27 May 2016

Finish: Canopy and Window. Rear window fitted, cut and drilled.

I had help for this entire sequence of steps.

The rear window must be carefully placed (below, my friend is merely ducking so I can grab the shot).

A couple of notches are removed (right) so that the window can fit around the F-01432B-L Roll Bar Brace (left, from 38-02).

The forward outboard edges of the rear window needed a small trimming so that the F-01474A-L/R Stiffener Angles (installed later) are cleared (thanks Greg!).

When it comes to drill the holes in the window, a second person (in this case, me - look carefully under the window, I'm there) sits in the baggage compartment and holds a wood block for the driller (my friend) to work against.

Here we are polishing the edges.  First pass with 220-grit to take out any roughness.  Second pass with 400-grit to take out the scratchiness from the coarseness of the previous pass.  And a final pass with 600-grit to bring it to a glassy sheen.

Finally, to rivet the Stiffener Angles, consider using the "wedge tool".  However, 1) do not rivet the angles in until after the rear skin is dimpled and 2) rivet the angles to the skin before riveting to the rollover structure.  I got these out of order initially.

It's worth noting that the window edges needed zero trimming.  They perfectly lined up with the Rollover Structure and were flush with the F-01431D Window Shims.  That's just amazing.

In support of easier access to the tail cone, I will withhold installing the rear window until just before the plane goes to the airport.  At that time, I will be painting the edges so that the sealant will be concealed from the inside.  Posts #5 and #6 explain here.

The work illustrated here took us exactly 12.4 hours.

23 May 2016

Avionics/Fuselage: New sticks/control columns and grips.

Work on the build has slowed mainly because I need another set of hands.  The last 3 months have seen only ~20 hours of work.  In the meantime, I've obtained new control sticks from Tosten with their CS-8 "Soft Touch" finish grips.  The grips are locked in place with a hex setscrew which themselves each have a jamnut.

As seen above, the 22 gauge wires are terminated in Molex (04303-00001) tin female terminals with the included 12-pin Molex (043025-1200) male connector.  Though not included, this setup mates into wires that are terminated in Molex (04303-10007) tin male terminals using a corresponding 12-pin Molex (043020-1200) female connector.  Tosten provides a wiring diagram (though the commons are shared between the hat and button switches via the white wire and no green wire is included).

The CS-8 is an 8 function grip:  Four-way hat switch, a trigger, an index and two face buttons.

Here is my planned button configuration:
  • Hat switch up/down:  Elevator trim
  • Hat switch left/right:  Unassigned (future aileron trim?)
  • Trigger button:  PTT
  • Index finger button:  A/P engage/disengage
  • Left face button:  Intercom (GMA-240) comm swap
  • Right face button:  Transceiver 1 (GTX-200) freq swap

The Tosten stick (on right, below) has a slightly different shape than the Van's stick (on left, below).  The former being a bit shorter to accommodate a full size grip, terminating at the base of the grip. 

The Tosten sticks come pre-drilled #29-ish at the base.  That would make it easy to match drill into the CS-00007-L/R Control Stick Bases (see page 36-10), if I hadn't already done that with the Van's sticks.  So I had to pull out the Control Stick Bases from the airframe and match drill them to the new sticks.  Turns out, it's not easy to get the drill bit on the same trajectory as original holes, so I had to ever-so-slightly increase the diameter of each hole on the exiting side.  With just the bolts in place, without nuts, the sticks are still locked in place and don't rotate since the entry holes are the correct diameter, so it's a non-issue.  The Control Stick Bases were then re-attached (much easier to do when you have this toy).