Moving the Plane out of the Basement and to the Airport

July 8, 2012

Today was a big day. I spent the first part of the day finishing up some misc. items that were easy to do while I was in A/C. I clamped a few things down like the slobber pot (air/oil separator) and the inverted oil valve. I also took apart the engine stand and reserected it into wing standoffs so that I can transport the wings to the airport lying flat so that it wouldn’t damage the wing or scratch the paint. I used my spare 1/4″ all thread to bolt the 2X4″ and 2X3″ with foam inbetween the wing and the wood and then snugged them to the spars through the I-strut holes. I also took the horizontal tail back apart for transport. I attached the rudder stearing horn permently and then attached the chains from the tail wheel to the horn. Then lastly I laid the wings flat and burned the drain holes with a soldering iron which worked really well (nice clean hole and didn’t take long. Also in preparation I had to open up the other side of paint booth and move some cardboard boxes out of the way of the basement outside door.

At that point I went to the airport to grab by buddies 27 ft long Wells Cargo enclosed car trailer but by that time it was 5 PM and wicked looking t-storm was brewing. After looking at the RADAR I decided we would wait to transport the fuse or wings until it passed. By 7 PM it was game on and the door came off and my wife and I shimmyed the aircraft over the door threshold and out on to the concreate pad where I jacked up the axles to put the wheels on. Once on I rolled it across the grass to the awaiting trailer and this is where my neighbors had impecable timing and showed up just when we were trying to get it into the trailer. It is a ramp but the street is sloped such that we couldn’t get the airplane up in to the trailer. My neighbors pulled up at that same time and helpped up push it up in to the trailer (Thanks Chris and Cindy your timing couldn’t have been more perfect!) We got the plane straped down and off the to the airport with no further issues.

The next trip was much easier. We had some carpet replaced a 3 or so years ago and I kept the carpet and padding. I unrolled the padding into the trailer an then set the wings down on it just as a safety pre-caution. The 10 minute trip the airport was un-eventful thankfully and the wings are safely at the hangar.

After all that I came back and relatively quickly fabricated the spacer bock for the two elevator halves out of 2024 T3 3/4X1/2 bar stock. And then spent 15-20 mintues organizing a load of tools and parts to take the airport tomorrow.

Time spent today 11 hours
Total time spent 1463 hours


Fit checking the left stab and elevator, fitting and installing the turtle deck floor and removable bulkhead

June 26, 2012

Tonight I started off by fit checking the left stab and elevator. After I got them into to position I hooked up the elevator push/pull tubes to see how everything felt, which was very smooth. After that I got the bug to finally finish off the turtle deck. I started by masking off the carbon I was going to keep “raw” (I have plans to clear coat that area which is in the cockpit only door and cockpit bulk head) and I was going to prime it to see where I was with my pin hole filling, but I stopped and decided that the floor and removable Lexan Bulk head had to be installed first. I had already drilled an fit the Lexan bulk head so all I had to do was installed the 1/4 turn camlocs. I drilled the lexan and bulk head out to 1/4″ for the camlocs and installed the camloc backing into the bulk head and back drilled the holes (makes for a quick drilling guide. I then counter sunk the rivet holes in the carbon and drilled out the carbon camloc main hole out to 3/8″. I installed the camloc backs and viola everying fits right and easy. After that I moved on to turtle deck and floor. I measured for the rivets to attach the floor the turtle deck and I drilled out the 3/32″ holes. I initially wasn’t going to install rivets as I was going to glue the turtle deck to the floor but I decided I needed some kind of mechanical back up. So anyway I scuffed the floor intersection with 100 grit sand paper to give it some “grit”. I then mixed up the left over 2216 B/A Scotch-weld glue I had left over from the ailerons applied it the the floor turtle deck/floor intersection then installed all the rivets to keep everything inplace. Turned out pretty good. Now that that is complete I can fill the rivet holes with filler and sand them flush prime and paint this sucker. Will be nice to have it painted.

Time spent tonight 6 hours
Total time spent 1423 hours


Fit checked right stab and elevator onto the fuselage

June 25, 2012

Tonight I finished unmasking the stabs and the elevators and decided that it was high time to permenently install the forward stabilizer spar. I measured and then melted a perfect 3/4 tube hole in the fabric using my now trusty method of a propane torch and heated exacto knife. This method doesn’t allow excess heat out into the fabric and cuts a very clean hole. Anyway I installed the spar with new hardware and then fit checked the right stabilizer and elevator. Turns out they still fit well after covering and painting. Not suprising though, just wanted to see what they looked like on the fuse.

Time spent 2 hours
Total time spent 1417 hours


Re-masking the stabs and painting the silver on

June 24, 2012

Today I spent most of the day working on the stabs again, this time re-masking for the silver. Once I got them re-masked, I scuff sanded the areas to be painted and I shot the silver on. Meanwhile I spent quite a bit of time cooking up an aircraft spruce order that I will place on Monday.

Time spent 7 hours
Total Time spent 1415 hours


Painting the blue on the stabs and elevators

June 22, 2012

I had the day off Friday so spent the day masking the stabs off so I could paint them blue. After I got them masked off I scuff sanded the areas to be painted then shot the paint.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 1408 hours


Removing the masking on the lower right wing and masking the horiz stab and elevators

June 19, 2012

Tonight I got home afterwork eager to remove the masking paper from the lower right wing to see everything after it’s finished. Although have seen this before, its always nice to see it again. As has been typical it has come out great. After that I temporaily connected the aileron to see hou the whole thing looks with the paint and it too, looks great.

After that I decided to that it high time to lay out the masking line on the horizontal tail and elevators. It didn’t take long as I have been getting pretty good at it now. I then transferred the lines over to the other stab and elevator to round out the evening.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 1402 hours


Shooting Insignia White on the Stabs and the elevators

March 28, 2012

Tonight I decided was enough practicing as I was getting very consistant results on my test panels, so I shot the insignia white on to my stabilizers and elevators. I mixed up 10 ounces of Part A for the first three coats and I came up a little short on so i rush back to mix up another 10 ounces to shoot the rest. All came out well. Some lessons learned was get down stairs and get the fans installed in the windows before it gets dark so that the bug don’t come in the few seconds I have the winds uncovered. Second, make sure that you get the edges real good from several angles as they don’t cover real well if you don’t. Other than that I got great results from the Eko-poly nice and glossy buttery smooth.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1215 hours


3rd X coat on the Istruts, stabs, rudder and elevators starting cowling prep

March 17, 2012

Today I took the morning to go flying with my buddy to work on my instrument rating. This afternoon I started prepping the left side cowling for paint. It will need a bit of body filler as this is the side that I had to widen for the engine to fit. It also has some areas that need some filler to fill in some voids after the molding process. I started by sanding all the gel coat down with 320 to give it some grit for the paint and to also clean it up since it had bugs and other things on it. The sanding worked really well the cowling looks great. After that I re-installed the ladder back into the paint booth and hung the I-struts, right stab, rudder and elevators for their 3rd cross coat.

Time spent 5 hours
Total time spent 1190 hours


Sanding the 2nd X coat and spraying the 2nd coat of grey on the fuse

March 16, 2012

Today I spent the day first sanding everything I sprayed the day before which was the I-struts, horizontal tails, elevators, rudder and fuselage. After the fuse was sanded I sprayed a 2nd cross coat of Eko-fill on to it. With the 100 watt light bulb test I could still see light through in some areas so it still needs another cross coat which is what I planned for anyway.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total time spent 1184 hours


1st grey coat for the fuse and sanding and 2nd cross coat for for the elevators, stabs, rudder, I-struts

March 15, 2012

Today I took a half day off work I got right to work by removing all the parts I shot the night before and pulling the fuselage in for 1 more half cross coat of eko fill white. By the time all this happened the mail man and just delivered my new variable speed orbital palm sander and with this new set up sanding is easy and got right to work sanding the elevators, stabs, rudder and I-struts. I also used my square palm sander with the red scotch bright for areas like the rib stitches and the leading and trailing edges of the parts. Once the sanding was done I wanted to shoot a coat of grey on to the fuselage but I also wanted to see how my sanding was working on so I also shot the 2nd cross coat on my left horizontal stabilizer. Once those dried I pulled them out of the booth and I spent some time figuring out a way to secure all the other parts so that they are rigid but I could also get around them to paint them with out touching them. I took half of my extension ladder and wired it to the ceiling to secure them to it using some spare wood, screws and clamps. after I had this all figured out I was to a break for dinner which gave me enough time to sand the 2nd cross coat on the left horizontal stabilizer so I could shoot a 3rd cross coat on that while shot the second X coat on all the rest of the parts. With the ladder holding everything tight I was able to do all the above parts in one sitting.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1179 hours