Fuselage starts the 23rd of June 2007.
Some of the stock for the Fuselage , I was spoilt with the flaps and ailerons as most of the parts were formed
and all I had to do was mark out and drill lots of holes. It's now back to making parts out of various
lengths of angle and channel and then drill lots of holes.
Not much to show for a weekends work , there was a lot of head scratching to start with. All the little bits that come in the kit.
The fairlead block assemblies. The rear fuse sides under construction.
The cross tie box , this bit joins the fuselage sides at the top. Putting a 5 degree bend in one of the cross ties.
The rear fuselage gradually taking shape , no rivets yet I need to square it all up before I start drilling the cross ties.
Cross tie box in , I had to trim 2mm off each end of the box to achieve the 40" measurement across the front. Apart from that small error
everything went together perfectly including the bottom panel.
Most parts in , I had a major disaster with the left upper and lower longerons I had to remake both of them because I drilled all the side panel holes
incorrectly. I started with the longeron level with the front of the skin and drilled all the holes , what a pain when I realized the longeron sits back
nearly 2cm from the front. Luckily I realized my error before I drilled he right hand longerons.Half a fuselage and a pair of wings
Another addition to the workshop , I have been wanting to make one of these for years , It's a foot switch for my pedestal drill
It's great to be able to turn the drill on and off without either letting the job or the handle go. Tail wheel in ,Not bolted, I had to machine 1mm off each side of the wheel as it was to big to fit into the support bracket.
I was not happy with the way the wheel spun on it's bearings, it felt like your average Woolworths trolley wheel, so I pulled it apart. I am glad I did as you can see the outside casing on the left hand one is split open also there is no spacer between the bearings so if you tighten the nut in the axel the load goes on to the bearings and locks up , with the nut loose to allow the bearings to turn you then run the risk of the bearing running on the shaft. They are both out of this wheel they normally have a pressed metal case around them. The one on the left has had it's case removed. The one on the right is OK.These are LOW precision bearings (Designed for trolleys , they don't work all that great in trolleys either if you have ever pushed a trolley around a super market) and will both be getting the flick in favour of proper ball bearings with a spacer.
The turtle deck on, 23rd September.
The rear seat belt brackets going in. All turtle deck formers in except for the LH front one.
The skins went on easy as pie with Margaret's help. I put them on as one piece and it was easy to bend over. I had put them on one at a time earlier to pre drill them then took them off , joined them up and back on again.
I crawled inside to install the formers except the rear one which turned out to be a real challenge , fortunately the only rivets I have put in so far are on the turtle deck skins (I had to do this as I was running out of clecos) so I removed the right side panel to get access to that rear former. The former was OK it was the rear clip that connects the former to the turtle deck channel that really tested me. But after much body twisting and eye squinting I managed to get it on nicely.
All I have to do now is pull it all apart deburr every hole and clean it all up then re assemble and rivet.
Check out these little babies , made in OZ , they grip like crazy but are not as quick as clecos. Adrian's special tool XYZ , how I got
my formers nice and tight.
These are the snap bushings for the rudder cables the lower one supplied was for a wall thickness of about 6mm and as we are to put it in a 1mm sheet they were a bit floppy , not helped by the fact that I made the hole too big, the hole called for was 3/4" or 19mm , my step drill only had 18 and 20mm so I made the hole 20mm, the supplied bushes were NBG. I got the new ones from the local electrical supplier which are 20mm and have multiple latches so they will fit any size wall. As luck would have it they snap into the vertical ties beautifully.
A rear shot of the tail section minus the rudder. Last shot of the tail in position , it all goes together really well with a minimal amount of
surgery. The turtle deck is all riveted up and despite my best efforts I STILL ended up with some dimples. OH well.
The tail wheel bolted in , drilling the titanium rod turned out to be a non event , after all the horror stories I had read. I drilled it out with
a normal HSS drill and used compressed air to keep it cool. It went through with no more trouble than mild steel. I made one cut with a 1/8" drill and then
straight through with the 1/4".
Only about 1/8" at a time to allow the drill bit and the rod to cool, with the air going all the time.
The 11th of October and the forward section of the fuselage is under way , MANY complicated brackets need to be made before any construction takes place.
The 5th of November already, there is a LOT of work in the front fuse sides but nearly there.
Some of the parts to be made for the left front fuse. I have at this stage finished all the parts for the right hand side.
Lots and lots of filing. The clamp is for sound damping. hoes slots in the upper longerons took ages. Putting the right hand side together. These weird looking brackets are all made out of 2" angle. The left hand ones are a lot easier as I just cleco them to the right hand ones and file them to size. The filing is not that hard as the vixen file removes aluminium like a plane removes wood.
Both fuselage sides with most parts mounted. Next job is drilling out all holes to full size , debur and then rivet.
Then we can mount all this on to the rear section and start fitting all the internal stuff like seats and fuel tanks floors dash panels glare shields the list goes on.
The front fuse sides attached, next the floor and then the firewall. I though I would try the engine mount on for fit,
looks OK so far. Things should move quickly now, well I hope.
Some of the 40 thousand parts that needed to be made for the front fuse.
The internal fittings going in. A lot of head scratching went on before I understood, but once I worked it out it goes together beautifully. I am glad I had not riveted anything at this stage as drilling some of those holes would have been tricky. I could dismantle anything I wanted, I just marked everything and then drilled it all out on my pedestal drill.
I assembled it all on the bench first till I understood where everything went, I then clecoed some used angle across the
bottom to act as a false floor so that when I put the cross pieces in they will be flush with the floor when I do put it in.
Being able to crawl around underneath made everything very easy. It will be a VERY solid structure when it's all together.
I can't begin to imagine the thousands of hours that must have gone into designing this thing.
Connecting up the control system January 6th I have assembled most of the internals on the front fuse except the seat
then I will move on to the firewalls and engine mount.
More drama. The bushes supplied were too small, not in diameter but in length. Not by much, just a few thou so first I removed the paint on the control triangle. Still no good so I machined a few thou off the inside of the flange and voila!
they protrude enough to allow the triangle to rotate when the bolt is tight. As with the aileron bell crank I reamed out the
holes to allow the bush to rotate. With it assembled and, the short rod connected to the idler it moves very smoothly , I am very happy with it , it's a lovely system. No drama with the stick it went together as per the plans and also moves very smoothly. Can't wait to connect it all up and try it out.
The seat under construction. My little nibbler worked great here.
The seat installed. I could not resist trying it out I think it was made for me I fit perfectly and it's very comfortable
just sitting on the bare aluminium , the angles are perfect and it supports my legs right up to the knee.
Fixing up the brakes ready for the undercarriage. I had to modify the bush that holds the camshaft as it did not protrude
far enough into the backing plate. Which meant the camshaft was rubbing on the aluminium plate and also when you tighten up the lever the whole thing locked up. First I removed the bush from the backing plate and machined the step a few
thou so it protrudes through the backing plate and stops the camshaft running on the aluminium. Then I machined a few thou
off the other end so the lever did not lock. THEN I had to machine a few thou of the square that holds the lever so it could be tightened. Other wise the nut hit the square section before the lever was tight.
Oh and one other thing. There is meant to be a left hand and a right hand lever, I had 2 right hand ones so I had to bend
one the other way.
Getting the engine mount in position ready for drilling. I had to install 1/8th spacers in each corner to get it cantered.
The windscreen strip mounted on the upper firewall, the little screw in skin pins worked great here as the clecos don't
hold tight enough. Another shot of the windscreen strip. The front of the windscreen sits on this also the rear of the cowling. The strange marking on the upper firewall is oil that came out of my drill chuck after I oiled it.
Drilling my titanium gear legs, I purchased a new drill for the job and it paid off as it cut beautifully ,just a normal HSS drill made in China no less. I took my time used plenty of oil, plenty of pressure and cleaned the drill every
millimetre or so. I also used the slowest speed my drill would go. A nice clean hole and the 1/4 inch bolt was an easy push
Setting up the 0.7 degrees of toe in. I did not have the Sonex special tool xyz so I used a rule. Tan 0.7 degrees equals the thickness of the rule over the distance from the edge of the rule to the point on the axel were
the angle makes contact.(Adrian's therom) Just have to hold all this in position when I drill. The bit of vertical angle is to hold the horizontal bit straight.
The 2nd of March and it's cooling down already.
Sonex is on it's wheels , I have the panel mounted and the glare shield and tank in. No photos yet I am still wrestling
with the fuel tank but should be done this week then I can fit the windscreen and canopy before it gets too cold.
The 18th of March.
Windscreen on engine on and wings finally drilled. Putting the windscreen on was as easy as, but drilling the wings was a pain, I had a 500w Bosh drill with a reduction gearbox and it struggled , I had to let it cool down a few times which was good in a way as it gave me a rest as well. The wing team resting after a hard days work. Now for the canopy before
the days get too cold , I have only one day to work on it before Natfly 2008 I have to get the camping gear ready.
My first attempt at spray painting. I had to paint the top of the fire wall so it does not reflect light back into my
eyes. Now I can put it all together again hopefully for the last time.
15th of November 2008 There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.
Tail section and rear floor all riveted up. The only thing left is the fairing between the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The luggage compartment minus the auxiliary fuel tanks showing the elevator push rod tube I made up to separate the push rod from the luggage. There is a connection in the push rod at this point with three bolts and I did not want this getting snagged with luggage during flight.
I also put some aluminium strip in to make sure nothing wanders down the fuselage upsetting my centre of gravity.
The air vents, I just went for the standard as per plans air vents, If I am unhappy with
them I can change them later.