Sunday, April 7, 2019

Canopy Unveiling

Now that I'm transitioning from the airframe build to a point where I "simply" need to add components, I decided to remove the protective plastic sheeting covering the canopy and rear window.  I know that it's best to leave this covering on for as long as possible, but I was concerned that there were scratches or cracks that occurred during the build and rather than keep holding my breath waiting until the end, I removed it.  Luckily, everything looked as it should.  Whew!

Now that the covering is removed, I needed a protective sheet to keep the dust off.  What better than a second-hand sheet from Goodwill with lions and tigers?!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

ELT and More Wiring

My last post led into my work installing the ELT.  Aside from the tight spaces to work around, there's not much to it.  I will say, however, that I neglected to pay attention to the instructions as closely as I should have resulting in tedious tasks repeated.  Case in point is when I installed the Audio Alert Indicator.  The indicator is affixed to the underside of the vertical stabilizer using two zip ties.  Getting the zip ties looped through their respective holes in the vertical stabilizer took an inordinate amount of time.  But I finally had the ties strung through and placed the Audio Alert while tightening the ties.  Whew, done -- right?  Nope, only after this exercise did I realize I didn't install the 10-year battery.  Doh!

So, I got to do this twice!  Thankfully, the batter lasts 10 years.

Note that I still need to place zip ties on the metal straps holding down the main ELT.

Next, I thought it would be a great time to figure out two wires that were installed as part of the tail cone wiring I placed when building.

When Vans originally sent the tail cone kit, these two wires (connecting to the elevator trim) reached only to about the elevator bell crank assembly.  Later, Vans sent two wires and splices to lengthen the wires, which then reached to about the location seen in the above photos.  Based on this length, it appeared to me that they should plug into the elevator servo molex connector (also pictured above).  After-all, the lengthened wires would reach perfectly to that connector.  The problem was, however, that the connector had all of its pins full.

So, I naturally turned to the wiring diagram so that I could scratch my head some more.  Of course, I found the wires and connection points (sort of).  Those wires are C1036 and C1037.

The image immediately above shows the C431J connector, which is also pictured above.  As you can see, it's supposed to have all of its pins filled.

Well, after some gentle nudging from Vans and Advanced, I finally figured it out.  C1036 and C1037 are supposed to exit the tail cone and then loop back to the C411P connector.  Dumb me!  But the lengthened wires were not long enough, so I needed to lengthen them again.

I'm embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure this one out.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

More Misc -- Autopilot servos, wire harness, ELT

More wiring work continues, but before I proceeded, I realized that while I had previously managed to affix the adel clamps holding the rudder cable sleaves with the bolts and nuts, I had not yet tightened the nuts.  I quickly remembered why I had failed to finish this task.  Doh!  This task is simply tedious.  To tighten three nuts (I had already done one --whew!), it took about 90 minutes.  Yep, that's why much time is spent, but little perceived progress occurs.

I then finished the roll and pitch servo installs now that I could tap the threads for the pushrods.

From there, I continued laying the fuselage wire harness and wiring for the control sticks.  Again, it takes an enormous amount of time to get these things placed.

I also started installing the ELT.  The same time / perceived progress issue abounded here too.

More on that next time!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Misc -- Autopilot servos, wire harness, landing & position lights, control sticks and vents -- OH MY

Although the finish kit is not quite done, I'm at a point where I can't do any more work on it until I put the wings on and get an engine.  Until then, the cowling will sit waiting.

In the meantime, I ordered a bunch of miscellaneous components to keep my forward progress.  Specifically, I ordered the LED landing and position lights, the ELT, main fuselage wiring harness, autopilot servos, control sticks with grips, comm transponder & ADSB antennae, and upgraded air vents.

Interestingly, the box with the ELT had this warning sticker!

I ran into a bit of a hiccup when installing the position lights.  I'm missing the matching molex connector and I'm having a bit of difficulty locating the mates.  I'll keep up the hunt.

When I originally started, the plan called for grounding the lights to the outboard leading edge rib.  As it turns out, that has changed to grounding at the wing root, while running the ground wire directly to the landing lights.  So, I need to order some wire to connect to the landing light.

Next up, I started working on the autopilot servos.  Again, I was stopped in my tracks as I wait for a 1/4" tap for the connecting rods.

So, I installed the control sticks and the upgraded aluminum air vents.  Those vents are expensive, but the quality is immediately obvious.

And finally, I started to install the main wiring harness.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Section 46A -- Tricylce Gear Leg & Wheel Fairings (continued)

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: I gave up

After a whole lot of sanding, filling, and trimming, I've finished up the wheel pants and gear fairings.  It's exciting stuff!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Section 46A -- Tricylce Gear Leg & Wheel Fairings

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:I gave up

It seems like I blew through the parts inventory of the Finish Kit as the only lingering bits are fiberglass.  Now, it's true that I skipped the wing attach and engine cowling sections for now, which left only the gear and wheel fairings and the empennage fairing.

I started with the empennage fairing.  I had to page back to Section 12 to find the instructions.

The fairing fit relatively well, but the instructions call for filling the inevitable gaps to the skin after match drilling for the screw points.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the results, but I'm planning to revisit it as the lower section under the horizontal stabilizer does not extend quite enough to cover the gap between the fiberglass fairing and the lower metal fairing.

Next up, it was time for the main gear wheel fairings.  It's a tedious process of fitting and refitting and re-refitting etc.

With those installed (more or less), then it was time to move on to the nose wheel fairing.

I'm currently working through the gear leg fairings.  Oh joy