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Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2014 09

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1 Get 500kg chain-block hoist from Machine Mart and eyebolts from Screwfix. Remove screw-eye from roof beam above forward end of fuselage. Drill through the hole 10mm. Fit 3/8" x 8" eyebolt. Suspend chain hoist on it. Replace M10 x 110mm coach bolt securing wooden ring to lifting fixture with M8 x 100mm eyebolt. Try lifting with chain - very easy. Support rear of fuselage on a couple of blocks and crawl down the back to remove the mass-balance weights. Also take out all other loose items from fuselage. Fit largest available screw-hook to roof beam above aft end of fuselage (just forward of tailplane fairing). Loop rope around fuselage, over screw-hook and raise aft end slightly. Tie off end of rope. Raise forward end a bit, then raise tail until fin almost touching ceiling. Raise forward end until the edge of the firewall is above head height. Loop rope around lifting fixture and eyebolt and tie off. Remove chain hoist hook. Try rolling fuselage to starboard (so fin rotates away from wall) from both forward end and aft end, but CG is too far below lifting fixture for that to be done easily either by twisting at aft end or by pulling down on starboard side at front. Squeeze in between port side and wall, and roll fuselage by lifting from that side. I can get a good grip on the spar holes and U/C slot which is much easier than pulling down on the door frame at the other side, and less stress on the supporting arrangements. Fin only just clears floor - have to move some small stuff to let it get right around to vertical. Although fuselage does not seem not inclined to topple, not really happy about the stability, so run a rope through the tailplane torque tube and attach both ends to the rear support hook to reduce chance of it tipping. Try getting inside the fuselage through the windscreen aperture to where the layup is needed along the edge of the firewall, but it's still a bit low for comfort. Reverse the eyebolt in the wooden ring, re-fit the chain hoist and raise it a bit more. Now slightly easier, although not ideal. Drill another hole in the roof beam adjacent to the chain hoist, fit a M8 x 100mm eyebolt and run a rope through that to support both sides of the landing gear frame for more stability. Get the inspection lamps out and hang one each side of the tunnel, which provides adequate light for working. Start to mark and cut 4 off 50mm wide BID strips, with a centreline marked on each one. 1836.3
2 Finish marking and cutting 4 off 50mm wide BID tapes, full diagonal width of the roll. This time, roll them up with the intention of applying them dry to the pre-wetted bonding area. Abrade the bonding area with a piece of coarse Perma-Grit flexible sheet. Because of the hand angles, that job is actually slightly more awkward than with the fuselage upright, but not too uncomfortable. Vacuum up the dust and wipe down the bonding area with an acetone-soaked tissue. Mix a peg-5 (90g) batch of epoxy with slow hardener (as I've plenty of that left and it might be good to have more working time). Divide the epoxy into 3 (to minimise chance of exotherm) and add a couple of doses of flox to one. Butter it into the corner of the joint where there are gaps between the firewall and the top moulding. Paint neat epoxy onto bonding areas and unroll first strip of BID. Starts fine, but it's very difficult to stop it stretching and thus becoming narrower than desired. Eventually get it all into place, but there is still a bit left over at the end so it's obviously stretched some. Decide to do the other 3 layers in the usual way by pre-wetting it on a sheet. Cut off a piece of polyethylene sheet long enough for the tapes. Roll them out and place on top of each other. Pour rest of epoxy onto them and leave to wet out while mixing another peg-5 (90g) batch. Wet out the rest of the BID with that. Trim polyethylene sheet quite close to edges of BID to ease handling in the corner and start to apply. Again, goes well at first, but gets more tricky later. Keeping the spare length out of trouble until I need it is the issue. Maybe I should have laid it plastic-side down adjacent to the bond area and then flipped it across. Anyway, manage to get it all wrestled into place eventually. Apply peel-ply in short sections on firewall, with a very small overlap onto the other face of the joint in order to minimise buckling, then in longer lengths along the upper moulding. In reaching under the tunnel for the brush, perched on the epoxy pot on the opposite footwell, knock it onto the floor. Reaching down to pick it up, I become conscious of something dripping onto my hair - it's the epoxy running out of the overturned pot! Grab the pot before it completely empties, mop hair with a rag and carry on. Set fan heater on central panel and run it at thermostat 2.5. Initially 27C, 47% RH as the inspection lamps have warmed things up quite well already. Come back after a hair shampoo and shower to check temperatures. 33C, 29% RH in footwell. but infrared thermometer shows 35C - 39C on firewall, so turn heater thermostat down to 1. Later check shows 26C, 41% RH with infrared reading between 26C& 33C on firewall. 1839.4
3 31C, 29% RH in footwell; samples well cured & cracking off pots, so turn off fan heater. Remove peel-ply. Take samples, fan heater and other stuff out of fuselage. Reverse eyebolt in lifting fixture. Remove stabilising ropes aft and forward. Rotate fuselage, lifting at the outside, until upright again. Connect chain hoist. Loosen forward support rope and lower nose a bit. Lower tail a good bit to prevent fin touching roof. Lower nose to rest on dolly. Lower tail to rest on dolly. Remove ropes. Take down chain hoist and store in trailer. Bring the 2 equipped instrument panels and the F14 instrument module from the trailer to the garage. Try fit of F14 against firewall - doesn't quite go home against it - more fettling will be needed to clear the BID tapes. 1840.7
4 Check fit of F14 instrument module again. Trim various edges to improve fit, re-trying at intervals. The forward flange of the module is not quite flat, so the outer edges will need pulling in towards the firewall slightly. Also care will be needed to ensure the module is level when making the fixing holes, as there is nothing particular to locate it against and it can swivel a bit from side to side. Clear some space in the office to make room for a temporary table for wiring. 1841.2
5 Bring trestles and worktop offcut in from garage and set up in office. Bring 2 instrument panels in to office from garage. Go to get cushions out of the trailer and find the ramp is still open since 2 days ago! Fortunately there has been no rain, and a quick internal search shows no evidence of wild animals having taken up residence. Take the cushions and composite foam pads to the garage and put them in the fuselage to make sitting in the cockpit a bit less uncomfortable, then go back and close the trailer!
6 Remove cushions from cockpit. Trim starboard door aperture to marked line using a combination of holesaw (for the corners), oscillating saw with diamond blade, hacksaw blade in padsaw handle and Minitool jigsaw with diamond blade. File down to marked line with Perma-Grit block and half-round files. Can't get at windscreen and port door apertures well enough inside garage, so roll the fuselage out onto the drive. Bore 38mm holes in corners of door aperture and 22mm holes in corners of windscreen aperture. Decide, in the interests of speed, to do the main cutting with the diamond blade in the angle-grinder, although it is more noisy and throws more dust around. Once holes trimmed, switch to grinding wheel and grind back the areas where I didn't quite follow the line. Finally tidy up all the edge with Perma-Grit block and files. Vacuum up all the dust and as it is starting to rain, roll fuselage back into garage. Put cushions back in seat areas and, sitting on them, try offering up the F14 instrument module to the firewall. Seems to fit quite well, so check fuselage level thwartwise and confirm left-hand flat base area of F14 can easily be brought to the same level. With F14 level and snug up to top edge of firewall, drill through one of the central tabs 3.2mm and insert a cleco. Keeping a check on the level, drill the other 4 tabs and insert clecos. Climb out again and check fit or starboard side of F14, which is not so good. Also 2 of the clecos are barely through the firewall so swap for long skin pins in those positions. After further attempts to see exactly where it's binding, remove F14 again and file down the outer edges and bottom corners, rounding them well to accommodate the shape of the internal corners. Re-fit F14 with clecos and skin pins, but still not quite right. I know the forward face of F14 is not quite flat, and so it will need pulling in a little towards the firewall, but there seems to be more to it than that. After a few more tries, getting tired, so stop there. 1845.4
8 12V to USB adaptor socket delivered from Dun-Bri. Try fit of F14 instrument module again. To reduce the side-to-side rocking, cut off the remainder of the forward face of the sight-gauge recess. Try fit again and edges now easier to pull in towards firewall, but still something binding at starboard side. File off some nibs of Redux at the starboard side of the fuselage join, and file back the bottom corners of F14 to leave no flange there. Round off to help match the profile of the corner where the BID tapes have been applied. Next try shows much better fit. With all clecos and skin pins inserted, hold starboard side of F14 against firewall and drill through 3.2mm from firewall side into reinforcement at lower corner of F14. Fit a long skin pin. Mark for 2 remaining holes at about 160mm centres and drill 3.2mm. Fit clecos and all looks good now, sitting well and feeling rigid. Remove F14. For lower edge, looks as though flat aluminium brackets about 40mm x 50mm would be OK. Find suitable off cut of aluminium 1.6mm thick and cut 4 pieces 40mm x 50mm from it. Mark lower flange of F14 for bracket positions. To check rivet grip length for the proposed 4mm x 8mm rivets, pull a test rivet in holes made in offcuts of aluminium and pre-preg - looks perfect. 1847.4
9 Check size of PX-1 plastic project box (Maplin YU52G) for cigar-lighter outlet and headphone sockets - will just fit nicely, although internal ridges will need to be cut back. Open trailer, start to collect polyethylene bags containing the flap and aileron mounting hardware. Find the starboard outer flap bag is missing FL13, 2 off AN960-416L, 2 off FL11, & 2 off FL14. They must have got somehow mislaid when I was taking off the flaps for Steve Evans back in April. Stop there and send e-mail to Europa asking price & delivery for those items. Mark and drill 3 holes 4.1mm in each of the aluminium brackets made yesterday. Clamp each in turn to lower flange of F14 instrument module, drill through 2 places and pull rivets. 1849.0
10 Re-fit F14 instrument module to firewall with clecos and skin pins in all 3.2mm holes. Fit 5/16" (4mm) bit in tight-fit drill kit and drill through firewall from cockpit side in 4 places using pre-drilled holes in aluminium brackets as guides. Open up the holes to 4.8mm, fitting temporary a 10-32 x 5/8" screw and plain nut to each. Start to work around the 3.2mm holes on the upper flange, opening to 4.8mm and fitting temporary screws in the same way. Price quote for flap hinge fittings received from Europa - all in stock. 1849.4
11 Phone Europa to confirm order for flap hinge parts. Move trailer forward enough to allow unloading wings. Take out the other stored stuff that's in the way of the port wing. Take out port flap and aileron. Wheel port wing out to front drive and support root end on trestle table, with carpet for softening. Set an engineers square to 1.5" and another to 6.375". Use them to mark the position of the actuating pin on the root end of the port flap using. Attach flap to wing - success at 2nd try because I forgot that the outboard arm with the outrigger linkage really needs to be done first for ease of assembly. Keep the flap in the retracted position by clamping a long piece of aluminium angle to the flap TE with it overhanging the wing LE by some distance to act as a counterweight. Extend line of aft spar face long top of wing with long straightedge. Measure aft from that line 325mm in several places to provide location for the straightedge above the drilling line. Mark line on aft face of spar across pin hole centres. Extend it onto rear face of spar socket. As Dorothy's gone out, enrol Chris from next door to help sight drilling line. Drill 3.3mm, 5.4mm, 7.9mm & 10.2mm. Start tap, sighting again in both planes. Tap fully, checking lineup regularly. Get FL22, W24 & W25 from box 3. Check fit of each one. W25 won't enter fully so run the tap into that hole and then it goes in comfortably. Check that pip-pin BLS4R11N can be inserted into and removed from W24 when it is fully home. Wing flange prevents entry from top but will just go in from the bottom. Clean all pins with acetone and wipe out threaded holes with acetone-soaked tissue, taking care not to get acetone on blue foam inside flap. Mix 10g + 4g Redux and using a narrow spatula spread thinly into threads of pin holes. Spread on each pin and insert in turn, wiping off excess Redux with tissue. To ensure W24 is vertical, leave pip-pin in place for the moment. Finally wipe off remaining traces of Redux with acetone-soaked rag. Dismantle aileron quick-connect system to allow access to back of spar socket. Clean surface rust off spar socket inside and out with a combination of hand and Dremel wire brushes. Degrease with acetone. Mask off surrounding area with polyethylene sheet and masking tape. Spray a couple of coats of etch-primer on the spar socket. Move the engine and a few other boxes to the other side of the trailer and bring the starboard wing out to the front drive. Move the port wing off the trestle table and put the starboard wing root on it. Mark the flap pin location using the pre-set squares. Fit the flap without the missing parts - they provide lateral location and that is not essential for this part of the job. Clamp on aluminium angle counterbalance to keep flap retracted. Mark lines on spar, wing and flap as for port wing, except flap line is only about 305mm back from spar line because of spar offset. Fit longer 3mm bit to improve sighting against spar line, but it turns out to be bent, so switch to 4mm. With Dorothy sighting against the line on the spar, drill 4mm and up to 10.2mm in stages as before. Start tap checking alignment in both planes. However, as tap starts to bite, the flap reacts by extending and it's hard to keep everything in place. Complete tapping and fit pin, but while it is parallel to the spar line, it is tilting forward by a few degrees from the straightedge on top of the flap. The tap must have got misaligned when the flap extended and obviously I didn't keep checking enough for parallelism. Not sure what to do so leave pins un-fitted and put everything away in the trailer again. All the getting stuff out and putting it away is what takes the time! Can't push the trailer back into position (just a little bit uphill in that direction), so have to fit the car hitch and first tow it forward a little to give room for manoeuvre then back it into its usual place. 1857.5
12 Flap hinge parts received from Europa.
15 John Bean returns the fuselage dolly for the trailer. Think about working on the starboard flap drive pin again, but it's starting to rain and I don't want the inside of the trailer & ramp getting wet. Get out the piece of 25mm diameter polypropylene rod (at 142g for a foot length, lighter than nylon 66 at 176g or acetal at 220g) and hacksaw off 15mm and 50mm lengths. Rain now stopped so open trailer and undo the bolt on the starboard outer flap hinge that limits the flap extension so I can tilt it enough to see the top surface without removing the wing from the storage rig. Tape on the straightedge and reset flap to retracted position. Re-tap the hole for FL22, checking each half-turn that alignment is maintained in both planes. Insert FL22 and it now looks pretty well aligned both ways. Check fit of W24 & W25 and run tap through both holes to ease full entry. The pip-pin does not go in as easily from the bottom on this wing, so file away a bit of the upper root flange to allow the normal entry. Clean holes with acetone on cotton-bud and wipe pins with acetone-soaked tissue. Mix 10g + 4g Redux and apply to inside of holes with narrow spatula. Apply to threads of pins and inset in turn, wiping off surplus Redux with a rag. Insert pip-pin in W24 and leave in position for cure. Wipe off pins and surrounding areas with acetone-soaked rag & leave to cure. Re-arrange stuff in trailer to make room for fuselage dolly and wheel it in. Get LG12 retract lever from box 4 in trailer. Close up trailer. Back in garage, chuck the 15mm length of polypropylene and face it off to remove hacksaw marks. Centre drill and drill through 4.7mm. Reverse in chuck and face down to 10mm length. There doesn't appear to be a bolt supplied in the kit to secure the handle to the retract lever, so have a look for a 10-32 UNF screw about 55mm long in online catalogues. 1860.3
16 Grind deeper recess on starboard wing root upper flange so as to fully clear body of pip-pin. Check fit of W26 assembly. Holes appear to align OK, but slight rubbing down of root face needed to let pin enter. Similarly grind relief on port wing root upper flange and check W26 fit - all OK there. Close trailer. Order some countersunk screws (10-32 UNF & M5) for mounting retract and throttle handles. Countersink hole in 10mm polypropylene piece to fit a 10-32 CSK screw. Remove from lathe and try for fit against retract lever LG12 - looks fine. 1860.8
17 Chuck 50mm length of polypropylene rod in lathe and centre-drill. Drill through 11/64" and then 4.7mm. Need to go quite slowly to avoid overheating the drill and melting the workpiece. Face off hacksaw marks. Reverse in chuck and face off to 45mm length. Leave in chuck until decision made about size and depth of counterbore for nut and driver. Remove all temporary screws holding F14 instrument module and take it out. Clean surface rust marks off XTW06 tailwheel spring arm using wire brush on polishing spindle. 1862.1
18 UNF & M5 stainless socket-head screws arrive from Westfield Fasteners. Check dimensions of 10-32 UNF stiffnut and finish drawing recess on retract handle drawing. Hang up the XTW06 tailwheel spring arm in the carport, masking off the wheel swivel area, and degrease it with acetone. Spray 3 coats of etch-primer and leave to dry. Check fit of 10-32 UNF CSK head socket screw in the 10mm length of polypropylene. Deepen the countersink to get the head flush. Spray 3 coats of Halfords Appliance Gloss White on the tailwheel arm, leaving at least 15 minutes between coats. In the intervals, start boring out the first 17mm of the 45mm length of polypropylene. Have to take quite small cuts (0.075mm) as the waste tends to melt and build up on the boring tool. Get as far as 10mm ID. 1864.2
19 Continue boring the 17mm recess in the end of the 45mm length of polypropylene rod, opening up to 15mm. Machining seems to get cleaner as diameter increases, with less tendency for the swarf to melt onto the tool. Smooth ends of OD & ID with fine emery paper. Remove from lathe and check fit on LG12 retract lever - seems fine, but sharp edges of lever need removing. Remove sharpness with 2-wheel deburring tool and smooth off with ScotchBrite wheel on polishing spindle. Mark centre line of tunnel and measure 75mm to port in several places. Mark that line, then another 10mm further to port. Mark lines 595mm from seat-back and 230mm forward of that. Slot very close to edge of tunnel at aft end. Get FL24 guide plate out of box 4 in trailer to check where it will come and it projects beyond edge of tunnel when lined up with marked position. Post query about slot position on Matronics e-mail list. Mark bend lines on LG12. Clamp the first 2" in vise with soft jaws, double-checking bend direction, then clamp an aluminium extrusion to the upper part to give extra leverage. Bend until it looks about right and check with ruler. Re-clamp with the other line at the edge of the soft jaws and clamp extrusion on the side clear of the first bend. Bend until the ends look parallel. Unclamp it all and measure offset with straightedge held against the end 2" section - about 11mm so within the tolerance of 10mm-13mm. The handle section appears parallel to the straightedge so that all looks satisfactory. 1866.6
20 Fit F10 sternpost with starboard lower clecos only to check fit. Cleco holes no longer line up in the fin moulding, but they can be re-drilled. The sternpost does line up OK with the edge of the brown foam in the fin starboard side, so all seems well. Marks for fin rib locations still appear to be approximately correct on both fin & sternpost. Note that port side of sternpost does not abut the fin flange like the starboard side, but it appears that it will be bonded to the brown foam area, not directly to the fin flange. Remove sternpost. Find a stiff aluminium extrusion about 2 metres long from the double-glazing bits and after removing some sticky goo with a combination of heat-gun, chisel & then petrol, cut it in half. Mix a small batch of Isopon P38 polyester filler and put dabs of it at intervals along one aluminium extrusion. Clamp it to the starboard side of the fin with 8 speedclamps, aligning the aft edge of the aluminium approximately with the aft edge of the brown foam so as to leave cleco area clear. Fit 10 anchor nuts to the flanges of the F14 instrument module and 2 to the firewall in the area above the parcel shelf. The latter 2 need the longer (and thicker) rivets so make up a jig for drilling out the anchor nut flanges (to 3.3mm) from a piece of aluminium - to secure them and to help keep them cool. Lose one TAPK33BS rivet in the prepreg offcuts bin - will have to look for it later. Also manage to lose one of the spacers for keeping the rivet gun nose clear of the temporary screws, but still have one left. Isopon mixing palette cured, so remove clamps from starboard side of fin and similarly attach the other aluminium extrusion to the port side of the fin with a fresh mix of Isopon. Fit the F14 instrument module with temporary (short) screws. Lower positions use 1/2", most upper ones need 5/8". Assemble polypropylene handle to LG12 retract lever and check spacing for the handle in the forward position. It's clear that there is no scope for moving the retract lever slot towards the centre - the 10mm part of the handle only just clears the edge of the instrument module recess when the lever is at the starboard side of the slot (as it will be when locked in the gear up position). 1871.1
22 After much messing about with printing crop marks in CADintosh and the paper trimmer chewing up the paper instead of slicing it, print out again the flap setting template from build manual (pages 9M-4 & 9M-5) and tape the sheets together. Find a suitable piece of 19mm chipboard, spray it with 3M PhotoMount and carefully roll the paper template onto it, using a cardboard tube as a former to support the paper while unrolling. On the top line, parallel to the chord line, mark a point 916mm aft from the LE, then erect a perpendicular on it and mark a point 40mm up. With a long straightedge, join that point to the LE end of the top line, giving a line at 2.5 degrees to the chord line. Take the clamps off the port side of the fin, but the upper part of the aluminium extrusion (all above the fuselage joint line) pops off again immediately. Tap off the bottom end, scrape the Isopon off both the aluminium and the fin. Clean the fin with washing-up liquid and then with acetone to get rid of the release agent. Mix a small batch of Isopon P38 and put small dabs of it along the length of the aluminium extrusion. Clamp as before & leave to cure. Drill several small starting holes in the marked retract lever slot and cut it out with a hacksaw blade in a pad handle. 1872.8
23 Take the clamps off the fin port side. Cut the chipboard wing setting template using circular saw and jigsaw. Remove a few high spots on the airfoil profile with the wood file and smoothing plane. Fit F10 sternpost with clecos and drill new holes and add more in upper fin to ensure good contact throughout bonding area. Reaching down as far as I can from the top of the fin, draw a line with a felt-tip pen on the port inner surface of the fin to mark the edge of the sternpost on the foam area. Remove sternpost. Try fit of fin ribs. Top one (F22) seems to fit OK in the marked position. Middle one (F21) needs a hole for the cable duct. Cut the surplus duct off just above the rib position. Offer up rib and mark expected position for hole. Drill 2 off 3/8" holes and make into a slot with the Perma-Grit round file. Try it for fit - not quite right - but a bit more fettling does the trick. Offer up bottom rib (F20) and it looks as though about 50mm needs to come off where it abuts the rear bulkhead. Saw off a bit less than 50mm and try again. Nearly right - trimming the edges at an angle and filing a little of the end seems about perfect. Not sure about the likely success of the method in the manual (attach ribs to sternpost first) for positioning the cleco holes in the sides of the fin so stop to think a bit more about that. 1876.0
24 Get some steel wool from Screwfix for cleaning up the FL20/2 flap operating rod that I found had some surface rust.
25 Clean surface rust off FL20/2 flap operating rod with steel wool. Also clean up CS28 rudder pushrod. Tape a string to the threaded end of CS28 and mask it off. Take string over roof beams in carport and pull the other end through FL20/2 with a piece of stiff electrical cable. Tie on a wooden peg to secure it. Degrease both pushrods with acetone; FL20/2 takes quite a few passes before the tissue comes away clean. Spray both pushrods with 2 coats etch primer. Remove the long eyebolt that was showing signs of stress from the garage roof beam and replace it with a shorter one with a welded eye. Offer up F20 lower fin rib inside fin and hold in place with duct tape. Offer up F10 sternpost to see how it fits. Clecos go in fine on starboard side but the hole nearest the rib on the port side is just shy of matching by a couple of mm. Remove sternpost and rib. Shine a light through from the inside of the fin and trace on both outside surfaces of the fin the line marking the upper surface of the rib. Cut about 2mm off the forward edge of the rib and re-position with duct tape. Insert sternpost and clecos now go in fine on both sides of it. Sight down from top to see where gaps need tightening up. Drill holes & fit clecos through sides of fin into rib flanges (3 port, 2 starboard), using the traced line as a guide for vertical position. Drill through sternpost into aft flange of rib (just visible without a light inside) and fit 2 clecos. Have to use tight fit drill kit for the hole on the angled face of the sternpost. Check again from above for minimal gaps in all bonding areas. Dismantle sternpost and rib. One of the cleco holes is a bit close to the top of the rib, but still usable. Spray pushrods with 1 coat of Halfords appliance gloss white and pause for lunch. Spray 2 more coats of white on the pushrods. Fit the F21 middle fin rib with duct tape. Mark lines on inside of fin along bottom of rib flange. Check fit of sternpost - fine all round except for a 2-3mm gap at port side of sternpost. As everything else fits so well, will have to use a bit of flox in that area to fill the gap. Remove sternpost and rib. With a light inside fin, trace lines marking top & bottom edges of rib onto outsides of fin. Think a bit more about exactly how the antenna and cable will get fitted. Check width of antenna tape and length of toroid stack, and decide that the toroids can be accommodated in the fin closeout, so the hole in the sternpost need only be large enough for the cable itself. Cut another length of conduit for the horizontal run along the top of the middle rib and thread the string through it. Position the middle rib again with tape and fit the sternpost with clecos. Drill 2 holes each side of fin into rib flanges and fit clecos. Drill through the 2 faces of the sternpost (tight fit drill kit as before) into the aft rib flange and fit clecos. Use a light to check the position of the conduit and drill a pilot hole through the sternpost for the cable position. Bring the sprayed pushrods into the garage and hang them up again as the paint is not fully hardened off yet. The string in the conduit has disappeared at the forward end so use the electricians fish tape to pull it through again. This time tie anchors on both ends of the string to prevent hat happening again, Offer up F22 top rib and tape it in place inside fin - with some difficulty as unlike the others there's nothing to hold up the forward end while applying tapes at the rear. Cleco in the sternpost. The rib fits well at the sides, but there's about a 7mm gap between its aft flange and the sternpost; that's too big to fill with flox, so will have to move it up the fin a bit. 1881.4
26 Thread the tailwheel cables out through the previously-made holes. Find the bungee cord I got from Halfords and attach a piece to the tailwheel springs as shown in the mod document, checking the length for looping round the tailwheel spring attach point. Vacuum out bottom of fuselage. Offer up the F22 top fin rib and slide it up, keeping parallel to the original line, until it is 7mm further aft. Looks as though about 12mm up from original position would be right. Mark starboard inside of fin 12mm above & below original line for top of rib. Extend those marks along the inside of the fin using an engineers square. Tape the top rib in position against the new lines and fit F10 sternpost with clecos. Fit now much better, although small gaps of 1mm-2mm still visible, chiefly on the straight face of the sternpost. Remove sternpost. Mark along top and bottom edges of rib on port inside of fin. Remove rib. With a light inside the fin, trace the new rib position lines onto the outside surfaces of the fin. Re-position rib with duct tape and re-fit sternpost with clecos. Add an extra cleco at the starboard side of the sternpost adjacent to the top rib. Drill 2 holes from each side of fin into rib flanges and insert clecos. Again using the tight-fit drill kit for the angled hole, drill 2 holes through the sternpost into the aft flange of the rib & insert clecos. Check appearance from top - all OK. Dismantle it all again and vacuum up swarf. Make a small bracket from a scrap piece of brown foam sandwich to retain the aft end of the conduit against the rib and the inside of the fin, near the sternpost. Find a block of wood that can be used to wedge the fin sides apart while inserting the Reduxed ribs and try dry runs with each rib. Mark line on rear bulkhead to help guide lower rib into correct position for clecos. 1883.7
27 Find the retract lever latch spring drawing published by Michel Auvray and start translating the text from French. It calls for both AN525-10R14 screws to be longer by about 7mm, which would make them about AN525-10R19. LAS Aerospace show 2 in stock but they are marked PoA. Ask for a price quote by e-mail. AN525-10R18 (0.19) is about half a millimetre too short, but AN525-10R20 (0.43) would probably do if the AN525-10R19 are a silly price. Check what size of screw is needed to act as a binding post for the soldered terminations on the stick-top switch module - M3 x 25mm or 30mm would be good. Order some M3 x 30mm dog-point grubscrews and some more 10-32 button-head screws in various lengths from Westfield Fasteners. Drill new 4mm hole for GPS antenna ground plane, further aft on F14 instrument module to bring the antenna clear of the window frame. Attach ground plane & drill through the antenna fixing holes 3mm. Remove ground plane and enlarge the 3mm holes to 6mm to clear the M3 antenna fixing screw heads. Start to shave the PCB mounting ribs off the inside of the PX-1 plastic project box, then realise I have another in stock slightly larger without internal ribs (Hammond RL6225-F, Maplin N24HG), which will also give more room for installation & wiring. Drill a hole 28mm in the centre of one end with a step drill, and enlarge slightly with the taper reamer to fit the power socket. Drill 10mm in 2 places each side for headset sockets. 1884.8
28 After some fruitless searching of the archives, post a query on the Matronics e-mail list about door strut modifications to reduce door bulging.
29 Responses to door strut mod query lead me to the articulated solution done by Ted Gladstone & Justin Kennedy. Can't find any official reference to it, so e-mail LAA engineering asking for mod documentation. Andy Draper replies saying it was cleared by correspondence along with other stuff and they don't have any paperwork for it! Quote received from LAS Aerospace for the AN525-10-R19 screws - only 0.40 each. Start to look at what else could go on that order, such as turnbuckles for the tailwheel cables. On the plastic box, mark and drill 2.3mm in 4 places for the anti-rotation tangs, ensuring correct orientation for ease of access to solder tags. Mark and drill the base 4.8mm in 4 places for fixings. Mark and drill the base 1/2" centrally for a grommet. Check intended location on overhead panel, making sure that there is room to insert and withdraw the power plug. Realise that I didn't check the final width of the structure between the doors when making the overhead panel - it is just visible beyond the top edges of the door apertures so a few mm less width would have looked neater. Mark a hole centrally in the panel corresponding the the grommet hole in the box, and drill it out to 20mm to clear the OD of the grommet. Centre the box on that hole, with its edges square to the sides of the panel, and mark through the fixing holes. Drill them 5mm. Fit the box with temporary screws to hold the anchor nuts and drill the rivet holes 2.4mm. Remove the box and countersink the rivet holes, cutting back the leathercloth with a scalpel. Fit the MS21047-3 anchor nuts with TAPK33BS rivets. Re-fit grommet in box and fit box to overhead panel with 5/8" 10-32 SS cap screws and large M5 SS washers. Fit the microphone and headphone sockets. Fit the box lid; it seems secure enough to support the headsets if I can find a suitable length of material (probably aluminium extrusion) to act as a bracket. Mark out and drill the 2 off 4.8mm holes in the FL24 retract lever guide plate. NB one of the manual dimensions is wrong; it should be 75mm, not 83mm from the end of the plate. Clean out the fuseholder hole in the sub-panel area of the F14 instrument module with the taper reamer. Make notches each side of hole with a file to help key the patch. Mix some Isopon P38 and fill the hole with it. Apply polyethylene sheet to both sides of patch and back up with offcuts of wood. Clamp in place to cure. Order from LAS Aerospace the longer screws for the retract latch, turnbuckles for the tailwheel cables and a few other odds and ends. 1888.1
30 Abrade with coarse Perma-Grit flexible sheets all bonding surfaces inside fin, on rib flanges and sternpost (which, for reference, took about an hour and 45 minutes). Insert wooden block to keep fin faces apart and clean bonding surfaces inside fin with acetone. About to clean sternpost when I realise I haven't abraded the areas on the forward face of it, that butt against the aft end of the ribs, so do that now. Just as I finish that, there is a loud bang - turns out to be the Isopon dabs on the starboard straightedge letting go of the fin. Take the straightedge off, clean the Isopon off the fin and the straightedge. Clean the starboard side of the fin with acetone. Mix some Isopon 38, dab it on the straightedge then clamp in position on starboard side of fin. While that is curing, take the clamp off the filler in the F14 instrument module. Clean off excess filler with razor-blade scraper and Perma-Grit block. Clean out other holes where filler squeezed in. Mark new hole centres for fuseholders at 20mm & 50mm up from base and drill 2mm. Open up to 4mm and then to 14mm with step drill. Enlarge to oval shape for anti-rotation with Perma-Grit files. Isopon sample well cured now so remove clamps from straightedge. Insert the wooden block to keep the fin faces apart. Clean all bonding areas on fin, ribs and sternpost with acetone. Mix 72.5g + 29g Redux 420 and add about 3 doses of flox. Spread on side flanges of F20 lower rib. Insert rib into fin, tilted sideways so as not to wipe Redux off, then rotate into place against starboard side. Insert greased cleco into aft hole on starboard side of fin, after some difficulty finding the hole in the rib. Second cleco easier to fit. Similarly spread Redux on side flanges of F21 middle rib and pull cord through the hole before slipping over conduit. Insert 2 clecos on starboard side. Thread the intermediate piece of conduit onto the cord but it is disinclined to stay in place on the sloping rib. Similarly use up most of remaining Redux on F22 top rib flanges and cleco in place. Spread rest on fin port internal flange. Mix 90g + 36g Redux and add 3 doses flox. Spread on aft faces of ribs and inner faces of in flanges, to marked lines. Spread remainder around base and lower sides of F10 sternpost. Insert sternpost and put in a cleco on the starboard side to hold it. Then need to take it out again to get the cord through the 1/4" hole in the sternpost for the antenna cable. Fit a couple of clecos on starboard side, then remove wooden block. Fit clecos on fin flange port and starboard. Start to add clecos on port side of fin. Bottom rib must have slipped a bit out of place as I can't locate the hole in the rib flange. Might have been a good idea to put short lengths of piano wire or similar through the fin into the rib port flanges to make sure they lined up when pulled together. Drill 3 new holes and insert skin pins (running out of clecos now). Holes in mid and upper ribs locate OK. Insert clecos through forward face of sternpost into rib aft flanges. The middle one doesn't seem to pull in easily and then I see that the conduit has got jammed against it. Poke through 1/4" hole with an old screwdriver and wiggle it free; cleco pulls in better now. Mix 32.5g + 13g Redux and add about one and a half doses flox. Butter it into a few places where gaps are showing, and form fillets. Add some clamps to the sternpost side joints. Wipe off excess Redux squeezed out in various places with old rags. 23C, 58% RH. Set the older fan heater pointing one way on thermostat 3 and the newer one pointing the other way on thermostat 2. M3 x 30 grubscrews etc delivered from Westfield Fasteners. 1894.9

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