Foot Wells and Fuel Valve

Time: 3 Hours

I had a company event in Omaha this last weekend that prevented me from doing a lot of hangar work but I did get to spend some time on Sunday. My goal was to finish up the seat floors which was just the forward floor and the foot wells as wells as the left and right side console covers. I started with the foot wells by scuffing, cleaning and priming all the parts before riveting. I was able to get to all the rivets with my 4″ yoke on the pneumatic squeezer. I then riveted the left and right foot wells to the forward floor. I placed the whole assembly in place to check the fit. I cleckoed the seat back hinge in place, I’ll rivet that later after painting. 


  The next task was to fit the left and right side panel covers. These lower panels will be along side my thigh area and the left houses the fuel selector valve. I removed parts of the valve substructure so I could get good measurements for drilling a pilot hole dead center of the valve stem. Once I was happy with that placement I drilled the hole larger to an 1 1/8″ to fit around the valve stem base. With that hole finished I was able to place the cover in its spot and put a few screws in to hold it. There are two #19 holes in the cover that need to be used to match drill the mid longeron for nut plates. With those drilled I removed the cover and cleaned up all the holes. Using a nutplate as a guide I drilled the nutplate rivet holes and countersunk them for flush rivets. I found that riveting these rivets was very difficult due to the structure around them. I was unable to use a gun and bar so I had to use the squeezer the best I could. What I ended up with was the rivets sitting proud of the countersink a little. I decided that drilling these out would be a huge pain and adding potential for screwing up other things like the paint. So I left them as they are knowing that they aren’t structural and just there to keep the nutplate from turning. They are secure just not pretty, the good thing is that they are never seen as the cover does just that, cover. I moved over to the right side and did the same stuff minus the fuel valve stuff. I think I will eventually put a cup holder in this cover. Before I cleaned up shop I grabbed the fuel valve cover plate and valve handle to see how they looked.  


Floor Mod Assembly

Time: 4 Hours

I started the scuffing, cleaning, priming and assembly of the floor mods yesterday. Since I had a lot of fabricated parts that all look similar I decided to work in one at a time to avoid having the parts get mixed up. I started with the right side scuffing and priming. When I had those parts done and dry I got the back rivet set and pneumatic squeezer out and started riveting. The middle support angles needed the back rivet set and I was able to get all the mod support structure with the squeezer. I finished all the rivets without any difficulty and moved on to the angles on the door with the back rivet set. I then measured and cut the hinge pin and added a 90° bend in the end. I also added a little bend at a 90° to the first bend to allow the pin to sit flush with the door as the hinge sits a little below the door.  I also received my CamLoc’s that I ordered from Aircraft Spruce, I ordered the flush heads since these will be under carpet, and put them in temporarily to hold the door shut.  I was real happy with how everything turned out and will plan on delaying the painting of the floors until the last minute as I will be putting these floors in and out several times and figured they would get scratched up.    





 In between  priming sessions I grabbed the cabin heat cable and slid it into position.    


On to the left side! 

Floor Mod Finished

Time: 4 Hours

I finished up the seat floor mods today by making the two panel doors. I used some .025 sheet, the skins for my wings that got damaged in the shipment way back at the beginning of the wing build. I removed al the substructure parts from the seat floor so that I could lay the floor on the sheet and trace the opening. I then took my time cutting and cleaning up the edges to get a good fit. Once I was happy with the fit I tapped them in place so I could drill the hinge.  


I then grabbed all of the support angles and cleckoed them in place for final drilling.  

 There are 3 support angles that would go across the area that I put the access panels. I needed to cut them down so they would now fit on just the doors.  

   I cut them down and cleaned up all the edges.  

   I debuted all the new holes and cleaned up shop for the night. Not a bad Monday in the Hangar. 

Seat Floor Mod

Time: 12 Hours

One of the maintenance mods that I wanted to do involved the seat floors.  The seat floors will get riveted permanently later in the build some builders have made the floors removable by adding a lot of nutplates where rivets would go. I did a lot of researching to decide if I wanted to go that route or not. What I decided was that all that extra work was not worth it for me. What I did decide to do was make to accres panels in the center section of the floors and copy my buddy Glen’s work. The center bay just aft of the passenger foot well is a perfect place to put the com antennas. These bays will and be a good spot to put wire terminal blocks for the wings so that removal of the wings(should that ever be required) will be a little easier when it comes to the wings wiring. I spent several hours just laying out the hole and measuring all the specs so that nothing was going to interfere with other parts. I used Glen’s photos to help give me an idea of how I wanted to lay it out.  In this mod the hinge will sit a little proud of the floor as well as the CamLoc that I will use to secure the door but all of this will be covered with a carpet kit from Flight Line interiors. 

       The rest of the time I carefully measured and cut all the required pieces. I always struggle with this type of work as I have a hard time looking ahead several steps to see potential problems or issues. The only one I ended up having was an edge distance issue with the floor side hinge at both ends as I had forgot to add the 1/4″ lip to my rivet spacing. Not a big deal as the hinge is sandwiched between the floor and a piece of angle. I didn’t take a lot of pictures as I went but here are a few.  

   Over all I really pleased with how the hole and substructure for both sides came out.  

 I decided to stop with that work as all I have to do is make the doors and match drill the support angle holes that would have been there in the first place. I also received my heater valve from Aircraft Spruce on Friday and decided to put it into position. It comes with a heat temp sealant to put around the opening to prevent any leaking.  

       All in all a great weekend in the Hangar even though there wasn’t a whole lot to show for it. I used up all of my 3/4″ thin angle I had ordered from Van’s as I had a few bad cuts and wasted some of it. I will order more since I have anothe rear baggage mod to do as well as the oil can issue on the aft bottom fuselage that needs attention. 

Seat & Rear Baggage Floors

Time: 5 Hours

Yesterday I spent part of the afternoon working in the seat/rear baggage floors. This consisted of a lot of edge deburring on all the parts including then passenger foot wells.  


I also woked the edges of the rear baggage area bulkhead cap. This will close of the agave area from the rest of the tail cone.  

I placed the floors in place so could match drill al the holes.  




 I then grabbed the rear control stick mounting support and placed the two forward bolts in place so I could match drill the aft two bolt.  I then removed the bracket and drilled those new holes for nutplates.  

The last thing I did for the day was to start the work on the flap control arm end blocks. These plastic pieces are used to hold the arm in place but also act as a smooth hinge so the arm can rotate easily. You need to trim the corner a little to allow them to sit tight in the corners.  I have read where some builders have had issues with edge distance while drilling down through the blocks into the ribs below.   I will do a little extra measuring before I do that task. I placed the blocks and the arm in place to see how they looked before calling it a day.  


Another good day in the Hangar!