She’s on her Legs!

Time: 8 Hours

So this post is for a few days worth of work over the last week or so since I got back from vacation/flight training. I got back to work in the Hangar this last weekend and the first task was to torque the 9 bolts/nuts on each gear leg. My buddy Glen helped out with this difficult task. The hardes part was getting to the 2 NAS nuts that reside on the outboard bracket of the hear tower. These are in a very tight location and make for fun time working on them. You remember the gear tower mod  I did way back when, well it was for just this task. I found that removing the 2 screws that reside just above these nuts made it a little easier to get the socket on them. After a couple of hours we had all tightened and to their specs. The NAS nuts needed to be set to 240 in/lbs and the rest were to their required bolt specs. The two NAS bolts tighten down the U shaped bracket that holds the outboard section of the gear down. The strength comes from the bridge section of this U shape. So you don’t want the outer legs of this bracket to touch the wear plate before you reach the 240 in/lbs torque. Vans says a minimum .030in gap is allowed. I have read where builders actually had to grind the brackets a little to prevent them from bottoming out before the torque was reached. I did not have this problem, the problem I ended up with was I didn’t get the recommended 1.5 threads showing above the the nut. I got 3/4 to 1 threads showing with the proper torque.



Now that the RV was on its new legs I decided to tackle the firewall edge sealing. If you remember a post when I reviewed the forward side skins you were supposed to put a layer of ProSeal along the corner of the firewall to create a seal so gas, oil and fumes don’t enter the cabin. I thought this would end up pretty messy and thought I could do a better job later in the build. That time was now so I grabbed the new items I bought just for this task. I ordered a 4″ x 3/16″ nozzle from Sky Geeks website and a tube of ProSeal from Aircraft Spruce.  I clipped the straight end of the nozzle to a 45° to make the application a little easier.

Here you can see the light shining thru the holes in the relief notches in the firewall. This is looking forward from inside the cabin.

I used the Semco gun to lay a nice clean bead of ProSeal along the seam from top to bottom thanks to the small thin nozzle.


The next day I grabbed the Andair fuel valve and the structure I built to support it. I left the inboard 2 holes at 1/8″ as I knew that the placement would move a little after the side skin was riveted in place. After placing the structure in place the holes were pretty close, so I open them up with the #19 drill bit for #8 screws. Now that those holes were matched I remove the structure and put two nutplates on the ends of the structure for the new holes. I also countersunk the holes on the left cabin mid braces to accept the #8 screws holding this structure so that they would lay flush.


I then finished replacing the fuel system parts that were removed to rivet all the skins.

I also put the battery rack with its support parts in place.


To continue with the build you start with the cockpit rails (sills) and rivet them in place. I had painted these prior to heading to flight training but they got a little fuzzys on them. So I sanded them and repainted them last week. As soon as I sprayed them they bubbled up and created orange peel. I have no idea why Rustoleum does that after 2 weeks but it did. So I grabbed the MEK and stripped them bare and restarted. So they turned out great this time and will let them cure for several days before riveting them. So I skipped ahead to the next steps which are the two seat back structures. I started with the forward seat back and separated all the parts followed by deburring all the edges.


The two holes at the bottom of the seat back are for the seat belt attach points to stick thru. You have to remove part of the tabs that are inside of these holes.

I then scuffed, cleaned and primed the parts. I will rivet all the parts together next. These parts will not be used in the final airplane as I plan on using an after market interior by Clasic Aero which incorporates this structure inside its seats. But I will have these to put in during aerobatics when I will be wearing a parachute and need the extra room eliminating the cushion on the back. These seatbacks attach to the floor with a hinge, so removing the hinge pin allows for the back to be removed very easy.

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