Weeks 66-68 – Fuselage

It’s been far too cold lately to work in the garage, so I haven’t gotten much done. I did get some work done on days it warmed up a bit.

My firewall is a Sling 4 variant and the TSi is different. The plans have measurements for the different holes so I drilled those out. I also built up the heater to include the hoses. Not much to that. One thing that’s not in the plans is the T splitter for the hot air. They sent me 2 copies and I built one of them.

I installed the elevator servo and safety wired the holes to spec. The Dynon kit has a standard pushrod that I had to trim down a couple of inches. I tapped it and installed that too.

I then installed the rear seat belts. The buckles are shown in the plans but not the shoulder straps. I had to ask the factory for how that’s installed. But now those are all set.

Almost everything in the center fuselage is wired and good to go. The hard to reach stuff is set and there’s just a couple of things left to include the ELT. Once I get that I’ll install it. That means the side skins are ready to rivet. I just need some warm weather to prime the side channels and I’ll be good to go.

 

Week 64/65 – TOGA Button and Wiring

It’s too cold this week to get much done. Between cold spells, I ran wiring from the back to the front inside the conduit, to include the top and bottom Com coax cables.

I also finished wiring up the TOGA button in the throttle. After it was complete, I checked everything with a multimeter to make sure it worked.

Since the rear section is all complete, I riveted the aft fuselage bottom-side skins and the luggage compartment. I then clecod the top skins on to keep everything together.

Next, I added DSUB-9 connectors to the pitch servo and the wiring harness. I’ll install those next.

I am working with TAF to order the fuselage pushrods before the finishing kit. They are easier to install now and I don’t have the storage for the whole kit, so I’ll order a la cart.

Next is to continue wiring up the center fuselage and stay warm.

Week 62/63 – Fuselage Odds and Ends

This week I did a few small tasks because the weather is a bit warmer than usual. I’m installing a takeoff/go around (TOGA) button in the throttle (thanks Jim for the idea). Since Dynon is different than Garmin, I’ll be using a SPST normally open pushbutton for this purpose. I confirmed with Dynon that that is the correct switch type. I routed 22 ga wire through an aluminum tube which I epoxied to the throttle handle. I then drilled a small channel in the throttle handle and fed the wire through. I still need to solder the wire to the switch and press fit the switch.

I also attached the static ports to both sides and routed the tubing through the conduit on the right side. I still need to affix the tube to the adjacent rib.

Next I settled on a location for the remote magnetometer. It’s under the luggage compartment so it will be accessible if I need to get at it in the future.

I’ve been drilling out the collars on the controls for 4mm rivets. This isn’t in the instructions but still needs to be done. Once I figured out proper positioning, I marked the tube, drilled 2 holes 180 degrees apart, and riveted the collars down. I then riveted the top brackets to secure everything in place. It’s a tight fit so I used my hand riveter. However, it tends to break the mandrels, so I need to adjust the grip. I was happy with the actual pulled rivet so I cut the broke mandrel off.

Next is to work on wire routing and once everything is pushed through, I can close up the lower half of the rear fuselage.

Week 60/61 – Fuselage and Throttle

It’s been too cold to work out in the garage the past couple of weeks (about 10 deg F). I worked on finishing up the wiring conduit from the center fuselage to the far aft.

I got some supplies from Dynon, to include one of my autopilot servos. Everything has standard holes and fittings so the stock brackets will work.

I measured for wire runs and started cutting and labeling wires. To do that, I installed the vertical stab. I then ran plastic string from the various locations through the conduit, marked the string, then measured the run.

I had a guy at work hydro dip my throttle base then label it. It turned out really nice. (I censored my registered FAA tail number). I then started assembling the throttle quadrant. For the castle nut pins, I’m using technique 1 from the FAA advisory circular 43.

Next is to wait for a warm day and continue working on wiring.

Week 58/59 – Rear Fuselage

It’s been too cold to work on the plane the past few weeks, but I have been able to perform a few tasks. I riveted the far aft skins, including the small skin at the rear.

One thing I had to deal with was the fact my fuselage is an older variant so the middle lower side skins don’t have provisions for the new luggage support. To drill those holes I had to assemble the luggage compartment. After that, I marked where the holes would be, took the skins off and drilled the holes. It worked pretty well.

I also got more supplies for wiring, as well as my Dynon pitch servo. I’ve been in contact with Dynon and they are able to make a plug and play panel for less than if I were to do it myself. They are able to do this since it’s all in house and not a third party company. So I’ll likely go this route.

I’ve decided to use fireproof conduit to run my wiring in the fuselage. This way, if I need to add wires for upgrades in the future, I can do that easily. I ran two conduit channels, one on either side of the fuselage.

Next is to measure my wire runs so I can start building wire harnesses up towards the panel, when it’s warm enough to work out there.

Weeks 55-57 – Fuselage

I’ve been on hold the past couple of weeks waiting for my replacement longerons. It’s also been in the 20s, so it’s too cold to work out in the garage. However, I received the longerons this week so I managed to finally get some work done.

I installed the lower longerons which let me install the step reinforcements. I also installed the rudder pedal springs. The instructions don’t discuss how to do this so I had to do some research. It’s two M5 rivnuts then M5 bolts which attach the springs to Rib 2.

I also got my Dynon wire harnesses for the magnetometer and the servo motors. Now that everything is in place, I can start routing wiring.

Next is to paint longerons 2 and 3 so they match the interior color then I can start my wiring. I’m still missing some parts but those should ship near the end of the month.

Week 54 – More Fuselage

This week I didn’t get much done. I’m still waiting on my a bunch of missing parts like the longerons. Until I get those, I can’t progress much more.

I was able to flip the rudder pedal bolts around. There was an additional instruction page in the back that said to do this. They say that clearance needs to be at least 3mm and when I measured after flipping, I have 5mm, so it’s all set.

I’m going to order some wiring and harnesses so I can start working on the electrical over the winter. In the meantime, I built up the fuselage so it looks more like a plane, or a canoe.

Next is to keep waiting on my parts.