Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2016 08

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1 Phone Neville and leave a message asking if he's received my e-mail. He sends an e-mail later to say mine had got trapped in his spam folder. I can have the set of baffles he has cut and he can cut the aft piece to my drawing too. He has a mate living in Cardiff who goes up & down the M5 for model flying so he could probably bring the baffles & we could meet near the M5.
2 Reply to Neville saying it would be safer to supply the aft baffle as a flat sheet for me to cut & fold after I've made a card template, and that I also need the sides for the tunnel. Agree that I can meet his mate somewhere near the M5.
6 Roll fuselage out onto drive. Bring cowls out from trailer. Fit and cleco cowls together.

Check fit of upper cowl. Mark extent of fuel pump on inside of lower cowl. Push wooden wedges between prop driver and cowl to keep it back in position. Mark 13mm in from aft edge of top cowl on marked centreline. Ensuring cowl is snugly back against the fuselage joggle and is centred, drill 1/8" on the marked spot. Insert cleco. Likewise mark next holes each side of centreline on the "shoulders" of the cowl. Holding cowl firmly in position, drill 1/8" and cleco each in turn.

Remove wedges and clecos around joint and remove lower cowl. Check length of fuselage joggle (45mm port, 40mm starboard) and mark lengths on lower cowl joggles. Cut around marked outline of fuel pump on lower cowl using a padsaw, Minitool diamond-blade jigsaw, and Abrafile in junior hacksaw frame. Smooth edges with Perma-Grit files. Cut away flanges where marked and smooth with Perma-Grit files. Re-fit lower cowl and check fit everywhere. Now clear that a little more trimming is needed around the areas of the cowl and fuselage joins. Mark areas needing attention with felt-tip pen and remove cowls.

Trim cowl edges back locally with Perma-Grit block and chamfer with Perma-Grit files. Also remove the gel-coat on the front corner of the fuselage joggle (where it fits onto the firewall) to help the fit at the sides - the joggle does not taper as much as would be desirable towards the forward end. Re-fit and cleco cowls and the fit although not perfect is much improved and I think I will accept it now.

Mark spots 13mm from aft edge of cowls at the pre-marked positions - except for the last pair at the bottom which need to be about 10mm further away from the centreline to be clear of the cowl air exit curve. Holding cowls in place, drill each spot and cleco. Do each side alternately. Need to use skin pins for the last 3 lower holes on each side as the clecos are too short to reach through the internal layups. Lower cowl does not seem to butt up to the fuselage joggle as tightly as it did before, but the small gap can be easily filled. The lower holes are quite close to the internal corner inside, but there will probably be just about enough room to fit anchor nuts.

Dismantle everything and put cowls away in trailer. Roll fuselage back into garage.
8 No response from Neville, so re-send my e-mail message of 2 August from a different account to see if that escapes Neville's spam filter.
10 Try phoning Neville but no answer. Roll fuselage out onto drive. Brings cowls and propeller out from trailer. Remove safety wire from prop driver dowels. Fit prop with temporary plain nuts. Place upper cowl in position. Try to fit lower cowl, supporting it with a rope around but without success - the flange at the front won't slide behind the upper cowl. Can't figure out how it seemed to go much easier the first time.

Take cowls off and chamfer lower cowl front flange to help it go behind the upper cowl. Put upper cowl back. Position lower cowl and support with rope. Now the front flange goes in without too much of a struggle. Cleco upper & lower parts together. Start to insert clecos around the aft edge into the fuselage but the lower cowl is much closer than the upper to the spinner. Take out all aft edge clecos.

Push wedges between spinner and lower cowl to get spacing more even all round. Re-fit 5 clecos on upper cowl. Check hole alignment on lower cowl. Most fuselage holes need to be drifted slightly (Perma-Grit needle file) to line up correctly. Only slight adjustment needed at upper holes, increasing for those further down. In one case, I can actually drill a new hole, but all others need just file work. Insert clecos with washers as each hole corrected, working port and starboard alternately. Find I have 5 longer skin pins in stock for the bottom holes, but one needs an even longer grip length so use an M3 screw there. Once all holes corrected, the fit seems much more acceptable and inside the fuselage there is a little more room for anchor nuts.

So, seems OK to drill them out to 4.8mm for the screws. Starting from the top centre and work outwards and downwards, alternately on each side. In turn, remove cleco or skin pin, drill out to 4.8mm, fit temporary button-head screw and plain nut. Side holes take 1/2" screws; at the bottom 5/8" screws are just long enough. Do the same for the holes along the cowl join. For the front-most holes, place the nut using a blob of Blu-Tack on a ring spanner as I can't get my fingers around the air inlet. The aft-most holes are too far to reach through the air inlet to place a nut so just place a screw for now. Leave the 2 holes adjacent to the spinner for now, but otherwise seems all ready for anchor nuts to be fitted.

Remove upper cowl screws and take upper cowl off. Starting from the bottom, remove the lower cowl screws, alternating sides. Front of cowl stays well trapped by prop bolts until last top screw at side is removed. Remove propeller and put away in trailer, with temporary nuts bagged beside it.

Re-assemble cowl on a piece of carpet. Drill last 2 holes adjacent to spinner and check fit of screws - all OK. Dismantle cowl and put away in trailer. Clear up tools etc and roll fuselage back into garage. Safety-wire prop driver dowels.
11 Still no response from Neville so send a text asking if he's seen the e-mail. Bring cowls out to front drive and lay lower cowl on carpet offcut. Fit anchor nuts in 12 places with temporary 3/8" button-head screws. In all but one place, flange is too thick to use the usual plain nut as a spacer on the screw. 2 off M5 Form A washers are just right instead. Have to fit the front anchor nut on the outside of the flange as there is no access for drilling from inside there. Drill all rivet holes 2.5mm. Re-fit the front 2 anchor nuts on the inside, aligning them with rivets inserted. Countersink all holes with 13/64" drill bit at slow speed. Fit and pull 24 rivets using air riveter with nose extension as usual to clear the temporary screws. Take out the temporary screws. Grease the anchor nuts.

Move the following from box 20 to the small hardware drawers: AN4-6A x2, AN3-3A x2, AN3-5A x10, EURO11 x120 (which are much thicker than the ones supplied with the fuselage kit and BZP rather than yellowish), MS24693-C272 x20 and NAS1169C10 x29 (although labelled x30, and are smaller OD that the ones supplied with the fuselage kit). The cowls need exactly 29 Tinnerman washers - but it seems likely they could easily get lost when taking the cowls off - would be useful to have a few spares.

The countersink for the Tinnerman washer needs to be about 11mm wide. With a 12.5mm bit in the mains-powered B&D drill, use lowest possible speed and careful pressure to make countersinks on holes around upper cowl, checking each for depth with a screw and washer. Put cowls away in trailer.
12 Fit anchor nuts in 5 places on fuselage for upper cowl screws, holding in place with 3/8" button head screws with single M5 washers as spacers. Drill all rivet holes 2.5mm. Countersink all holes with 13/64" bit. Insert and pull 10 rivets.

Roll fuselage out onto the drive a bit for access both sides. Fit anchor nuts to 6 holes each side for lower cowl screws. Need a mixture of 3/8" and 5/8" screws with mixture of 1 nut, 2 washers, 1 washer, no washers to get depth right. It's a big stretch to reach both inside and outside of the bottom holes! Drill all rivet holes 2.5mm, then countersink with 7/32" drill bit. The usual TAPK33BS rivets will be too short for these locations but even with the longer TAPK36BS the countersink needs to be quite deep on some holes. Insert and pull 24 rivets. Remove the temporary screws.

Bring cowls out from trailer. With 12.5mm drill bit in B&D drill, carefully countersink 12 holes on aft edge of lower cowl. Offer up lower cowl to fuselage and it's possible to get the top screws in at each side without too much drama. Fit 1/2" screws in top 3 holes each side and 3/4" screws in bottom 3. Hold forward end of cowl up against propshaft while tightening bottom and top screws, then tighten remaining ones. Some places could do with perhaps 5/8" screws instead of 1/2" to get into safety. Will need to order some more SS screws. Position upper cowl then realise I haven't countersunk the top centre 3 holes, so take it off and do that. Re-fit upper cowl and insert most of the screws to check for fit, which seems satisfactory although some need persuading to go in at first.

Take off cowls and return to trailer. Roll fuselage back into garage.
15 Have another go at starboard side firewall piece. Work on it with a ball-pein hammer, on the forward face with support from the fabricated form and on the aft face against the anvil of the bench vise. The split is growing but I won't worry about that for the moment. Try it again for fit on the landing gear frame. Starting to look a bit better, but it would be easier to get at it if the rudder pedal shafts were out of the way. Roll fuselage out onto drive for access. Remove port rudder horn and cable from pedal shaft and put a loop of insulated wire through rudder cable eye to stop it getting lost. Undo all rudder pedal pivot blocks from footwell, marking them for location and orientation. Number them 1 to 4 port to starboard, with black ticks on the aft ends and red ticks on the forward ends. Remove rudder pedals, with a bit of a fiddle on the starboard side but get them out eventually. Try the fit of starboard side firewall piece and it does seem to be quite close to the landing gear frame in the crucial area. Try fitting the other pieces and the upper two go in without much bother - not surprising as they had been fitted already. Lower piece needs trimming on port edge so do that in 2 stages with the nibbler which gives a much better result than the snips on such a long straight cut. Also need to enlarge landing gear tube slot slightly but for such a small trim it's easier with the snips than the nibbler. After that it fits quite well and seems to overlap correctly with the starboard side piece. Remove firewall pieces and store them. Fit F14 instrument module to firewall so as to be ready for doing some wiring. Roll fuselage back into garage. 2636.1
22 Order some fibreglass cable sleeve from RS to protect wiring at critical places such as bottom of control column, and some copper braid for screening.
23 Sleeving and braid delivered from RS. Must remember that I need to make a cover for the analogue fuel gauge sender hole. Roll fuselage out onto drive for access. Take a few things out to get at bottom of sticks. Looks as though the best route for wires inside the new sleeving would be aft through the thicker section of the CS01 stick socket, at an angle. While moving the sticks around notice that the port stick top comes quite close to the sub-panel. Get out BAT-1 to check for interference with the knob, then realise that the fire extinguisher bracket screws are fouling the right-most MGL instrument (which is actually BAT-1). Look at various possibilities - can't have those screws head-up as there is very little clearance from the extinguisher body there. Eventually decide that I will have to move the extinguisher bracket a few mm to port to put the screws between the centre & RH MGL instruments. Check that it is feasible, as extinguisher needs to move slightly to port when coming out of the bracket. Best to have the outboard screws head-up to avoid fouling the switch wiring - there is room underneath for the ends of the screws. Check switches and guards for stick clearance - all OK. MGL instrument knobs are also clear of the stick even when mounted on the front of the panel (which gives a better view of the warning light). Dismantle bracket and backing sheet. Mark new hole centres 11mm outboard of originals, centre-pop and drill 1/8". Open out to 3/16". Fix backing sheet to F14 instrument module floor using original holes and drill through new holes. Fit anchor nuts to inboard holes on backing sheet and outboard holes on bracket using temporary screws with spacer nuts as usual. Drill through rivet holes 2.4mm and countersink with 13/64" drill. Fit and pull 8 rivets using nose extender as usual on air riveter. Grease anchor nuts. Fit bracket to instrument module and check that extinguisher can be fitted and removed easily.

Using a long bit from inside fuselage, drill 5mm hole for fuel vent pipe forward and inboard of starboard outboard baggage-shelf support rib. From outside, open up to 10mm. Not quite big enough for the modified AN838-4D fitting so enlarge the hole (slightly too much!) with the taper reamer. Slide the shortest length of 1/4" aluminium tube up through the hole to see how it might align with the elbow in the shelf - looks promising. Dorothy holds fitting on outside while I fit a nut on the inside (the flap slot is just too narrow to admit my hand). Make a dummy form for the pipe using a piece of stiff insulated electrical wire poked into each fitting. Mark the ends of the fittings on it. Measure off the pipe against the wire and cut to length. Flare one end, fit sleeve and bend to match wire form. Try on bottom fitting but it's just too short to reach the upper one. Stop there and roll fuselage back into garage.
24 Straighten the made-up pipe enough to remove the sleeve. Cut and clean up ends of a fresh length of 187.5mm, which is about 7mm longer than the original flared length. Blow out swarf and flare one end. Fit sleeve and bend to match wire form. Fit nut and offer up to bottom fitting. Needs more of a bend. After a couple more tries, the top end is lining up well with the top fitting but is slightly too long. Carefully cut about 2mm off the free end and clean up again. Now looks OK when offered up. Fit 2nd nut and sleeve and flare top end. Blow clean and try for fit. Easiest to fit top end first. Snug up nuts and it looks good. 2641.8
25 Drill 7mm at port side of baggage bay bulkhead and enlarge with TC file to an oval to admit the small (16.5mm x 10mm) plastic conduit. Cut off a length to reach to the forward face of the headrest. Likewise drill and file a hole for the same conduit at the top of the bulkhead. Cut a length to reach to just behind the top-hat stiffener layup.

Think about how to make a cover to stop small things falling into the hole in the port headrest floor for the analogue fuel level sender, The hole is about 102mm across (as it was made with a 102mm holesaw). The sender protrudes about 12mm above the level of the wooden floor, although if the tank swells it may come up slightly higher. There is room for a very small flange at the inboard side of the hole but plenty of space elsewhere. Will need a hole about 13mm diameter or a slot about 6mm wide for the cable. I can imagine something turned up in wood, if I could find someone to do it. Or what about a 3D-printed piece? Maybe I could find an aluminium saucepan or jug that would fit.

The rod on which the choke knob is mounted is about 6mm diameter. To hold the choke on, it would be nice to have something that dropped onto the rod like a piece of aluminium tubing with a slot cut along it. Not sure if the 8mm OD tube I have in stock would do; would have to make a test piece.
26 Roll fuselage out onto drive. Get windscreen out of trailer. Unwrap and offer up to fuselage. Will need some trimming but for now fits well enough for today's purpose. Secure bottom corners with duct tape. Try out Sirs compass positions. It could go quite far forward, with the forward edge of the mounting plate about 170mm forward of the overhead panel. However that would be quite a long cantilever and might vibrate, so closer to the window frame would probably be better. Having the forward edge of the mount about 100mm forward of the overhead panel seems the best compromise. The mounting plate could be aluminium or a glass-fibre and balsa sandwich for stiffness. Re-wrap the windscreen and put it back in the trailer. Re-locate doors nearer the aft end for better access when needed. Put tailplanes back in trailer. and close it up.

Undo both pipes of fuel vent line and remove the fittings from the baggage shelf and fuselage floor. With the usual Dremel milling cutter, remove the foam layer around each of the holes, including the 3rd one that was made in the wrong place. Mix a peg-1 (30g) batch of standard epoxy and add a generous dose of flox to stiffen it. Apply masking tape to underside of the hole to be filled and spread flox mixture into it, poking it with a split mixing stick into the slot around the edge where the foam was cut out. When filled flush lay a small piece of peel-ply on top. Fill the rims of the other 2 holes and apply adhesive tape underneath to prevent sags. Wipe excess off upper surfaces.

Realise I can use the rest of the flox mixture to bond a conduit clip to the fuselage roof. By the time I've found the stock of ready-made clips, a wooden saddle for clamping, a suitable-length stick to brace it with, and abraded the bonding areas, I find the epoxy-flox mixture has exothermed and gone solid! Fortunately there are some thinner layers up the side of the mixing cup that haven't gone off yet, so spread that onto the clip and position it on the conduit. Place a small piece of polyethylene sheet over it, then the wooden saddle and jam the stick between that and the tunnel in the baggage bay. Check that the conduit looks reasonably centred fore-and-aft.

Drill the outboard side of the port headrest, near the forward corner, for the fuel sender wires, using Tight Fit drill kit and 1/8" bit. The small size protective braid doesn't want to go through the hole as it keeps fraying open at the end, but applying a short length of heat-shrink solves the problem and it goes in nicely.
27 Take out the wooden prop holding up the conduit clip. Try inserting 5 off 22AWG wires into a piece of the small braided sleeving. Quite easily done by compressing the along its length, but the end unravels very easily. To secure the end, try melting with the heat gun. Low heat makes it spring open and unravel even more; high heat make a nasty hard blob. Check to see if it is flammable - yes, it gives off nasty-looking black smoke and drips flaming lumps, so abandon the whole idea of using it anywhere in the aircraft. Cut off about 75mm of the larger fibreglass sleeving and slit it along its length. It's easy to roll up much smaller and goes into a 5mm test hole OK. However, I can't get 5 wires into it in that size of hole. Try again with 6mm test hole and the wires now go in easily.

Dismantle CS01 stick socket from CS02 fork and pitch pushrod. Measure the length of the recess for the stick and the wall thickness to decide on position and angle of hole. The outer end of the hole should be on the aft side of the stick, near the axis of movement of the stick to minimise flexing. The inner end of the hole needs to be further up to clear the pivot bolt. Clamp socket lightly in drilling vise and centre a centre-drill on it using a steel rule. Make a spot about 5mm up from the pivot axis. Prop the vise up on blocks to get a suitable angle and drill through the spot 6mm. The hole comes out well above the pivot axis but below the edge of the rebate. Deburr the hole entrance with a snail countersink and deburr the inside of the socket with a scraper. Rolled-up sleeving goes in easily and 5 wires can also be pushed through easily. However, the sleeving is unrolling inside the socket and would not provide satisfactory wire protection past the base of the stick. Try lightly shrinking a piece of 5mm nominal heat-shrink sleeve onto the rolled-up end and that does the trick, without restricting the room for the wires. The sleeve can now be pushed up past the rebate where the stick locates, and the wires stay covered. It would probably be good to have another piece of heat-shrink further down to keep it in the rolled-up state, but covering the whole length with heat-shrink would probably make it too stiff. Note that I will have to drill the stick and collar for the securing bolt before doing the wiring as otherwise it would be difficult to ensure that the wires were not damaged by the drill bit. The sleeve, when installed, should extend up past that bolt. Also note that the assembly sequence of stick and wires may need some careful thought. Re-assemble socket to fork and pushrod with temporary plain nuts.

Remove tape and peel-ply from last night's flox work. Run 10mm drill through the two vent line fitting holes and then carefully in small stages enlarge them with the taper reamer to accept the fittings. Fit the elbows (find I can reach both sides of the one in the bottom skin after all) and do up the bulkhead nuts finger-tight Tighten the bottom one with a spanner, holding the outer portion with a Mole wrench and and an old rubber glove for softening. Fit the aluminium pipes and do up the nuts finger-tight. Once everything is aligned, tighten the bulkhead nut on the shelf elbow and snug up the sleeve nuts. Roll fuselage back into garage.
29 Roll out fuselage onto drive for access. Spot through forward hole of CS01 socket with 1/4" drill bit onto CS16B SRBP sleeve. Set up sleeve using vee-block on bench drill table and drill through 1/4" Deburr outside with hand-held 1/2" drill bit and inside with bearing scraper. Return to socket and try to line up with bolt. Hole is a bit tight for AN4-17A bolt but running a letter F drill through the sleeve makes a snug fit. Re-fit and line up. Sit on a pile of cushions and try to assess how much inboard offset is needed on the control column - not very much, it seems. Spot through socket and sleeve onto CS16 column. Remove column, set up on vee-block as for sleeve and drill through 1/4". Likewise open up with F drill. Deburr inside and out. Assemble column to sleeve and socket & insert bolt for alignment. Use 1/4" bit in Tight Fit drill kit to spot aft side of sleeve. Dismantle and drill through sleeve as before, checking that bolt will pass through both holes. Mark forward side of sleeve just in case. Re-assemble with bolt in forward hole and spot through onto column. Dismantle, set up on vee-block and drill through as before. Re-assemble but bolt won't pass right through. Run 1/4" drill through whole assembly and now the bolt goes through OK. Fit washer and plain nut. Repeat the whole process on the starboard stick assembly. Starboard stick is quite a loose fit in its sleeve so decide to epoxy both of the sleeves to the control columns. Dismantle both assemblies, keeping port and starboard parts separate. Clean up bottom of sticks with 800 grade emery paper and steel wool. Clean inside of sleeves with steel wool. Degrease all bonding areas with acetone. Mix some 10-minute epoxy and spread it onto bottom of starboard stick, slide it into sleeve and insert well-greased bolt. Wipe off excess epoxy and grease. The remainder of the mix goes off before I can spread it - probably got to warm sitting in the sun. Mix another small batch and repeat on port stick. Once cured re-fit sticks to sockets with plain nuts.

Get doors F11P & F11S out of trailer. Check door latch parts. Note that pushrods are not DL11 10mm x 5mm rectangular section as in PDF manual or even DL08 as in paper manual but are made from B1RM 10mm round rod. The DL11 version is only needed if Mod 67 to increase shoulder width is incorporated, and I do not plan to do that. Move DL04, DL06 & DL09 from box 3 to box 8 to be with the other latch parts. Have a look at the door lock parts; there seem to be circlips missing that would hold the barrels in the cylinders. Also there are nuts and lock-washers that have no apparent purpose.

Cut port door tangs back to the moulded corners. Check fit - needs a bit of fettling. Relieve some areas at edges and internal corners where tangs join frame, and chamfer in places to allow for curved corners on fuselage moulding. Check fit and that is better. After a bit more filing fit along top seems satisfactory. Mark on tangs 8mm outboard from edges of fuselage rebates. Trim tangs to those lines. Repeat for starboard door; it needs quite a bit more work to get it sitting down reasonably flush to fuselage but eventually seems satisfactory.

Mark the 4 door hinge pieces on the 8" length of MS20001-5. Clamp in vise soft jaws for cutting, with a piece of aluminium sheet between the leaves to keep them parallel. Leave the hinge pin in place and cut through it. The hinges are just too wide to fit in the fuselage rebates (although the port side ones are slightly bigger than the starboard ones) so file each hinge (including pin) down to about 1.9" with the millennicut file. Deburr the edges and round the corners slightly.
30 Phone Karen at Europa factory and she says she will e-mail me a copy of the instructions for the door locks. Roll out fuselage onto drive. Check position of panel support tray. It won't fit over the sticks so remove them again. The existing brackets on the tray to hook over the door frames are not very satisfactory so if I'm going to make new brackets for the windscreen frame I might as well replace the door-frame ones as well. Remove existing brackets. Mark up 4 strips about 30mm wide on the big piece of bent 1/8" aluminium, with about 45mm beyond the bend. Hacksaw them out and deburr. Mark 2nd bend position on 2 of them from the old brackets and bend to right angle. Bend a little way beyond that to about 45 degrees to make them more secure. Cut off excess length. Screw to tray and check fit. The thicker aluminium is a tighter fit between the fuselage sides. While trying to bend one of the brackets in slightly, the end of the chipboard tray breaks off at the screw hole. Re-drill the tray and bracket further in and re-fit. Position tray and mark where bends are needed on the remaining 2 pieces of aluminium for the forward brackets to hang on the windscreen aperture. Bend them then position them again and mark on the underside of the tray where they should fit. Remove tray from cockpit and drill forward brackets and tray through 5mm. Countersink top surface of tray for screw heads and fit forward brackets. Attempt to fit tray into fuselage and find the the geometry prevents it - there is no way to wangle the forward brackets past the windscreen frame. Unscrew starboard forward bracket, slide tray into place and re-attach bracket. Mark underside of each bracket at edge of windscreen frame. Dismantle forward brackets, bend each about 45 degrees beyond the marked line then cut off close to the bend. Assemble and check if it will go in with the reduced width but still not possible. Remove starboard bracket, position tray and re-fit bracket in-situ. Roll fuselage back into garage. 2659.3
31 Neville phones to arrange handover of the baffles he has made for me, at the LAA Rally this coming Saturday.

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