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4 Jan 09 8 Hours Total: 2542
|Nelson did a lot of work on the intake on the cowling and the seam at the front of the cowling. The cowlings are coming along very nicely. We have some more sanding and we need to prime it to search for pinholes.|
We also got the glare shield fiberglass laid on the wooden form and we'll trim it tomorrow.
I gradually sanded and filed the wood mold into the desired shape. I wanted room under the glare shield for two GPS antennae and the MRX antenna. Plus it will shield the panel LED flood lights.
I had to cut down the forward edges some more and do mare sanding, but it is finally getting close to the final shape. The center aft edge is split and drilled to clamp to the top fuselage skin.
We draped fiberglass over the glare shield and cut it to shape. We cut three layers.
Along the aft edges we allowed enough glass to wrap up under the edges.
We completely taped the wooden mold and the fuselage so the resin won't adhere. Here the 3 layers of glass are finished and we added peal ply to absorb excess resin, create a smoother finish, and hold the glass under the aft edges. We taped the peal ply underneath to hold the glass until it cures.
The forward edges weren't perfect, but they should be fine with a little work. Later I'll add about four screws with standoffs to hold the shield in place.
5 Jan 09 10 Hours Total: 2552
We must be getting better at fiberglass work because both the intake glass and the glare shield glass have turned out well. Getting the glare shield glass off the airplane took a few minutes, but with determination it finally came off.
The intake leading edge was not square with the spinner plate so we added some glass to it and we'll bring it back down to size tomorrow.
|Here is the fiberglass glare shield just after we took it off the plane.||It needs some trimming, but overall, it turned out very nice.||I had drilled two alignment holes on centerline and inserted #40 screws to pull the wood mold tight to the fuselage knowing that we could use them for final attachment to the fuselage. Here we have awls through the holes. This is after the initial trimming. For some reason, I didn't take a shot after the final trimming.|
|We've installed the nutplates for the mounting screws using pop rivets and the GPS antennae are mounted. The MRX antenna is next and all will be hidden by the glare shield.||To keep the fiberglass from pulling down when the mounting screws are inserted, we needed standoffs to take the pressure. One was 0.62 in. long and the other was 0.60. They're made from aluminum tubing and are attached with Goop.||The only shot after the final trimming. It shows another view of the standoffs and where slurry was added inside where the screws holding the wooden mold in place had left their mark. We'll sand them back down and they will disappear. We trimmed the glare shield until it would fit with the windscreen in place so it will be removable in the future.|
|As mentioned, the intake opening was not square with the spinner back plate so glass had to be added. The photo to right shows how Nelson worked the fiberglass behind the spinner until it was perfectly parallel to the spinner. When the intake cures, we'll grind it down to match the spinner alignment and then use resin to insert the intake ring.|
|Left shows an overview of the intake glass work and right shows another overview of the entire cowling.|
6 Jan 09 6 Hours Total: 2558
Got the intake fiberglass ground back down and opened up the hole to accept the polished intake ring. Now we have to figure out how to make sure the polished ring is aligned with the intake filter canister. With the cowling in place, we'll try using a piece of 3 in ID PVC which has a 3.5 in OD and should fit into the intake hole. Then we'll add enough resin to provide a guide for the polished ring so that we can then add additional resin to secure it.
Also got a bit more done on the glare shield. Added the MRX antenna and sanded down the glare shield. Ordered a MRX antenna extender and more LED interior flood lights.
|Here are all of the planned antennae as they will be mounted. The GPS antennae are for the EFIS One and EFIS Lite and the little "finger" antenna is for the Zaon MRX.||Here it is with the glare shield in place. The MRX antenna has to protrude through the glare shield and I've centered it on the glare shield.||Here is an overview of the glare shield. Hopefully the MRX antenna won't be too bothersome. There will be multiple LED flood lights under the glare shield to light up the panel when needed.|
10 Jan 09 5 Hours Total: 2563
Added more fiberglass to the front of the intake on the cowling to beef up the area and build it up. Used the PVC pipe to add some slurry inside the intake. Next we'll cut the 4" aluminum tube to about 1.5 inches long and make a close-as-possible fit of the polished intake ring and use resin to lock it in place. Some type of flexible interconnect will be used between the aluminum tube and the polished ring.
Also added some slurry under the glare shield to support the sides of the shield and will drill it and the upper skin in assembly and add a nutplate to the skin. That way the glare shield will have four attachment points.
11 Jan 08 6 Hours Total: 2569
More fiberglassing and sanding and priming and sanding. We ground down the intake fiberglass because it wasn't quite right and added some more resin to build it back up. Also primed the glare shield and sanded it back down and filled some pinholes and reprimed. Final paint on it tomorrow.
Filled pinholes on the cowlings and sanded them, primed and refilled them.
We'll attach the windscreen tomorrow with screws and Sikaflex.
12 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2577
Encouraging progress today. We got the windscreen permanently mounted on the airplane using a combination of screws and Sikaflex adhesive. We also did some sanding on the cowlings. I called Bob Archer about how to mount his antenna in my wingtip and he said the wingtip light wiring must be routed along the leading edge of the antenna.
|First we taped the outside of the canopy so we could match the tape on the inside.||We scuffed up the roll bar and fuselage.||We taped of the inside of the windscreen and scuffed it also - with scotchbrite.|
|Then we taped inside and outside where the windscreen will rest on the fuselage. A mistake we made was to not tape enough. We should have taped off EVERYTHING. We could have taped paper of the antennae and completely covered the roll bar. We got adhesive on the roll bar so now we have additional work later.||After scuffing the exposed areas, we used Sikaflex Cleaner to prep the attachment areas and waited 10 minutes. Next was the black primer.||The primer goes on easy and dries quickly. After the primer you wait 30 minutes before starting the adhesive.|
We inserted all the screws just barely enough to slip into the grommets. The grommets create a 3/16" gap between the windscreen and the roll bar which is required for proper adhesion.
The adhesive was applied using a standard caulk gun. A good recommendation that I didn't follow would be to warm the Sikaflex cartridges before applying to make it flow easier. Or use a pneumatic caulk gun.
This photo was taken after the tape was all removed.
It not a perfect job by any stretch, but it should be strong and we'll do some cleanup and touchup to make it look better.
13 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2585
I decided that if I'm going to make the "hat shelf" for the canopy that I need to get after it and get it done so we can move on to other things. So, today I jumped on it and made a mold and we laid fiberglass. That will be set tomorrow and we can move on with gluing on the sliding canopy. Also installed the Archer antenna in the right wingtip today and Nelson sanded the cowlings.
|In the Lowe's aviation department, I bought some 1/8" plywood (actually door veneer) and a particle board shelf. I took measurements and knew that I needed to bring the hat shelf forward of the cross tube on which the canopy slider is mounted by 0.9 inches. Also, the shelf needed to be 0.7 inches thick at the leading edge. The goal of this "shelf" is to block the reverse airflow that bothers rear seat riders and is common to RV-8s.||This photo is after the clamps in the left photo were removed, but you can see how the particle board was cut and the veneer rough cut to size. After the glue set I trimmed the excess wood and filed and sanded the piece smooth.||This is the mold after final sanding and shaping. My plan is to mold the fiberglass under the leading edge and use that lip to attach weatherstrip to stop the down-the-neck air on the RCP passenger. During cold weather or high altitude flight, the cold air coming in is uncomfortable and it is difficult to get enough warm air to the RCP for comfort.|
|Whenever I'm laying fiberglass I tape off everything I don't want the glass to stick to. In this case, I don't want it to stick to anything, so everything is taped with clear packing tape.||Even though formed and clamped, the mold did not want to sit down on the frame, so the tape was used to pull down the sides of the veneer.||An ugly shot, but it shows how the shelf will fit on the aft portion of the canopy frame.|
|We laid on four layers of S glass and E glass and topped it with peel ply. The peel ply is taped tight underneath to form the leading edge as desired.||We were running out of cloth so I had to piece some together on the second layer which left a long bump across the piece. I will sand it down smooth.||Another ugly shot, but it shows how the peal ply is taped to hold the cloth in place while curing. The sides and trailing edge don't need to be taped under because they will be cut away.|
|I talked to Bob Archer again today to ensure I'm installing his antenna right. He said to mount it as far forward as possible and to route all of the light power and ground wires through the plastic clamps along the leading edge of the antenna. The little clamps are held on with #40 screws and stop nuts. Since we can't reach the screws heads once the antenna is mounted, we put on stop nuts and tightened them down as much as possible so that later we can add the clamp and another stop nut to hold it. We put in some fiberglass to hold it in place.|
15 Jan 08 1 Hour Total: 2586
Nelson did some more sanding on the cowlings and we removed the hat shelf from the canopy frame and trimmed it, refitted it to the canopy and poured in some slurry to create a "hold down" shape such that when the shelf is put into place, it will grab the canopy tube to hold itself in place.
|Right out of the mold, the shelf looked a little raggy, but it had formed well and looks suitable for use.|
Left I've trimmed it and refitted to the canopy frame after taping the frame. I built an aluminum dam and poured in some slurry. After curing, it will fit tight on the tubing to hold the shelf in place.
To right shows the Archer antenna in place riveted to four nutplates for grounding and glassed in to secure it.
16 Jan 08 2 Hours Total: 2588
Brrrr ... too cold to work today. Pulled the shelf off the canopy frame and cleaned up both. Then added some more glass on the shelf so I can shape it the way I want. With the resin added to grab the tubing at the trailing edge, the shelf is heavier than I expected, so I ground off a lot of the resin to reduce weight. I next need to drill the attachment holes and figure out how to mount the weatherstripping. Then we're on to gluing on the slider canopy. I also planned a bit for the LED panel floods and the MRX antenna cables mounting. Painted the glare shield flat black.
17 Jan 08 6 Hours Total: 2594
Cold day today which shortened our work time. More sanding on the cowlings followed by more pinhole filling. Cleaned up the hat shelf more and added some glass and put it back on the frame to cure. Realized the LED panel floods will shine directly in the pilots eyes so made an aluminum shield to block the light.
18 Jan 08 10 Hours Total: 2604
|The original plan was to glue on the slider canopy today, but the temp didn't get as high as expected so we decided to postpone until tomorrow. Was just as well because the shelf needed more work and needed trimming. So added slurry and let it cure and sanded back down. Attached it to the frame using two #6 SS screws through the existing gussets. Nelson sanded for hours on the upper cowl and has it looking very good. He also opened up the the strut opening in the lower cowl and fitted an edged to protect the strut fairing. Sanded and primed the upper strut fairing.|
19 Jan 08 10 Hours Total: 2614
The slider canopy went on today. It is a nice step to get done because we can now move on to other things that were waiting. It's glued on with Sikaflex and has no mechanical fasteners. Got some fiberglass sanding done, too.
|We fully taped the frame with blue masking tape but not up to the adhesive line. Then we added white vinyl tape to the adhesive line. The idea is that the blue tape will keep the frame clean and the vinyl tape can be pulled off as soon as the adhesive skins over.||The canopy carrier is very handy to work on and move the canopy on.||Next we did the same taping on the plexiglas.|
|I forgot to take a photo, but we applied the Sika Cleaner and Sika Primer before mating the canopy to the frame. We clecoed and clamped it together with 3/16" rubber spacer in between. The rubber spacers are small and will remain imbedded in the adhesive.||It's easy to see the black primer painted on inside the canopy.||Then I crawled inside and applied the adhesive with a caulk gun. FYI, a pneumatic caulk gun does not work with the Sikaflex caulk tube. I bought one just for this job, but there is not sufficient seal for it to work.|
|Left, after applying the adhesive to the top
and bottom of the frame tubes, we made a fillet using a finger. The
fillet is mostly smooth.
To right is diagram from the plans. Notice the C-670 bushing that fits into the spacer and it all goes inside the roller. Well, don't make the mistake I did and leave out the bushing. It works, but is sloppy and we wondered for a long time why it was so sloppy. Today we discovered the error and unfortunately, it slightly affected our measurements and how the canopy fit - by about 1/16 inch.
23 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2622
More filling and sanding on the cowlings. Made a light shield to fit under the glare shield but I'm not too happy with the appearance. Nelson suggested trimming the glare shield and mounting the lights on it. I think that's how I'll do it.
We did a trial fit of the canopy skirt today and we were surprised the find that the canopy will not be removable once the skirt is in place. It appears that empennage fairing will have to be removed whenever the canopy needs to come off - and even that may not be enough. Maybe it will fit better as we go along.
|Sanding and more sanding on the cowlings||Initial fit of the canopy skirt||The sides fit fairly nice, but the aft end will not lay down so it will require some work. You can see the gap between the canopy and skirt.|
|And another little problem - with the skirt on and the canopy slid back, the skirt hits the empennage fairing ...||before the canopy reaches the aft end of the side rails and before the nylon block on the center slider reaches the aft end. Thus, once the skirt is on, the canopy cannot be put on or off without removing the empennage fairing - and maybe not even then.||It's easy to see that the canopy is not full
aft - yet the skirt is stopped at the vertical stab. Hmmm.
I'll send a note out on the internet to see what others have to say.
24 Jan 09 9 Hours Total: 2631
The gluing job needed some cosmetic work, so while I prepped the canopy and windscreen for rework, Nelson sanded on the top cowling. After he filled pinholes and sanded many time, he then rolled on thick primer and sanded it down again. Now he is finishing up the top cowling by fine tuning the oil door fit.
The cosmetic rework on the glue seams turned out okay - not great, but okay. There were three spots on the side of the slider canopy where the clamps had pulled the side in too much so we cut the adhesive free, corrected the "dimples" and reglued them. Also, the windscreen did not align with the slider canopy on the left side, so we cut the windscreen free on the lower left side, adjusted the screws, and reglued it. Now it is aligned.
25 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2639
|Some more sanding on cowlings then worked on the canopy skirts. We split the skirt down the trailing edge and worked with the left and right halves. That made the work much easier and we have a lot of glass work to do on the trailing edge anyway. We trimmed the skirt front edge to match the skin below the windscreen and trimmed the bottom edge to match with the edge of the overlapping skin along the fuselage side. We drilled all of the rivet holes in the skirt and frame below the canopy - we're not going to put any rivets through the canopy.|
30 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2647
Lots of sanding, repriming, and sanding of cowlings, wingtips, fairings, and canopy skirts.
31 Jan 08 8 Hours Total: 2655
More fitting of the canopy skirt. It does not want to lie flat around the back. So, we used a heat gun and made good improvement on the fit. Also sanded the inside to make them sit more flush on the fuselage. Where the skirt parts were originally put together, there is an area much thicker and stiffer than other portions which make shaping the skirt tough. Sanded those down to make them as thin as the rest of the glass.
Also, did some sanding on the lower cowl intake and sanded through in a couple of spots so had to lay some new glass.
Received a ACS shipment of glass and resin and stuff. I got some Rutan bid, some 5 oz E glass and some 8 oz S glass along with some carbon fiber and fiberglass tapes. We'll use the tapes and the carbon fiber to make the windscreen frame. Some say the glass chips easily and the carbon fiber should help that.
|The skirt does not fit well. We split it in the back which makes handling the skirt much easier.||The normal open position will stop just short of the empennage fairing.||If the canopy is allowed to slide all the way back, the handle will hit the bulkhead behind the aft seat. So, we'll add a stop to avoid that problem.|