November 20, 2010

Left Wing Dimples and Nutplates - FUSELAGE FINISHED! - 6.0 Hrs.

Today marks another huge milestone in this project. But more on that in a minute. My son Luke stopped by today and I jumped on the chance to have some help for a few minutes. He helped me pull the left wing off the fuselage and put it back in the wing cradle. Now I can finish the remaining tasks of deburring and dimpling all the holes and installing all the nutplates. So I did just that. Here's the finished left wing with all the nutplates installed:

Above, all the nutplates on the bottom of the wing are seen here. The green tubings are from the Angle of Attack indicator installed in the outboard bay of the wing. They will eventually be routed to the instrument panel for the AOA indicator instrument. Below, the top inside of the wing root can be seen with all the nutplates installed there.

After this work session, I got out the shop vac and cleaned up the shop and then it hit me. There aren't any more parts on my inventory shelves to work with. I've completed all the tasks that I can work on, for now. So it's time to declare that my fuselage kit is FINISHED!

Later on, I pulled the blue vinyl off the fuselage (except for the last two top skins, not riveted on yet) and rearranged things for the work on the canopy, coming up soon. I went so far as to post a question online, wondering how much ceiling height I need for the tip-up canopy when it's in the fully up position. Turns out, I have about 8" to spare. I may cut down the supporting sawhorse a few more inches to lower the fuse a little bit more, just to make things easier when the time comes. So here's my fuselage as she sits now, waiting for her canopy:

I'm really looking forward to starting on the finishing kit! But, sadly, I don't have mine yet. In the normal course of this project, I would have ordered it several months ago. Or six months ago. Vans still has about 8 weeks of lead time required to get one. The reason I haven't ordered mine yet? Since the meltdown of the economy a couple years ago, money has become an issue. My income has taken a big hit and I still haven't fully recovered yet. Right from the start I wanted to build this project debt-free because my income depends on my business and it fluctuates. I've done that to this point. I'm happy that everything I have here to this point is mine, fully paid for. I don't owe a nickel on it. I'm really glad now! Being strapped with payments that are hard to make knocks the wind out of you and takes all the fun out of it. As I had the budget for this project figured when I started, I would have had no trouble. But thanks to the actions of an irresponsible congress, two different presidents, a treasure secretary here and a federal reserve chairman there, this nation is in a huge mess. It's sad how a small handful of people can affect the lives of millions of honest, hard-working people here in our country. I won't rant on about this, but I could fill pages here venting my frustration at our government. I'll spare you from that. The blame lies squarely on them and I know there's a judgement day coming. 'Nuff said.

As far as my finishing kit goes, I'll figure something out. A project like this is bound to have a few bumps and turns along the way. This isn't a deal-killer, just a delay. Stay tuned!

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