Monday, March 31, 2014

Two Years of Building an RV-10

Two whole years of  building an airplane!

1081.75 Total Hours
494.5 hrs in the past year = 41.2 hrs per month = 9.5 hrs per week. 
587.25 hrs in the year before. (We were out of town a lot in 2013)

Two Years Ago...
March 23rd 2012
0 hrs

One Year Ago...
March 25th 2013
587.25 hrs

March 28th 2014
1081.75 hrs

Landing Gear Party

Since my last post I've been finishing a couple last minute details on the landing gear. I have also been cleaning and rearranging the shop. Wow...did it need it. I didn't realize how much of a mess I let it become. I needed help lifting the airplane onto a tall (34.5") workbench to install the landing gear. I figured at least four guys could do the lifting, a guy on the tail for control, and then a guy to pull the old fuselage stand out and push the new table in. Well since this was such a major milestone, and I needed help, I decided to have a "Landing Gear Party". Invite everyone over that would be interested in the plane; we lift the plane, install gear, set it back down...and then eat and talk about flying. A fun night. When it was all done I just kinda stared at the plane for a while, so cool.

A couple notes:
Remember to tape up any antenna cables hanging under the plane. I just tied them to a string and shoved them back in the hole and taped the string in place.
My left gear required a bit of sanding before it even came close to sliding in the hole.
I had one guy lifting the tail and two guys pulling down on the engine mount to compress the elastomers.

All in all it was easy work.

Estimated Accumulated Time 
Last post - March 28th -4.0hrs- Landing gear work, cleaning the plane (organizing and cleaning shop not included in time)

Here a few pictures from the night.

Standing on her own!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Completed Structure Overview (1077.75hrs)

Wow! It's been a while since I've done one of these. Time for an update.

I dove right into the Finish Kit. I'm working on the landing gear and expect to have the plane on it's gear really soon! The cabin top is installed and painted. I still have some work on the doors that I am procrastinating on. The engine is the next big thing! I'll keep you posted.

I've surpassed the 1000hr mark!....estimate 600-700 more to go.

1077.75 hrs Total Building Time
785.75  hrs is a mixture of tail, fuselage, and finish kit (includes times listed below)
       55.0 hrs on the doors
292.0 hrs of the total belong to the Wings (includes times listed below)
       75.25 hrs to the Fuel Tanks
       25.5 hrs to the Ailerons
       26.25 hrs to the Flaps

Blue is complete. Red is in work.

Landing Gear Work and Engine Mount

As I previously posted I am using the MATCO wheels and brakes instead of the stock set up. They will perform better in almost every fashion a wheel and brake can over the stock ones. So far the install has been good. At first I found the order of how all the parts are supposed to go together a little confusing. The instructions leave a lot to be desired. After I figured out that puzzle things started sliding together very easily....until the cotter pin. There is a large cotter pin that slides through the main wheel axle nut. This nut is about 1.75" wide and there are a series of holes on the top that you make line up with some holes in the axle. To make it worse the wheel blocks access to the hole so the pin has to be slightly bent and forced into the hole. It was late on a Sunday night and I was tired...a queue that I should have just stopped and went inside. But nooo... I wanted to get this last part finished. Long story short I left the shop frustrated because this stupid pin wouldn't go in....but I came back prepared...see pics below.

Oh yeah...and Kris stopped by to help me with the engine mount. Frustrating installation trying to get everything lined but it came out ok. Note for future builders: do NOT follow Van's instructions instead start drilling the center holes first and then move to the outer ones. Remember that as long as the pilot hole is fully encompassed in the larger hole you're good to drill.

Dates and Times
Mon 10 -1.0hr- tried to figure out brake install
Wed 12 -3.0hrs- alodined parts for landing gear, Kris over to help install engine mount. 
Sat 15 -4.75hrs- proto handle (more to come on this) and wheels and brakes. 
Sun 16 -3.75hrs- main landing gear work
Wed 19 -1.25hrs- landing gear work

Working on main landing gear

Starting assembling the nose gear. I need to get a force scale to finish this part up.

This is what I came back to the shop with....a MASSIVE wrench...this baby is 18" long and can turn nuts up to 2" wide....haha take that axle nut. The job was easy after I had this.

Main landing gear waiting for a couple last steps and then ready for install!

Engine mount bolted in place.

They get so much easier as they get older. She had a lot of fun hanging out with Daddy in the shop. Walking around and playing on her blanket. In this picture she is playing with sandpaper rolls...lot's of fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Started Landing Gear

With the cabin top riveted on and the doors on hold for now I decided it's time to work on the landing gear. I received my MATCO and Desser Tires order a while ago and can finally crack open the packaging. MATCO has come up with properly sized wheels, brakes, and axles for the RV-10 so if you remember I deleted a lot of things from the finishing kit and this order is what replaces those items, but new and improved.


Desser Tire Order

Dates and Times
Tues 4 -1.0 hr- Finished bucking some rivets in the upper fwd fuse
Wed 5 -1.25 hrs- Cut cowl attach hinges to length.
Sat 8 -4.25 hrs- Drilled, deburred, countersunk, prepped, and painted the hinges.
                         I painted the hinges with a high temp engine paint.
                         Put tubes in tires using tire talc.
                         Mounted tires on wheels.
Sun 9 -4.75 hrs- Prepped, primed, and painted nose fork and main wheel fairing brackets.
                          Riveted cowl attach hinges in place.
                          Installed Firewall Heatshield.
                          Started looking at installing engine mount.

The MATCO stuff was a bit confusing so put together a step by step on how to assemble everything.
Step 1: Install bearings in wheels. If final install be sure pack bearing with grease. I used an automotive bearing grease that operates to -40F and some ridiculously hot temperature.

Step 2: The collar is in place.

Step 3: U-1003 with bolts as shown in plans.

Step 4: Place MATCO assembly on bolts.

Step 5: Slide spacers into place. As I have in the past I just ordered some spacers off Mcmaster Carr instead of trying to cut three spacers the same length. These are more exact and therefore will handle the loads better.

Step 6: Place the U-1010 Bracket and bolt into place.
When the time comes to actually put all this on the aircraft it all goes in as an assembly and then the wheels slide'll make sense when you do it.

NOTE: my bracket required some clearance trimming.

Also note that the hydraulic fitting will be very close to the bracket.

Dent Happens

I should write about this because stuff happens. While riveting the vertical support on the baggage bulkhead (a step called out in the cabin install section but should just be completed long before...I really don't see why they waited this long to have you complete this step) I dropped the bucking bar.        Wait...let me back up. There I was standing on a step stool leaning over the top of the airplane. The tungsten bucking bar being squeezed into a tiny crevice that my hand does not fit into. I thought for a moment and said to myself  "I should lay a blanket down on the lower skin in case I"...BAM!! the bucking bar hits the lower skin..."drop the bucking bar". Of course this event was followed by a lot of cussing and a man sized tantrum. How stupid could I be. It's hard to tell in the pictures but the bar hit in the most forward bay of the tailcone immediately to the right of the battery mount. The bar hit so hard that it actually caused a crack in the skin. Once I settled down and stopped beating myself up I thought "Now I  know where to install my transponder antenna".

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cabin Top is Installed!

Sooooo behind on posts.

I finally got my overhead to a state that is acceptable to permanently mount to the rest of the fuselage. I think the paint turned out great and I finally got to see what the overhead looked like with the reading lights and the cabin lights installed....I am really happy with the results. The cabin top went in without much complaining or skewing from the plans.

Dates and Times
Mon 24 -1.25 hrs- Touched up paint on overhead.
Tues 25 -1.25 hrs- Sanded touch ups and installed one side of LED lights.
Wed 26 -1.0 hr- Installed other side of lights and glued some pieces in place.

Sat 1 -1.0 hr- Deburred and dimpled cabin top rivet strips
Sun 2 -6.25 hrs- Installed Cabin Top!

This is a picture of the front of the overhead with the eyeball reading lights installed. The massive cut out in the center is for the support post and will have a closeout panel covering everything. Also the unpainted parts in the middle of the top are the nutplates where the closeout panels go.

Here is a picture showing the cabin lighting. It gives a nice even glow over the entire cabin. Just imagine the headliner and closeout panels in!

Lights out to see how it'll look at night. Nice!

Ayla joining me out in the shop. It's great that she can walk now as she enjoys strolling around the shop.