Trim Tab Hinge Pin

Time: 1 Hour

The last month or so has been slow in the hangar as I have been working a lot at United as well as working projects on the new house. I have been keeping a “punch” list of tasks that needs to be done for projects over the last couple of years. These items didn’t need to be done at that time and it was better for them to remain undone to make the remaining projects easier. One of those items was the trim tab hinge pin. I had originally put a temporary pin in that was shorter and without any bends in it to make it easy to remove the tab as I built the tail. Today I moved on to bend and create a permanent pin and a way to secure it. Van’s would have you just put a bend and safety wire it to a small hole in the small spare of the elevator. I wanted to do something a little nicer. I wanted to use a piece of hinge with its eyelet and create a tab to put a screw through. I made some measurements and came up with a plan. I would drill out the two rivers on that spare and put a #8 nutplate there utilizing the bottom river hole. I would drill another rivet hole for the second rivet in the nutplate and enlarge the top original rivet hole for the screw. I made some test bends in a scrap pin and came up with the perfect setup. I then reproduced the shape on a new pin. I then shaped a piece of hinge so that it had one eyelet and drilled a #19 hole in it for the screw. I dimpled the bottom hole in the nutplate and countersunk the spar for the top rivet. I did it this way since the single sided nutplate is pretty tight to try to dimple both holes. Once I had both rivet holes finished and the hole for the screw done and cleaned up I riveted the nutplate in place. I then cleaned up the shape of the hinge tab and bent the tip of the pin so that the tab could not fall off. I put the parts back together and slid the pin in place securing it with a #8 screw. Turned out really nice and clean. It’s little details like this that make the build fun, most people will never see this but it makes me happy knowing I spent the extra time to make it clean and functional.

Elevator Trim

Time: 2 Hours

I have had the elevator electric trim motor since I bought the tail kit so that I could work the mount it needed into the right elevator. During the time I was installing most of the wiring I ran the necessary wires, shielded 5 wire, to the horizontal stabilizer. I just had it bundled up where it exited the horizontals rear spar. I decided to get that wiring finished up since I will be installing that elevator soon. I’m using the Deans micro connectors commonly used in the remote control toy world. These need to be soldered to make the wire connections and are perfect for these small wires. I planned on running the wire from the stabilizer through a snap bushing that is in the elevator with enough to hang out the opening where the trim motor gets screwed in. That way I could mount the elevator and have the wires/connectors easily accessible so I could make the connections before mounting the motor. The extra slack in the wires can be easily tucked to the side of the motor as it’s is mounted. After a quick test the the motor functioned correctly I completed the wire connections with shrink tube to protect the joints. I installed the motor into the elevator and temporally installed the elevator. Dynon has a setup and calibration for the trim to identify the full travel of the motor in both directions. Once that’s done you are good to go minus identifying the trim location for takeoff. That will come later during flight testing. Once that’s done I will set that position in the Dynon setup and a green line will show on the trim indication so you can easily set takeoff trim. Here is a video of the trim as I move it through it’s full up and down travel.

Wings Back On

Time: 6 Hours

We have been busy getting all the things done in the new home to make it ours. Like ripping up old ceramic tile to make way for new hardwood. That was not a fun project but it’s all ripped up and ready for the installers. In-between that work I have been doing little projects in the hangar to get it organized. I also got my hands on the RV to start building again. One of the items I was unhappy with when I put the wings on the first time was the length of the wire bundles coming out of the wings. I found them to be a little short to work on with the tight space you end up with when the wings are on. So since I had the wings off again I decided to add 12″ to each of the bundles to give me plenty of length. I also figured that I would finish up the little bit of fiberglass tasks to the control surfaces, the rudder and elevators. I just needed to fill some pin holes and smooth the transitions out a little. A composite pro I am not and hope to get some help when it comes painting time to make these perfect. I used some filler primer to identify the holes and used Super-Fil to make the corrections. With the rudder pin holes taken care of and a coat of primer on I put the rudder on the vertical stabilizer and bolted it in place. I also put the AeroLED tail light in as well.I then spent two hours putting in the new close tolerance bolts in to secure the wings…again. The process was just the same as before, I froze the bolts and used LPS lubricant. The rivet gun at low pressure worked to drive them into position. The hardest part of the whole ordeal, as before, was to torque the bolts. I worked one bolt and then took a little break as leaning over the side wall of the fuselage even with padding was not very comfortable. So that’s a good start to being in my very own hangar that’s ten feet from my back door! I can not wait to be able to just walk out and go for a flight or a trip.

Empennage Fairing Work

Time: 2 Hours

In between different tasks I work a little on the empennage fairing. Basically I sand and add fiberglass/balloons to sand the next day. Each time I get closer to a perfect fit and a complete fairing. So far I pretty happy with the shape and fit now. Today I did a lot of sanding followed by adding a layer of tape to the lower right side to beef it up a little. 

Make no mistake about it this thing still needs a lot of work to be complete. There is still some shaping to be done on the leading edge as well as a million pin holes to be filled. 

Empennage Fairing

Time: 4 Hours

I started the empennage fairing modification which is a big challenge for me since I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to fiberglass. I watched a bunch of videos and read several blogs to get the idea of what I needed to do. The plan is to add to the stick fairing so that it extends under the HS and reduces the need for all the screws to hold it in place. So after watching and reading up on the subject I went for it. The plan was to tape off the area with packing tape, create a mold with modeling clay and cover it with wax as a release agent. Then I modified the stock fairing at the leading edge to accept the new fiber glass. I also trimmed up all the edges to the final shape, that’s a dusty job! 

To hold the faring in place I match drilled to the nutplates underneath using a flashlight to help guide.

I then marked off a leading edge for the cut to help make the transition.

While at it I marked off the aft end for its trimming as well.

With everything done and trimmed I mixed up some epoxy and coated four pre-cut strips of fabric for the layup. After applying those I added ply peel to help keep it smooth after curing.

So that needed to cure for 12 hours and it looked like a mess! It’s gonna take a lot of work to make it look really nice. While that was curing I moved on to some fun stuff, avionics! I had ordered one Dynon back up battery, I will need two, but only need one to mark out the attach screw holes. I then drilled all four and attached the battery. 

I then added my second COM radio and powered it up. 

Next up was the coolest part, the 10″ Dynon Skyview Touch screen. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I will also have a matching 7″ but that will come later. 

There are just six screws to hold it in place. I connected the 37 pin connector and a 9 pin network connector. 

So with a flip of the battery master switch it came to life. 

There is still a lot of configuration that needs to be done as well as add the attitude & heading reference modules (ADAHRS) so that it knows it position with reference to level and the GPS antanae so it knows where the heck it is. I will also be able to customize the screen and where items will be. I also bought some travel chocks to hold the RV still now that it is on its wheels. 

So that’s it for now, we will see how the fairing turns out.