I felt fat, stupid, and guilty for watching a hulu’d Sons of Anarchy episode with a big bowl of mac and cheese, so I went out to the shop to get something, anything done. I wound up replacing the microswitches in one of the Infinity Aerospace stick grips. The military style grip is really cool, it’s like an old F4 Phantom grip, with a trigger PTT, a four way toggle (‘china hat’ is not the preferred nomenclature, Dude), and 3 pushbuttons, one momentary, the rest on-off. I had to replace the toggle, because it sticks on in the up position and is momentary down. I want that to be my flap controller, so it needs to be momentary in both directions. I replaced it with one I bought from ACS a few weeks ago. I also got momentary pushbuttons to replace the on-off ones. I imagine those will become AP disengage, transponder ident, frequency flip-flop on the 430, and something else TBD. Maybe flip flop on my spare comm, whatever that winds up being. I might change one back to on-off and run the fuel boost pump with it, we’ll see. I can probably do the other grip tomorrow morning before work if I don’t dawdle on the internet for too long.
Mostly a cleanup day. And a rearrange day. And a figure-out-what-to-do-next day. So there was cleanup. I rearranged the guest house bedroom and gained back a few more precious square feet. Then I went over the construction manual and checked off things I know I did but didn’t check them off during the actual work, mostly from wing mating. After that, I screwed the panel back on and started tinkering with the throttle quadrant. I didn’t get far with that. I needed to get the canopy out of the attic. It was beginning to drive me nuts that it was sitting up there, with the spiders and the heat. So I brought it down and then I realized I’d never put on the canopy latch handle or the outside canopy lift tabs. Not fun, but necessary. I hate cotter pins. I got the handle and tabs done, then had to take the canopy off and put it up in the rafters of the main shop. It’s pretty empty right now. More parts are on the plane than off it, at least parts that came with the kit. Oh sure, there’s lots of fiberglassing to be done on the empennage tips, wheels, landing gear etc.
But I’m at a crossroads: What next? leave the airframe for a while and do the O- to IO-360 conversion on the engine? Order avionics and start wiring? Or just do it all. Go to town. Work on the wiring while i’m waiting for engine parts and vice versa. But something tells me I’d rather not have nasty stripped-down engine between the plane and the workbench for extended periods of time unless that’s all I’m working on. Engines can be whole projects in and of themselves. But the truth is, if I find enough nastiness in the engine when I pull a cylinder off, it goes bye-bye to be rebuilt by real engine builders in real shops. If not, I replace cylinders as necessary, install the hi-pressure fuel pump, the new sump and tubes, the AFP FI system, and bolt it to the airframe. Fortunately, I’ve got all the parts for that, I think. I need to make a checklist for incidental parts, like hoses and gaskets, other stuff like that, and order it in advance. I also have to be singularly anal about the teardown process and not lose ANY PARTS WHATSOEVER and adhere strictly to the manual. This is no Oldsmobile Rocket V8.