Now that I think I am finished with the aft fuselage and bringing the wires forward, I went ahead and installed the transponder right behind the baggage cover. That way it will be easy access when it needs maintenance. Then I ran all those wires up to the panel. Here you can see the location of the transponder and the shelf in the back with the magnetometers on it and how neat the wires are.
I only have those two white wires on the left from the elevator trim that I have to deal with. I think I will bring them up the right side of this picture and insert them into the molex connector on the pilot side.
We finished riveting the right wing after installing the AutoPilot and figuring out what to do about the aileron trim. Aileron pushbuttons were installed. Also installed the Garmin and GRT OAT fittings in the wings, one in the left, one in the right. Ran wires from the ELT to the panel. Both wings are finished and being sent to the warehouse to give us more room to work.
I ordered all of the antennas. I got the ADS-B and Transponder Antenna from Delta Pop Aviation and the two Comm antennas from Aerotronics. Here I installed the ADS-B Antenna in the back. First I had to shave off some of the front of the antenna because of the interference with the bottom skin. Don from Delta Pop was nice enough to send me this drawing so I could see how much I could remove for a good fit.
Then I fabricated a doubler to add a little strength in case the antenna gets bumped.
I also installed the bracket for the ELT to put that in place.
I have been working on the layout of the panel and received some trays to fit into the radio stack. We found out you can’t put the Garmin 625 on the bottom, unless you want to cut out part of the back of the subpanel because it is higher in the back by about 1 ½”. This means I will have to put the AutoPilot on the bottom, then the Audio Panel, then the 625. Not my ideal configuration, but I think it will work.
Here is the back of the subpanel
Here you can see the rudder pedals, brake lines and subpanel. Now we sit and wait for the finishing kit to be released. In the meantime, I will be working on the panel and other odds and ends. The blue tape is there to protect the aluminum as I am not going to paint that piece.
Here is the plane with the tail attached. It is too big for the garage, so I had to take it apart and re-store all the tail parts.
Finally, with the help of my friend Dale we got the interior of the fuselage painted. The first pics are before it was painted.
I picked up a engine stand at Harbor Freight to use to hold the plane. It worked out well because I was able to turn the fuselage to a point where it was easy to work on, without having to bend over all the time.
While waiting to paint the interior of the cockpit, I worked on the rudder petals and the brakes. I installed the pedals for the brakes, the master cylinders and installed the brake fluid reservoir. It was a good time to install the battery box as well, so that has been added at this time.
Now it is time to put some of the baggage skins and other parts in. These are for the flaps.
Once I put the two halves together, it was time to work on the fuel system. I tried to bend the aluminum fuel line, but found that it was difficult to get really good bends, so I installed the fuel components and am waiting on the fuel lines. Here is the fuel pump and filter.
Then I added the fittings for the firewall and the wings.
Here is where the seat backs rest.
After months of separation, the fore and aft sections of the fuselage become one on Christmas Day. Once we got the orientation correct, it really was not that difficult.
This is the view looking from the back of the plane through the tailcone.
One of the more difficult tasks was getting the washers in between this tight area on the control column. You had to do it on both sides of the bolt. I created my “tool” out of scrap aluminum and used double tape to keep it on the tool until I had it in place for the bolt, then yanked the tool loose from the washer. Worked well, just took a while to get the right size washers in that area so there was no left to right slack in the stick. Perfect, no left to right movement at all.
You have to prime the forward bottom skins where they go under the Center Bottom Skin. It was also primed in the middle where there were a couple of scratches. So I used some Scotchbrite and sanded out the scratches, then painted that.
Van’s said they were going to change the steps of setting this rivet. Of course, that doesn’t help me, so I ended up replacing that with a CherryMax Rivet and it worked fine, on both sides.
I was backriveting the skin on a 12″ x 12″ steel plate in the middle of a board and didn’t get good results, so I flipped the skin on the bulkhead and clamped it down. I think this method is going to work a lot better, but I am going to have to get my wife to hold the bucking bar.
I wish I would have thought of doing it this way the first time. I will have to remove some of the rivets that did not sit well on the backriveting plate.
It’s time to dimple the bottom skin. The instructions can be a little confusing here because, they are for both the tri-gear and the taildragger. So you dimple or not in certain areas, depending on what you are building. I am building the taildragger, so I have to make sure I don’t dimple in the wrong spot or otherwise mess up what would be a very expensive part to replace and ship.
Then I had to put two of the outboard ribs on the bottom skin and flute them in a curve. Since the bottom skin is big, I needed a big area to work on it. I’m glad the pool table is finally getting some use for something other than a laundry table.
Finally after 4 months of waiting, the fuselage has arrived. Time to unpack and start inventorying.
I used the crate as a storage place. Cut the top into shelf size pieces, so once I’m finished, it can be pitched out.