the canopy.

The canopy is drilled to the frame!

July 6, 2003 - 4.5 hours
Finished trimming the edges of the canopy and spent quite a bit of time polishing the edges so that they were nice and smooth and rounded. Also match drilled the cover strip to the top of the canopy and almost finished countersinking the holes.

Getting ready to match drill the canopy to the top cover strip.

July 8, 2003 - 2 hours
Finished countersinking and enlarging all the holes in the canopy bubble. Enlarged the holes in the canopy frame to #30. Tweaked the canopy frame some more to get it to fit just right and reassembled the whole mess. It actually fits pretty well. I guess all that aggrivation with the canopy frame paid off.

First trial fit of the windscreen. I have quite a ways to go.

July 10, 2003 - 1.2 hours
Trimmed and tried the windscreen several times. It's a trial and error kinda thing but it's getting closer every time I try.

July 11, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Trimmed some more on the windscreen.

July 12, 2003 - 5.5 hours
Finished trimming the windscreen. It took a long time but I think I have a pretty good fit. It may still need a little bit of tweaking. I also spent some time getting the edges of the windscreen rounded and smooth. I set the height of the canopy frame to match the roll bar. I almost finished drilling the holes in the slider tracks out to full size. I want to get the slider tracks nailed down before I drill the rollers to the canopy frame, so that I can run the canopy back and forth and make sure it is going to be smooth.

July 13, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Finished drilling the holes for the slider tracks. I also put a couple of screws in the tracks so that I could slide the canopy back and forth to check the alignment of the rollers. I drilled the rollers to the canopy frame, and I also started drilling the windscreen to the roll bar.

July 14, 2003 - 1.9 hours
I finally remembered to borrow the 2" Greenlee punch from work so I worked a little more on the battery box. The 2" punch is for the lightening holes. The circle cutter was just not gonna work on the steel, but the punch worked really well.

This 2" Greenlee Punch makes a great hole in the steel battery box.

July 15, 2003 - 1.75 hours
Finished the battery box and started installing the nutplates and doubler plates on the firewall for mounting the battery and starter contactors.

Finished battery box mounted to the firewall.

July 19, 2003 - 1.2 hours
Finished mounting the contactors and made the copper bar that connects the two together.

The battery contactor and the Starter contactor mounted to the firewall. I couldn't find any 0.032 copper so I used two 0.025 and put some heatshrink tubing on it to protect it a little.

July 20, 2003 - 5 hours
Finished drilling the windscreen to the roll bar. Drilled the little clips that hold the windscreen down to the forward skin. Countersunk and enlarged all the holes in the windscreen. The windscreen is held to the roll bar with screws so I tapped all the holes in the roll bar for the #6 screws. Finished the latch mechanism, except I didn't trim the hook all the way yet. I want to wait until I get the rear track and anchor blocks down before I commit to that size. Drilled and screwed down the rear canopy track, even though by the manual this should be done after the anchor blocks it seems to me that it would work out better if I nail that track down first. We'll see.

Windscreen is fit and drilled to the rollbar.

These little clips are used to hold the front of the windscreen down. These will be covered with fiberglass later.

The holes in the windscreen are countersunk and enlarged for a #6 screw.

The canopy latch mechanism. I still have some trimming to do on the hook to get it right but you can see how it works.

This is the outside part of the canopy latch.

A little trick I figured out for installing multiple washers behind the windscreen.

July 20, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Steve came over and helped me unload the engine.

A four cylinder Lycoming will fit in a Ford Expedition

You can see the AFP purge valve and the LSE ignition coils here.

The mag has a plastic bag over it with the leads coiled up in there.

Here you can see the governor pad and the LSE crank position sensor.

The fuel pump is on the left and that hose that runs along the right side of the engine is the prop governor line that goes to the prop.

July 22, 2003 - 1 hours
A couple of the screws on the rear canopy track were still sticking up a little bit so I tweaked the countersinks a little. Also Messed around with the little anchor blocks that hold down the rear of the canopy.

July 24, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Drilled some lightening holes in the center rudder pedal brace and riveted it to the firewall. Riveted in the firewall recess with a little Pro-seal. Mounted the battery box to the firewall. Installed the engine mount but I didn't get the bolts tight, I'll need some help on that one. I also tried to get the governor installed on the engine but I am not quite sure that I have the right studs. I'll check with the mailing lists tomorrow and see what gives.

The firewall recess is installed with a little proseal to seal off all those nasties that will be forward of the firewall.

Another picture of the firewall right before putting on the engine mount.

July 26, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Trying to get ready to hang the engine. I mounted the prop governor, and the governor control bracket. It isn't going to work like that because the the control cable will have to run through my battery. I don't really want to drill a hole in my battery so I need to figure out how to fix it. I installed the fittings for oil pressure, manifold pressure, fuel pressure and the oil cooler lines in the back of the engine.

This is the prop governor adapter pad with the studs installed.

The governor is mounted to the pad.

The propeller control bracket mounted to the governor. It isn't going to work pointing that direction!

This is the restrictor fitting in the oil pressure port. The fitting has an insert in it that has a really small orifice so that if I lose the hose it'll take a long time to lose all the oil in the engine.

This is the manifold pressure port on the back of #3 cylinder.

One of the oil cooler ports. The other is under the oil filter

July 27, 2003 - 6 hours
I figured that I would try to rotate the plate on the back of the prop governor to and it worked. I put the remote sender manifold on the firewall. Everybody started showing up for the engine hanging party and after some RV talk and hamburgers we managed to get the engine on the mount. It went really smooth and only took about a half hour. After the engine was on everybody that showed up decided that they didn't like my sawhorse under the fuselage idea and we decided to put it up on the gear. I hadn't put the wheels or anything together yet so we had to do all that. With all the people that were there it only took a couple of hours, but we didn't do the brakes or the wheel pant mounting hardware. We just did enough to get the wheels on. Thanks everybody that came over to help. Marshall, Steve, Charles, Clay, David and Darin all helped. I also have to thank my wife, Shannon, for the burgers and cake, it was a lot of fun.

I took the screws out of the back of the governor and rotated the back around to get the control cable bracket facing the right direction.

This is me getting the engine lift ready to go. Steve, Charles and Darin are in the background.

Getting the lift in place. Cherie is added to the picture.

Here we go.

Getting it in place.

Another shot of us getting it into position.

Almost there.

Close up of one of the engine mounts

One bottom mount in.

The engine is on!!!!

It's hard to stop looking it over.

And here it is on the landing gear.

I guess that's a pretty good days worth of work.

I put a battery on the aft deck to hold the tail down. It'll stay on it's own but it doesn't take much to lift it.

July 28, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Covered all the holes in the engine and made sure all the open fittings had covers. Put all the cotter pins in the engine mount, and while I was at it I put some cotter pins in the rudder pedals where I had run out earlier and since I was in the cabin anyway I went ahead and tightened up all the rudder pedal hardware. Spent some time sorting through drawings and cleaning the place up it was getting to be a real mess.

July 29, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Installed the deyhdrator plugs into the top spark plug holes. Punched the hole for the cabin heat box. I had to install the fuel injection servo temporarily so that I could locate the holes for the mixture and throttle cables to pass through the firewall. I punched those holes as well as the hole for the mixture cable.

This is a dehydrator plug. The blue stuff is a desicant that absorbs moisture and turns pink when it is saturated.

These are the automotive spark plugs and adapters that are on the top cylinders. I can use auto plugs because of the Lightspeed Ignition.

This is the stick on template for the eyeball control cable pass thru's.

July 31, 2003 - 0.5 hours
I drilled the holes for the cabin heat box to mount to the firewall. I have decided to use screws and nutplates instead of rivets since I may have to remove the box to get to the prop governor.

July 31, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Adjusted the rear of the canopy down a little bit because the rear anchor point pin was going to go into the block a little bit high. it still is a bit high for my liking and it looks like the weldment is different from one side to the other, so I also made a 1/8" shim to go under the anchor block hold down. I bet nobody will notice it as long as we don't tell anybody.

August 4, 2003 - 2.5 hours
Finished the rear canopy anchors, and trimmed the canopy latch a little more. I think I'll save the last bit of trimming on the latch until it's all together. It still seems to have a little bit of give in it.

Left rear canopy anchor. This is how the aft end of the canopy is secured when it is closed.

August 4, 2003 - 1.25 hours
Layed out and drilled the holes in the canopy side skirts.

August 7, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I finished installing the little eyeball cable penetrations on the firewall for the throttle, mixtrure and prop control cables. I still need to put in two more. These were a little more trouble than I thought they would be but they look cool when finished.

These little eyeball pass thru's are great for getting control cables through the firewall. This one is for the prop control.

The one on the left is for the throttle, the other is the mixture.

August 9, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I drilled the side skirts to the canopy frame and then started drilling the C-759 inside canopy skirt and I mananged to mess it up. I am not sure that following Van's instructions is the best way to install this part or not. They call for drilling the side skirt to the frame first and then putting the inside skirt between the two and drilling it. Well mine wound up working it's way down while I was drilling the holes and by the time I got to the aft end of the frame it was so far down that it interfered with the frame. I'll order another on Monday.

August 10, 2003 - 3 hours
I clamped the C-759 on the other side of the plane hoping that I would not mess it up like I did the right side on yesterday. Nope, I messed it up too. I guess I'll have to figure out another way to do this. ARGGGHHHH, If I'm not an alchoholic by the time I finish this canopy it will be only by the grace of God. I went ahead and made up the side skirt braces and that is about all I can do on the canopy until I get the parts. Since I'm waiting for canopy parts I made the little plate for the throttle/prop/mixture controls to mount to the panel and measured lentghs for throttle and mixture so that I can get those on order.

August 11, 2003 - 1.2 hours
Removed the tailwheel spring from the fuselage, prepared and primed all the parts for the tailwheel assembly.

August 12, 2003 - 1 hours
Painted the tailwheel and piddled around measuring some more firewall forward stuff.

I painted the tailwheel parts with black appliance epoxy.

August 14, 2003 - 0.75 hours
Assembled the tailwheel and installed it on the airplane. I also replaced the nylok nuts on the main gear attach points with all metal lock nuts.

The tailwheel is all painted, greesed and installed.

This is the main gear attach bolt. Yep one bolt is all there is.

August 17, 2003 - 6 hours
I managed to get most of the side skirt parts drilled and fitted. There are a lot of holes in those things. I trimmed the relief in the front of the side skirts where it clears the curve in the fuselage as it slides back and I took the hole thing apart and started preparing all the parts for paint.

I took the canopy off to get those inside side skirts to line up right.

This is a bad picture of how the inside skirts line up with the canopy frame.

Whew the side skirts are drilled to the frame and it actually fits.

This is the side skirt brace drilled and clecoed to the frame. I'm going to paint it all and rivet it before drilling it to the side skirts.

August 23, 2003 - 4 hours
Prepared, primed and painted all the canopy frame parts. Finished mounting the cabin heat box. I also test fit the exhaust just to see how things were fitting up front.

I wanted the canopy frame to be black. I never liked the white color I think it stands out too much.

The desicant in the dehydator plugs turns pink when they are saturated with water.

A few minutes in the oven at 200 degrees or so gets the water right out of the dehydrator plugs

This is the bottom side of the cabin heat box.

Another shot of the cabin heat box. I went with the stainless steel box and it takes up a little bit more room than the aluminum one.

August 26, 2003 - 1 hours
Re-mounted the newly painted canopy frame. Riveted the side skirt braces to the frame clecoed the bubble back on. I also sized and cut the strip of aluminum that goes accross the back of the canopy and clecoed it on.

This is the inside of the canopy frame.

The little notch in the front of the canopy side skirt is there so that it will clear the curve in the fuselage side as the canopy rolls backward.

August 30, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Installed the flap position switch for the PSS Angle of Attack indicator.

The PSS angle of attack instrument needs to know the flap position. My dad made me a little nylon cam for the flap switch.

August 31, 2003 - 5 hours
Removed the roll bar and the roll bar brace and repainted them. They had gotten beat up a little bit during the construction phase. I also ran the wires from the strobe power supply. This was one of the items on my to do when there's nothing else to do list and since I was waiting for help on the canopy I decided to do the strobe wires.

This is the strobe power supply with all the wiring done.

September 1, 2003 - 1 hours
Shannon came out and helped me drill the canopy side skirts to the side skirt braces.

September 3, 2003 - 0.75 hours
Dimpled and primed the side skirts and the side skirt braces.

September 7, 2003 - 5 hours
Finished countersinking all the rivet holes on the side skirts. Dimpled all the holes in the side skirt brace. I also trimmed the plastic away from the canopy in all the places where it contacts the frame and reassembled the canopy on the plane. Then I put the #6 screws in that hold the canopy to the side skirts. Started trimming and fitting the aft skirts. Made a strap duplicator for finding the holes on the aft skirts. I also played around with the alternator to see how it fits.

September 8, 2003 - 1 hours
Did a little bit more trimming on the aft skirts and started drilling one of them to the frame.

September 10, 2003 - 0.3 hours
I got a few toys from the mailman today and one of them was my Odessey battery, so I installed it. I also piddled with the alternator a little bit.

I used Van's optional Odyssey battery mount and it worked really well.

Here is another picture of the Odyssey battery.

September 10, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Shannon came out and helped me drill most of the rear skirt to canopy frame rivet holes. It looks like the thing may fit together after all.

September 13, 2003 - 0.5 hours
Finished trimming the aft canopy skirts.

September 13, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Mounted the starter and worked on some of the big wires.

September 14, 2003 - 3 hours
I had to trim a little corner off of the side canopy skirts because the edges were right on one of the canopy to frame rivets. Shannon helped me drill the last few holes that attach the aft skirts to the side skirts and I finished trying to get them to fit just right.

This is the aft canopy skirt.

September 14, 2003 - 1 hours
Mounted the ground block and started trying to find a place to put the fuse blocks. I started building some stand offs for the fuse blocks because I'm going to mount them on the firewall but I don't want all those nutplates on the engine side of the firewall. I'll rivet the standoffs onto the firewall (flush side forward) and mount the fuseblocks to the stand offs.

September 20, 2003 - 2.5 hours
I finished fabricating the stand offs for the fuse blocks. I also mounted the ANL current limiter base and figured out where I am going to put the alternator contactor, and made the doubler plate to mount it.

September 21, 2003 - 5 hours
Mounted the fuse blocks and the alternator contactor. I had to remove the battery box to rivet the stand offs for the fuse blocks. I started making the big cables.

Since I am using an internally regulated alternator I am putting a contactor on the big wire so it can be shut down.

The block on the left is the main buss, the one on the right is the endurance buss.

The small block is the battery buss.

I am soldering the big terminals on. This is what one looks like when done.

September 27, 2003 - 5 hours
Worked on big wires. Finished the Alternator wire. Mounted and connected the diode between the Main Buss and the Essential Buss. Made the ground wire for the battery to firewall connection. I also mounted the SD-8 backup alternator to the vacuum pump pad on the engine.

This is the vacuum pump adapter where I am going to put the SD-8 alternator. I had it off to check the seal.

This is a fusible link.

September 28, 2003 - 4.5 hours
Made the 4AWG cable for the main buss connection and passed it through the firewall with a rubber grommet and a stainless cover. Passed the battery buss feed through the firewall. I also mounted all the components for the SD-8 backup alternator.

This is the relay, voltage regulator and the capacitor that is part of the SD-8 alternator installation.

Here the SD-8 alternator is installed

The 4AWG wire that connects the main buss to the battery contactor.

The small square is a bridge rectifier. It is being used as a diode to connect the the endurance buss to the main buss.

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Disclaimer:
This web site and the infomation contained within it are for entertainment purposes only. The opinions expressed on construction techniques are my opinions only and should not be confused with proper construction techniques. There is undoubtedly more than one way to build an airplane and some methods that I use may or may not work in any given circumstance. If there is any question please call the kit manufacturer. I love to help but I am not responsible for the misuse of any information contained on this web site.

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