Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2015 12

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1 Phone LAS Aerospace and add some 10-32 x 3/4" SS CSK screws (for mounting the fuel hose clips) to the outstanding order. File sample of epoxy-flox from edges of gascolator hatch. Clean up edge of hatch hole and cover with Perma-Grit files. Drill cover holes out 4.8mm. Clean out holes in flange. Remove XSF02A baggage bay bulkhead from fuselage. Remove the flow sender from the port inboard rib. Temporarily fit gascolator. Temporarily fit gascolator hatch with screws and plain nuts (quite tricky single-handed but eventually succeed with screws dropped in from top side and held in place with a thin piece of metal pressed against while nut is offered up). Put baggage bay bulkhead into position and check that port outboard rib aligns with the marks on the fuselage floor and that the drain is locating correctly in the hole in the hatch cover. Remove bulkhead and take off gascolator, then realise I should have left it on as I won't be doing layups at this session, only bonding the edges of the ribs. While moving the bulkhead around, notice that one anchor nut for the starboard baggage shelf hatch has come adrift. One rivet has pulled through the composite (too deeply countersunk?) and it's swivelling on the other rivet. Will need to retain it with a drop of Redux. Cut out the marked notches on the sides of the bulkhead for the conduits along the side of the fuselage. Mark and cut a notch at top centre of the bulkhead for a conduit to the headset connector box. Abrade all bonding area on fuselage and all around baggage bay bulkhead and degrease with acetone. Put the bulkhead into the cockpit area upside down, leaving enough room to clamber in past it. Mix 50g + 16g Redux (Araldite 420). Put a dot of it on the anchor nut with the failed rivet, swing into position and clamp to the composite with a spring clamp, separated from the adhesive by a small piece of polyethylene sheet. Add a couple of doses of flox to the Redux to make it non-drippy. Climb inside rear fuselage. Spread Redux on forward face of aft wall of baggage well. Pull bulkhead back where I can reach it and spread Redux on aft face of front flange. Spread Redux on bottom edges of outboard ribs. Don't want to put Redux on inboard ribs yet as there is a danger it could get on the rudder cables. Pull bulkhead into place, putting my head and shoulders through the D hole. Grease and fit the 8 clecos to hold the bulkhead to the well. One is a bit loose, so leave it out until I can get a washer to fit on the aft side and protect the composite. Spread lines of Redux on the fuselage floor against the outer edges of the inboard ribs, then spring the ribs slightly apart with the previously-chosen wooden sticks placed underneath the rudder cables. Move the ribs around a bit to make sure they are getting well wetted with Redux on the bottom edges. Crawl out through the D hole. Re-fit loose cleco with a greased washer at the back. (Dropped the first washer - will have to retrieve it later.) Wipe off excess Redux with paper tissues and acetone. Put steel bars across aft edge of baggage floor and put the container of lead weights on top to keep the aft ends of the ribs in good contact with the fuselage floor. Lay strips of polyethylene sheet against the outside corners of the inboard ribs and smooth them into position to improve the profile of the Redux fillet. Smooth off the Redux fillets on the inboard sides of the outboard ribs with a fingertip. 2430.5
2 Check length of fuel gauge harness to make sure it will reach inside the headrest - no problem, and there is enough length to remove the blade connectors for passing the wires through a grommet and re-terminate.
3 Remove clecos from XSF02A baggage bay bulkhead flange and clean off grease and small lumps of Redux squeezed out around the holes. Remove clamp and polyethylene release patch from anchor nut and scrape off some excess Redux with a sharp blade. Remove the polyethylene strips from the inboard rib joints. Remove nuts holding the gascolator hatch cover (using as before an offcut of stainless steel firewall sheet to press against the screw and prevent it turning). Remove cover. Unscrew locking ring and drop gascolator bowl to confirm that it does easily come out through the access hole. Replace bowl. Remove gascolator from rib with pipe to pump and cover pump inlet. Slide port and starboard conduits into notches in sides of bulkhead to check that the line of run is OK - looks fine. Also offer up the F18 fuel filler neck to check how that interacts with the conduit. The filler will need to be spaced slightly away from the fuselage side, but that should not cause any problem. Could fit blue foam spacer(s) to help support the retaining strap layups. While looking at F18, wonder if it is going to be practical to fit nuts to fittings inside the top end (a) because of difficult access and (b) because of the internal curvature. Maybe it would be possible (and better) to use NPT fittings. Could experiment on the offcuts from F18. Measure length of BID tapes required: baggage shelf side edges, 360mm, 4 layups, 8 pieces; rear panel edge, 1700mm, 2 layups, 4 pieces; ribs, 200mm, 8 layups, 16 pieces. From experience with the upper fuselage join at the firewall, the rear panel edge will need to be done in several pieces and will probably need some support on the overhead sections. While measuring, accidentally drop ruler and it hits the pitch pushrod, leaving a slight nick. Reach through the D-hole and dress out the mark with a fine Swiss file then 600 grade wet-and-dry paper. 14C, 81% RH. Start fan heater on floor. Set the other fan heater to half-power, thermostat 3, and put it inside the fuselage, just forward of the constraint bulkhead, with a piece of carpet under it to stop it walking around, but leave it off for now. Look for a means of supporting the layup at the top of the baggage bay bulkhead and find some 2mm white acrylic sheet. Bandsaw off a piece about 500mm x 50mm. Offer it up inside the fuselage roof and it conforms quite nicely. Wrap it in polyethylene sheet to prevent epoxy sticking to it. Find a piece of wood that can be clamped to the bulkhead and support the centre of the acrylic strip. Cover it with polyethylene sheet. On a piece of polyethylene sheet, mark out a rectangle 450mm x 60mm with a transverse centre line and another longitudinal line 25mm/35mm in from long edges. (The asymmetry is to allow a little extra width where there is a small gap between the bulkhead and the fuselage.) Mark and cut out 2 off BID 450mm x 60mm. Mark out on BID 4 off 385mm x 50mm and 8 off 200mm x 50mm. 20C, 61% RH but getting too late to start the layups now so turn off fan heater. 2434.2
4 13C, 74% RH, turn on floor fan heater. Clamp a couple of pieces of wood to inboard ribs to support top rear of XSF02A baggage bay bulkhead in correct position for layup - without that it was reluctant to stay in place against the fuselage roof and would have moved excessively when the layup was stippled. Mark out 2 off rectangles 385mm x 50mm on pieces of polyethylene sheet with longitudinal centre lines. Lay the already-cut BID pieces 450mm x 60mm on the polyethylene sheet. Cut out the 4 off marked BID 385mm x 50mm and lay in 2 stacks on the polyethylene sheet. Mix a peg-3 (60g) batch of standard epoxy and pour it out onto the BID stacks. Looks not quite enough, so mix a peg-2 (45g) batch of epoxy and finish wetting out. Paint epoxy onto the bonding areas at the port side of the shelf and top centre of the bulkhead. Offer up port side BID press into place. Peel off polyethylene sheet and stipple down layup. Lay the BID tape for the top (on its polyethylene carrier) onto the centre of the baggage shelf and running up the back to the D-hole. Climb in, putting one foot into each access hole in shelf, which allows me to sit on the tunnel between the baggage wells, just forward of the BID tape. Some twisting is needed to get my head in and beyond the top-hat section aft of the doors, but a satisfactory working position is achieved. Offer up BID tape and press into position outwards from centre. Peel off polyethylene sheet, stippling BID into the corner as it goes. Looks as though it might stay in place without any support. Apply peel-ply to side layup. Apply a long strip of peel-ply to fuselage roof, then many small pieces to face of bulkhead. Lay starboard BID tape in place, remove polyethylene sheet, stipple down, apply peel-ply. 19C, 58% RH on baggage shelf. Start fan heater in rear of fuselage and leave to cure. By the time things are tidied up and notes written, has reached 21C, 47% RH. By bedtime, 19C, 43% RH. 2436.8
5 20C, 40% RH on baggage shelf. Sample in cup well cured. Not enough time to complete layups tonight, so turn off fan heater. Remove peel-ply from yesterday's layups. Remaining edges of rear panel look a bit big to do safely in one piece, so allow 2 off about 350mm for each side. Cut off the whole BID area already marked out for 200mm x 50mm tapes for easier working further along the BID roll. Mark out 8 off 350mm x 50mm rectangles on BID and some 200mm x 50mm pieces to use up the ends of the strips. On pieces of polyethylene sheet, mark out 4 off rectangles 350mm x 50mm with longitudinal centre lines. Drill the offcut of the F18 fuel filler moulding top boss with a letter R drill and tap 1/8" NPT. Offer up an 1/8" NPT fitting (18230-1), but it is disinclined to start, so tap a little deeper, to about half-way along the tap. Now the fitting goes in and tightens up pleasingly before it bottoms. Drill at a different angle 7/16" and tap 1/4" NPT. Again, an AN840-6D fitting will not enter easily so tap deeper. Now the fitting goes in but gets quite deep before feeling a good fit. Will need to increment tapping depth with care so the fittings only just go in. Leave the fittings in position on the test piece to see if the plastic shows any signs of distress over time, but don't expect so. Should certainly be less stressful than trying to tighten flat nuts onto a curved surface. Will need to change the fuel system drawing and the database to suit this approach. Screw in the fuel filler receptacle to F18 and have a look at how the various connexions might fit. It appears the 4-way manifold could go straight onto F18 with an AN911-1D union, and the AN833-6D connecting the tank vent pipe would be replaced by AN822-6D. Looking at the possible routing, the vent line to the underside would be easiest to make if it includes an AN837-4D elbow where it passes through the baggage shelf, and its connexion to the 4-way manifold would be neater with an AN823-4D elbow rather than the AN816-4D straight union. The fuel return line connexion to the tank adaptor should be a right-angle AN822-4D rather than the 45 degree AN823-4D shown on the present drawing, so that can be used on the 4-way manifold instead. Will have to see if I can add those extra items to the still outstanding LAS Aerospace order. on Monday Notice while looking through the AN fittings catalogue that apparently I could have used an AN918-1D 4-way cross 1/8" NPT female instead of machining up my own fitting for the 4-way manifold - ho-hum! 2438.1
7 Phone LAS Aerospace and add AN837-4D, AN822-4D, AN911-1D and AN822-6D to the still-outstanding order. They are still waiting for the AN970-9 washers from Aircraft Spruce and promise to call back with an estimated delivery date. 15C, 77% RH on baggage shelf. Start floor fan heater. It keeps cutting out, so change to half-power, which seems to solve the problem. Remove receptacle from F18 and take them off the fuselage for better access. Degrease the bonding areas at sides of XSF02A baggage bay bulkhead with acetone-soaked tissue. Cut out the 8 off marked-out BID pieces 350mm x 50mm and lay them 2-thick on the marked polyethylene sheets. 17C, 71% RH on baggage shelf, so turn off floor heater and turn on the one inside the aft fuselage. Mix a peg-5 (90g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto layup stacks. Now 20C, 60% RH. Brush most of remaining epoxy onto bonding areas. Stipple out BID stacks to wet out fully. Put 2 of the polyethylene sheets on the baggage shelf and climb in, sitting on the tunnel with feet in the shelf access holes as before. Offer up a layup to the starboard-side junction of the bulkhead and fuselage, overlapping the top centre layup by about 25mm. Ease it into position all the way down, trying to keep the centreline marked on the polyethylene aligned with the joint line. Press into place then peel off polyethylene sheet. Repeat for lower section, starting at the bottom and overlapping onto shelf corner layup by about 25mm. Stipple down all over, supporting the bulkhead with other hand as it tends to move under the pressure of the brush. Apply peel-ply as for the top centre section, with a long tape up the fuselage side and about 10 small pieces on the bulkhead. Repeat whole process on port side. 21C, 525 RH, leave to cure. Drape a large piece of polyethylene sheet over the cockpit openings. 24C, 39% RH at bedtime. 2440.2
8 Nothing heard from LAS Aerospace so phone them again to see if they've got a delivery date for the outstanding order. They say it's only 5 of the 6 off AN970-9 washers that are outstanding - apparently 1 was delivered from Aircraft Spruce all by itself! They promise to chase it again and let me know. 24C, 31% RH on baggage shelf. File epoxy sample from cup. Remove peel-ply from yesterday's layups. Unclamp and remove wooden battens that were supporting rear panel of XSF02A baggage bay bulkhead. Cut off 4 pieces of polyethylene sheet and mark on each a rectangle 200mm x 50mm with a longitudinal centre line. Degrease bonding areas at bottom of support ribs with acetone-soaked tissue. Cut 4 off strips 90mm wide from the 250mm roll of peel-ply and drape them over the edge of the D-hole. Cut out the marked 8 off BID pieces 200mm x 50mm and lay onto polyethylene sheets 2-thick. Mix a peg-3 (60g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto BID. Stipple to wet out fully. Lay the polyethylene sheets out on the baggage shelf, climb into cockpit & lie face-down on tank area between headrests. Taking care to avoid the fuel lines, drape a layup against the inboard face of the joint between the port outboard rib and the fuselage floor. Press into place and peel off the polyethylene sheet. Stipple down and apply peel-ply. Likewise do layups on outer faces of port and starboard inboard ribs, and inner face of starboard outboard rib. 22C, 45% RH on fuselage floor. Drape polyethylene sheet over cockpit apertures and leave to cure. 25C, 30% RH by the time I'm leaving the garage. At bedtime, 24C, 23% RH. 2442.4
9 29C, 31% RH; sample well cured; turn off fan heater. Receive e-mail from LAS Aerospace saying they expect delivery of the outstanding items from Aircraft Spruce by Friday, or Monday at the latest.
10 Take polyethylene sheet off cockpit area. File epoxy sample from cup and remove peel-ply from last layups. Climb inside rear fuselage to see what access can be had to the various back and underside layup areas. The back of the arch will need to be done by reaching through from the forward side, but it seems reasonably possible to do the bottom edge of the ribs while crouching behind the bulkhead. I can reach the underside of the sides but can't really see in there, so that is trickier. Will need to trim back the edges of the layups on the bottom of the ribs as they are curling round enough to interfere with the layups on the second sides. Will also need to keep the rudder cables away from the layup areas. Climb out again. Find a length of 25mm x 25mm aluminium angle that could perhaps be used to support the side layups and climb in to try it out. It's too inflexible - a thin piece of wood would be better to allow curving slightly to fuselage profile. Put a couple of small spring clamps around the rudder cables to pull them together and thus away from the rib bonding area. Forgot to bring a suitable tool in with me to trim the ends of the layups so just break them off by hand. On BID, mark out 4 off 385mm x 50mm pieces and 3 off 200mm x 50mm (for a total of 8 off 200mm x 50mm). Cut off pieces of polyethylene sheet and mark rectangles 2 off 385mm x 50m and 4 off 200mm x 50mm, with longitudinal centre lines. Cut out 4 off 385mm x 50mm BID and lay 2-thick on polyethylene sheets. Look for a piece of wood to act as support for the layups. 3mm ply is too stiff, but then remember the piece of 2mm acrylic sheet and it looks more satisfactory. Pile cushions on baggage shelf and try lying on them face-down with head and shoulders through the D-hole. Curling head down allows better visibility of shelf underside bonding area, but it's not very comfortable. Degrease already-abraded bonding areas. Mix peg-3 (60g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto BID. With remainder of epoxy, reach in and brush onto bonding areas. Lift each piece of polyethylene sheet on a long piece of 3mm ply, pass through baggage shelf access holes and lay on fuselage floor. Cut off 4 pieces peel-ply about 90mm x 250mm and place in centre of fuselage floor. Climb in and lie face-down on cushions with head and shoulders through D-hole. Drape one polyethylene sheet with its layup onto the length of acrylic and try to persuade it into place on the starboard underside edge of the baggage shelf. After several failed attempts with the plastic sheet sliding off the acrylic support, and the acrylic bending excessively under the weight of the layup, manage to get it positioned about right and press it into place. Peel off the polyethylene sheet and apply peel-ply in 2 pieces, stippling out. Similarly start to position the port BID strip, but having got it almost perfectly in place, it comes partly away when I try to remove the polyethylene sheet and distorts badly. It looks impossible to persuade it back into shape; am getting very tired and uncomfortable so give up and chuck it away. Get out and try to clean off the bonding area as much as possible with acetone-soaked rag. Turn off floor fan heater and start the one inside the rear fuselage. Put polyethylene cover over cockpit area. 2445.5
11 28C, 22% RH on fuselage floor. 28C, 22% RH on fuselage floor. Turn off heater inside fuselage and switch on the one on the garage floor. Take polyethylene sheet off cockpit area. Climb feet-first into rear fuselage and remove peel-ply from layup on starboard underside of baggage shelf. Check again if at all possible to see under port side to do that layup, but not possible with any feasible body contortion, because of the constraints of the transponder mount, the containment bulkhead, and the pitch pushrod. I can at least reach underneath to abrade the bonding area. Climb out and get in face-down, head-first, lying on cushions as before. Degrease bonding area at port side and at bottom edges of ribs, also small area at forward end of starboard underside where the first layup was not placed far enough forward. Dress out another small scratch on the pitch pushrod with a fine Swiss file and smooth out with 600 grade wet-and-dry. Thinking about the problem of supporting the layup on its polyethylene sheet, cut off about 500mm of 10SWG piano wire. Try wrapping some double-sided adhesive tape around it and that looks promising as a way to stop the polyethylene sheet sliding off it. Remove test piece of tape. Mark a 385mm x 50mm rectangle with centre line on polyethylene sheet. Mark 2 off 385mm x 50mm on BID, cut out and lay on polyethylene sheet. Mix a peg-2 (45g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto BID. Stipple to wet out fully. Trim off forward end of polyethylene sheet almost flush with BID and slide another small piece under it to catch any overflow. Slide the piece of 3mm plywood under the polyethylene sheet. Roll double-sided adhesive tape around the 10SWG piano wire in 3 places, from the end down to about half-way along the length of the BID tape. Lift edge of polyethylene sheet and put piano wire under it at centre line and lower polyethylene sheet onto it. Press down with stippling brush to ensure adhesion. Lift whole assembly into rear fuselage. Climb in again with head and shoulders through D-hole. Paint epoxy onto bonding areas under port side of baggage shelf. Lift layup on wire and positioning is much easier and successful at first attempt. Weight of wire tends to pull polyethylene sheet down, but press it all firmly into place and then the polyethylene sheet comes away from the layup quite cleanly. Stipple it well on. Use the wire again to place the first (forward) piece of peel-ply. That is also successful, although the weight of the wire tends to pull the peel-ply off again immediately. Stippling the peel-ply into place seems to have the desired effect of both securing the peel-ply and dislodging the adhesive bands on the wire from the peel-ply. Add 2nd piece of peel-ply by hand. Paint epoxy onto forward end of starboard underside and position 2 small pieces of BID, stippling each into place then covering with peel-ply. Cut 4 pieces of peel-ply about 90mm from the 250mm roll and place on baggage shelf. Cut already-marked 8 off BID 200mm x 50mm and lay 2-thick on the already-marked polyethylene sheets. Mix a peg-3 (60g) batch of standard epoxy and pour onto BID stacks. Stipple to wet out. Degrease bonding areas at bases of ribs and fuselage floor. Lift the layups on their polyethylene sheets using the length of 3mm plywood and pass through the baggage shelf holes onto the fuselage floor. Crawl in face down with head & shoulders through the D-hole. Apply a layup to inner face of port inboard rib, press into place then remove polyethylene sheet. Apply peel-ply. Repeat for inner face of starboard inboard rib. Try to do the same procedure on outer face of starboard outer rib, but because vision, and access to the forward end, is more restricted it doesn't go so well and needs to be taken out and straightened on the polyethylene after first attempt before eventually getting placed somewhat more satisfactorily. Apply peel-ply. For the outer face of the port outboard rib, slide the polyethylene sheet forward on the fuselage side to line up with the rib. It's then possible to reach the forward end of the layup through the access hole and guide it into place relatively easily. Apply peel-ply. Crawl out, turn off heater on garage floor and turn on the one inside the rear fuselage. Shortly 26C, 24% RH on fuselage floor. Cover cockpit apertures with polyethylene sheet and leave to cure. 2449.6
12 28C, 21% RH on fuselage floor; sample cup well cured; turn off heater.
14 Make a start on modifying the fuel system diagram to reflect the latest ideas.
15 Phone LAS Aerospace again and they say the outstanding washers have still not come in from Aircraft Spruce. I ask for the stuff in stock to be despatched now and the rest of the washers separately when available. Continue with updating the fuel system diagram and database.
16 Print out latest fuel system diagram and list of fuel system connexions. Check list against diagram, correct a few errors, print both to PDF, file in manual section and upload to website.
18 LAS Aerospace order delivered. Enter details into parts and system databases.
19 Thinking about fuel line routes, realise that my previous notion of putting the return line inside conduit is not practical as the aluminium pipe will need bends at both ends! So, it will have to be secured along the side of the cockpit by clips.

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