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


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

Painting the Silver on the upper wing

June 9, 2012

So I got back off of travel and on Saturday night I masked off the areas that were blue and white to make way for the silver. I then sanded the areas that were going to be silver to scuff them up and on Sunday I painted the silver stripes on the top and the silver stripe on the bottom. Here is how they came out: Pretty good huh!

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1372 hours

Masking the upper wings for blue

June 1, 2012

Today I got started on the upper wing masking.  This was going to be a bit more challenging as I have a) match what did on the lower wing and also make it symmetrical.  Like most seemingly  hard parts of this project I give it way to much thought and not enough action.  I started by installing the upper ailerons.  I then went on to measuring some of the lines on the lower wing where they intersected at some ribs.  I marked those locations with some tape and the just like I did on the lower wing I just started laying line free hand making sure to hit my marks.  I would say I have it within a 1/8″.  I also noticed that my fine line tape wasn’t sticking very well.  I remembered that Stewarts tells you to wipe the whole surface down with alcohol first, which worked much better.   Once I had the line for the upper wings marked I moved on to the lower side.  I again went with 15″ spacing for the invasion stripes.  This matches the lowers, witch works out nicely.  Laying out all these line was pretty time consuming with loads of measuring.  Once every thing was laid out I moved onto masking the white and silver areas.  Lots of used masking tape here.  I think I have about $80 in masking tape by now but it’s good stuff so I can’t complain.  I have found that if I buy the really discounted 3m 233+ tape from TCP global and then pay the shipping it’s the same cost as just going to car quest to get it.   Any this was a 2 day roll up post.


Time spent last 2days: 9 hours
Total time spent 1358 hrs

Priming the canopy metal and Painting the Upper wing (again!)

May 19, 2012

So today I thought it was high time to give the upper wing another shot of paint. But before I did that I thought it was also high time to prime my canopy parts so that I could top coat those this weekend. I did that and took a couple hour break to let them dry.

After several hours I started in on moving my upper wing into the booth and in prepparation to paint. I cleaned it off with compressed air and alcohol damp rag and then started mixing paint. As you may remember the last time I started off with a new gallon of paint that was later deemed a bad lot of paint. I confirmed this with my new batch of paint since it set up right at the 10 minute marks for both the first and second coat. The third coat took a little bit longer maybe 20-25 minutes. But not big deal there just gave me more time to mix up my second batch of paint. After the third coat I estimated that I would need about 300 more grams of paint to finish to include what was in my pot. I was off by 25 grams it seems as I ran out of paint with two rib bays to go. I ran out of the booth mixed up 50 more grams and finished shooting the wing with no ill effects. Just so I don’t forget I also painted my instrument panel as well.

Well the end result was fantastic, they look glossy and smooth!

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 1328 hours