Chapter 9 Building Log
12/19/10 - The past few weeks I have been starting to plan for this chapter which includes the reinforcement of both the landing gear bulkheads, main gear leg install as well as the landing brake work. This is one of the more expensive chapters as the landing gear leg and wheels/brakes are purchased. My landing brake linear actuator should be here shortly as I just won it on ebay today. I will be starting with the bulkhead and landing brake work until I can scrape up the cash for the orders. The month before Christmas is not known for lots of extra money so it may take a month or two.
12/31/10 - I thought I would start this one off by taking the obligatory picture of the builder in his plane for the first time making the engine noises.
As you can see I pulled the fuselage off the turnstyle and dropped it onto blocks on the floor to begin work on prepping the rear for the landing gear reinforcement layups.
1/31/11 - I have been working on the landing gear layups and placing the orders for main gear & landing brake completion and installation. I have the linear actuator in hand and have been working on its design so that I get the proper extension (60 to 90 degrees) and full retraction. Below you see a few shots of the bhd reinforcement layups.
2/16/11 - Working on the landing brake while I am waiting for the main landing gear to arrive from Feather Lite.
Above pics show the landing brake cut loose, fitting the hinge assembly into the pocket and the inside layups completed.
3/1/11 - I have been working pretty consistantly and finished up the Landing Brake install a week or so ago. I managed to get about 65 degrees of deflection with my install so am calling it good enough. I was concerned that I would have trouble with locating my bracket so that I would get full retraction just as the linear actuator motor shut off, but that was easy enough with a small slot in my bracket.
The bracket is a 16 bid layup. I first formed the inner 'U' with 8 plys, than outside 'U' and top of base flange with another 8 ply, finally the 8 bid base bottom. You will notice that I bonded two snug fitting washers on the outside to increase the bearing area of the flanges to prevent hole elongation. I will keep my eye on it after flying to see if it holds up. I also am not real happy with the EZ Points that I used to install the bracket to the back seat as one of them pushed out of its base into the seat back after install (a 2 bid pad on top) and forced me to remove the entire buildup and install another one. Though its worked fine since. I did use the locking points and that may introduce a problem that I have not heard of yet. It works great I just have not taken andy pics of the installed actuator. It pretty neat to see it go up and down.
3/14/11 - Working on the Main Landing Gear (MLG) torsional layups and setting up the box for attach tabs. I had trouble with the gear leg falling off the nails as I was working on the layups though the 209 slow hardener gave me enough time to peel back the laminates and reorient them properly before everything set up. After the fact I realize that I should have put pins in the gear ends (where I will be removing material for the brake clearance later) and just a single nail at the center. This would have prevented the movement that the nails allowed and nipped it in the bud. To late for me, but hopefully someone can profit from it. The straws worked fine for the brake line channels though they are alittle stiffer than I would have liked.
I am all set for the outside layup, but ran out of bid for the inside so its off to ACS for another 5 yards to let me finish up the tabs, external and internal covers.
3/21/11 - Continuing the tab works. Below you can see the outer tab layup and its got another 10 plys added to it over plans to make it 1/2" thick. The second photo is a small jig I made to help get the tab holes aligned (you can see the drill bit thru the holes in each leg). The next picture shows the strut tabs cut and preped for the inside layups and the final one with the inner layups done and tubes installed..
4/15/11 - Earned my PPL today and the last 3 weeks have been spend flying and studying. I think my family remembers what I look like. I am glad that this hurdle is behind me. My first logged flight was in April of 2006, with 5 instructors and lots of starting and stopping in between. Life does get in the way, but it was the financial side that caused me the most trouble. If I have any advice for the student pilot poplulation it is to fly as much as you possibly can. It can actually happen in 2 months if you fly 3 times a week and dedicate yourself to it. When I am looking for my instrument rating I may do the 10 cram though I know that it will not be easy.
5/17/11 - MLG are installed as shown above and continuing with cover build and wheel/brake/axle install. The MLG center is about 1/4" off to the side of the fuselage center, but the educated consensis on the list is that its not a problem as long as the axles can be installed in their proper position 42" below the top of the upper longerons and at FS-110. The first picture shows this offset. I will just need to be sure to account for this when I set the 1/4 degree of toe-in for the wheels. The next two show the gear legs trimming that is required for the Matco brake caliber clearance. These also show that one gear leg ended up about 3/8" taller than the other. The axle center is marked by the blue lines.
6/4/11 - Trimmed the MGL ends per the Matco Caliper shape, drilled axle mounting holes, and have layed in the 3 pli's of bid on each end with peel ply. I am doing the ends in several steps. I will install the inside backing plates next and then the axles with the correct toe-in set by torquing the bolts until they line up right.
8/30/11 - Been working on and off for the past two months. Have completed the Matco wheel and brake installation. I am now working on the cover for the MLG opening on the bottom. I have taken a different tack on this one and made a male form for the duct since it seems that the shape would be off by the thickness of the layup when using the plans method. I am also installing recessed flanges (aka the Wayne Hicks method). You can see it sitting in the slot to check the clearance with the MGL. I will need to thin it up in this area to clear the gear leg.
9/28/11 - Pretty much completed this chapter. I still have a few things to finish up:
Here are two pics of it sitting on its MLG.