December 9, 2009

Riveted Seats Together - 2.0 hrs.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours today and finished riveting the seats together. All the rivets were easily installed with my squeezer. I've really been looking forward to getting these seats finished! After all the excitement, I didn't even think to take any pictures. I'll have some VERY soon, as I plan on getting Jamie to join me to sit in the plane for the first time. I want to warm up the shop and make it special for her so it needs to be at a convenient time. Besides, I still need to make the hinge pins to hold the seat bottoms in.

December 10, 2009

Installed the Seats, Worked on some Forward Covers, Sat in the Plane! - 4.0 hrs.

I had a very pleasant surprise today. My nephew, Philip, called me and arranged to come over on his way home from work. He has a new job and passes nearby on his way home, so this worked out great for him. Philip hasn't had a chance to help me on the RV since way back on May 12, 2008 when we were finishing up the ailerons for the wings. It was great to have him here today! We fab'd up the pins for the hinges that hold the seats to the floor, then installed the seats in the plane for the first time. While waiting for Jamie to come home to sit in the plane for the first time with me, Philip and I worked on some of the forward covers and the fuel selector valve plate.

I've had a lot of laughs over my new warning sign. Philip got a kick out of this, too. I plan on putting this in my hanger someday. I may even take it to airshows or fly-ins and post it near the plane. What do you think?

Here are the hinge pins holding the seat to the floor. There are 3 positions to choose from. I chose the middle one for this first installation.

Ta Da!! Here are the seats, finally installed in the plane for the first time. Philip was impressed, too. Wow, we now have something to sit on! Jamie will be home soon and I plan on getting her out here to sit in the plane with me for the very first time. Philip agreed to take some pictures of us. I clecoed my red siderails back in place, just for picture time. I'm leaving them off as long as possible while I work on the insides of the fuselage, to avoid the risk of scratches and wear. I'll rivet them in place later on.

Meanwhile, we went ahead and started working on some of the forward covers. Here's the collection of parts that we worked on:

We drilled the heat baffle to the forward cover just under the louvers, deburred and dimpled it. Then, we worked on the fuel selector valve plate and cover.

The shot above was taken through the firewall opening, showing the cover and fuel selector valve top plate in place. The top plate has been trimmed, since I have electric trim and won't need the triangular extension for the manual trim knob. Below is another shot from a side angle. I'll be installing my fuel selector valve here soon.

About this time, Jamie came home, so I went in the house and talked to her. She couldn't believe I was so excited and agreed to join me in the shop for this important milestone and tradition... to sit in the airplane for the first time and make airplane noises! So I grabbed some cushions and her hand and we came out to the shop. I set up a stepstool and helped her in. I have been wondering for a long time what she would think, and what her reaction would be.

We just had to crack a bottle of champagne and share some smooches. What a great moment.

I invited Philip to sit in the plane before he headed home for the evening, then I took my seat again. We sat here for a long time, talking and dreaming about flying off to places unknown. It's very comfortable! For the first time, I heard Jamie say things like "we need to just get this thing DONE. I'm ready to GO!" It's one of those moments where it's becoming more real to her than ever. She was asking me "when do you think it will fly? 2010? 2011?" I've never heard her talk this way.

Thanks, Philip, for all the help tonight. And especially for taking these pictures! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!!

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)