COM Radio and ADS-B Shelf

Time: 7 Hours

Today I started the fabrication of the shelf that will hold my two COM radio units and the ADS-B receiver, which allows me to get traffic and weather information.  I’m following Glenn’s lead on the style and placement, just forward of the elevator bell crank under the rear baggage top shelf.  

 I notched out the aft end to allow for plenty of clearance with the bell crank. The outside edges are 1/8″ wider than the radio units and will allow the attach hardware to have plenty of room. In between the part making I primed the other shelf I already finished.  

   I ran home for lunch and my grommet edging arrived from Aircraft Spruce, this will line any metal holes that wires go through that is too big for regular grommets.  
 When I got back to the hangar I cleaned up the parts of the COM shelf and countersunk the holes on the sheet for flush rivets. Once all the parts where some I started priming them. In between coats of primer I riveted the ADHARS shelf together and put it in its place.  

 When the primer for the COM supports was dry I riveted the aft pieces together. I had to make the support out of three parts to allow for the cut out where the bell crank is.  

 While I was waiting for the sheet to dry I drilled all the nutplate holes for the COM shelf. I had to countersink the holes using my angle drill since there isn’t much room there. The pneumatic squeezer made quick work of the riveting.  

 While I was working on the nutplates I noticed that I forgot to install the second flexible conduit on the right side of the fuselage. This side required a new hole to be drilled in the middle floor rib as there wasn’t one there like the left side. I used my step bit and had that done pretty quick. I ran the conduit and secured it with zip ties.  

 Another task I got done was to run the static air lines to the ports I had Pro-Sealed the other day. I ran from one port to a tee then to the other port. From the tee I went through a adele clamp and to a 90° elbow. Later I will run a line from that elbow to the two ADAHRS units.  

 As you can see in a couple of the last photos I have some paper templates of the ADAHRS units. I used the actual dimensions from the Dynon Skyview manual and plugged them into my vinyl cutting software. I then printed the outline and text using that software to my printer. The software also adds three registration marks that when I take the printed card stock and put it into my vinyl cutter it scans those marks and knows the exact layout. It then makes precision cuts along the edge and gives me an exact size template of the units. I used them to help build and align the rivet pattern for the avionics units. That’s where I stopped for the day. Tomorrow I will finish up the COM shelf and work on the ELT and Transponder mounting brackets. 

Prepping for the Turtle Deck Riveting

Time: 8 Hours

I started the tasks that I need to get finished up before I can or want to start riveting the aft top skin, turtle deck, on. The first thing up was to drill all the required holes for snap bushings for wire runs. I have two runs that head to the back, pitch trim and tail light.  

 In the 1″ holes in the gear towers I used rubber grommets I got from McMaster Carr this week. Once all the holes were drilled and either a grommet or snap bushing was in place I started routing the wires. First up was the tail light and its 3 conductor shielded wire. I started in the tail and ran my way forward going through the snap bushings as well as some well placed adele clamps along the way.  

 After I had the wire run up behind the panel I used some 1″x 1″ adhesive backed zip tie anchors from Home Depot to add some anchor points.  

 I also ran some flexible conduit along the left and right side along the bottom ribs so that after the floor gets riveted in place I can run wires later if needed.  

 With the conduit run and secured with zip ties I ran the pitch trim wire from the tail to the pack of the panel. I used 5 conductor shielded wire the SteinAir recommended.  

   I ran the remainder of that wire from the panel to the aileron trim servo tray as well. I then moved to the static port installation in the afte side skins. For the non-aviation readers these ports give a “static” air reading to compare to ram air as the aircraft is moving for airspeed or a sealed pressure in an altimeter to measure altitude. I’m using the SafeAir pitot-static line system. I came up with the locations on both sides and drilled the holes to 1/4″ with a step drill bit.  

   I placed one of the ports in place to check the clearance on the bulkhead rib.  
 The next process is to secure the ports to the side skins. You can rivet these but I decided to just use ProSeal to secure them as many other builders have done. So I broke out the ProSeal stuff and mixed some up and sealed the ports to the skins. I cut a piece of wood to act as a brace to hold them until they cute.  

   Next up was to tackle the 2 shelves that I want to house the avionics. The first one I started on was for the to ADAHRS units that will supply the instrument screens with the attitude references it needs. I started with some 3/4″ x 3/4″ angle to make two supports across the upper longeron. This is a perfect place as they are level with the longitudinal axis and that’s what the ADAHRS need.  

 I added some .032 sheet to the cross supports to make a shelf for the units to sit on.  

   I also made a bracket out of some angle to bolt a Tee for the static line to.  
   After the static ports cure I will run the lines to them and to the new shelf I built for later installation. Fun day in the Hangar! 

Panel Structure 

Time: 6 Hours

After having breakfast with the guys this morning we headed to the shop for some work. Glenn was at a stage where he was ready to attach the wings to his fuselage to start the work on all the measurements that are needed to square them up. With the help of a couple other guys we made quick work of this step and got both installed.  

   Talk about motivation, wow that was fun and it looks great! So last Thursday I received my parts from Aircraft Spruce and slipped the remaining nuts in the roll bar and torqued them.  
   I had a trip up to Minneapolis  this week and had some time to kill. So I jumped in the rental car a made my way over to SteinAir to get some wire. I spent over 2 hours there visiting with Chris and got the “dime” tour. I got a lot of questions answered and some changes to the wire I needed. What I was looking for was the wire I needed for my pitch trim and the tail light. I needed them to run them through the tail cone before I can rivet the top skin. I also picked up one of their eyeball vents to install in my panel. So after we got Glenn’s wings in place I set out to cut the holes for the ELT remote head and the new eyeball vent. I used the drill press to drill the corners of the ELT and used the Dremel tool to cut the lines. It took some file work to get them nice and square. I then used the fly cutter to drill the 2″ hole for the vent.  
   I then put the parts in place to have a look at how they payed out.  
 I then removed the parts and scuffed and cleaned the panel parts for primer. I followed that by riveting on the nutplates on.  

   That’s where I decided to call it a day and clean up the shop. A really fun day in the Hangar today. I want to get the panel parts done and painted so I can install them. From there I will be working on projects that will allow me to get the tail top skin riveted on. 

Roll Bar

Time: 2 Hours

I got in the hangar today for a couple of hours last Tuesday and installed the freshly painted roll bar. First I had to remove the top skin to give myself access to the area. Then I man handled it until I got a couple of the holes to line up again so I could slip a couple bolts in place to hold it into position. I was able to get the four bolts that hold the side flanges in place and one each end of the top plate before I ran out of AN3-5A bolts. I had ordered a bunch of parts from Aircraft Spruce which included these bolts. I will install them when they get here.  

   I’m at a point where I need to decide, for easy access, what if anything I want to install in the instrument side panels. These will be riveted in place soon and having them out and accessible makes cutting holes for things a lot easier. I know for sure that on the left side I will be putting my air vent. I really like the clean look and less clutter and have been working on that idea for a while. Everything else like switches will be in my custom side panels. One thing I think I will be putting on the right side panel is the ELT, Emergency Locater Transmitter, control panel. It’s small and won’t take up much space. The reason for it to go here vs the side panel is that it will be facing aft vs facing up in the side panel. It have a little bit of a recess to protect the buttons and I think it will be a dust catcher if that recess were to be facing up kinda like a cup. So I marked the dimensions on the panel to have a look.  

Instrument Panel Work

Time: 6 Hours

Today started with work on the instrument panel parts. Lots of edge deburring on the support structure as it has tons of tabs that allow it to curve.  

 After all the edge work I clecko’ed the parts together, as you can see the center panel is offset down one hole, this allows the parts to be inserted into the fuselage and still give you access to the clecko’s. This panel will eventually be held into position with screws allowing you to remove it to work on your flight instruments.  

   I needed to countersink all the holes in the two side panels so that the instrument panel will lay flat.  

 I then clecko’ed the parts together and put them in their place.  

 Since I needed to put the windscreen roll bar in next and it’s not painted yet I moved ahead to the forward top skin and started working on those parts. There are two filler strips that make a lip for the forward baggage door to lay on when closed. I cleaned their edges and deburred them.  

 The top skin has two parts that need to be cut out, the first is the baggage door area and the second is the cut out for the glare shield above the instruments. I used my dremel to cut these out and clean the edges up.  

   I then cleaned up all the edges on the top skin and then clecko’ed the filler strips to the underside with just a couple of clecko’s. Then the skin got layer on top of the fuselage to start clecko’ing it in place.  
   From this point I decided to clean up shop and grab the stuff I needed to paint the roll bar at home in the garage. I will get it painted tonight and have it ready for the next couple of days. A good day in the hangar!