Finished rear window and started on Canopy Latch

I used the edge roller to break the edge of the top and side skins where they meet the rear window. I final drilled the skins #27 and dimpled the holes for #6 screws. The squeezer wouldn’t fit into the space between the top skin and the roll bar brace. After a fair amount of ass-scratching I tried using a #6 screw and a K1000-06 nut plate to press the dimple into the center hole. It worked well.

I decided to wait until later to actually install the window. This will enable better access to the fuselage and keep me from beating up the window while I’m working on the rest of the stuff. But everything’s done and all I have to do is add some sealant and screw it in. For sealant I’ve decided to try Lexel. It’s a clear solvent based sealant that is safe for acrylic. Other builders have reported good success with it.

 

I separated, deburred, and painted the stiffener angles. I’ll rivet these in place as soon as the paint dries.

 

I picked and inspected all of the parts for the rest of the canopy.

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I peeled all of the parts for the canopy latch mechanism. I separated the peices that needed parting. I deburred and scuffer all the parts. Then painted everything to match the interior.

 

I test fit the canopy latch pins in the bushings that I installed in the roll bar. I realized that I neglected to mask of the bushings when I painted the roll bar and got some paint in there. I wrapped some sand paper around a brass drift and used it to clear the paint. Everything fits fine now.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 18.0
Total Time (hours): 748.0

 

 

Drilled and countersunk rear window

I ground a #40 drill bit to a sharp point. I used this to drill the plastic without any cracking. I used light to moderate pressure on the drill and let the bit do the work. It took 6 to 8 seconds or so to drill each hole. For the holes on the roll bar, I chucked a regular #40 bit in another drill. I used the pointy one to drill through the plexi then switched to the other drill for the metal. I carefully started the bit; turning it by hand until I was certain it was on the metal and wasn’t going to grab the plexi. Worked like a charm.

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I final drilled #36 the holes in the forward edge of the plexi and roll bar with a regular bit. Had no problems with the bit catching the plexi after drilling with the #40 initially. I tapped the both the plexi and the roll bar for #6-36 screws per the plans. I think the plans have you tap both the plexi and the roll bar together despite the fact that we’ll final drill the plexi to #27 in the next step to help ensure good hole registration. This should help to avoid any pressure on the plexi when it is screwed down that might cause cracks later. After drilling and tapping each hole, I lightly set a crew in the hole before moving on to the next.

 

I placed some tape along the forward edges where the protruded beyond flush with the window shim to mark it for trimming. I removed the window from the fuselage and Final drilled #27 with a plexi bit and countersunk all the holes in the plexi using a zero-flute countersink. This gave nice smooth countersinks. I used a vixen file to carefully trim the forward edge back about 1/32 in a couple of spots and smooth everything out. I used the edge of a pare of scissors to put a bevel back on the inner and outer edges where I had filed and then finished with 400 and 1000 grit sand paper.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 14.0
Total Time (hours): 744.0

 

 

Began work on Canopy and Window (Section 38)

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I clamped the rear window in place and carefully adjusted until it was properly centered. I marked it for cutting. I cut the two notches for the roll bar brace brackets with the Dremel and a cutoff wheel. I cleaned it up a bit with files. I trimmed back the protective plastic and remounted and clamped in place. I had to trim a bit further to get the window flush with the window shim on the roll bar. I just filed it back a bit. Ready for drilling.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 10.0
Total Time (hours): 740.0

 

 

Completed Common Fuselage Harness (Section 55)

Installed the pilot and copilot headset jacks. Installed the music jack and the power jack. I ran the pilot’s control stick wires.

 

That’s a whole bunch of wires. Terminating all of them should be fun!

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 48.0
Total Time (hours): 737.0

 

 

More wiring

Run the left side of the main harness. Terminated the antenna connections; TNC for the GPS and BNC for the com and transponder. Only did the antenna side. I’ll get the panel end when I wire the panel.

 

Getting the snap bushings into the wire guides was a huge pain in the ass. super tight. especially with the additional can bus wire. I ended up pulling that wire out and getting the snap bushings in. Once they were in I was able to push the can bus cable through.

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On a brighter note, my seats came in today. Abby at Flightline Interiors did an amazing job. Very happy.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 46.0
Total Time (hours): 735.0

 

 

Wiring Continues

Ran the right harness up to the co-pilot’s control stick. This required filing out a number of holes along the way to enable the connector to fit through.  I also ran the wires for the GPS, transponder, and com radio.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 44.0
Total Time (hours): 733.0

 

 

Began work on Common Fuselage Harness (Section 55)

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Ran the right side harness from the aft fuselage bulkhead all the way to the panel and pulled the wing portion of the harness out through the side skin and fastened the ground wires.

The harness from Van’s was designed for the Garmin GMU 22 magnetometer. Garmin has since come out with the GMU 11 and that is what was included in my avionics package. The GMU 11 broadcasts heading information on the CAN bus rather than the RS-232/RS-485 point-to-point topology. This requires some modifications to the harness. I teased out the 2-conductor shielded cable that carries the CAN bus from the autopilot servos in the tail to the instrument panel from the harness and rerouted it to the left wing where the GMU 11 is mounted. I will repurpose a couple of connector pins in the wing harness for this and make up a harness to wire the GMU 11 to the wing harness connector (P403). I can then reuse one of the the 2-conductor shielded cables from the P403 connector to the panel to bring the CAN bus from the left wing to the panel. I’ll use the four conductor cable to bring power, e-bus power, and ground to the GMU 11 from the power bus and ground block. All in all this is a huge pain in the ass and required a lot of head scratching. I wish Van’s kept up with the state of the Garmin offerings. Even if they can’t update the harness, at least cover it in the instructions.

I managed to get all of th snap bushings in place. I added a few tie wraps as well. I’m thinking I’d like the harness to be more secure between the spar and the aft fuselage bulkhead. Looks like there’s opportunity for the elevator push tubes to rub the harness. I’ll work on that once I’ve got all the wires run.

 

I haven’t run the control stick harness through the cover ribs yet. Looks like the holes require some filing to fit the connectors through. Thanks again Van’s. Perhaps the plans could have called this out prior to installing the ribs. Very tight spaces to work in. That will be tomorrow’s project.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 41.0
Total Time (hours): 730.0