Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2014 08

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1 Continue documenting the pitot-static system. This reveals that I need some more adaptors; I don't seem to have any with 1/8" NPT male to 3mm hose barbs. Maybe I need to switch to 6mm or 1/4" tubing for the connections to the instruments, with a reducer to join that to the tubing from the pitot/static head. Do some research and order a few adaptors and tubing on eBay.
5 Adaptors and tubing delivered by the time we return from YMG in Bath.
6 Check again diameter of ASI connexions; they are 5mm. Realise I haven't included the stall warner (Mod 61A) in the electrical system. Will need to add it, and figure out where the fuse for it could be positioned (for some reason I had imagined it was powered by a 9V battery). The feed can come from the same battery busbar terminal as the trim.
15 Cut starboard trim slot template along the lines for the fuselage top and aft edges. Attach to outside of fuselage with masking tape, aligning edges with top and aft edges of fuselage. Drill 3mm starter holes and cut around most of the marked hole with the Minitool jigsaw with diamond blade. Use a hacksaw blade in a pad handle to complete cut where the tailplane fairing fouls the jigsaw baseplate. Remove paper template. Repeat for port side. Clean up some uneven edges with fine grade Perma-Grit round file and flexible sheet. Re-assemble TS05 trim link rod to TS03 bellcrank with temporary plain nut and check clearances. At full forward travel, TS05 is clear of forward edge of slot by between 2 & 4mm all the way from the top to the bottom of the slot. At full aft travel, the clearance from the aft edge of the slot varies from 3 to 4mm. That seems satisfactory. Will have to rig tailplanes to check the clearance at top & bottom of slots. 1814.9
18 Looks as though it will be clear for a while after a heavy shower of rain, so lift fuselage top out onto driveway with Dorothy's help. Roll out lower fuselage on dolly. Get tailplanes out of trailer and rig them. Check clearance between TS05 link rod and edges of fuselage slot at both extremes of trim travel - almost perfect. Mark a small area at the top of the starboard slot which could be relieved to allow for tailplane over-travel. Return tailplanes to trailer. Roll fuselage back into garage and Dorothy helps bring top in too, just in time to avoid the next heavy rain-shower. Relieve the top of the starboard slot slightly with a fine Perma-Grit tubular file. Draw up the stall-warner circuit in CADintosh and add the info to the wiring database. 1815.5
19 Add stall-warner circuit to PDF wirebook and upload that file and the amended wire list PDF to the website. Fit disc router bit to Dremel and rout out brown foam all around edges of trim slots. Mix peg-2 (45g) of epoxy (far too much, really) and add 2 doses of flox. Butter into the edges of the trim slots and wipe off excess. Prepare a list of sub-tasks for the fuselage top bonding and send to Tim for comments. 1816.4
21 Smooth edges of trim slot with various Perma-Grit sheets and files. Remove a split-pin from one of the clevis pins on the rudder bellcrank and insert a shorter one (MS24665-132). Give up trying to bend the legs of it in-situ and undo the bellcrank pivot bolt. That allows the whole thing to be pulled backwards against the rudder pedal return springs and tilted so the bottom of the bellcrank can be seen. Now quite easy to bend ends of split-pin properly. Remove and replace other 3 in turn. Photograph the underside of the bellcrank for confirmation of job done. Replace the bellcrank bolt and spacers with fresh Duralac. Do up the stiffnut and apply a dab of inspectors lacquer. Replace TS05 assembly in position and re-fit bolt, washer & stiffnut. Apply a dab of inspectors lacquer. Photograph both stiffnuts. Replace the bent turnbuckle clip MS21256-1 with a new one. Ask Harry/Tim to send a request to the Gloster Strut members for help in bonding the fuselage top this coming Saturday, with the list of tasks attached. 1818.1
22 Mike & Ray have agreed to come and help with the fuselage top bonding. Having looked at the forecast for tomorrow, confirm with them that I'm happy to proceed from 13:00, and attach an updated task schedule.
23 tickGet out all the tarpaulins I can find and lay them out on the drive, weighed down with bricks. With Dorothy's help, lift out the fuselage top moulding. Take out the sling and invert the top moulding onto it. Roll out the lower fuselage on its dolly. Mike & Ray arrive and help to lift the upper moulding onto the bottom to check the trim line for the fin-fuselage junction. The ideal line falls between my original red marks and the inscribed line on the moulding. Lift the top off and set it onto the sling. Trim the fin-fuselage junction back to the estimated line. Lift across and try the fit again with clecos inserted - looks good in that area. However, there are various places along the main length that don't fit as well as they might. Mark up where the upper moulding flange needs to be trimmed or chamfered, lift off and place on sling. File down the marked areas, and try the fit again, inserting clecos to maintain position. Repeat this cut-and-try process several times (interrupted a couple of times by short rain showers when we pull the fuselage into the garage to keep it dry) until satisfied there is no overlap of the upper-fuselage flange on the lower-fuselage joggle. Ray points out that the top is bulging away from the bottom a bit in the tapered section of the fuselage and suggests that perhaps supporting the fuselage at the tail might help to reduce this, by making the bottom bulge out slightly. I agree and we find some blocks to insert at the tailwheel arm attach point, just high enough to take a little weight but not lift the fuselage off the aft supports of the dolly. Once satisfied with the fit all round, check for gaps between the flanges and drill more holes and insert clecos and skin pins as needed. In places the flanges do not need to be pulled very tight together in order to get the outer faces of the upper & lower mouldings approximately in line, so reserve skin pins (which allow fine adjustment of the clamping pressure) for those areas. Abrade all bonding areas (including the 2 splash mouldings) with coarse Perma-Grit flexible sheets. Remove white gel-coat patches from lower flange with fine grade belt on power file. Wipe down all bonding areas with acetone-soaked tissue. Mix 119g (85g + 34g) Araldite 420 (aka Redux 420). Add 2 doses flox to make it non-runny. Start spreading it on the lower fuselage flange, then let Mike carry on once he's seen how thick to apply it. Mix another 119g batch of Redux with 2 doses flox, and pass to Ray for spreading on the upper fuselage flange. Mix a third 119g batch and start spreading it myself until Mike runs out, then hand it over to him. Mix a 4th batch as before and pass to Ray who has just run out. Check that all required areas are being covered, and wipe up a few drips here and there. Looks as though those 4 batches have given satisfactory coverage of all bond areas with almost no Redux left over. Carefully lift the upper fuselage, trying not to wipe off any Redux with our gloves, and lower it into position on the bottom half, while Dorothy takes pictures. Insert greased clecos & skin-pins in all pre-drilled holes. After all fitted, a look inside shows that the lower flange is bowing inwards slightly in a few places, so drill more holes near the top of the flange and use some of the clecos Ray has brought to close up the joint a bit more. We have gone well over my predicted time, so I suggest Mike goes home now! A further check inside the fuselage shows that some areas are slightly starved of Redux. Mix a 42g (30g + 12g) batch of Redux without flox, crawl inside the fuselage while Ray steadies the tail to make sure it doesn't fall off the support blocks, and butter the Redux into the top of the joint. As it's now dark enough to need an inspection lamp inside the fuselage to see what I'm doing, Ray can see from the outside where more Redux is needed and directs me. While inside, I notice that the upper surface of the pitch pushrod is rubbing on the restraint bulkhead and realise this is because of the tail being supported rather than cantilevered as it was when I set up the restraint bulkhead, but it's too late to do anything about that now! Roll the fuselage back in and Ray goes home too. I fit some polyethylene sheet over the cockpit area to cover the apertures and tape it in place. Do the same with all the holes at the tail end. Put a fan heater on the backrest between the headrests, pointing aft, and run it at half power, thermostat 2.5. Pick up all the various tools and equipment, fold the tarpaulins and stow everything away. Set the older fan heater running on the floor at the same thermostat setting to keep the surrounding air warm. Temperature inside fuselage soon up to about 30C with humidity down to 25%. Infra-red non-contact thermometer shows about 23 to 25C on the outside skin of the fuselage. Leave it to cure. 1827.6
25 Infra-red thermometer shows about 30C along the top of the fuselage and about 25C along the joint line. All the Redux samples in the bottom of the fuselage are well-cured.
26 Remove all clecos and skin pins from the fuselage, separating Ray's 13 off from mine. Some need a bit of persuasion - not well enough greased. The black 10-32 x 5/8" button-head screws securing the fuel selector flange are showing slight signs of rust, so replace them with stainless ones. Remove some beads of Redux that have squeezed out along the inside top edge of the firewall. Use a hammer & an old wood chisel, which is quicker and less dusty than grinding them off. The Redux breaks off in small chunks and seems very hard, no sign of flexibility, so I'm convinced the cure is going well and achieving strength well up to spec. Abrade strips about 30mm wide out from the joint corner along rear of firewall and inside of upper moulding. Measure length of tape needed - about 1500mm. Will only get about 1400mm diagonally from the 1m wide roll of BID, but that should be close enough with a tiny stretch. Mark out and cut off 4 off 50mm strips diagonally across full width of BID. 1830.4
27 Clear tools etc off the small layup worktop and wipe down. Cut a piece of polyethylene sheet about 250mm x 1700m and mark on it a 50mm x 1500mm rectangle in felt-tip pen. Turn over to stop resin making the ink run. Lay the 4 pre-cut pieces of BID in place on to of the marked outline. Degrease the already-abraded bonding areas at inside top of firewall with acetone-soaked tissue. Mix a peg-5 (90g) batch of epoxy and wet out most of the BID. Mix a peg-1 (30g) batch of epoxy and wet out remainder. Lift sheet and start applying it to the bonding area, but it's too heavy and won't stay in place despite all efforts including painting area with remains of epoxy. Eventually give up and bin it. Wipe all epoxy off bonding area with acetone-soaked rag. Will have to do it either (a) by applying single layers and wetting them out in-situ or (b) by turning the fuselage upside-down so that gravity is helping not hindering. Method (a) still runs the risk of the layup sagging (as the top-hat layups between the door frames did) so will have to figure out a way to support the fuselage safely (from the lifting fixture) while leaving access for the work. As the Redux seems to be well cured now, turn off the heaters. 1832.3
28 Think about how to support fuselage upside-down. Drill through shaft of lifting fixture 3.2mm to check hardness - no problem. Find a piece of wood 47mm x 98mm and cut off a 98mm length of it. Draw diagonals on one face to find centre and use 102mm holesaw to make it circular. Have to cut from both faces as holesaw is not quit deep enough to go right through. Drill through centre 35mm with forstner bit and try on the shaft - satisfactory fit. Set wooden ring on vee-block and drill diametrically with a 10mm wood-boring bit on one side only. Switch to a metal-cutting 10mm bit and fit the wooden ring to the shaft. Hold in place to align with 3.2mm pilot hole and drill right through. Fit a M10 x 105mm carriage bolt to secure it. Find a large screw-eye and fit it to the garage roof beam immediately above the lifting fixture. Loop a piece of rope around the lifting fixture and through the screw-eye - all seems secure enough for support, although too much friction between rope & screw-eye to lift it just by pulling on free end of rope. 1833.5
30 At LAA Rally buy the cheapest Airbox Aware (which includes current CAA charts and lifetime airspace updates) at their special Rally price.
31 The Airbox Aware comes with a power lead to connect to a standard cigar-lighter socket, but I'd rather not dedicate the one on my panel to that. A bit of online research turns up a panel-mounted USB socket with a built-in converter from 12V, so order one of those from Dun-Bri Group. The mount for the Airbox has a suction cup but I'd prefer not to have it stuck to the screen. The Airbox website lists an alternative RAM mount at £60 which seems a bit much. Dismantling the parts of the suction mount shows it could be adapted to fit on (say) an aluminium or nylon rod mounted on the side of the instrument module. Re-draw the main & misc circuit diagrams to include the USB power outlet. That leaves just one spare fuse way now!

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