Work on canopy fairing continues

Sanded the rest of fairing to the proper shape and feathered the forward edge. I used 80 grit sandpaper and then a pass with 220. The shape looked really good.

 

I was going to shoot the fairing with some filler primer. I masked everything off and then wiped the surfaces down with some alcohol. After wiping everything down, I noticed that I had a few small voids and a couple of areas where I had sanded through to the canopy. So rather than filler primer, I decided to go with an additional layer of fiberglass. I used the “A” ply template to cut out some fiberglass cloth. I mixed up some epoxy with black pigment. I wet down the areas to be covered, applied the cloth, stippled it down, and positioned it. I also mixed up some epoxy and micro balloons and used it to fill the voids. I let it all set up for a bit then applied a top coat of epoxy and covered with peel ply.

 

Up next… More sanding. Yay.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 84.0
Total Time (hours): 814.0

 

Started sanding the canopy fairing

This is the first substantial project I’ve done that involved laying up fiberglass. I will be more judicious in the application of epoxy in the future. I figured I’d just hit it with some 60 grit and bing, bang, boom. We’ll not so much. Sanding fiberglass is a slow messy process. Three hours in and I’ve got the basic shape on three quarters of the fairing. Still not down to the tape on the forward line. This is going to take a while.

 

On a brighter note. I had an awesome flight today with Jared in his RV-14A. We had lunch at KGMU and then stopped by KVPC and hung out with Wes and I went for a ride in his RV-7A. Very similar in a lot of ways to the RV-14. A bit tighter in the cockpit but by no means uncomfortable. All in all a great day!

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 79.0
Total Time (hours): 809.0

 

Laid up the fiberglass canopy fairing

Sanded the filler down and replaced the aft line of doubled electrical tape. It got pretty scuffed up. Then I added the layer of sacrificial masking tape over the electrical tape

 

 

Laid out the fiberglass cloth and cut the strips according to the cut list in the plans. Then cut out the sides using the provided patterns. Cut the peel ply.

 

 

Used plastic wrap as a backing for the bottom layer which is applied wet. Wet the A and D plies with epoxy that I dyed black so it would look right from the inside of the canopy. I wet the masked of canopy and skin with the dyed epoxy. I removed the inside plastic wrap carrier from the A and D plies, applied them, then removed the outer plastic wrap. I stippled the fiberglass down with a chip brush.

 

I let the inner plies set up until tacky then applied the B and C plies along with the first of the narrow strips. I continued to build up the forward part of the canopy with successively wider strips until I got to a 4″ radius curve. I used the gauge I had fabricated earlier to measure the curve.

 

I applied a thick top coat of epoxy. Then I removed the sacrificial masking tape and applied the peel ply.

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Next up… remove the peel ply and sand it to final shape.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 76.0
Total Time (hours): 806.0

 

Wings are complete!!!

Completed the repair to the attach hole that I blew out last week. The fiberglass and micro cured up nicely. I sanded it flush, re-drilled and countersunk the holes, and riveted the nut plate on.

 

The molex connectors that I ordered from McMaster arrived so I inserted the pins and bundled the wires with wire ties.

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This completes construction of the wings! Very excited to move on to the fuselage.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 0.5
Wing Time (hours): 298.5
Total Time (hours): 450.5

 

Completed left wingtip–Almost

All the things I did to the right wing yesterday, I did to the left wing today.

 

 

Thought I was finally at th end of the wings… but ran into another snag. When I was countersinking the screw holes in the tip, I hit a thin spot in the fiberglass and the countersink caught and made a giant hole. So I made a fiberglass patch. I’ll fill in the other side with some micro once the patch sets up. Then I can install the final nut plate and be done with the wings!

 

 

Traveling this week. So I will begin work on the fuselage next weekend.

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Wing Time (hours): 298.0
Total Time (hours): 450.0

 

Completed Right Wingtip

Laid out the cut the left and right wing tips. I made over-ran on of the cuts by an inch or so on the left wing. So I did a little patch and fill with some fiberglass and micro and set it aside to cure. Then continued work on the right wingtip.

 

Cut and installed the nav light lens.

 

Installed the nav/strobe light. Used the template from the plans to drill the wingtip. Terminated the wires with Molex .062 pins. Unfortunately Vans provided a 4-pin molex housing instead of the 5-pin one that matches the wiring harness in the wing. <sigh> Now I get to pay $10 in shipping for two $1 moles housings. Mounted the bracket and installed the light. Tested it out with a 9-volt. That sucker is bright!

 

Fit the wingtip to the wing and set it in place with a ratchet strap. Match drilled the holes from the wing skins to the wingtip. Final drilled and dimpled the holes in the wing for #6 screws. Final drilled the screw holes in the wing tip and then used a nut plate, a screw, and a cleco as a drill jig to drill the nut plate attach holes. Machine countersunk the screw and rivet holes and riveted the nut plates in place.

 

Fit the wing tip rib to the wingtip. Laid out and match drilled rivet holes. Riveted the rib in place.

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Bam! Right wingtip done.

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Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Wing Time (hours): 293.0
Total Time (hours): 445.0

 

Attach bottom rudder fairing

Last night I put a layer of glass over the foam in the VS tip.

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This morning, I trimmed and sanded the edges.

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I filled with a thick mixture of glass micro bubbles and epoxy resin.

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I set aside the VS tip to cure and got started attaching the bottom rudder fairing. I measured and marked the fairing and match drilled #40 and clecoed in place.

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I used a nut plate, a #6 screw and a rivet as a drill jig.

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I dimpled all the nut plate attach holes with the squeezer. I needed the close quarters dimple dies for the aft-most holes.

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I dimpled the nut plates.

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I machine countersunk the rudder horn bracket. It’s too thick to dimple.

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I riveted the nut plates in place. I made the aft-most hole too close to the aft edge of the attach strip. So I cut one ear off of the nut plate.

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I machine countersunk the fiberglass for #6 screws.

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Everything went together just fine.

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I disassembled and started work on the doubler for the tail light. I centered and taped it in place. I drilled the #30 holes and clecoed.  I ordered a #43 drill and a 4 40 tap from amazon for the other two holes.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 209.5
Total Time (hours): 209.5