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

 

Sanded the filler and filled the low spots

Used some 60 grit sandpaper to quickly take down the filler to the profile of the canopy. There were a few low spots on the sides and voids around the canopy clips. So I mixed up a small batch of epoxy with micro and filled them in.

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Finish Kit (hours): 70.0
Total Time (hours): 800.0

 

Attached the canopy to the frame.

Riveted the side skins and canopy handles.

 

Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy to the aft frame in the middle section called out in the places. Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy and skins to the frame rails.

 

Fabricated and attached the canopy wear strips.

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Mixed up some epoxy resin with micro balloons and black pigment. Used the mixture to fill the void where the canopy and skin come together.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 69.0
Total Time (hours): 799.0

 

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 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

 

Attached top rudder tip

I was away in south Florida all last week for work. Good trip but glad to get back in the shop today.

I final-fit the top tip to the rudder with some sand paper. I match drilled #40 all of the holes.

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I final drilled the holes to #30.

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I machine countersunk the holes in the tip to fit the dimples in the skin.

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I dimpled the holes in the skin.

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I attached the tip to the rudder with the pneumatic pop rivet gun.

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Et viola…

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I attached the rudder to the vertical stabilizer on the workbench. I fit the VS tip with sandpaper and match drilled all the holes #40.

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I used the band saw to cut some foam to back the fiberglass closeout. I test fit the assembly to the VS and used sand paper to gradually reduce the size of the foam until I got an interference fit.

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I mixed up some epoxy resin with glass micro bubbles to . nice thick paste that wouldn’t run.

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…and used it to glue the foam into place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 206.5
Total Time (hours): 206.5