Lucky 13. This baffles thing is second to none the worst, most vexing part of this build yet. However, I did make a lot of progress this weekend. I got the airseal material trimmed, for the most part, although I suspect I’ll have to iterate the left front a bit, the part that goes around the governor. This is no end of head-scratching and puzzlement. Today I was actually able to drill the airseal material to the baffle sides, which is a big step, and with the exception of what I just mentioned about the front governor, the top cowl seems to seal all the way around, which is a good thing. Never having built an airplane before, it’s hard to tell if I’m overthinking a problem. The key is to keep focused on the end result desired, and solutions will appear. On this particular task, they take their sweet time doing so, and this is the one task on this build where I’m not able to stand back and go “yeah, that’s awesome.” Instead, it’s something to be gotten through, like a prostate exam or tax forms.
I’ll post as much of a photo story as I can in a later entry, but I didn’t take a whole lot, and part of the reason for that is that it’s really difficult to see anything inside the cowl with all the parts installed, let alone jam a camera up in there and shoot comprehensible pictures.
There are also a number of things that need to get finished before this can be called “done” so I’ll list them here and hope to get at them this week.
The pain in iteration comes from having to put on and take off the baffles. This is a time consuming process, and needs to happen several times before all the finishing touches can be done, but it’s not a good idea to install things permanently because depending on various factors they’ll just have to come off again. So here’s a list of unfinished business, in no particular order:
- Make tab for left front lower ramp to close off gap near engine case.
- Drill rear bracket to rear baffle
- Make/install fasteners for front/rear side baffles
- Drill ducts for alternator and magnetos
- Drill/install spark plug wire grommets
- Proseal corners of snorkel at the filter bracket
- Finish making front left baffle seal sections
- Trim cowl for lower left inlet ramp
- Rivet oil cooler reinforcing bracket to baffles
- Drill/install oil cooler doubler and bracket
- Deburr baffle seal rivet holes
- Pop-rivet baffle seals to baffle metal
- Glue/fiberglass top cowl inlet ramps/seal inlet ramp sides, shape ramp interface
- Permanently install prop governor, gasket and all
- Recut governor/front left seal material
- Make/install lower cowl inlet seals
It’s endless, I’m telling you. But with this out of the way, it’s time for plumbing, wiring, and control cables. When that’s done, I’ll rivet the top skin on, put the canopy back on, and finish the interior. After that, it’s time to go to the airport!