« Archives in September, 2009

Rudder cables are in.

.5 hours.
Maybe it’s not that significant, but it’s significant to me. It’s another mid-level piece of airplane not on a shelf anymore, and it’s one of those things I had to wait on until the interior was painted. The cables are in, but not rigged. The empennage is still upstairs in the attic, but I suppose I should just bite the bullet and bring them down, stick them on, and rig the rudder, elevator, and pitch servo, which includes making the little tabs that go from the rudder pedals to the cable. Is there any reason not to use aviation-grade turnbuckles or clevises here? I also have yet to fit the wings to the fuselage, drilling for final incidence and sweep. At that point, I can rig the ailerons and flaps. But that’s going to be a mission. So much planning and prep, it almost merits its own list.


3 hours.
Condensed, of course. Got the autopilot pitch servo mounting bracket from Trio Avionics (They rock, by the way) and finally got it all lined up just behind the elevator bellcrank. I also got the aileron trim servo installed. The next thing, which I absolutely dread, is bending the fuel and tank vent lines, but once that’s done, I can start on the canopy. I’ve been lax on this whole thing, because sometimes I find it a damned sight easier to sit in front of the computer in my pajamas for a couple of hours in the morning than to nut up and go bang aluminum or puzzle out a part fit. This has got to stop. I need to haul ass out of bed, get into the shop and get it on, because I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting and watching, and so far, I haven’t had a visit from the Aircraft Elves, who show up in the middle of the night and finish your aircraft by morning. Nor is my RV7 a flying Christine, capable of rebuilding herself from scratch. Still trying to think of a good paint scheme. Maybe a steampunk motif, since I’m drawing quite a few parallels with HG Wells’s The Time Machine, in which an eccentric scientist spends years in his laboratory, building a machine capable of crossing great gulfs of time and space.

More brake and trim work

6 hours.
I just got back from Japan, but in between bouts of jetlag-induced coma and insomnia, I managed to get a couple of things done. I finished up the cabin-side brake lines and got the trim servo mounted. The brake lines went fine. I just have to finish up the firewall interface for them and we’re done there.

Of course, I still have to play with the routing to minimize chafing, but that’s no big deal.
The trim servo is another story, the sad ending of which is that I’m gong to have to take out the servo and bellcrank assembly so I can put a cotter pin through the clevis bolt on the bellcrank. Yep. Nothing about that install is easy. sockeet wrenches don’t fit on nuts for the servo, no room to get a screwdriver in there, or hands for that matter, springs under tension, stick alignment, and lack of physical leverage. Plus it was way warm in the shop yesterday, so I was hunkered down in the fuselage making attempt after attempt to place clevis bolts, washers, etc. I still can’t get one of the cotter pins bent. I have no leverage and no pliers small enough to hold the end while I bend the tabs. So the whole servo/crank assembly has to come out. This is no fun, because it’s hard to get to the screws and nuts holding it to the seat rib. Then, after I put it all back in, I have to reattach the forward elevator pushrod to the control column, which is another small-space washer-alignment nightmare. Wiring will suck less, because I can at least get to those.

sorry about the blur. It’s freaking tight in there, especially with the pushrod in.

A view forward. Springs are hooked up, all is well.

Another advantage is that the springs hold the sticks straight up and down, keeping them out of the way, for the most part.