Category Archives: Finishing Kit

Fabricated Oil Door

I am using the hidden hinge and the push button for the oil door instead of the two cam locks that stick up.  I have to wait to find another push button lock, I ordered one off of EBay, but I need to find another one cause I want to use two, just to make sure it stays down.

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Motor Mount & Legs

Here is the motor mount before it was installed and then on the plane.  It was hard to get the fuselage high enough to slide the legs in, but was able to get it done.  I’ve been waiting since April to get it on it’s own legs, very exciting.IMG_5345 IMG_5368

Picked up the balance of the Finishing Kit

My finishing kit shipped and the freight company had a truck break down and they were not going to be able to deliver it until Monday.  Ah, no.  I went out to New Orleans East and picked it up in a friend’s pickup truck.  As you can see, it was a tight fit.  Unfortunately Van’s backordered the bolts to attach the motor mount, so I couldn’t get the wheels on today.  I made do and did some other tasks until I could get the parts.



Installed seat backs

I installed the seat backs, but I may take them out again just to make it easier to finish up the wiring under the panel in case I have to get on my back.  It doesn’t sound like I will be able to order my seats before year end.  I am planning on getting them from Classic Aero, but they are swamped with other orders and haven’t even tried to measure for the seats yet.


Installed Back Window

I had finished crawling into the back cone of the airplane, except I still have to connect the elevator push tube to the empennage once it’s installed, so I closed off the back and installed the back window.  I don’t like the way the black proseal shows through, but that’s how Van’s said to do it.  I wish I would have used some sort of clear silicone instead of the proseal.


More tasks

Wired the new aileron trim relay and terminated in P-7 and P-15.  Installed empennage to verify elevator fits correctly, drilled elevator horns.  Tested elevator trim.  Empennage is complete.  Wired white and green glare shield map light.  Installed Garmin 625 antenna behind the back window a little off-center on the pilot side due to the support going down the middle of the top skin.   Installed Garmin EFIS antenna in canopy on the glareshield.


Finished wiring GRT mini magnetometer.

Canopy attached to the frame

Now the canopy is attached.  There are a few odds and ends before I can start the fiberglass fairing process.  I need to put in on the plane and check the fitting of the canopy, then attach the clips to hold it down while it is being fiberglassed.  At least the pool table is getting some use, other than for folding clothes.


Time to drill holes in the Canopy

Time to pucker up and drill some holes in the canopy.  It actually was not bad at all.  Once I got the good fit to everything and drilled the initial holes, then you had to go back and widen them with a #27 to fit a #6 screw.  That was nerve racking because the drill bit kept wanting to twist as it entered the plexiglass.  I didn’t get any pictures of the process, I guess I was too focused on getting the holes right and not damaging the canopy.

Here is a pic of the canopy in place with the back window. The back window is finished and will be installed in the end. That will allow for easier access to the back of the plane until I finish all the wiring.

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I am waiting on some assistance on painting the inside of the canopy frame, because the back roll bar has to be the same color as the roll bar, which is Fighter Blue.  I can spray the primer, but I don’t have the correct gun or talent to paint the roll bar.  Once I get the canopy frame painted, then I can attach it all and start working on the fiberglass fairing on the front of the canopy and the frame.  Once that is finished, I will be waiting again for the rest of the finishing kit to be delivered.


Now for the scary part, the canopy.  I put the plexiglass on the frame and measured everything and the back part needed a little trimming, so I used my dremel tool, then my perma-grit sanding block, then 400 grit sandpaper to get a good finish on the end.


One I put the canopy on the frame, I outlined where it was going to lay on the front part. Then I used the epoxy slurry to fill any holes, then I painted it flat black like Van’s recommends to cut down on the glare.

Canopy Frame

It was time to start assembling the canopy frame.  Van’s was very adamant about checking for squareness with a digital level as you work on the canopy.  Although they didn’t mention what was within tolerance, I finished within 1/10 of a degree.


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Here is the canopy assembled and connected to the hinges.


Back Window

It’s amazing how well the window fit without any modifications.  I did need to make the two notches in the back and a little on the sides by the roll bar, but other than that, it’s a very nice fit.  I had to wait on the #36 bit that Bob from Avery had made for the 14 builders, but once I got that, I was able to drill the holes in the canopy, then tap for a #6 screw into the canopy and the roll bar.  I had one of the taps break off, but luckily enough of it was sticking out that I could get a pair of pliers on it and get it back out.