Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2019 01

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1 Cut just over 35mm off the 19mm aluminium hex bar. Set it up in the 3-jaw lathe chuck, with the better end against the chuck face, and adjust it until running reasonably true by eye. Face off. Reverse in chuck and again true by eye. Face to overall length of 35mm. Start to turn down the outer 15mm. 3033.6
2 Continue turning down the outer 15mm of the fuel return line firewall fitting until it is 14.3mm diameter. 3033.9
3 Drill end of workpiece with centre drill and then in stages out to 6.5mm, 27mm deep.

Find that the 9/16" x 18 TPI UNF die is too big at 1.5" to fit in the largest tailstock dieholder (1.3"). However, when it is fitted to an ordinary diestock, it can be held firmly against the tailstock dieholder to keep it true. It starts OK, but very soon becomes extremely hard to turn. Skim a little off the diameter and try the die again. Trying to turn the chuck with the chuck key results in the key pilot breaking off. This is bad as it's the best chuck key I have - all the others have fragile teeth that break off too easily. Will have to see if I can drill the centre of the key and insert a new pilot.

Remove the workpiece from the chuck and hold it in the bench vise. Carefully engage the die squarely with the start of thread and it's then quite easy to take it all the way along the turned part of the workpiece. The thread does not have a good crest - looks like I shouldn't have skimmed the diameter.

Do some online searching for Cowells lathe chuck keys; nothing specific, but maybe a drill chuck key might fit or could be modified to fit.
4 Do some work on the fuel system documentation, updating the database and the drawing to reflect the latest changes.
5 Do some more fuel system documentation and print out the list of parts and the drawing for cross-checking.

{Order some 4mm silver steel and other materials from Noggin End Metals . Knock out the tommy bar of the lathe chuck key. Fit key body in lathe, centre drill broken end then drill 2mm, 20mm deep. Enlarge to 3mm then 4mm. Not timed.}

Decide that the thread on the Fuel Return Firewall Fitting (FRFF) is not satisfactory; although an AN924-6D nut runs onto it without difficulty, it does seem a bit slack and the truncated crest makes me worry about the strength of the thread as well as its aesthetics. So, start again from scratch. Scribe 36mm from cut end on all faces of 19mm hex aluminium bar and hacksaw off against that line. True up in lathe chuck. (Have to use one of the faulty chuck keys until I get the 4mm silver steel to replace the broken pilot in the good key.) Face off to remove hacksaw marks. Reverse in chuck and face off to 35mm overall length. Turn down outer 15mm to 14.3mm diameter. Centre-drill the end. Drill 2mm, 27mm deep. Enlarge to 4mm then 6.5mm. Swing topslide 15 degrees and cut a taper on the nose of the workpiece, about 3mm long, to ease starting the die on it. Fit the large tailstock dieholder and steady the diestock (with 9/16" x 18 TPI UNF die fitted) against it while starting the thread. Once the die starts to bite and becomes hard to turn, remove workpiece from lathe with die attached. Secure workpiece in bench vise and run die fully down the cylindrical section. Clamp workpiece in drill vise and open up the longitudinal hole to 7mm, 8mm & 8.5mm, but without deepening the hole. Hold a 1/8" NPT tap in the drill chuck to keep it true and start it into the workpiece. Once it is cutting well, transfer workpiece to bench vise again and with tap in tap wrench, cut a decent length of thread in the hole. Remove swarf and clean up. Haven't got an AN822-4D elbow in stock, so try an AN842-4D instead. It barely goes in a full turn, so much deeper thread needed. Apply Trefolex more generously and cut a few more turns. Taking a cut of about a quarter-turn and then backing off a couple of turns seems to make things go better. Clean up again and try fit of AN842-4D - looks fine now. Maybe I need to get the AN822-4D elbow and check where it will finish up pointing when done up tight, before I decide which face of the hex bar to drill for the underside tapping.
6 Cross-check the printouts of the fuel system drawing and the database connexion list and correct a few anomalies. Add a few missing items, and create explicit IDs for each of the pipes and hoses. Create PDFs and update the website copies.
7 Check the fuel system drawing and the parts list against what is actually installed and the parts in stock. Identify several outstanding items to be ordered.

Place online order with LAS Aerospace for the outstanding fuel system parts.
9 LAS Aerospace order delivered. Add the parts to the systems database.

Hold the fuel return firewall fitting (FRFF) in the bench vise with aluminium soft jaws and screw the AN822-4D elbow into it until really tight. Check how it looks on top of the footwell and decide that the hex face aft 120 degrees away from the direction the elbow is pointing is the best place to be drilled and tapped for the underside NPT connexion. Remove the FRFF from the bench vise and mount it in the milling vise with that face up, ready to find the edges and wind to the drilling spot.

Put the new parts in a bag together with all the other "wanted" fuel system hardware.
15 Receive e-mail from Toby at Targett Aviation saying that the parts are painted and ready for collection. Reply that because of dealing with Dorothy's recovery from her hip replacement, it will be a few days before I can collect them.
22 tick Drive down to Nympsfield and collect the painted parts. Before loading up, a quick check of the ailerons shows that they are pretty close to correct balance. Back home, open up the trailer and rearrange some of the stuff inside to make room for safe storage of the tailplanes and trim tabs. Put the ailerons in the garage for the moment, until they can be properly checked for balance.

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