Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Building the wings

Back into the build proper today and started on the wing kit with some pretty serious counter sinking just short of 160, 120 degree counter sinks done this afternoon and the dimensions are as per the plans so I'm happy. More counter sinking tomorrow and then it'll be on to wing rib prep and there are a lot of those to do and various versions to make.

Yesterday brought some cutting fluid for doing 4 big taps on the main wing spars and a small spray gun which wasn't really required if I'm honest but will be handy for touch up work / small areas as and when.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Wings & Fuselage Parts Sorted

A week after my fuselage and wing kits arrived in Manchester Mum and Dad came over to help sort the contents of the crates and hopefully help me find some more space for the build.

Unpacking went well with only a couple of washers missing and 2 damaged wing ribs which Vans had issued an alert on (picture above) so these will be replaced by them and I will also order a few replacement parts I need the biggest of which is a skin for one of the anti servo tabs as I dropped it whilst building and it has some ripples in that will drive me mad once the aeroplane is finished and painted so for the sake of $22 I will replace and rebuild this part and make it 100% again. I've also had to store the wing skins outside as I've run out of space in the garage so will be covering the crate top with felt to keep the rain off until these parts are required.

In the last week I've started my IMC training which really bakes my noodle so that will form the bulk of my flying this summer. I'm training in a Cessna 172SP complete with Garmin G1000 glass cockpit all good experience ready for the Dynon in the 12. I am also going to consider changing the standard avionics com for a better one that will allow you to do instrument approaches in IMC if this is every allowed in the UK.

I guess I'll be back into the build next week and think the wings are going to take some serious metal prep!!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

After 76 days of building or 117 hours and 20 minutes I've finished the empennage kit!! An amazing achievement having never built anything apart from flat pack furniture before. Today's tasks involved rivetting the final skin on the HS and cleaning up the skin as JC5 once again got everywhere - I might leave the blue stuff on the wing skins when I get on to them as it made clean up on the VS a lot easier.

I also had my first experience of working with fibre glass and that stuff is rather dusty!! My scotch brite wheel made short work losing excess material and then 80 grit sand paper finished the part quite nicely. A good feeling tonight to put my workshop set of empennage plans away for a while until it's time to do the finish kit.... A good few months away before I need to worry about that.

Tomorrow at some point my Wings and Fuselage kits will arrive on a lorry so all the finished parts are on my wheeled work benches tonight so I can move stuff out when they arrive and I think I will need to plan how to use the space in the best possible way as I currently have to store the tail cone in the garage. Right now I suspect it will be easiest to unpack the wing crate of small parts as this takes up a lot of space in the workshop and maybe store the wing skins outside in the wooden case wrapped in a tarp for bad weather protection?

I guess the build will re-start next week and now I think I deserve a decent sized drink to mark my achievement.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Tail Cone Finished - Empennage nearly done

The next two kits arrive at my house in Manchester on Thursday and I need to get stuff finished to make some room for the wings and fuselage. Just wondering now where to put a 8ft long 3ft wide tail cone?

Nigel my LAA inspector came over on Friday last week and signed off all the empennage parts so time to get the rivet gun out and bang a good few rivets in to seal up most of the parts for good. I'm amazed just how much I've managed to do in just 76 days and 110 hours to date. After the rivet process is finished I have two fibreglass parts to work on and that will pretty much finish up the empennage. I have also sourced all the wood for the wing stand (bottom right of the picture above) and need to get that built up and can't help thinking the 4 inch by 4 inch piece of timber that goes along the bottom is a little on the large size but its what the plans called for.

Away from the build I've just signed up to do my IMC rating so that will be the focus of my flying for the next couple of months and I have no doubt it'll bake my noodle at times but I think its a really worthwhile rating to get and should improve my flying overall.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Waiting For An Inspector To Call

So I've done pretty much everything I can until Nigel my LAA inspector calls round to check the parts I've made so far. Basically I have lots of parts that need a final inspection before I can finally rivet the skins closed for good and I guess that'll be a good few hours work to do well and then clean up the finished parts to remove the JC5 jointing compound that is as suggested rather messy! Then I have a small amount of finishing trim to sort out for the rudder and vs then the empennage kit will be finished.

I have to construct a wing stand at some point soon, my next two kits the wings and fuselage cleared UK customs today although the ship they are on doesn't dock until the weekend so I've a little bit of time on my side to get straight for the next stage of the build. I currently have a few replacement parts to order but nothing major, the odd electrical connector, some rivets and that's pretty much it. I will hold off until I've checked all the wing ribs as Vans have put out an alert on them and if my parts need replacing them I'll add my replacement parts to the order.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Longest Build Day So Far

Busy day in the workshop after a weekend off as the lads came up to Manchester to see Peter Kay on Friday drink beer and talk nonsense and drink more beer on Saturday..... Sunday was spent recovering!!

Today's tasks included fitting static points left and right, running trim cables, rudder strings and then it was time to rivet the lower and upper tail cone skins to the tail cone frames, quite an undertaking but done now and all that remains to be done is to fit the final skin to the tail cone and this bit of the build will be finished. I will aim to invite my inspector over this week to take a final look at everything and hopefully he'll be able to sign everything off and I can finally rivet all the parts closed and prepare for the wing and fuselage kits arrival hopefully next week and this involves sorting the workshop again to make as much space as possible, I also need to buy some wood for the wing storage frames and build them.