Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2017 10

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21 I have not been looking forward to continuing work on the aileron sanding, and this month I have found plenty of excuses for not doing it. Preparation in advance, and quite bad jet-lag after our trip to USA took a couple of weeks out of the schedule. However, today I managed to overcome the psychological barrier of getting into the garage.

I wondered if an abrasive flap-disc on the angle-grinder would take off some of the thicker patches of filler on underside of the starboard aileron, so give that a try. It seems to work quite well and controllably on the filler areas, but on the paint it seems to melt it slightly and pull it into ridges, which is counterproductive. Go back to the belt sander with the 120 grit belt and work on the areas where paint and filler are still visible, trying to thin it down close to the glass. While trying to concentrate on small areas with the nose of the sander, discover that I've made slight grooves in the filler. Try to flatten out the grooves with the full length of the belt, but it is quite slow work and not completely successful before getting through to the glass in the surrounding areas. Also the paint in some other areas is building up into lumps as it did with the angle-grinder, so things must be getting a bit warm.

Get out a sheet of 180 grit wet and dry, wrap it around a block of white polystyrene foam and use it wet (with washing-up liquid lubricant). That seems to finally flatten out the grooves and also removes the lumpy paint buildups. Continue with that for a while, working on all the paint and filler areas. Occasionally wipe down the aileron with a damp sponge and rinse off the sanding block before continuing. After a few cycles of that, there are signs of the glass visible in patches for much of the span. Stop, unclamp aileron, clean it up and dry off with paper towels. I note that there are imprints of the carpet texture on the horns where the clamps were - the paint must be relatively soft. Not bothered about it as it is an area not much seen. Thread a loop of nylon filament through a hinge hole and weigh it: 2975g. That is a total of 190g paint & filler removed; 115g of it today, and leaves only (only!) 90g more to reach my target weight of 2885g for this aileron.
23 Buy some sanding blocks of various sizes at Homebase. Order some 120-grit 150mm Velcro-backed discs plus belts for both powerfile and belt sander from Abtec online.
26 Ryan returns the inspection schedule but Roger Targett hasn't actually signed off the relevant items so he takes it back again.
27 Collect Abtec abrasives package from local delivery spot (Sainsburys).
31 tick Ryan returns my inspection schedule with items 17 & 18 signed off by Roger Targett (dated 2017-05-04). He tells me he is no longer working at Targett Aviation and doesn't have a workshop now, but is happy to help with prep on my aircraft and leaves his contact card. That leaves me wondering what to do about getting the ailerons re-painted, not to mention the tailplanes and the fuselage. Post the inspection counterfoils to LAA Engineering.

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