Tuesday, 26 March 2013

SWIP Twister Promo video

Great vid of the Twister Duo in action.


Nose Art

Decided to explore some ideas for Nose Art.

Behold the Tangerine Dream...

(not that I'm that into redheads but it seemed appropriate...)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Week 83 - Panel part 3

Hours to date: 846.5

I didn't get as much done as I wanted this week due to a cold slowing me down.

Still - the top panel has been filled and sanded and is masked off - so ready to paint.

The Bottom section is also ready - I fitted the starter button and the switch holes are now drilled.

There are 4 critical switches that should not be bumped off in flight (unless you want to do some gliding that is). They are the Master, ECU, Ignition 1 and Ignition 2.

Actually the engine will still run perfectly well on one of the two ignitions. Indeed that is how you check they are both working in your pre-take off checks - by switching one off at a time.

So I'm placing these 4 switches in the middle of the bank of 6.

The two outboard switches will be for Avionics Master and the other one will be a spare (it may be used for a landing/taxiing light - but that's something I plan to add later on once everything is up and flying and working well).

The other little job I have been doing is making up a shroud for the tailwheel fork bearing.

As you can see from the below photo of Matthias Strieker's Twister the bearing is not protected from all the dirt and grime flicked up by the tailwheel.

I noticed that the French agents Twister had a nice little mod to cure this.

A beautifully made (CNC or lathe?) piece of aluminium that sits on the tailwheel fork cross bar and supports the bearings as well as keeping them clean.

As I don't have a lathe I decided to make a shroud out of Carbon fibre.

I was lucky to find an old piece of PVC pipe to use as a mould - which was exactly the diameter I was looking for - 42mm.

I just wrapped a couple of layers of duct tape around that to act as a release and to make the diameter 43-44mm so the bearing has a little space around it for play (and grease).

I've still to file out the half round holes that will allow it to sit on the fork - I will fill in the gaps at the bottom with RTV.

Hopefully by the next post I will actually have the panel painted.

Starter button in place

Mechanical fuel gauge in place - 1 each side

Switches in place
Standard tailwheel fork bearing - exposed to dirt from Tailwheel
Tailwheel Fork shroud - made from Carbon

French agent mod - CNC or Lathe made ali shroud/support

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Week 82 - Panel part 2

Hours to date: 836.0

Finally got the top section of the panel done.

It is now ready for paint. Although I will wait until the bottom section is done before painting.

I spent many many hours working on the GPS mount - which as stated in my previous post is 'off piste'. I've hidden almost all of that ugly plastic behind the panel - with gaps only for the release mechanism and the power button.

I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I've also made the fixings on the side that hold it in place invisible. I can't see me taking the mount out anytime soon. It would be a little bit of hassle to remove but still do-able.

The hole for the flap switch is also done. I've decided to mount it 90 degrees clockwise to the normal position as I think this is a much more logical position for it. It therefore now operates from horizontal (flaps up) to straight down (flaps down), mimicking the physical position of the flaps themselves.

Onto the bottom panel.

I spent ages cutting out the holes for the Transponder and Radio.

They are quite fiddly - and even though I started with a template it took many hours of filing to get them just right.

Unlike the ASI, ALT and Compass holes which are relatively easy - as you just use a 57mm hole saw for those.

I hope to have the bottom panel done this week and then paint it on the weekend. Then it will be a case of fitting all the instruments.

After that I think I may switch back to getting the interior of the cockpit finished - aileron pushrod holes (and covers) need to be made and the seat needs fitting.

Once everything airframe wise is done I can switch back to wiring everything up.

GPS mount in place

Bottom panel section (transponder in Radio hole just to see how it fits)

Compass trial fitting

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Great resource - A guide to everything

The FAA bible for aircraft.

Or in their words:

Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair.

I came across this while researching the electrics but it has a wealth of other information in there.

Free to download.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Week 81 - Panel

Hours to date: 824.0

Slowly making progress on the panel.

As you will see below I did decide to follow Pete's idea of separating the panel into two sections.

I've also angled the lower section some more (17 degrees) - so all the instrument screens are perpendicular (from the pilots point of view).

To make the flange I used the same methods I've used before. Duct tape on the upper part so it releases, then stirring sticks on each side held on with Bondo to hold the panel at the right angle while the whole thing sets.

I used 8 layers of glass for the flange - which may be a bit overkill - but it has to support the upper panel at the bottom and also I had to rivet 3 anchor nuts to it - so it had to be quite substantial.

As you can see below I've cut out the holes for the EFIS (and installed it's mounting tray), ASI, ALT and Compass holes are done too.

The EFIS must be mounted as close to horizontal (wings level) as possible as there is no way to correct it (you can correct pitch). The same goes for Yaw so I spent a lot of time with spirit levels getting things just perfect before cutting the EFIS hole out.

I'm still working on the GPS mount and hole.

The GPS mount I bought is an Air Gizmos type and allows you to remove the GPS easily (I will want to do this as I use it in my car too).

The Air Gizmos mount is a bit ugly though and normally mounts with quite a bit of plastic in front of the panel.

I've decided to mount it behind the panel and so make it much more hidden - with only the GPS and the release handle visible. Should be a much neater look when it's done.

More about that and the lower panel section in the next post.

Making the panel flange - setting angle with stirring sticks

Duct tape on the top to release it

Here you can see the lower panel angle

Trial fit of the ASI

Making progress on the top panel.