Autopilot Yaw Servo (Section 58)

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.33.51 PM


Removed the stock servo arm and attached the Garmin tiller arm to the servo. Installed the servo into the fuselage. Still need to attach the bridle cables to the rudder cables but can’t do that Until the rudder is mounted. So I’ll wait and do this at the airport when I reassemble the tail.


Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 38.0
Total Time (hours): 727.0



Garmin Autopilot Servos (Section 56)

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.35.57 PM


Installed the pitch servo.



When I got everything put together, I noticed that the forward jam nut on the pushrod was just barely interfering with the elevator bellcrank. So I added and extra washer between the rod end bearing and the bellcrank. This seems to have resolved the issue. I emailed Van’s just to make sure this doesn’t introduce any other problems.



Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 36.0
Total Time (hours): 725.0



Installed ACK ELT (Section 53)

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.37.22 PM


Installed battery into audio alerter. Note to self: Battery expires March 2028. Installed the alerter under the nose rib of the vertical stabilizer.


Mounted the ELT to the empennage.


Installed the DIN connector to the empennage wiring harness and connected to the ELT.


Wire tied everything up and got pics of the ELT’s hex code so that I can register it later. Also noted the ELT Battery expiration date of 1/25/2024.


Installed a Duracell 28L battery (Expires March 2028) into the RCPI and installed the RCPI into the co-pilot’s panel.



Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 34.0
Total Time (hours): 723.0



Finished panel and mounting avionics

Uninstalled all the avionics and removed the panels. I covered the panels with 3M 2080 matte black vinyl wrap. This is the stuff they use to wrap cars. Then I created the panel labels using a Cricut vinyl cutter. Spent a lot of time fiddling with the tiny letters to get them onto the panel but eventually figured it out. I used transfer tape to transfer the cut vinyl to the panel then weeded out the excess vinyl in place on the panel rathe than the conventional approach of weeding the vinyl before applying the transfer tape. The letters were just too small and would move around or fall off the backing when I tried it that way.


Got everything reinstalled in the airplane to see how it looked. I’m happy with the way it came out. Although I’m having second thoughts about the canopy release label. Might be a bit over the top. The intent was to make sure any curious passengers were left with the impression that if they pulled it, something serious is going to happen. May tone it down at some point but for now it’s done.

Now I need to wire everything up. Perhaps later. I’ll be finishing up a couple of small projects tomorrow and then I’ll be starting in on the finishing kit next weekend.



Today’s Time (hours): 7.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 32.0
Total Time (hours): 721.0



Completed the fuselage!

I started prepping the the fuselage for painting the rollover structure. I noticed that the flush blind rivets on the top of the canopy deck had little burrs sticking up. So I filed them off. Then the burrs were gone but I didn’t like the way they looked. So after some head scratching, I decided to fill them, and sand them, and repaint. I’ve never done any body work before and I don’t think I’ll quit my day job.   It tuned out pretty well though.

This completes the fuselage!

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 227.5
Total Time (hours): 714.0



Cut the co-pilot-side panel

Same drill as the pilot side…  Lay everything out, drill pilot holes, final drill with step drill, cut with Dremel, deburr, machine countersink, paint, rivet, and bam! We have a panel.


Mounted the GDU and the ELT switches to the panel and mounted the panel in the plane.



Next, I’m going to cover the panel in flat black vinyl. I’m also thinking about adding a carbon monoxide detector beneath the ELT buttons.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Options and Miscellanea (hours): 25.0
Total Time (hours): 708.0


Cut the pilot-side instrument panel

I used the fly cutter in the drill press to cut the round hole for the G5, I drilled small pilot holes for all the switches and the corners of the GDU 460 cutout. I final drilled all the holes with a step drill. Then cut the hole for the GDU with a Dremel and a cut-off wheel. Actually went through several cut-off wheels. That’s some thick aluminum. Used a file to clean everything up and tweak to fit. Then I painted the back to match the interior. I screwed the G5 mount in place. I drilled the screw holes for the GDU mounting bracket. Then screwed it to the firewall and match drilled the rivet holes, counter sunk the holes and riveted the bracket to the panel.


Mounted all the avionics and switches in the panel and mounted the panel in the plane.



Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 22.0
Total Time (hours): 705.0