||Turnbuckles and AN525 screws etc delivered from LAS Aerospace. Enter them into parts database. Identify the tailwheel parts in the database and check where they are stored. Notice that the paper manual calls out the Spirol pin 45284 but that it is missing from the Issue 4 PDF. Post a query about that on the Matronics e-mail list. 26C, 47% RH. Mark top of F10 sternpost for trimming to fit F19 fin tip. Cut off, try fit and re-trim sternpost. Also have to trim back fin tip flanges as they interfere with the sternpost joggle slightly. Fit fin tip and drill for skin pins - 3 along each side flange and 2 each side of sternpost. Drill base of stick-top switch fitting 2.6mm and tap M3. Degrease hole and M3 x 30mm grubscrew, and assemble with Loctite 243. Bring tailwheel into garage from box 9 in trailer. Abrade and degrease all bonding surfaces (took about 45 minutes). Mix 32.5g + 13g Redux 420 and add 2 doses flox. Spread onto all bonding areas inside fin, on sternpost & fin tip. Put fin tip into position, trying not to scrape off the Redux. Fit skin pins to close bonds. Wipe excess Redux off outside of fin with a rag dampened with acetone.
||Solder staggered lengths of 22AWG Raychem 55 to the switches in the stick-top fitting. Apply heatshrink to support the soldered ends and secure the wires to the M3 x 30mm grubscrew with tie-wraps. Identify the wires (415, 430, 607, 608, 609) with small paper labels inside short lengths of clear heatshrink. Crimp red female blade connectors on the free ends.
||Get 3.2mm HSS cobalt drill bits from Tool Station. Bring rudder in from trailer. 26C, 42% RH; turn off heaters. Remove clecos and skin pins from fin, sternpost and tip. Some need persuasion - not enough grease in places. Knock straightedges off fin and clean off Isopon. Check rudder position - the marks for hinges line up OK except that as feared, the top hinge is obstructed by the sternpost joggle at the fin/tip junction. Check width of sternpost starboard flat side where the hinges will go - it's about 20mm, which is the same as the hinges so that should be OK. Start to assemble tailwheel fork and find that the EURO36 washer is 15mm ID & 35mm OD instead of 1/2" ID & 1" OD as labelled on the packet. It is too big to lie flat against the bush. As it's just an ordinary BZP washer, check stock to see if there is anything that would suit and the M12 heavy washers seem to be right; same thickness, the ID clears the pivot nicely and the OD is larger than the tips of the hex nut. Fit and adjust castellated nut to get free movement but no play. Mark a slot position on the threaded shaft and across the end with paint marker. Try to drill on that mark with the shaft supported in a vee-block on the bench drill table, but the crests of the threads keep deflecting the drill bit and I can't get a good start. Instead, clamp the shaft vertically in the vise with aluminium angle soft jaws and use the cordless drill. This allows me to steer the drill tip into the right place and then follow the marked line across the end of the shaft. The steel is tough, but I can easily bring enough pressure to bear and the brand-new cobalt drill bit cuts well with some lubricant. Clean up the somewhat untidy threads on the entry side of the hole with a 3-square file until the nut runs on again easily. Assemble the fork to the spring but can't find the right SP90/F8 split pin so use a commercial one from stock for the moment. Cut the cable loops with a Dremel cut-off wheel to release tailwheel cables from springs. Assemble turnbuckles 4 threads at each end and insert locking clips part-way. Make a new cable loop on a turnbuckle eye. Offer up the fork end to port spring and with a bit of fiddling insert clevis pin and split-pin. Now it appears that the turnbuckle is too long - when the bellcrank is at full starboard rudder, the aft end of the Nicopress sleeve on the loop is only about 20mm forward of the sternpost. I think I will have to abandon the idea of putting the turnbuckles inside and have them outside instead, but that means the expensive fork ends are wasted. Fit the XTW06 tailwheel spring with a temporary plain nut. Assemble tailwheel onto fork and fit metal stiffnut. NB tailwheel will not turn freely if that nut is over-tightened. Fit the grease nipple and apply grease with the Wanner grease-gun. Will have to think of come way of stopping the grease coming out of the semi-circumferential slot where the roll pin was supposed to act as a rotation stop. Post a query on the Matronics e-mail list about the turnbuckles, and about the sternpost joggle obstructing the hinge location.
||In response to my e-mail list posting, David Joyce offers me a look at his aircraft which has Mod 77 and internal turnbuckles. Meet him at the hangar and on removal of the inspection panel I see his turnbuckles are much shorter than mine because they are 2-piece, not 3-piece. The fork end has a female thread and appears to be similar to SP3Y-413, and the eye looks like AGS-491. This certainly solves the length problem, but they can't be adjusted without rotating the cable, which I think is a serious disadvantage. While I'm there, look at the top rudder hinge and it appears the sternpost joggle has been ground back flush to allow the hinge to fit there. Can't really see because of the reinforcing BID layup at the hinge position. Also look at method of securing the fuselage dolly to the fuselage with large machine screws. David says the nuts inside the fuselage are just bonded on but can't be seen now because covered with trim. Take photos of hole locations. David also advises of the need to hold the dolly down to the trailer, so photograph the folding brackets for that in the trailer.
||Remove fork end of turnbuckle from port spring. Make a new loop through a shackle and compress the nicopress sleeve to make a short (about 115mm) connexion between the tailwheel horn and the turnbuckle. Cut off the excess cable and check it's still long enough to go between the EURO34 spring and the turnbuckle in its new position just forward of the tailwheel. Remove XTW06 tailwheel spring to allow the bungee cord around the springs more freedom. Form a new cable loop around the end of the port spring and with some difficulty in holding everything in the right place (have to retain the free end of the cable with a wire rope clamp to stop it disappearing), compress the nicopress sleeve. Likewise form a new loop on the starboard spring, which is easier to get at. On the other end of the cable, form a loop around a shackle. Cut off enough cable to form a similar short length to that on the port side and complete it to the same length with a loop around the 2nd turnbuckle eye. Assemble shackles to tailwheel horns with clevis pins, washers & split-pins (not crimped yet). Remove fork ends (and clips) from turnbuckles and return to storage. Drill some starting holes in fin and cut off excess fin aft of sternpost with coarse hacksaw blade in padsaw.
||Start a list of things needed on next LAS Aerospace order, first item being the turnbuckle eye ends to replace the now-redundant forks. Also look online for nutplates for the dolly attachment system and request a quote for some M10 bond-in types. The quote comes back with a minimum pack quantity of 25 and including postage & VAT that comes to nearly £50, so think again. Grind back uneven parts of both sides of fin nearer to edge of sternpost with belt sander. Accidentally cut off the cord that passes through the conduit. Tie a knot and try to pull it back in again, but the knot jams on the edge of the middle section of conduit going downwards through the fin. Coat the loose end of the knot with Shoo Goo in an attempt to smooth it. Finish straightening the starboard sternpost edge with the long Perma-Grit block. Insert XTW06 tailwheel spring and re-fit bolt, washers and temporary nut. Offer up rudder with hinges outside fin and mark hinge locations on starboard side of fin. Grind back sternpost joggle at top hinge position, revealing small voids that will have to be filed before the reinforcing BID layer is applied. Still concerned about the difficulty of getting the knot in the string past the conduit junction in the fin, so decide to pull through the coax cable from the forward end now. Remove the chunk of wood that was securing the forward end and the knotted loop. Tie a single small knot at the end of the string to act as a stop, and lay it along parallel to the cable, overlapping by about 100mm. Wrap short pieces of duct tape around string and cable to secure, and add another piece of string to be pulled through with the cable as insurance. Pull through slowly from aft end. It's quite a fiddle getting it round the corner and through the bend in the conduit near the access panel, apparently because of the extra thickness and stiffness of the duct tape. At the top of the conduit up through the fin, it refuses to pull any more - probably too sharp a corner into the horizontal section of conduit. I can push it up from the bottom, but that does not seem to alleviate the situation at all. Eventually the string breaks! Enlarge the hole in the sternpost with a Perma-Grit file enough the I can get a grip on the conduit and try to pull it out, but it seems to be well bonded at the forward end. Instead just push the aft end upwards out of the way of the hole. Peering through the sternpost hole, I can just see the cable emerging from the end of the conduit coming up through the fin, and also a loop of it quite near the hole. Hook that with the electrician's snake and pull it towards the hole. Work the spare cable back down the conduit and forwards, until the duct-taped section appears at the hole. Afraid of losing it again if I try to wiggle the end into the hole, I pull the loop through. That scalps some insulation off the coax and it also feels as though the internal insulation has been damaged at the crease. That means I've lost about 250mm of cable. Check how it looks at the forward end - there is certainly enough to reach the radio but not very much spare for a service loop. Maybe I should order another (longer!) length of RG58 anyway to be on the safe side; should be easier to pull that through using this piece of cable than with the string. Mark lines 3mm in from the aft edge of the fin at the hinge positions. Grind back the central hinge areas with the power file, leaving the ends until a further check. Offer up rudder again with hinges folded in and mark exact end positions of hinges. Grind and file rebates to marked end positions and add chamfers to clear hinge pins. Offer up rudder and hold in correct position. Mark the holes and the top edge of the top hinge on the inside of the sternpost. With tight it drill kit, drill top hole 1/8". Offer up rudder & insert cleco. The rudder hinges are now just a tiny bit low compared to the rebates. Remove rudder, check hinge hole centre dimensions and re-mark lower hole for top hinge about 2mm higher. Drill there and and hang rudder on a cleco through that hole. Alignment of hinges and rebates now good. Mark bottom and middle hinge hole positions on inside of sternpost. The rudder can just swing clear on the single cleco while drilling one hole for bottom hinge. Insert cleco there and alignment of rudder edge and fin edge looks fairly good. However, the rebates are a bit too generous and should really have been shallower - maybe only 1.5mm or even 1mm instead of 3mm. Stop and have a think about this.
||Search online for large hank bushes (many suppliers only go up to M6) and find that Orbital Fasteners accepts small orders, so order 10 off M10 x 16G SS from them. Mark a line on starboard side of fin, 2mm in from edge at top and 1.5mm in at bottom. Remove tailwheel assembly. Grind down starboard fin flange to near the marked line with belt sander and then true up to the line with long Perma-Grit blocks. Attach rudder with 1 cleco in top hinge and check fit at bottom hinge. Looks better but hinge pin now fouling. File chamfers on end of rebate to clear hinge pin and it fits much better. Hold rudder in place and mark hole positions for bottom hinge again. Swing rudder clear and drill 1 hole through. Try to fit cleco but the hole is just too far from the edge and the hinge won't lie flush. Remove cleco and ease hole aft-wards with Perma-Grit needle file. Now cleco fits well and alignment looks good. Remove top hinge cleco and re-mark holes with rudder held closer in to fin at top. Remove rudder and re-shape top holes with Perma-Grit needle file. Re-fit rudder with 1 cleco each in top & bottom hinges - looks fine now. Find I can swing the rudder far enough to starboard to get the tight fit drill inside the sternpost and drill the sternpost through the remaining hinge holes, which is much more accurate than marking. Insert cleco in each hole as drilled. The line where the fin and rudder meet looks good now. Rudder swings easily to starboard but strikes port flange before even reaching neutral, so that will need to be cut back quite a bit. Take off rudder. Drill starting holes near the top of the port side of fin and start to cut port flange off about 15mm forward from the aft edge with hacksaw blade in padsaw handle.
||Continue for a while cutting off the port fin flange with the padsaw, but progress very slow so switch to diamond wheel on angle grinder which is much faster and easier. Grind and file a chamfer all along the edge, particularly at the joggle areas. Hang rudder with clecos and mark where more clearance needed. Remove rudder and grind/file away marked areas. Hang rudder again and it looks better although not quite reaching neutral yet. Again mark areas of obstruction and remove rudder. Do some more chamfering on inner face of port flange with grinding wheel on angle grinder. Cut a bit off the aft edge of the fin tip. Hang rudder again. Check clearances and mark areas needing attention, mostly at top and bottom as the clearance seems OK for most of the edge. Use a loop of bungee retained on tailplane torque tube to hold the rudder about 90 degrees to starboard for access while filing, which saves time and bother removing and re-fitting clecos. Alternate between working on top and bottom to allow the rudder to gradually swing more to port. Decide that as the top of the rudder was well rounded already before painting that the clearance for the upward movement when deflecting to port can be achieved by filing away the fin tip rather than the top LE corner of the rudder (also means no need to repaint the rudder!). As deflection to port increases get out plastic 30-60-90 set-square and check deflection by eye with the set-square held against the rudder. Eventually get to the point where the outer edge of the set-square is clearly beyond parallel with the centreline of the fuselage. That may not the quite enough, since the rudder tapers quite a bit. but must be getting near. Remove rudder and use long Perma-Grit blocks to true up port fin flange. Chamfer it to a fairly thin edge all along with the angle grinder. Re-fit rudder and check where it touches at full port deflection. File the chamfers a bit more at both top & bottom. Contact between port flange and rudder is now over quite a wide area at full deflection. Check deflection again with 2 set-squares and there is clearly more than 30 degrees deflection to port. Check Mod 77 instructions about the hole through the sternpost. Mark position of CS29 on outside of fin at neutral. After careful sighting in several directions, mark a hole centre on the sternpost and bore it 25mm with a TC grit holesaw. Fit fit pushrod to rod-end bearing on bellcrank (about half-way onto the thread, 10 turns) and it sticks out a long way. Centralise rudder pedals and insert locking tubes between them. Mark the pushrod in line with the edge of the port flange. Remove pushrod from bellcrank and slide it forwards beside the rod-end bearing. After failed attempts to fit aft rod-end bearing to CS29 with rudder in-situ, remove rudder and fit the MW4 rod-end bearing with an AN4-10A bolt inserted from the top, an AN960-416 washer above the bearing and an AN960-416L washer below it, and another AN960-416 washer under the MS21042-4 stiffnut. Re-fit the rudder. Check the movement of the rod-end in the hole and file it to accommodate. Eventually find that as rudder swings to port that the limit is set by the LE of the rudder touching the rod-end bearing, so file a shallow groove to allow more movement. Slide the rod-end into the pushrod, check movement and file the hole to shape further. At neutral rudder, mark the side of the bearing as previously done on the pushrod. That mark is 45mm aft of the shoulder where the pushrod butts, so mark the pushrod again at 45mm forward of the original mark. Hacksaw off the surplus pushrod length, leaving about 3mm beyond the mark for adjustment. Alas! When the pushrod is fitted, it is about 6mm shy of the length needed to obtain full deflection. Clearly I should not have trusted the measurements, and left much more spare when making the first cut. Will have to order a new pushrod and insert.
||Order CS28 pushrod, AN490HT8P end fitting and AN470-AD4-10 & TLPD435BS rivets from Europa. After some work on the pitot-static system drawing, order some 5mm silicon tubing and T-connectors from Severn Valley Sailplanes, together with some RG58 as they seem to have the best price on that. Notice that they also stock the Sirs compass, which prompts me to look again at sources for that as I'm not happy with my ideas for mounting the other compass I got from AFE at the Rally last year. Order some other connectors from Parts For Aircraft. Order a Sirs compass direct from Sirs as they have the lowest prices. The M10 hank bushes arrive from Orbital Fasteners. The insert spigots of them measure about 16mm diameter. Find some 1.6mm aluminium sheet offcuts. Drill one piece 16mm and try hank bush - slightly sloppy fit. Set hank bush with 4lb club hammer and it fills the hole well. Drill 2nd piece 14mm and open hole slightly with taper reamer to just admit hank bush. Set it with the club hammer.
||Order turnbuckle eyes, split pins, hinge (for gascolator access panel) and fire extinguisher from LAS Aerospace. Pitot-static system stuff arrives from Parts For Aircraft. Try out the 2 off 1/8" NPT to 1/4" hose barb Tee on the altimeter and VSI and they look very promising. Cut last (larger) piece of aluminium sheet in two. Drill, ream and set hank bush on each as before. Drill 4 off 14mm holes in each piece of aluminium for better key and deburr. Fit tailwheel assembly with temporary nut. Remove rudder pushrod and check measurements again to see why it turned out so far short. The answer is now obvious - I measured from the mark on the rod-end to the END of the insert (45mm) instead of to the shoulder (30mm) - a very stupid mistake! Create new storage box 26 in the office and transfer several pitot-static tubing and connector items into it.
||Roll fuselage on wooden dolly out onto drive, first clearing a path for the tailwheel as it's quite near ground level. Get rigging dolly out of trailer. Clean up fuselage support mouldings with acetone and cut lightweight pieces of carpet to fit them. Spray both with the remains of the Martrim contact adhesive left over from trimming the overhead panel, leave to touch dry then apply each carpet piece to a support moulding. Trim carpet edges flush to mouldings. Fit support mouldings to dolly with the long M8 bolts, leaving off the washers so that the mouldings can float thwartwise slightly. Place a stool each side of fuselage adjacent to spar hole. Insert a length of scaffolding pole through the spar hole and lift onto the stool each side. Roll wooden dolly out of the way. Roll rigging dolly under fuselage and adjust position several times until satisfied. Initially I thought the forward edge of the support mouldings would line up with the firewall, but it fits better further back, and the optimum position seems to be with the holes in the sides of the mouldings opposite the hard-points in the fuselage, which makes sense as Roger's original hold-down used one of the wing pin sockets. I understand LAA engineering were not happy with the sockets being used for that purpose, which is why I'm going for the solution Roger Targett fitted to David Joyce's machine, with bolts through the mouldings into the bottom of the fuselage. Make sure the support mouldings are snug against the fuselage and equally spaced on the tunnel. This results in both being at full inboard position on the pivots. Slightly curve 2 of the aluminium plates fitted with hank bushes, to conform to the fuselage shape. Mark hole positions just forward of the seats, clear of brown foam area, and drill through 10mm. Fit M10 x 40mm hex bolts which protrude by about 15mm beyond the top of the hank bush. Looking like rain soon, so make up a tailwheel towrope and (with the help of a couple of passing builders) swing the dolly round to line up with the garage (should have fitted it in that alignment!) and wheel the fuselage in. Bring the main wheel, tyre, tube, FW02 & FW03 firewall parts, PLY0, PLY12, LG06/5 suspension block and box 4 in to the garage from the trailer, then close trailer up. LAS Aerospace order arrives. Add parts to database. Fit turnbuckle eyes and locking clips. Check possible locations of fire extinguisher - looks as though it could go under the instrument module at the port side, but will have to check that when sitting for leg clearance. Advertise the wooden fuselage dolly on the Matronics e-mail list.
||Roll fuselage on dolly partly out of garage onto drive for better access (the support mouldings on the dolly protrude slightly beyond the side of the fuselage and so reduce the spare width in the garage). Remove the lifting fixture from the landing gear frame. Pull LG08P against frame and hold in place with bungee. Insert LG12 through slot and secure to LG08P with bolt & plain nut. Check for finger space under handle - no real issue as the handle is virtually clear of the tunnel by the time it gets to the aft end of the slot - but the top of the handle is about the specified 50mm above the tunnel. Do up nut tight, then fit 2 small G-clamps (clear of bolt holes in LG08P) to ensure no relative movement of the parts. Undo nut on temporary bolt through LG08P and remove bolt. Slide LG08P off LG09 shaft but of course can't remove it from slot because of the handle. Unscrew retract handle, taking care not to drop LG12 once the handle is off. Remove LG08P/LG12 assembly from fuselage. Reverse G-clamps one at a time to put clamp screws on side away from LG08P, to leave room for drilling. Support on a piece of wood and drill through one hole. Apply Duralac and fit bolt and stiffnut. Drill 2nd hole. Have to remove one clamp as it will foul bolt head. Apply Duralac and tighten stiffnut. Finally remove the original bolt and temporary nut, and fit stiffnut with Duralac. Clean up with white spirit. Getting too dark to do more, so leave the assembly aside and roll the fuselage back into the garage.
Roll fuselage on dolly partly out of garage. Re-fit LG08P to shaft LG09 and check fit of LG12 retract lever in tunnel slot and in FL24 guide plate. Square off ends of guide plate slot and that just about matches the slot in the tunnel. Chamfer aft end of slot to match slope of lever. File forward end of tunnel slot so that the lever contacts only the guide plate at the forward end. Remove LG08P from shaft. Cut, file and drill 3/8" bottom end of Mod 51 strut LG11 and attach to LG08P with LG04 pin (should have been MS20392-5C37 clevis pin but forgot to check). Re-fit assembly to shaft and check clearance for top end of LG11 strut with retract lever fully forward. Remove assembly, mark and cut LG11 to length. Shape and drill 4.8mm. Fit to LG08P/LG12 assembly, clamp top end of strut in place and drill through LG12 4.8mm. Fit bolt, washer and stiffnut with Duralac and clean up with white spirit.
||Roll fuselage on dolly out onto drive. As no interest shown in my offer to pass it on, dismantle wooden dolly. Decide to fit a castoring underframe to the rigging dolly. Find an offcut piece of melamine-faced chipboard worktop about 950mm x 480mm and cut it into two lengthwise. Fit castors on each end of each piece, counterboring the holes to keep the bolt heads under the surface. Use a wooden block and lever to raise the front of the dolly just enough to get the trolley-jack under it. Jack it up until there's room to slide one of the castor units underneath. Lower dolly onto it, keeping it square, central, and butted against the jacking fixture at the front of the dolly. Lower & remove jack. Jack up port aft side of dolly and slide 2nd castor unit as far as the starboard side. Lift starboard side of dolly with block and lever, pull the castor unit across under it and lower dolly onto it. Lower jack on port side and correct position of aft castor unit with taps of a mallet. Find a piece of melamine-coated chipboard shelving that can be used to join the forward and aft castor units and prevent them sliding sideways. Cut it in half lengthways, position on castor units, drill and fit 8 off M6 x 70 coach screws per side. Check the M10 bolts holding the fuselage to the dolly. Take them out in turn and fit a large heavy washer to each. Tighten up slightly with spanner - they were only finger-tight before. Tidy up working area and put away various tools. Remove LG04 pin from LG08 and replace it in LG02. Fit MS20392-5C37 clevis pin and washer to LG08/LG11 with commercial split pin as still can't find SP90/F8 (MS24665-306). Fit LG08/LG12/LG11 assembly to LG09 shaft and drive in SPIROL6X55 roll pin to secure. Quite awkward to get a hammer in the right place and little room to swing, but it goes home eventually. Mark it with inspectors lacquer. Roll fuselage back in - quite tricky as I need to be at the aft end to keep the tailwheel tracking straight, and the castors want to go all over the place. Wonder if I could make a fixture to keep the tailwheel straight when reversing.
||Thinking about the difficulty of controlling the new dolly arrangement, decide to swap the aft set of castors for fixed wheels. Had considered just removing the aft castors entirely, but that would have meant the forward castors would have been biassed in one direction because of the resulting slope. Can't find where I got the castors I'm using from; look at Machine Mart range but the plate sizes do not match. Order some 100mm diameter nylon wheels from Screwfix (they have none in stock). Phone Severn Valley Sailplanes to check what's happened to my order of 14 Oct as I had an e-mail saying it was despatched on 15 Oct. They confirm it was sent out on that day. Phone Europa Aircraft to check on progress of my order of 14 Oct. They are out of stock of the CS28 pushrod and will call back to let me know when it might be available. On looking again at the Mod 77 inventory from Europa Aircraft, the pushrod is shown there as CS38 and also marked "plated". Call back to clarify and Karen says plating will delay it another week, so decide to accept the plain steel to save time. After checking with the 3 local addresses that sometimes get our mail, phone Severn Valley Sailplanes again and Martin Carolan says he will re-send the order. Roll out fuselage onto drive. Remove starboard dolly bolt and nutplate. Grease bolt well. Abrade plate and surrounding bonding area on cockpit floor and degrease both with acetone. Mix a peg-4 (75g) batch of epoxy with slow hardener. Decant about half of it into a second cup and add a couple of small doses of flox. Spread flox onto bonding area and back of nutplate. Place nutplate and insert greased bolt. Tighten firmly with spanner. Smooth flox into keying holes, around hank nut and edges of plate. On returning to the table, find that the epoxy cup has has been knocked over and made quite a mess beside the build manual. Mop up and remove contaminated bits of paper and rag. Fortunately the epoxy has only touched the edge of the manual and has not crept much between the pages. Remove port dolly bolt and grease it. Abrade nutplate and bonding area, clean with acetone. Spread flox on both bonding faces, position nutplate and insert bolt. Tighten with spanner. Cut 8 small strips of BID. Mix a peg-2 (45g) batch of slow epoxy. Position the BID strips around the nutplates; on each side 2 fore-and-aft and 2 thwartwise. Wet out and stipple down. Apply peel ply in sections all over. Pull fuselage back into garage. Not so difficult this time; standing beside the cockpit I can see and steer the tailwheel to some extent and keep it roughly straight. Set the 2 fan heaters going under the fuselage and leave to cure.
||Forgot to check the temperature before going to bed last night, but this morning it is 25C, 34% RH. A package arrives from Severn Valley Sailplanes - it's the original one postmarked 15 Oct so phone Martin Carolan and fortunately he has not yet sent out a replacement, so all is well. By the evening it is 28C, 31% RH in the cockpit, so turn off heaters; sample cup is well cured. Send e-mail to Europa factory asking for some SP90/F8 split pins to be added to the order for the rudder pushrod. Notice that the 5mm Tee pieces from Severn Valley Sailplanes are marked Norma so look online for the maker. They do make 3mm - 5mm adaptors so find a UK distributor - FEP Hydraulics - and request prices for 4mm - 6mm adaptors which is the nearest they stock.
||Checking through the tubing and adaptors I had brought in from the garage to put in box 26, find I'd also brought in a packet of 2 off SP90/F8 split pins. I still need at least one more, so let the order with Europa factory stand. Price quote received from FEP Hydraulics so place order for some 4mm - 6mm adaptors. Order some high-power resistors from RS to see if I can arrange a heating system (like the anti-condensation heater for the lathe, but 12V) for curing the Redux on the wing pin sockets; the Redux data sheet shows full cure in 4 hours at 50C and that would avoid the need to move the whole airframe to a secure hangar just for that operation. Collect non-swivelling wheels from Screwfix and order T-handle 6mm hex driver for dolly bolts from Buck & Hickman. Roll fuselage out onto drive. Jack up each side of the dolly in turn and swap out the aft castors for the fixed wheels. My guess that the fixing centres were the same is correct, which makes the change easy. Remove the peel-ply from the nutplate layups and clean off some sharp edges around the hank bushes with the power file. Remove the 40mm hex bolts and replace them with the just-delivered 25mm button-head screws and heavy washers. Fit F14 instrument module to firewall with temporary screws. Fit handle to retract lever and check clearance from instrument module at forward travel - no problems there. Remove retract lever handle and drop FL24 guide plate in place. Position carefully and drill first hole in tunnel through plate. Drop screw in to hold position. Instrument module blocks access to 2nd hole. Climb into port seat and check space available for fire extinguisher. Seems to be enough room for it under the port side of the instrument module, although the weight of the extinguisher means some sort of backplate might be needed because the floor of the instrument module is relatively thin there. Remove the instrument module. Re-check guide plate alignment and drill 2nd hole through tunnel. Mark the plate for the down gate position and file close to the marked lines. Starting to rain so pull fuselage in - much easier and safer to manoeuvre now. Note, however, that it's hard to keep the tailwheel straight with the towing rope. A rigid tow handle would be useful - must remember to have a look at Tim's. Check plate against lever. Mark tunnel and file the down gate in it. File plate, check fit, repeat, until satisfied. Similarly mark plate and file for the up gate. Check position for FL25 SRBF rubbing strip and clamp it to the guide plate with about 1mm width of SRBF protruding beyond starboard side of slot in metal. Drill the rubbing strip 4.8mm through the holes in the plate, using the bench drill to keep holes square. Mark the rubbing strip for the gates.
||Power resistors (8 off 6R8, 50W) delivered from RS. Collect 6mm T-handle hex driver from Buck & Hickman. Drill a 7mm hole in the starboard fuselage support to store it. Hacksaw the ends of the FL25 rubbing strip to the marked lines for the gates. Fit with temporary nuts and file in-situ to more closely match the gate profiles of the FL24 guide plate, until the lever just goes into the gates with a push. Remove rubbing strip and file the ends smoother. Re-assemble and lever now goes into both gates very nicely under its own spring pressure. However, the port aft edge of the lever is rubbing slightly against the outboard side of the slot in the guide plate - the lever is not quite parallel to the slot during travel. Set the lever full forward, grip it with a large adjustable spanner (using thin aluminium sheet softening on jaws to avoid marking) and twist slightly counter-clockwise (viewed from above). Now it looks parallel to the slot, and slides full length without touching the port side of the guide plate. It's slightly hard to get it out of the up gate, so remove rubbing strip and file a very small, shallow chamfer on the forward end. Re-assemble and now everything seems fine. Notice while reaching under tunnel that there is slight surface corrosion appearing on the LG01 landing gear frame, around where I cleaned it up after first unwrapping it. Will need to do something more permanent about that than the spray of ACF-50. Try to measure temperature of die-cast box containing the heating resistors in the lathe cover but although it is too hot to touch, it only shows about 30C on both of the IR thermometers. There must be some issue with bare metal for the IR thermometers, so spray the heater box matt black and try again - now reads about 58C to 62C which is much more believable. So, there should be no problem getting the mass of metal in the wing pin sockets up to 50C with resistors dissipating similar wattage. Get the 15V 10A bench power supply down from the loft in preparation for tests on the resistors. Check and update the wirebook file for the stall-warner and roof power outlet. Solder a couple of the 6R8 power resistors in series to a length of heavy twin flex.
Connect the pair of power resistors to the bench power supply, set to 10V. The surface temperature of the resistors, as measured by the IR thermometer, soon reaches about 70C. Clamp them round one set of W26 fittings, and that reaches about 43C. Wind the output up to 12V and the W26 then gets to 58C. Reduce it to 11V and W26 stabilises at about 50C, so clearly the idea should work, provided there is enough room to clamp the resistors to the fittings. Norma tube fitting delivered from FEP Hydraulics. Try the fit of the IT071 5mm silicon tubing on the 6mm branch of the TRS 4-6-4 TEE and that fits fine. The TU21RM tubing (nominal 3mm ID) won't go onto the 4mm branch cold, but warming it in boiling water allows it to slide on easily. Re-draw the pitot-static connexion diagram using those adaptors and update the system file to match. Pull fuselage out onto drive and park it where there should be enough room to rig the wings. Pull trailer forward, remove the stuff in the way of the wings and roll out the port wing to the front drive. Try inserting the spar into the fuselage and after some false starts manage to get the temporary bolt through the seatback bush & into the spar bush. Can't get port bolt to go in even with assistance from Dorothy pushing the bolt while I wiggle the wing. It looks as though the layup around the spar hole in the fuselage has bulged a bit too much at the top and forward edges of the hole, thus preventing the spar locating correctly. Remove starboard bolt, pull wing out again and grind off the bulges with the power file. Will worry about how to repair that layup later! Try re-inserting the spar and this time I can get the port bolt in as well as the starboard one. Bring out starboard wing and try inserting its spar. Had to stop and fit the down travel restraint bolt on the flap to stop it trailing on the ground. Seem to be able to get the port end of the spar well enough into the cup to get the bolt started into it, but can't get the starboard bolt in at all - at least partly because I can't move the bolt with the port wing spar pressing on it. Also the spars are both tending to slide aft because the slope of the drive is increasing the tail-down angle of the fuselage. It's clear from all this that stepped SRBF spar guides would be a very Good Thing - they could keep the spar at the correct height as well as preventing aftwards drift, and prevent undue wear on the layup at the bottom of the spar hole. Remove starboard wing with some difficulty - the port spar bush seems to be catching on the strap attached to the port wing. Return wings to trailer and repack everything else around them. Return fuselage to garage as rain is threatening. Push back trailer with car - much easier than last time; could be that practice makes perfect, but doing it in daylight helps too.
||Roll out fuselage onto drive. Bend the 2 remaining nutplates to fit the curve of the fuselage near the rear of the sloping parts of the seats. Drill 10mm holes to match through into the supports. Fit the remaining 2 off 25mm button-head M10 screws and heavy washers. Using power file, grind off the forward and upper layups on the port side spar hole and the upper one on the starboard side. To keep the layups in place around the bends and against the force of gravity, decide to use pieces of aluminium bent to shape. Find an offcut of aluminium and bend it along its length at 90 degrees, using a couple of wooden battens clamped in the vise. Cut and bend again as needed to form a single piece to support both forward & upper layups on port side, then cut off to size. Cut off another piece to fit just the upper layup at the starboard side. Trim and file both to fit well. Find a few small pieces of wood and cut to length for wedging the aluminium in place. Measure size of BID needed, mark and cut 6 off 125mm x 100mm and 3 off 175mm x 90mm. Degrease bonding areas with acetone. Mark rectangles on polyethylene sheet; 2 off 125mm x 100mm and 1 off 175mm x 90mm and place BID in position, 3 layers on each. Mix peg-4 (75g) batch of slow epoxy and wet out the BID. Paint the bonding areas with epoxy. Trim the polyethylene sheet flush to BID along short sides and lay it into place, starting with the section on the fuselage skin then folding the rest into the recess. Apply peel-ply and then a layer of polyethylene sheet to stop the aluminium sticking. Put aluminium angle pieces in place and wedge with the pre-cut sticks. Roll fuselage into garage and start fan heaters. 27C, 46% RH inside fuselage by bedtime.
||27C, 41% RH inside fuselage. Leave heaters on as I plan to do some Redux work. Mark round the FL24 guide plate on the tunnel, and on the underside of the plate around the port side of the tunnel. Remove plate and FL25 rubbing strip. Hacksaw port edge of plate to marked line and smooth edges with ScotchBrite wheel. Check fit against side of tunnel - looks fine. Abrade bonding areas of plate and rubbing strip, also top & underside of tunnel in bonding area. Lift aft fuselage and support on a stool. Mark around XTW06 tailwheel spring at forward and aft sides of sternpost. Remove tailwheel spring. File additional clearance on port side of groove as it has obviously been rubbing there. Clean paint off spring between marks. Degrease it and the hole in the sternpost with acetone. Degrease tunnel top & bottom, guide plate & rubbing strip. Get out all washers and stiffnuts for assembly. Turn heater thermostats down a little.
||Spray some zinc primer into a small cup and brush it onto the patches on the underside of the XTW06 tailwheel spring where the paint had rubbed off. Clean off with wire wool and acetone the bottom corners of the LG01 landing gear frame and brush on zinc primer. 24C, 39% RH in cockpit. Mix 25g + 10g Redux 420, Spread it onto the top & bottom of tunnel bonding area, FL25 rubbing strip, FL24 guide plate & around tailwheel spring. Insert spring, coat fixing bolt & washer with Duralac and insert. Fit top washer and stiffnut. Fit guide plate and screws. Fit rubbing strip and secure with washers and stiffnuts, then find that the washers protrude into the lever operating slot. Replace AN970-3 washers with AN960-10. After tightening the nuts, notice that the guide plate is bowing slightly so slacken them off a little bit. Clean up excess Redux with acetone-soaked tissues. Apply more Redux around tailwheel spring both forward & aft of sternpost. Once it has run into place, wipe out excess under spring that is blocking drainage hole. Note that because the tailwheel spring mount forms a dam, there really should be another drainage hole just aft of the rear bulkhead. 24C, 40% RH in cockpit. Crimp a couple of the connexions on the trim circuit that are local to the radio panel.
||Order delivered from Europa Aircraft. Log items in parts database. Clean off some small drips and nibs of Redux. Re-open the aft drainage hole under the tailwheel spring. Measure, mark and drill a new 1/4" drainage hole immediately aft of the rear bulkhead. Scrape out the brown foam from between the skins with the bent piano-wire tool, this time holding it in a pin-vise, held in the chuck of the cordless drill. Turn off fan heaters. Prepare to assemble the rudder pushrod but find that the threaded rod-end won't fit into the pushrod piece supplied. It has been drilled or reamed rather roughly at each end, but not enough to admit the rod-end. Compare the weight and length of the new part with the offcut of the original, and it's obvious that the new one is thicker wall - 0.049" rather than the 0.035" that the rod-end is designed to fit. Leave a phone message for Karen to say I want to return it for a refund and order a 2 foot length of 0.5", 0.035" wall from LAS Aerospace, together with some other bits.
M10 x 20mm nylon countersunk screws arrive. Roll out fuselage onto drive and face down the slope to reduce tail-down effect, also lift aft end onto a stool. Pull trailer forward, take out boxes, propeller, etc and roll out port wing. Insert spar into spar hole and find that by putting a wedge in the scissors of the rigging wheels I can adjust the wing incidence. By sliding the rigging wheels nearer to the fuselage I can raise the wing slightly. With slight adjustments to each of these as I push the spar in, it finishes well lined up with the seatback bushes and I can insert the temporary bolts quite easily. Leave them flush with the port spar for now. Move engine to starboard side of trailer and roll out starboard wing. Similar techniques allow it to go home quite nicely too. Grind a shallow taper on the ends of the temporary bolts to help them go in. (NB - taking them out to do that is quite easy, with the wing now supported in the correct position!) The port bolt goes through both spars quite easily by hand, but the starboard one goes most of the way by hand then needs a tap with a plastic mallet to go right home. Clamp wooden laths to flap TEs, extending over wings as counterweights, to keep them retracted. Put the digital level on the port sill and amazingly it reads almost level - fluctuating occasionally between 0.0 and 0.1 degrees tail-down. Put new flap-setting template on wing root but it doesn't fit well, rocking by over 2 degrees. Mark the high point on it and sand down with belt sander progressively until the fit is good and unambiguous. Small adjustments of wedge on port wing wheels brings that wing to the correct angle of incidence. Mark around the profile of the wing onto the fuselage side, and around the forward wing pin. Adjust starboard wing in the same manner and mark the fuselage that side. Go back and check port wing; moving the starboard wing has dislodged the port wing by about half a degree, so will have to remember to check wings repeatedly when bonding on the pin sockets until they are both stable at the required angle. Reset port wing and re-check starboard one. Very easy to upset the angle, so may need extra support when bonding the pin sockets to make everything stays put. Mark cross-lines on fuselage side opposite aft wing pin on both sides. Cut a piece of plywood as a gauge to measure the distance of the tips of the aft pins from the fuselage sides. Port is 16.7mm, starboard 17.6mm. Measure space between bottom of spar and bottom of spar hole. On port side a wedge can be put in to about 4mm thick; on the starboard side it needs 6.5mm. Mark lines on sides of fuselage underneath wings to show location of aft side of spar (port) and both forward and aft (starboard). Notice while doing that that I can just see the bolt between the spar and the seatback. It is possible to move the spar forward using a lever, but I'm not sure how it can be retained there without disturbing the wing incidence setting. Leaving everything set, fold back the tops of the wing clamps and stretch a piece of string between the wing tips to check for sweep-back or sweep-forward. Mark the starboard wing at intervals 32mm forward of the skin joint and the string lines up with those marks and with the skin joint on the port side. Remove the temporary bolts - need to pull the starboard one out with Mole-grips but the port one needs less persuasion. With spar partly withdrawn, check space available for power resistors around forward socket W27. The 50W resistors would fit either aft of or above W27, but not forward of or underneath it. There would probably be room on the forward face for a shorter resistor like the 15W types I used in the lathe heater. Put wings back in trailer, re-pack all the stuff and close trailer. Couple up car to it and reverse it back to its normal parking position. Drill the marked holes in the fuselage for the forward wing pins 1/2", working up to that size in stages from 4mm. Drill 4 off holes 8.5mm on the flange of each fuselage support moulding and tap them M10. Store the M10 x 20mm nylon countersunk screws in the forward pair of holes each side. Roll the fuselage back into the garage.