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!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and watching videos on fiberglass related things. Everything from what the best tools are to use to proper fiberglass layup techniques.
Trimming and cutting the Elevator fairings ended up spewing lots of dust all over the place… I then bought a diamond cutting wheel for my Dremel tool and also bought some PermaGrit tools, which are made of tungsten carbide materials and do a better job of making sawdust like shavings instead of dust. Seeing there is so much fiberglass work coming, I figured I’d invest in some proper tools for this work that’ll be upcoming.
I bought some sanding blocks, both flat and concave.
As well as a hand tool set and blades for my jig saw.
I then set out to finish the rudder end caps. Fairly straight forward. The only modification I did was to add nut plates to the bottom fairing to accept #6 screws to make the fairing removable. Many RV-10 builders do this mod, and it didn’t really take all that much extra effort.
Then it was time to figure out the Horizontal Fairings. These sit in front of the elevator counterbalance arms and elevator tips. The tips seem to taper off a bit and are not straight. So I decided pretty early to trim the HS fairings to match.
I traced the leading edge of the counterbalance arm and fairing on a piece of paper to get a template to use to mark my cuts to the trailing edge of the HS fairing. This worked pretty well. I then was able to sand to make the gap as even and consistent as I could.
Next, the plans describe how to add a fiberglass layup to close out the aft ends of the fairings. I read an alternate method on VAF by one of the VAN’s employees that is detailed in the RV-14 plans which doesn’t involve trying to shape and tack a piece of foam into each opening.
– Use a piece of waxed aluminum to make a thin laminate with two layers of cloth and resin. If the close out piece is not flat, the metal can be bent/shaped to result in a laminate piece that will match the opening you are intending to seal.
– Once it is cured cut out the filler piece so that it is approx. 1/6″ bigger around perimeter of the fairing opening.
– Sand the interior (non smooth) surface of the lay-up, and about 1″ back from the edge of the fairing for additional bonding/glass lay-up later.
-With the fairing clecoed in place and tape/etc. being used to hold it in the desired finished shape, wet the edge of the fairing with resin… and hold the laminate in place with tape to the fairing until the resin fully cures.
-Uncleco and remove the fairing. Apply a fillet of flox mixture around the interior corner/intersection point between the laminate and the fairing. While the flox is still wet, add one more layer of glass to the inside of the laminate, large enough that it laps onto the fairing by about 1″. Cleco the fairing back onto the airframe while it fully cures.
– Sand the excess laminate flush to the fairing on the outside and radius the corner as desired (possible because of the flox fillet on the inside).
As mentioned above, seeing my ends to close out are not flat from me shaping them to the Elevator fairings, I cut some scrap metal (one piece for each fairing) and bent/shaped it to match each one. This will provide the base for my fiberglass layup that should hopefully match the cut line I made. Time will tell.
Today I started on the fiberglass fairings for the ends of all surfaces. For the most part, these all come pre-formed. Some trimming and drilling are all that is needed to fit them to the airplane. There are a couple of fairings that will need to have an end closed up with a fiberglass layup. So I’ve ordered some supplies to do that. I ordered some West Systems 105 resin epoxy with hardener, along with some flox, microballons, and some fiberglass cloth to get me started. I also ordered the fiberglass practice kit from Aircraft Spruce with a book to play around a bit honing my skills. I’ve never really worked on fiberglass before, so this will be all new to me.