All Together Now

7 hours.

With the airworthiness inspection in the rear-view mirror, the next phase of this little adventure starts in earnest.   Of course, “airworthy” is kind of a misnomer.   It’s not airworthy until all the parts I took off for the inspection are back on.   That’s all the inspection panels, wing root fairings, floor panels, and interior.

When Dave and i measured the down angle of the flaps, we got one at 47 degrees and one at 49.   They’re supposed to be at 45, so that was first on my list to fix, but I measured them from the bottom side instead of the top and they both dialed out at 45.   Go figure.   After that, it was on to the interor panels.   I put the baggage bulkhead back in, flap actuator covers, then baggage carpet, bulkhead cover, and side panels.

After that it was the floor panels, with their multitudes of velcro discs designed to hold the carpet steady.   Then the front spar covers, and the tunnel cover.   This got interesting, because there are two holes in the firewall with platenuts that have nothing in them.   I can’t get the AN4 bolt in one of them and the other has a slightly off-center hole, so the bolt won’t seat in the threads of the platenut.   Bah.  Argh.   So I made the decision to put them in from the firewall side, which I’ll do later.

Then the fuel pump cover, with the newly attached fire extinguisher went in.   After that, I put in the carpeting, side panels, and stick boot covers.   It now looks like a proper airplane, and I could fly it, except for one thing:   The roll trim is wired backwards.

Yeah, I know, aren’t you supposed to be “ready for flight” when you call for the inspection?   Well, he didn’t make me fire up anything electrical, so I wouldn’t have caught this, because when I checked the trim motor, I saw the little arm on the trim servo move to the right when I toggled the right side of the 4-way on the stick.   Toggle the left side, the arm goes toward the left.   My brain failed to register that the arm is connected to wires attached to the bottom of the sticks, on the other end of the pivot point, so the arm is actually the reverse of the direction the sticks are moved in flight.

As soon as I realized this, all I could hear was Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket:   “What side was that, Private Pyle?”

This, of course, is after I’d screwed down the fifty or so floor panel screws and installed the carpets and seating.   I figured it might be fun to sit in the airplane and get comfortable with the final UI of my airplane and practice things like getting the fire extinguisher out of its bracket, reaching fuses, finding the most comfortable rest spots for my elbow, that sort of thing.  So imagine my disappointment when I realized I’d have to pull the seat cushions, carpeting, and floor panels to switch the trim wires.

That’s a project for this weekend.   I also need to finish the cowl hinge pins, plug the aforementioned firewall holes, blob a little more RTV into the seams between the baffles and the engine, and do some taxi tests.   I know it taxis, I just want to see if I can get the under-cowl temps down a little more.

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