Project Log - December, 2004 

 Project News
 January 20, 2021

 Project Log

  Horizontal Stabilizer
  Vertical Stabilizer
  Rudder II

 Wing Kit
  Fuel Tanks

 Fuselage Kit
  Aft Section
  Foreward Section
  Top Fuselage


 Firewall Forward
  Fuel System

  Finishing Up!

 Project Notes
 Project Summary
 Other Stuff

December, 2004

December 2, 2004 - 1 hours
More trim wiring.

December 5, 2004 - 3.5 hours
Finished up the trim wiring and finished soldering the connector on my little home grown annunciator.

December 7, 2004 - 2 hours
Tonight I messed with all the dimmer circuits and panel lights in the panel. I am going to set my plane up to simply dim the entire panel to a preset level when the position lights are turned on. I'm having to experiment to find the right voltage for each instrument.

December 12, 2004 - 3.5 hours
I managed to get the annunciator re-mounted. It was only temporary last time. I got power to it and started hooking up warning circuits. I think it'll work well.

January 8, 2005 - 2.5 hours
Worked on a little wiring. I connected a few more points to my annunciator panel.

January 9, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Sanded on the rear canopy skirt a little and then mixed up a litttle filler and smeared it around.

January 10, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Sanded the filler on the rear canopy skirt from yesterday and mixed up a little more. This is a little bit too much trial an error for me but I'm narrowing down on it. Hopefully I'll be able to put this canopy to bed before too long.

January 11, 2005 - 0.5 hours
Sanded the canopy skirt some more, and I think I may have put the last batch of filler on it.

January 11, 2005 - 0.5 hours
Hooked up the wires to the GPS connector. Since I can't install the GPS until the forward top skin is on I put the wires in a Mate-n-lok connector.

January 12, 2005 - 0.6 hours
Soldered together my little voltage regulator and tested to make sure it would work. This voltage regulator is for the lamp in the autopilot and the comm radio.

This is basically a small LM317 voltage regulator with a couple of small resistors to set the voltage all soldered and shrink wrapped.

January 22, 2005 - 1 hours
Sprayed a coat of surfacing primer on the aft canopy skirt.

January 23, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Sanded the coat of primer that I put on yesterday and then mixed up a batch of epoxy/micro ballons and filled some of the bigger pin holes and scratches that showed up in the primer. It's hard to see those things in the fiberglass but they show up really well in the primer.

January 24, 2005 - 0.45 hours
Sanded on the skirt some more. I hope that all the holes and scratches are filled and I can get this thing done with just a couple more coats of primer. We'll see.

January 30, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Put on another coat of primer on the aft canopy skirt

February 4, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Sanded the coat of primer off the the aft skirt. I think I have more pinholes this time than I did last time.

February 5, 2005 - 3.5 hours
Today I worked on a bunch of little details. I installed a little switch for the canopy latch warning light. I worked on the new fuel selector plate (I was never happy with the old one.) I replaced all the nylok nuts that I had in the engine compartment. I also put the washers on each end of the tubes on the oil cooler. It seems that having the raw aluminum tubing against the oil cooler flanges is causing some pre-mature failure. The fix is to shorten the tubes and install some washers between them and the flanges.

This little switch is mounted to the roll bar and gives me an indication on the annunciator if the canopy is not closed and latched (yes latched).

I had trouble finding screws and a tap small enough so I made this little plate to hold the switch. It works better this way anyway because it gives me some wiggle room to adjust the switch. The switch barely opens just as I turn the handle the last few degrees to latch the canopy.

Here is abetter shot of how the canopy latch switch works.

The plans don't call for the washers between the spacer tubes and the flanges of the oil cooler but some guys have had some cracking on the oil cooler flanges, so I decided to add the washers.

Here is another shot of the washers on the oil cooler.

February 6, 2005 - 4 hours
Shannon started cutting out templates for the firewall insulation. I finished the fuel selector plate. I filled the pin holes in the aft skirt with Super-fil. The micro balloons seem to be causing more problems than they are solving so I went back to the Super-fil. I had fiberglassed some stiffeners into the oil door and didn't quite get them right. The door didn't fit as well after I did that. After staring at it for a while I decided that I could cut some slits into one of the stiffeners and re-glass it. While I was at it I fiberglassed a hinge pin retainer on the top cowling for the hinge pins that hold the top cowling half to the firewall. I started working on how I am going to retain the hinge pins that are inside the cockpit and the two on the bottom of the cowling.

This is how I decided to retain the hinge pins on the top cowling. I didn't want to rivet this piece on since that part of the cowling is the honeycomb stuff and a rivet would probably crush it.

February 7, 2005 - 0.4 hours
Borrowed the 9-pin D-sub punch from work and put another 9-pin connector on my map box. It'll be for my Garmin GPSMap 296 that I plan to mount on my panel. I want to be able to get the NMEA information out of it while flying.

February 9, 2005 - 0.4 hours
Sanded the aft canopy skirt smooth.

February 9, 2005 - 0.6 hours
Made up some brackets for holding the top spark plug wires. Actually all I did was secure the right side ones to the fuel return hose and the left side I screwed it to the cross brace for the baffles.

February 10, 2005 - 0.4 hours
Sprayed another coat of surfacing primer on the aft skirt. This was the last one. A little more sanding and it'll be time to rivet the canopy together. I'll be glad to finally get that over with.

February 11, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Sanded the aft canopy skirt, and there were no pin holes. I guess it's done. I also made a little handle for the side of the canopy to help lift it.

I may actually have this aft canopy skirt finished. It almost seems to good to be true. Now I just need to get all this mess riveted together.

One thing about fiberglass, you can make stuff fit really well. This little plastic doohickey is supposed to slide back and forth with the canopy and help keep that RV breeze off the back of your neck.

February 12, 2005 - 3 hours
Installed and wired the Low Voltage Monitors. I made these circuits from a schematic that Bob Knuckles sent me. I also wired the small inverter that will eventually power the E.L. light that I plan to put under the glaresheild.

Here is the little low voltage detection circuit that I made. I had the circuit board etched at one of these online PCB milling places.

I used a couple of stand-offs from radio shack to mount it on the rib close to the buss.

February 13, 2005 - 4 hours
Installed my Garmin GPSMap 296. I bought a marine mount to steal the plastic clip from, and installed it on the panel, right below my Dynon. I intend to mount th antenna that came with it up on the glare shield. I also bought the power / data cable for it so that I could break out the serial port for some data logging.

I used a marine mount for the GPS and stole the plastic clip from it and mounted it to the panel.

This is a better picture of the GPS mounting. The extra hole is for the antenna wire that will have to wait for the top skin.

I put a little piece of plastic tubing over the transponder antenna wire to keep it from chafing against the cabin heat conrol cable.

February 19, 2005 - 2.5 hours
I decided that I didn't want to have to run the autopilot wires from the wings all the way to the autopilot once the wings were on, so I ran all the wires necessary from the back of the autopilot to floor under the passenger seat, and I'll put a splice there for the autopilot. This will let me get the fuel pump installed and all the covers over the center floor panel without having to worry about how to run those wires all the way up to the panel.

February 20, 2005 - 5.5 hours
Installed the little slider brace mount for my SIRS compass. Then I spent the rest of the day fitting and cutting out pieces of neoprene for the firewall. It's supposed to be a pretty good heat/noise barrier.

February 21, 2005 - 1.75 hours
Finished gluing the neoprene to the firewall. It turned out okay. I couldn't get to every little spot, but it should make a pretty big dent in the noise.

February 22, 2005 - 2.1 hours
I managed to find a way to retain the hinge pins that hold the two cowling halves together. I drilled a hole in the forward bulkhead and put a really convoluted bend in the hinge pin. I spent the rest of the evening tie wrapping wires while they are still easy to get to. It is only a matter of days before the last skin goes on.

February 23, 2005 - 1 hours
Drilled a small hole in the roll bar brace for the compass light wire. Mostly I worked on the retainers for the hinge pins on the bottom of the cowling.

February 24, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Dimpled the top forward skin and peeled the blue plastic off of it. That plastic is hard to get off after all these years.

February 26, 2005 - 2 hours
Scuffed, primed and painted the top fuse skin. Riveted the oil door to the hinges on the top cowling. Filled some spots on the cowling with Super-fil. I also removed the roll bar brace in anticipation of putting the top skin on.

February 27, 2005 - 2.5 hours
Riveted the small pieces that have the nutplates for the panel to the top fuselage skin. It really beat up the paint. I was kinda hoping this would look good but it doesn't. I guess I'll probably wind up putting some kind of upholstry on top of that thing. I also spent some time setting up the EIS engine monitor with ranges and setpoints, and customizing my aux inputs. I also tested the thermocouples with a heat gun to make sure that the proper cylinders read out in the proper place on the EIS.

March 5, 2005 - 2 hours
Coated the inside of the lower cowling with epoxy / acetone mix (50/50). Prepared the roll bar brace for installation. I had to pull a string through it for the canopy latch switch and I had to feed the compass light wires through it.

March 6, 2005 - 4.5 hours
Shannon came out and helped me rivet most of the top fuselage skin on. We didn't finish before she had to leave but we got enough of it done so that I could install the roll bar brace and wire up the compass light and canopy latch switch.

This is the SIRS compass installed on the roll bar brace.

I ran the wire for the canopy latch switch through the roll bar and then down the roll bar brace with the compass wiring.

March 7, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Installed the foil heat sheild material on the inside of the bottom cowling.

I probably didn't need to put the foil heat sheild over this much of the cowling but I just kept putting it on until I ran out.

March 9, 2005 - 1 hours
I kinda messed up on the wiring that runs down the center of the firewall and back across the floor. The radius of the bundle was too tight so I had to do a little more fiberglass work on my little cover to get it looking decent. We'll see how it turns out.

I had to modify my little fuel flow transducer cover that I made because the radius of the wire bundle was too tight and it conflicted with this thing. I guess I'll have to paint it again.

March 12, 2005 - 2.5 hours
I cut out the upholstry for the top of the glare sheild, sanded the area where I was going to spray glue. I had to mask off a bunch of the plane to put this down. Ironically I had decided to put down cloth to keep from having to mask everything off. I glued the cloth down and I think it will look fine.

I used the windsheild to make a template for the glare sheild upholstry.

I think the upholstry turned out really nice. This is just some tweed cloth from a bodyshop

March 13, 2005 - 3.5 hours
I used a soldering iron to cotterize the edges of the upholstry on top of the glare sheild. I also used the soldering iron to poke the holes up through the skin where the GPS antennas will mount, and mounted the GPS antennas. I put the windscreen on and screwed it down along the roll bar and permanently installed the little clips that hold the front and sides down.

The big GPS antenna is the GPS-35 self contained GPS unit that feeds the autopilot and the smaller one is the remote antenna for my GPS-296

March 13, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Shannon helped me finish the top fuselage skin. That's the last big piece of aluminum. It was a real pain. I'm glad that I made a point of leaving plenty of room to reach up from under the panel to get to those rivets. The map box really got in the way and I wound up having to put in one blind rivet.

When Shannon comes to help so do the dogs. Cotton is less than excited.

Curby never gets far from Shannon.

March 19, 2005 - 2 hours
Figured out the line for the fiberglass on the windscreen, and put some electrical tape on it. I also made up some microballons and put some filler between the windscreen and the fuse skin to smooth out the transition for the fiberglass that is coming soon.

This a small fillet of microballons to fill that little gap between the skin and windscreen

March 20, 2005 - 9 hours
Finished riveting up the canopy. WHOOOPPP!! I really didn't think I'd ever get that thing finished but it's done, it didn't crack and it fits pretty well. Vern came over and helped me get the windscreen ready to fiberglass. We sanded the filler, the plexi and the fuse skin. I wound up moving the tape a little bit because I had gotten some filler up next to it and couldn't clean it up without hurting the tape edge. No sense in getting this far and not doing it right. We decided that I didn't have the right epoxy (I have the fast West Systems and we need the slower 207 stuff) so we postponed doing the layup. The canopy rails moved a little when I had them off for painting the cockpit last year so I piddled with that a little bit and I also added some more filler to a few low spots on the windscreen transition and also on the blind rivets holding the aft canopy skirt. I cut a bunch of strips of fiberglass cloth in anticipation of "The Layup".

The windscreen is ready for the fiberglass fairing.

The canopy is finally finished.

Another shot of the canopy, showing the fit of the aft skirts.

Yet another shot of the canopy, it fits okay. It needs a little tweaking there on the bottom of the left side skirt.

March 21, 2005 - 1 hours
Finished wiring up the GPS antennas.

March 25, 2005 - 6 hours
Today I needed to get ready for Vern to come over and finish the fiberglass on the windscreen. I sanded on the filler that I put on the windscreen last time and finished masking everything off. I swapped out the hardener pump on the West System epoxy and did a couple of layups on the empennage tips to make sure that I had all the fast hardener out of the pump. I figured while I was messing with the tips I'd keep it up so I spent the rest of the day doing that.

March 26, 2005 - 3 hours
Fiberglassed the windscreen today. It's off to a real good start. Vern did a fantastic job so I don't think that we'll have to spend much time sanding it.

The layup on the windscreen is done.

March 27, 2005 - 6 hours
Spent the day working on the empennage tips. I mounted the Vertical Stabilizer on the plane temporarily so that it would be easier to work on. I discovered that the rudder bottom that Van's sent with the kit doesn't fit. It interferes with the tailwheel spring. I cut a chunk off the bottom of it and fiberglassed what amounts to a flat spot in the bottom of it to clear. It turned out okay, I guess.

I used the same procedure as before, bondo a plate to the tip while it is clecoed in place and then lay up the glass on the inside.

This is the plate bondoed to the tip of the vertical stabilizer.

This is what I had to do to the rudder bottom to get it to clear the tailwheel spring.

Here you can see why I had to cut the rudder bottom. I don't think anybody will notice.

April 2, 2005 - 0.5 hours
I been struggling with exactly how I wanted to support the spark plug wires leading back to the Mag. I decided to use some of that nylon corrugated tubing that is split down the side to put the plug wires in and then support that.

This is a picture of the spark plug wires supported in the split nylon tubing.

The spark plug wire support on the left side of the engine.

Another shot of the left side spark plug wires

April 2, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Still working on the emp tips. I think I have them all in generally right shape now they just need a little filling and sanding to get them just right. I did a little bit of the filling today but the sanding will have to wait until I get home from offshore.

May 22, 2005 - 4.5 hours
Vern came over and we worked on the fairing for the windsheild. He spent a bunch of time sanding on the fiberglass and then we mixed up a big ol' batch of epoxy / microballons and smeared it all over the thing.

Vern does a much better job of smearing the microballons that I do.

May 22, 2005 - 0.5 hours
I managed to get the fiberglass tips riveted to the rudder.

The top rudder tip looks pretty good.

The bottom tip of the rudder is installed too.

May 28, 2005 - 1 hours
Sprayed some surfacing primer on both halves of the cowling.

The bottom cowling with a coat of surfacing primer on it.

May 30, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Sanded on the cowling.

June 10, 2005 - 1 hours
Tonight I was getting ready for doing the fiberglass layup around the windsheid where it meets the canopy. I got a long piece of cardboard and layed it out on the table and then cut three pieces of 8oz BID cloth for the layup.

June 11, 2005 - 3 hours
Vern finished sanding the fiberglass transition from the windshield to the fuse and we got the glass layed up between the windshield and the canopy. I got a call from West Houston Airport today and I am getting a T-hangar the first of the month.

The windsheild fairing turned out really nice. Vern did a better job than I could have ever hoped for.

We put the cloth down on some cardboard and wetted it then brought the whole thing over to the plane and put it on the canopy. It really helped keep the dripping down to a minimum.

June 11, 2005 - 1 hours
Riveted the fire extinguisher bracket down to the floor right behind the passenger seat. It'll be hard to get to but I think I'll be able to push the seat forward and reach it.

I riveted the fire extinquisher bracket down behind the passenger seat.

June 12, 2005 - 4 hours
I installed all the nutplates on the wings for the inspection covers and the fuselage fairing.

Nutplates on the wing inspection covers

Nutplates on the inboard edge of the wing skins for the wing / fuselage fairing

June 12, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Put the nutplates on the tanks where the fuselage fairing connects.

Nutplates on the inboard edge of the tank skin for the fuselage / wing fairing.

June 13, 2005 - 2 hours
Filled and attempted to bleed the brakes. I have them pretty well bled but there is a little air in them that still needs to come out. My problem was the silly little pump that I used to fill the system. The idea is to use some kind of pump to fill the brakes from the bottom up but I think the one that I used was putting air in the line. I'll try again with a better pump.

June 14, 2005 - 2 hours
Finished riveting the last of the fiberglass empennage tips. It feels good to be finished with that chore.

Vertical stabilzer tip is on permanently.

The horizontal stabilzer tips and the elevator tips are done.

June 17, 2005 - 2 hours
I started fixing the filtered air inlet. I installed the split ring on the AFP fuel controller upside down and that moved the whole thing down a half inch. Now it's right so I have to cut the inlet duct off and re-fiberglass it.

This is what the FAB is supposed to look like. The split ring is now under that plate. This raised the whole thing up about a half inch which made the inlet duct on the cowling fit poorly.

June 18, 2005 - 0.75 hours
I glassed the new inlet duct for the FAB.

Take two on the inlet duct. It's not as difficult the second time. Especially when things fit the way they are supposed too.

June 18, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Sanded on the fiberglass roll bar fairing.

June 19, 2005 - 1 hours
I put another couple of layers of glass on the inlet duct. I sanded off the foam and then put two more layers around the two layers that I put on yesterday.

This time I only put two layers of cloth inside the foam. Now I'll put two more around it from this end.

June 19, 2005 - 3 hours
Cut the roll bar fairing back to the proper width. I sanded and shaped the fairing as best I could and then mixed up a batch of Epoxy / Microballons and smeared it all over the thing, to try and make the transitions smooth.

June 20, 2005 - 2.2 hours
Sanded the filler off of the roll bar fairing and then put some more filler on it. How do people build plastic airplanes?

June 21, 2005 - 1.2 hours
Sanded and sanded on the roll bar fairing. I think I just about have it. It needed just a touch up of filler so I put some of that on it and hopefully I can call it good tomorrow.

June 21, 2005 - 0.75 hours
Trimmed and sanded the new induction air inlet on the cowling. I added some filler to get it all nice and smooth. There is still some sanding in my future.

June 25, 2005 - 1.2 hours
I decided that I didn't like the cork gaskets, so I took the access covers off and pro-sealed them in place instead.

I hope that I never need to get into these tanks because I've sealed 'em up good.

June 25, 2005 - 1.5 hours
I've been meaning to put a spring on the parking brake valve since I installed it. I finally figured out how to do it. I wanted to drill a hole in the arm of the valve but I couldn't get the drill in there without removing the valve or the rudder pedals. So I took a piece of stainless and made sortof an elongated washer with an extra hole and put it behind the control cable end nut, then put the spring through the little hole.

You can almost see how I put the spring on the parking brake valve. I could barely get in there to take a picture. Imagine how hard it was to work back there. If you are going to do this, do it before you put all this stuff in the way.

June 26, 2005 - 1.3 hours
I borrowed a regulator and a gauge from work this weeked to check my Oil and Fuel pressure senders. I assembled a small test right with it and used shop air to test them. They both worked perfectly. I also boiled some water and checked my oil temperature transducer.

This is the regulator and guage that I borrowed from work to test the oil and fuel pressure senders.

June 26, 2005 - 4.5 hours
Installed the ELT behind the baggage compartment on the lower rib that the elevator bellcrank is mounted on. I put the antenna under the emp fairing.

The ELT is behind the baggage compartment, right behind the mount that might have an autopilot pitch servo on it someday.

Here's a close up of the ELT.

The ELT antenna is under the emp fairing at the back of the plane.

June 27, 2005 - 1.1 hours
It took entirely too long for me to run that wire for the ELT but I finally got the little remote installed on the right side of the panel.

I made a little sub-panel for the ELT remote. I just really didn't want to cut a hole in my panel for it.

June 27, 2005 - 0.9 hours
Installed the rest of the little #8 screws and nuts that hold the canopy rails down.

By putting some electrical tape on a wrench I was able to hold the nut and washer well enough to get them started up under the canopy rail.

June 28, 2005 - 1.6 hours
Installed the fuel pump / filter assembly, and fuel selector valve for what I hope is the last time.

June 30, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Put the nutplates around the bottom of the Vertical Stabilizer for the emp fairing attach points. Cleaned up and started getting ready to move airplane parts out of the garage. Tomorrow it starts heading to the hangar.

July 1, 2005 - 1 hours
Loaded a bunch of small airplane parts into the car and took them to the hangar. Mostly just covers and fiberglass stuff. I'll really get starting moving stuff tomorrow.

July 2, 2005 - 2 hours
Loaded up all the control surfaces, a bunch of tools, and the wings and took them to the airport.

July 2, 2005 - 2 hours
I tested the fuel tanks and found a couple of leaks. The leaks weren't associated with the covers that I just re-did either. That doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I found one tiny leak in each tank so I did the ProSeal thinned with MEK trick, and pulled a small vacuum on the tanks and let this stuff wick into to the leak for a couple of hours and then put some unthinned ProSeal around that just for good measure.

July 3, 2005 - 3 hours
Moved the fuselage to the hangar. I guess that makes it official. The bird has left the nest. Now all I have to do is bolt all these parts together and go fly. I also managed to get my toolbox loaded up and out there.

Since the gear was just a few inches wider than the trailer we had to take some weight off with the shop crane to get the landing gear to come in.

Now we have to load this thing up and take it with us.

Loaded up and ready to go.

We managed to get this thing to the hangar intact. It feels good to have the road trip behind me. Thanks for the help Gary.

July 4, 2005 - 2 hours
Loaded up a bunch more stuff to take to the hangar. It's gonna take forevever to get all the little tools and pieces-parts that I'll need to the hangar. I also took the plans and started putting the tail together. I got a call from a customer that is having trouble and that put a damper on the tail assembly. Oh well I also got to go sailing and watched the fireworks from a boat anchored in Upper Galveston Bay. Life is good.

July 6, 2005 - 1.5 hours
I finished bolting the Vertical and Horizontal Stabilizers to the fuselage. I had forgotten to put the nutplates on the Horizontal Stab. for the empennage fairing so I had to stop and do that too. It's really fun to be putting these things on permanently.

July 8, 2005 - 2 hours
Installed the Rudder.

July 9, 2005 - 2 hours
Put the elevators on the plane and started installing the trim servo. I'm gonna have to do some more trimming on the elevator to get the trim servo linkage to clear.

July 10, 2005 - 6 hours
Had a hangar warming party today to let people take a look at the plane and help find squaks. I got some good suggestions and a few squaks. Also managed to get the wings on the plane with the NAS bolts and we put the prop on too.

Stabbing the right wing. Thanks for the help guys.

We've got to deal with those wires that need to go through the wing.

Jon helped me get a piece of string through the wing conduit with the old vacuum cleaner trick. I'm taping the string to the wires here.

It seems to be missing something.

Time for the left wing

I had to flare the plastic pitot tube to go on the wing. I hope this works okay because there is just not a lot of room between those wings and the fuselage side.

Now it's starting to look like and airplane.

The cheering section.

How many people does it take to install a prop?

The Prop's on!

July 12, 2005 - 2 hours
Finished installing the trim servo in the left elevator and I managed to get the elevators balanced.

July 14, 2005 - 1 hours
Got the bolts in and torqued for the elevators except for the center bolt that goes through the horns. My hole was a little close to the welds so I may have to put a socket head screw in there instead. I also managed to get the right aileron on.

One aileron installed.

July 18, 2005 - 2 hours
Finished the elevator attach. I wound up putting a washer underneath the bolt head and grinding a little relief on the back side of the washer to clear the weld. I had to use a longer bolt. Installed the big elevator push tube and torqued that all up. Installed the left aileron. Torqued the rear spar attach bolt on the left wing and installed the cotter pin but I couldn't get the nut to line up on the right side and at the correct torque. I need to order some more bolts and nuts so that I can try some different combinations.

The elevators are on for good.

July 19, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Torqued up the 20 bolts that attach the main wing spars to the center section. Now all I lack having the wings on permanent is that rascally little bolt on the right rear spar.

This is the aft side of the wing attach bolts.

Here is the forward side of the wing attach bolts.

July 20, 2005 - 2 hours
Fixed the spinner backplate. Torqued the bolts on the starter. Tightened up the little fuse gusset bolts. Put the little elevator pushtube in and started to install the control sticks.

The spinner backplate is now on correctly. I had too many washers in front of it when we bolted it up the other day so I had to remove it and redo it. Now the spinner fits well.

A little safety wire on front spinner bulkhead.

This is the little fuse gusset that goes in the tailwheel versions. This area would be full of main gear mount weldments on the nosedraggers.

July 23, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Installed a small heat sheild on the exhaust where to keep some heat off the fuel line. Ran the two little air tubes for the AOA up to the AOA CPU. I also started connecting the autopilot wires that I had stubbed out under the floor pan of the passenger side. I had a couple of wires that had lost their labels along the way so I had to remove the servo from the wing to get to the little D-sub connector so that I could identify those wires. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm glad I did it because I'd forgotten to put any loctite on the bolts holding the servo.

Jon suggested that I put a heat sheild here where the fuel line goes up to the flow divider. I just happened to have a spare heat sheild.

July 24, 2005 - 5 hours
Finished hooking up those wires to the autopilot and reinstalled the servo into the wing. There are two wires that can be interchanged on the servo that determine the direction that it works. I wanted to make sure that I had these right before I buttoned it all up so I turned on the autopilot and wiggled the wings and tail to make sure that it would try to move the aileron in the right direction. It did! That was way too much fun! Then I finished all the wiring on the lights. I did both wingtips and the tail, dug out the right fuses and started flipping switches. I had one small problem with the left position light. The factory connector had been put on too tight and pinched the ground wire. Fixed that right fast. I turned on the position lights and they worked then I flashed the landing/taki lights and they worked and then I tried the strobes. That was a lot of fun too. So while I had all the wiring tools out I decided to finish up any wiring that I could find and the only thing around was the capacative fuel sender adapters for the EI Fuel Gauge. So I put those on. Unless I'm forgetting something that should be the last of the wiring.

I managed to get all the lights in the wingtips wired up. I still need to get in there and secure the wires a little better so there are just clecoed on for now.

Tail position / strobe light installed in the rudder bottom.

Right wingtip wiring.

Left wingip wiring

July 25, 2005 - 2.1 hours
I got a new bolt for the right rear spar today so I installed that one. It still took a couple of iterations to get it torqued and lined up but I had plenty of washers, bolts and nuts to play with. I installed the flaps and hooked up the control rods to them. I also managed to get the tailwheel springs on but I'm not sure that I like them very much.

I used some safety wire and some holes drilled through the flap brace to secure the flap hinge pins.

The flaps are on.

This is a real close up of the flap push rod.

I am sure that this is too much slack but it was gettin late so I snapped this picture on my way out.

The chain interferes with the rudder bottom when the rudder is at full deflection. It's not bad because by this point the tail wheel has broken loose and is free castoring but it seems like it shouldn't do this.

July 26, 2005 - 2 hours
I put the tanks on and hooked up the tubing. It's gonna take longer than I thought to get all those bolts and screws tight. I need a smaller ratchet.

July 29, 2005 - 2 hours
Fiddled with the tanks some more. I managed to get one on and the other one started.

The right fuel tank is attached, the vent line, the fuel pickup and the EI capacative fuel level adapter are all hooked up.

July 30, 2005 - 5 hours
Managed to get the left tank on. There were a few bolts that were trying to be difficult but I managed to get them in. I tightened up the tail wheel chains and that made the rudder interference problem worse. I think I'll have to try that Rocket Steering Link. I also started rigging the ailerons.

It looks like a wing with the fuel tank on it.

July 31, 2005 - 6 hours
Started rigging the ailerons and installing all the control stick stuff. I discovered a little interference with the bellcrank and the short aileron push tube. I rechecked everything, from finding the neutral position with the aileron jig. I decided that the way to fix it was with the "optional" aileron stops. This pretty much took the rest of the day. Oh and I put a little adel clamp on the ELT antenna so that it wouldn't be flopping around back there tearing up something important.

Since I had to take the wingtip off again to check the neutral position of the aileron I put this split corrugated tubing around the wires that I can't really secure.

The sticks are in.

August 1, 2005 - 1.8 hours
Jeff loaned me his torque wrench and crows foot wrench that will fit the prop so I managed to get those torqued and safetied. I bought a better angle finder today so I spent some more time making sure that the ailerons are rigged correctly before I rivet those stops on permanent.

This is the safety wire for the prop. It's not pretty but it's hard to get in there. That's a piece of brake line tubing over the wire to hopefully, keep it from chafing.

August 2, 2005 - 1.5 hours
Finished up on the ailerons. Torqued all the rod end bearings for all the aileron controls and the sticks.

August 4, 2005 - 2 hours
Re-safetied a couple of things that I decided weren't safety wired correctly. I also fixed the fuel gauge. Apparently the polarity of the little converters for my E.I. FL-2CA dual fuel level gauge matters. The black wire is the ground and the white wire is the plates. I also riveted on the center section side covers.

This safety wire looks much better.

These side covers are painted one of the colors that the wife picked for the trim. It looks better than the photo shows.

August 6, 2005 - 5 hours
Jeff came by the hangar today and helped me calibrate the fuel tanks. We filled each tank up measuring the fuel as we put it in and calibrated the pre-flight stick. Then we lifted the tail into flying position and took the fuel out and calibrated the gauge on the way down. Then we managed to get the preservative oil out and the mineral oil in. Jeff put the air fliter on permanent. This is all in preparation for running the engine tomorrow.

Got the tail jacked up with a shop crane so that we can get the fuel gauge calibrated with the plane in the flying attitude.

I took this picture because it's easier than writing down what kind of oil I used.

August 7, 2005 - 6 hours
Jon and Marshall came by in morning and we spent time putting the spark plugs in, tying up loose ends. We spun the engine with the starter to pre-oil the engine. We pulled the plane out to start it up and found a fuel leak right where the fuel line comes through the firewall. After making one hose up we turned the bulkhead fitting around. I guess the fitting is just a little out of shape and the softer aluminum tubing formed to it better than the hose end. We took the plane out again and then I ran the battery down. Marshall brought his truck over and we hooked up the jumber cables and managed to get the thing to start. It ran great once we burned the gook out of it. The idle is a little high and it seems the front spinner bulkhead is wobbling a little bit. Other than that it ran real smooth. The runup went okay, the prop cycled fine but the mag was a little rough but I suspect the plugs are pretty well fouled from the preservative oil. The electronic ignition is smooth as it can be. After shutdown we rolled it back into the hangar and looked it over and I couldn't find any leaks or stuff coming loose. It might actually fly some day.

Here you can see Jeff fiddling with where the fuel leaked. Can you think of a worse place for a fuel leak? See the fuel stain on the right pipe.

I took the protective plastic off of the windscreen. This is the first time I've seen the actual plexi for the canopy / windsxreen. It looks pretty good.

Tying the tail to Jeff's truck. I'm pretty sure the brakes will hold but let's try and keep the test variables to a minimum.

Who's the dope with the checklist?

After running the battery down while fixing fuel leaks and failed starts, Marshall pulled up his "Explosion" to give me a boost. It looks close but believe me there is plenty of room between his truck and the prop.

These pictures must not be in order. That is Jon's truck that we are tied to here. This is the second time out after fixing the fuel leak. Baby it is hot outside.

There's that blurry prop that we are all waiting for.

It looks like it really wants to go flying doesn't it.

August 9, 2005 - 1 hours
I decided to try and make sure that the spinner was lined up okay. I checked the front bulkhead and it did have a lot of wobble in it but I was sure that the spinner was true. I put the spinner on and tried to check it but every time I moved the prop the whole airplane would shake around and it was impossible to tell. So since the airport bums were there I rolled it out again and started it up with the spinner on. They both said that it ran true. I had also turned the idle adjustment a half a turn and it seemed bring the idle speed down to about 850 RPM. It had been at 1050 and I'm chasing 750. It ran pretty rough on the mag this time. Worse than it did on Sunday but it has been idling so I probably just need to run it up and burn the plugs off.

August 11, 2005 - 1 hours
Finished putting the tail number on and installed the dataplate. I lowered the exhaust a little bit.

I am using cheap stick on letters from the aviation department at Home Depot for now. I promise they'll look better after I get some paint on the airplane. These are just temporary.

Bill Esther did a fantastick job engraving my dataplate. It looks great!

Here is the dataplate riveted to the airplane. Those may be the last four rivets.

August 13, 2005 - 5 hours
Today was a details kinda day. I sealed the baffles with RTV and sealed the firewall penetrations. I re-safetied the dipstick tube because it was a little loose. I bled the brakes and loosened a couple of the brake pedals that were sticking. I put the screws in the wingtips. I took that hose off that we made to fix the fuel leak last Sunday and put firesleeve on it. When I put it back on the fuel leak was back. I'm gonna replace that bulkhead fitting, and I may redo the fuel line inside.

I moved the plane out into the sun to cut this little bolt off that was sticking up out of the concrete. I couldn't help but take a picture of it.

August 16, 2005 - 1 hours
I built a stand to prop the tail of the airplane up. This get's it into flying attitude for weighing and oil changes and stuff.

I think that'll hold it.

This is a really terrible picture of a really beautiful sunset over the hangars at West Houston. Sufice it to say that it really made me want to go flying.

August 17, 2005 - 1.5 hours
I put a coat of paint on the little tailwheel control arm that came with my new Rocket Steering Link. I think this thing will fix the rudder bottom interference issue that I have. I also had to cut 1-1/2" off of the co-pilot stick. I had never realized that it would get tangled up in the mixture control when the mixture was all the way back. Not that I'll ever be able to fly like that but it still needs to be clear. You may be asking how I can get the stick tangled up with the mixture control. My throttle/prop/mixture/purge controls are located about 6-8" to starboard because I thought that was more comfortable for me. It is but I didn't realize that it would interfere with the 'other' stick. No big deal.

August 19, 2005 - 1 hours
Shannon helped me replace the bulkhead fitting where the fuel goes through the firewall. It seems that is cause of my fuel leak. So far it seems to be holding. I also remade the tubing that goes from the FloScan turbine meter to this bulkhead. Just in case.

August 21, 2005 - 5 hours
Installed the Rocket Steering link on my tailwheel. I did this to try and solve the interference issue that I was having with the chains. It works. Once I got the tailwheel sorted out I decided to taxi it around a little bit so today was the first day it moved under it's own power. I did a run up and found a really fouled plug on the number 4 cylinder. If I ever doubted my decision to buy an istrument that shows EGT's on all four cylinders I won't doubt anymore. I knew which cylinder it was in a few seconds. Once that was over, Daryl Helped me get the fuel drained out and then we weighed it. 1068lbs!! Whooop!! Nice and light. Now I really have to buckle down and get that paperwork done and get an inspection scheduled.

August 27, 2005 - 3 hours
I put the fuel back in the plane and took all the bottom spark plugs out and cleaned them. I had cleaned #4 but decided to clean them all before I ran the engine again. Jeff came over with his compression gauge and we checked the compressions after I ran the engine a little bit. It is still not running quite right. It stumbles a little bit. I also mangaged to get the new firmware and airspeed limitations uploaded to the Dynon.

September 1, 2005 - 1.5 hours
I took the fuel injectors out and checked to make sure that they were all flowing the same amount. I put each one into a different Dixie cup and ran the boost pump with the throttle at full and then at idle and checked how much fuel came out of each one. I also cleaned each of the spark plugs.

September 3, 2005 - 5.5 hours
I put a shop vac in the inlet filter box to pressurize the induction system and then checked for leaks with some soap and water. I couldn't find any. Then Vern came by and helped me get the idle mixture set and we also checked the timing. To check the Lightspeed electronic ignition a normal automotive timing light is used. The timing was WAAYY off. Apparently the people at the build shop can't read the manual. I reset it according to the book and now the engine seems to be running much better.

September 4, 2005 - 3 hours
Today I finished up countersinking and dimpling all the access ccovers and fairings that I just hadn't gotten done until today. I also crawled up under the panel and secured all those panels that cover up the wiring and fuel lines. While I was down there I tightened up the fittings on the pitot system. Afterwards I retested the pitot system for leaks and it seems to be sealing fine now. I guess my leak was one of those fittings behind the panel.

September 5, 2005 - 2 hours
Today N727WB became a real airplane. It passed inspection by the DAR! It's a huge relief to have that done. (The hours for the inspection are not included in the log.) I used up the battery in my electric screwdriver installing access covers and fairings. I got all the exterior panels and fairings installed.

September 13, 2005 - 1.5 hours
I took the fuel filter out and took it apart to see how dirty it was. There were a few tiny little flakes of what appeared to be pro-seal. Other than that it was clean. I also managed to get the covers over the fuel pump assembly and the seat covers installed.

September 14, 2005 - 1.6 hours
Finished installing all the covers. I put on the flap mechansim covers and the baggage bulkhead.

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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.

 January 20, 2021