« Archives in July, 2008


Here are a few pics of the last round of builds. Seats, flap weldment, actuator housing, and tunnel cover. All clecoed, nothing riveted yet. Still working some things out.

Servo cover, flap actuator

5 hours.
Not 5 hours all at once, by any means. But I did drill the UHMW flap actuator bearing blocks, match drill the flap servo goodies, and began the process of getting it all into the plane. Unfortunately, because I don’t have iLife on this machine, I can’t exactly share the photos I took. Oh well, i’ll post them when I get a chance. Anyhoo, I feel like I’m actually getting aircraft stuff done, and it feels good to be able to work out problems and see how things are going to fit without having to run to VAF whenever I get stopped by some weird thing or other, and my hunches work out more often than not, these days.
I haven’t been putting in a lot of hours, but the skills do keep, if I do a little bit each day. I’ve been trying to do something, anything at all in the mornings before work. I’m able to put in about 45 minutes before I have to go in, and that keeps my head in the game. The tunnel cover coulda been.. Better. But it’ll be fine, since it’s non-structural and serves mostly to keep the occupants’ meaty bits, car keys, cell phones, and sunglasses from fouling the elevator pushrod. Also, it serves to cover up wiring, and that’s probably a good thing. I’ve also discovered that it’s very easy to round out #3 philips head screws if you don’t keep the driver bit seated. After all the fun, the flap actuator seems a little stiff, but well within the servo’s capability. However the center bearing block seems to sit a little high. The plans have you milling off about 1/16 of an inch from the bottom, 1/2 inch back, to clear the lip of the seat floor skin, but in this QB fuse, the baggage floor covers are atop the seat floor skins. This is all fine and dandy, but I think I’m going to file off 1/16 of the lower center bearing block, just to relieve the tension on the weldment a little. Maybe this is unnecessary, but it will make me sleep better. As I’m doing this process, I see the need for future tasks, like where the f am I going to mount the strobe controller, and how will I do it? Right now it’s looking like it’s going on a yet-to-be-fabbed shelf between two ribs under the baggage floor. Of course, this means I have to install platenuts on all those, But whatever, it’s easy and quick if you use the platenuts themselves as drill jigs.
Next weekend, Shelley’s going to be at her permaculture camp in the hills of Acton, so I’ll hopefully be putting in a bunch of hours, and maybe even paint something.

Seat backs and tunnel cover

6 hours.
Finished cutting and drilling the seat backs, they are now all put together with clecos and sitting in the plane. Of course, I did Shelley’s first, just to be polite, then mine. I’m almost done with the tunnel cover, but I need to brush up on my measuring skills, because even double checking, it didn’t fit quite right until after I’d worked it with various abrasives and cutters. but that’s almost ready to go. I figure, when i start back in on the project after an absence, it’s best to do small, cheap things to start, off, just to get the chops back. And if theyre things that don’t require drilling or cutting on the QB airframe, even better.
I also cut down my sawhorses to lower the main longeron to waist height, which helps a lot. Originally I was going to have a friend help, but the fuse is still light enough where I could pick it up by the firewall and have Shelley move the cut-down sawhorse under the main spar, then shuffle the original short one back to the tail. Next, I think, is the pedals or the flap weldment.

Working on the seat backs.

3 hours.
Just got back from our 4th of July road trip. It was somewhat truncated, due to large parts of Central California having the bad taste to be on fire during our trip. We couldn’t go all the way up Highway One through Big Sur, which is a bummer, because I’ve never actually seen Big Sur in any great detail before. What we did see was the backside of the foothills, where all the wineries and ranches are, and, more importantly, all the little airports that service them. I kept thinking, wow. Horses, woods, vineyards, little airports, and nice weather. What’s not to love? Anyway, to crudely segue back into my build log, that motivated me to do a little work on the plane this weekend. I actually got going on the seat backs again. I re-read the construction manual, and it looks like you’re supposed to do the pedals first, and the seat backs later. It doesn’t look to me like it matters one way or the other, since the seat backs are a discrete and mostly separate part. It matters to me, because once the seat backs are in, i can sit in the canoe and place the pedals exactly to my liking. The manual says to drill some extra holes for the UHMW blocks of the pedal assembly so you can move them back and forth, which is fine, but I’m aiming to start off as close as I can to where I’ll eventually have it.
So what i did was this: I finished cutting all the angle for the seat backs (pain in the arse, no chop saw), and drilled the side supports to one of the seat back panels, also drilled one of the bottom hinges. Now that I’ve done it, I can block out small chunks of time to finish that seat and do the other one. Then it’s probably on to the elevator push tube., then a crapload of painting.