Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2017 08

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15 Couple car to trailer and pull it straight out onto drive. Remove engine pallet and box (now full of blue foam). Winch out fuselage and unhook tailwheel. Check underneath trailer and to my surprise find that I hadn't added any reinforcement to the centre pulley fixing, just a penny washer. The reinforcement plate I recalled was under the tailwheel hook receptacle, to take transport shocks. In the light of experience I think a plate under the central pulley bolt would be a good idea. Find a piece of 1/4" steel plate about 5" x 10" in the stock pile.

The trailer nose is too close to the ground for easy access underneath while coupled to the car. Apply trailer brake, uncouple and wind it up on the jockey wheel. Jockey wheel crank squeaking so get out the Wanner grease-gun and apply it to the grease nipple, but the Wanner is empty. Spend some time trying to refill it, eventually realising I am putting the grease into the wrong end of the cylinder! Clean up & repeat from the right end, then grease jockey wheel screw and towing damper.

With Dorothy holding an Allen key in the heads of the socket screws, undo the nuts underneath holding the centre and side pulleys to the floor. Cut an unrequired tab off the steel plate.

Transfer the angle between the wire rope and the trailer side to the end of the 1/4" x 4" x 24" steel plate and cut off. Offer the plate up below the pulley bracket and mark on it the locations of the frame members. Weigh the plate down in place and mark up through the holes in the floor for the pulley bracket fixings. Drill those through 8.5mm (allowing for a little uncertainly in alignment). Mark 3 positions each for bolts through the plate into the side and cross frame members. Drill those 6 places 1/4". Position plate under pulley and drop M8 screws through pulley bracket base to hold in place. Drill through hole for cross-member & drop M6 x 80mm roofing bolts into each hole as drilled. Start to drill holes in side frame but first one comes out much too near the edge because the upper part of the frame obstructs the drill body, and the frame members are slightly angled anyway. Try with tight-fit drill kit but no small drill bit is long enough to reach right through the frame member. Instead, try to drill from underneath, but not enough room for drill body. Raise the trailer nose again, first using a couple of large wooden blocks to hold it temporarily while sliding jockey wheel further down in the clamp with wheel retracted. Now I have room to use the mains-powered drill and start a new hole inboard of the first try. That seems to work OK, so check the distance along for the other 2 holes and repeat the exercise successfully with the plate weighed down and a screw in the first hole.

Drill the 5" x 10" steel plate centrally 6.8mm and tap M8. Clean the rust off it with a flap wheel on the angle grinder then degrease both plates with acetone. Lay them on tissue and spray the sides that will be against the floor with several coats of Halfords Zinc Primer. Would like to do both sides but getting late and dark so don't really have time for that.

With Dorothy's help fit the plate under the centre pulley as she tightens the screw into it, then fit all M8 & M6 stiffnuts. Pull the fuselage back into the trailer; have to couple up the car again as the trailer brakes aren't holding against the weight of the fuselage on the slope. Put box & pallet back in. Reverse the trailer back into its spot and put away tools.
17 Couple car to trailer and pull it straight out onto drive. Remove engine pallet. My hands are getting too weak to grip the engine box by its edge firmly enough to lift it, so for easier handling make oval holes in it near the edge with a 52mm holesaw and a padsaw and then haul it out. Winch out fuselage. I note that (as before) the tailwheel rises into the air and the now unguided tail end swings around rather alarmingly when the dolly goes off the edge of the floor onto the ramp. No problem so far, but it would be disastrous if the tail tube swung sideways far enough to hit the underside of either wing. It looks as though it will be better once the sub-dolly with the small wheels is removed, but I think as a precaution I will grind a bit off the aft flange of the fuselage supports where they are striking the main dolly wheels. Continue winching out but stop before tailwheel runs off the ramp, as that leaves sufficient access each side for today's work.

Remove cushions and carpet offcuts from trailer nose area and shift the cockpit transparencies to beside the wings. Notice while clearing everything out of the trailer nose that rain has been getting in around the handbrake opening and the plywood floor is rotting there. Will need to replace that, possibly with SRBF (eg Tufnol) to prevent future problems. Place tailplane holders in nose area of trailer.

Spray underside of steel plate under centre pulley with remains of the can of Halfords Zinc Primer.

Take tailplanes out of garage and try fitting them into the holders. The holders are tapered slightly root to tip so have to be the correct way round. The tailplanes are a pretty tight fit and the holders will need to be sprung open a bit so the finish does not get damaged in service. Might be possible to re-form the holders slightly under heat, or maybe just put small spacers under the centre of the flanges so that the fixing bolts pull them open a bit. Might need a bit of trial and error to get the right size of spacers.

With tailplanes in place on the holders, move them around a bit until satisfied that it will be easy and safe to insert and remove the tailplanes without fouling anything else or risking damage to the tailplanes. Trace the outlines of the fixing flanges onto the trailer floor. Mark the holders nearside and offside.

Decide that I will need to fit reinforcing plates under the ply floor for the tailplane holder fixing bolts. Find from stock a couple of offcuts of 3mm aluminium plate about 85mm x 200mm which should be fine for the outboard (aft) ends, and a piece of 6mm aluminium plate about 200mm x 300mm to bridge both forward inboard fixings. The flanges of the tailplane holders are about 5mm thick and the ply floor is 12mm so will need bolts 23mm long plus a nut thickness plus 2 threads clear. Some M8 x 40mm roofing bolts in stock look suitable.

Mark hole positions on tailplane holder flanges and drill 8mm. Put them in place in the trailer, aligning with the marks, and drill through the flanges into the floor, dropping a M8 bolt into each hole after it is drilled. Clamp 2 straight-edges to the forward ends of the tailplane holders to keep them aligned, then remove the forward locating bolts. Slip the 200mm x 300m plate under the forward flanges and drill through it using the flange holes as guides. Drop a bolt into each hole after drilling to maintain alignment. Remove clamps and take out bolts. Mark the plate for orientation and deburr holes. Clamp the 85mm x 200mm plates to the aft (outboard) flanges of the holders and drill through 8mm. Mark each plate for orientation.

Return tailplane holders to trailer and drop bolts into flanges to keep them in place. Repack cockpit transparencies in trailer nose area with pillows; return boxes to trailer nose area, resting on TP holders. Winch fuselage back into trailer and replace engine box and pallet. Close up trailer and reverse it back to its spot. Put away tools.
26 Remove bubble-wrap transit protection from ailerons. Weigh starboard aileron - 3165g; 670g up from the 2495g measured before filling. Weigh port aileron - 3105g; 625g up from the 2480g measured before filling. I had not expected the paint to weigh quite so much! Hinges are all a bit stiff with some paint on them but the balance seems quite near neutral. 2900.3
28 Make a couple of loops of 30lb fishing line and suspend port aileron using the loops under the hinge knuckles. It balances slightly TE down, which is not what we wanted! Placing a lead weight of 366g on one of the horns brings it level. Its centre is about 50mm forward of the hinge line. Repeat on starboard aileron with same results. So, the moment of under-balance on each aileron is about 0.0183 metre-kg. The advice I had from Neville on 2003-05-09 about cutting bits off the lead weights before installation may have been a bit too optimistic; and I notice that my journal of 2003-05-12 mentions re-weighing them, but I cannot find any data on the original weights. It is a bit unexpected that the weight of paint is so great - I guess it would have been much worse with gel-coat as the 2-pack automotive stuff Ryan used was supposed to be much lighter than gel-coat. 2900.8
31 Suspend starboard aileron by the loops using a longer length of fishing line between 2 of the ceiling hooks. Photograph end-on in free state and with the lead weight added to get it level (that is, a line bisecting the TE angle level, which is what appears to be the intention of the diagram in the manual). The weight has to be about 35mm forward of the hinge knuckle line. That is an underbalance moment of 0.01281 metre-kg. Repeat on port aileron, which is slightly less out of balance; weight is about 18mm forward of hinge line, which is an underbalance moment of 0.006588 metre-kg. 2901.4

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