Friday, 27 February 2015

Week 185 - Engine inventory and other stuff

Hours to date: 1663.5

I'm pretty close to getting the upholstery done. Unfortunately there is a 3 week delay with the parachute I ordered so I won't be able to get any progress on the upholstery until the parachute arrives. 

I need to wear the parachute sitting in the seat to make sure everything is comfortable and no extra padding is required in the back area.

The side pocket carbon panel is all ready to be covered, I've just got to paint the headrest area and wait for the parachute.

The lower fuselage access cover is done. I think it's worth the extra effort - Pete just uses a thin fiberglass cover over the top - but I want to protect the fuel lines that lie underneath this cover properly - hence the cover with fibrefrax and cool it tape - the same standard as the rest of the front of the fuse. Otherwise I would end up with a 'weak point' in the fire protection.

I've bolted in the oil cooler and done the edges with a foam draft sealer to help seal it. I'll also add some RTV when I put the ducts on to make everything air tight.

The battery cables have also been secured with composite screw posts and p-clips.

Onto the engine.

I did an inventory of the parts supplied and there are a few things still to come, namely engine mount washers and a capacitor, plus the throttle linkages.

Disappointingly the prop flange was the wrong size - 55mm as opposed to the 90mm that I'd ordered. I'm going for the longer flange to help streamline the cowling and incorporate the round inlet holes in the cowl.

Finally I had a quick look at positioning the ECU. As you can see below I intend to put this on the inside top of the safety cell - above the rudder pedals. I will make a carbon cover over it to prevent a wayward foot from kicking the cables.

Securing mounts for the side pocket.

Lower fuse front access cover all done.

Oil cooler fitted and battery cables secured.

How the engine is delivered

First look after taking the lid off

Inverted oil ball valve and fittings

More bits

Isn't she a beauty?

Prop flange wrong size.

Everything laid out

Figuring out ECU placement.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Propeller ordered

I just ordered a propeller from Hercules.

It should be delivered in 5 weeks.

It will look roughly like the one below. Gloss black with orange tips.

They have a special 15% off deal going at the moment so I thought it a good idea to take advantage of that.

Hercules are a relatively new company but seem to go from strength to strength and are refreshingly professional to deal with.

Hercules have made the props for the Bugatti racer replica - the original was a plane massively ahead of it's time. Unfortunately it never got to fly as the war intervened. I've seen the original in the flesh - it's hanging up in the museum at Oshkosh.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Engine arrived

So much for 8 weeks waiting time, I guess things are quiet at the UL factory?

Anyway it's here and I can't wait to get started on installing it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Week 183 - Headrest, Trim and Side pocket

Hours to date: 1643.0

The trim is back in and working now. Thanks to Matthias at the Silence factory for supplying me with new cables.

A couple of things to note however. The front spring tends to catch on the notched lever below it - see pics below. To get around this I cut the ali spacer in half and put a washer on top of each section to separate the springs and put the rear spring on the bottom. This has fixed the problem.

Also the originally supplied trim indicator cable was not of the solid wire type (again see below pic) it was made up of strands - so not very stiff in compression. The new one supplied to me was solid and I had an "Ah-ha" moment as this was something that I was puzzled by in the previous setup.

Onto the headrest. I finally got a shape in foam that worked for me and allowed the shoulder harness to clear it. I then covered the front and sides in 2 layers of glass, after first putting a thin layer of micro 'slurry' on the foam to fill the pin holes.

When this was set I trimmed it out and flocked it in place on the headrest panel. When that had set I put a good bevel of flock around the edge and applied another 2 layers of glass to the edges to secure it in place.

All that's left to do now is body fill and paint then the headrest will be ready for the upholsterers to apply the foam and leather part.

I've also been thinking ahead about the lower fuselage panel. For me, because of the oil cooler ducts, this panel has to be in exactly the right place when it is bonded on.

So I've put two carbon tabs on the front and back. To the back of these will be applied a nut plate so when the panel is put in place two screws into those nut plates will make sure it is perfectly aligned.

I borrowed/adapted this idea from Johan in Belgium who has put tabs with nut plates all the way around to make the bonding process easier. Thanks Johan!

I've finally got around to making up the flanges for the access panels at the front of the fuselage - top and bottom.

I should have done these when I had the front of the safety cell cut off but wasn't thinking ahead enough - usual story! The access then would have been very straight forward. Now it is tight. I was able to do the lower one okay using the traditional idea of securing the panel in place then applying the flange from the other side. I won't be able to do this on the top one so I'll cover how I'm tackling that one when I get around to it in another post.

Finally onto the side pocket panel, which has been mostly done.

I used 4 layers of carbon for this and it's proved to be the right amount. It only weighs 190 grams and this is before it's trimmed out, but it is plenty stiff enough so that it won't be distorted when the upholsterer applies the leather to it.

A little mistake I've made here is I applied the duct tape directly to the painted cockpit interior and when pulling that off it's taken a tiny bit of paint off here and there. I should have put masking tape down first then applied the duct tape over the top of that as a release.

Trim spring arrangement to clear lever below.

Spring clears the lever now (just).

Trim indicator cable is now the correct solid wire type

Adding 2 layers of glass to the headrest foam block.

Carbon tabs added to the front and back which will have nut plates added. These will align the lower panel precisely.

Front lower fuse access panel flange going in.

Twister on it's side for the side pocket panel job.

Duct tape as a release for the panel - I should have put masking tape underneath to protect the paint.

4 layers of carbon in place for the side pocket panel (before peel ply was added).

Headrest getting secured to it's panel.

Side pocket panel after curing (before trimming out).

Headrest secured to the panel. Just some body filler and paint required now.

Fuselage front access panels almost done.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Elliptical wings

An interesting little article from the latest Kitplanes magazine (which I recommend you subscribe to).

The elliptical wing not only works better it looks prettier too!