Author Archives: chris - Page 3

Engine mounting

Used a medical lift from Craigslist to mount the engine. P1030058


I had to lift the engine crate onto cinder blocks to get the legs of the hoist underneath.  I was doing some serious head-scratching before I came up with this simple solution.




Tail installation and control stops

Ground a few spots on the elevator control horn to allow full up and down elevator motion.  It was contacting in a few spots on fittings in the rear fuselage.  Also had to grind a little on some aluminum angles to allow clearance for the pushrod.  I decided to make a small deviation from plans and add an upside-down T-shaped piece of aluminum as a solid stop.  Otherwise I was going to end up with really tight clearances all over the place.


Below, I have the elevator at full down travel with the horn hitting the other stop.  It’s hard to see the stop in this picture, but it is just above the reflection on the black powdercoated elevator horn.  I was pretty anxious about this stage of the project, so I kept putting it off fearing I positioned the tail so horribly I would never be able to get full control deflection.  It was certainly a tight fit, but I’m extremely happy with how it turned out.


I ended up using AN3-5 bolts instead of AN3-6 when attaching the rear spar of the vertical stabilizer.  The AN3-6 were so long they required 3 washers apiece which seemed like overkill.


These three bolts connecting the stabilizers together required nutplates since access to the nut side is almost impossible.  I’m extremely happy with the tight and solid connection.


Skinning right wing









Right wing skins

Attached top and bottom skins to the wing.  I did this with the wing stood vertically on the saw horses (supported by the main spar).  I checked to make sure there was no twist and that the wing was square multiple times while drilling and clecoing.  Eliminating twist seemed to be trickiest.  My saw horses weren’t perfectly aligned with each other so I needed to add shims under the spar to remove twist caused by the saw horses.  Eventually, I was able to make multiple measurements with a level on the rear spar and convince myself there was no measurable twist down the length of the wing.

The “squareness” of the wing got locked in pretty quickly by the clecoes.  The twist didn’t get locked in until I finally clecoed the skin to the main spar, but I’m extremely happy with how it turned out and don’t anticipate any problems with the next wing.


Looking down the lightening holes to convince myself the wing is square.


Clecoed the top side of the forward skin to the ribs and used a ratchet strap to pull the leading edge around the bottom side until I could cleco it to the spar.  This wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected it to be.


Spars and ribs


Engine pictures

Case paint 1

CB Rods

Crank and cam

Crate 6

Long block 3

Long block 2

Attaching tail to fuselage

When attaching the horizontal stabilizer, it is important to be sure the bolt holes will go through the angle beneath the longerons with enough room for the nuts to clear the leg. I checked the measurement and though I had more clearance then I ended up with–I may have got lucky.  I did have to remove one rivet  and install it from the other direction to prevent interfering with the nut.

I had to cut probably about 1/16″ or so off the stabilizer skins to get them to fit around the turtle-deck (as directed by the plans).

The vertical tail was a tight fit.  I had to trim some of the rear turtledeck to allow for clearance of the spar attachment when installing it (the notch called for in the plans would work if you could magically teleport the tail into position).

It seems my hardware kit was missing two bolts for the horizontal stabilizer and all the nut plates for the vertical tail.

Brake system parts

These parts are for the brake cables.  The piece on the left attaches to the brake handle on one end and a pulley on the other to pull the brake cable.  It is in the shot for convenience.  The part bolted to the engine mount gives the cables a solid place to go through the firewall before twisting off towards each brake.

I was afraid I’d need to either get an extremely small right angle drill or remove the engine mount from the plane to get the cable guide drilled into position.  Fortunately, I was able to mark the hole with my very flexible 12″ pilot drill bit on the top of the mount.  Then I drilled up from the bottom through the nut-access-hole in the mount.


Battery box

Were I to build this again, I’d probably make it about 1/8″ smaller in all dimensions.  I was able to push the sides inward when mounting on the firewall (as suggested in the plans) for a snug fit.  The “lid” pushes the battery snugly against the firewall.  There is a pretty big gap on the front side of the battery, but the battery doesn’t seem like it will be going anywhere–even at 6 G’s.  Maybe this will help with cooling?

A couple of rivets were tricky to get to from the engine side of the firewall so I installed them from the cockpit side.

Resting on gear

Resting on gear