Finished canopy latching mechanism

Installed the lever and latch. I had to spend a bit of time finessing the lever to get it to sit properly when retracted into the skin. As it came, I kinda stuck out at the end. The scotch-bright wheel took care of the problem. Also note that yesterday I had painted these parts. That was before I realized that there was an interference fit and they were just going to get messed up anyway. So I unpainted them today with some lacquer thinner.

Installed the bell crank brackets and bell cranks. Installed the torque tube, pins, and pushrod.

On to the actual canopy next.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 20.0
Total Time (hours): 750.0

 

 

Completed Aileron and Elevator Systems (Section 36)

Checked the fore and aft travel of the control system with a digital level using the top of the cover rib as a reference. Filed the control column bracket stops until I achieved the specified range of travel in each direction and the control column hit the stops on both side simultaneously.

 

Installed the control sticks and measured the distance between them. Thy were spot on so I guess I measured the control stick tie rod correctly. No adjustment necessary.

 

I double checked that I torqued all the hardware properly and marked everything with torque seal. I decided to wait on installing that aft elevator push tube until I reinstall the tail feathers at the airport.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 215.0
Total Time (hours): 670.5

 

Assembled and installed fresh air vents

I assembled the fresh air vents by sealing the vents to the ducts with silicone adhesive and then bolting them together with the mounting bracket. I then glued these assemblies in place on the side skins with tank sealant.

 

Assembled the canopy release mechanism. Used the jig that came with the kit to align everything and drilled the tube for the AN3 bolt. Then put everything together.

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Machine countersunk the doublers and top skin for AN426AD2 rivets using a #34 drill bit. These suckers are teeny tiny. Double flush riveted the doublers to the forward top skin with the squeezer.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 193.0
Total Time (hours): 647.5

 

Completed Flap Actuation System (Section 34)

Drilled the tiny hole in the linear actuator rod for safety wire. First attempt broke through. Second attempt, I ignored Van’s instructions and started by drilling a hole in the end. Then drilled a hole from the side to meet up with the first hole. Then final drilled at an angle to eliminate the right angle and allow the safety wire to slide through.

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Greased up the torque tubes and inserted into the bearing blocks on either side. Then I bolted them to the flap crank in the middle. Finally, I bolted the flap motor in place and tested with a 9-volt battery. Worked perfectly.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 627.5

Completed Rudder and Brake Systems (Section 33)

Installed the links that attach the rudder cables to the rudder pedals. Riveted the rudder cable fairleads in place. Not pictured, I also bolted in the four adel clamps that hold the plastic rudder cable routing tubes in place. This was a huge pain in the ass. Very little room to get fingers in to get the nuts started. Plus the angle of the tunnel cants the bolts in toward the adjacent structure making it hard to get a socket or wrench on the nuts. But futzed with it long enough and got it done.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 170.0
Total Time (hours): 624.5

Primed everything and started assembly

 

Wiped everything down with acetone and then shot primer. I did the spars first, then the ribs in two batches, and finally all the other small parts.

 

 

Riveted the flap hinges and hinge ribs to the ribs. I started using the squeezer but it couldn’t reach most of the rivets so just switched to the gun and shot the rest of them.

 

 

Assembled and riveted the the torque tube brackets and riveted them to the inboard ribs.

 

 

Clecoed the ribs to the spars and reinstalled the AN3 hardware and torqued everything down. I also installed the snap bushing in the systems holes in all the ribs. Many of them were a bit loose. I’ll have to give some thought on how I want to resolve this.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 7.0
Wing Time (hours): 52.5
Total Time (hours): 263.5

 

More rib work

I set the spars on the work benches opposite one another and removed all the bolts.

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It went a lot quicker when I remembered I had an impact driver in the tool box.

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There are a whole bunch of bolts in the spars.

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Back to the ribs… Deburring holes and dimpling the bottom flanges.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Wing Time (hours): 38.5
Total Time (hours): 249.5