Progress continues on wiring

I’ve neglected to post over the past week. Been a busy week at work. I have made some good progress though.

I vinyl-wrapped the fuse block panel and screwed the fuse block into it. I made a bus bar from a strip of copper to tie together the upper and lower buses of the fuse block.

 

I drilled some system holes through the left seat ribs, installed snap bushings, and ran the pitot and AOA lines from the wing root to the panel.

 

Drilled a couple of system holes in the lower sub-panel. Routed the the wires for the battery backup. Terminated the grounds for the the IBBS and the IBBS master switch.

 

Made up the connectors for the GTX 45R transponder and the GTN 625 GPS. I also started on the GTR 200B COM radio but didn’t get a picture.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 112.0
Total Time (hours): 842.0

 

Began wiring the panel

I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching and documenting a plan to make the wiring easy. I complied a list of wiring nodes in a spreadsheet that I can use as a checklist to work my way through the project. You can see my work here… Wiring Plan

Didn’t actually wire anything today but rather did a lot of the prep work. I fabricated a center panel that will hold the fuse block in the center pedestal. I purchased the power panel option from Van’s which included the sheet metal for the center console. I purchased the 32 position Busman fuse block from Waytek.

 

Prepped everything up and painted it to match the interior.

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Removed all of the avionics and the panels. I probably could have left the stuff mounted to the sub panel and left the panels in place. But when I had mounted everything with black oxide steel screws and subsequently learned that they would rust over time. So I purchased black oxide stainless replacements. This was the most opportune time to replace them all.

 

I installed a ground block being careful to remove all the paint and scuff up the sub-panel to ensure a good electrical connection. I re-mounted the backup battery, the GAD 27, GAD 29, and GEA 24 to the sub panel.

 

I drilled a couple of new wire holes through the bottom of the stand-offs and installed snap bushings. The original holes interfered with the GTX and the switches in the bottom of the middle panel.

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Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Finish Kit (hours): 106.0
Total Time (hours): 836.0

 

Finished Seat Backs (Section 39)

I bolted together the lower corners of the seat backs. I drilled holes in the top angles using the template provided by FlightLine interiors. I blind riveted the snaps to the angles using those holes. I attached the seat back cushions to the seat backs with the snaps and the velcro provided.

 

Love the way the seats came out.

 

I also repainted the aft canopy frame. I wasn’t happy with my first attempt. It was splotchy and had spots of pretty bad orange peel. I wet sanded it and reshot it. It still looked awful. So I ended up stripping it down using acetone and repainting the bare metal. It came out quite a bit better. I’m wondering if the problem is the P60G2 primer. I’m going to shoot the remaining interior parts over bare metal.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 60.0
Total Time (hours): 790.0

 

 

Drilled the canopy

The plans have you tape the template pictured below on to the canopy skin in order to locate the canopy. Rather than ruin the one in the plans I took the time to have a couple copies made when i went out to pick up Sophie from work this morning. When I went to tape it on, I realized that the scale was off. I assumed that it was the copy until I measured the original and found that the scale was not 1:1. Thanks Van’s! Not only is it not 1:1 none of the lines on the drawing that actually matter are dimensioned. I could have gone back and had it printed at 103% but decided the whole thing was a waste of time in the first place. I used the rivet locations on the drawing to draw intersecting lines at the centerline that corresponded to the canopy line on the drawing. Then used that spot to locate the forward edge of the canopy. It worked just fine.

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Put the canopy on the frame and fiddled with it to get everything lined up evenly on both sides and aligned with the mark on the skin. Sanded down the edge where it tucks under the skin to help it lay flat. Removed and reinstalled to do the sanding. Took a couple of attempts. Inserted the shims and clecoed on  the side skins.

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Realized I didn’t have anything to weight down the front of the canopy with. Tried using a ratchet strap but didn’t like the way it looked. I couldn’t get the forward edge to lay flat. So took a ride to Cabela’s and picked up a 25lb bag of lead shot. Made up two ten-pounders and one five and taped them to the canopy. Worked like a charm.

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Triple checked that everything was properly situated and drilled all the #40 holes. I used a plexi bit on the aft section. On the sides I used a plexi bit to get through the plexi and then switched to a regular #40 bit in a second drill motor to go through the shim and side frame.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 44.0
Total Time (hours): 774.0

 

 

Riveted the canopy frame

Riveted the skin to the canopy frame assemblies. Riveted in the splice plates. Clecoed the closeout in place. Riveted the skin to the support flanges and riveted the support flange splice plate. Final drilled and then riveted riveted the closeout in place.  Riveted the forward rails in place. The plans call for a rivet in every hole and frequently checking to ensure that there is no twist in the structure. So the final drilling and riveting was pretty tedious. But the frame came out laser straight. So I can’t complain too much. The process worked.

 

Clecoed then riveted the side rails in place.

 

Riveted the aft canopy frame to the side rails. Riveted the switch mount to the frame. Machine countersunk and screwed the pin blocks to the aft side of the aft frame.

 

Installed the canopy jettison handle. Placed the assembled frame on the fuselage. In the full open position, it hit the ceiling.  I had to lower the tail so that I could lift the canopy enough to engage the hinge pins. But finally managed to get it in place. I carefully closed the canopy while watching to ensure that it didn’t interfere with the forward top skin. It fit perfectly and no filing was necessary.

 

I shimmed up the side rails so that they are parallel to the side skins. I cut four clamping blocks/spacers and taped them to the aft of the aft frame and clamped it to the roll bar.

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Tomorrow I’ll start fitting the canopy to the frame.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 41.0
Total Time (hours): 771.0

 

 

Work on canopy frame continues

Riveted the rail bases to the forward canopy frames. Clecoed the skins and splice plates to the frame along with the rails. Clecoed the forward and aft fixtures to the bottom of the forward canopy frame.  Carefully leveled everything and checked for twist in the structure. Rolled a curve into each end of the canopy frame closeout and clecoed it in place. Match/final drilled the closeout.

 

Machine countersunk the aft ends of the canopy rail flanges. Fluted the canopy rail angles and match/final drilled. These are thick aluminum. Glad I ate my Wheaties this morning. Machine countersunk the holes in the bottom of the angles. Then riveted the flanges to the angles. The plans called for dome head rivets with the shop heads set into the countersinks on the bottoms of the angles achieving a near-flush shop head.

 

Bent aft half of the rails to match the curve of the fuselage. Match/final drilled the rails to the angles. You’ll note the tape on the clecos. The plans have you cleco everything together through the matched holes. Then add clecos as you match drill each additional holes. Then go back and remove the original clecos and final drill those holes. So the tape was a reminder as to which were the original clecos. Machine countersunk the holes in the rails called out in the plans and riveted the rails to the angles.

 

Clecoed and final drilled the skins to the rails. Match drilled the canopy handle to the assembly as well.

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Clecoed the the rail assemblies to the forward canopy frame assembly and final drilled.

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Disassembled everything.

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My Back-ordered nose gear leg showed up today. Still waiting on the mains. Fedex delivered package 2 of 2 but not 1 of 2. Hopefully it will show up tomorrow. Fedex tracking says it’s in Forest Park. Not sure why given that it was in Kennesaw with the other package last night.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.5
Finish Kit (hours): 33.0
Total Time (hours): 763.0