Counter balancing and Attaching the ailerons

September 4, 2012

So Monday evening I double checked my math with the ailerons attached to the wings and slave struts attached to the ailerons. I used a Gatorade bottle safety wired to the upper aileron at the leading edge tube and poured 1 lb 8 oz of weight (I used BB’s they were cheap to buy and heavy) to balance the ailerons with the fuse level. So that meant that I needed 0.75 lb of weight in each aileron. I took each aileron home to balance them that night.

Tuesday after work I took the ailerons back out to the airport for final installation (I hope). This time I used new and correct sized hardware along with castellated nuts and cotter keys. What a damn bitch these things are to install! Getting the bolt in is no problem getting the washer and nut on is a another story, especially on the center hinge with the control arm in the way. It took an assortment of special tools like ratcheting end wrench, curved hemostats for pliers and box end plugs to go into my sockets to turn my sockets into low profile socket wrenches when accompanied by the ratcheting end wench and my hangar mates cool new low profile craftsman socket set. Side note everyone needs a set of these things I will be buying set soon. Anyway 6 hours later all were installed. I hope they don’t have to come off for any reason!

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1590 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

Spraying the lower right wing and aileron silver

June 18, 2012

Tonight I was hell bent on finishing the paint on the wings so I had my work cut out for me. I quickly re-masked both the wing and the aileron for silver, sanded both cleaned and prepped and loaded them into the booth. Thank goodness I have wonderful wife that cooks dinner or I’d never eat. She claims she hasn’t helped much on the plane but I tell her taking care of me by cooking, doing laundry and making sure the house doesn’t fall apart is the only reason I can work on this thing at all. Without her I would be no were near where I am now. Anyway, I was able to get the wing and aileron sprayed silver and tapes pulled by midnight. The wings are officially painted! Major milestone. Some items I have left to paint are the the 1) Elevators and Stabilizers (blue and silver trim colors) 2) Turtle Deck 3)Forward belly panel 4) Gear leg fairings 5) wheel paints)

Time spent 5 hours
Total time spent 1399 hours

Spraying the last lower aileron blue

June 17, 2012

Tonight I didn’t have much more than 2 hour of spare time as we went out to enjoy the lovely weather for some wake boarding and wakesurfing. Anyway I wanted to get the aileron sprayed blue today and I started working around 10pm by midnight I was finished pulling tapes. Sorry no pictures.

Time spent 2 hours
Total time spent 1394 hours

Shooting the blue on the lower right wing

June 16, 2012

Today I was able to finish the sanding of the areas that are going to be blue and I prepped and loaded the wing in to the paint booth. I was able to get the blue sprayed. Eve was able to snap a picture while I was painting, I look pretty funny with my hobby air masking and tyvek bunny suit on. Later that evening I was able to get the lower aileron masked and prepped for the blue.

Time spent 4 hours
Total time spent 1392 hours

Masking the lower right wing and shooting silver on the ailerons

June 15, 2012

Today I started by re-masking the silver areas on the ailerons from painting the blue and then I sanded and shot them silver. While the paint was drying I started laying out the lines for the lower right wing. I got the bottom and top laid out and the I masked them for the blue and sanded the wing areas for shooting them blue tomorrow.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1388 hours

Spraying the ailerons blue and installing the instruments into the panel

June 14, 2012

Tonight I decided to get the blue on the lower ailerons that I had masked off. I loaded them into the blue and sprayed the blue horizontally to make life easier since I had tons of room to lay them flat. I used my trusty extension ladder that is now color coordinated with the airplane for a table. After that I worked on installing the instruments into the panel for the last time. I then installed the panel into the fuselage.

Time spent: 4 hours
Total time spent 1380 hours

Masking ailerons for blue

June 13, 2012

Tonight I spent some time masking off the areas of the ailerons that were going to get painted blue. This is kind of a a paint because there are some weird intersections at the nose where the bottom scheme flows into the top scheme. Anyway I got three of them masked off and I will spray the blue on them later this week.

Time spent 4 hours
Total time spent 1376 hours

Shooting the silver on the lower left wing

May 30, 2012

Tonight I removed the masking paper for the silver areas and re-masked the areas that were blue and white. I then sanded the areas that get the silver, blew and wiped it down, washed with alcohol loaded it into the booth and shot the silver. I was having problems keeping the silver from sagging on me so i prepared for that by setting it horizontal on the saw horses. Sure enough after the third coat it was starting so show signs of running so I quickly took it off the vertical and laid it on the saw horses to save the job and I did. The last coat I painted on the horizontal and it was much much easier. After 30 minutes I pulled the tapes and masking paper and this is what I got: How sweet does that look!

Time spent tonight 5 hours
Total time spent 1349 hours

Finishing the masking and shooting the blue on the lower left wing

May 29, 2012

A nice long weekend (5 days!) out to LA where I spent some time with family and also flew about an hour in an S-2B, man that was awesome to get back into a Pitts, thanks Daniel! Anyway I got right to work on the lower wing finished the masking monday night. Also on Monday night was put the canopy together for the final time with brand new hardware looks so nice with that blue on it. Tuesday night I was able to sand it (scuff) for the blue drag it into the booth and shoot it. Came out pretty good. I will get some photos of the whole thing after I’m done with the silver.

Time spent last two days 6 hours
Total time spent