Monday, February 24, 2014

Cabin Top is Painted

Woohoo....time to paint a part of the interior!
I'm pretty excited about this! It feels like a major milestone. I'm excited to finish and paint the cabin top and overhead. Then I'll install the cabin top for good!

There was a lot prep work that went into this and I'll let my pics and daily tasks lay it all out.

Dates and Times
Tues 18 -1.5 hrs- Sanded canopy with 100grit to smooth everything out
Wed 19 -1.5 hrs- Same as yesterday
Thurs 20 -0.75 hrs- Same as yesterday and the day before that
Fri 21 -0.75 hrs- Sprayed with grey high build primer from spray can...same as before when I primed the overhead for the first time
Sat 22 -3.0 hrs- Sanded with 180 grit and then with 220 to get everything really smooth. Wiped it all down and sprayed the overhead first with a really dark grey color I picked out from Sherwin Williams exterior car paint. Both my colors are Range Rover exterior colors (not intentional...just happened that way).
Sun 23 -2.0 hrs- Taped/masked the overhead dark area and then sanded the rest with 220 to smooth out the overspray from yesterday. I then sprayed my really light tan color on the rest. I plan on installing a headliner so the entire top is not painted for that reason.

Original primer sanded down until smooth. Any pin holes filled...again.

After a second coat of primer and more sanding I sprayed my first color.

Masking and more sanding I sprayed my second color.

A close up of the lip. It all looks really good and the pictures don't do it justice. I'm really happy with the results...and of course you need to imagine the closeout panels installed. I'll have a few touch up details and the painting of the overhead will be complete.

I used Sherwin Williams Dimension paint. It is an Acrylic Enamel exterior car paint. The two cans on the right are the two color base paints. You mix the reducer and hardener per the instructions and then add the flattening agent (can on the left). I added an almost 1:1 ratio of paint to flattener to make an almost completely flat look. The finish has a slight "eggshell" reflection back....which is exactly what I had hoped for. I won't be spraying a clear coat.

ADAHRS Tailcone Tray

A while back I designed a tray to install the Dynon ADAHRS units in the tailcone.

For those of you who don't know these are little boxes that tell the airplane it's speed, altitude, rate of climb, angle of attack, pitch, roll, yaw, etc. They are very sensitive devices that cannot be installed near any magnetic material...more importantly any moving magnetic (ferrous) material. The control rod bolts installed in the lower portion of the tail could cause errors in the readings if installed too close and these are very important readings. The ADAHRS units must also be installed straight and level in relation to the aircraft. A small 1 degree difference is all that is allowed between it and the airplane. Think of these boxes as my airplanes sensing center that tells the brain (EFIS) what's going on. I am installing two of the units one is a backup to the other. The two units constantly cross check each other for full redundancy in the system. If one goes down I flag will pop up on my control screen.

I designed the tray to install in the top of the tailcone hanging from the upper stringers. The tray was made from scrap 6061-T6 aluminum and channel. All the rivets are solid aluminum #3 button head rivets. I used my iPhone's inclinometer to install the tray at the same plane as the door frame longerons which are the straight and level flight reference point on the RV-10. The tray after installation measured in the same plane as the longerons on all axes.

Date and Time
Mon 17th -7.75hrs- Worked on canopy sanding, built and primed the ADAHRS tray.

This is the 3D model I made to design the tray.

I ran an analysis on my design and it easily passes a 10g crash load.

Here are a few pictures of the actual tray. It will be installed with 4 rivets on each side into the upper stringers.

I have a few full size prints to help people make the parts if they want to. You should be able to click the links below and it will download my PDF file from my Google Drive. If you print the PDF on an 11x17 paper it will be full size. Check the measurements on the drawing after you printed to verify it's a true 1:1 scale. These should be all you need along with my pictures above to do the install. Also, a helpful note, after I printed the plate drawing full scale I just spray mounted it to my aluminum sheet and then just cut and match drilled to the printed lines....worked really well.

Link to Bottom Plate Drawing

Link to Side Plate Drawing

Door Frame Edges and Strut Bracket

A little more work on the doors and I'll be stopping for a while. I need to figure out some things on the exterior handles before I do all the finishing work.

I continued with what I could and that was thickening up the lip around the door frame edge. I used the Mcmaster Carr seal as a mold. I filled the seal up with epoxy/flox, tapped the seal into place with a rubber mallet, and then closed and latched the doors to let it dry. The next day things looked pretty good but the edges needed to be filled in a few areas and the entire process repeated in others where the epoxy door edge didn't make good contact. I also installed the planearound delrin pin guide blocks (sorry I don't have pics of that).

Here is detailed brake down of the tasks I completed
Sat 15th -4.5 hrs-
put seal back on RH Door frame
cleco RH door to fuselage
redrill holes for hinges as required
recountersink holes for hinges as required
screw door onto hinges
close door and test fit
work on gas strut bracket on both doors
install delrin guide blocks
find and mark thin areas of gutter for build up
mix epoxy and sqeeze into seal
close and latch doors while epoxy dries

Sun 16th -2.0hrs-
sand the door frame
re-epoxy areas that didn't work first time
later that day take the canopy off

Total Time on Doors


You can see the area where I had to build up the lip. The seal leave behind a nice ridged edge.

This is the wooden spacer I made to locate the door strut bracket.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Interior Paint

Friday was an exciting day. I bought paint for my interior (I'll dish out the details of my paint choices later when I actually paint). The time is getting close to finishing the cabin top and overhead and then it will be permanently installed onto the fuselage. Before the installation day I want to  paint the overhead areas. It will be a lot easier to paint it now then after it's installed. I've been dreaming about the interior probably before I even started building the plane. I wanted a dual tone, cream and charcoal, look. Classy yet sporty. Here are a couple inspirational interior pictures to show my colors. Once I complete a few more details on the overhead it will be time to paint! I can't believe I'm at this point in the build...I still have a lot of stuff to do, but this is pretty exciting!

Interior of Tesla

Interior of Lamborghini

Interior of another high end, very expensive car that I don't remember the name but liked the interior.

Door Handles and Planearound Latch

The handles take a lot more work than what you think. It feels like a lot of running around in circles. You complete a few steps than need to take things apart only to put them back together again. There is timing of the door pins, correct thread lengths, and all kinds of fitting and clearance issues. I now have the door latches in working condition with the pins installed. The handles slide the rods back and forth pretty smoothly. So I am happy with the result thus far....although it felt like a lot of work to get here.

Dates and Times
Sun 9th -3.75 hrs- Door latch work
Mon 10th -1.25 hrs- Door latch work
Tues 11th -2.0 hrs- Door latch work
Wed 12th -4.5 hrs- Door latch work
Somewhere during this time I also located the pin holes and test fitted the LH door.

Total Time on Doors

This is how I safety wired my rack attach pins. The safety wire goes through the pin twice for extra strength and to prevent any movement in the pin.

The plane around third latch instructions have you drill a small hole to install a pin through their rack and an attaching rod. To prevent movement in the pin you are supposed to safety wire the pin in place. Ideally you want the safety wire wrapped around the rod to prevent the pin from falling through the rod or pulling out. (note the pin is shown in top LH corner of the pic below) The next couple pictures show how I got the safety wire around a rod through a very small hole.

First I wrapped the safety wire losely around the rod and tucked the ends into the hole. This allowed me to insert the rod into the door while also holding onto the safety wire.

I then inserted the rod into the door and found the wires through the small hole.

I then pulled the wire out using some needle nose pliers. I kept pulling until the wire was now wrapped around the rod where the pin is located instead of near the end (like in the first picture). I then inserted the wires through the pin as shown below.

Pull the wire and move the pin into position simultaneously then tap the pin into place.

Twist the wire.

Clip the excess and tuck into the hole. Pin installed and safety wired.

Handle, latch, and pins installed on doors.

LH door installed.

Locking the door pulls everything in and sits flush with the outside of the airplane.

We got some snow down here in Alabama!...a rare occasion. The couple inches of snow made Jess and I realize just how much we miss the white fluffy stuff. This is the first accumulating snow fall since I built the workshop a few years ago.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Prepping For Handle Install

With the doors fit I need to get the handles installed to find out if I need to make any final adjustments to the fit and trim. So it's back to working on the handles, pins, and Planearound third latch install.

I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Date and Time
February 2nd
-4.75 hrs- Worked on prepping doors for handles, latches and Planearound third latch

Total Time on Doors So Far
37.0 hrs

First you use the Vans plastic blocks to drill the proper hole locations. The Vans blocks need to be trimmed and shaped in order to fit in the pockets.

Then it's time to trim the planearound block to fit in the same pocket.

I slid a drill bit through the center hole to align the blocks. I then marked the planearound block for it's initial cut. After cutting and then shaping the block to slide into position in the pocket you match drill from the outside into the planearound block from the holes you made earlier.

Don't forget to cut the racks in half and NOT per the plans...luckily I remembered.

I highly recommend this bit on the dremel to cut out small holes in any of the fiberglass. They work really well. This is the initial cut for the third latch mechanism.

You then mark a hole and open it up to 0.5" (If I remember correctly). I used the same bit to align the holes and the outer part of the third latch mechanism. I then match drilled into the inner skin for the screw holes.

After I drilled all the holes I finished making the slot that is need to install the latch. I cleaned up the opening and epoxied the spacer blocks into place. The third latch kit includes small hollow blocks to reinforce the area around the latch mechanism. I filled the blocks full of epoxy/flox and then forced them into position. Look inside your door before things dry to ensure no epoxy will be blocking the rods that are installing in there later

I also cut open the access holes for the racks in the side pockets.

Starting Door Seals

With the door separation saga behind me (at least for the time being) I decided to move on and work on the door seals. As I mentioned in a previous post I made a mark 0.25" from the inside door skin down onto the lip of the cabin top gutter. Today is the day to trim and sand the cabin top gutter to get the doors to fit with the McMaster Carr door seal. 

I'll let the pictures so you my results...

Date and Time
February 1st
-5.0 hrs- Door trim work

Total Time on Door So Far
32.25 hrs

Unseasonably warm day allowed me to do all the nasty sanding and trim work outdoors! No dust in the shop this time.

After sanding down to the 0.25 mark on both sides I clecoed the door into place using my upper and lower attach tabs. With the door clecoed in place I could see places that needed a little more trimming to have that 0.25" gap I was looking for. Remove the door and the top and sand some more. The second fit looked good so I installed a small section of the door seal as a trial fit. You can see how the trim is about 50% squished which is what i was looking for. I installed the small section in a few test spots and it looked good.

Now feeling good about the depth of my gap I installed the door seal completely around the perimeter of the opening. There are a few spots where the edge is too thin to hold the seal in place, so I will go back and thicken the inside of those edges with epoxy later.

Door seal in place...looks really nice how it finishes the edge off.

I clecoed the RH door into place once again and was really happy with the results. View from inside looking forward. Notice how the seal looks uniformly pressed.

View looking aft...same thing very uniform and no gaps.
After I finished the RH door trial fit I moved on to the LH it worked on the first try! All in all a really productive day!

Door Panel Separation Saga

I've been having trouble with my doors splitting apart along the outer edges.

To assemble them, as previously posted, you epoxy the two halves together with Cab-O-Sil/Epoxy mixture and then clamp everything down and hope for the best. After I cut the perimeter off the door I discovered gaps or voids in the edges of my doors. They didn't seem bad except when I applied a very small amount of force on them with a flat head they just popped right open, spreading the split further down the door. The edges that didn't have any voids have held up well and I plan on leaving them alone. But to remedy this problem I purchased some large syringes from the local farm store and stuck some plastic tubing on the end. This allowed me to squeeze an Epoxy/Flox mixture (notice I'm now using Flox now) into the door gaps until it came spilling back out. I kept going down the entire gap. I then clamped down the edges and cleaned off the excess that squeezed out. I could only do a small section at a time as I ran out of small clamps. So through the week I think I have my doors put back together again. This whole fiasco has made me a little nervous over the doors rapidly de-laminating at a really bad time. I'm going to ponder over a way to test them and I plan on inspecting my new adhesion job very closely. So far they this has worked really well.

Dates and Times
27 Mon -1.25 hrs- re-glued doors
28 Tues -0.5 hrs- re-glued doors
29 Wed -1.5 hrs- re-glued doors

Total Time on Door So Far
27.25 hrs

Notice the split in the door edge. I drilled out the center of the syringe leaving only the outer rim (this would make sense if you had a syringe to look at). I then used hot water to soften the tubing before sliding it over the syringe. I ziptied the tubing on just for good measure. I filled the syringe full of the flox mixture using a craft stick and replaced the plunger. I then flared open the split with a flat head and forced the tubing inside. When in place I squeezed the syringe injecting the flox mixture into the door. It didn't go far, after hitting my insulation that is in-bedded in the door it came flowing back out. Slide the syringe down a little and repeat.

I tried to clamp along the surface as much as possible to get a smooth surface.