Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Monday, May 31, 2010

6.5 hrs
Good progress today. Started by installing the center section spacers that were forgotten during gear weldment install.

Trimmed the roll bar flanges to match the line of the canopy deck. The roll bar is ready to go now.

Drilled the control cable panel bracket for the three control cables.

Installed the control cable bracket and carburetor. Verified the throttle and mixture cables are the right length. To do this, had to remove the engine/engine mount assembly to allow the mixture cable to get through the firewall, since the fireproofing covers were in the way.

Removing the engine worked just like planned. The mount fits very well, so once it's in the right place, the bolts just slide in. The whole affair took about 10 minutes, off and on again.

With all that done, started the radio stack install. Drilled guide holes in the panel, and through to the subpanel, then worked on cutting the subpanel to accept the SL-40 and 430W which will stick back far enough to need a cutout.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2 hrs
Finished drilling roll bar and brace for AN4 bolt. Trimmed excess material from forward end of brace.
Spent about 4 hrs charged to miscellaneous setting up a manometer. The construction is finished, just have to find and fix all the leaks. It leaks to zero in about 5 hrs. Not good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

2.5 hrs
Cut the roll bar brace to length, and then drilled it to the forward deck.

Friday, May 28, 2010

2 hrs
That's all I log today, but spent much more time than that. Drove up to Andice today so Seth could mill a shoulder relief on lug 1 of the new Saber prop spacer. We had lunch at the Andice general store and I got to learn a little on how to run a big vertical mill. Takes an hour of horrible driving to get up to his shop. Sure wish it was closer.

For the two hours, installed the left forward wiring conduit, reinstalled the seat rib gaps taken out when putting the control stick in, and started bolting the rollbar in place.

Also installed the new prop spacer. Just need the prop and spinner kit and it's time to work on the cowling.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1.5 hrs
Got an order from Van's tonight, throttle and mixture cables and associated hardware. Also a AN fitting elbow so I can finish the brake plumbing. So that's what I did. All of the foward cabin brake lines are now installed and tightened down.
Also reinstalled the battery box, which was removed for sealing up the firewall recess. As part of that, installed clamps for the right foward wiring conduit. Will need to get more 13/16 Adel clamps.
Spent a couple of hours after work this week. Miscellaneous stuff, all geared toward finishing up the cabin.
Received a Garmin GMA 240 Audio Panel. Now I have everything needed to finish the design of the radio stack. Don't have the 430W yet, but I don't really need it. I can start cutting panel and subpanel parts and cutting attach angles to length and those kind of tasks.

The only thing I really need to make the panel usable is a Skyview display. That will have to wait, and I've got plenty of other things to do in the meantime.

But now I have everything needed to finalize the firewall and engine installation.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Engine Hung!

5 hrs
Had an idea last night about how to deal with the engine. Put it into practice this morning and an hour and a half later I had all four engine bolts installed.

Then spent a bit more time taking the nuts off of each bolt and installing a washer, since the nut was on too far for the cotter pin. But got em all done and cotter pins in place, but not final installed yet. I can't imagine taking any of these out, but I don't need to set the cotter pins quite yet. I may have someone come look at it.
The engine is going to have to come off at least two more times, but I'll remove the entire mount/engine/nose wheel assembly.

Then shifted gears and started final install of the rudder pedals and brake plumbing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

6 hrs, 28 rivets
Ed Rupp came over and helped today. We ran the checklist on the FWF instructions, which involved finishing a couple of holes still to drill in the firewall, the breather tube clamp and the manifold pressure line. Since I'm using the Dynon MP sensor, this was really just drilling two mounting holes.

Then we mixed up the proseal and riveted the recess in place.
After lunch at Buster's, we installed the oil cooler fittings on the engine, and then launched into hanging the engine.
Got the two top bolts in, but weren't making much progress when Ed had to leave.

Friday, May 21, 2010

4.5 hrs, 13 rivets
Spent a few minutes each of the last few nights, but not worth logging. Did manage to complete the control column install, but a bit more torque checking to do.
Started today by dremeling a couple of snap bushings to allow both pitot and AOA lines to pass through in the center section.

Then prepared for forward cabin wiring adel clamps. Drilled holes in firewall/angles for bolts, installed nutplates on 892 bulkheads. Riveted rudder pedal reinforcement bracket to firewall angles. Prepared to rivet firewall recess, which will involve proseal.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1.5 hrs
Continued installing the control sticks. Getting all those little washers in there as spacers was difficult on the bench when I did it the first time. It was downright painfull with the control parts in the bottom of the fuselage. I haven't had too many moments of extreme frustration with the build so far. But this is one of them. I think I may install the nose gear and then climb in to finish off the task.

Should have cut the extra two ribs. If I have to take the control sticks out, I will go ahead and make the modifications. It will take less time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

.5 hrs
Decided to install the control sticks, at least temporarily. I had left them assembled from the initial fitting back when the spar carry through was still on the bench. Sort of expected I could figure out how to work them into place assembled. No Way!
Had to take them mostly apart. I remember some of those washers being really tricky to get in, and they won't be any fun while bent over the side of the airplane. Someone had made the seat rib mod on the next set of ribs out, and that would have saved a great deal of time. Not too late, I guess.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

4 hrs
Make and drill 668 spacers for roll bar. This is the second set, and these will work. The first set of holes were too close to the longerons. To solve the problem I had order new 668s since the first set were already drilled to size.
Since there were holes drilled in the canopy deck that were slightly off, I first marked where those holes were on the roll bar flange. I then marked and drill new #40 holes on the roll bar flange. Clamping the roll bar securely to the longeron/canopy deck, drilled new holes using the roll bar as a guide. These holes overlapped the old holes somewhat. It sat that way for two weeks waiting for the new 668s.
So now there are two sets of #40 holes in the canopy deck. With the new 668s cut to size, the new set of holes is used to mark the 668s. Then the 668s are drilled to final size.

Good this time, with no nicking of the longerons. Then enlarged the two forward holes in the roll bar flange to 3/16, clamped the roll bar to the deck, and used the flange as a guide to drill the deck to 3/16.
Worked great. Repeated this for the two aft 1/4" holes.
Then spent a bunch of nerve wracking time with a dremel and a mirror opening an access gap for the aft holes on the bottom flange of the canopy decks. Using a dremel in a mirror is a challenge. But got it done, and now the roll bar is almost ready to go.

Trial fit of plumbing for gascolator drain. Bought some brass hardware at Home and Aircraft Depot that looks like it will work OK.

Installed two AN509 screws on left side fuel tank attach bracket.
Now to finish the floor of the forward section and plan wiring conduits, then the forward section can be finished.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

7 hrs, 12 rivets
Firewall stuff. Order from Van's and AC Spruce. Final install of gascolator, aux fuel pump, brake reservior.
Attached wire passthoughs, and fit stainless covers for control cable pass throughs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1 hr
Got a couple of firewall passthroughs from Plane Innovations today. Wasted no time in fitting them to the firewall. One is 1", although the cutout in the firewall is only 7/8", as large as I can cut with the bits I have. That's OK, it's enough, and the fitting needs some extra space for the firesleeve. The other fitting is 3/4". The hole I cut was 3/4", but a snap bushing will take up some of that. It might be a bit tight, but I think it will also work. One more firewall task down, now just the control cables to worry about.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1 hr
Some of the time was yesterday. Install pitch servo. Torque bolts down and safety wire. Install elevator pushrod.

Seems like the servo arm can have a over-center possibility. Not as catastrophic as the roll servo, just turn off the autopilot if it occurs. Final geometry with everything installed will show how close it is. But a simple bracket could eliminate the possibility.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5 hrs
Finished a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in the aft fuselage. Almost all of the wiring and plumbing is done and ready to seal up. Almost. Still need to do the final run of the SkyView network cable, and that can't be done until the forward structure is riveted in.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

6 hrs
Various foward cabin, firewall, and canopy items. Inching towards attaching the engine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

3 hrs
Torqued nose gear and main gear through bolts. These are AN5 bolts and take 120-150 inch-pounds of torque. Calibrated the small click type torque wrench I bought a while back using my old beam torque wrench. Made it easy to tighten the bolts properly.

Prewired and install electric fuel pump, then made the fuel line line for pump to gascolator. Can't intall it yet because I want to use a steel elbow at the gascolator.

Installed line from fuel pump to fuel selector.
Bend canopy roll bar for better fit. Went to Home and Aircraft depot and bought a 2 ton come-along. With it I was able to bend the roll bar like a bow. Had to get about 3 3/4" of deflection to get the proper amount of set. Now it's well within the 1/16" that Van's specs. Bending that thing is kind of scary. If something gives there's a lot of potential energy, enough to do serious damage or injury.

Placed the weekly order to Van's, for various hardware bits, FWF hoses, and the baffle kit. If I get stuck on other stuff I can work on the baffle kit.

Also shipped the 605-SEN forward spinner plate back to Van's. I need the standard wooden prop plate for the Catto prop, and I have to ship that and the rest of the spinner parts to Cato when I get it. Catto will do the spinner install for me. I should have that prop by the end of May, well before I can really use it. Need to order a Saber prop extension.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

1.2 hrs, 54 rivets
Finished riveting lower cowl attach strips to the firewall and skin. Also did a bit more deburring on the scalloping.
Torqued the smaller bolts holding the main gear weldments to the wing bulkhead.

Now to finish the last bits of bottom forward cabin work and punch the holes for wiring.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1.5 hrs, 22 rivets
Finished riveting 921A to B rivets.
Scalloped lower cowl attach strips.
Started riveting forward skin/firewall/cowl strips.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spent about 1 hour drilling the holes in the 668 roll bar spacers.
But I think there's a problem.
Despite carefull measurement from the top, the hole the 921B canopy deck is too close to the longerons. If these are drilled out the proper size, the longerons will get nicked. That can't be good. Need to ask Van's about this, and proceed with something else. I may get to do the 668 spacers over again.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Engine delivered

4 hrs
Set nose wheel bracket breakout torque.
Mark cowling attach strips for scalloping.

Attempt to bend canopy roll bar. Failed miserably. Spent about 2 hrs. I don't weigh enough to bend it. Using wood clamps, I can deflect the ends by three inches. But that's not enough to permanently change it.
Started making 668 spacers.

As I was starting to mark the 668's up, Seth arrived. He brought an engine with him!

It's an O-320, modified to 160 HP with 8.7 to 1 pistons. The valve covers are just pretty chrome ECI covers, but there are no other ECI parts involved, although the cylinders were channel chromed by ECI in New Braunfels. The engine has two new mags, with the left impulse-coupled. The Skytec starter and Mark Landall 60Amp alternator are brand new. It has a factory rebuilt carburetor and fuel pump. And a new Vettermann exhaust. Seth also threw in a heat muff.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wheels On!

5.6 hrs, 26 rivets
Cav is on her own feet now!
Installed the main gear and nose wheel.

Finished up the gascolator attach by enlarging four of the holes to take AN3 bolts. Then riveted the doubler and the bracket to the firewall. Will need to order some 509 structural #10 screws to finish this task. Bolts interfere with the body of the gascolator.
Since I removed all of the electrics to prevent damage during riveting, had to reinstall them.

Then added washers, as per the plans, to the main gear wheel pant bracket bolts to add some space between the bracket and the brake disc. Why they didn't just spec a longer spacer is beyond me. My spacers were a fraction (64th) short, and one standard washer was enough to make the spacing just right. One on each of the three bolts, both sides, that is.

Then slid the engine mount on to the firewall, tightened the nuts by hand, and used the hoist to raise the fuselage. Installed the main gear. This was nerve wracking, since I was afraid something would give and the whole assembly would come crashing down. But it went reasonably smooth. Had to remove the engine mount again to get the nose gear leg installed. But it slid back into place effortlessly.

The main longerons are now 18" higher. All the leaning over to mess with stuff on the floor has been bugging my back. Now I can reach it without bending at all.

Hey, where did that plane go?

Oh, there it is!