Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010

6 hrs
Finish flaps wiring.
Finish FWF sensors.
Finish aux fuel pump circuit.
Start installing trim circuits.
Spending some time working on the schematics. Need to catch up to where I am in actual construction.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

About 6 hrs
More wiring.
Received a Dynon care package yesterday, so started with the tach pickups. This involved tapping into the magneto lines with 30K ohm resistors. The resistors have very thin leads, so it takes a while to build up a connector that can stand the abuse of life behind the panel.

Wired in the pitot heat circuit to the switch, along with the LED indicator.
And finally, wired up all the LED with grounding, and pigtails for the controlling signal. Included in this was the EFIS warning LED. Only the fuel pump still left to wire to complete the LEDs.

Also rewired the transponder GPS serial in line. This has a resistor inline, and I wasn't happy with just the resistor exiting the connector. So wired it up so that the resistor is doubled back against the wire, with lots of heat shrink to add mechanical sturdiness.

And yet more wires!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

4 hrs
Been bad about posting, but have been working on the project. Dad and Patty have been in town for Christmas, and Dad has been over to help out for short periods during the holidays.
It's been all about the instrument panel. Among the accomplishments was getting the main harnesses for both Skyviews wired in, at least well enough to power up the two displays. John installed nutplates on the radio stack braces, so the stack can be screwed to the panel now. I guess I've missed writing up about 8 hrs of work over the past few days.

One Skyview is alive!

Today, got the SL-40 install mostly done, including making the coax connector, and got the radio stack with the Stein harness into the panel. Decided to trim the subpanel a bit more to clear the audio panel connectors. As a result I have a new favorite tool. I bought a hand nibbler from Avery. Built the airframe without it, but it sure is handy. While the noodles were cooking for dinner, I was able to mask in newspaper, nibble out the cutouts, file, sand, scotchbrite, and clean up, just as the noodles were done. Any other cutting tool would have required that much time just to set up and to cleanup the mess.

The Dynon transponder requires a TNC connector. Those things are ridiculously expensive. And I don't have one.

Over the past few days I've had to do a LOT of research on various items. I've had the attitude that this wiring and panel task would be a piece of cake. My professional experience gives me a big leg up on this kind of work. But I have to admit there are a lot of items that aren't immediately obvious, even after all the prep work has been done. I feel for the guys who aren't comfortable with this stuff.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2.3 hrs
Reinstall gascolator and aft fuel line. Need to order hoses to complete the fuel system.
Label manifold pressure and carb heat electrical lines and start installing connectors. This after finalizing all 37 pin signals, including allowances for cabin temp, trim, heated pitot status and EFIS warning light.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2 hrs
Still not getting much time for the project.
Shrink wrap fuel level sender, manifold pressure, and fuel flow leads.
Route ADAHRS network cable to right side Skyview.
Spent a couple of hours over the past days with minor stuff. Waiting for Spruce and Stein orders to make more wiring progress, and of course there are xmas items consuming most of the time.

Did finally identify the stray power/ground pins on the EMS 37 pin connector, and installed 1/4" and 1/8" ID tubes plus a reducer for the manifold pressure sensor.

The Spruce order did come in, so after chores today, should be able to make some progress on the project.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2.5 hrs
Make bracket for Fuel Flow sensor.

And more wires get added to the panel.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2.5 hrs
More wiring. Continued sorting and running wires for the Dynon EMS pod.
Route fuel level sensors, carb heat, manifold pressure lines. Started attaching terminals for carb heat. Need a bunch of 1/8" heat shrink to make nice bundles for the fuel level sensors, and some of the wire bundles going through the firewall.
Placed a Stein order today to pick up some of these items. Also need to place a AC Spruce order.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 hrs
Finish OV/LV monitor wiring.
Make 26g Fusible links for ammeter input lines.
Start setting up EMS 37 pin connector wiring.

Didn't say anything about it the day of this post, but an early present came from the Pacific Northwest. The seats and 5-point Hooker Harness sets from Classic Aero came today. They look great, and I'm happy I spent the extra bucks to upgrade the harness release - they are top quality.

The flash makes the red look brighter than it is. It's really a deep bergundy, in fact, that's the name of the fabric. These are the ultraleather seats in Raven and Bergundy. The carpets are much lighter, a grey color. It's an odd combination, but the seats will make the cabin very dark, and I wanted to be able to find things that get dropped on the floor.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1.5 hrs
Wire starter switch power feed.
Start wiring overvolt/undervolt monitor and LED.

Monday, December 13, 2010

2 hrs
Continued with wiring.
Connect master switch. Main buss is now switched.
Connect oil pressure/master-on sender and LED. For this I use the Van's Hobbs oil pressure sender. 12V is hooked up to common, and an led to the NC connector. When there's no oil pressure, the red LED comes on. It has the extra duty to be on when the master switch is on, reminding me (hopefully) to turn it off at shutdown time. No need for a push to test, just turn on the master.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

8 hrs
Started wiring in earnest. Electrical system design based on AeroElectric Z-11.
Start right side EGT and CHT connections. Need more connectors from Dynon.
Wire ELT panel connector. Tested the ELT for the first time. Broadcasts on 121.5, at least, and batteries expire in 2014, date of manufacture 2009.
Route and trim static and pitot lines to TruTrak AP.
Mag P leads.
Master contactor control lead
Starter contactor control lead

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 hrs
Finished up a few FWF tasks that had stacked up waiting for parts.
Torque engine mount/firewall bolts. Install cotter pins.
Install oil breather tube.
Install fuel overflow line for overboard venting.
Install 90 degree T fitting for fuel pressure hose installation, install fuel pressure hose hand tight.
Start installing CHT and EGT spade connectors. Burned three of the connectors installing them wrong in the crimpers. They were in backwards, and the resulting crimps failed the wire security test (pull at about 10 lbs to make sure they hold).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For Tuesday, Dec 7
1.4 hrs, 14 rivets
Install nutplates for arinc and transponder. Start routing wires for engine instrumentation.

The gold colored box is the Dynon Mode-S transponder.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1.7 hrs
Start mounting Airinc and transponder modules.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

4.4 hrs
Finish cutting holes in panel for all switches, leds, autopilot.
Deburr panel.
Drill holes for headsets and music input in side panels. Meant to include 12V receptacle on passenger side, need to see how I can recover from the error.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

7 hrs, 4 rivets
Finished the radio stack braces. Rivet tabs for attachment to subpanel.

Cut panel for radios.
Cut panel for ELT switch.
Drill panel for Skyviews, drill for nutplates.
Drill #40 center locations for all switches and air vent cutouts.

Received the order from Van's, almost done buying parts from them for the build phase of this plane, maybe one more order.

Put in .5 yesterday on the radio stack frame.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1.7 hrs
Drill radio stack braces.
Make and drill panel angles and SL-40 shims. Almost back to where I was on the radio stack from the first iteration. This one is working out much better so far.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1.1 hrs
Continue radio stack design.
Start cutting side braces.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1.7 hrs, 2 rivets
Installed nutplate for heater cable clamp. This was reasonbly hard, but it should make maintenance a bit easier in the future.

Restarted design of radio stack. With no 327, the stack can move up. And if I remove the extra room between the 430 and the SL-40, it moves down also. Side to side remains the same. Turns out the 430 will reqire a new shell, which I just noticed. So that part has to be redone anyway.

Monday, November 29, 2010

7 hrs, 32 rivets
Rivet slider reinforcing ribs and air vent braces to fuselage. Those were a couple of stray riveting tasks that have been hanging around for a while.

Final design of Skyview and switch layout. Had to move the switches down a little to account for the taller 10" Skyview. The first layout was done for a 7" unit.

Cut panel for Skyview installation. Set the corners with a #40 drill and the inside corner of a steel square. Then cut out most of the inside with a cutoff wheel. The final trim cut was made with an edge trimming bit with the Dremel, using a router base. Worked like a charm, just little bit of light filing to clean up the corners and the Skyviews fit perfectly.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2000 hrs

5.4 hrs, 20 rivets
Quite by accident, the log spreadsheet shows exactly 2000 hrs after entering today's time. This isn't a precise number. It's off by probably 5%. I think I have about 200 hrs to go.

Primed and painted cabin trim (longerons, decks, 704 bulkead), canopy rails, roll bar cleats, and hand holds. Used a variety of paints. The cabin is passable, but next plane I'm going to use a paint booth. It was pretty windy today, and that caused lots of problems.

Installed more nutplates on subpanel. This will provide flexibility in routing and securing wiring.

Installed Dynon backup batteries. The two batteries will be back to back on the subpanel, which will require contortions to service, but it conserves panel space, which is a big consideration now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

6 hrs, 22 rivets
Removed forward skin, roll bar brace, roll bar, canopy rails, etc. Need to paint the longeron and decks, so all this had to come off.
Trimmed the aft end of the slider rails to fit canopy skirt.
Installed second handle on roll bar.
Start masking longeron and seat back bulkhead for painting. Almost started the painting, but tomorrow will be warmer, so decided to wait. Here it is, the end of November, and it's already too cold to paint. Dang.

Install nutplates on subpanel. Mimi came by, and helped me rivet these on. Now Mimi can say she helped.

Discovered that one of the connectors on the EMS pod interferes with where the Skyview backup battery was supposed to go. Will move the battery to account for this. Also have to make room for the Dynon transponder, and the ARINC module.

Friday, November 26, 2010

1.6 hrs
Installed the cylinder head and exhaust gas temp sensors. Got the EGT's installed at about 2" dowstream, but #1 had to be on a bend. The EGT probes fit very tightly in the 1/8" hole, and have to be pulled in by tightening the clamp. I think I understand why they don't leak.

Then removed the top skin in prep for doing the instrument panel. Also removed the heater cable, since I'm going to use another one instead. Also removed the canopy tracks, since they need a bit more work.

Went flying today, the price on the DA20 came down just in time! Got in 1 passable landing, and 3 greasers. Very happy with the landings, need to be a bit more in control on take offs.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

3.5 hrs
As I type this, most people in America are about to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I'm thankful my family understands my obsession, and leaves me alone to work on the plane! But soon I'll go over to my sister's house.

Got almost all of the big FWF items installed. Just the gascolator/fuel pump line, fuel overflow, fuel pressure line, and oil breather to go.

Temporary fit of oil temp sender. Need a crush gasket.

Install firesleeve on oil lines.
Modify oil cooler to clear engine mount. Install fittings.

Mount left aft baffle. Install oil cooler.
Install oil cooler and fuel pump/carb lines. Hand tight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

6 hrs
Remove right side exhaust. Remove FAB. Check safety wiring on FAB. It was acceptable as is.

Installed engine control cable ends. Didn't have a FF-704 bushing, a tiny, $1 part, so spent about an hour pulling together an order to Van's for that and few other FWF parts I didn't have yet.

Reinstalled the exhaust, then installed the exhaust hanger system.

Reinstalled the FAB and heater SCAT tubes.

Torqued exhaust system.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1.6 hrs
Install cabin heat muff.
Install scat tubes for carb and cabin heat.
Start installing exhaust hangars.

Getting crowded in there fast. Should have installed control cable ends for the carb first. I think it wil only take 15 minutes to remove the right side exhaust, and that will make the control cables much easier to deal with.

Monday, November 22, 2010

1.8 hrs
Install lower cowling bracket. This took about an hour. The two forward bolts are extremely difficult to get started.

Start reinstalling exhaust system.
Fit carb heat muff.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

6 hrs, 11 rivets
Many partially finished tasks have piled up, all pending completion of some other task. Getting the FAB, cowling, and cowling fastener system done breaks the log jam. So now it's time to knock out the thousand little tasks needed to complete FWF and engine monitoring systems.
Finish painting and rivet lower cowling bracket parts.

Install carb temp probe.

Install carburetor.
Install FAB.

Cut to length and install carb heat cable.
Change out oil pressure restrictor and install oil pressure cable.
Attach ground strap to engine.
Fabricate clips for winscreen and drill to forward top skin.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1.2 hrs
Prime and start painting lower cowling attach bracket.
Retension and torque alternator belt and mounting bolts. Safety wire.
Replace carburetor and control cable bracket with two gaskets.

Got this done later in the day. Spent most of the day in Taylor, at the final Sport Air Racing League event. I volunteered, and ended up going over to Mark Frederich's Macho Grande, the birthplace of the red RV-4 that inspired my project. Spent the day with Ben Armin, who is building an RV-8 in Seth's shop, with help from Deene. We were on the timing team with several other people, so we were at the start line as the racers roared down the runway at 10 to 50 ft as they started and ended their runs. The field included several Harmon Rockets, fast RV-8s, other RV's other types (all except 9's), Glasairs, a Mustang, and a T-28. Also a couple of 182's, a DA-20, and a 152! 46 racers in all.

Got to see many of the Van's regulars, and most of the North Austin RV crowd. Also finally got to meet Bert Brundage, although I didn't get to talk with him much.
Back at Taylor there was also a fly-in, Paul Erb flew in with his autogyro, that he just completed and earned his license for. Good to see you Paul!

Friday, November 19, 2010

1.9 hrs, 40 rivets
Finished riveting milspec fastener receptacles to firewall strips.

Drilled cowling holes to 15/32" and installed some of the fasteners. Install cowling and start adjusting receptacles. Leaving them unlocked for the time being.
Didn't lock or install all of the fasteners because I still have some cowling finishing work to do before flying. This means removing the fasteners from the cowling, which doesn't look too easy.

But for now, the cowling is very close to done. I will prime and rivet the lower cowl bracket this weekend, and then start on the panel!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1.9 hrs, 36 rivets
Finish drilling milspec fastener cowling strips.
Start riveting fasteners to strips.

I've had these fasteners for a long time. It's nice to finally see them on the plane.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2 hrs
Decided not to prime the lower cowling attach parts in the dark after work. Instead, started final drilling for the Milspec fastener holes. Should finish that tomorrow, and then start installing the fasteners.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2 hrs
Finished drilling for lower cowl attach bracket. Countersunk as required. Ready to clean, prime, and rivet.

Marked the forward lower cowl slot cover. But will wait until gear fairings and intersection fairings are ready to fit to the cowling.