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Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2013 09

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2 While buying hydraulic jack oil in Halfords, notice a 2-tonne trolley jack reduced in price as ex-display, so buy that too - the bottle jack is too tall to fit under the wooden fuselage dolly. Roll fuselage out onto drive and take off top. Remove 16 pieces of peel-ply from the tailwheel arm mount layup. Cleco sternpost into position on lower moulding. Slide tailwheel arm into position but - alas! - the stack of plywood & BID is too high. The eye on the end of the tailwheel arm doesn't quite reach the centre of the pad before the lower face of the arm binds on the aft edge of the pad. Looks like the estimate of 3.75mm for each layer of plywood & BID was a bit mean and that the 5 layers suggested would have been better than the 7 layers I used. I'm sure I kept it well compressed when positioning each piece of plywood, so not sure what's gone wrong. I will have to grind off at least one layer of plywood, but I'm not sure how I will do that as the ideal tool for the job (the power file) won't fit in the width of the fuselage. Make up an L-shaped template from an offcut of plywood for the 235mm vertical dimension from the fuselage bottom to the end of the tailwheel arm. Remove tailwheel arm, take out clecos and remove sternpost. Put top back on fuselage, roll back into garage. 1614.0
3 Roll fuselage out onto drive and take off top. Try grinding down tailwheel arm mount with Perma-Grit block but very slow and tiring going. Try the larger (32mm) Perma-Grit cut-off wheel in the Dremel and although not ideal as it tends to cut a slot unless kept moving, does work quite well and reasonably quickly. Grind through the top (14th & 13th) layer of BID and the top (7th) layer of plywood to expose the BID below (layers 12 & 11). Smooth off with a Perma-Grit block. Fit F10 sternpost with clecos. Try the fit of the XTW06 tailwheel arm. With the eye at the centre of the pad there is nearly room for the XTW15 plate. Take off sternpost and grind through the BID and the top ply of the layer-6 plywood. Smooth with Perma-Grit block. Re-fit sternpost and try fit of tailwheel arm again. Looks much better now. File out the hollow at the aft end of the fuselage to allow better centring. As parked without any attempt at levelling, fuselage is about 2.2 degrees tail-down. Offer up the plywood template to XTW06 and it's easy to get the reference edge to the same angle with XTW15 in place. However, that bare plywood needs to be covered with BID again, so need to make allowance for that. While thinking about that, drill the 1/4" drain holes in front of the sternpost and rear bulkhead called out in manual page 32M-5. Need to use the tight-fit drill kit for the latter as the pitch pushrod prevents use of a conventional drill. Grind off the middle ply of plywood layer 6, and some of the bottom ply, to partly expose the BID underneath, which should make enough room for the thickness of a new BID layup. Abrade the bonding area with a piece of coarse Perma-Grit flexible sheet. Mark & cut 2 off 190mm squares of BID and cut about 30mm off the corners. Mix 45g (peg 2) epoxy and paint the bonding area. Lay on a sheet of BID , stipple down & wet out. Lay on 2nd sheet of BID, stipple down & wet out. Apply peel-ply in several strips. Put top back on fuselage and roll into garage. Turn on fan heater at half-power, thermostat 3.5. By bedtime, it's 28C, 36% RH inside rear fuselage so turn thermostat down to 3. 1617.6
4 25C, 40% RH. Turn off fan heater. Sample cured OK. Remove peel-ply. 1617.7
5 Having thought a lot about how to ensure XTW06 & XTW15 are held in good contact while the Redux cures, buy a 6mm dia x 2mm thick disc magnet at Maplin (stock # YA28). Roll fuselage out onto drive, take off top. Cleco sternpost on. With rapid epoxy, stick a platform onto the template for the digital level to sit on. Offer up the tailwheel arm XTW06 and the new pad looks very promising - the XTW15 plate just about fills the space between the XTW06 and the pad with the eye of XTW06 centred on the pad. Mark a bold line on fuselage underside, along the moulded-in crosshairs that I had highlighted some time ago. Mark parallel lines one ruler's width away from the centreline on each side. Sight from rear to check XTW06 alignment with the lines. Pretty good already, but a minor bit of filing on the sides of the hole in F10 sternpost gets it even better. For a rough check on correct vertical alignment, measure fore-and-aft as parked which is 4.1 degrees tail-down. Check tailwheel arm position with template and it's 4.2 degrees tail-down so pretty close! Cut off about 20mm from a length of 0.5" aluminium round bar. Chuck it in the lathe and face off. Turn down to 7.9mm diameter for 12mm then face cut to 12.7mm. Centre-drill then drill through 3mm. Fit 6mm slot drill in tailstock chuck and counterbore 2mm. Check fit of magnet in recess and bore another 0.025mm for adhesive film. Remove from chuck, degrease workpiece and magnet and fit together with rapid epoxy. Remove sternpost. Replace fuselage top and fit clecos by rear bulkhead to secure it. Draw around the edge of the rear bulkhead onto the inside of the fin with a felt-tip pen. Remove top. Relieve top of rear bulkhead slightly with a TC file. Roll lower fuselage on dolly into garage. Invert top moulding onto the sling. Wet area around marked line and apply cling film. Mark and cut 2 off 640mm x 50mm strips of BID, lay them on a piece of polyethylene sheet. Mix 45g (peg 2) batch of epoxy and wet out BID. Carry layup on polyethylene sheet to fuselage top moulding and apply to the prepared area within the fin. Peel off the polyethylene sheet and stipple BID into place. Apply peel-ply. 26C, 31% RH outside so leave to cure in the sun. Using the trolley jack for adjustment and wood blocks to hold the height, set the wooden dolly supporting the fuselage level in both directions. Drill a 0.5" hole in a piece of plywood to act as a support for the tailwheel arm during curing, but still allow access to the threaded end for checking alignment. Assemble a collection of wooden blocks to support it at the correct height on each side. Retract XTW06 to allow clear access to bonding area. Abrade the top of the pad and one side of XTW15 with coarse Perma-Grit sheet. Lightly grease end of XTW06 to ensure it doesn't get stuck. Mix 28g Redux and add 2 and a half doses of flox. Spread it onto the pad and the prepared side of XTW15. Place XTW15 centrally on pad and wipe off excess Redux squeezed out before sliding XTW06 forward to centre the eye on XTW15. Check lineup from rear - main part of XTW06 aligned with lines on fuselage bottom and threaded end vertical. Check eye of XTW06 still centred on XTW15 and drop magnet fixture into place to hold XTW15 in contact with XTW06 while Redux cures. Dorothy helps lift fuselage top (with splash moulding well on the way to curing) carefully into position without disturbing either the splash moulding or the position of the tailwheel arm. 23C, 43% RH inside fuselage. Set fan heater on half power at thermostat 3.5. By bedtime, 25C, 45% RH. 1624.9
6 Re-visit drawing of stick top switch mount & guard, change the side slot from 6mm to 3mm. Add dimensions and print out. Plan machining sequence. Turn first, then mill lower slot. Fit that onto a rectangular mandrel which can be used to mount it and square it for top operations. 22C, 46% RH inside fuselage. Re-position fan heater, raise thermostat to 4 and change from half to full power. Photograph instrument panel to check where extra warning light holes can go. Also check how fuse blocks can be disposed within the RH shelf space. Cut off about 50mm length of a 1" diameter aluminium round bar. Chuck in the lathe and face off. Reverse in chuck and face off to 44mm long. Turn down for 24.5mm length, aiming at 23mm diameter, but mis-read vernier caliper (focussing too much on reading the vernier for the decimal places and not looking carefully at the units!) and overshot to make it too small. Oh, well start again and this time get it right, with the turned-down spigot fitting the control stick perfectly. Face turn to bring spigot to 25mm long. Centre-drill the end. Transfer to milling machine vice, with aluminium sheet softening on jaws. Centre using taper wiggler and zero X & Y dials. Fit 12mm end mill, lower to find surface using cigarette-paper and take a trial cut centred on the workpiece along X axis. 1628.0
7 Now 24C, 36% RH inside fuselage. Proceed with X-axis cuts across the turned-down spigot of the workpiece, taking 0.25mm cuts each time. Reach about half-way down in very limited time available today. 1628.3
8 The total number of warning lamps now is 8: one for each of the 5 MGL instruments plus starter engaged, alternator fail, and crowbar operated. The starter engaged light should be beside the starter switch, and it appears there is room for all the others in line with the existing holes near the top of the main panel. The photo I took of it with a ruler superposed shows the existing holes to be at 17.5mm centres - 50.0mm, 67.5mm & 85.0mm on the ruler. There is room to add holes at 32.5mm, 102.5mm, 120.0mm, 137.5mm, which meets the needs exactly.
9 Finish milling 12mm slot down to flush with the end of the spigot. Widen the slot to 13.2mm with 2 side-mill cuts each side, half-depth (because I'm not sure if the cutter will cut on the side for the full depth) and then full-depth. Switch to long-reach 6mm slot drill and use the X-Y table to position for the switch mounting holes. Bore each about 3mm deep. Find a length of aluminium offcut about 3/4" square and mill one end down to 13.2mm thick. Mark the orientation of the switch holes on it, as they will be hidden. Clamp the workpiece to it and drill through 4mm. An M4 screw is too loose in the holes and allows movement, so cut a piece of steel shim and insert it at the end of the holder to keep the workpiece aligned. Set it up with the workpiece vertical and use a Rizla paper as usual to find the edge of the workpiece with a 8mm end mill. Advance the X feed 10.57mm and mill a slot on the Y axis. Continue to leave the full-diameter flange 2mm deep. Advance another 0.25mm on X-axis and clean up the opposite face with 2 side-milling cuts as before. Advance X feed 10mm and mill the 2nd slot to the same depth. Advance X 0.25mm and bring slot to full width as before. Remove from vise, turn on side and change to long-reach 3mm slot drill. Locate edge of flange in Y-axis and edge of workpiece in X-axis. Advance X feed 11.29mm and plunge Z-axis to start cutting slot. Traverse X feed 5.82mm to form slot and repeat, advancing Z axis the mill breaks through the outer leaf. Advance Z feed until touching centre leaf and repeat milling slot until through that too. Reverse workpiece in vise, repeat edge finding. Advance X feed 12.085mm, plunge to touch, and make slot by additional feed of 4.23mm, repeating until through flange. 1633.0
10 Try fitting the switches in the stick-top adaptor. The trim one is actually 1/4" bush so won't go in the 6mm hole, but the PTT fits OK. Tightening the nuts may be a challenge, though! Also realise that the guard flanges are too long and will need cutting back - I had originally drawn them the appropriate length for single-nut fixing but I do have double nuts for each so that they can be fitted with the end of the bush flush with the top nut. So, the guards could be reduced from 17mm to 15mm. Also, the slot between the flanges is too narrow for my thumb. The best answer seems to be to remove the outer guard flanges completely. The centre guard alone should still provide adequate protection from accidental operation. It would be nice to give the centre guard a rounded profile, but to machine that would require a bit of setting-up on the rotary table. It might be just as satisfactory to round the corners with a file - or mill chamfers with the 45-degree milling cutter. Revise the CADintosh drawing of the adaptor as v2. Re-fit adaptor to holding fixture. Hacksaw off the outer flanges at the slots. Set up in milling vise and with 8mm end mill, take the remains of the flange down flush with the switch mounting face. Mill the centre flange down to 15mm above that face. Fit the large 45-degree conical milling cutter and chamfer the ends of the centre guard flange as far as the cutter will allow (about 10mm slant cutting length). Clean up sharp edges and corners on ScotchBrite wheel. Drill the trim switch mounting hole out to 1/4". Try the switches for size and find I hadn't checked the diameter of the screw-on top of the PTT switch - it's just too large and rubbing on the centre flange. Mount it on a 3-56 screw with nuts for chucking and turn down in the lathe to about 7.5mm diameter, which provides good clearance. 23C, 38% RH inside fuselage; 5 days curing now complete so turn off fan heater. With help from Dorothy, lift off the fuselage top and take it out onto the drive. Check squareness of tailwheel arm with lines on fuselage underside. Hang a plumb bob from the sternpost to check that the threaded end of the arm is vertical when sighted from behind. Without further disturbing the tail-end setup, drill through the mount pad 5/16", using the eye in the arm as a guide. Have to use a mains-powered drill as the cordless one won't fit in the available space because of its large handle where the battery lives. Check that the AN5-21A bolt fits OK. Turn over the fuselage top moulding. Start to remove the peel-ply from the splash moulding in the fin, but it's got kinked and the peel-ply won't come off easily. Despite the care I thought I took, must have snagged it with the top of the rear bulkhead. Remove layup from fuselage and get the rest of the peel-ply off it. Also remove as much of the cling-film as possible. It is quite easy to find the right location to place it in the fin again, so if I can grind off the offending part it might still be OK to use. Not time for that tonight, so Dorothy helps put the top back on the fuselage. 1635.0
11 List fuses and revise main circuit diagram for new hourmeter, which needs a direct power feed as well as the one from the tacho.
12 tickRevise E-3 diagram which also shows tacho & hourmeter wiring. Add fuse identifiers. Edit CSC-1, wing leveller, BAT-1, comms radio, FF-1, fuel gauge, fuel pressure, GPS, RTC-2, SmartASS, TP-1 & transponder wiring diagrams to show fuse identifiers. Finish off fuel gauge wiring diagram as it was incomplete. Redo the PDFs of all the circuit diagrams and combine them into a single wirebook. Re-visit the electrics database and cross-check fuses, lights and switches.
16 Jack up fuselage dolly and remove blocks & wedges fore and aft. Roll fuselage out onto drive. Take off top & invert onto sling. Remove sternpost. Position splash moulding layup for rear bulkhead inside fin and hold in place with masking tape. Remove viewing cover in fin in case I need to see forward side of bulkhead. Put top back on fuselage and check how the layup sits on the bulkhead. All seems OK and the buckled part of the layup is all forward of the bulkhead and thus not a problem. Mark trim lines on layup along upper edges of bottom fuselage flange. Take off top and invert. Remove splash moulding and cut off bottom edges where marked. Smooth all edges to reduce handling hazards. Re-position in fin and hold with masking tape, taking care that tape is clear of bonding area. Mark and drill 3mm the top flange for a couple of extra clecos just forward of the bulkhead. Turn fuselage top right-way up ready for fitting. Mix a batch of Araldite Rapid and spread onto edges of rear bulkhead. With Dorothy's help, lift fuselage top carefully into position, lowering aft end last so as not to smear the Araldite where it's not wanted. Insert clecos at aft end, drill through the pilot holes by the bulkhead and insert clecos there to pull the fin sides well in. Also insert clecos at forward end, to remind me not to try lifting the top. Insert those from the inside to reduce risk of knocking them while moving the aircraft about. Pull fuselage back into garage. Add a CADintosh symbol for the toggle switch from Parts For Aircraft with the LED in the toggle, and for the new LCD hourmeter. Check size and shape of the trim governor. Look at Perihelion website for switch guard info. Looks like the threads on the round ones are about 8mm long. Check thickness of the switch panel area where the battery and alternator switches are mounted - it's about 5mm, but if necessary the plywood back surface could be counterbored or cut away to allow the nuts to seat. Order 4 pairs of the Perihelion guards. Work on fitting the trim governor and trim disconnect switch into the radio panel layout. Wonder if the SmartASS control could be put on the main panel to the left of the ASI, but the starter switch guard doesn't leave enough room. Will have to wait until the switch guards arrive (for the trim disconnect switch) to decide on final layout for the trim stuff. While looking at stuff in the trailer, check the duct pieces CD2 & CD3. They are 6082 T4 sheet, about 1mm thick (18AWG). Neville said I'll need to extend them to conform to his new cowl shape, and if he's not making new ones from scratch, he would rivet on extension pieces of the same material. Consider taking the fuselage out again to do the layup on the rear bulkhead, but the increased winds are bringing rain showers across quite unexpectedly so no confidence in getting enough time to work in the dry. Continue working on panel layouts including sub-panel, which just has enough room left for the strobe & fan switches and the trim fuseholder. Take the mag switch guard to the garage and mill the side to allow both front nuts to turn. Turn it over and chamfer off the corners as for the stick switch guard. Tidy up with file and ScotchBrite wheel. 1637.5
17 Draw up the compass in CADintosh. Looking at the fuselage top, I think the compass could be placed with its mounting face about 50mm forward of the forward top-hat layup, and its top edge in line with the bottom of the layup. Mounting it high will keep it furthest away from the magnetic influences of the rest of the panel & wiring etc. I may have to wait until I can trial fit the windscreen to see how far forward it can go to get it best in the line of sight. Remove all the clecos. Reach into the fin and pull off the masking tape. Lift off the fuselage top and slide it forward until the fin clears the rear bulkhead. Prop it up fore and aft so that it rests in a stable position and doesn't bear on the splash moulding on top of the containment bulkhead. 14C, 70% RH so turn on fan heater, full power, thermostat 4. Mark and cut 2 off BID tapes 650mm x 50mm and lay out on marked-up polyethylene sheet. Also cut out 8 off small BID pieces about 25mm x 50mm for 2-layer straps to re-join the halves of the TS05 restraint bulkhead. Abrade the bonding areas. 24C, 42% RH. Mix a 45g (peg-2) batch of epoxy and wet out all the bid pieces. Apply the tape to the inner corner between the rear bulkhead and the splash moulding. Quite tricky to position (but would have been a lot worse doing it with the top bonded on!), particularly around the top curve. Would have been better to have used 2 separate pieces and overlapped them slightly at the top, but eventually get it about right and peel off the polyethylene sheet. Stipple down and correct minor kinks. Cleco the sternpost into position to draw the sides together. Apply the small BID patches fore and aft, top & bottom, across the (now very small) gaps in the TS05 restraint bulkhead. Apply peel-ply to all layups, in small pieces to fit curves etc. 26C, 40% RH. Leave to cure. Consider how to arrange attachment of the wooden panel to fill in the space between the doors, hide any wiring there, and provide mounting points for headset sockets, hangers, etc. I don't want to make holes in any of the structural members so some sort of composite straps bridging the gap in (say) 3 places and fitted with anchor nuts seems to be the way to go. Maybe just thicker brackets bonded to each side would be enough, and easier to lay up. The tricky bit would be getting the surface of the strap or bracket in the right plane so that the plywood fairs in nicely with the door mouldings. Will have to check there's enough depth for the headset sockets if I do that - the pictures of Tim's installation in G-BZTH indicate that his ply panel oversails the door surround mouldings, thus providing more depth between it and the skin. More thought needed on this before the fuselage top gets bonded on, as it will be much easier to do it out in the open than working upside-down inside the cockpit. 1640.3
18 26C, 36% RH; turn off fan heater.
19 Wind and rain today prevents pulling fuselage out for checking tailplane travel. Remove peel-ply from rear bulkhead and TS05 restraint bulkhead layups. Smooth off edges with Perma-Grit block and files. Look for suppliers of copper tape for the VHF comms dipole aerial; find some possibilities and also turn up some new options for the aluminium sheet I need for the duct in the cowl. 1640.5
20 Remove the props and lower fuselage top into position. Wheel out fuselage on dolly onto drive. Remove top. Get tailplanes from trailer and rig them. Put the balance weights TP19 on the arm TP18 and secure with split-pin. With the arm up, the weights foul the inner ends of the bolts holding the brackets. Reverse the bolts to be head-in and that solves the problem. Set the digital level on the port tailplane and check tailplane travel. At tailplane neutral, level shows 6.2 degrees tail-down. At tailplane full up (balance weight touching rubber bump stop) level shows 6.0 degrees tail-up (so the required 12 degrees up from neutral is still achieved). For tailplane 4 degrees down from neutral, tailplane can easily be adjusted to show 10.2 degrees tail-down - lets make it 10.3 degrees to be on the safe side. At that position, the forward end of the weight is about 24mm below the splash moulding (as measured with inside calipers), and the aft end is about 37mm below it. At the approximate mid-point (in line with the bracket bolts) the gap is about 28.5mm. Look for the 12mm ply to form the top bump stop but apparently that did not come in the kit! De-ring the tailplanes and put them back in the trailer. Put the top back on the fuselage and roll it back into the garage. 1642.1
23 Get a quote from Kennions for thin copper sheet for the VHF comms antenna. Although they are happy to guillotine the strips I need, they can't supply less than 600m x 300mm so the cost is a bit disproportionate. Will have to see if I can't get tape somewhere; don't know if the factory antenna kit is reasonably priced as they have dropped all the pricing on the website. Find some 12mm plywood in the offcuts pile. Looks like birch, so should be sturdy enough for the top bump stop. Mark possible centre points of VHF antenna on F10 sternpost, for both highest position, and a bit lower down to completely clear fin top joggle. Wonder how the antenna cable will relate to fin ribs so get F20, F21 & F22 out of box 9 in trailer. Mark their positions on starboard trailing edge of fin, and extend lines on starboard inside of fin at right-angle to TE. Offer up ribs to marked positions but they are all 15mm to 25mm too long to fit at these heights. Also F20 (bottom one) has the same fin LE shape as the others at its LE, whereas the diagram in the manual shows it butting against the rear bulkhead and thus needing a flat end. Obviously it could be trimmed to fit, but that would not work for the others. Seems the only solution is to mount them about 50mm lower in the fin than specified, but will need to seek advice about that. Prop the fuselage top half up on blocks as before to clear the splash moulding. Cut a piece of 12mm plywood about 62mm wide (a nice fit between the sides of the containment bulkhead). The weights are about 52mm diameter and it would be good to have the stop matching that shape. With a holesaw, make a 52mm hole centred 56mm down from the top edge. Cut it in 2 across the hole. Offer up to splash moulding at top of containment bulkhead. Trim sides at bottom to clear bolt heads. Use a plastic-finger shape-transfer tool to get a rough copy of the shape of the splash moulding. Trim top of ply to match. Post query about fin rib size/position on Matronics e-mail list. 1643.8
24 A reply on the e-mail list points me to a manual corrections page on the Europa Club website - who knew! - where different heights are called out for the fin ribs. Now that I know the angular range required, no need to rig tailplanes for checking mass balance travel. Attach digital level to torque-tube with a rubber band to hold it firmly against the tube and the forward pin. Stick fully forward shows 23.8 degrees nose-down so from yesterday's measurements stick fully aft should be 16.3 degrees less, ie 7.5 degrees. Initial check of weight against 12mm plywood piece gives 7.7 degrees, so pretty close already. File and sand the top edge of the plywood to make it fit as well as possible against the underside of the splash moulding, until I see 7.3 degrees with the weight up against it. That will allow for a bead of silicon as a shock-absorber. Abrade the underside of the splash moulding. Mix 14g batch of Redux 420 and add 2 small doses of flox. Apply to the centre of the underside of the splash moulding and to the top of the plywood piece. Position the plywood, taking care not to get Redux on the sides of the bulkhead, and bring the weight up against it, supporting it with a length of wood and wedges to get the exact length. Take care not to apply excess upwards pressure that might distort the splash moulding out of shape. 21C, 57% RH. Set the fan heater going at half power, thermostat 3.5. 24C, 45% RH by bedtime. 1645.5
25 26 C, 35% RH; Redux curing well.
26 Get headphone sockets out of box in trailer. Check depth of rebate between door frames; sockets would just about fit if the panel is flush, but it would be an easier fit if the panel oversailed the frames (as in Tim's machine). That would also make it simpler to construct brackets as they could easily be made flush with the frames. Mark the correct (4, 13 & 22 inches up instead of 7, 16 & 25) heights of the fin ribs on the starboard TE of the fin and mark lines perpendicular to the TE on the inner starboard face of the fin. Offer up ribs and this time they look as if they will fit OK. The lowest one F20 will obviously need its nose cut off to match the rear bulkhead. Cleco sternpost F10 in place and mark correct rib positions on it. VHF antenna cable will be either above or below middle rib depending on how high I decide to mount it. 1645.9
27 Switch guards arrive from Perihelion.
28 Draw up Perihelion switch guards in CADintosh and place them on sub-panel and radio panel drawings. 24C, 40% RH in bonding area. Turn off fan heater and remove wooden wedges. Without the silicon sealer bead applied, digital level shows 23.8 degrees nose-down with weight at bottom of travel and 7.4 degrees nose-down with weight at top of travel, a total of 16.4 degrees.

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