Back to work on the tanks

Got back from Toronto yesterday and my replacement tank skins had arrived. I cut the splice strips from the skins with the snips and filed/sanded the edges smooth. I clecoed the baffles into the skins and machine countersunk all the associated rivet holes.

I’ll get the dimpling done tomorrow and start assembly on Sunday.

In other news… Van’s charged my credit card for the balance due on the fuselage kit. Hopefully that means the kit is being crated and will ship in the next week or so. Now the pressure is on to finish the wings!

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Wing Time (hours): 190.0
Total Time (hours): 342.0

 

Much progress on rear spar

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Peeled the vinyl from all the parts. Did the minor cutting and fabrication called out in the plans. Cleaned up and deburred all the edges with file, deburring tool, scotch brite wheel, and sandpaper. Scuffed everything with a scotch brite pad.

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Assembled and final drilled the aileron hinges. The inboard hinges are from the service bulletin. I’m surprised they haven’t updated the plans yet. Had to follow the SB instructions.

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Clamped the spar doublers to the spars and match drilled them.

 

 

Drilled out the aileron pushrod hole in the inboard doublers and cleaned them up with the Dremel.

 

 

Clecoed the right rear spar together with the wing assembly.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.5
Wing Time (hours): 59.0
Total Time (hours): 270.0

Trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips

As much as I enjoyed looking at the aft fuselage with the tail feathers attached progress must continue! I remove the rudder, elevator, vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer. I trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips using a Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel, files and 60 grit sand paper.

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I also received the molex pins I ordered from Mouser so I fixed the wire I accidentally yanked out of the aft wiring harness molex connector.

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Tomorrow Jared will teach me how to fiberglass and we’ll close out the VS and HS tips. I’ll need to drill, dimple, countersink and rivet/screw the rudder and elevator tips as well.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 196.0
Total Time (hours): 196.0

 

Prime time

I deburred, scuffed and primed all of the remaining empennage parts including the top skin and the upper side skins. I’ve just about run out of parts. Once I get my static line and nut plates from Van’s, I’ll be able to finish riveting everything.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 173.0

 

Whole lotta scuffin’

I cut the aft tail skin with the snips. Cutting .040 aluminum with snips is a workout. I thought of using the band saw but it’s an awkward part to cut straight with the saw. I trusted my skills with the snips more than steadiness of my hand at the band saw. Good result but my forearm was pretty sore afterward.

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Cleaned it up with file and sand paper.

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My paint cutter arbor arrived from Aircraft Spruce. So I was able to cut the remaining countersinks in the rudder stops without the cage.

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I was skeptical that I’d be able to hit the right depth free hand but it worked out fine.

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I also heard back from Van’s support on the holes that I thought shouldn’t be dimpled and in fact they shouldn’t have. So I hammered them flat. This was definitely an error in the plans. Now my tie down bracket sits flush.

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And finished up with a marathon scuffing session.

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I’ve got to be honest. Scuffing parts is my least favorite part of the process. It’s dusty messy work.

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That was a lot of parts to scuff but I’m glad I fought through and got them done. This is most of the parts for the tail cone. Once these are primed, I’ll only have the skins and a few small parts left to scuff and prime in order to complete the empennage. Big priming session tomorrow. Then I can start assembling. 🙂

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 144.0
Total Time (hours): 144.0

 

More work on bulkheads

Modified the bottom of the 1408 bulkhead.

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Deburred and dimpled all the 1407 and 1408 bulkhead parts.

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Separated, deburred, and dimpled the bell crank ribs.

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I realized when I went to drill the battery angles that I somehow modified the wrong one. I could swear that I marked these parts carefully before I separated them but it appears I switched the A and B markings. I don’t think this will be a problem though. I just needed to modify the correct one. The modification to the wrong one is not consequential.

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Once I fixed that, I drilled and countersunk all the nut plate holes and match drilled the angles to the bell crank ribs. I deburred and dimpled the 1406 bulkhead as well.

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I think next weekend I’m going to have two solid days of scuffing and priming all these parts.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 141.0
Total Time (hours): 141.0