Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Completed Structure Overview (1511.75hrs)

Another catch up on posts and I'm just reporting my times here. So many different things and so much work going into the plane it's become too burdensome to keep the times straight. So here are the times I've worked:

Date / Time
6  1.25
7  1.25
8  0.75
11  5.0
12  6.25
13  8.0
17  3.5
20  6.0
25  2.0
26  5.0
28  2.25
29  2.25

1  6.0
2  6.0
3  1.5
4  1.5
3  1.5
4  1.0
5  1.25
7  7.0
8  6.75
9  5.25
10  8.5
11  6.75
15  5.5
16  5.5
17  1.25

The times listed above include all the work in the previous posts and work I haven't blogged about just yet. I'm running wires throughout the plane and have come to realize there really isn't much to write about or even take a picture of until the wiring is done.

Total Time to Date

Red is in work and blue is complete. Still have a lot of work on the instrument panel and engine work firewall forward.

The latest overall picture

Light Power Test

The moment I've been waiting for.....power! The overhead is officially done! I mean done, finished, ready to fly! Exciting to say that a part of the airplane is complete. Here are some pics of the first power test.

I later found out that I can easily remove and install the overhead panel without any additional support, but for the picture I needed some boxes to support the panel. This shows the extra wire length that allows you to make all the connections in the overhead before installing it. ...it's a lot easier than it looks.

Powered on! The switches light up, the overhead recessed light shines, the reading lights are nice and bright, the dimmer works and it looks great. The pictures suck at showing the lights. I tried turning the lights off for a better effect but the iphone just doesn't cut it.

And here is the door light. When I turned the lights off I was pretty happy with the way this is going to work out.

Ayla thought it was a lot of fun looking at the lights and pushing buttons, plus it's just cool being in the plane with Daddy!

Door Light Power

If you've been following along with the build then you know that I have installed a light at the bottom of my door. This light will turn on when the door is opened and shine down on the wing, lighting the way into the aircraft. I had postponed figuring out a way to get power from the fuselage to the door as long as I could. Now is the time where I have to figure it out if I want to finish wiring the overhead. After some head scratching I came up with an idea. It's simple and effective and I think it will last through some wear and tear.

I drilled two really tiny holes in the fuselage. They are slightly offset and are just big enough to slide a D-Sub pin into.

I superglued the pins in place for now to be sure they don't move.

I then added big globs of RTV for extra support and protection. This completed the "female" side of the plug.

I then started making the "male" side of the plug, a jumper cable, that jumps from the fuselage to the door. It spans the hinge so it has to be able to accept constant movement, be weather tight, still allow easy installation and removal of the doors.

I bent the male pins over after crimping them on the wire.

I then added heat shrink and slid them into the holes. With a little tape to hold them in place I added some superglue to be sure they don't move since their positions are important.

I added some RTV to make it more "squishy". Then applied heat shrink over the pins and pushed the pins through puncturing the heat shrink.

With the plug in place you can install the hinge plate over the top and when its bolted down it holds the connection in place, strain relieves the pins, and creates a weather tight seal. I added heat shrink tube to the two wires and, making sure they didn't cross each other, wrapped them around a screw driver and and applied heat from the heat gun. This created the coil shape that allows the movement of the door to open and close.

Here it is installed. It doesn't make the door any more difficult to install and doesn't get pinched or bind in any way. I'll go back and push that black connector further inside the pocket of the door before I paint the doors and the finished look will be really nice. Most people won't even notice the wire.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Overhead Cable Install

It takes a lot longer to run cables then I imagined in my head. But in this particular case I had to run a lot of cables in a hard to reach place and through the center support tube which was VERY tight. I have two GPS RG-400 cables, the magnetomer wire bundle and all kinds of power and lighting wires running through the overhead.

All of the cables are tie wrapped and Adel clamped in place.

Here you can see the nylon wire wrap that protects the bundle of wires and cables that run down the center tube. I wound up having to slide the wires and cable through the tube and then install it for this to work which is why this took longer than I thought.

Overhead Panel Wiring

Wiring the overhead took A LOT more work then I thought it was going to. It just took a lot of time to solder and wire the panel then what I had anticipated. But after testing the panel and seeing what it's going to look like and how its going to work. It was worth it.

First I test tested the switches and their lights. Notice in the bottom left of the picture I have a resistor in line with the switches. The resistor drops the voltage from 12 volts to the 2 volts that the lights need.

Here is the resistor and lighted switches I'm using.

After planning the locations for everything and then drilling holes in my already painted upper panel (nervous) I started soldering on wires. The "third hand" doohickey pictured here was essential in getting this done.

A close up shot of the soldering....not bad for someone with no experience.

Here is the resistor I spoke about earlier. Next I slide a piece of shrink tube over the connection securing everything.

The final product! A day and a half of work! The spaghetti mess of wires makes perfect sense to me!

The pretty finished side. The two round switches turn on the front reading lights. The center knob turns on and dims the interior lighting. And the four square looking switches are for the wing lights (position, nav, strobe, landing).

ADAHRS Mount and Pitot Line Bracket

The ADAHRS units need to be mounted in the same axis as the airplane and since the sub-panel sits at an angle I designed a mount for them.

The ADAHRS mount is simple, two extrusion pieces make up the legs and the rest I bent from sheet metal. The second ADAHRS will install above this one in the empty holes.

The side view shows the different lengths of the legs which makes an angle in the mount. This angle allows the ADAHRS to sit straight with the aircraft while mounted on the angled sub-panel.

I added a piece of j-channel to the back to prevent any vibration movement in the plate and thus the ADAHRS unit.

Once the ADAHRS was installed I could finish running the Pitot, Static, and Angle of Attack lines.

I made a small bracket to hold the pitot line Y-fittings. I didn't want to drill any holes in the small flange of the longeron so the bracket actually installs on the instrument sub-panel flange and then a leg bends aft to attach the fittings. Having the Y-fittings allowed me to install 90 degree connectors into the ADAHRS which provides more clearance for the big screen that is going to be installing in front of it. I just need to go back and add silicon tape to the tubes to prevent any abrasion against the outer skin.

Engine Sensors

I got the engine sensors installed, EGT and CHT sensors, in each cylinder. Pretty easy...nothing to report. Oh, don't forget the Anti-Seize before screwing in the CHT sensors....or really any time you screw something into the engine.

You can see one of the CHT sensors installed here and the baffle tie rods. I used smaller diameter star washers on the rod ends because I didn't like how the standard washers dug into the bend radius.

Baffle Material

This part wasn't as bad as thought it was going to be. My Dad was in town which gave us a chance to work on this together and the extra set of hands was helpful. For those that don't know the baffles seal the upper part of the engine creating a plenum. This makes the air that is flowing into the engine cowling to pressurize and forces it down in between the cylinders thus cooling the engine. So we don't want any gaps. The pressurized air should force the pieces of rubber together forming the seal.

Lots of planning and templates goes a long way when making the baffle fabric.

You have to cut around the cylinder. Later this will get sealed up with some RTV.

Here are a few shots of everything installed. Notice my really nice RTV job! (NOTE: you have to thoroughly clean the release agent off the material before you RTV. I would do this before you install them.....wish I would have)

Next, I made baffle close outs for the air ramps. Not sure if these will stay on the cowling or get installed after the cowling is on. I'll figure out which one is easier as I use them. But, just in case I added nutplates to the bottom.

Here is the LH one sitting in place. Two screws and it's installed.

Engine Mount Covers

The engine mount covers from Aerosport, I think, are important. They do a great job sealing the plenum around the engine mount that protrudes through the baffle. I had trouble installing the LH cover, though. I wish the flanges were double the size on the covers and this issue could have been avoided, but others have installed them with no issues (such is life). After installing the cover I realized that the nutplates were going to hit the mount, not good. So, I drilled them out and moved them. But I still wasn't happy with how close they were. So, I decided to add a flange to the mount covers. Basically, I made a ring that attaches to the cover plate and then screws into the baffles allowing the nutplates to have plenty of distance from the engine mount. Problem fixed.

Cowl Pin Covers

I got the cowl pin covers installed. They are easy; just follow the instructions from Aerosport.

The cowl pin covers look really nice!

Oil Door

You have to make the oil inspection door on the top of the cowling. The kit gives you a thin piece of fiberglass that becomes the top of the door, but you have to build the hinge and add material for strength, etc. Basically, I didn't even follow the directions for this entire part.

First, I bent a piece of 0.060" aluminum to match the compound curves in the oil door lid. This will act as the structural reinforcement of the door so the door won't bend out from the high pressure engine plenum.

Second, I epoxied the doubler to the door top.

I then started making the hinge. I wanted a hidden hinge for two reasons: it looks nicer and it provides a stop so the door skin doesn't come in contact with the cowling skin (think paint damage).

I used a hidden hinge I found on Mcmaster Carr. I cut most of the hinge part off and remade my own. Then bent legs were really the part I wanted anyway. This custom design allowed me to add a couple torsion springs; they aren't strong enough to open the door but they do keep the door propped up once it is open.

Once I got the dimensions and placement of the hinges figured out it was pretty easy.

Here you can see how the hinge itself provides the stop for the door.

The Camloc KM-610 latch heads are too shallow to protrude through the thick door so I decided to make new thicker latch heads. I drilled holes in a thick piece of aluminum to match the head of the latch and taped them in place.

I also drilled a few holes in the latch top itself so the epoxy will flow down in the holes giving a good solid connection.

I then filled the holes with epoxy.

After sanding the extra epoxy off I popped out the latches. New thicker button heads!

I made some stainless steel latch plates and riveted them in place.

When the oil door closes the latches clasp on the plates.

Here you can see a close up of the finished button heads for the latches. Now I just need a little body work around the edge of the cowling and the oil door is done!