Been a bit busy finishing some hardwood flooring in the spare bedroom as well as getting the nursery ready for our little guys arrival in early July. Plane building has suffered a little bit recently.
I’ve finished the bottom wings skins as far as I’d like for now. I’ve deburred them, but will leave the dimpling for later. I’m sure I’ll be happy to have some metal work to come back to in between all the fiberglass work coming up. I’ve started on the aileron actuation section of the plans:
I’ve fabricated the Bellcrank pushrod as well as the bellcrank to aileron pushrod and primed them. Pictures of those will be forthcoming.
In the interim, I took delivery of my Quick Build fuselage and finishing kits. These pieces account for the remaining structural pieces of the kits. All that remains after these kits are the engine (and Firewall forward kit) and the avionics. Don’t let that fool you though, there is a ton of work to do on the kits that will keep me busy for quite a long time.
Since the last update, I’ve been able to get the Pitot Tube bracket all ready to install.Like a few other RV-10 builders, I’ve decided to put my Pitot further outboard as compared to plans. I’ve placed it in the 2nd to last wing bay. This will keep it out of the way of the tie-down ring/rope and any possibility of getting it caught up.
Mounting the Pitot involved adding a piece of aluminum angle to the outboard rib such that the bracket would sit flush with the rib flange and allow the bottom wing skin to sit flush to the rib. I also used the bracket to draw the outline of the cut needed on the bottom skin. A unibit was used to cut the initial holes and then files were used to shape and debur the cut.
I then moved on to continue the bottom skin section of the plans.
I will finish this section up until the point of actually riveting the bottom skins in place. I plan to do that at a much later date. While things like auto-pilot servos and wiring can be done after the fact, it’ll be much better to allow access for these tasks later on.
The first part after dealing with the pitot tube, was to match drill and rivet on the gap fairings for the aileron and flaps. Below they are shown cleco’ed in place. I’ve already riveted them, but apparently didn’t take any pictures of them finished.
I’ve also got the J-channel stiffeners all in place and match drilled to the bottom skins. The bottom skins are also match drilled to the ribs and spars. All that is left for this section is to debur everything and dimple all the holes.
Next up was to knock off fuel tank related items so I could get to a spot where I could proseal the fuel senders and the fuel return ports onto the tank.
First I had to bend the sender rod as shown in the plans.
Then I needed to test out the sender to make sure it can go stop-to-stop without hitting anything inside the tank. Mostly the fuel vent line is what typically gets in the way. I measured the resistance at the stops on the bench to know what values I should see. I then used a string down through the drain opening to help me pull the float up and down in the tank. I had to bend the float towards the front of the tank to get it to not hit the vent line. After a couple of iterations, I declared success.
I then started on the fuel return port. The EFII instructions only require that you place the fuel return at least 3 inches away from the feed line to prevent bubbles from fuel being returned to the tank from being picked up and sent back into the feed line. After reviewing some posts on VAF, and seeing multiple other people put their fuel return lines in a spot that would interfere with attaching the tank and the wing to the main spar, I decided the best spot was just forward of the vent line port. Several others ended up with similar placement. Once the spot was decided, I had to drill a 0.5″ hole for the center AN fitting and surrounding holes for the screws which help prevent rotation of the bung.
I’ll let this sit for a while to cure, then it’ll be time to leak test the tank.
I was also able to enlarge the holes in the wing ribs to 3/4″ to accept conduit for my wire runs. I also added a second 7/16″ hole to run a second static line to my Pitot tube for its AOA function.
Even with Quick Build wings, the instructions tell you to go over everything step-by-step to make sure everything was completed. This was the discrepancy list I came up with after my review:
Of course some of the complete sections that have yet to be done, are expected. The following shows the sections that a Quick builder has to complete. (All the shaded sections)
I started knocking off some of the list above by tapping the tie-down blocks, and installing the nutplates on the inboard edges of the wings, also removing the fuel tanks and riveting on the bearings to the attachment bracket. I seem to be jumping around a bit based on what makes sense next.
I’m currently thinking strongly about utilizing both Electronic Ignitions and Electronic Fuel injection systems in the plane. The electronic fuel injection requires fuel to circulate back to the tanks, requiring me to add a fuel return fitting to my already completed tanks. I ordered these “bungs” from EFII which make adding a port like this relatively straight forward. If I don’t end up going that way, these will be easy to cap off.
While waiting for these and some proseal to come in, I started working on section 19; The Stall warning system.
It’s really tough to drill and cut through a perfectly good skin.
Last weekend, my tech councilor came over for a visit to look over my work since his first visit. He reviewed the elevators and the tailcone construction. He also quickly looked over the rework that I did to the VS and Rudder after his suggestions. I was very happy that he only had good things to say! Always reassuring to hear that, and I’m very happy to have a more experienced eye look over everything.
My Quick build wings were ready to ship about mid-way though January. I decided to use Partain Trading Company for shipping. These guys specialize in hauling these Quick Build kits. The Kit goes into the truck and doesn’t leave the truck until it gets to its destination. Because of this, there is no need to crate the wings, and the $400 crating charge vanishes. I believe that possible damage to things is greatly minimized, probably as close to zero chance as you can get. There’s no on and off multiple trucks and forklifts as it makes its way across the country via normal freight. Also the drivers are very willing to help out with getting the kit to its final destination, my garage! The only downsides are they make trips every couple of weeks, so my wings weren’t picked up at Van’s until the end of January. So there’s a little delay in getting the kit, but seemed well worth it to me. The communications with the trucking company (actually the driver) was excellent. There were some additional delays due to the crane breaking and some bad weather (we got about 14″ of snow on my original scheduled delivery day). The driver kept in touch on a daily basis to let me know what was going on, and today (Saturday morning) my wings were delivered, despite getting an additional 1-2″ of snow overnight, snow continuing throughout the delivery, and the roads weren’t all that great out for a tractor trailer lightly loaded.
I was able to inventory everything today and should be ready to get going on looking over the wings more carefully against the plans tomorrow after my 2nd tech councilor meeting in the morning. Some pics of my delivery today!
My Quickbuild Fuselage is due to be shipped in the May timeframe, so I have a few months to get the wings finished up.
In other news: Last night my wife and I found out that we are having a baby boy in July. I’m sure I won’t have nearly the same amount of free time after that point. That is the leading reason for deciding to go the quick build route on both wings and fuselage. I’ll need all the acceleration I can get if I want to finish this thing anytime in the not so distant future!