Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2017 04

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1 After a long break caused by holidays, sickness and Quaker commitments, get back to the aeroplane work. Roll fuselage out onto drive. Take off and fold away the polyethylene sheet cover. Check operation of doors and latches - all very satisfactory and pleasing. Remove fan heater and other stuff from baggage area and lift access panels to photograph inside of port flap tube slot where it has been damaged. Seems not so bad as the outside; there are no splits in the glass layer, just a bit of crushing.

Trace the forward, inboard and aft face tapers from the port inboard blue foam seat base onto the outboard blank blue foam block and hot-wire cut them. Trace the curve of the fuselage at the aft end of the outboard recess onto a piece of paper and transfer that to the aft end of the foam blank. Hot-wire 2 straight segments tangent to the curve, then blend off corners with Perma-Grit block. Test fit and note impressions of bolt heads etc. Rout out hollows for them freehand with Dremel, re-check and deepen as needed. Fit now satisfactory. Would like to cover foam inserts with glass-fibre but not sure how many layers etc, so will ask on the Matronics forum. Leave both inserts in position and lay cushions on top.

Put baggage shelf access panels back in place with just 2 temporary (3/8" button-head) screws each.

Retrieve layup for fuel sensor cover from boiler cupboard. Trim around layup about 40mm from end with Dremel cutting disc. With some effort peel out the tub which acted as a male mould. Rub edge on a sheet of coarse sandpaper to straighten and smooth edges. Try for fit - slightly small but quite promising. File a slot for the cable with a round file. Now it fits nicely with only about 5mm gap at the forward side. The mould tub was 95mm OD so 100mm would be perfect although 99mm might be safer. Wonder if a wooden plug could be turned up to the exact size. It would need to be slightly tapered to allow release. The depth of this trial item is about 34mm so 35mm seems a good depth to aim for. Have a look through the wood stock and find a length of mahogany sill about 55mm thick at its widest and 135mm wide. Cut off a 140mm length without major holes.

Pull fuselage back into garage.
3 Notice that I have another 500g tub of aqueous cream which is slightly larger than the one I used as a male mould for the fuel sender cover. It measures about 99mm diameter, which should be just about perfect. Unfortunately, the profile of the bottom corner is not so nicely rounded as the other one so the BID may not drape so well.

With Dorothy's help, undo the bolts holding the base of the spar support on the nearside of the trailer. Remove the block of wood supporting the inboard wheel of the wing dolly on that side. Loosen the bolts on the spar support side bracket and push the base of the spar support towards the side of the trailer. Drill new holes 8mm and replace the existing bolts by stainless M8 x 35mm button-head screws with Binx nuts underneath. In turn, take out each side bracket bolt and insert washer stacks to fill the space between the bracket and the trailer side rail, then replace bolt. Plug the old holes with short lengths of dowel coated with 5-minute epoxy.

Think about ways to secure the lighting cable across the nose of the trailer. I had originally used clear silicon sealer but quite soon the bond to the glass-fibre roof failed and the cable has been dangling between the sides for a long time. Consider fitting some of the small glass-fibre cable clips I made, using 90-second epoxy, then decide on hot-melt glue. Run an extension cable into the trailer and plug in an inspection light and the glue gun. Do a test of the hot-melt glue and it seems ideal - has a good grab and doesn't need to be held in place for any significant time to set. Some of the silicon peels off the cable readily, but most of it is still sticking well, so leave it on and apply hot-melt glue generously in short sections before sticking it to the roof.

Consider the need to secure the wing dollies. I think the original intention was to use bungees between the top of the wing clamp and the side of the trailer, but I'm not sure about how secure that will be. It seems better to hold the metal base of the dolly down to the floor as well as to stop it migrating sideways. Try offering up some pieces of steel angle between the trailer side rails and the dolly base. It would fit at the offside but not at the nearside because of the slightly different position of that dolly. Perhaps a long Tee hinge attached through the wooden floor to the metalwork underneath would work, and would hinge out of the way nicely when moving the wings in & out.

As with the original work on the trailer, today's time was not logged.

4 Measure the sizes of Tee hinges that would be needed to restrain the wing dollies to the trailer floor. 4 different sizes needed because each dolly parks at a different distance, and neither dolly frame is symmetrical to the underlying metalwork of the trailer. Check what sizes Screwfix stock and get a pair of each length. Can't trace the original firm that I got some closed-end rivets from to match those supplied by Roger Huttlestone, but find that Orbital Fasteners stock them so order some in various sizes plus a few stainless steel rivets.
6 Rivets delivered from Orbital Fasteners.
7 Order some clevis pins and R-clips to match from Boneham & Turner, for securing the Tee-hinges to the wing dollies.

Wheel the air compressor round to the trailer to run the rivet gun. Offer up the hinges and check that they can be positioned on the floor clear of existing fixings. Clamp a pair to the offside dolly, position matching hinges against them and clamp together. Drill through existing hinge holes and through wooden floor into metal underneath and fit closed-end rivets. The thickness of the hinge leaves means I need to use 25mm closed-end rivets, slightly longer than the ones Roger Huttlestone supplied. Drill through the existing holes on the overlapping parts of the hinges and fit 8mm stainless rivets. Drill through the leaves clamped to the dolly 6mm for the clevis pin and secure with a temporary M6 bolt. Repeat the whole process for the nearside dolly. Close up trailer and put all tools away.

8 Roll fuselage out onto drive. Fit remaining (lower, longer) screws to lower cowl for final check of duct fit. Photograph looking into duct to have a reference for the depth of the oil cooler. Start to check marks for drilling duct to attach CD4 & CD5 then realise they only have the temporary screws with no nuts so are not really secure. Take out the temporary screws and insert AN3-5A bolts. Reach into each footwell and carefully fit AN970-3 washers and start the MS21042-3 stiffnuts onto the threads, without pushing the bolts out. Get Dorothy to hold a spanner on the bolt heads while I get into each footwell upside-down to tighten the nuts. The last one (starboard upper) won't tighten as it's threadbound so take it out and replace the bolt with an AN3-4A which tightens OK. Should be enough spare AN3-4A bolts in stock to cover this. Re-check the hole positions for CD4 & CD5 and re-mark them with blue felt-tip over the previous red marks.

Remove lower cowl (6 screws each side, 3 longer ones in lower holes) and store in trailer.

Remove the temporary screws locating the duct against the inner faces of the footwells and remove duct. Centre-pop the marks for CD4 & CD5 fixing, drill 1.4mm then 4.8mm and deburr. Fit water radiator to duct - the shortening of the sides has brought rivets holding the rubber seal into conflict with the spacer plates I made - they will need to be relieved. Fit oil cooler to check how much it will need to be raised - 20mm. As well as shortening the spacers by that amount, I will need to get 4 off AN4-27A bolts to replace the AN4-35A originally used. The holes for attaching to CD4 and CD5 fall opposite the sides of the radiator which makes them a bit inaccessible so the duct will need to be fitted to the firewall before the water radiator is fitted. It looks as though the oil cooler should be fitted before the duct is mounted, although that will restrict access to the bolts that go into the sides of the footwells. The CD4/CD5 bolts will need to be shorter than the specified AN3-5A to avoid getting threadbound, and fitted with the head inboard to avoid any chance of fouling the radiator. Remove the radiators from the duct. Trial assemble the duct to CD4/CD5 and the first choice of AN3-4A bolts are too long, so switch to AN3-3A. Note that slight relief is needed on corner of CD5 for radiator mounting bolt. Remove duct again.

Cut off corners of radiator spacers to clear rivets and deburr.

Countersink the reverse sides of the rivet holes on 2 off MS21047-3 anchor nuts with 8mm drill bit. (New stock anchor nuts seem less hard than older ones and I actually destroy one because the countersinking went too quickly.) Drill through the holes in the inboard sides of the footwells 5.9mm and open up very slightly with a taper Perma-Grit bit to accept the reversed anchor nuts. In turn, hold each anchor nut in place and drill 2.4mm for rivets, then set TAPK33BS rivets. Offer up duct and with some encouragement it fits between the footwells and goes into place. Fit AN3-3A bolts through the duct sides into the anchor nuts (duct needs to be placed exactly to get bolts started) and then attach the duct to CD4 & CD5 with AN3-3A bolts and temporary nuts. Will need to order more AN3-3A bolts.

Roll fuselage back into garage.
10 Clevis pins and R-clips delivered from Boneham & Turner. Check the fit on the wing dolly restraining hinges in the trailer and they are perfect.
15 Roll fuselage out onto drive for access. Trace card template for aft baffle onto aluminium sheet and mark fold lines. Centre-pop and drill 2.9mm all internal angles. Open ends of Bowden cable slots to 5.9mm. Start to jigsaw outline with fine-tooth metal-cutting blade. To avoid waste, drill 10mm at all other corners to allow jigsaw to turn. Jigsaw rest of outline. Deburr edges with various files. I can only do the first 2 bends in the bender - the rest have to be done with the workpiece clamped between 2 pieces of aluminium angle in the vise, and hammered into shape with the ball-pein hammer. To check fit once fully bent, need to remove the common-earth plate. Drop the nut and have to remove the radiator duct to find it. Remove air filters and plug carburettor openings. Offer up baffle and it fits pretty nicely, without too much bother in getting it into place. Will need a little bit of work on the aft flange to get it more flush with the firewall as it has been bent a little too far, but otherwise it all looks good. Replace air filters and they have good clearance. Offer up the other 4 baffle parts and everything seems satisfactory. Remove baffles. Clamp up the flanges on the sides of the aft baffle to the top. Centre-pop and drill 3.3mm for rivets at 3 places each side. Add a 4th hole on port side where there is a slight gap. After deburring, apply Duralac between the mating faces and set clecos to hold. Remove 1 cleco at a time and set a TAPD46BS rivet in the hole. Once all rivets set, clean up with white spirit. Offer up baffle again and now that it is more rigid it needs some trimming at the starboard side to clear the starter motor. Take a small strip off with the hand nibbler and check again. Port side slot for Bowden cables need to be extended slightly, and port mounting flange needs to be trimmed back to clear the curve where the top of the footwell meets the vertical firewall. Trim those areas and offer up again. Looks nearly ready to drill the mounting holes in the aft flange, but first trim a little off the flange to clear the earthing plate better. Now all seems OK. Note that a new route will be needed for the starter wire, and a route will also need to be found for the water pipe from the connexion on top of the engine to the radiator. Offer up the Tight Fit Drill kit with the shortest bit fitted but there is not room for it; will have to do it another way. Remove baffle and mark, centre-pop, drill & deburr 3 holes 4.8mm in aft flange. Offer up again. While pressing firmly into place against firewall, drill 4.8mm through each side mounting flange into top of footwell. Drop AN3-4A bolt in each hole to hold location. No room to get a felt-tip pen in, so with a bent nail, scratch through the holes in the aft flange onto the firewall. Getting dark so clear up tools and roll fuselage back in. 2833.8
18 Roll fuselage out onto drive for all-round access. Remove aft baffle. The scratches at the hole positions on the firewall are a bit faint, so replace baffle and re-check that I am using the correct marks. Remove baffle and drill through each of the 3 marks using a #40 bit in the Tight Fit drill kit. Replace baffle and check how well the firewall holes line up with those on the baffle. All need a little correction. Remove instrument module for access to aft face of firewall. Drift holes in required directions using a Perma-Grit needle file. Replace baffle and re-check progress at intervals until satisfied. Enlarge all 3 holes to 3/16" with a larger round file. Replace baffle and try 3/8" temporary screws in the aft flange holes - much too short. Replace with AN3-5A bolts which are easier to handle in the confined space. Remove the aluminium bracket with the starter relay etc for better access to bolt heads. Fit MS21047-3 anchor nuts on aft side and drill through the rivet holes 2.4mm, taking care not to go through the aluminium. Check lengths needed to get the bolts in safety on the anchor nuts and it looks as though AN3-6A will be right (3 in stock, but need to check if I should order more). Likewise check the screws in the top of the footwells and they will need to be AN525-10R10 (order more?). For the overlap joins of the baffle pieces, AN525-10R8 (shortest I've got) looks as though it will be threadbound so AN525-10R7 should be OK (need to order some). For all the firewall anchor nuts it would be better to have longer rivets to minimise the depth of countersink needed so will need to order some TAPK36BS which seem to be the longest available in that diameter. Fit anchor nuts in 4 positions inside top of footwells with 3/8" temporary screws through baffle and drill rivet holes 2.4mm from underneath, again stopping at the metal. Drop the 2.4mm drill bit as I take it out of the chuck and although I saw exactly where it landed between some plastic bottles I can't find it despite spending some considerable time looking for it. Will have to order a replacement as I don't have any spares of that size.

Relieve the corner of CD5 to clear the radiator mounting bolt.

Start to consider routes of oil and water pipes. It looks as though the sump banjo should be turned to starboard or even slightly aft. The water pump inlet elbow points directly towards an engine mount tube on the port side. Undo the elbow (5mm hex key) to see if there might be a better orientation, but it's not much better the other way round. Get the shaped oil pipe C06 and water pipes C04 & C05 out of box 22 in the trailer. Offer up C05. Obviously the elbow needs to point to port for this to fit. The carb heat TEE-piece will have to go in the straight horizontal section of the pipe - there's no room for it any nearer the pump. Offer up C04 - the space is very tight and at first I thought it would be rubbing on the rudder return spring, but checking where the radiator holes are in the duct shows that C04 has to be further forward than that. It's still touching both the side of the footwell and part of the engine mount. Fit the aft baffle and C04 just squeezes past that too. The top of it will have to be relieved slightly to ensure that the metal edge does not touch C04. Fit the air filter on the port carburettor and again C04 is very close to that - the section that connects to the expansion tank will have to be shortened so that the bend comes just about clear of the filter. Check the oil pipe runs. The pipe from the sump banjo probably needs to go aft of the engine mount tube to keep it away from the starboard aft exhaust pipe. That also seems to provide a reasonable angle for it to connect to the oil tank. There seems to be enough room for that pipe and the C06 pipe under the cylinders and over the rear water hose.

Put tools away. Lay instrument module across seats. Roll fuselage back into garage.

Post a query on the Matronics e-mail list about the lack of space around C04. One reply received saying it's close but not a problem.
19 Reply on Matronics e-mail list saying that my C04 is not just close but touching and asking for further comments. Post a query about re-orienting the oil sump banjo. One reply saying that his was left pointing forwards and he took the oil line over the top of the engine. His message highlights the point that I may need new crush washers if I loosen the banjo fitting.
20 Contact Roger Targett about the wing repair & painting - still no hangar space available but he hopes there might be room next week. Order some 2.4mm drill bits from UK Drills. Order some AN3-3A, AN3-6A, AN525-10R10, AN525-10R30 & TAPK36BS from Europa factory. Order AN4-27A & AN525-10-R7 from LAS Aerospace, although the former is alarmingly posted as expected delivery Oct 2018! A phone call to LAS Aerospace reassures me that they can probably find some before then.
26 2.4mm drill bits delivered from UK Drills & hardware delivered from Europa Aircraft.
27 Phone Roger Targett and he says I can bring my wings to him next Tuesday (2 May). Before then I will need to sort out the securing of various items in the trailer such as the prop. Something prompts me to check the 2.4mm drill sizes with a digital caliper and 3 of the 10 are only 2.3mm! The other 7 measure from 3.6mm to 3.9mm. Try to e-mail Stefan Ingemarsson about his silicon hoses, but the address in the last Europa Flyer bounces. Post a query on the Matronics e-mail list and Brian Davies offers a new address. Stefan replies from that address saying that he's given up supplying the hoses as the factory now stocks them. Check the factory parts list and there are indeed silicon alternatives for C04, C05 & C06 but apparently not for the straight "Conti" oil hose. A post from Alfred Buess points out that ASH supplies silicon hoses.
29 Start to tidy up trailer for the trip to Roger Targett's workshop at Nympsfield. In the garage, move contents of box 25 (servo parts, D-sub accessories) into box 8. Move contents of box 2 (PLY0, TP18F, MOD70 sleeve, EURO10) and of box 12 (XTW12, XTW09, faulty TP16 P&S) into box 3 (including QM connector parts and spare 4130 tube for outrigger mod). Move contents of box 4 into box 1. Despite removing the 4 empty boxes, there doesn't seem to be much more room! Decant plastic snow out of box 21 (was exhaust parts) and empty contents of box 9 (wing walk tape NSP9640501S, seat belts, 6mmx12mm rubber hose, BRS1959 x 2, 7.5mmx13.5mm rubber hose, FH0735 tubing, and 3 off tie-down screws) to box 21. Make holes in plinth table to take the aluminium plate previously made for storing the propeller. Make room to stand plinth on its side in garage and attach prop to it with plain nuts. Store prop stiffnuts in box 20. Take empty boxes 1 & 22 out of trailer. Put blue foam bags in box 9 and put remaining stuff back in the trailer for now. Note that the factory-supplied oil hoses are reinforced but the water hoses are not, so perhaps the silicon water hoses (C04 & C05) would be worth getting.

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