No Time for Posting
It’s been a busy two weeks. Lots of things have happened. I had a few setbacks to overcome and a few more to deal with. But it’s been forward progress and getting closer to that pre-cover inspection.
First, speaking of covering, decisions have been made and product purchased. For me it really wasn’t a decision of which fabric to use, but more about which colors. Oratex was the choice. For me it’s the simplicity as well as the unique factor.
There were still a lot of decisions to make though besides color. I’ll reveil the color scheme when it arrives, sorry. There are limited colors, but they each come in 2 levels of quality and both with or without a special backing to reduce the translucency of the material. All at varying costs (also based on color choice). In the end I went with first grade backed material. The most expensive choice, but I couldn’t stand to see blemishes since this is the finished product.
Additionally, there was a lot of discussion with their techs and support about rib lacing or not. With standard fabric it’s very strongly suggested in the build manual - but not a requirement. That said, I don’t think anyone would go without it. However, with Oratex, there is another option to talk about. The adhesive designed to hold the fabric is far stronger than that used for standard fabric. The tech specs and tests show that if applied correctly you’d rip fabric or destroy structure before the glue lets go.
That brings up the notion of gluing directly to the ribs instead of rib lacing. Given they are 1” wide I was advised that they would provide more than enough bonding surface to glue rather than rib lace. I was also provided with several other finished examples (RV7) that didn’t rib stitch.
I’ve not decided for sure yet, and can easily add the stitching at any point.
Hopefully the shipment will arrive before christmas.
New Parts Arrived
Moving right along I was excited to get my first piece of the avionics - the pitot tube. I’m holding off on most of it until the new year and closer to needing it - but I needed the pitot to be ready for pre-cover inspection.
I decided on the Garmin GAP 26 regulated pitot. It’s the most costly option, but with my mission goals of being able to night certify and fly over the top (of cloud) it was an easy decision. With it I got the Dynon pitot/AOA tubing kit and a Gretz mounting bracket.
Flapperon Brackets & Fitting
Continuing from where we last left off with the tank install and trailing edge, things took a slide for the worse before it got better.
The next step was working on the flapperon mounting brackets. First thing I’ll say is that if you’re working on anything but a model 7, upgrade to the model 7 brackets. What a pain in the ass these were. Far more to go wrong, and totally obvious why they were changed on the 7. I only know this because a friend just completed a 7 and was helping.
Anyway, the approach here was to take the 4 pieces of the bracket setup, insert the bolts with the end flapperon hinge in order to get best spacing and alighment possible along with the necessary triangular template. Oh man that sucked. The results were ok, but probably could have been made easier - somehow.
After getting those together it was time to line them up on the trailing edge. Well, that’s where it started going south on us. There was no way that the brackets were going to sit flush on the top and bottom with correct angles - the trailing edge that was just finished was causing poor placement.
Now my first reaction was shit… now what, we’re screwed. Luckly my buddy stepped in and just said not much we can do but fix it. So, out came the multi-tool with a modified blade. We used it to cut through the hysol attachments on the rib ends. Then, after some cleaning and sanding down to make the first perfect (while testing with the hinges) that was fixed up. I make it sound easier than it was as it did take a few hours. In the end they all fit perfect.
However this lead to one more small problem. The measurements for bracket placement had one off by about 1/32 of an inch more than acceptable. Again, experience prevailed with the solution. A bottle of water, hairdryer and 2x4. With this we wet down the end of the rib, heated it up and used the 2x4 as a brace to ever so slightly adjust for a better fit. All I can say is wow. I really wouldn’t have known what to do.
The next unresolved error are the flapperons. I just unwrapped them fully - which wasn’t done at time of purchase. Now I find the aluminum top and bottom of the bracket slots are tore right through. Again, deflating. I’ll have to fabricate a small plate to attach over top. But that’ll be a story for another day.
Well, a few days and a few issues solved and fixed. Slow progress but still progress.
Put on the modified ribs and false ribs and set them to the same contour as others with some wood and hysol. Also added the small support pieces against the tank and the number one rib.
Additionally I orders up some new flexable fuel line to replace the hard molded tube used. I was told there have been a few cases of it breaking - and I don’t want that mid flight!
Laker Leading Edge
So smooooooooooth. Got the LLE fitted and ready to be hysoled, but that will have to wait a bit longer as I still have to mount the jury struts. Also made the little fittings for around the main attachments for the fabric to attach to.
Moving right along there are some things to tackle on the fuselage. Started with re-mounting the pedals with some new hardware. First though they were greased up with some lithium grease.
Continued with fitting the rudder cables and swaged the ends to the rudder adjustment handles. I had to order the tube that fits into the alignment brackets and cut and fit that as well.
Put back in the wire going to the trim motor as well as ran the static line to the tail where I’ll eventually add the static ports.
Oh yeah, also inserted the elevator tube and re-rivited the end back on and attached it.
Well, that was a big update - and I probably missed something. But next up will be the j-stringers along the sides and bottom.