Chapter 7 Building Log
3/12/09 - I am waiting on my order from ACS (I ran out of micro balloons and peel ply) in order to finish up the inside taping in chapter 6. So I thought I would get started in chapter 7. I layed out the NACA duct on the bottom and will need to trim the openings in the aft bulkheads to fit it better.
6/29/09 - The last two weeks I have spent what time I can in the shop. Doing the internal taping between the sides and the bottom, building up the NACA duct and fitting out the area between the aft landing gear bulkhead and firewall. I did not take many pictures, but am showing the completed effort before I started shaping the bottom. Wicks had sent me a sheet of 3/8" urethane in the past by mistake that they did not want back and you can see how I made use of it to save on material costs. To be honest I am not sure if the extra micro needed to fit them all actually let me save on the cost of the plans method.
One thing to note that is not mentioned in the plans is that the bottom aft of the landing brake reinforcement is pretty flimzy and gravity helped it deflect about 1/4" in the center so I temporarily bondo'ed a board across the middle, inside, to bring it back to flat again. Its not perfect, but its much closer and I will have less filling to do than some folks I have heard from on the email list.
6/30/09 - I spent the evening building and fitting the sanding jig to the forward landing gear bulkhead so that I would not sand too much off of the NACA scoop build-up.
7/1/09 - I sanded the scoop build-up down to shape with a custom sanding board (2x4) and filled in the areas where I did not extend the foam far enough forward.
7/25/09-8/4/09 - Oshkosh! We actually only spent 3 days at the show in camp Scholer and the rest of the time traveling and with family in the area, but it was my first one and the whole family had a blast. Traveling in an RV (recreational vehicle) is alot different than by car and it took me a few days to feel comfortable driving it, but after traveling through downtown Chicago in an RV, I don't think I have to worry about driving in congested areas anymore. It really made the trip worth it by having a 'house' right on the airport grounds at the show.
8/19-20/09 - First night back at it. I have been dealing with some health issues and just want to start making progress again. The pictures below show one side rough shaped, but I got the other side roughed the next night.
I need to figure out the best/simplist way to open up the electrical channel thru the side and firewall. As noted earlier it is too close to the sheave bolts. I am thinking to cut up (down) toward the lower longeron, remove the foam from the side, re-glass the channel, and patch up the side foam.
I also decided to not do the plans joggle and instead will built the landing gear cover bolting tabs between the landing gear bulkheads
9/9/09 - The few weeks I have slowly been making progress shaping the bottom. I have it close enough and will save the fine shaping till after I have the outside skins on so that dual densities of foam dont keep screwing me up. Here you see the NACA duct 2 bid layups covered with peel ply. You can also see the landing brake back in place and the 1/16" deep recess routed out around it.
I received my RST antenna kit order this week. I like the arrangement that I found in the email archives (sorry I could not find the post again to refer to) that has a Nav, MB and GS fitted onto the bottom of the plane. I may even try using the Nav splitter so that I don't have to install another Nav antenna for the 2nd radio.
9/16/09 - I floxed the corners of the NACA duct and installed the step reinforcement block on the left side. The only hardwood I had in the wood pile is a nice piece of brazilian cherry. It seems a shame to bury this beautiful wood where no one is every going to see it.
9/20/09 - Worked for only a few hours this weekend. I sanded out the fill on the bottom. Cut out and layed out my antennas. I will also be setting the foil into a shallow routed groove in the bottom and fill on top of it so that I dont have problems with the foil not sticking and causing problems during the bottom skin layups.
Its been a while since I had done any soldering so I worked up a couple of test pieces between the coax and the foil antenna. I was having a real hard time getting every thing to work right until I realized that my iron was not tinned. This seemed to solve my trouble and I feel good about my work in this area. I also signed up for the electric SportAir workshop that is coming to town in a few weeks and I may delay putting on the bottom skin until after I take the course to be sure my solder joints are up to snuff.
10/10/09 - I have been working on the plane, but have been neglecting the log. I have the bottom skin on. The landing gear and firewall reinforcements in and have started to shape the upper sides.
10/14/09 - I have been cleaning up the shop and making the 'a-frame' pivot supports for each end of the fuselage over the last few days. I mounted them on rotating casters and a few of them can be locked if I dont want the thing to move. My pivot at the front is a 2' threaded rod that goes thru the IP as well. At the rear I go thru the lower firewall bhd and build up a support attached at the landing gear bolt holes to carry a long bolt. These longer pivots ensure that I am not placing any moment on the firewall or F22. I also used a plastic bushing in each of them as well so that its not spinning on steel. I used a pin at the front to hold it at the angle I need to work on it.
10/17/09 - Completed the port outside lay-up.
11/1/09 - Completed the stbd outside lay-up and have officially completed this chapter.