Rudder Work

Continuing my odds and ends tasks, I continued working on my rudder. I had put it aside when my wings arrived but I have time now to work on it.

I attached it to the vertical stab to see where things line up so I could work the electrical. Then I attached the beacon light and the fiberglass rudder cap. I added a 6 pin Deutsche connector on the rudder and the top of the vertical stab. The next step is to add a connector to the bottom of the vertical stab and the back of the fuselage. Once that is done, I’ll check the full circuit. Another thing I’ve been working on is my panel.

Right now I’m going with a Dynon HDX and dual uAvionics AV30 mini EFIS. The right side will be my iPad on an adjustable mount in front of a map box. The IFR navigator will be a Garmin GNC355 comm/nav box. That’s the plan right now but will likely change a few times before I order it this summer.

Odds and Ends

This week I worked on some odds and ends in the fuselage. I temporarily attached the steps in order to rivet around it. I won’t attach those permanently for quite a while.

With those rivets done, I filled in the rest of the fuselage rivets that I hadn’t gotten to yet. They’re all filled now and I’ll sand them down when they dry. I also installed the rivet nuts under the front seats.

I torqued the nose gear M16 bolt to 73 N-m. I had to ask the factory for the proper value because the instructions just say to tighten it. Like the other bolts, I applied torque seal so I know which ones are to spec.

Next I’ll keep working on these small tasks that I’ve been putting off to prep for the canopy arrival.

March 2021

It’s finally warming up enough to get back out in the garage. I’ve started reattacking various odds and ends that have been piling up, like prepping and painting the various interior skins. I’ll keep working those until the finishing kit shows up.

I finalized my paint scheme. I went with Conrad at Maverick Aircraft Design. He was great to work with and I highly recommend.

I previously posted that I was looking at getting my seats done at a local upholstery shop. That one ended up falling through but I was able to find a different shop. Joe at Top Stitch Upholstery has started working on my custom seats. I’ll post as that project progresses.

Next is to keep working on those small tasks in preparation for my canopy and finishing kit.

Sling Visit

This week I was able to go out to Torrence and visit the Sling facilities. There were 3 TSi’s being built in various stages in the hangar. I took a bunch of pictures for future reference for my build. I was also able to chat with some other builders and some tech experts.

I was also able to get a quick flight in 135WT around the LA airspace with Jean d’Assonville. It’s very light on the controls but easy to fly. Definitely a good decision to go with the TSi over the other options.

Meanwhile back in NY, it’s still too cold to work on the plane (12 deg F). I’m waiting on a warm day to work on odds and ends while I wait for my finishing kit. I sent off my paint concept to a paint scheme designer, and I’ll post that when I get it back.

Winter Update

I haven’t updated in a while because it’s been too cold to work in the garage. We’re in full winter mode here in New York with highs below freezing.

I was able to drop my seats off to get upholstered at a local shop. I’ll post pictures when they’re done.

I also ordered my finishing kit. Due to manufacturing and shipping delays, TAF says it won’t be here until July or so.

I’m headed out to California for work in a few weeks and I might drop by TAF HQ while in there. If I do, I’ll post details.

Weeks 102-107

I’ve been out of town for work so haven’t done much on the plane. I was able to install the right transponder antenna and routed the cable for the left side ADS-B antenna. I also finished the brake lines on both sides. I won’t put fluid in there for a while in case I need to move stuff around.

What I have been working on is designing the seats. There’s a place 10 minutes away that does custom car and boat upholstery for way less than ordering from Africa. Since the exterior color scheme is blue, orange, and gray, and the inside is gray and black, I’ll be using those colors on the seats. It’ll probably go through a couple more iterations but here’s a picture of the idea.

Next is to drop off the seat frames and get the seats built.

Weeks 98-101 – Two Years In

I’ve been swamped at work so I haven’t done much on the plane this month. The one thing I did do was create a pass through fitting for the brake lines. I didn’t like how there was movement on the line coming out of the fuselage. It was a source of stress that could be an issue years from now. So I used a thread reducer as a pass through and added MATCO fittings on either side. I did the right and still need to do the left. I also pulled the brake lines through an additional tube as protection against rubbing and abrasion.

I realized this week that I’ve been working on this about two years now. I drew a picture of what I’ve done and what I still have left. I figure I’m about half way done at this rate. I still need the finishing kit, the avionics, and finally the motor. I’ve done a lot, but still have a lot to go.

Next is to work on the left brake pass through then the transponder and ADS-B antennas.

Week 97 – Undercarriage

It only took a week to get the Undercarriage completely installed. So far, this was the most complete kit with the best instructions. It probably took less than 10 hours total.

There were a couple of parts that didn’t match the instructions. This included the brakes and a wedge plate between the main wheel axels and the gear spring. I talked to TAF and those are updates to the build. They sent me a draft of the new build manual and it cleared things up. The brake lines route through a conduit on the aft side of the main gear legs.

To set the fuselage down, I lifted the tail, took the sawhorse out and set it down. Then I did the same for the front sawhorse. Without the motor, it’s very tail heavy so I put one sawhorse back in as a tail stand.

Next is to keep working on the interior wiring. I also need to install the bottom transponder and ADS-B antennas now that I have access.

Weeks 94-96 -Undercarriage Arrival

I received my last batch of missing parts, the heat ducting parts. To install those, I finished up the forward interior side skins and installed those.

The ducting was relatively simple to install. I was missing some clamps and 3″ducting, so I ordered that from Aircraft Spruce instead of waiting on TAF. Everything is ready to install now, but my undercarriage arrived so that can wait.

The Undercarriage kit is the best kit I’ve received so far. I can tell TAF has been fixing a lot of their logistical issues. The crate was robust and nothing was damaged. I also didn’t have anything missing, which is a first.

I couldn’t resist so I started building up the nose gear. In less than 2 hours, it was built and on the plane. I then started building the main wheels.

Next is to finish the mains then put the main gear structure in place.

Weeks 92-93 – Safety Bulletin 0018

I’m still waiting for my undercarriage to arrive so I haven’t been able to get much done. In the meantime, safety bulletin 0018 came out which calls for an inspection of the rudder cables. The swages need to be checked for proper crimping. I measured mine and the diameters checked but the forward swage tails were very short. The SB calls for them to be at least 3mm and while the aft ones check, the forwards were barely sticking out. I talked to Mike Blythe and he said they are completely acceptable and the 3mm isn’t required as long as the 8.9mm measurement checks out. I’ll eventually replace the shrink tubing but otherwise I’ll call 0018 complete.

Next is to continue waiting for the undercarriage to arrive.