Friday, March 27, 2015

We have a Hangar!

This was an exciting day, after the TSA training we got the keys to our hangar. We will be based at KHSV. A Class C airspace with Delta and American Airlines flying in and out. This was the only hangar available in the entire area so I didn't have much choice. But I've flown from and to this airport many times before and the folks in the tower are usually very nice. I'm pretty excited about it....a childhood dream coming true. And it's making this project feel a little closer to finished.

3 Years of Building an RV-10 (1807.25 hrs)

Catching up on my worked hours. Lots and lots of hours....
Scroll down for the interesting stuff.

21 7.0 hrs
22 4.0 hrs
23 5.0 hrs
2 1.3 hrs
3 1.0 hrs
6 6.5 hrs
7 4.5 hrs
9 1.0 hrs
10 1.0 hrs
13 5.0 hrs
14 5.0 hrs
15 0.8 hrs
17 1.0 hrs
18 1.3 hrs
20 4.5 hrs
22 4.5 hrs
30 1.5 hrs
1 2.5 hrs
2 4.0 hrs
3 5.0 hrs
4 6.0 hrs
6 1.3 hrs
7 1.3 hrs
10 6.0 hrs
11 6.0 hrs
12 1.5 hrs
13 2.3 hrs
14 1.3 hrs
16 9.0 hrs
17 5.0 hrs
18 5.0 hrs
19 5.0 hrs
21 2.0 hrs
23 2.5 hrs
24 6.0 hrs
25 5.0 hrs
26 1.5 hrs
27 1.5 hrs
28 2.0 hrs
29 1.0 hrs
31 7.0 hrs
1 4.0 hrs
7 5.0 hrs
8 3.0 hrs
9 1.3 hrs
10 1.3 hrs
11 1.3 hrs
13 8.0 hrs
14 4.0 hrs
15 0.0 hrs Moved parts for paint
16 5.5 hrs
18 1.0 hrs
21 5.0 hrs
22 4.0 hrs
28 6.0 hrs
1 5.0 hrs
4 1.5 hrs
5 4.0 hrs
6 7.0 hrs
7 6.0 hrs
8 6.0 hrs
9 1.3 hrs
10 1.5 hrs
11 1.3 hrs
14 7.0 hrs
15 5.0 hrs
16 8.0 hrs Week of Wiring
17 8.0 hrs Week of Wiring
18 6.0 hrs Week of Wiring
19 7.0 hrs Week of Wiring
20 11.0 hrs Week of Wiring
21 6.0 hrs
22 6.0 hrs
23 291.0 hrs   3 Year Mark (1802.75 hrs Total Time)

24 2.0 hrs
25 2.5 hrs
295.5 hrs                           (1807.25 hrs Total Time)

Since I hit the 3 year mark lets play around with some numbers and milestones...
March 23 2012 - Started Building - Time 0.0 hrs
Just a bunch of parts.

Ayla Picture form this time. wasn't made yet

March 23 2013 - Total Time 587.25 hrs
Completed the tail structure, almost all of the fuselage aluminum structure was finished, and I was well into the wings. Working on the fuel tanks, I think.

Ayla Picture from this time.

March 23 2014 - Total Time 1081.75 hrs
Wings finished and stored away in the loft. The plane is on landing gear, doors are fit and cabin top is installed.

Ayla Picture from this time.

March 23 2015 - Total Time 1802.75 hrs
Engine is hung, most of the firewall forward is complete. The wings were fit checked and the tail was on and fully completed. Both of those parts are out for paint. Landing gear was completed. Engine cowling was completed. Lots of wiring was completed.

Ayla Pictures from this time. She's grown a lot in the past year!

Now for the math fun...
Year One (2012-2013) -  587.25 hrs = 48.94 hrs per month = 11.3 hrs per week.

Year Two (2013-2014) - 494.5 hrs = 41.2 hrs per month = 9.5 hrs per week 
       (16% decrease in time from the previous year)

Year Three (2014-2015) - 721 hrs = 60.08 hrs per month = 13.9 hrs per week
       (46% increase in time form the previous year)
       (23% increase from year one) like I really want to get this thing done. And I bet the last 4 months or so is responsible for the majority of the spike in hours!

Total Time (2012-2015) - 1802.75 hrs = 50.08 hrs per month = 11.6 hrs per week.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wild Week of Wiring

My wife and I needed a vacation. A break from the normal drudgery. I hatched a plan. "Honey, lets take a week off work, you can stay home, draw, paint, read, shop, whatever you desire. Ayla will go to daycare so no kid to worry about. And I will do nothing but work on the plane all day and then finish each day by dinner time. Then when Ayla goes to bed we have the evening to ourselves, together, no working on the plane"  ....she thought for second..... "ok" was the reply. She got more excited as the week "staycation" approached. : ).

My plan went even deeper. I was telling Ed Kranz about the idea for a full week of nothing but airplane work. Our discussion went something like this"
    Ed: What's you goal for the week.
    Me: Not sure, I'm gonna work on wiring the panel and whatever else I need to do.
    Ed: Do you think you can have power on by the end of the week?
    Me: I don't know, maybe.
    Ed: You can't do it.
    Me: Care to make it interesting?
    Ed: I bet you cheese curds at Oshkosh you can't have the instrument panel powered on by the end of the week.
    Me: Cheese curds and a beer.
    Ed: Done

So I got to work. I had a very direct goal now. This really helped me focus. If it didn't have to do with wiring the panel I didn't do it. I ignored all urges to complete so many other non bet winning goals....stay focused....cheese curds and beer will be mine! Sunday night at midnight is my deadline.

Step one...start bolting things on. I installed the GAD 29 on the forward side of the subpanel or "behind" the sub panel. This is the only thing that I put back there. It was an easy item to install back there and it connects directly to the GTN-650 so it made wiring easy. This pic shows the four screws holding it on. Also pictured is the route I took for the ignition wires and the auxiliary fuse block.

I started wiring the GTN-650. Even though only a few wires are installed you can see the complexity of each wire.

Here is the hole thing (GTN-650 connector bundle) wired up and in the plane.

"Staycation" begins...Day One

Day Two

Day Three

What a mess of wires...don't worry it all made sense to me at the time.

Day Four....I had to work squished in the foot well.

Day Five

Getting closer...things still need to be cleaned up and tied down, but that'll be after the power on test.

Day Six

Day Seven...Sunday night at 8:15

Cheese Curds and Beer are mine!!!!!

In the end the bet was very helpful in keeping me on track. My efficiency increased every day. By the end of the week I could wire a connector in half the time it took before. About half way through I thought I was going to lose my mind in the Amazon jungle of wires I had coming and going everywhere. I still have some wires I need to run tp finish things and then everything will be cleaned up, tied up, and finished off. When I do this I'll snap some pics of the final product. Until then my power on test confirmed that all was well (FYI I did power pin checks before connecting the battery). The screens are coming back down to finish working and since the system all checked out ok and worked I feel confident in finishing everything up completely!

Panel Install and Sub Panel Mod

My instrument panel arrived from Aerosport....yay! I opened the box to find a piece of art. The guys that lay up this carbon fiber are pro's, artists in their own right. Then I hacked out all the panel holes and drilled straight through the perfect lay up. : )

There is still some work involved in installing these panels, less then what you'd get if you were to install the stock panel and the look can't be beat. So after cutting and fitting and tweaking and cutting the mount in the plane, and more tweaking and cutting etc, my hard work resulted in a perfectly fitting instrument panel.....and credit to Aerosport for their well fit design. The most work came from fitting the avionics into the fixed size instrument panels. Here is the test fit of the radio stack. I drew up the panel cut outs and sent them to Aerosport. So my panel inserts arrived pre-cut....very handy!

Once I had a good plan as to how I was going to install the radio stack (more on this later below) I started test fitting the panel with the GTN-650 mount attached. The 650 is longer then the sub panel is deep, meaning I need to cut a giant hole in the sub panel to allow clearance for the mount and the giant wiring harness that will come off the back. So I slid the hole thing into the plane and started measuring and marking off what I needed to cut out. Notice that the radio stack is tilted toward the pilot, this was a bit of a head scratcher at first, but once I started working on it, it all fell into place.

Lots of cutting results in a big hole. I cut out the clearance hole and removed A LOT of the RH rib. I have a temporary angle clecoed in place on the rib in this picture. This will reinforce the rib after having it's lower flange removed.

The giant hole is cut and now another test fit with the support tabs, a doubler, and the angle reinforcement on the rib.

A closer shot of the doubler and tabs. The GTN-650 mount has screw holes in the back that will screw into the support tabs. Also notice the support angles up front that attach to the carbon fiber tilted face.

A view looking the other way.

The clecoes go into the support angles and the mount screws in from the side into the support angles.

I started making the reinforcement angle that will attach to the rib permanently. The one shown above was just a test fit. Notice the location of the relief hole. This prevented anything from cracking when I bent the angle.

Here the parts are painted and riveted in place. I left the back of the doubler and inside of the support tabs without paint to aid in electrically bonding the mount.

I was happy when everything was done. I think it turned out nice.

Tunnel Access Panel

Looking at where my avionics were going to install and planning to use the top of the tunnel. I quickly realized I need an access plate, since getting in from the top would be a lot of work removing all the stuff I'll have installed up there. A lot of guys install an access panel on their planes and I should have made one when I was building this a long time ago. But oh well. It was actually really easy.

Cut a hole, add screw holes, dimple, install nut plates.

Make cover plate, install,....done

Parts go to paint

FINALLY, with my "work detour" coming to an end, and all the non fuselage parts ready for paint, the day arrived to load them up and ship them to the painter.

My mighty rig for the day.

Sorry for the grainy pic. By the time we finished loading it all in the truck it was dark. As you can see I didn't load the truck up very tight. In fact none of the parts were touching. Lots of bubble wrap, packing blankets and modified cardboard boxes for support helped the parts arrive safely. I duct taped most of the parts to the floor or walls. The wing cradles are screwed into the wood floor. I drove slow, like Sunday morning Grandma slow, all the way to Tupelo MS where my painter has a shop. I was nervous but it all arrived undamaged.

Another sneak peak at the paint scheme!!!

Started Wingtips

I'm installing the new Zip Tips from Aveo...actually I'm the very first person they shipped them to. Which is cool, but comes with new product growing pains as always. The tips are a new aftermarket wingtip that incorporates all of the lights you need, including landing lights, in one fancy design. They come as a full blown wing tip, so, had I known about these, I wouldn't have bought the Vans tips...oh well. But the similarity in design results in an installation that is the same to the stock Vans tips. You just don't have to do anything with the lenses since they are already built in. The plans have you install the wingtips with something like 43 screws per tip (if I remember correctly...doesn't matter...its a lot). Well, I wanted the nice smooth look that the hinge install offers, like how the cowling installs. Other guys have done this before and I found a great write up, that walked through how to do it. So I got to work....

I put the flaps and ailerons on and clamped them in place in the full up position.

I used a rivet fan to add a hole in between each existing hole, since I'm using rivets instead of screws the inter-fastener spacing needed to be smaller.

Tips and hinges get match drilled.

Keep sanding the trailing's almost flush....and almost parallel.

Here you can see the hinges inside the tips. Unfortunately the hinges cant go all the way to the front because of a reinforcement rib that will hold the light pod. So around the leading edge I decided to just install the screws. But I'll have 12 instead of 43!

I clecoed the tip in place to test the fit. The hinges are riveted to the wing skins and the screw holes are dimpled. That's enough to send the wings out for paint. So until the lights pods that go inside the tips arrive I'm done working on the these.      .....I'll be honest. I did not enjoy working on these. I think I was just spent, tired, done, with riveting etc more then it was difficult. Either way I'm glad it's over...for now.

Wing Fit Check

Now things started to get interesting! I'm continuing my "work detour" from the firewall forward and wiring stuff and trying to finish non fuselage parts for paint. One section I needed to complete was the wing install, at least enough to get the flaps and wing root fairings trimmed.

First I had to do the fuselage side work. I also completed as many steps as possible in prep for the wing fit day.

We had a great day, busy, but productive. Plus, Brian and Brandi flew over and helped us get the parts trimmed up and everything done in a single day. I wasn't going to leave the plane sitting outside overnight. Brian was a great help; I don't think I could have gotten the job done in a single day without him. Also, I have to say thanks to the guys that helped me get the wings on and off, Kris and Mike. The job was easy with three people. With all the commotion of the day, people coming and going, I didn't get a chance to take pictures of anyone helping or any work being done....why does this happen every time Brian and Brandi come by?

But I did get a family pic in front of the plane!

...and an awesome shot of the plane and the shop from the roof!

...and an end of the day pic - before we pulled the wings off and everything went back to normal.