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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wing Tips and the last Antenna

The airplane has 8 antennas and the Wing Tip Mounted Nav antenna is the last one I have to deal with.   This is a very unique antenna designed by some rocket scientist, but if you set it up right its supposed to work pretty well.  The benefit is that it is inside the wingtip and functions as both a VOR and LOC antenna.  The external antennas that provide this function are big and ugly so this antenna fits the RV quite nicely.   Plus gives me full IFR ILS Approach capabilities.

(I have been asked, so for those who are interested, my antenna's include: 2 Comms, 1 Nav, 2 GPS, Transponder, ADS-B, and an ELT.)

I am putting the antenna in the right wingtip so my focus was on this wingtip all night.   I riveted the antenna into the nutplates that secure the wingtip to ensure a ground contact with the airframe, also I added the heat protective cover for the HID landing light.

After initial set up I installed the landing light and positioned it as best I knew how at this time.  I will have to do some testing with the tips on the wing to make sure it lines up right.  Also, ran the wires own the leading edge of the antenna as indicated in the instructions..  I used the heat protective tape to secure the Nav/Strobe wires which will secure them as well as protect them from the heat of the landing lamp.  With all wires connected and secured I mounted the wingtip and tested it out.  Everything for this wing tip functioned as planned.  I will secure the antenna with tape initially for test flying, but once it is proven I will run some fiberglass over the tail and some of the antenna mid sections to keep it secure to the bottom of the wing tip.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wing Tips

Today was a big day on the project.  I spent the entire day up at the hangar and got a majority of the wingtip install complete.  I still have to drill out and install almost 100 nutplates, plus run the wiring for lighting, Nav Antenna, and even do some more fiberglass work, but for now I at least was able to drill, cleco and lock down the position of the tips.  I am really happy how they turned out, almost 100% in line with both the flaps and the ailerons.  I took some photos to try to show how they lined up.  The plane is now looking great and the wingtips really add to the finished look.  I took a couple extra pics because it looks soo cool..

I also drilled and riveted in the wing tip rib per the plans.  I haven’t riveted this yet since I need to prime the rib and also not sure which rivets I should use.  The plans don’t really call out rivets for this rib, but I assume the intention is the pop rivets that vans suggests you use for the tip.  In this case I might use solid rivets, but need to ask around first.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flaps and Ailerons

As I start working my way out to the wingtips, I decided to get the flaps in place and rigged correctly with the ailerons.  This will help make sure that when the wing tip gets installed I can verify a straight line down the trialing edge of all surfaces.  The only remaining items I had on the ailerons was to ensure they were both straight down the chord of the wing and install aileron stops.  Vans gives you some instructions on using tooling holes to line them up with the wing chord so I made sure they were both perfect.    For the Stops, I went off plans as many others have done.   I used a 5/8 inch nylon bushing around the bolt in the hinge, which hits the aileron support angle and works effectively as a stop.  After drilling out the bushing to fit, I installed and finished torquing the ailerons. 

 Then on went the flaps, making sure they were in alignment with the ailerons at the same time butting up smooth to the fuse.   Everything is now in line and I secured the flap hinge pins in a unique way which I talk about (here) in a prior post.  Also, I torqued the rear spar bolts and installed cotter pins.  Now its time to focus on the wingtips this weekend.

Here is a pic of the nylon bushing that I  used as my aileron stop.  When deflected it hits the aileron support and stops the travel at the correct location.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Continued Wiring and Torquing fuel lines

I have been continuing to wire the wing roots, and started torquing the fuel lines..   Here is a pic of the left wing root..  At this point both wing roots are wired up including Pitot and AOA lines.  I even kicked off the Pitot heat and verified the Pitot tube function.  Working like a charm and with the VP-X I can see how many amps its taking to heat the tube.. The Dynon Tube kicked off at 8 and fluctuated broadly back and forth to about .5 amps.  It has an internal sensor that tells it when to shut off so that it isn't constantly pulling amps.

Also, I took it slow and started torquing the fuel lines.  Making sure  no wires touch the fuel lines and all is torqued per spec.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wing Root Connections and Lights

I have all my lighting in the tips and tail coming through the left wing root.  I spent a couple hours yesterday hooking it all up and testing it.  Shot a quick video when I got the tail to react appropriately to the switches.   I like the LED lights, they seem to be bright and are definitely easier to install than a standard strobe system.  I chose not to sync the tail with the wings, so it will flash independently, but both wings will be flashing at the same time.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two wings on !

Mid last week, my brother in-law and his wife met Bekah and I for dinner up by Paine field.  Of course I had to get some work on in the plane, so we quickly ran to the hangar and they helped us pin the wing into place.  Took about 15 minutes, and we were out of there..  That set me up for this weekend to get the NAS bolts in place and torqued down so that I officially have two wings on the plane.  It looks great and finally people really understand what it is I am building.  ;-)   The weather here has been really cold so I haven’t got as much done on it as I would like, but I did finish all the tubing and installed the Pitot tube in the left wing.  Also, did a bit of wiring, but left the rest for a warmer day.  The list of things to do is winding down, but I still have a few hard core months of work ahead of me.  Putting the pressure on myself so I don’t miss any good flying days as spring arrives..   ;-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One wing on !

Lots of progress this weekend.  Started with a plan to have a friend meet Bekah and I at the hangar to help get the wing on.  I thought through as much as I could ahead of time and with the 3 of us and a 4th that showed up last minute we got the wing pined on with drift pins really easily.   I then rubbed some Boe Lube all over the NAS bolts and while Bekah lifted the wing tip to unload the bolts, I drove the first (an upper) one in with a rubber mallet and no issues at all.  Then I tried to drive a lower bolt and it was so close to the floor that I hesitated, plus it wasn’t going in so well..  Then I was loaned a short rivet gun.  Bekah again unloaded the wing by lifting the tip and the rivet gun helped slide the bolt right in.  Was crazy how smooth it went in by smacking it with a rivet gun.

Then I spend the rest of the day working the wiring in the wing root and hooking up the fuel lines etc.  At this point, the right wing is pretty well in place now.. Time to move to the left.

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