Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2014 12

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3 Get the big bag of blue foam offcuts from the trailer and find a piece large enough to yield the 410mm x 75mm x 7mm parts for the stiffeners at the forward wing socket points. Bandsaw off a couple of slices about 10mm thick and return rest to trailer. Remove ratchet strap and polyethylene sheets from aft wing socket pads. Clean off excess Redux with Perma-Grit files. Get a tyre valve extension from KarParts and Evo-Stik carpet adhesive from Homebase. Fit valve extension and now inflator fits well without significant leaks. Inflate to about 25 PSI, until the beads on both sides seat into the rims, then deflate to 18 PSI. Check wing socket pad sizes for BID overlays. Mark 8 off 135mm squares and 12 off 40mm x 65mm rectangles on BID. Cut a piece of carpet slightly oversize for the instrument panel wiring support shelf. Degrease shelf with acetone, spray carpet and shelf with Evo-Stik carpet adhesive. Leave to dry for a few minutes then press firmly in place and trim edges. Check firewall penetrations list and add wire label numbers for tacho connection from alternator to relevant diagrams. 2008.2
4 Post query on Matronics e-mail list about brake caliper positioning. Roll out fuselage onto drive. Check position of forward sockets. File port pin hole quite a bit forwards and starboard one a little bit forwards, to line up with witness marks on fuselage from wing pins. Hold sockets in position on holes and mark outlines. Scuff-sand both forward and aft socket areas. Check trueness of aft pads with straight-edge along fuselage side; starboard OK, but despite all the careful calculations, the port one is still shy about 2mm at aft edge. Find an offcut of 2mm birch 5-ply and saw a strip off it wide enough for pad, but much longer, for easy handling. Make a taper on one end down to nothing using belt sander. Easy to keep taper true as layers of ply exposed. Try for fit and I have made the taper too shallow! Cut off end and sand again to a slightly steeper taper, which gives a better fit to the required profile. Saw to approximate size, leaving the original pad exposed at the forward edge where the dimension should be correct, then trim corners with snips, trying fit between each cut. Leave very slightly oversize. Abrade surface of pad and shim, and degrease with acetone. Mix a small batch of Araldite 2012 on the back of the shim. When well mixed, scrape off excess leaving a thin layer. Position on pad and press well home. Warm it with the fan heater while holding in place until epoxy gels. Roll fuselage back into garage. 2010.4
5 Initially looks too damp to work outside, so get the other bench power supply and a length of 20SWG piano wire down from the loft. At 0.91mm, the piano wire is in the range 0.8mm to 1.2mm specified by Michel Auvray in his description. Now starting to clear up again, so roll fuselage out onto drive. Remove aft dolly-retaining screws. Abrade both sides of nutplates and area round them at edge of seat area. Vacuum out the dust and degrease everything with acetone. Coat both screws with grease. Pick out 8 small BID pieces from the offcuts, about 25mm x 75mm. Mix a peg-4 (75g) batch of epoxy with slow hardener and decant about half of it off. Add a couple of doses of flox to one portion. Spread it onto the bottom of the starboard nutplate and the corresponding seat area. Position the nutplate and insert the screw. Tighten it up and carefully remove the grease-contaminated blob of epoxy forced out of the threads. Spread more flox to fill holes in nutplate and surrounding edges, and form a fillet around the nut. Place 4 BID strips around the nut, wet out and stipple down. Repeat the process for the port nutplate. Cut strips of peel-ply and apply around each nutplate. Cut the 8 off 135mm squares of BID and trim the corners to make rough octagons. Mix a peg-4 (75g) batch of epoxy with slow hardener and paint the bonding areas around both socket mounting pads with it. Lay on 1 layer of BID on starboard socket and stipple to wet out. Repeat on port side. Repeat BID layups alternately on each pad to a total of 4 layers each side. Apply peel-ply in strips around sides of pads, then a couple of layers on the centres. Have to stop now for pre-booked cinema trip so pull fuselage into garage and set fan heaters going. 23C, 34% RH on return after dark. Consider setting up lights outside to do the layups on the forward socket areas, but decide I have just enough room to do it inside the garage. That will save a bit of time and avoid losing all the heat from the garage too. Cut the 12 off 40mm x 65mm marked pieces of BID. Lay them onto 2 marked pieces of polyethylene sheet - a stack of 4 and a stack of 8. Mix a peg-3 (60g) batch of epoxy with slow hardener and wet out both stacks. Apply the 4-layer stack to the port forward wing socket location and add several layers of peel-ply because the layup is rather wet. Likewise apply the 8-layer stack to the starboard location. Add even more peel-ply layers on this side as I added too much epoxy while waiting for the stack to wet through. 23C, 32% RH; leave fan heaters on. By bedtime, 24C, 29% RH. 2015.3
6 27C, 24% RH. Sample cup well cured. Remove peel-ply from all layups. The upper areas of the forward wing socket shims look slightly starved of epoxy, the starboard one slightly more than the port. Maybe I put on too much peel-ply, or maybe with the much lower viscosity of the slow hardener it drained down before it had a chance to gel. As these pads only require strength in compression, maybe I could stipple in more epoxy. Turn off heaters. 2015.9
8 Roll out fuselage onto drive. Mix a peg-1 (30g) batch of epoxy with standard hardener and try stippling it into the dry patch on the starboard forward wing socket shim. No sign of it penetrating at all, so clean off with acetone. Grind off the forward socket shims on both sides with the power file. Although I was worried about going too deep, it was remarkably easy to control and not cut into the underlying layer of layups. Abrade each side with Perma-Grit block to check for flatness. Re-mark socket outlines, extending lines well beyond bonding area. Degrease with acetone. Mark 10 off BID rectangles 40mm x 65mm and 2 off 60mm x 85mm (to give additional overlap on first layer). Mark rectangles on pieces of polyethylene sheet and turn ink-side down. Cut BID pieces and position on polyethylene sheet. Mix a peg-2 (45g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto BID stacks. Need to move them to the garden room heated floor to get the epoxy to flow, particularly into the 8-thick stack. When fully wetted out, apply to marked locations on fuselage. Apply 1 layer peel-ply on port (4-thick) side and 2 layers peel-ply on starboard (8-thick) side. Roll fuselage back into garage. 10C, 50% RH inside fuselage. Start fan heaters & pause for lunch. After lunch 20C, 35% RH. Take masking tape label off W36 tie-bar and remove adhesive residue with acetone. Rub down well with fine steel wool. Hang it, and the rudder pushrod, in the carport with lengths of surplus electrical cable. Mask off threaded ends of pushrod. Degrease both parts with acetone. Spray a couple of coats of etch-primer on both. Once touch-dry, transfer to garage where it is now 22C, 32% RH. Collect the parts for the retract latch spring mod. Check what spacers might be available from stock, as the longer one specified in Michel Auvray's drawing does not appear to be a standard Europa part. Check the space available on the starboard side of the retract lever for the spring and nuts - it's 10mm. Try winding 3 turns of the 20SWG piano-wire on a 1/4" mandrel, but it turns out a bit too loose. Have a look through the spring collection and find one that would do perfectly - it's 0.8mm wire, 3 turns and already has a right-angle bend at about the right place and the other end is long enough to catch the second screw. The MS21042-3 nut, AN960-10L washer and 2 threads of the AN525-10-R screw make about 6.9mm, leaving only 3.1mm for the spring and the spacer on which it pivots. 3 turns of 0.8mm wire is 2.4mm, leaving 0.7mm clearance, which should be OK if the screw length works out. Find I have 4 off XTW11 spacers from the standard tailwheel that the Singleton mod makes redundant. They have the right ID & OD, but are a bit roughly finished on the ends, all about 9.5mm long. 24C, 31% RH; leave heaters running. 2021.7
9 Layups and sample cup well cured. 21C, 34% RH; one heater has stopped - the overheat cutout must have tripped. Turn off both heaters and check that the quiescent one starts again after a pause to cool down. Start to work out what length of spacers will be needed for the retract lever latch spring mod. Draw up the thicknesses of the various items in CADintosh. Using the 10mm max space available on the starboard side of the lever gives the overall length of the AN525-10-R screw as 22.1mm, which is about 7/8", or AN525-10-R14. The spacer within the spring would need to be 3.1mm long. The other screw would need to be 20.8mm or 13/16", ie AN525-10-R13 and the spacer on it would need to be 8.1mm long. So, both these spacers could be made by shortening the XTW11 spacers which are approximately 9.5mm. Assemble one XTW11 to AN525-10-R19 screw on the stop screw hole of the XLG12A latch. With retract lever at full down but with a piece of wood keeping it out of the gate, clamp latch against lever with its lower edge resting on the guide plate. Start a hole through lever with 4.8mm drill using pivot hole of latch as a guide. Take latch out of the way and finish hole. Check action - not satisfactory as hole in lever too far away and no movement of latch available - the drill must have drifted slightly aft after I took the latch away. Rather than trying to move the hole in the retract lever, enlarge the pivot hole in the latch asymmetrically with a round file until near the required 1/4" diameter, then finish with a drill. Press FL10 sleeve into place in latch and check action on retract lever - now perfect. 2022.6
10 Re-check dimensions on CADintosh sketch of retract latch part thicknesses. As FL10 sleeve is a stiff press fit in the XLG12A latch, keeping the port end of the sleeve flush with the latch means the stop screw sleeve should now be 9.4mm and both screws can be 7/8". Deburr ends of one XTW11, bringing it close to 9.4mm. Press another onto the end of a piece of M5 brass studding to hold it and hacksaw it in half. Clean up the ends of the piece and bring it to just over 3mm length on the fine grinding wheel. Try assembling the whole thing with AN525-10-R14 screws and plain nuts. Will not try to drill a hole for the right-angle spring tail yet, just hold it against forward edge of the lever for now. Everything looks good, except that the rather long tail on the spring to the right-angle bend is allowing it room to jump out of place after a few operation cycles. It might stay in a close-fitting hole, but I think it would be better to shorten the tail so it has less opportunity to get away. Looks to be enough length available to cut off the right-angle bend that was already on the spring, and make new one. 2023.1
12 Take rudder pushrod and W36 tie-bar out to carport and spray a couple of coats Halfords Appliance Gloss White on them, finishing off a part-used can. Cut off the right-angle tail of the retract latch spring and re-bend at about 10mm from the centre of the spring coil. Assemble latch on lever and check position for spring hole. Mark and centre-pop the spot, then start to drill with a #67, 0.032" solid carbide bit in the Dremel. Alas, the bit breaks in the hole when nearly through, so mark a spot immediately adjacent for another try. This time try a normal HSS 1mm bit in the cordless drill and that goes through safely. Assemble the latch again and realise that the FL10 sleeve should not be a press fit in the XLG12A latch, it's supposed to pivot on it! Open up the 1/4" pivot hole in the latch with the next available drill bit, letter F (0.257") and now FL10 slides freely in it. Re-assemble the latch on the retract lever, but despite the latch swinging freely on the pivot at first, it stiffens up as soon as spring pressure is applied. The spring is tilting the latch slightly and increasing the friction both at the pivot itself and between the faces of the patch and the lever. Dis-assemble again, lubricate FL10 with grease, and re-assemble for another try. It works, but the latch needs a bit of encouragement to drop in at the down position, which undesirable. Dismantle and fit a thin fibre washer (ID opened out with letter F drill) between the latch and the lever. Now things are much smoother and the latch drops into place without prompting as soon as the lever goes into the down gate. Dis-engagement is also smoother - before the fibre washer was added, the latch tended to catch slightly on something as I tried to pull it up. With help from step-grandson James, drill out holes in fin flange that got covered by the rudder hinge reinforcement layups. Fit rudder on clecos. Had to drill the last hole from the hinge side (using Tight Fit drill kit) after fitting the rudder as it had filled with epoxy. Remove bottom cleco, drill out hole to 4.8mm (taking care not to drill into port side of rudder) and fit a temporary screw. Repeat for all 8 remaining hole positions in turn. Remove rudder. Fit an anchor nut to the bottom hole of the bottom hinge with a temporary short screw and drill rivet holes through 2.4mm. Remove screw and countersink rivet holes. Re-fit screw to hold anchor nut and pull rivets. James getting tired so stop there. 2025.9
13 Rudder was rubbing slightly and creaking at starboard deflections yesterday, so chamfer the inner face of the starboard fin flange around the reinforcing layups to give a bit of clearance. Attach 8 MS21047-3 anchor nuts to the remaining holes in the rudder hinges with short temporary screws. Drill 2.4mm for rivets and countersink holes - smallest countersink bit just clears the spacing nuts on the temporary screws. Set 16 TAPK33BS rivets. Remove temporary screws and vacuum up swarf. Dis-assemble retract latch. Use a wire brush in Dremel tool to smooth out the scratches made on the side of the retract lever by the tail of the spring, and smooth further with fine wire wool. Re-assemble latch with stiffnuts and check action - perfect. Apply dabs of inspectors lacquer to the stiffnuts. 2027.5
16 Clamp one large (50W) and one small (15W) 6.8 Ohm power resistor to each W27 forward wing pin socket with tie-wraps. Take them to the wings in the trailer to check how they will fit in the space. Just barely room, and the need to have the big resistor offset means that it's not really going to be practical. Accept the inevitable and order 2 more 6.8 Ohm 15W resistors from RS, with some crimp terminals to make up the minimum order value. Check how the resistors can be attached to the W26 aft wing pin socket assemblies. There is actually enough room for a small G-clamp, so assemble both sets of resistors and sockets, clamp up and check fit. The Thurlby dual bench power supply is marked 30V 1A; not sure if the current capacity is per side or total. Connect 1 set of resistors to each side and it can drive both easily, around 900mA per side at 12.5V. The wire between the original pair of 50W resistors that I connected as a test rig needs to be re-shaped to clear the pip-pin, so un-solder that and replace with a slightly longer wire. The 15W resistors could also be held to the forward pin sockets (W27) with G-clamps if I could find small enough ones. A trial assembly of the small resistors with the smallest available G-clamp shows the clamp needs to protrude no more than 25mm from the centreline of the socket. As it doesn't require a large force, I could make up something temporary. Find a piece of steel angle 2.5mm x 35mm x 35mm and cut off 4 slices 15mm long. Rivet 2 of them together with 5mm pop-rivets to form a wide U-shape. Drill one leg 4.4mm and tap M5. Grind the end of a M5 brass screw to a point and insert as a clamping screw. Assemble - it looks fine and extends just 25mm from the centreline, so should be satisfactory. Getting damp now so don't want to open the trailer again to check. 2031.7
17 15W resistors delivered from RS. Assemble 2nd clamp for resistors on forward socket as before. Wire up the 15W resistors and clamp in place on the forward sockets. Connect them to the dual power supply and check temperature rise. At 12V, very quickly gets to 60C on back of the socket. Reduce voltage in steps until the temperature stabilises. Seems to hold around 50C with 7V applied, but of course that is at room temperature and there will be more heat loss outside, but it is a good starting point. Wire up the second pair of 50W resistors and connect them to the other power supply. One socket gets hotter (over 10C) than the other, although both resistor pairs appear to be drawing the same current, and I can't see any difference in the clamping arrangements. 2034.0
18 Find another power supply unit, a Weir Minireg 401 which offers 30V, 1A output. Connect the forward socket resistors to it in series. The backs of the sockets both stabilise at about 50C with 14V applied. Increase output to 15V. Change the Thurlby power supply to parallel operation and connect it to the aft port socket resistors at 15V to get it warmed up quickly. The back of the socket soon exceeds 70C. Reduce supply to 11V and it comes down to around 57C. Connect aft starboard socket resistors to the Coutant power supply and set it to 15V. Forward sockets now about 55C. Starboard socket seems to take a long time to warm up - I note that the movement of the barrel in the housing is much freer on this assembly than on the port one, so maybe that is reducing the heat conduction. It eventually gets to 57C on the back face, but by then the resistors are over 90C (the resistors on the port socket are only about 70C). Reduce output to 12V and leave to stabilise - it drifts down to about 48C. Increase supply to 13V. After an hour or two, forward sockets with 15V from Weir PSU are about 60C; port aft with 11V from Thurlby PSU is about 55C; starboard aft with 13.5V from Coutant PSU is about 55C.
19 tick Start at 08:25. Move the cars out of the way and roll fuselage out onto drive. Prop up the tail on a stool and check level. At 08:40, start to move the trailer forward and empty out the stuff that is in the way of getting out the wings. Wheel out the port wing and assemble it loosely to the fuselage. At 09:10 move the engine to the right side of the trailer and bring out the starboard wing and slide its spar part-way into the fuselage. Remove peel-ply from forward socket shim layups. At 09:20 get flap setting template out and clamp wooden laths to ailerons as counterbalances. Bring the 3 bench power supply units down from office and run out a dis-board to feed them. Fit sockets with heater resistors in place to wing pins. Drill through the forward pin holes 1/2" and file edges to tidy up. Push wings home and check incidence and alignment of sockets with fuselage. Starboard forward one is fine; port forward one needs some relieving at the lower edge; both aft pads need relieving at the forward edge. At 09:40 pull the wings out and start to grind off the proud areas with the power file. Also need to file back the centre of the spar socket on the seatback slightly as it had got deformed around the hole and was scraping on the other spar. Push wings home and check; just a little more relief needed on aft pads. Check for wing sweep with a string attached to port wingtip and held tight at starboard (as we need to de-rig again). Grind a little more off, then abrade the pads overall with coarse Perma-Grit block. Also abrade the mounting faces of the sockets. Degrease all bonding areas with acetone. Lightly grease both forward pins and carefully re-fit sockets to them. At 11:20 mix 15g + 6g Araldite 420 (Redux) and add 3 small doses flox to make it non-slump. Spread onto all bonding surfaces. Slide in wings and check fit - more Redux needed on aft edge of starboard aft socket. Slide out wings again and apply more Redux. Slide in again and all seems good until I notice the starboard forward socket has dropped off the pin and is dangling in the breeze. Slide wing out again, fit socket to pin and re-insert wing - finally everything seems to be in the right place. this time. Switch on heaters at previously-determined voltages. Check incidence each side and adjust as needed with wedges in scissors action of wing dollies. Stick down string and check for zero sweep. At 11:55, leave for step-grand-daughter taxi duties. Return at 13:10; the Redux squeezed out from between the sockets and mounting pads is not yet gelled. Re-check incidences; starboard one seems to have sagged a but so re-set it and make sure the wedge in the scissors is secure. Check temperatures as far as is possible - between 20C & 30C on all sockets so wind up power supply voltages; Coutant to max (~15.5V), Weir to max current (~25V), Thurlby to 20V (1.5A). Re-check incidences and again adjust starboard slightly. Stop for lunch 13:40. At 14:25 check temperatures; now all reading between 45C & 50C, and the Redux is now cured to a solid where it is in contact with the metal. Re-check temperatures at intervals during the afternoon - readings up to 70C observed, but that is probably the resistors themselves. At 16:25 remove pip-pins and seat pins. Pull out starboard wing. Check temperature of outer face of sockets and both read about 50C - very satisfying! Wheel starboard wing back to trailer but discover on the way that one of the bolts holding the scissors to the support moulding has lost its stiffnut and dropped part-way out, causing loss of geometry - maybe that was why the starboard wing was slipping out of alignment earlier. Try to fit a longer bolt that will engage with the nylon insert in the stiffnut, but can't get things to line up. Have to leave it for another time, and will have to change all similar (M8 x 20mm) bolts as none are in safety; would need at least 25mm or 30mm bolts to be on the safe side. Move engine back against starboard wing to secure it. With some difficulty, pull out port wing - had to lever gently against a stiff part of the fuselage to free it - it seems that Redux must have got somewhere it shouldn't have, although no obvious culprit is visible. Wheel wing back into trailer. Put the rest of the stuff away in the trailer and close it up. Couple up the car and pull trailer forward a bit then back into its parking position. Disconnect power supplies and collect tools etc from drive. Roll fuselage back into garage. Stop at about 18:00, in time to change and go to the pantomime where step-grand-daughter is performing. 2040.2
22 Look at bonding of sockets and realise port aft W26 socket is upside-down, with the 3/16" hole at the top. Can it be used in this orientation? No, the head of the bolt will foul the head of the pip-pin. Only other choices seem to be to heat it up to break the Redux bond, or to drill a new hole at the bottom. Drill out the Redux in the forward socket holes with a 15/32" bit. Drill the starboard forward socket bolt holes 1/4", working up from 2mm after centre-spotting the aluminium hard-point with the 1/4" bit. Fit AN4-10A bolts but they are too short and will have no threads visible beyond the stiffnuts. Instead use the 2 off AN4-11A that are spare - will have to order more for the other side. Drill starboard aft socket bolt holes in stages to 1/4" and 3/16". Fit EURO44 bolt to forward hole and try fit of W34. Hard to know when it is correctly aligned so remove it and draw a line through the 1/4" holes, extending well clear of the W34 location. Now, using a light and a mirror it's easy to get W34 positioned centrally on that line. Fit a plain nut to the EURO44 bolt and tighten enough to hold while drilling. Drill aft 1/4" hole right through and fit EURO44 bolt and plain nut. Drill 3/16" through the bottom hole and fit EURO45 bolt to check fit. Holes in W34 look perfect when viewed with mirror. Post query on Matronics e-mail list about the W26 problem. 2041.7
23 Most responses to my question about the W26 aft wing socket focus on disbonding it. One says the part may be hardened and thus difficult to drill.
24 A response from Bud Yerly on the e-mail list says drilling a new hole in W26 is OK (as well as giving further advice about disbonding).
30 Roll out fuselage onto drive. Test starboard W26A for hardness by gently spinning a countersink on the 3/6" hole. Starts to cut with no problem, so the W26A is not hardened. Drill the Redux out of 1/4" holes in the port forward and aft sockets, to make a centring spot on the hardpoint. Drill through hardpoints with a 3.2mm cobalt bit and then open up to 1/4". Centre-pop for a new 3/16" hole at bottom of port W26A; quite easy to position it by eye to correspond with the original hole at the top. Drill through 3.2mm, checking horizontal and vertical alignment. Mark a line through centres of 1/4" holes at W34 position as before. Fit one EURO44 screw in forward hole and position W34 using a mirror as before, then tighten a plain nut to hold it. Start to drill 1/4" for aft hole but W34 immediately slips out of place. Remove W34 and try fitting a small wooden wedge to keep W34 better aligned and allow nut to be tightened more. Re-assemble, check alignment and tighten firmly. Drill again and this time it goes through perfectly without disturbing position of W34. Fit second 1/4" screw and nut. Drill through bottom hole 3/16" and it comes out of W34 in a good position. Fit AN4-10A bolts with AN970-4 washers on port W27 forward socket to check length and they are fine. Fit MS21042-4 stiffnuts. Roll fuselage back into garage. 2043.4
31 Measure distance between W34 flanges with steel tape; about 1020mm. W36 tie-bar is 1043mm. Mark and cut 23mm off end of W36 and de-burr. Remove W34s from fuselage sides and fit to ends of W36 to check length. Goes into position OK with slight end-float. Remove W34s from W36 and re-fit W34s onto screws through fuselage sides. Lay W36 across tunnel and line it up with both W34s. Holding carefully in position, mark top of tunnel with felt-tip pen fore and aft of W36. Fit diamond blade to oscillating saw and cut along inside edges of marked lines, taking great care not to go too deep and touch the pitch pushrod. Drill into the sides of the tunnel with a 20mm grit-edged holesaw to complete the slot. Remove the W34s again and lay W36 in the slot. The slot is not quite big enough but appears to be in the right place, so can be enlarged to give the specified 3mm clearance. 2044.3

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