Bulkhead

February 9th and 16th, 16h

Next we started working on the bulkhead. First drilling holes for the bushings.  Then drilling the center sections to the sides.  Afterwards, fabricating the control brackets and drilling them.

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Next weekend, we promid the control brackets and fitted the control sticks.  Then we attached the platenuts.  Afterwards we worked on the cover ribs.  The center bushing holes ended up a bit larger, 9/16 instead of 7/16, so I am most likely redoing those ribs after checking with Vans.

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Firewall

January 26th, Feb 2nd 15h

We started working on the fuselage.  The first part is the firewall.  Which is made from stainless steel. It had very sharp edges, so we needed to be very careful in smoothing the edges.  Then we prepped the firewall and all the stiffeners that attaches to it, matched drilled, deburred, dimpled and counter sink as needed.
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The next weekend, we primed and riveted all the parts, except for the aux fuel pump doubler.  We don’t need this part for fuel injected engines. Also, the firewall recess was not riveted for the time being, so that we have access.

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Finishing the wings

January 19th, 8.5h

Final touch-ups on the wings.

We drilled the inboard bracket for the flap hinge, drove the hinge through the hole and bent the flap hinge.  This finalized the flap installation.

We drilled the wing tips.  We were thinking of going all the way to installing all the platenuts, but after consulting with Vans, they suggested waiting on the platenuts until attaching the wings to the fuselage.  This way, I will be able to get a better alignment of the wing tips with the neutral position.

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Then we installed all the access plates. The wings are complete for the time being

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Finishing wing lights and lens

January 12th, 9h

We finished installing the lights into the wing tips.  We had to make some small adjustment to the wing tips for a smooth insertion of the lights.  Then we riveted the plate nuts, and attached the lights.

Afterwards, we moved to the lens.  We did a rough cut of the lens, then we set each half on top of its wing tip, and traced a contour to follow.  Based on the contour, we cut he lens using snips, then we sanded it to get a nice finish.

Afterward, to attach the lens to the wing tip, we decided to go with 2 plate nuts per lens.  we match drilled the lens to the wing tip, then we drilled the rest of the holes for the plate nuts and riveted it.  Finally we attached the lens to the wing tip.  The result looks great.

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Finishing install of right flap

January 1st, 3h

After further Analysis of the alignment of the flap hinge attached to the skin, we realized that we can just adjust the teeth of the hinge.  The adjustments were very small, then we tested attaching the right flap.  We went through few trials, until we got to the desired results, the pin can easily flow between the 2 parts of the hinge.  The flap was attached and the motion is pretty smooth. The wing looks complete, only couple items remaining.

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Finishing Wing Riveting

January 1st, 5h

Today, we finished the wing skin riveting.

First, we fixed the little dent in the left leading edge following Vans instructions by forming a piece of wood to fill the leading edge from the inside and using a mallet, carefully fixing the dent.  Then, we finished the last panels of riveting in the left wing.

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Afterward, we moved on to riveting the plate nuts for all the access panels.

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Airplane Move

December 28th, January 4th, 18h

We are moving from Half Moon Bay to Richmond.  So, I had to plan the airplane move:

  • Both airplane insurance for ground, non-motion, which means the plane is uncovered when it is not moving under its own power.
  • Rented a 20ft U-haul.
  • Packed all the part of the fuselage and finishing kits back in their original crates.
  • With the help of friends, we carried and retrained all the parts of the tail, the wings and the crates into the U-haul.
  • We drove the U-haul and unpacked.  All the parts arrived in great condition.  Not a single damage. Great success.
  • We setup the plane and the shop in the new garage, it looks great.  I am looking forward to continuing the build and moving on to the fuselage.

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