Saturday, 26 June 2010

Your gonna need a BIGGER drill

After a day of small disappoints, missing out on an IMC lesson as no instructor was booked and as a result missing a road trip to Aero Expo after missing out on flying down yesterday as Victor Alpha is still grounded I decided to do something positive and watch the F1 Qualifying from Valencia and then head out side for 5 hours working on the build.

It felt good to get the rivet gun back in my hand after spending a fair amount of time working out that the wing spar on my bench was actually the left wing spar and not the right one!! The only way I could turn the spar the make it fit the garage best was to walk the spar out on to the main road and walk it back in the other way - I suspect the people who live nearby think I'm a bit mad. I also managed to store the wing skins in a way that frees up a lot of space in the garage - Amazing what you can achieve with a roll of gaffa tape.

One of the scariest things I've done so far was drilling and taping the wing tie downs as I've not done anything like this since school so the pressure was on to get it right first time as the spar is no doubt an expensive part and I took some friends advice about using cutting fluid to make the tools work better. I also added the additional rivets to the spar as called out in vans plans and put JC5A on all of the pop rivets as I heard a tale of a £150,000 80% kit Spitfire that has corrosion on a lot of the rivets so don't want to take any chances with my aeroplane.

Sunday is predicted to be the hottest day of the year so far and I aim to put in some more time on my build in between the Grand Prix and England playing Germany in the World Cup. So far this week done almost 15 hours on the build so can't complain with that level of progress.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Another Big Build Firday

Another big day working on the build and it started with the remaining left wing skin prep deburring the edges and dealing with a small dent in one of the skins! Not sure I did this but its only minor and will be under the left wing so I can live with it and to be honest once I put some primer on the inside skin it wasn't quite as visible. I also created my first AD470 rivet with a smiley face!

After the wing skins were sorted it was time to rivet up four flaperon brackets, two flaperon hinges (which I did twice cause I wasn't happy with them) and rivet various other parts to each other - Plenty of photos on my website

Tomorrow I will start the wing build proper after my IMC lesson bringing the left spar up on to the work bench all 15ft of it! Then's it's time to attach the various ribs, stall warner and finally the wing skins themselves. I also need to finish the wing stand and get my fireman's hose from John my flying instructor to do this as the wings will have to live outside until final assembly as space if limited in the workshop although once the fuselage is together I might be able to find some room inside. I'm also considering what kit next if all goes to plan and think finish kit is next followed by engine and lastly avionics as I'd like to take advantage of the latest offerings from Vans.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lots of Ribs but no BBQ Sauce!

I've not updated much recently as I am doing the same process everyday preparing the front and rear ribs for the wings - 54 in total and I've got my fluting skills nicely sorted now (same I'll have no more to do for the moment) and the debur process has gone pretty well quickly on these ribs when I started using my dremel type tool with sandpaper wheel attached - OK I've used a good amount of wheels (1 wheel to 2 ribs) but cost £2 for ten from Amazon so in the grand scheme of things not the most costly piece of equipment in the build but a handy one all the same and a great time saver.

I've 12 out of the rear 13 right ribs to debur next and then it's stall warner prep before looking at the wing skins although I have 2 repair jobs to do from the empennage build so will tackle these at the same time as the wing skins as they will need primer.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Wing stand, imc lesson, prop strike and rib prep

Busy weekend with my sister, brother in law and the the kids coming up from down south so decided to put the brother in law to good use helping build the wing stand and we did a great job using pre-sawn timber and bits of old packing cases for the corner pieces. I reckon just short of 200 screws secure this item and it's since been treated with a fence treatment as it will have to live outside due to space issues. I've also got a fireman friend sourcing an old hose to use as straps as I think carpet would rot in time. Fair to say it can take some weight with Mike and Oliver on top of it.

On Saturday I had an IMC lesson in the haze doing recovery's from unusual attitudes 60 degree angle of bank with high nose or low nose and now have Power - Roll - Pitch in my head as a recovery technique. I also need to stop looking at the turn and slip indicator on the G1000 as its misleading, so that's my homework to get that out of my head. I was much happier with flying Echo Alpha this weekend than the first time as it's a C172SP with glass cockpit which is rather different to the 40+ year old C172 Victor Alpha I have a share in.

Back at Barton I had a message to say VA was grounded as a fellow group member had left the nose wheel hitch on during start up and it hit the prop so an investigation is required by the engineers on Monday.

Sunday meant finishing the fluting on the left hand front ribs and starting working on the right ribs trimming the flanges etc. I found the dremel type drill with a sanding wheel great for deburring the lightning holes and the rest was done with hand files and scotchbrite.

I had one slight problem as the aluminum split cutting off the rear flange on one rib so a repair was approved by Nigel my LAA inspector basically I used a round file to stop the crack growing and I discovered its not best to use the tips of the snips to cut, a nice smooth action does the job well.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June is here and rib prep has begun

I started to prepare the wing ribs yesterday and discovered its going to take a fair amount of work to get them all done as left and right front ribs number 14 each with different processes to be done on various ribs so I'm keep track of my stock as I go, then the rear ribs need to be done again with different processes on different ribs required. Fluting (straightening) of the wing ribs is proving tricky as they have a machine press bend in them that will only come out when they have been rivetted in place but once again I'm happy with my efforts and will troubleshoot later if required.

From experience gained so far I'm going to do all of the metal prep before constructing the wings proper as space is limited and building is more fun that prep if I'm honest. I'm not sure if I should prime the wing skins before building up the wings proper but I guess I'll have a better idea once all the ribs are prepared for priming.