Thursday, December 27, 2012

Baby is Here!

Our little girl has arrived!
12/21/12 8:08pm 6lbs 5oz
Ayla Jayne Twilbeck

After a very long weekend in the hospital it was good to come home. A few days of trying to figure out what this newborn thing is all about and getting the girls settled in, I had a chance to sneak out to the shop for some airplane building. So tune back in for some updates in the following days.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wing Ribs

I worked more on the ribs over the past few days. I have the spars laid out on a smaller separate work bench making the shop seem a lot smaller than before. I went ahead and clecoed all the ribs in place first and labeled their positions to ensure I wouldn't use an incorrect part to make some of the smaller sub-assemblies. Nothing difficult in this section, although it is a bit of a tease. You read the steps and think "how simple, I should get through this in no time" only to realize its a few hundred holes and several hours of work on minute details that leave you only wanting to accomplish more.

I alodined the hinge brackets since the parts are pretty thick and will be hanging below the wing. I also rounded out the edges of these parts to make them look a little nicer when hanging out in the breeze.

There are only a few days left until the baby arrives, planning for this Friday the 21st! Her room is ready and we are as ready as we will ever be.

12 1.75 clecoed ribs in place, labeled ribs
15 2.5 drilled holes
16 4.0 deburred, riveted hinge brackets

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fluting Ribs

The ribs get a curve to them when they are bent into shape so I spent all night putting little crimps in the flanges of the ribs, called fluting, to straighten them out.
(2.25 hrs)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wing Spars

Lots of drilling, lots of countersinking, and then more drilling, and more countersinking. Yep that's the entire section to prep the spars.

I alodined the thick parts and the bare aluminum since I'm not planning on priming any of wing parts, but we'll see.

I've already moved on to the next section of the plans and am excited to get the ribs attached. That part will be rewarding.

I worked on more stuff for the baby's room (she'll be here next week, wow!), so today I have about:

6 5.5 drilled and countersunk, nutplates
7 5.0 alodined parts, made tiedowns, riveted

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wing Kit Arrival

My wing kit came in yesterday. Two crates about 240lbs each. The truck driver and I were able to carry the 14ft long crate to the shop, but the other was too awkward. So I uncrated it at the sidewalk and started carrying parts. I inventoried the kit and found only a single missing piece, not bad. The quantity of parts doesn't even come close to how many I had when the empennage-fuselage combo kit showed up.

The skins are about 102" long so they didn't fit on any shelves I had, so I made a stand for the skins from one of the crates for safe storage.

Completed Structure Overview (440.5hrs)

As always the blue is completed and the red is in work.
Total time so far 440.5 hrs

Fuselage Complete

Complete might be a bit of an exaggeration. The side skins are on, finally, and all the sheet metal work is complete. I'm calling it complete though because this is as far as I want to go before starting in the wings. The next steps involve attaching the tail which would make storing the parts difficult as the aircraft would instantly grow to 19 feet or so. For now it's "complete".

I haven't posted in a while since I have been very busy with the airplane and getting ready for the baby. I even refinished a rocker for her room upholstery and all. Also, the steps I completed each day seemed so small: deburr, dimple, rivet, repeat. So instead of boring everyone with a tiny post of riveting a row here, wrestling with the landing gear there, I decided to wait until I had some real progress to write about.

So here is the catching up:
I pro sealed between the skins and firewall. Riveting the skins felt like it took forever. Every night I would knock out a couple more rows. Some of the rivets were very difficult to get access to requiring a new bucking bar to be made. At one point 5 rivets took about 3hrs, frustrating. Over the Thanksgiving holiday my in-laws visited and my father-in-law was great help with the rivets I couldn't buck by myself. I installed soundproofing in the cockpit floor and then the floor panels get installed permanently with blind rivets. The soundproofing is 1/2" thick rubbery feeling foam and cuts best with just scissors. I ordered it from aircraft spruce in an 8ft roll. The landing gear was then installed with a lot of grunting and a little cussing. Some of the bolts were persuaded with a hammer but then they all agreed to be installed. I had to use some child labor from the 10 year old boy across the street to reach with his skinny arms in-between the fuselage bulkheads to start the nuts on some of the bolts. I then rigged up a new tool to reach the nuts. It's just a 3/8" ratcheting wrench with a piece of aluminum riveted to it to extend the handle. After it was all finished up I put a board across the front of the fuselage and the wife and I lifted the tailcone to rest on top of the fuselage. So the whole thing can now be rolled out of the way for the wings.

Date Time
13 1.5 riveted skin, difficult rivets
16 2.5 deburr, dimple skins
17 6.0 finish dimpling, start riveting
19 2.0 riveting skins
20 2.5 Proseal, rivet skins
24 2.5 riveted side skins with father in law
25 4.5 riveted side skins with father in law
27 1.75 riveted side skins
28 1.5 riveted skins
29 2.0 riveted skins
30 6.0 riveted skins, installed LH floor panel with soundproofing
1 3.0 installed landing gear bracket LH, floor panel RH
2 3.75 installed landing gear bracket RH, finished a few other steps

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Upper Firewall Brackets

I had some edge distance issues with my upper firewall brackets (WD-1002). They are match drilled through the frames from above and if they are like mine don't line up well enough to leave any reasonable edge distance with the rivets. I even tried using a clamp to pull the tabs into place, but it wasn't enough. So here is how I addressed the problem.

This is the upper left hand firewall bracket (WD-1002). View looking up.
The bracket is made from 0.063" 4130 steel.

Here is a closer view of the holes. View looking forward.
As you can see the edge distance reduces to almost nothing in the aft holes.
Note a total of 9 rivets in the upper tab of the bracket.

I traced the shape of the part using some lexan and marked a cut line just forward of the fourth hole.

Picture of the WD-1002 upper flange after the cut. I used other pieces of steel to shield the existing parts while cutting to prevent any accidental strikes from the cutting wheel.

The new parts. I don't won't to call them repair parts, but I guess that's what they are.
Starting on the left: upper spacer, aft spacer, splice strap.
Upper spacer is 0.125" 6061-T6 shaped to taper down to 0.063" on the outboard side
Aft spacer and splice strap are 0.063" 4130 steel (same material as the WD-1002 Bracket).

The spacers and strap celecoed in place. The upper spacer is sitting under the primer green firewall stiffener and above the cut upper tab of the firewall bracket. The aft spacer is sitting just aft of the cut. and the splice is on the bottom spanning the entire length.

With this view you can see the 4 new holes in the firewall stiffener web inboard from the existing line. These four new holes go through the upper spacer, upper firewall bracket tab, and the splice. These holes are important as they allow the upper firewall bracket tab to have 9 rivets as was originally designed (now with better edge distance), replacing the 4 holes removed. Equally important is that the new holes go into the spice to carry the load into the aft holes as was originally designed.

View looking down with rivets installed.

Ignore the sloppy green primer. View looking up and forward. You can see the new 4 inboard holes making a total of 9 rivets shared by the tab and the splice. The splice strap actually extends beyond what the original tab did picking up 5 additional rivets aft of the original. The splice, being made of the same type of material, can carry the load into the existing structure as intended. The "repair" or "redesign" is actually stronger than the original with the improved edge distance and additional aft rivets.

Fuselage Side Skins 2

I have been forgetting to take pictures as I go so there isn't much to see here. All the parts are made, deburred, countersunk, and primed for the side skins. I also made the repair for the WD-1002 upper firewall brackets and it is now stronger than before. Cutting steel and aluminum has become as common in my workshop as wood once was.

I also made a new countersink extender thing from some threaded rod. Allowed me to countersink the six outer rivets on the forward bulkhead. The instructions call for double flush rivets in these locations but the countersink stop is too large to fit in the flange of the bulkhead, so I extended above it.

11/6 2.0 countersink parts
11/7 2.0 countersink parts
11/10 4.0 made repair for firewall bracket
11/11 6.0 deburr, countersink, prime, dimple
11/12 8.0 riveting

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fuselage Side Skins

There is a portion of the side skins you have to bend yourself. It's a little tricky at first but then you work out the process and finish with a decent curve. There is a sharp bend in the front and it opens to a larger bend in the aft, opposite that for the forward skins. There is a lot of drilling which means there is a lot if deburring coming as well. The shop floor is filled with tiny bits of aluminum.

I test fitted the landing gear brackets which was a pain to get the holes to line up. I had to bend the lower flange further inboard on the LH side and didn't use the shim that's called out, but the RH side needed it. These things are made of thick steel so as you can imagine it was no picnic to get them to agree to go in.

Side note: I had a couple parts missing from one of the bags, a quick call to Van's and they're mailing them to me.

When fitting the skins I noticed the RH side didn't match well with the curve of the longeron. So I used a trick I learned from an old sheet metal mechanic, the tapered shim. Simple really, just start with a sheet as thick as you need and thin it out on one side using a belt sander. It smooths out the transition from shim to no shim. I have a pre-shim and post-shim picture posted.

The only major issue with this section so far is with the upper firewall brackets (WD-1002). I'll write a detail post about that when I get it all worked out.

10/31 1.5 started bending skins
11/1 3.0 bent aft side skins
11/3 5.0 drilled aft skins
11/4 6.0 fwd skins bending, etc
11/5 9.0 fwd skins drilled, other work

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lower Fuselage

Finally time to connect the two halves of the fuselage together! I bolted the two halves together first with the provided spacers and some regular Lowe's bolts, they are temporary anyway. I riveted as much as I could by myself and then my very patient, productive, helpful, enthusiastic, ....oh and good looking friend, Adam, came by to help finish riveting. (I say those things as positive reinforcement so he helps again : ) hope it works) We turned the whole thing on its side to reach both sides. There are a couple rivets that the bucking bar couldn't get to, since they were under the seat support brackets...blinds might go there haven't decided yet. There are six rivets in the skin on the outboard side that go into the bulkhead assembly that need to be double flushed. So the bulkhead needs to be countersunk on the flange, don't know how I'm doing this yet either. I think I need a new tool to do the job.

The stand worked great. It rolls around really easily. I posted more pics as promised.

Since the work table was now free of airplane I decided to build the baby a set of chest-of-drawers that we needed. Started and finished it this past weekend. It's made almost entirely from the wood crating the airplane was shipped in, pretty neat.

There is a picture of the shop using the new panorama option on the iPhone. I had to try it out on something.

23 3.5 riveted fuselage halves
25 1.75 bending longerons
26 1.5 bending longerons


Monday, October 22, 2012

RV-10 Fuselage Stand

I drilled out the F-1015 ribs without any damage to the airframe, amazingly. Some rivets are really easy to drill out and some others are tucked away deep inside and going through multiple layers of aluminum. I drilled a #40 hole into the head of the #4 rivets, popped the heads off with a punch, then used the rivet gun against the punch to "hammer" the rest of the rivet out of the hole. This seemed to be the best way to prevent any damage to the airframe.

The entire front half of the lower fuselage is almost complete. I prosealed the skins under the firewall and, what started as an accident, prosealed the splice of the fwd and aft skins. I started prosealing the wrong side of the skin but ran with the mistake anyway, I figured it wouldn't hurt to proseal the first splice aft of the engine and whatever it feels like spewing out.

I also built a stand for the fuselage so I can get this thing off the workbench. I have a single picture right now, after the airplane is sitting on it I'll try and remember to take some more detailed pics.

Also, last weekend we had a trip up to STL to visit family. Solid IFR for about an hour and a half and I kept thinking how synthetic vision will make this so much better, not to mention a functioning autopilot. I gave my wife a little flying lesson on the way up (VFR), since the autopilot wasn't functioning, that was fun and helped pass the time. On our way home we had a monster tailwind and reached 165kts groundspeed, RV-10 speeds!, in a C172.

Date Hrs
16 2.5 Pro sealed skins
17 2.0 found rib problem
18 2.0 drilled out single rib
20 8.0 drilled second rib. Bolted two halves together. Built stand. Bolted more things. Bolted a couple other parts. Riveted seat well tops.
21 4.0 Started bending longerons