02 June 2017

Finish: Cowl Baffle. Reworked left side.

I am one of the unfortunate few who has a bottom cowl which seems to sit too low on the left side, relative to the air intake.  In fact, on a recent business trip to Perth, Australia, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a pair of builders working on their -14A whereupon they showed me the same issue I was having and their great solution, which I effectively copied.

With an unmodified cowl, you can see how poorly it sits relative to the air intake.  This is visually noted in the distortion of the CB-000032N Cowl Baffle Seal.  Physically, it is extremely difficult to mount the bottom cowl into this position as a result of the poor fitment.


Van's told me that I should expect this fitment to improve as the engine sags due to the engine mounts relaxing over time.  I decided that the gap was too big.


So I put my friend to work to fix it (feeding him occasionally).  First he had to hack away at the lip of the cowl, then add epoxy mixed with flox to start building up a new lip.


When he finally got it where he wanted it, he added glass fabric underneath to give it strength.  Being proud of his work, naturally he had to sign and date it.


He came up with the below.  It fits much better.


01 June 2017

Interior: Headset hangars fabricated and installed.

Lots of folks install headset hangers in the plane.  I've seen them placed at the apex of the roll over structure and below the panel at knee-level.  I like the latter in favor of avoiding the sun.  One aspect that was important to me was to ensure that the hanger's shape conforms to that of the headset.  My thinking was that it would help preserve the headset's padding.  

So here's what I came up with.  The bracket is 0.035" aluminum.  The curved piece is the really soft 1/8" piano hinge bent to conform to a headset.  Of course it's painted red to match my interior accenting.  All rivets were LP4-3s.


Left and right hangers in place. I riveted them to the flange of the F-01402-L/R Side Frame pieces because I didn't want to risk compromising the strength of the F-01413-L/R stiffeners.  Plus, using the vertical stiffener rather than the horizontal lets me perch the hangers higher.


Headset in its home.