An hour is long enough to screw something up. I got a new Dremel over the weekend, so this morning I tried to finish the stick boot rings. In getting used to it, I screwed up the radiused inner corner on one (cut the radius away with a wayward cutting wheel), but the other one came out great.. I’ll have to make a new one tomorrow, and I can finally mark all the interior trim bits except for the center section covers off my list.
This part isn’t supposed to happen for a while, but the weather stinks, so I can’t haul the ship out of the guest house and drill wing incidence. Nor can I do my control column, because I’m still waiting for 2 AN4 bolts to be shipped across the country for some reason. All the little fuel system cover stuff was done, and it’s really time to paint the interior, but I didn’t have the time to do that either, plus it’s too cold. I’m in Los Angeles, and there was a layer of ice on the shallow puddle of rainwater on the hot tub cover this morning. Not frost, ice. Shelley picked up a 1/8″ thick piece of it to show me while I was eating breakfast. So it’s suboptimal for anything involving paint, which is fine with me, I hate paint. But that means I’m stopped cold for installing systems like rudder cables, wiring, and the 5-bolt gussets in front of the main spar where the landing gear mounts on the A model go.
What got done yesterday in lieu of all that stuff was the positioning and drilling of the horizontal stabilizer.
I called up my friend Dave to see if he’d be interested in helping out and he was on board, so we got the HS down out of the attic and drilled the control horns.
I’m so glad Dave could come over and help with this, because as you can see, it’s a tight space and huge deal, and having two sets of eyes is invaluable.
After lots of measuring, and I mean LOTS, we clamped the HS to the aft deck just like it shows in the drawing, with the shims sandwiched between HS 714 and the aft deck. The manual says to put the hs right on the deck and drill it, then matchdrill the shims using the holes in HS 714 as a guide, which I do not get at all. What we did was measure the tips to the centerline, measure again, clamp the bejeezus out of it, measure tip distance after clamping, then step back and look for anything obvious. Then we drilled 1/8″ pilot holes through the HS/shim/deck/doubler sandwich. Outer holes first, then inner.
Then we measured again. All good.
Dave, measuring a third time, and checking edge distance inside with the flashlight and a mirror.
Then we drilled the aft supports. Dave made two perfectly 3/16″ thick spacers from MDF to support the aft spar at the right height while we drilled the pilot holes. MDF is great stuff for this. it cuts perfectly straight and smooth, and makes great shims without having to stack aluminum scraps together.
After that it was off for wine and traditional Christmas Eve sushi. Sushi is traditional Christmas Eve fare, right?
Big up to Dave for the huge help!
I got over my tubingbenderphobia long enough to make the filter output line for the AFP fuel pump. This line delivers clean fuel from the fuel filter to the high-pressure AFP boost pump. I also mounted the Andair fuel valve in it’s plate. This was particularly fun because at first try, I was unable to get the screw out of the valve knob so I could take it off. There’s a spring loaded release knob on the main knob and you have to lift this up to get a custom, cut down hex wrench in there to get the screw out. This is all good, but the release knob doesn’t lift far enough to clear the screw, so what you have to do is pull up on the main knob while loosening the screw and the whole thing comes off the valve shaft. Genius, really. It insures you won’t lose the screw accidentally, which is great. The stainless steel screws don’t look much different from metal shavings once they hit the shop floor.
Here’s the valve and pump in place:
Here are the two stick boot rings waiting to have the center holes cut out. My Dremel died a sudden and traumatic death a while back, so I’m at a loss for things to use for precision cuts on small pieces. I guess I could sack up and use the air-powered cutoff wheel, but that thing has a way of going wild and I’m not sure I trust it on a piece like this. If I don’t get a new Dremel soon, i’ll just have to do it that way.
This is the pump with the pump supply line installed. I haven’t pressure tested this line yet, I need to get an AN6 plug and a fitting with a schrader valve on it so I can give it 20lbs of air and see if it leaks. Anal, sure, but fuel spraying all over the cockpit on first start is not a scene I want to shoot.
A couple of gratuitous shots of the Andair valve. Maybe by now you’ve guessed correctly that the expensive stuff gets more photo action.
If by ‘finished’ we mean ‘nutplates installed’ then yeah, finished. The covers are ready for paint, and will join the ranks of the other attic parts until The Great Interior Paint Day happens. I considered trying to get into the fuel lines, but i’m not sure about the sequence of that, I think it comes later. Tomorrow I’ll go over the manual and the plans again and figure out what to do next. The wings were easy, but the fuse has a lot more bits and pieces, and not all of them good for gratuitous visuals, which is why I’m not bothering to post a lot of pictures.
got my #19 threaded bits, so I was able to finish drilling the forward cabin covers. I still have to bend the louvres out for heat distribution and some other stuff, But I’m about ready to stick a fork in those. Was unable to set up the control column, because the 2 AN4-27 bolts I need somehow walked away. No biggie.. got them coming in the next spruce order.
Finally finished reinstalling the F-712 bulkhead (or whichever bulkhead is most aft). I got some reduced-head Cherrymax rivets from GAHco and was able to do the inner bottom 8 rivets. And they work as advertised; unless you look close, you won’t be able to tell them apart from solid rivets, and with some filler in there, you won’t be able to tell unless you can see the inboard side.
I also got the forward tunnel cover modded to mate up with the AFP high-pressure boost pump kit from Van’s. The new covers are ready to go, but I haven’t drilled them to the floor stiffeners yet because I don’t have a #19 threaded-shank drill bit.
Apparently they’re not that common of a size. AC Spruce didn’t have them, and neither did MSC Industrial Supply, which surprised the hell out of me, since they usually have everything. I did find them at US Tool, but hold on to your potatoes, Dr. Jones, they’re $3.81 each. Well, after that bit of information superhighway robbery, I went back to work on the forward gussets, the aluminum ones between the spar and the longerons just forward of it. Fortunately everything was a nice, smooth fit, no issues with drilling the 5 holes in each one. Once that was done, I was kind of at a loss for what to do next, so I clecoed the top skin back on, and that’s where it will stay, I think, until the construction manual says otherwise:
I missed out on the PCU5000x group buy on VAF, but I don’t think I need to spend 1000+ bucks on a new prop governor when mine could possibly be just fine.
Fabbed F-782D brackets. I know, it’s not much, but I need to get back into the groove, so I figured I’d start small with something not too intense. These brackets hold the outboard ends of the fuel line covers to either side of the valve cover, which I now have to modify to fit the new AFP high pressure fuel pump. As a side note, I spoke with Don Rivera at Airflow Performance this morning, and got a lot of questions answered about the process of fuel injection conversion. I think I’ll probably order the AFP system soon, since their installation and technical manuals are very detailed, and that’s what I need. I’m not a complete noob with engines, but this is one of those things that needs to be right. A stopped prop and a screaming passenger are not enjoyable elements of a flight.