Sunday, May 13, 2018

Section 54 -- Flap Position Sensor

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  4.0 (est.)

As I wait for the finishing kit to arrive, it's a wonderful opportunity to tackle some of the less interesting tasks I had been putting off (for far too long, obviously!).

The first task involved removing the fuel selector valve so that I could strike the screw heads for the connectors.  There are three connection points.  Two lines lead into the valve (one from each tank) and the third connector is the output to the engine.  These connectors need to be adjusted to fit the orientation of the various fuel lines.  Each connector has four screws.  Once the orientation is configured, the builder needs to strike each screw head to damage it, thereby ensuring the screw won't unscrew itself.

This task is now complete (no pictures).

Next, I ordered the Flap Position Sensor.  It's funny that this component wasn't included with one of the sub-kits.

Unfortunately for me, the difficult part of this task involved removing the flap crank to drill a hole for the push rod.  I've read of alternatives to doing this in order to avoid removing and reinstalling the crank, but I decided to do it the hard way.  For that reason, most of the time credited here was due to the unbolting and re-bolting of the crank in a tight space.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Short Update -- Finish Kit Ordered

As a short update to my post in January, I ordered the finish kit yesterday and I hope to have it in-hand by mid-June.  Exciting times are afoot!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Getting Back on Track


It was with some trepidation that I loaded up my build blog only to note that it has been nearly three years since I last posted.  I know that I have been absent without explanation and for that, I apologize.  The good news is that I expect to get restarted in the coming months when I finally place an order for the much anticipated (for me) Finish Kit.

As you might suspect, there were some hurdles to overcome during the last three years.  Such hurdles included a relocation, job changes, and other life priorities.  As a philosophy undergrad, there was a joke.  "How do you make god laugh?  Make a plan."  The bottom line is that life happens and I'm excited at the prospect of getting back on track with my RV build and posting for you good folks!

During my leave, I successfully moved my build project from my garage in Saint Paul, MN to a storage unit in Eugene, OR, to an airport in a temporary hangar share (an unfortunate story there!), then to its current resting place in my own hangar!  The change in available space from a single stall garage to a T-hangar is simply jaw-dropping.

Is there such a thing as too much space?

At some point in 2015, I received two cowl plate replacements.  It appears that the original cowl plates were too thin, so Van's replaced them with beefier versions.  The good news in my delay, I suppose, is that several early-adopter kinks have been discovered and addressed.  This is clearly one of them.

In order to get back in the swing of things, it was the perfect time to drill out the rivets of the original plates and replace them with the revised pieces.  Easy!

I look forward to posting more in the coming months!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Section 37 -- Roll Over Structure

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  22.0 (est.)

I skipped Section 36, which has the builder install the elevator and aileron push-rods, in favor of finishing out the air frame's structure.  Section 37 is the last section of the forward fuselage sub-kit.  Woohoo!  Of course there are a few items in addition to Section 36 that I need to go back to, but it's quite amazing how fast this kit seemed to go together.

Here's a shot of the roll over bar being match drilled.  I used as many clecos as possible to ensure an aligned fit.

With the structure riveted, I painted it black and then secured it to the main fuselage for match drilling.

After match drilling, I needed to remove the roll over bar and brace to clean up the holes.  Then it was time to reinstall and rivet them in place.  This final section was an easy weekend project.  I cannot believe how light and solid this piece is.  Although, I am reminded that it certainly should be strong for its purpose!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Section 35 -- Upper Forward Fuselage

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  36.0 (est.)

I finished the upper forward fuselage a couple of weeks ago, but I am just now reporting on it here.  That's the way it goes when airplane building, life, and blogging converge.  I would say that Section 35 is the last big build section of the forward fuselage sub-kit.  I admit it, I do a lousy job of accurately keeping time records.  Most of the time, I have a general idea, but half way through this section I flat out stopped marking times.  Oh well, no matter how much or little time I spend working on the project, the bottom line is that it takes what it takes.

As I started pulling the remaining parts from the shelves, I started with the bare parts and bits and had the same impression.  Namely, how do these flimsy parts come together to make something so strong?  Well, by the time I was finished installing the structure, I was again amazed at how strong it became!

Some of the parts had already been prepped for this Section when I had some pieces anodized.  Below, you can see the canopy decks (as well as the roll over assembly brace used in Section 37).  Like I said before, I think the anodized pieces will add some nice "pop" to the build.

The first order of business is to construct the main structure.  Below is a shot of the structure fixed to the forward section of the fuselage.  Keen followers might notice that my primer color has changed.  After the end of the large structural components were done, I ran dry of the Akzo Nobel epoxy primer.  Knowing that I would not use another two gallons, I opted to finish out the kit using SEM's rattle can primer.  Admittedly, it's nowhere near as good as the epoxy primer, but I think it will work well enough.  I also decided to paint the pieces that will be visible when the canopy is open.  Black seemed like the natural choice for me.

Here, I needed to match drill the cowling attach piano hinge.

It was time to use the aileron bell crank template to match drill the canopy release pin system.

Here's the anodized wiring channel.

The canopy anodized decks are in place.

With the forward upper fuselage done, it was time for a well-earned break.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sections 33 & 34 - Rudder & Brake Systems and Flap Actuation

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  18.0

Sections 33 & 34 flew by in no time!  Well, at least the finishing up parts of Section 33.  I had previously done a lot of the prep work for the brake pedals about a month ago.  Why you ask?  Well, I decided to add a little "pop" to the cockpit interior so I had the brake pedals (and a few other parts) anodized with red dye.  Let me tell you, it was no easy time finding a place to anodize the parts.  That is not to say that there are few anodizing shops.  Quite the contrary.  It's just most places can't be bothered with small batch hobbyists that are perhaps a little too picky.  Thankfully, I found a local place that was more than willing to accommodate my request.

Here's a shot of the brake pedals after they were anodized.  Pretty good, right?

After the prep work, it was no sweat mounting the pedals and connecting the brake lines.

Brake fluid reservoir.

With Section 33 complete, I moved into the Flap Actuation section.  Again, no problems here.

It began by match drilling the connections.  Here, the instructions call for using the aileron alignment jig (pictured towards the top of the picture below).  Thankfully, I had the foresight to hang on to that little gem!

There you have it!  Two sections that blew by in no time!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Section 32 - Baggage Area

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  25.0

Finishing off the baggage area of the RV-14 is a simple enough task.  It's really a matter of riveting the baggage floor and side panels.  For the most part, the panels are riveted using pull rivets.  This means that there's little or no dimpling required.

Prior to starting, I snapped a few pictures of the open floor (mostly as future reference).

Next, I prepped and placed the floor panels.

Once the floor panels were fixed, the side panels and flap motor channel were riveted to the airframe.

The end of Section 32 marked the time to paint the cockpit interior (if so desired).  Since I haven't determined what kind of finish panels I might install (if any), I decided it was worthwhile to paint it while there was easy access and little masking required.  I chose Zolatone Gray Stone.  Zolatone's finish is a mix of fine speckled colors that has a light texture to it.  I liked the idea of this finish because of its tendency to blend the exposed structure.  I used a Harbor Freight sprayer with good results.  Although Zolatone calls for a 2.0mm tip, the 1.7mm tip worked without issue.

Here's a closeup of the finish.

And here's some wide shots of the cockpit.  With about 2.5 coats, I used a half gallon.  Of course, I wasn't being as careful as possible, and I am sure that I wasted more than necessary.  That leaves me plenty for the remaining panels due with the finish kit.