Build update June 27, 2015

Jun 21, 2015 3:25 Fuselage

Aft Fuselage - It’s back, that big 7’10” long rear section of the fuselage. I reassembled the now primed parts of the aft fuselage - not a small task. It took a little flange fixing to get it fit together, just on the F-711 bulkhead where some to flanges got straightened when I dimpled. I got everything back and doubled checked with my plumb line - all square. I emptied all of my clecos on it (even the 100 more that I bought). No putting it off any longer - time to rivet. A lot of these rivets I’m going to need extra arms for, I just can’t possibly reach both sides. I managed to get the aft bottom skin riveted to the aft bulkhead and the aft side of F-711, 20 rivets, 600 or so more and I’m done!

Attempt at cross country

It was a hot evening, but otherwise the weather was finally agreeable to trying the 3 hour dual cross country flight. Well, it didn't work out very well. We set off on a flight to Sundre and Drumheller before returning home. Things didn't go well right from my takeoff roll. Mark asked my to give it full throttle because the engine seemed slow - I was already at full throttle. I barely pulled the plane off the ground and it was the poorest climbing performance I'd ever seen - by a large margin. My planned climb to 6500', our altitude for the 1st leg, was supposed to be done by Innisfail and take 9 minutes. It took to lazy climbing circles Northeast of Innisfail and a full 20 minutes. We set course for Sundre, making radio calls to update our position a couple of times. I was flying along at a slightly ballooned altitude, maybe 6,700' when I saw a twin engine plane just as it passed underneath me from the left - maybe 200' below. Way too close for comfort. I made another position report and then we heard from the other pilot for the first time, acknowledging the close call. It didn't shake me up too much at the time, although this was 5 days after a mid-air collision killed a student and instructor near Fort MacMurray. We proceeded to Sundre, navigation going quite smoothly. I descended to check the wind sock at Sundre, found the wind was crossing a bit. I joined a circuit and came in to land, but it wasn't a very good approach and I was a bit high on final. Mark asked me what I thought of the landing and I said I didn't like it at all. We overshot and found that my climb performance was even worse than in Red Deer. Mark said later that he was glad we didn't land, because he wasn't sure we could have taken off on the shorter runway at the higher elevation. We decided to forego the trip to Drumheller and returned to Red Deer. It still counted as cross country time, but we'll have to try it again another day. 1.6h dual in C-GYHA.

  • Time this flight: 1.6h dual
  • Time to date: 35h dual, 9.2h solo, 44.2h total

Build update June 20, 2015

Jun 14, 2015 1:30 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Spent my time trying to get the bottom skin to attach to the assembled bulkhead and ribs. Got frustrating pretty quick and I gave in.

Jun 15, 2015 2:30 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Disassembled ribs from bulkheads and remove the skin where I had it matched. I then went through and adjusted all of the rib flanges to be square with the exception of the outside baggage ribs which are at a pretty good angle. While I had it apart, I drilled out the step holes in those outside baggage ribs. This was not all that simple, the fly cutter I bought won’t go in quite that tight. I tried a regular hole saw, but all it would do was grove the aluminum. I finally used my dremel with a small cut off to cut out a good sized hole, added to it with my shears and then used a round sanding fitting for my dremel to finish it off. I then got back to assembling the mid fuselage. I started at the front and worked everything back just ahead of the F-705 bulkhead. I then clecoed that bulkhead to the seat ribs and work underneath from the right side to cleco the bulkhead to the skin. I got ¾ of the way across and then couldn’t make it close. Then I remembered what was wrong. My outside -R seat belt anchor - the one that gets trimmed to make room for the seat rib - was about ?” wide and was preventing the rib from contacting the bulkhead. I ground that down and fit it back in. This time I was able to get the rest of the bulkhead clecoed to the skin.

Medical update

Got my medical renewed today - the doctor didn't feel the need to wait for the internist appointment that I have on July 23rd. This is great news as it means I will be able to fly in July.

Build update June 13, 2015

Jun 7, 2015 3:20 Fuselage

Aft Fuselage - Detached F-706 bulkhead enough to be able to pull the J strings out past the position of F-710. Installed F-710 and reinstalled F-706. Leveled the sawhorses and then checked level of aft fuselage with a level at the tooling marks as well as comparing diagonal measurements. Found everything to be good without needing further adjustment. Drilled the J stringers and then the balance of aft fuselage. Finally disassembled all of it in preparation for deburring.

Jun 8, 2015 1:30 Fuselage

Aft Fuselage - Long feeling short night. Deburred all pieces for aft fuselage except the 2 side skins which I’ll do tomorrow. There is a limit to how much deburring I can do in one session on a warm day.

More forced and precautionary landing practice

Did a bit more dual practice of precautionary and forced landings. After a short trip to the practice area, we returned and did a couple of low and slow passes along 11. This was tough, I had to get the airspeed stable at 70KT and my altitude stable at 300' AGL to the right of the runway so that I could visually inspect the landing site. 1.0h dual in C-GJSK.

  • Hours this flight: 1.0h dual
  • Hours to date: 33.4h dual, 9.2h solo, total 42.6h

Starting to look like a plane is taking over my garage

May 31, 2015 5.25h Fuselage

F-705 Bulkhead - Spent 15 minutes re-attaching the seat belt anchors. I’m going to order a new right anchor for one spot. The hole is 1 radius too high and there’s no fixing it.

Other bulkheads - Quick paint touch up in the morning and then assembly of the other bulkheads in the afternoon.The F-706 bulkhead is very thin and flimsy, it doesn’t really look like it lines up at all, but I guess this is acceptable as it will straighten out nicely when you attach the skins. The F-707/708 bulkheads were just a few quick squeezed rivets, F-709 needs nothing and F-710 is just riveting the angle to the bulkhead. F-711 is a bit more work, but still just a bunch of squeezed rivets.F-712 needed some dimpling and 14 flush rivets.

Longerons - I spent a couple of hours building a set of longeron dies for bending the longeron angle aluminum. I based the design on an old rivetbangers.com post.