Began work on Canopy and Window (Section 38)

Screen Shot 2020-01-16 at 11.26.43 PM

 

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

 

 

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.

img_4046

 

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

 

Began work on panel

Mocked up the center panel in plexi. Used the Dremel with a cutoff wheel to make the cuts.

 

Mocked up the pilot-side panel in plexi. I used a fly cutter in the drill press to cut the 3 1/8″ hole for the G5. I centered the ignition/starter switch under the G5 and placed the electronic ignition power switches above the ignition switch. I’ll only need one for now as the engine came with one mag and one P-mag. But I’m making accommodations to switch out the mag for a second p-mag in the future. I grouped the switches along the bottom into logical groupings based upon function. Master and Aux Batt on the left, then boost pump, then lights (landing, nav, strobe), then pitot heat and defroster. I mounted a momentary push button in the center panel right above where the throttle will be. This will be for the AP’s TOGA function.

 

I laid out the final design on the actual metal blank. I made a couple of alterations. I took the time to better align the G5, Ignition, and P-mag switches. I also moved the row of switches below the GDU downward by 1/4″

img_4027

 

Committed the center panel to metal. I used the plexi as a template and drew the cutouts onto the panel. Then I cut it with the Dremel. I fit and fiddled with it using files and many trial fittings. I used files to cut small notches for the GTN’s side guides and for the pall on the bottom of the GTR 200 to make it easier to insert and remove. I’ll likely add a panel light dimmer switch to the center panel at some point. I just haven’t acquired the switch yet.

img_4028

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Avionics Time (hours): 18.0
Total Time (hours): 693.5

 

Began Work on Upper Forward Fuselage (Section 35)

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 11.38.33 PM

 

Picked, inspected, and peeled all the parts.

 

I separated all the parts that required parting and began fabrication. I made the canopy release pins by shortening and chamfering the ends of a couple of eye bolts. I made the canopy release push tubes from some aluminum tubing.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 176.0
Total Time (hours): 630.5

Completed most of the fabrication steps

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve settled into a strategy for most sections of the build… First I pick, inspect, and peel all the parts for the section. The I take a first pass through the instructions and perform all of the steps that require cutting, grinding, bending, etc. Then I deburr, scuff, and dimple all the parts. Then I prime everything. Finally I assemble and rivet everything. I’ve found this approach is much quicker then going step by step in the order of the instructions. I can set up the shop and tools for each operation and reorganize after each operation. I kind of get into a groove with each of the operations and avoid frequent tool changes. I also only need to set up for paint, which is a major operation, once per section.

Today I was focused on fabrication steps… I started with the upper longerons. I cut and trimmed according to the plans. The fabricated a couple of clamping blocks that allowed me to secure each longeron in the bench vise and clamp a lever to the end in order to bend a 10 degree twist into them. Finally I clamped and clecoed the upper engine mount brackets to the forward end of the longerons and match drilled them.

 

Drilled and cut the lower longerons and match drilled them to the lower engine mount brackets and longeron doublers.

 

Fabricated the hinges that will attach the cowling to the firewall.

img_3549

 

Separated a whole bunch of parts. Unfortunately my bandsaw blade gave up the ghost early on and I didn’t have a spare. So I used the snips for the thinner aluminum and the Dremel with a cutoff wheel for the thicker parts. A little bit slower but not too bad.

img_3550

 

I managed to lose a part somehow. I turned the shop upside down and couldn’t find the F-01422 Fuselage Side Ribs. I checked it off on the inventory. No idea what happened to it. Ordered a new one from Van’s.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 80.0
Total Time (hours): 534.5

 

Assembly continues

Fluted the outboard seat and baggage ribs to mach the curve of the bottom skin. Riveted nut plates to the seat ribs.

 

Bolted and riveted the seat ribs to the bulkhead assembly.

 

img_3328

 

Riveted the seatbelt lugs and routing angles to the baggage ribs.

 

Riveted the aft bulkhead to the seat rib assembly. Drilled and riveted the doubler to the bulkhead. Fabricated and riveted together the idler bearing assembly and riveted to the bulkhead.

 

Clecoed the bottom skins together and match drilled some holes. Cut the landing gear leg openings in the forward skins. Machine countersunk the doublers and dimpled the skin stiffeners. Drilled the 9/16″ hole in the skin with a step drill. This hole will be used to mount the transponder antenna.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 31.0
Total Time (hours): 485.5