Friday, 28 September 2012

Mosquito flys again

Continuing the warbird theme - although nothing to do with Twisters - I couldn't help but share this photo and video of an icon taking to the skies once more.

The first time a Mosquito has flown in 16 years (I believe).

The big unveiling will be this Saturday, at Ardmore in Auckland, New Zealand. My parents are there to watch - wish I could join them!

Unfortunately it will not stay in N.Z for long - it is owned by Jerry Yagan in the USA and will be delivered their shortly.

Well done to the boys at Avspecs who rebuilt her.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Twister Blues

As many times as I look at photos of this Twister, I still don't understand why he painted it like this.

Maybe he was thinking it looks like a Photo Recon Spitfire?

Anyway... each to their own I guess.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Week 58 - Horz Stabs

Hours to date: 544.0

The weather has turned here - Autumn now - 12 degrees and raining today. So I made the decision to close up the garage door and insulate it again for the winter. So this means an end to the work on the tail till next summer. Slightly frustrating not to have closed this out before Autumn but anyway - it will keep.

This week I've worked on the horizontal stabs - putting the ribs in place on the root end.

Before doing this I spoke to Pete about how to fix the securing pin in with flock - a bit of a mystery as to how to surround the pin in flock when it is inaccessible inside the rib. Pete solved the mystery by letting me know that he builds a little 'cave' of polystyrene inside the stab. Then when the rib is bonded in and the hole drilled for the pin - mix up some slightly runny flock and pour that into this cavity. Obviously when the stab is put on the spar tube to position the pin it will have to be done one at a time so that the stab is 'downhill' and this will stop the flock running out.

I also thought it a good idea to make up some other small blocks of polystyrene  and fix those in with 5 min Araldite too. This makes life easy to fit the ribs at the right distance - 10mm as it happens. This is well worth doing as I found it to be a big help.

You can also see that I put some aluminium tape on the inside of the spar tube to protect it from any resin or flock that may have got on there from bonding in the ribs. 

Slightly disappointed to find that the rear ribs were well short of filling their  space - see photo below. This is surprising as my kit is No.28 and you'd think that the factory would have these types of things sorted by now?

Anyway I fixed this by cutting out a small filling piece of carbon. I also filed down the edge at an angle and did the same (opposite angle) to the larger rib - this made a kind of mitre joint which made sure the small filler rib sat flush with the larger one.

I'm thinking maybe next week I'll start on the elevator drive hex's. These are fiberglass and bonded into the elevators. They then slide over the metal hex's I have already fitted to the elevator drive tube.

Polystyrene 'cave' for retaining pin flock.

More polystyrene to hold ribs in correct level.

Rib falls well short of space.

Space filled in with carbon.

Ribs bonded in with flock and tape

Monday, 17 September 2012

Twisters at Sanicole Airshow Belgium

A couple of cool photos of the SWIP Twister Duo at the recent Sanicole Airshow in Belgium.

(Click on them for a much larger view.)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Week 57 - Tail and Elevator

Hours to date: 533.75

This week I got all the exterior of the tail reinforced. The top of the fin, the sides where the horizontal stabilizers butt up and the seams at the bottom front of the fin.

Just got the lower fuse seam to do now and that will be almost all of the fuse seams done. (there are 2 more to go after that - one around the canopy to safety cell opening and then all the area around the lower fuse panel when it finally goes on, but that job will be one of the very last I do).

After that I took the opportunity to install the elevator bell crank. A fairly straight forward operation, first off bond in the plastic bearings. So I put release wax on everything that was metal near that. Left that to set then the next day set up the bell crank so it is level in the fuse and then make sure the metal hexagons are lined up square with the bell crank and drilled and riveted the hexagons to the elevator tube.

I had to buy some Loctite 638 to do this job as the manual calls for it to make sure the metal parts are bonded together. Pretty expensive stuff - list price is £40 for 50ml, but I managed to get it for £21. Handy stuff to have around the workshop in any case.

Finally I started looking into the next job which is the wire and pins that will hold the horizontal stabilizers in place. As you will see from the photo below the plastic sleeve that the wire will run in does not fit under the elevator tube bearing. So a little Dremel work was required here to make a trough for the plastic sleeve. Careful not to overdo this as there is only about 5mm of material below before you would go right through. 2nd photo shows the sleeve fitting under the bearing now.

I'm still not quite confident enough to start bonding in this sleeve so I have put off this job till I speak to Pete for his advice about it.

There is quite a bit of work still to be done with rebuilding the lower half of the tail - it must be wider to accomodate the integrated tailwheel. Not exactly looking forward to this job as I'm not really sure how to tackle it at this stage. Will give it some more thought before I get going on that one.

Tail seams all done

Fin top reinforced too

Elevator bell crank in place

Hexagons riveted to elevator tube

Sleeve does not fit under elevator tube plastic bearing

Sleeve fits after Dremel work

Monday, 10 September 2012

Week 56 - Rudder and elevator bellcrank

Hours to date: 518.25

Last week I cracked on with several jobs, finally got around to glassing in the plywood gear brackets - still a little tidying up to do there. 

I also put some more flock on the rudder brackets that surrounds the steel locator pins. Pete does this and I think it looks good so I copied it. It's certainly an area that needs to be strong.

The Twister factory sent me the missing ribs for the rudder and tail, plus another plastic bearing which will go in the top of the rudder cable bracket - not absolutely necessary but a good idea to eliminate any play from this area.

Finally the moment of truth on the weekend when I bonded in the carbon discs with plastic bearings that determine the position of the rudder. Hopefully I've done it right! I just used some stirring sticks to establish the correct spacing.

While I was waiting for that to set I built up the elevator bell crank. It uses a couple of heavy brass counterweights as the mass balance, pretty straightforward this one - just install the bearing and then bolt on the brass weights. Some more fun will ensue when I begin installing the elevator controls - but I probably won't do that until I've got a bit further with the inside of the tail.

More flock around steel pins

Glass reinforcing around gear plywood brackets

Extra parts from the Factory

Stirring sticks to gap correctly

Leaving it to set

Elevator bell crank

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Twister with UL260

I came across this YouTube video of a new Twister with a UL260i engine.

It is the standard 95hp version rather than the SA aerobatic 107hp version - by the looks of the red rocker covers.

Also it looks like they have modified the firewall position - moving it rearwards to give more space behind the engine for the install.

It's also got the Dynon D180 FlightDek installed - which I intend to use too. Interesting to see their numbers on the engine. There is another video which is shorter with the top cowling on.

Later on in the video the cameraman does a walk round - and I see that the lower cowling has an intake just below the spinner - I am guessing this is an inlet for the oil cooler which must be ducted - at least I hope so otherwise they are introducing high pressure air into the low pressure part of the cowl which would reduce it's efficiency.

I've been unable to find out any more info or still photos of it - although I am pretty sure it is in Lithuania.

Monday, 3 September 2012

LAA Rally

Some pics from the LAA rally last weekend.

A massive turnout on the Saturday - they almost ran out of parking space for all the arrivals.

I saw visitors from, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Sweden.

A good turnout and plenty to see but alas NO Twisters!

Week 55 - Rudder and tail

Hours to date: 503.25

Well a milestone has been passed - my first 500 hours are done. Only another 1,000 to go!

Taking things very slowly with this tail work.

I decided to invest in a plumb bob to check the alignment properly - the elevator tube was pretty accurate - the plumb bob just confirmed it was all good.

I also built up the tailwheel as I wanted to see how it all fits.

On the rudder itself I just did a bit of flocking around the steel pins and then bonded the rib inside (one side only at the moment - access to the other side is going to be a challenge).

I also bonded in the two main ribs in the tail - again one side only at the moment.

The next scary and critical bit comes with bonding in the two plastic bearings that are fitted inside two large carbon washers. These determine once and for all the fitting of the rudder - got to be millimetre perfect when I bond these in.

The tailwheel tube will be used to align everything so I've put 3 coats of release wax on that so the flock doesn't stick to it.

Might put off this job until next weekend so I have a full day with no time pressure.

Plumb bob to check alignment

Tailwheel assembled to check everything

Flocking in the steel pins on the rudder

Rib bonded in rudder.