Saturday, 29 October 2011

A brilliant read

I bought this book the other day from the LAA online shop. 

It had arrived when I got home at 7pm.

I casually started reading it...

...and finished it at 2am.

I think it's the first book I've ever read in one sitting.

What an adventure - flying around the world solo in a homebuilt aircraft. Manuel is one of only 6 people on the planet to have done so.

He is probably the least qualified and experienced person to do so too. A relatively low hours PPL.

He obviously writes well but it is his ability to put you in the moment of what is happening that stands out. Plus he has a neat way of talking about big issues without sounding overtly offensive when he puts across his point of view.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Buy it, read it.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Week 10 - Flap and aileron re-inforcement of seams

Total hours to date: 108.5

Both flaps need the seams re-inforcing with 25mm tape and the ailerons too so that was done this week.

I am also preparing the flap connectors as they will be needed for setting the inboard hinge pins (2 each side) in the right place.

The instructions say to press the bearings into the connector with a Box-Column Drilling Machine. As I don't have one of those lying about the workshop I will use an old but simple technique a good engineer taught me. Put the bearing in the freezer to chill them so they contract. Then pour boiling water over the connector so it expands and then they should go in pretty easy. I also will use the vice and a socket that is the exact diameter of the outside of the bearings to help them in. Photos of that next time.

Flaps and aileron - reinforcement of the seams

Flap connector

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Week 9 - Flaps and Elevators

I've decided to title each work post from now on with the week since starting and also include the total hours to date each time in the post.

Hopefully this will make it easier for anyone coming across the blog later on to see what can be done in the number of hours.

Total hours to date: 104.25

Last week I bonded in the outer rib for the outer flap hinge pin. Flocked and reinforced with glass tape.

Also flocked and reinforced the flap support ribs in the wings (at the right angle now - in this case the right angle also happens to be a right angle!).

I spent much time getting the elevators to have 30 degrees (plus) of travel. A lot of filing and checking here. The carbon support ribs in the tailplane need to be profiled down on the edges to allow this. I didn't take a photo of this but will post next time.

This is about all I can do on the tailplanes until I get the fuselage back in the garage as the next steps involve mating up to the elevator control and setting the position of the control surfaces.

Plenty still to do on the wings though.

Flap outer hinge pins bonded and edges radiused with flock

And glass reinforced with 25mm tape.

Flap support ribs in wings reinforced with 25mm tape.

Elevator support ribs in tailplane - reinforced.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Flaps, elevators and first boo-boo

Last week I made further progress with the flaps and elevators.

With the flaps I have begun installing the outer hinge pin - which is going to support not only the flap but also go through the bearing in the rib already part of the wing and into the Aileron. One hinge pin shared by both control surfaces. The pin is flocked in place on the inner rib then a further outer rib is superglued to hold it in position while the flock dries. This job is like most and has to be millimetre perfect. So many hours were spent filing and checking to make sure the pin ends up in just the right place.

This week I will radius the outer rib and reinforce with glass tape.

Other work done was to the ribs on the tailplane (which support the elevators when not connected to the fuselage). After making threads in these ribs and washers a bore hole is made in the rib inside the elevator itself. Again this has to be millimetre perfect so I really went very slow and careful on this job. Lots of checking and remeasuring all the time. I will also reinforce these ribs this week the same as the flaps.

The aileron outboard hinge pin bearings are also halfway through being reinforced - I decided to do one side at a time - too messy and fiddly to try to do both sides at once. The bearing will have to be freed up after the glassing - I've already done this once after the flocking (I also had to do this to the bearings in the aileron horns).

Also a bit upset with myself as I discovered I had made a mistake with the supporting ribs on the wings for the flaps. The diagram in the instructions showed them being parallel to the flap and wing edge (same as the ribs that will go in the flap - which seemed to make sense). Then re-reading the instructions afterwards I saw that they must be 90 degrees to the wing trailing edge rib. Bugger...

This wouldn't have been a problem had I discovered my mistake at the superglue stage - before using flock to radius the edges. 2 hours of careful grinding with the Dremel later and I was able to remove the ribs and re-set them at 90 degrees.

Lesson learnt x3. 1. Read all the instructions - not just looking at diagrams. 2. Not only that but understand what you are doing and why. In other words if I had thought about the function of the flap when completed then the 90 degrees would have been the logical angle as this is the plane of operation for the flap when installed. 3. Re-check the work that has been done at a stage when it is still easy to change it.

It's not such a big deal as it is fixed now but it has added about 3 hours of extra work, however I'm glad to have learned this lesson at an early stage and when I can still fix it.

Hinge pin in inner rib

Flocked in place.

Outer rib superglued to hold pin in correct place while it dries

Both pins done.

Elevator threaded hole and bore done.

Aileron outer bearings being reinforced with glass.

Flap support ribs at wrong angle - should be 90 degrees.

2 hours later. Ribs at correct angle now.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Flight Simulator update

Well - they really are making progress at IRIS - the release date must be soon.

Matt Wynn has even been so kind as to do a version in my paint job and with a personalized registration.

Meanwhile Jose has built an integrated tailwheel version.

Looking very good indeed... Can't wait for the release.

Elevators, and self aligning bearings

This week was a bit slow going as I had other things to do. Still made some progress with the elevators and some other small parts.

I tided up the flap rib reinforcing. Also fitted the self aligning bearings for the ailerons. One is for the hinge pin on the outboard edge and the other is part of the control horn which will be installed in the inboard edge of the aileron.

Onto the elevators. A 4mm thread must be made in the rib and washer as eventually there will be a bolt that goes through that will hold the surface in place when the tailplane is not connected to the fuselage.

A normal method of tapping a thread will not work here as there is no room for the tool to rotate. So I used a technique I found on YouTube - using a low torque setting with a cordless drill. Make sure the tap tool is absolutely straight in the drill first. Then use the same technique as with a normal tapping tool - that is - make a few turns then switch to reverse and back out to clean the thread. A little silicone spray here helps the tool cut. I cleaned the tool each time I took it out (the Carbon tends to stick to it). This method works pretty good. Go slow and use a low torque - when the drill chatters it's time to put it in reverse.

After the thread making I put some tape over the holes to protect them and flocked the edges.

This week I hope to do the next stage of the outboard flap hinge pin. Stay tuned.

Flap rib reinforcing tided up

Outboard aileron bearings in ribs - CF first then glass over to reinforce

Aileron control horns - with bearings in and glassed over

Elevator with rib inside

Drill 3mm hole first

Traditional tapping tool does not work in space

Drill method - works well

Both ribs flocked - tape to protect holes

Monday, 3 October 2011

Silence Twister in FSX - video

Model is looking good. Seems to fly well too.

Flap and elevator work

Got the inner ribs in the flaps reinforced and the cutouts in the wings for the counterweights tided up. They will need micro filling in the voids where the honeycomb is - but this will be done much later after the counterweights are confirmed as having clearance.

I also went back to the tailplane and reinforced the leading edge of the tailplane that was not done on my training day.

After that I started work on the elevator support ribs, which are Superglued in place. Then a CF washer is added behind the rib and the elevator itself has to have a cutout that corresponds to this rib.

Cutouts for counterweights tided up

Reinforcing the inner rib in the flaps

Elevator rib attached and leading edge of other tailplane reinforced

Washer added behind rib

Cutout in elevator for rib and washer