May 31, 2004


Am working my way though the odd points of confusion in the manual to build the center section of the fuselage. The photographs show a hint of how cramped the bedroom is getting. The tail section is riveted together and sitting upside down on saw horses and the center section of the fuselage is right side up and cleco'd together while I check, check, recheck and e-mail a question to Van's aircraft before I start drilling the rivet holes between the bottom skin and all those baggage compartment and cockpit ribs.

May 24, 2004

Wind Chimes

Last of my gallon of primer... and the night watchman... er lady... Anna the cat has taken a liking to patrolling the work room and also the garage... She hasn't figured out the chirping noises in the garage are a nest of starlings in the attic. Now that I have some fusalage parts primer'd some fun should start later in the week...

Was cleared to take the check ride for the pilot's license saturday but the weather did not cooperate and looks pretty bad for the next week to ten days.

May 17, 2004

Anna Visits

Anna the cat pays the fusalage a visit... Before doing the file, debur, dimple, prime routine on the aft section of the fusalage I thought I'd work ahead on the F-705 bulkhead to which the rear wing spar attaches. The ribs between the bulkheads are the seat floor ribs. The brackets sticking out are the seat belt attachment brackets. There are a set of ribs not attached behind the F-705 bulkhead that attach to the front end of the tail section I have been recently working on. At this point I'm just scoping out the work as the drilling and fabricating of small parts on the F-705 bulkhead has plenty of work left to do, and that's just the fabricating and drilling of the assemblies. There are a few modifications here and there to the floor ribs to sort out. What a hoot though!

May 13, 2004


An upside down canoe... Sort of... Took a while to plumb everything to check the bulkheads for twist. There is no twist in the fusalage at this point. Now it's starting to look like a large upside canoe... Drilled the bulkheads... I'll do the stringers next... Boy is this going to be a lot of final deburing and dimpling! Come to think of it, I think I'm going to have to buy some more primer.

May 10, 2004

Last Flap

Finishing last flap and work on fusalage... I hand file the edges on all sheet metal parts to get rid of the shear marks. Since the aluminum parts in service are subject to high frequency vibrations I file the edges and scotchbrite them to minimize fatigue crack opportunities. The plans were a little confusing on finishing the ends of the "J" stringers so it was a good excuse to cleco on a top skin to work out the details on fitting the end of the stringers which stiffen the skins. Doesn't look like much but it took all day and riveting that flap sure brought out the tendonitis in my left shoulder! ...Ouch!

May 04, 2004

Wing Details

Backtracking to finish up some wing details.... Now that I have the hinge cleco'd to the flap it's time to drill the hinge to the wing. Course you have first make a location fixture to locate the proper aeleron position...then position the flap... Nice wrestling match with c-clamps and spring loaded cleco side clamps.... Now I'm going to have to go out to the garage for a little wrestling with a recalcitrant wheel bearing on the Elantra.

May 03, 2004


You gotta use all the tools in the arsenal to build an airplane. Chainsaw for a little engineering change to the work bench to add casters. I need a work bench to prep parts so we got some industrial strength saw horses to put the fusalage parts on. The second photo includes the flaps I've been meaning to finish. Now that I've drilled the hinge it will be off to do the debure holes, dimple, file edges, primer, rivet routine.

May 02, 2004

The Beast

I spent all day machining and bending the main longerons for the fusalage. Cathy "volunteered" to hold the free end of the 15 foot beast while a did a couple ofmilling operations on the end. It took a couple of tries to cleco the tail cone together, then some fun clecoing the rear assembly, aka the canoe. Looks are very deceiving the detailing and fitting on of the aft section of the fusalage will take till late may or june. I want the bulkheads/skins to fit tight as it will be a stronger assembly and less apt to produce problems while riveting. I'll have to take a day or to to reorganize and find some ways to condense some space as the fusalage is going to definitely fill up the room. Course I also have a slew of other things to do including replace the front wheel bearing on the Elantra ...a royal pain. Not to mention a $100+ cotton pickin bearing! Then I really should grind out the salt/rust damage to Cathy's tracker and repaint finish the repairs. Brakes... I think everything needs brakes.

May 01, 2004

Air Drying

Bulkhead parts drying... Have only the rear spar bulkhead not done. Well, sort of. These are primed, then we have to rivet them together. The next problem is doing the curves and bending of the main longerons which run the full length of the fusalage.