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Monday, September 24, 2012

Final Panel

I really struggled through the labels but got them done and eventually clear coated the panel.   I ended up using to much clear coat though..  So much that when the screws since down on the panel, it chipped some away like the glazing off a glazed doughnut, if that makes sense.  Its not too bad and I can get some washers on the screws to cover it, but frustrating just the same.  All in all I am pretty happy with how the panel turned out, color choice and all.  It looks pretty professional and will definitely be useful and the most important part is that I am almost done with it..

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Panel Labels

I am using a dry transfer decal system and which comes with a huge learning curve !   I think I finally got it figured out though as the labels are starting to come together.  These initially look amazing on the panel, but I still worry about the longevity.  I will put a couple coats of clear over them to help, but they still seem to scratch pretty easily.  I hate to have to be so careful with something, but they look good, so will go with them for now.

I threw on my N number (RV-704CH) at an angle and like how it came out, also put a few initial switch labels in place.  Will continue the focus tonight.  It’s a long detailed process to get these decals to work, but worth it in the end.

Monday, September 17, 2012

EAA 1440 BBQ

The guys in the 1440 chapter (Seattle Eastside) got together for a BBQ at a member's hangar on Paine Field.  The hangar is just one row over from mine, so it was great to go up there and check it out.  We had perfect weather and a great showing.  A couple of our Chapter's RVs and a STOL 701 showed up.

After the BBQ I went home and focused on riveting my forward deck, also practiced a bit with my Decal Pro FX panel label kit.  A bit worried about how it will turn out.   They scratch easy and are pretty hard to deal with.  Need a bit more practice and will grab some pics of the process.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Painted the Panel

I have been prepping the panel for about a week now and finally I shot it with top coat.   I chose to go with a different color than the black that I had used for trim in the interior.  The seats will have some grey in them as will the seatbelts, so I went with a flat dark grey on the panel.  Not sure how it is going to look in the end, but I am not going back now.  One thing I can say is that the top coat came out very nice, just hope the color brings everything together in the end.

Now time to give it a few days to dry while I figure out how to rivet together the sub panel (which I final painted as well), then start putting things together again for the last time !

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Number is up.. Hangar at Paine Field !

After 2.5 years on the wait list and stalling as long as I could by asking for specific requirements about the desired hangar and location, our hangar number has finally come up.  Starting Oct of 2012, we will have a new home for our RV as long as we can pay the rent (the plane won’t be moved till later this year)..   It’s in the West Hangars of Paine field where we actually know several other pilots who have planes there.  In fact, it’s just down a couple rows from where our old Mooney still resides.  Details on how to get there are below…

The hangar is accessed from the southeast side of the airport and the access gate has the following address: 10700 36th Pl W, Everett, WA 98204. When you get close, follow the signs for "West Ramp Access" and "Gate S-9".  Make your last turn onto 36th place when you see the fire department, at the end you will come to the gate, just pull aside and call Chad’s cellphone and wait for us to let you in.  You will be able to see our hangar from the gate and we can see you, so will be able to get you in quickly.

For those flying in or with ramp access, the hangar is located in the "West Hangars"

Building 33 Hangar 12

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ELT Antenna and Panel Paint Prep

Today I basically finished up the mid-section of the airplane apart from the top skin.   Originally I was going to take the ELT antenna out back underneath the empennage fairing..  In the end after looking at it a bit I decided to take the shorter route.  I like the decision because the TSO’d antenna states it needs to be near vertical which is easy to achieve in the location I chose, plus this keeps the weight forward which is also one of my goals.  I did have to fabricate some tapered washers (shims) to help stand it up a bit, and then with some standoffs from the roll bar it came together well.   You will be able to see this by looking into the rear window standing next to the plane, but that’s OK, lots of builders and even Vans recommends this location.   Definitely inside is better than hanging outside slowing the plane down.  ;-)  Also, a bend in the cable gives for some additional length if in the event of an emergency landing there is bending that happens to the fuse.  This ELT antenna will have plenty of length to survive intact. 

I also removed the panel components and pulled the panel.  Time to prep this baby for paint and get it back in the plane for the final time.

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)