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

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

Top coat on the upper ailerons, throttle panel and wobble pump lever

April 28, 2012

Today. I spent some time prepping the upper ailerons for top coat. I started by cleaning them of all the dust over the last 8 months of sitting around and then I sanded them and scotch-brited them. I also wanted to get some paint on the throttle panel and wobble pump lever so I loaded them into the booth as well. I mixed up paint and shot them to a nice pretty white.

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 1272 hours

Finish filling the upper right aileron

August 4, 2011

Roll up post again on the coats of filler for the upper right aileron. So using the scotch-brite technique works really well especially if you attach it to a jitter bug sander. The only problem is that if you have a few bumps or places that need to be leveled you still need to have the sand paper around. What I found is that if you lightly sand all the bays just to level things out and then follow with the scotch brite you will get a great finish.

Time spent 4.5 hours
Total time spent 724 hours

Upper right and upper left coats and call to stewart systems for some help

August 2, 2011

After I got done with the upper right ailerons 3rd sprayed cross coat and it still required sanding I thought how much work this was going to to be to do the wings and everything else. I knew my fingers just wouldn’t take the rest if it was going to take this kind of time. So I called Stewarts to see if I was doing something wrong. Dan Stewart answered and I told him my issues he said first off the ailerons are the worst part of the whole plane to cover and finish. So that part was good news. Also he said since the videos have be out and the manual too that they have some new variations to the technique that may help. He asked what gun I was using and I told him the Devilbiss Finish line 3. The next question was how much pressure I can get to the gun I and I said 25 psi no prob he then asked which tip. I said 1.5 mm using 20 psi. He told me to try 1.3 mm at 23-24 psi will help some. To solve my 1 hour to sand each aileron he told me to try sanding down with red scotch-brite pads and even using an air sander when I get to the wings in the bays away from structure. He told me it should only take about 15 min to sand an entire wing and only a few minutes to sand the aileron. He also told me to try this about 30-45 min after each cross coat.

So I had some red scotch-brite went straight down stairs to try it and holy shit this technique worked awesome. The scotch brite really smoothed out the filler quick and it makes sanding around the rib stitches way easier on the upper right aileron which was through its 3rd cross spray coat. I decided to see how this works on the upper left aileron since it was still at a brush coat and I could try it on each spray coat. So far I am pretty excited on how much easier it is. After that was scotch-brited down I sprayed the upper right for 1 cross coat and the first cross coat of the upper left. About 30 min later I was able to use the scotch-brite and it smoothed right out. So that along with the tip change really really helped. Dan did say that they are in the process of putting out a new website with a forum and also a new video on this technique to the Eko Fill so the rest of the world can have this process.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 719.5 hours

Finishing tapes on the upper right aileron and tip cap fabric

June 11, 2011

Well today I got back off my short week long summer vacation to the beach and got right back down to the basement to finish taping my upper right aileron.  If you remember from the previous post I had only taped the ribs but still needed to tape the spars, the trailing edge and the bottom side ribs.  After I had all those taped and drying I decided to get the tip cap fabric installed which is a PITA (pain in the ass) You have to do quite a bit of shrinking the fabric to get it to make the shape and even to that end I had to make a small slit to make it around the nose in nice shape.  I finished those on the other ailerons as well.  Its almost time for some eko fill!

The picture below is an example of the tip caps I was talking about, and yes I have a little trimming to do on the trailing edge.


Time spent today 5 hours

Total time spent 699 hours

Rib stitching and taping the upper right aileron

June 4, 2011

Today I got down the basement and immediately cut all the re-enforcing tape and started rib stitching.  I’ve the stitching down pretty good but after about 2 ribs I needed to put anti-chafe tape on my fingers.  I imagine that the wings are going to be quite fun with all those stitches.  After that was done I measured and cut all the rib tapes and started gluing the top surface in place.

Time spent today 3 hrs

Total time spent 692 hrs