The last few days I have continued to work on some of the final touches of the firewall forward. I was able to torque down and safety tie the oil filler tube, which sure seems easier than it turned out to be. Since you can't get a 1 and 1/8th inch size wrench down in that area I had to use a rubber/nylon strap to wrap around the base of the tube several times until it got tight then torqued it manually until I got it in just the right spot to put a wrench on it. In the end it worked out well and I got the safety wire on it nice and tight. Oh, I also put some permatex in the threads to help avoid leaks in the future.
I also started closing off the firwall passthroughs with the firesleave wrapped around the wiring. This was difficult as well since I had to get the wire to move forward about an inch to wrap it, then slide it back into the passthrough tube. I got the right side done last night and will work on the left side tonight..
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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Don’t ever key your mic without an antenna connected ! Lesson learned.. At least with some newer radios, it doesn't destroy the radio, but it sure gives you a scare.. After learning that lesson and with the antennas connected I had Rebekah run across the street with a handheld tuned to "air to air" frequency (122.75) and we completed a double com check from each seat. Worked perfectly.
I also was able to remove all the zip ties that were holding the wire bundles in the Firewall forward compartment.. There are a few heat resistant ones that are holding some hoses and tubes etc.. that will remain.. But for the most part I replaced everything firewall forward by tieing up all the bundles with waxed lacing cord.
Since I was back to working on the firewall forward I torqued all the remaining items an started riveting in the baffle rubber material. It went in easier than I thought since I had already pre-drilled it with the baffles before final assembly. For the most part except for some odds and ends I am finished with the firewall forward.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Rebekah helped me a couple days ago finish the rear top skin. It was a tough bit of bucking, but we got it done and it looks good.. But more importantly, my interior arrived yesterday with perfect timing and I got it in place and am very very happy with it.. I was concerned about the color choice like with everything else, but it looks great. My only concern now is the panel color, but I can live with it or change it down the road. But for now I think the interior looks very rich and professional yet completely custom.. ;-) Bekah is happy too, in fact we jumped in and she made herself comfortable in her harness last night. She has one booster for now, but we might need to get her another down the road.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Bekah is a riveting machine. We spent about 20 minutes and knocked out the left side of the rear top skin. I could lean in to buck rivets from the open right side so it wasn't too bad, now that the left side is closed up I will have to reach in from the baggage area to buck the right and hopefully my arms will be long enough to reach the back rivets. All in all its looking great, and more like an airplane everyday.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Since I have everything I can think of done in the tail cone and the area to the rear of the baggage compartment I figure it is finally time to get that rear top skin on. I started down the middle spine and then worked from the rear out to each J Channel. Here is where I got pretty frustrated. I remember in the instructions probably about 1.5 years ago, it said, don’ rivet the rear of the center rib to the aft bulkhead due to rivet interference. Well, sure enough somewhere along the line I forgot that piece of info and riveted it. Now I couldn't buck one of the rivets that sat straight above this. So instead of tearing it apart, I decided a single pop rivet would give it character until it was painted. Then once painted you would never know since I filled the hole with some proseal.. Other than people giving me a hard time between now and when it is painted it won't be a factor.. Its just one of those things where this far into the project you have to consider just pushing forward to get done, vs. continued rejigging for perfection.. I chose to move forward. ;-)
Friday, October 5, 2012
I haven’t posted for a while because things lately have been crazy in my life.. Won’t go into that boring stuff, just talking about planes here... I have made lots of progress on external non-building items related to my flying though. I have been training for the last few weeks in a Aeronca Champ to get my tail wheel endorsement. Last night I got signed off on both my endorsement and my bi-annual flight review. I am now current and good to go but will continue flying every couple weeks until early spring when I go down to Oregon and take a crash course (pun not intended) on RV. It’s good to be back in the air again. Here is a pic of the plane I have been training in. Needless to say I am ready to graduate to my RV..
Also, My wings have been in a friends hangar for the last 6 months. Over the weekend we rolled them across a few hangar rows at Paine field from his hangar into mine. It was kind of like their first “taxi”, and it was fun to roll them past some 787 Dreamliners along the way. Then I started getting my hangar (er.. man cave) set up nicely. It’s going to take a while, but so far I have a few racks, the tail section my American Flag and a few other items to make it a nice manly place to hang out. I’ll try to grab a photo this weekend of my hangar set up and post with this blog entry.
Also, I have made some additional progress on my project. I torqued and safety wired the prop, connected the light speed electronic ignition and fabricated a support for the plug wires above the engine. Getting close to being complete with the firewall forward.