Monday, July 13, 2009

Waiting for the Avionics Kit to Arrive

Just about out of work. Need a few rivets (4) for the fuel tank flange that has to be replaced (they are coming) and then will have to wait for the next kit! As such, no updates for a while. Sent my check for the balance for the avionics kit today. Think, Van's wants to see the check before they send the avionics to me!!! It's too bad that we will have to wait for the engine kit to fire up the electronics. The battery will be coming with the engine kit, at least, that is my understanding.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Odds and Ends - Finish Kit

Odds and Ends, Thursday. Reapplied the 1st layer of black tape on the canopy and applied a layer of pure epoxy. One layer should be enough for now, will let the paint shop deal with any required filler and finishing to make it perrrrrfect!

Worked on the magnets and the reed switches. Could not make the originally supplied bracket/magnets/reed switches to work reliably, even though I cut off 1/8" of the shield. Removed/Drilled out the originally supplied brackets, primed, then painted the new brackets. With the old brackets, continuity was marginal. With the new brackets, it should be OK. Epoxied the magnets in the cylinders.

Odds and Ends, Friday. Did a bit of sanding on the canopy fiberglass and removed the layer of black tape. Any further fiberglass finishing will be left to the experts. Attached the canopy and found I had to remove just a bit more from the forward tips to install the gas struts. Installing the struts was a bit difficult due to the clearances, but doable. Installed the canopy latch and installed the canopy guide blocks. Will have to touch up the rollbar.

Then installed the new brackets for the wing pin magnets and reed switches and wired the switches. The reed switches now work as they should.

Time on Thursday & Friday - 9 hours

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Total Time to Date - Finishing Kit is Just About Complete - Ready for the Avionics and Then the Engine Kit

The avionics kit is on order. Then, back to finish up some of the steps I passed by in the finishing kit.

Even though there were a few parts problems and plans problems for the lead builders of the finishing kit (all now resolved), I am so happy with the engineering of the RV-12 finish kit I could cry!! All of the parts have fit just perfectly. My thanks to Van's and all involved.

For those of you still sitting on the fence, jump off and get the first kit. You will not be sorry.

Total Time to Date - 269 Hours on the Finish Kit (90% Complete), 279 Hours on the Fuselage Kit (98% Complete), 108 Hours on the Empennage Kit (85% Complete), 175 Hours on the Wing Kit (100% Complete) = 831 hours

Cowling is Complete

Attached the final hardware for the oil door and inserted the cotter pins. Match drilled the bottom cowl to the bottom close-out bracket and match drilled the bottom cowl to the bottom nutplates. Will let the paint shop sand the gaps to whatever is desired (~1/32") and seal the pinholes.

The cowling is complete! Hooooray!

Time Today - 2 hours

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Cowling

On Monday, removed the top and bottom cowls. Labeled the hinge half's. Then found it easier to countersink all of the #40 holes with the cowls removed. The front holes will get nutplates so you do not countersink the forward 6 holes on the front.

Riveted the hinges to the top cowling and the bottom cowling. Reassembled all. The hinge pins went in pretty good. All went together rather well.

On Tuesday, attached the 8 nutplates to the front of the bottom cowl. Then started to work on the oil door. A seemingly simple job took quite a bit of time. Fabricated and deburred the metal door and the hinge parts. Then cut the hole in the top cowl following a suggestion via Larry Geiger. Do not cut to the upper scribe line (edge at the hinge line) BUT leave a good 1/8"-3/16" to the scribe line. You can always remove more later, if needed. I used the reinforced cutting disk in the Dremel.

Attached the CAMLOC fasteners, drilling the hole in the top cowl to 7/16".

Match drilled the hinge parts and riveted the hinge half to the top cowl and the hinge half and doubler to the metal oil door. Attached the hardware and the oil door would NOT open. The top of the metal oil door interfered with the indentation edge in the top cowl fiberglass. Some of the material at the top of the oil door needed to be removed. (This is the reason for leaving the 1/8" of fiberglass at the upper scribe line. It is not possible to remove enough metal from the oil door without creating a gap if the fiberglass is cut to the scribe line). It now works!!

Time Yesterday and Today - 10 hours

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ordered the Avionics Kit this Evening

The avionics kit contains the following:

1. Customer’s choice of Garmin 296, 396, 495 or 496 GPS with choice of database. I chose the 496.
2. Dynon FlightDEK D180 electronic flight information system/engine monitor
3. Garmin SL-40 com radio
4. Garmin GTX-327 Transponder
5. Artex ME406 ELT
6. Flightcom 403 stereo intercom
7. All necessary installation components and materials. Includes the switch panel, fuse panel and all interfaces.

Should be PLUG and PLAY!!!!!!

All for $13420.00

That leaves the engine kit and all is then procured.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finished Drilling the Cowling

Have spent about 4 hours over the past 4 days working on the cowling. No problems, just taking it easy. Finished all of the drilling, the countersinking of all of the #40 holes is next. No problems following the plans. Will have to sand the top cowling edge just a bit where needed.

Time Over Two Days - 4 hours

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cowling Continues

On Tuesday I started working on the cowling again. Took me the majority of the day to cut all of hinges, mark all of them and to bevel the hinge half's on the fuselage. Used a file and then the sanding disk in the die grinder. At this time, no holes are drilled in the hinges. They are drilled in place, much like the way the forward canopy frame tube was drilled to the plexiglass. Thought I would not be able to see the marks through the translucent cowling, but, they show rather well.

Had some difficulty in inserting the hinge pins after bending them to shape and doing a bit of fluting on the hinge half. The easiest way I found to flute was to watch the gap between the eyelets of the two hinge half's. After fluting the gap became consistent.

Called Larry Geiger and he suggested wetting the hinge pin with WD-40. After sharpening the hinge pin and applying the WD-40, the pins went in much easier.

Today I fitted the bottom cowl to the fuselage and found a bit a sanding was required to get a good fit. There were a few areas where I did not sand quite to the scribe line and there were a few places where I had to remove maybe a 1/64"-1/32" to get a good fit. Then fitted the top cowl and again found a bit of sanding was required. Had to remove just a bit on the aft edge of the top cowl near its center. Used some duct tape to fasten the top cowl. The fit all the way around looks pretty good. Will drill the bottom cowl tomorrow. A little more sanding on the aft center edge of the top cowl may be required to close the top cowl side gaps.

UPDATE: If I did this again, I would not sand the aft edge of the top cowl until the lower cowl side hinge is cleco'd and you are ready to drill the left and right top cowl aft hinges. The bottom cowl moves a little when the bottom hinge is attached.

Time Yesterday and Today - 7 hours