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