Connection Machine

12 hours.

Yesterday and today, because I didn’t have a chance to update last night.   Last week the wings went on, with temp bolts, but yesterday was all about installing the close-tolerance bolts in the main spar.   These big bastards hold the wings on.  The forces on them are shear forces, but they don’t want there to be any slop whatsoever, so you use eight close-tolerance bolts each side.   Lube up the shanks, but don’t get any lube on the treads or the torque values will be off and that’s, um, bad.


The secret to these things is to tap them in with a rivet gun on very low pressure.   The trick is remembering to get the washers on under the bolt heads.   I got all of them in, both right and left wings, but somehow I lost one of the AN365-720-A nuts that go on the big bolts.   ACS to the rescue.   That was about all I had time for yesterday.. I got out there around 10 then had to head back at 3, so I came back out this morning.  Got there at 9:15 and powered through the whole day.


As an added bonus, my next-door neighbors did first engine start on their helicopter this afternoon.   They brought this thing over from New Zealand, and last week it was just a box of helicopter parts.   This week they had it running.   Apparently it’s so light they had to add fuel to make it a little more stable for ground run tests.  Oh, and it’s really freaking loud.


I decided it would probably be best to finish one of the wings, so I concentrated on the left one.   I connected the flap pushrod and hooked up all wires except the VOR antenna, which will have to wait for a couple of BNC connectors.   I also fabricatied and installed the fuel line and connected the vent lines, so now if you put gas in that tank, it will feed the engine and make it run!



I replaced the puny 16ga wire I had going to the landing light with a beefier 10ga section, so that left me with a spare wire.  I left it there, in case there’s anything I need to put in the wingtip later.   Tested pitot heat, that works, 12v to everything at the end of the wing.   Also ran pitot and AOA lines from the wing up to the area behind the EFIS.   I’ll trim and connect those next time.

Speaking of which, while I was tracing a wire, I managed to jar loose the little resistor on the RDAC for the RPM counter, which is damned frustrating.   You guys couldn’t have built that resistor into the RDAC itself?

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