February 20, 2010

Odds and Ends, Static Air Line, Cabin Frame continued - 3.0 hrs.

Jamie and I had a wonderful surprise yesterday. We had a visitor! My good friend, Stephen Christopher and his wife Missy came down from Seattle in their Cessna. He had some parts to pick up and some others to return to Vans, so they took advantage of the gorgeous weather we've been having and flew down. We picked them up at Vans around mid-day. They came back to town with us and we all had lunch together, then came over to the house and hung out in the shop for a while. Stephen is on a ROLL! He is building an RV-7 and he's way ahead of me. I estimate he will be flying this spring or summer. If you really want to see how it's done in a no-nonsense way, check out his website here.

I've spent some time with Stephen a couple of times before, but it was a pleasure to finally meet his wife and to have Jamie with us. Then, my Dad unexpectedly dropped by, so we had even more fun visiting and hanging out in the shop.

Friends like this make the RV experience so much more enjoyable. Stephen had some great tips for me, too. Things I would have never thought of. Thanks, Stephen!

After our visit, we took them back to Vans so they could blast off in the Cessna. They were talking about circling Mt. St. Helens on the way home. It was the perfect day for it. I can't wait to go flying with them in our RV's some day.

Later on back in the shop, it was time to get to work again. Highly motivated once again, I got busy. With the elevator pushtube problem behind me, it's time to catch up and carry on. So I spent time tonight on some odds and ends, details, and a couple of things that have been on my mind. I wanted to carry on with the work on the cabin frame, but here's how my mind works. In order to do it properly, the top forward skin needs to be clecoed back on the fuselage. But before that can be done, I would like to also put the baggage area bulkhead skins in place. But before that is done, there are some things that should be done inside the tailcone while it's still open. So one thing seems to preceed another, and I feel like I'm backing up instead of making progress.

The first thing I thought I should take care of, since the tailcone is open, is to install the static air line system. It will never get any easier. So I got out the kit I bought from Stein Air, studied it, and got the parts ready. Then I crawled into the tail. I probably could have reached it, but I wanted to make sure I could see it up close and get it right.

This picture is a bit overexposed so it's kind of hard to see, but I ran the line up around the F-708 bulkhead. I used zip-ties to hold it in place. These fittings that come in the kit make it really easy to hook up. You just push the tube ends into the fittings and you're done!

It tees off toward the front and the line runs through some clips that I riveted in place a while back.

For now, I'll just leave the line coiled up here right behind the F-706 bulkhead. Stephen told me I might even be installing a static line to an AHRS box mounted in this part of the fuselage, depending on the instruments that I end up with. In any event, this will be easy to access.

Next, I re-installed the elevator pushtubes, clecoed the top forward skin back on, and the baggage area bulkhead skins. It looks good to have much of my plane back together. Now it feels like I'm back to where I was about two weeks ago. So, time to carry on.

The cabin frame rollbar needs to be trimmed and radiused a bit so that this bracket will nest inside, as seen below. This took quite a while. I took my time with a dremmel tool first, and then my hand files. I gradually worked with this until I got the fit I wanted.

I got the left side done. The right side will go a lot quicker, hopefully, now that I know what needs to be done.

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