Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2002 03

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1 Turn off heat in curing tent - looks OK, no tacky patches now.
2 Lewis Tomlin, friend Chris and father Keith arrive 11:00 for tour of the works. Show workshop. Take down curing tent and pop jig off table and core off jig. Some epoxy has gone beyond the edges of the peel-ply, but otherwise looks OK. Show trailer, then watch second Europa factory videotape and tell them about PFA* Strut meetings. In afternoon, pick off the epoxy lumps stuck to the core. Peel back the peel-ply at the edges, and near one corner where the glass seems to have gone slightly lumpy along what look like chordwise drip lines. Find bumps similar in height to the problems I had with one of the flaps, but quite limited in area. Cut off glass edges with diamond wheel in angle grinder, and file and sand flush. File down lumps on tip and LE to blend in to foam. Put away starboard tailplane in its jig blocks and get out port one. Saw off jig block 50mm short of LE. Attach TP3 root foam with 5-min epoxy. Scrape off epoxy drips at south end of table where tip was, and re-wax that area. Hard to decide whether it's best to keep LE at same side as before (and so have poorer access to tip) or put it other way round for better access to tip (but have LE access impeded slightly by peel-ply roll).

* The Popular Flying Association (PFA) became the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) on 2008-01-01.
4 Buff off waxed end of layup table. Attach peel-ply to TP3, TE joggle and tab hinge area. Put short pieces of masking tape on upper surface of TP1/2 for 5-min epoxy. Stick jig block to table and core to jig block ready for work on undersurface - decide to keep LE at west side for easy access. Jig seems reluctant to stay in place, so weigh it down while setting. Mark and cut 2-off 1500mm lengths of UNI, leave in glass cupboard until needed. Mark lines on core at 30 degrees to block join line. Ian arrives at 14:00. Mix 3 strokes epoxy with 7 doses q-cell for dry micro and fill all holes and dents. Mix 2 strokes epoxy with 3 doses flox and 1 of cabosil for flox fillet at outboard rib face. Mix 7 strokes epoxy and 5 doses q-cell for micro slurry, start to paint on and squeegee off. Around now, notice that the big slot at TE between TP1 and TP2 was not filled, so dig some dry micro out of the sample before it goes right off and fill it. Mix 8 strokes epoxy and paint on. Lay on first layer of UNI - it lines up almost perfectly with little trouble! Mix 8 strokes epoxy and wet out. Philip Paull arrives and takes some video of activity. Scissor trim. Lay on 2nd layer UNI, almost as good as first one. Mix 10 strokes epoxy and wet out. Mix another 6 strokes to complete wetting-out. Scissor trim. Cut peel-ply to length and apply - TE edge first to save trimming it. Squeegee down and trim edges Erect curing tent and quit about 17:45. 185.1
5 Turn off heat and remove curing tent. Take starboard tailplane off jig block, with care to ensure jig block stays stuck to table. Do only minor clean-up, then put it into storage area and take out port tailplane. Put masking tape 50mm back from LE on already glassed side, and cover it with parcel tape for better resin resistance. Stick down onto jig, and find it needs quite a bit of weight at TE to stop it curling up at ends. Mark out and cut 2 off 1500mm lengths of UNI. Cut off TE support wedge, peel off peel-ply, and file down to aerofoil contour. Dig out trough in foam for flox corner at TE tip, and abrade inside of resin surface. Abrade rib flange, LE and tip where this layup will cover. Vacuum off dust. Stick peel-ply tape to TP3. Mark foam with lines at 30 degrees to block joint line. Ian arrives just before 14:00. As we had very little flox left over before, mix 3 strokes epoxy with 4 doses flox and 1 cabosil for flox rib fillet and TE tip corner. As there are no hot-wire slots to fill on this side, mix just 1 stroke epoxy with 3 doses q-cell for dry micro filling. Mix 7 strokes epoxy with 5 doses q-cell for micro slurry. Mix 8 strokes epoxy and paint on in patches avoiding deeply filled areas. Small amount left for sample. Drape 1st layer UNI. While dispensing next 8 strokes of epoxy notice that the pump reservoirs are getting low. That mix plus another 4 strokes is enough to wet out 1st layer. Re-fill both resin and hardener tanks. Drape 2nd layer UNI. Mix 10 strokes epoxy and wet out. Cut and apply peel-ply (almost cut it too short - had to re-position to leave enough for tip wrap-around). Erect curing tent and leave it about 17:20. Seems quite well cured by about 23:00 but leave heat on overnight anyway. 191.2
6 Turn off heat. In evening take down curing tent, unstick core and jig. Put them in storage area, and bring out the other tailplane half and the other jig. Mark and cut 2-off 1500mm lengths of UNI. 192.1
7 Trim root and TE of starboard tailplane with diamond wheel in angle-grinder. File and sand down flush to foam. Bad twinge in back when bending to reach angle-grinder power plug. Do quick knees-to-chest exercise then carry on, holding small of back concave. Some more twinges but bearable. File down LE & tip to blend with foam. Stick jig block down to table. Peel back LE peel-ply and put masking tape covered with parcel tape 30mm back from LE. Cut off TE support block, remove peel-ply, and file TE down to match aerofoil profile. Excavate trough for flox at tip TE. Stick tailplane to jig and weigh down - TE tends to be up in centre on this one. Stop and before lunch do some more knees-to-chest exercises, but feel a lot worse afterwards. Eventually realise I'm not going to be able to carry on with the layup this afternoon, but too late to warn Ian, who turns up about 14:00 and stays for a chat. He takes the builders manual and H&T to have a look through. In evening, back feeling a bit better, so take weights off core and mark up lines at 30 degrees to core joint. File samples from Tuesday's layup. 195.1
12 Call Ian to say I'm fit for work again. Rub all glass areas on upper side of port tailplane with sandpaper or Perma-Grit. Mix 1 stroke + 3 doses of q-cell to fill dents and joint slot with dry micro. Ian arrives on time despite race traffic. Start to dispense epoxy for flox but lose track and pump 5 strokes before remembering I only wanted 3 strokes! Mix it and decant about half into another cup for micro slurry. Add 4 doses flox and one of cabosil and fill rib fillet and TE tip trough. Dispense another 5 strokes into the already-mixed stuff and add 4 doses q-cell for micro slurry. Spread on and squeegee off. Mix 8 strokes epoxy and spread roughly. Drape 1st layer UNI, cut off corner and re-position. Scissor trim. Wet out with 12 strokes and then another 5 strokes of epoxy. Drape 2nd layer UNI, scissor trim and wet out with 7 strokes epoxy. Cut peel-ply to length and apply. Erect tent about 17:00. Seems quite well cured when going to bed about 23:00 but leave heat on overnight anyway. 198.8
13 Turn off heat in curing tent.
19 Start to collect aluminium parts for anti-corrosion treatment. Phone around to find anodizer who can do chromic anodizing; only one seems to be in Stroud; they quote about £50 for a couple of dozen small ali parts.
22 Take down the curing tent and break the starboard tailplane off the jig. Bring the port one out of the storage area and suit up to trim them both with diamond wheel in angle grinder. File and sand edges straight, and round TE tip slightly. Smooth down tips where resin ran beyond peel-ply. Put them back in the storage area to make room for work on metal parts. Set up photographic dish-warmer with a couple of small dishes full of water to see what sort of temperatures are reached. Gets up to about 35C after several hours - rather short of the 50-60C recommended in the Alodine instructions. 200.9
23 Clean up a small offcut of aluminium plate with files and emery paper. Degrease it with acetone and try going through the Alodine process with small amounts of liquid in glass jars, and no attempt to heat it. Wear charcoal-filter face mask and keep fans running. Dilute Metalprep 1+2 with water as instructed, but leave Alodine neat as for brushing. Agitate continuously for about 3 minutes in each solution. All seems to go OK, but sample finishes up a bit variable in colour; don't know if that matters, although one edge (not so smoothly finished) seems so light it can't have had much effective treatment. Maybe I brushed it off too fiercely when rinsing off.
25 Sift through all parts boxes, noting any aluminium parts and taking out those which I think should be corrosion protected. Haven't included main undercarriage leg and don't know what to do about that. Exclude parts which will be totally inside cockpit and/or are not stressed (they can be degreased and painted with zinc chromate). The control system bushes will be rubbing against other parts so there seems little point in treating them, other than painting the mating surfaces of joints with zinc chromate. Check prices of zinc chromate primer & jointing compound in Light Aero catalogue. The CS08 cranks appear to be already treated, perhaps anodised. There are 78 parts altogether that appear to merit treatment - rather more than I first thought! Need to think about how to identify parts once they are out of their original bags. Perhaps add dimensions to database.
26 Continue checks on metal parts. Phone anodizer in Stroud to see if I can bring the parts down for an estimate and they say they don't do chromic anodizing, so I must have remembered the wrong firm when I wrote up last Tuesday's journal. Maybe it was the one in Chippenham who include chromic anodizing in their ad. Phone Diamond platers in Tewkesbury and they do chromic anodizing, minimum charge £40, but they would prefer to know exactly which alloys the various bits are because the processes might be different.
28 Decide to defer decisions on corrosion protection of metal parts for a while, and to seek further advice on parts such as flap hangers which are part exposed and part bonded. Clear away dishwarmer and trays. Get port tailplane out of storage area and mark it up for cutting out trim tab. Outboard end lines up perfectly with mark for end of peel-ply - very pleasing. Find that knife cutting tends to damage layup - whitish area around cuts - so use hacksaw blade for both sides. Find that I didn't hold it at quite the right angle in a few places, causing some tab LE damage. I had started by trying to keep the cut in line with the slot, forgetting that the stuff ahead of the slot is waste. Must remember to always let the cutting angle err on the shallow side next time so the blade goes into the waste, not the tab LE. Otherwise quite satisfactory, with reasonably straight edges. Remove false foam rib at root, with some difficulty. Resin had run down between TP3 and TP2 and bonded them together - so much for the "ready in 5 seconds" of the manual! Remove peel-ply from TP3 area after usual struggle to get it started. Clean off most of lumpy bits of foam with wire brush in Dremel and router attachment. Can't get into tight corners, and the base is not wide enough to span the rib at the central widest part, so it ends up a bit untidy. Remove foam at rear face and remove peel-ply from slot area. Dig out shallow area opposite tab tip using Dremel router to get depth right. Make wedge-shaped hole beside outboard rib and make foam wedge to fit the space. Remove TP3 foam and peel-ply from root end of tab (maybe next time I'll follow the manual and remove all TP3 stuff before cutting out the tab - it would save starting 2 extra ends of peel-ply). File down tab LE to improve profile and get rid of peel-ply remnants. Dig out foam under hinge flange and clean up. Gently sand the hinge edges of both tailplane and tab to true them up without removing much material. Unfortunately at end of strokes back edge of Perma-Grit tool slightly dents tailplane closeout edges at tip of tab area, spoiling nice appearance of edges as cut. Only cosmetic, and will probably be invisible after closeout layup. To support tailplane at appropriate angle during layup, add block at angle to MH door baffle model. 206.8

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