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 http://tinyurl.com/cwt6qrl. 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


Masking the lower left wing, Finishing the silver on the cowling, painting the canopy metal

May 20, 2012

Today I got quite a bit of work acomplished. I started off by moving the upper wing out of the paint booth and hanging it to continue curing. I dropped the lower left wing down onto the saw horses. I attached the lower left aileron and started laying some tape lines for the lower wing. I simply laid down a straight line of 3/4″ fine-line down the edge of the leading edge. I then free-handed the radius to the tip. The masking was A lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I then measured along the rear spar root to the tip and got 90″ so I divided that by 6 and got my invasion strip increment of 15″. I then taped the lines inside (where it would stay white).

After I laid out the lines. I thought I better get started on the engine cowling silver stripe so that it could cure a while so that I could move it out of booth to paint something else. I remasked the lines and then masked off the white, sanded it down, and then took it into the booth for some paint. I mixed up some silver and shot both cowlings. about 30-40 minutes later I pulled the fine line tapes to allow the paint to roll over to a smooth line.

While those dried I continued working on the lower wing by flipping it over and laying out the line for the top surface. Again easier than I thought and free handing it was the way to go.

while the cowling dried I worked on masking the lower and upper surface areas that were going to stay white and silver. (sorry no picture for the upper surface.

After the cowlings had dried for about 4 hours I pulled the masking material and hung them on the fuselage carefully as the paint was still slightly soft, dry to the touch but was still curing. Man, she really is coming together.

After all that I decided it was high time to paint the canopy metal parts blue so I scuffed the primer with some scotch brite and hung them up in the booth and shot the blue onto them.

Time spent today 10 hours
Total time spent 1338 hours


Re top coating the lower left aileron

August 11, 2011

So I sanded down the aileron to get it smooth again. The Top coat sands easily with the 320 grit open coat. I then got it back in the paint booth this time I mixed a bit more paint and started shooting. This time I slowed my travel speed down on all coats which used a bit more paint. By the third coat I had a great smooth shine going and by the end of the 4 coat I had a fantastic looking finish.

The next day It has flowed out even more and was a mirror finish. I am really excited because it was really not hard to paint and get a great finish with a very small amount of practice.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 730 hours