03 April 2017

Fuselage: Fwd Mid Fuselage Side Structure. Vents.

I had the pleasure of installing the side vents twice.  The first attempt, on 8-Mar-16, failed because the method I chose to clamp them was ill-conceived and gravity, the ultimate downer, caused them to slide down.

Preparing the vents for match drilling.  Not shown is the later scuffing and painting of the vents.  As can be seen, I returned the stock plastic eyeball vents and upgraded to the expensive aluminum ones on advice of a friend with an RV-9A who has experience with both.  Apparently the former leak whilst the latter do not.

Here is the foolish methodology for clamping the vents when adhering them.  Don't do this.

As is visible, the vents slid down overnight, adhering themselves in the wrong locations.

So I had to pull the vents off and scrape the sealant off both the airframe and vents.  That took exactly 4 hours of scraping.

More than a year later, on 7-Apr-17, I engaged in a second attempt at adhering the vents.  This time I used high strength, rare earth magnets to keep them in place whilst the sealant cured.

They came out pretty good. You can also see that I chose to paint them black to keep with the red/black accents in my interior.

Right side.

Left side.

If you look closely at the interior shots, you can see where I painted with a brush some of the silver paint to cover up the scuffed areas and the extraneous sealant.  Though those areas are obvious in the images due to the camera's flash, they aren't easily noticeable with one's eyes.

As a side note, the plans call for using silicone to adhere the vents.  I chose to use sealant.  And based on how exceedingly difficult it was to remove the vents when I originally placed them, I am entirely confident that they are staying put with sealant.

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