Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2017 06

index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind
tickgo to list of milestonestick Navigation & Acknowledgements
day notes hours
1 22.8C, 37% RH. Scuff-sand underside of port aileron and a bit around the LE. Use a riffler file in between hinge rivet heads and in corners of mass-balance horns. Blow off dust with air line and wipe down with acetone-soaked rag. [2872.0] 24.9C, 36% RH. Mix a peg-10 (160g) batch of slow epoxy and paint the underside of the aileron with it. To the remaining epoxy add 18 big doses of Expancel and spread over the horns and the LE, making sure not to fill the recesses for the hinge screws & rivets. Spread it quite thickly over the hinge areas. The rest of it covers the TE joggle and about a third of the flat surface. Mix a peg-5 (90g) batch of slow epoxy and add about 10 big doses of Expancel to it. That proves a bit too much - it is very dry and tends to curl up behind the filling knife. However, manage to complete spreading over the remaining area. [2874.0] 25.6C, 32% RH. Turn on fan heater and leave to cure.

Move port aileron to the back of the work table. Put down another layer of polyethylene sheet at the front of the table to cover drips of epoxy. Put starboard aileron on table and scuff-sand the undersurface, using riffler file as before around hinge rivets. Blow off dust with air line. 26.3C, 30% RH.
2 25C, 33% RH. Rub over the underside of the starboard aileron with acetone-soaked rag. Mix a peg-10 (160g) batch of slow epoxy and paint the underside of the aileron with it. To the remainder add 15 doses of Expancel and spread onto aileron, starting with LE and horns, going around the LE curve a bit. Turn aileron around, fill TE joggle and spread rest over hinge areas, taking care not to get any in the hinge knuckles. Mix a peg-5 (90g) batch of epoxy and add 9 big doses of Expancel. Spread over rest of aileron and fill in a few low spots. Spend some time tidying around the hinges to get filler close to but not touching the hinges. 25.7C, 33% RH. Leave fan heater on to cure overnight. 2876.8
3 22.5C, 30% RH. Starboard aileron underside cured but small surplus in mixing cup still a bit flexible rather than glass-hard.

Move port aileron forward to front of table and turn over. Scuff-sand upper surface. [2877.3] Blow off dust with air line and wipe down with acetone-soaked rag. [2877.5] Decant out the last of the Ampreg 20 slow hardener into the dispensing bottle. Still some regular hardener & resin left in the supply cans. Mix a peg-10 (160g) batch of slow epoxy and paint the port aileron upper surface with it. To the remainder add 15 doses of Expancel and spread over TE. Turn aileron round and spread over LE, then rest of surface. It seems to go a remarkably long way with little left to cover. Mix a peg-3 (60g) batch of slow epoxy and add 4 large doses of Expancel. That covers the remaining area with some to spare. Wonder if I can use it up on the other aileron. Bring starboard aileron to the front. Abrade, dust off and acetone-wipe the TE area of the starboard aileron then try applying the filler, but it won't stick without a pre-coat of epoxy. Scrape it off and wipe the area clean again with acetone.[2879.0]

Scuff-sand all of the starboard aileron upper surface, blow off dust and acetone wipe. [2879.5] Mix a peg-10 (160g) batch of slow epoxy and paint the aileron with it. Add 12 doses Expancel to the rest and spread onto the TE and LE in turn, then rest of surface. Mix a peg-3 batch of slow epoxy and add 7 doses Expancel to it.

{NB the tendency of Expancel to clump causes the size of a "dose" - ie what can be carried on a mixing stick - to vary considerably. The aim is always to have the final consistency the same, which I think I have managed in all but 2 cases - the very first mix was too wet, and one of the others was a bit too dry for easy spreading.}

Spread it over the rest of the aileron. 26.2C, 25% RH. Leave to cure overnight.
4 Sample in mixing cup well cured and cracking off. 22.3C, 25% RH. Turn off fan heater and move ailerons from garage to boiler cupboard where they can go on curing until I can take them to Roger Targett.
6 tick Take ailerons out of boiler cupboard, drive with them to Nympsfield and hand them over to Ryan. Alas, he has bad news about the wings. He had pretty well finished the prep and was about to start spraying, when he noticed some small holes on the face of the spars. They look just about the size of woodworm holes, in a fairly random pattern; he says they seem to be about 4mm deep. It looks as though the spar might have been used as a support for drilling holes in something else. There are a dozen or more on the aft face of the starboard spar and rather fewer on the forward face of the port spar. I am certain I never did anything like that, nor would have even contemplated such risky notion. I am puzzled that I never spotted them before, but Ryan says they only just noticed them, so I shouldn't feel too bad. They have already sent photos to LAA engineering asking for advice. Andy Draper is on holiday (which is why he wasn't at Neville Eyre's funeral yesterday) but apparently someone else in LAA Engineering is looking at it. The worst-case decision would be that the spars are unrepairable and therefore the wings would be scrap. This is a devastating prospect for me, and obviously Ryan is not happy either - he can't get on with spraying the wings until a decision is made and so it has fouled up his programme of work somewhat - not to mention that he has invested so much time on the prep already. He'll also hold off starting work on the flaps and ailerons until he gets a firm decision from LAA Engineering.
7 Roger Targett forwards a reassuring reply from Ivan Shaw about the holes in the spar, with copies of the photos he took. Seems likely the holes were made to allow injection of epoxy to fill small voids; they are mostly in pairs as a fill and vent, but why they were not filled up flush at the time of manufacture is a mystery. Roger will await a response from LAA Engineering before proceeding with any more work, but this response from Ivan makes me feel much better than yesterday when I was fearing that the wings might have to be scrapped!
11 While out of mobile coverage, phone message left by Ryan to say he's going ahead with spraying the wings and asking for my agreement to allow a lower standard of finish on the undersides; apparently LAA Engineering has agreed with Ivan about the small holes in the spar. Somewhat later I leave a message in reply confirming that I'm happy for him to proceed and that the finish on the underside is of less concern than that on the top; I'm not planning to enter concours competitions and most of the time people will not be looking closely at the bottom.
19 While we are away on holiday, Roger Targett leaves a phone message asking when I can collect my wings as he needs the storage space.
23 tick Agree with Roger Targett to pick up wings today. Couple up & pull out trailer, take out miscellaneous boxes etc then winch fuselage out and leave it in the carport. Drive down to Nympsfield and Roger helps me to put the wings onto the rigging dollies and into the trailer. The wings look beautiful. Drive home and uncouple. Freddie helps me to turn the trailer around (must find a better way to do this). Couple up and reverse trailer into drive (still needs several attempts to get it right). Put big corrugated cardboard sheets against port wing, and the tailplane holders plus some boxes at the forward end of the trailer.

Start to winch the fuselage in, but when the dolly gets about half way up the trailer ramp there is a loud bang at the forward end. Stop and investigate. The middle pulley, the one fixed to the wooden floor at the side, has pulled the wooden floor up - the floor was only held down in that region by a couple of rivets into the side frame. I don't know why I didn't consider the strength of the floor around that pulley fixing - after all I did add a big backplate to the pulley mount on the wooden floor at the end of the tailwheel track after thinking about the loads it would have to bear. Looks as though the proper fix will be a steel plate under the pulley block, fastened directly to adjacent metalwork, but for now just need to do something to let me wind in the fuselage.

Get out the bottle jack and set it between the floor (with a steel plate spreader) and the side frame, then find it has lost its hydraulic fluid and needs topping up. Fill and bleed the jack, then try again. It's quite easy to jack the floor down to its correct position again. Find a piece of steel U-channel and cut it to about the right length to fit between the top side frame rail and the pulley block base. Needs a little filed off the end to get it started into position, then a few taps with a mallet to get it as well in as possible. Take jack, tools etc out of trailer and start winching again. It gets much easier once the dolly is off the ramp and onto the trailer floor. With the trailer on the slope of the drive, obviously there was a bigger load than usual from gravity. Also, I think the small plastic casters on my subframe have more rolling resistance than the big rubber-tyred wheels on the dolly. Anyway, it's as well the problem was discovered at home rather than somewhere else where the resources to sort it out might not have been available.

Once the fuselage is fully in, remember that I didn't release the wing dolly clamps as intended, to avoid pressure marks on the finish. Clamber past the fuselage with some effort, going along the offside to avoid the winch. The card on that side protects the wing from scratches as I go past. Might have been easier if I had lowered the fuselage dolly a bit - not only are my legs a snug fit between fuselage and wing, there's not a lot of space above the cockpit for my head and body. Release wing dolly clamps and clamber out again. Today's whole operation took about 4 and a half hours from start to finish, although that time has not been logged.

28 While at Nympsfield for the Wednesday walk lunch (at the excellent Old Flying Club cafe), drop in to Targett Aviation to see how Ryan is getting on with the control surfaces. Flaps are nearly finished profiling, with remains of a guide coat visible, and ailerons are being blocked down.
29 I am spending some time flying this month, working on my licence revalidation, and with that and other things have not had much time to fill the tailplanes, but at last get started on them today. Remove the AN525-10R8 screws and temporary plain nuts holding the trim tabs. Abrade top and bottom surfaces of both trim tabs with coarse Perma-Grit flexible sheet. 2882.1

left-arrowgo to previous page of journal listgo to list of narrative pages list go to next page of journalright-arrow
Return to Rowland's home page

This page last updated 2017-10-31, 10:25. I try to make this page as accessible as possible, by adhering to HTML 4 standards. Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!
I welcome comments on this website. However, because of the amount of spam it attracts, I no longer post a direct e-mail address on any page. Instead, please click here to contact me. You will have to confirm that you are human before the message will be sent on to me.