30 September 2015

Interior: Purchased safety harnesses.

I went with the 5-way "kam" lock restraint with shoulder pads, 50" seat belt pull up adjustment, Y-type harness with black anodized hardware.  I chose red to match all the red accents I've applied to the interior and to make the interior more aesthetically interesting (note, that is not the same as "aesthetically pleasing"!).  

29 September 2015

Powerplant: Propeller delivered.

The propeller came today.  Hartzell C2YR-1BFP/F7497 74" aluminum 2-blade blended airfoil, constant speed.  It looks a lot bigger in a box than it does on a plane.

The prop will sit probably for some 8+ months before it gets mated to the engine.

20 September 2015

Painting: Interior painting completed.

See here for my thought process on how I arrived at the method and materials I used.  It took 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete masking off everything (left).  Painting took about an hour (right).  The painting was done in my garage with the door open.  Using my 3M Low-Maintenance Half-Mask Organic Vapor, P95 Respirator Assembly, Medium, I didn't smell a thing.  In retrospect, long sleeves and goggles would have been helpful, as the overspray gets all over.

I wish it were a little lighter in color, but for using a total of 4 cans at $5.75/can, I will be perfectly happy.

Here is the interior masked off.  Because I painted the seat back brace and shoulder harness lugs red, I had to mask those guys off.

Various views of the painted areas.  This is prior to sanding out some runs and touching up some hard-to-access areas.

I decided that the Rust-Oleum Universal paint isn't very useful as the spray pattern induces a lot of runs.  And it turns out that the paint doesn't need to be perfect in unseen areas (e.g., under longers, etc.) so it's okay to do without the Universal paint's ability to spray at any angle and just use the unsophisticated version.

A few photos showing the finish without the masking.

19 September 2015

Fuselage: Baggage area.

Turns out I had to step into the airplane to complete this section.  And here is that momentous occasion recorded by the time lapse camera setup.

This section makes very liberal use of the LP4-3 rivet (Van's doesn't refer to these by their manufacturer part number - they are from Avex and that link includes a fun animation showing one being pulled).  And I mean very liberal.  To the tune of some 600 (see here for my list of the number of rivets used in each section of the plans).  Be sure to use the wedge tool as outlined on page 5-06.  This little gem avoids the curse of rivets showing pride when setting them in close quarters.

Since I've already acquired "riveter's elbow" (a.k.a., lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow) from bucking the side skins solo, it's important that I reduce gripping items tightly, including rivet pullers.  A friend of mine loaned me a pneumatic rivet puller.  That thing is incredible!  How did I ever get along without one?  As a result, I picked up a cheap one from Harbor Freight.  Whilst I'm generally not a fan of the quality of their products, enough reports on VAF convinced me that it would fit the bill.  With Harbor's perpetual "20% off  any single item" coupon, after tax it rang in just under $35.  Score!

First the  F-01447-L/R baggage floors are cleco'd in place (left).  Then riveting commences (pictured is the loaner pull riveter, the Marson V-2).

Eventually you work your way through them all.

And everything gets done.

Now for some details...

The rivets attaching the F-01405G flap motor channel to the F-01405L bulkhead doubler are very tough to set because of the acute angle subtended by the two parts (relative to forward).  I used my no hole 4" deep yoke to set these.  The only way to make that work was by putting the shop head on the aft, visible side.  Whilst not aesthetically ideal, it was the best practical means to set them and move on.

Cutting the UHMW bushings to the proper size was easy enough by taping the stencil to the part, after verifying scale, and going to town with the bandsaw and belt sander.  These parts get bolted in but not with full torque.  Only until the nut comes down on the part, otherwise the part gets compressed and distorted which will prevent the flap torque arm from later fitting in it.  How do I know?  A later post will explain.

Many of the rivets around the step attach access area are very difficult to buck (left).  Use of my longeron yoke managed to squeeze most.  I then bought a $55 tungsten 12.5 oz bucking bar from eBay (right).  That managed to get all but one rivet on each side.  I don't have anything lying around that I can use to buck it.  A friend will loan me his "stubby" squeezer with a 1" yoke.  I suspect it's the same as this one from Avery.  He said, using that tool, that he was able to avoid having to use the lone CCR-264SS-3-2 called out for on each side.

Note:  If you're following my blog as part of your build, I humbly suggest you consult page 33-11 in the Rudder and Brake Systems section.  There are a number of bushings that need to be inserted under the baggage floors, as well as routing the rudder cables, that would be so much easier with the baggage floors not yet installed.

16 September 2015

FWF: Pics of N214VA from Van's

Firewall forward images of N214VA from Van's.   

Please note:  This is not information specific to an upcoming kit.  It only represents what's installed in the N214VA airplane.

06 September 2015

Fuselage: Aft fuselage attachment. Done.

Generally, this section progressed without a hitch.  It was probably 14 hours in duration to complete.  A few rivet lengths in the plans were too short.  Always keep the rivet gauge handy.

The tail is lifted above the fuse. 

After dropping the tail on the fuse and ensuring the proper locations of lap joints, cleco'ing begins.

Cleco'ing continues.

And then you sit back and admire the structure.

Lots of clecos are used.  Ever single hole was filled to make sure the structure lined up.  Every single rivet went into its hole with hardly any coaxing.

The lug assemblies didn't line up with the holes on F-01406C bulkhead.  Turns out that we had to bend the top of the lugs upwards to get alignment.  If that becomes a problem later, now that they're riveted, they can be bent back.  As you can see, I decided to paint the lug assemblies red with the leftover paint from my rudder pedals.

Riveting in the back can get tough.

But it eventually gets done!