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Waiex Aircraft Builder ldmill from Colo, IA

Waiex homebuilt experimental aircraft project Waiex

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Aircraft Project Log Entries (50 entries)

  • Dec 12, 2016 15 Updates on lessons learned (0 hours)
    PAINT THE BOTTOM OF THE WINGS - do NOT polish these things. It is enormously tiring to try and polish the wing bottoms and quite frankly you won't do it which means you will start seeing some corrosion at some point. Just use a rattle can and paint them, nobody see's them anyway.
  • Dec 12, 2016 30 Updates on lessons learned (0 hours)
    After flying the plane for 4 years... big lesson learned is to PAINT THE BOTTOM FUSELAGE SKINS!! Don't thing you are going to save weight and not paint the bottom of the fuselage - and instead polish it... You will never polish it again and eventually start seeing corrosion. Just paint it and call it good. Rattle can is good enough, nobody will see it!
  • Jul 03, 2013 42 Fuel system modification - remove gascolator (3 hours)
    Do to burps still happening with my Jabiru3300, I decided to remove my gascolator and replace with an Edelbrock unit (AN6 ends already on it, 40 micron cleanable filter mesh). Flew the plane last night (without insulation around the fuel line or filter) and pushed it hard to see if I could get the burp to return. It appears that the issue may be resolved. Tonight I will put insulation wrap around the new line and filter. During this reconfiguration I also spent some time adding additional slope to the line between the firewall penetration and the carb inlet.

    I made this change becuase about 3 weeks ago I was about 5000ft msl (after some hard flying) and the EGT's started to go up suddenly and the fuel flow rate started going down. To me, this indicated that I may have had either 1) carb ice blocking the fuel flow past the needle, or 2) fuel vapor bubbles partially blocking the system somewhere. I abruptly pushed nosed over then back up only loosing about 100-200 ft in the process, engine yacked at me, then EGT's immediatly came down. To me, this indicated vapor blockage.

    I was immediately suspicious of vapor blockage because previously I had definitely had the engine stumbling/surging at times on the ground during taxi after landing, and in the air after some hard flying had heated up the EGT's.

    If fuel filter does not work, then I will remove the Aerocarb and put the Bing back on with a fuel pump to keep this from being an issue in the future.
  • Apr 21, 2013 40 Lots of sucessfull work today fine-tuning the plane (7 hours)
    1. Another trial setup trying to balance CHT's. Riveted flow diverters in place.
    2) Checked and reset Ruddervators so they are balanced.
    3) Reset left wing flap so the plane doesn't want to barrel roll to the right when pull flaps on.
    4) Tightened canopy sliding latch so that it works smoother instead of "jiggling" it around to get it open or latched.
    5) Fabricated a tail wheel dolly so that I don't have to carry tail around to get it in the hanger and hit the Pietenpol in the process.
    6) RE-read the instructions on the FlowScan totallizer and found out that I never reset the MGL Stratomaster Ultra Horizon from defaul to the correct settings for this unit. Correct K factor was 9091 for my specific unit. MGL default start point is 8454. Default in the EFIS is 7000. Upon runup - setting it correctly made about a 2 gallon per hour indicated flow rate difference - which is actually right on to what I was actually getting vs. indicated. Pefect! The FlowScan comes with the specific calibration info on a paper tag attached to the instrument originally. You can't really tell what it is and many people just throw this away- you totally blew your opportunity to get a pefect factory calibration on your EFIS vs. just best guess if you did so! I kept it - and was very, very lucky to have done so! The default MGL suggested setting is about 15% off from what the actual specific unit setting is.
    7) Pulled the jumper off of the ballast resister on the RDAC X unit and the Tachometer began working correctly right away. Yea!!! Also removed the 22k micro farad capacitor as i didn't need it at all. Waste of time and money for me.
    8) Put a mark on each of the wheels indexing them so that when I need to check tire pressures, I can easily roll plane until the index is in correct spot - then push the access spring/cam loaded door in and just measure it istead of pushing it around trying to find it.
  • Apr 07, 2013 68 Installing new mounts for gear fairings - Pictures (40 hours)
    Since I changed over to the Matco hyraulic disk brakes last September, I had to completely redesign the wheelpant mounting method. The Matco brakes did't mount on the axles in the orientation that the plans called out for, I had to rotate them about 120 degrees forward. This meant that there was no really good way to mount the wheel plants. Over the last month I ended up pulling the axle/wheel/brakes off, machining out the Matco adaptor brackets, machining out a new bracket to bolt onto the adaptor brackets, then relieving the wheelpants to get them to fit and clear the wheel cylinders. Tonight I got the wheelpants on, new brake lines run (better than I had before), and the gear fairings trimmed and fit onto the gear legs. All that I've got left to do at this point in time is final attach and bleed the brakes, and then final attached the wheel pants. I don't want to put the gear fairings on yet because the cowling is still in the phase of on/off routine due to fine-tuning the air cooling ducting. All told -chaning to the Matco brakes cost me about $800 and 40 hours of work. I'd do it again though - they are that good.
  • Apr 07, 2013 40 Rigging fine- tuning (15 hours)
    Spent about 10 flight hours fine-tuning the aircraft rigging. Ended up with a left wing heavy plane, so I drooped the left flap 1.5 turns of the ball rod end. Any more than that and the plane wants to roll to the right when I drop the flaps. This still wasn't enough to rig the plane to fly straight and level. I ended up putting a trim tab on my right aileron - forcing it slightly up and left one down. Works fine.

    Also had a situation with the amount of torque of the Jab3300. Had to hold left rudder all the time and got tired of it. Had to put a trim tab on the rudder - come to find out, all Jab3300 Waiex pilots have had to do this - and it's not exactly a small trim tab either...
  • Apr 07, 2013 40 Diatribe on adjusting carb mixture (10 hours)
    I have spent hours and hours fine tuning the Aerocarb with the Jab3300. This is an ardous job and can't really be cut short. The fact of the matter is that the #3 needle needs to be used with the Jab3300/Aerocarb combo (stock is #2), and you still have to shave the #3 needle quite a bit to get the mixture rich enough at max throttle conditions. I start by bottoming the needle out, then back it out 3-5/8 full turns for warm weather (3-3/4 for cold weather) - then fiddle with it from there. That will set you such that at idle (800rpm), you are not so bloody rich that you gas yourself out. You can fine tune idle setting from there - but KEEP A LOG OF WHERE YOU END UP AT... The goal is to get around 2950-3000 rpm static. More than that is great (don't expect 3200-3300 though), less is okay, but nothing less than 2800.

    You start the fine tuning procedure by doing a max RPM run, then shut down without moving the throttle. Then you mark the needle with a permanent marker - then remove and shave the needle at that point to get more fuel to flow at that throttle position. I used a very sharp pocket knife to do the shaving - measuring with a mic each time, and didn't shave more than one thousanth of an inch off. Do this about 10-15 times and you will be about done. Do not perform long protracted ground runs to do this. Start the engine, get the oil temp and cylinder head temps to min required for max power, then smartly throttle on up. This doesn't take but about a minute or so each time at most including warm up. I did the initial tuning on the ground (till I got to about 2800 rpm), then completed by flying/pulling/shaving/flying... etc. Most folks take 10-15 hours - I'm at 11.5 and I think very, very close to completion. At max throttle - you should be able to lean it slightly before the engine starts to drop significant RPM. That means you are running ever-so-slightly rich. When it gets colder out, you don't have to readjust the carb needle then.
    Others had suggested on the news groups to adjust the needle initially to run best at max power, then just use the mixture control for lower power settings. I tried that. The problem was, during landing, I pulled the throttle to idle and it was so bloody rich that it killed the engine for me on first flight. I had forgot to lean it during the landing sequence (against previous training). And yes, if you agressivley lean it ( like almost to the point of shutting fuel completely off - it works. I didn't want to do this all the time. And yes, I landed dead stick the first time I throttled all the way back during final on my first landing. Greased a perfect landing - whew!
  • Sep 30, 2012 40 Tweaking rigging the last week - installed GoPro camera - awesome!! (6 hours)
    I spent the last week flying - then tweaking the rigging. I had a heavy left wing, and had to carry a lot of right rudder. Added a rudder trim tab. Also adjusted the ruddervators (up one turn for one, down one turn for the other). Net result, rudder is just about correct. A little more on the ruddervators then they will be done.

    For the aileron, I put trim tab on the right aileron and bent it down. I also drooped the left flap one turn. I think one more flap 1/2 turn and it will be done.

    Scraped and readjusted the carb needle tonight. Got pretty aggressive. Net result was a HUGE gain in static RPM. Went from 2830 to 2960. When I flew N81YX afterwards - straight and level RPM hit 3150. I will be verifying RPM with a separate tool soon - but feel that this is about right. I think that I've got a little I can go yet on the needle - but am about there.

    Flew formation with Dan Adams tonight as well. He took a couple of pics. It took some work to slow down to 100 mph for him since that's what his Piper Colt cruises at.
    Insulated the fuel line. Am getting the "Jabiru Burb" pretty bad at times. I need to correct this issue before I will ever feel really comfortable doing long distance cross country flights.

    Installed a GoPro camera system on the Waiex today also. Took my first ever inflight video - awesome!!

    Action items yet to take care of :
    1) add some seat stiffeners. The seat is bowing down and hitting the ruddervator trim spring.
    2) Mount wheel pants
    3) Mount gear fairings
    4) get rid of "jabiru burb" somehow...
    5) purchase/install 320 Southco fasthener on cowling
    6) Re-glue cockpit side panels foam blocks in place
    7) Nose art... :)
    8) 10 hour aircraft review (annual condition inspection basically)
    9) complete polishing plane
  • Sep 21, 2012 71 Polishing (2 hours)
    Spent about 1.5 hours polishing the plane. Focussed on the front of fuselage and the upper part of the ruddervators. Am finished with Nuvite C grade on top of plane now.

    I have to polish entire plane bottom side with it yet to spruce it up after several years of not being touched.

    Lastely, I have to hit the upper side of the plane with the Nuvite S grade to complete. I'm not going to use S grade on the under side - too much work and nobody can see it.

    Took some time to start fabricating extra cold air block plates for the intake plenum.
  • Sep 20, 2012 74 Polishing the plane (2 hours)
    Working to bring the luster of the polish back up to snuff. Upper surface of the plane is looking really good at this piont in time, about time to start on the lower surface.
  • Sep 19, 2012 40 FAA Inspection -passed!!! (5.5 hours)
    Got my pink airworthiness certificate today as well as the repairmans certificate. The FAA inspector said that he liked what he saw, that it was an incredibly stout plane, and he had no squawks at all. The inspection lasted 1/2 hour, paperwork 1 hour. WHEW!!! 5 years, 10 months, 4 days. 2550 hours.

    Only things left to do at this point to truly complete the project is finish polishing and figure out how to mount the wheel pants with the Matco brakes, and adjust the gear leg fairings appropriately. At some point I want to resintall the cabin heat - but that can wait a while as I also need to re-design the heat muff.

    Oh yea - also have to put the nose-art on as well. That will most likely be a job next spring/summer.

    Also - activated my insurance today. First flight coverage is allowed due to transition training by Scott Scheetz in his Sonex with the LODA.
  • Sep 18, 2012 40 Preparation for final inspection by FAA (30 hours)
    Over the lasts several weeks I've been taking care of just small items and polishing. The FAA inspector will be here tomorrow (9/19/2012) and hopefully give me a thumbs up for first flight and repairmans cert.
  • Aug 26, 2012 40 Log for week of 26th of August (22 hours)
    For all practical purposes, I've about finished this project. Yea!!! This week I completed all my paperwork for the FAA and sent it to the local FISDO to schedule a final FAA inspection. Most of the time is now spent just going over everything and taking care of little esthetic things like pollishing.

    Weight and balance came out excellent - the plane was lighter than I expected it would be at 679lbs with all fairings on. Without wheel pants and fairings - it came in at 674lbs. This puts it right in the middle - if not on the light side of most other Waiex's with Jab3300's installed. All the eforts to keep weight down worked out well. I also completed reinstallation of the brakes after fixing them. A screw worked its way out that holds the disk brake onto the Matco wheel. It gouged into the brake caliper pretty good. I filed it smooth and everything works fine. Did 2 high speed taxi tests today to confirm and all is okay.

    Have spent a lot of time re-polishing the plane. After 3.5 years of sitting after my initial polish work, it definitely needed some work. However, using the C grade of Nuvite has really broght the luster back.

    I spent about 3 hours tweeking the carb mixture again. I pulled the #2 needle out and reinstalled the #3. Turned it all the way down and then backed it out 3.5 turns. This gives me a great idle capability where rich to lean is only a 150 rpm increase or so. Then started scraping and fine-tuning. It now runs up to 2850 no problem and sounds great. This has drasticallyt reduced the black soot all over the place as well as not gassing me out in the cockpit when taxiing around.

    Determined that my #4 EGT is bad. Swapped it to the #3 position on the RDAC and it still doesn'[t read. Will have to replace.
  • Aug 19, 2012 40 Summary for week (25 hours)
    Spent this last week:
    1) finalzing Matco hyraulic disk brake install.
    2) Performaning weight & balance measurements and calculations
    3) taxi testing
    4) tweeking carb mixture needle
    5) performing annual condition inspection

    Taxi testing is definitely insperational!!
  • Aug 12, 2012 67 Installing brake system (10 hours)
    I installed the Matco brake system this week. It took some work, but I've completed it at this point including bleeding the brake system. I used the small tubing that was recommended by Matco - it's 1/8" dia and works well. Bleeding the brakes is fun, I ended up using a syringe sold by Menards for adding oil to outboard motors and connected it to the bleed valve on the calipers with a clear tube that came with the syringe - and pressurized the system from the bottom up. This worked out very effective - much better than using the oil can pump that they suggest. That thing leaked all over the place and couldn't keep the pressure on the lines required. Note - if you try to bleed from the top down, - the handbrake from Matco leaks all over the place. Do NOT try it, it's a mess to clean up...

    When installing the brake handle, I had to lift it pretty high on the stick so that the 90 degree fitting on the bottom would clear the seat pan. I ended up trimming the foam strick grip up about 3/4" to get everything to fit okay.

    The parking brake is right in front of the stick on the forward side of the spar tunnel. I installed rivnuts and it works just fine. Trying to placard it will be about useless though. Pictures to follow within a day or so for the entire system.
  • Aug 04, 2012 40 High speed taxi tests, misc assembly (4 hours)
    1) Purchased and installed compass on glareshield.
    2) Confirmed compass accuracy on the two Marshalltown runways.
    3) Put high temperature sealant over more firewall holes into the cockpit.
    4) Continued polishing right side wing.
    5) Removed all protective plastic on top side and bottom side of canopy.

    The the Waiex went on her first high speed taxi tests today as well. She did three of them the entire length of the 1 mile runway. Speeds got up to 62 mph. Ran straight and true, no wheel shimmy. Engine accelerated smoothly up to 2750 RPM initally then I had to throttle back significantly to keep from taking off.. Brought tail up and kept the nose centered on the runway centerline the whole time - all the hours in the Pietenpol and Cub sure helped out on this! The plane ran perfectly.
  • Aug 03, 2012 40 Combine log entry from July 15 to August 3rd (40 hours)
    Lots of work the last 3 weeks.
    1) Checked calibration of airspeed indicator - it checked out just fine
    2) Ran fuel flow test. With 5 gallons in tank for head pressure and plane in takeoff attitude - flowrate was 10.55 gallons per hour - or 1.6 times approximate max engine requirement.
    3) Trimmed fuel tank vent tube to 45 degree angle per plans
    4) Fit Southco's to cowling
    5) Installed two washer head screws in aft lower skin
    6) Corrected ELT wiring harness and tested ELT to conform working
    7) Polished sides and wings and installed "No Step" stickers
    8) Installed wing walk tape
    9) Gooped (technical term...) high temp sealant over all firewall penetrations of wiring and cables
    10) Completed checking and installing all control surface drive bolts to ensure everything is safety'd acoordingly
    11) Completed, submitted and recieved State of Iowa DOT registration
    12) Spent significant time rough setting carb to get static RPM of 2850 RPM. Lots of work to do yet to get carb final adjusted
    13) Final fabrication of special bushings and installation of canopy attach cable and bolting with bushings to allow cable movement
    14) Ordered new MATCO hydraulic disk brake system to replace manual drum brake system that I don't really like at all. Too many things going on with my left hand to make me comfortable
    15) Final bundling of wire harness after fixing ELT cabling
    16) Installing additional identification stickers to dash switches and cockpit lighting
  • Jul 13, 2012 568 ELT (1 hours)
    Troubleshooting the ELT trying to understand why the remote switch was erroring out. Pulled the wire harness apart to find that I'd solderied several wires to the wrong pins.
  • Jul 12, 2012 61 Cowling on and engine run - Pictures (1.5 hours)
    Spent some time tonight re installing the cowling after paint. Ran into an issue, the cabin heat transfer box that I built interfered with the cowling and I had to rip it off. This meant pulling the exhaust pipe and drilling out all the rivets to remove it. Also pulled off the SCAT tubing. Disappointing, but okay. Amazing. It only took me 20 minutes to do it all.

    I richened up the carb mixture one full turn and now the engine is too rich, I need to back it off.

    Took Corey Butcher for a taxi ride.
  • Jul 11, 2012 36 Registration numbers on sides (1 hours)
    Put the registration numbers on the sides of the plane. Also final bolted the ailerons push rods on the control triangle assembly.
  • Jul 11, 2012 45 Worked on carb mixture (3 hours)
    Spent time tonight trying to tweek the Aerocarb mixture. Ended up pulling out the #3 needle and putting the #2 back in as that #3 was incredibly right. Dropped 200 rpm down to 2750, but I think I can get back up to the 2950 I had with the #3. PITA with the Aerocarb tweeking the mixture...
  • Jul 10, 2012 38 Put wing walk tape and N number on (2.5 hours)
    Spent the evening polishing so that I could put the wing walk tape on, and the N-numbers on the fuselage. Got the passenger side N-number on, but it got too dark to put the Pilot side on.

    Also readjusted the carb again for richer setting. RPM up to 2710 before it started bogging out from beeing too lean. Need to richen it up another 1-2 - 1 full turn again. In the process, this was the hottest that I'd gotten the engine and Number 3 EGT isn't reading. Will look at wires and see if something isn't right.

    Took George Gassman out for a taxi test. He's officially the first passenger now that it's moving around on it's own power...
  • Jul 09, 2012 24 Install longeron splice joint screws. first taxi test (2.5 hours)
    Finally got around to installing the lower longeron splice joint screws.

    Readjusted the carb to make it richer and went for first taxi test - Yahoo!!! Engine runs better - still needs some work fine tuning carb though.
  • Jul 08, 2012 18 completed rigging ailerons (7 hours)
    took me over 6 hours, but I got the ailerons rigged today. The right aileron has more up and down travel than the specs call for and slightly more than the left aileron does. However, everything checks out fine, no binding, and the aileron bellcranks are in the neutral position as required. Ailerons are perfectly in line with the flaps - which is good. All castle nuts are safetied as required.

    specs are: up - 20.5 degrees. down - 11.5 degrees
    left aileron = 20.5, 11
    right aileron = 21.3, 12.8

    Checked the rudder as well and travel both directions was 28 degrees per spec of 25 degrees. life is good.
  • Jul 07, 2012 40 creating condition inspection checklist (3 hours)
    spent 3 hours today creating a condition inpsection checklist. Have to have this completed and submit with final paperwork to FAA to schedule the final inspection.

    Sent in the state registration paperwork on Tuesday, July 3rd.
  • Jul 05, 2012 18 Rigging ailerons (3 hours)
    Spent several hours tonight in the hanger rigging the ailerons. Intense heat outside - it never got less than 100 degrees f in the hanger.

    Got the aileron bellcranks set in the neutral position and the rods that attached ot it are now safetied. As I was safetying the actual ball end rods that actually attach to the ailerons I noticed that I wasn't getting full travel out of them. Upon further investigation I determend that on both ailerons that the large washers are too large to get through the holes in the rear spars. Next I have to remove both ailerons and using a rat-tail file, and enlargen the holes. Thank heavens that I made my aileron hinge pins easily removeable!!! Otherwise I would have had to drilled out the wing tips if I did it per Sonex plans...

    At this point in tiime all control surfaces are complete rigged, Just have to final attach and safety the ailerons again.
  • Jul 04, 2012 4 Final rigging of ruddervators and rudder (3 hours)
    Checked final rigging of ruddervators and rudder. Safety'd all castelated nuts. Checked rig of rudder and safety'd the rudder cables.
  • Jul 04, 2012 18 Misc work (1 hours)
    Replace hing pins with longer ones. Changed the safety method of the hinge pins vs. what Sonex does. Drilled out a rivet on the rear main spar and ran a screw threw it to hold the hing pin in place.

    Rigged both aileron bellcranks to neutral position (25 degree angle fron nearest aileron). Completed rigging passenger side aileron. Started pilot side but did not finish.

    Trimmed wing/fuselage black trim to fit.

  • Jul 04, 2012 135 Final rigging of flaps (0.5 hours)
    Cleaned up the hole I had to open up a little for pilot side flap bolting to clear. I used a dremel tool sanding drum for this.

    Final rigging of flaps and safety'd the castelated nuts.
  • Jun 23, 2012 30 Final riveted in bottom skin (3 hours)
    Had 23 rivets left to rivet in and completed this. Also replaced screws holding fuseboxes to inside of cockpit with longer ones.

    Replaced oil cooler mounting bracket nyloc nuts with high temp rated steel lock nuts. Also pulled out oil cooler mount bracket cap screws and applied lock tight. I'd neglected to do that during "final" installation.

    Had an A&P IA (Wayne Bausch) come over from Ames and inspect the Waiex at the same time he was doing my annual on the Pietenpol. He was happy with it and had no suggestions/gigs.

    Recieved N -number stickers for the fuselage sides yesterday.
  • Jun 20, 2012 20 Wing tie downs installed (0.5 hours)
    Installed the wind tie downs. Also installed canopy.
  • Jun 20, 2012 138 Installed pitot static tubes to EFIS (1 hours)
    Got my tubing reducers yesterday in the mail and installed them today after work. Had to purchase two 1/4"x1/8" reducers since the tubing for the pitot system is 1/4" and the EFIS ports are 1/8".

    Installed the ELT today and registered it with NOAA per the new requirements for 406Mhz systems. You have to reregister them every 2 years. In the process, tested the ELT and it works just fine. However... the remote switch on the dash has an issue. It is diplaying a solid red warning light indicating that something in the wireharness between the remote switch and the ELT isn't correct. Sigh.

    One piece of dissapointment today. When crawling into the cockpit, I discovers a small crack in the canopy in the locking mechanism slot. Sigh... I hate this material.
  • Jun 17, 2012 30 Rivet on lower aft skin (6.5 hours)
    Big day in the life of this project. Riveted on the lower aft skin, the last part that needs to be riveted on. Ran out of CCP-44 rivets with 23 to go. Also fit and riveted on the blind nuts for the access hatch for the mixer assembly.

    Final fit and drilled in the ELT mount. Partially riveted it in place till ran out of rivets.
  • Jun 16, 2012 19 Final rivet on wing tips (1 hours)
    Final riveted on the wing tips.
  • Jun 16, 2012 565 Completed wiring of all lighting (6 hours)
    Finished wiring in the nav/position lights and the landing light. Cleaned up all wiring harnesses.
  • Jun 16, 2012 40 Pitot/static system (0.5 hours)
    Ran the hoses for the pitot static system in the cockpit. Brace the hoses so they don't rub against anything. Only have to order two 1/8" x 1/4" plastic barb adapters so can connect the smaller 1/8" inner diameter soft hose to the EFIS.
  • Jun 16, 2012 135 Continued tweaking flap installation (1 hours)
    I had to file some on the trailing edge skin of the wing to get the flap to fit correctly on the passenger side. Completed this and rerigged the flaps. This allows the flaps to come further up per the plans specifications. Had to do some trimming of the pilot side rear spar hole for the ball rod end bolt to clear adequately. Finished this, only have to hit it with a light file to make sure it's clean and then lightly prime it. Flaps will be completed then.
  • Jun 15, 2012 19 Fit wingtips and started riveting (0.75 hours)
    Got the wingtips fit in place and started to rivet them on.

    Picked up the painted cowling from the body shop. They did a really nice job, a little bit of orange peal, but not bad at all. I'd rate paint job an 8 out of 10. All other fiberglass was a 9.5 out of 10 - almost perfect.
  • Jun 10, 2012 565 Wiring up strobes and nav/position lights (6.5 hours)
    Spent the day installing the the wing tip lights and wiring them into the strobe box. Had to make 4 Molex plugs. Finished up strobe wiring and installation. Nav/position lights wiring almost completed, ran out of spade connectors with one to go, and heat shrink tubing at the same time.

    Also installed the landing light lens.

    Wing tips are ready to be riveted on now.
  • Jun 09, 2012 20 Polish, install pitot tube, working on wingtips (4 hours)
    Spent time today touching up the polishing of the left wing leading edge so that I can install the landing light cover. Also started the installation of the wing tips. I drilled out for the rivets in the middle and trailing edge of both tips. Had to touch up the trailing edge of the left wing. Installed the light on the right wing. Next is to connect the wiring. Have to get a crimper for fabricating the molex plugs.
  • Jun 08, 2012 38 Trimming off rivet stems (1 hours)
    Having a bad time with the new style rivets that Avidel is using. Had 22 out of 125 rivets partially pull through. I had to trim the stems off down to the head.

    The Emerson corporate pilots came down to my hanger and visited for a while. They flew a Falcon in. The Chief Pilot - John - owns a 1946 Champ that he used to keep in Coer de Couer in Missouri just outside of St. Louis. They literally crawled all over my Pietenpol.
  • Jun 07, 2012 38 Riveting wing endging in place (2 hours)
    Completed riveting the wing edging in place. Very frustrating, I had 22 of the 157 rivet stems pull most of the way through the rivet heads and not break. Will have to trim them off. Cherry Avidel quality sucks on these new style rivets. I have pulled over 10k rivets on the plane to this point, and only these new ones have every failed. All others perfectly fine.
  • Jun 04, 2012 38 Riveting wing/fuselage edging in place (2 hours)
    Completed the polishing and began placing and riveting the edging pieces with the rubber seal in place. Passenger side is partially riveted in place.
  • Jun 03, 2012 38 Polishing wing edging (2 hours)
    Completed polishing wing edging/wing doubler. Need to touch up fuselage and wing before Irivet these in place.
  • Jun 02, 2012 38 Fitting wing edging (5 hours)
    Trimmed the wing edging to fit. This is the strips that act as skin doublers between the wings and the fuselage. I am using Vans wing rubber seals between them to give a nice seal and appearance.

    Very easy way to mark and trim the edging to fit first time- especially with the vans rubber seal (it covers up any imperfections). Install the aluminum edging to the wing - but slide it out one set of holes. That way the inner holes on the edging strip are cleco'd to the matched out holes in the wing. The holes are exactly 1/2" apart.

    Next - measure out from the fuselage and mark the edging piece. You will measure and mark out from the fuselage 3/4" all the way around on the edging except for the leading edge where you will neck down to only 11/16". Reason for these measurements: you need 1/4" spacing between the edging and the fuselage for the rubber seal - except for the leading edge of the wing where you should neck down to only 3/16" gap as the rubber stretches. 1/2" + 1/4" = 3/4". 1/2" + 3/16" = 11/16"

    Next I began polishing the edging strips. Got about 3/4 of the way done and had to head home.
  • Jun 01, 2012 18 Installed ailerons (3.5 hours)
    This should be the final installation of the ailerons. Safety-ed and greased the hing pins. Drilled the ball rod ends for the inspection holes. Almost completed the rigging. Found that if I install all ball rod ends about 7 - 9 threads (backed out from beginning of the threading by the weld) that almost all ball rod ends will be close to final adjustment.

    Ran out of AN3-11 bolts for the aileron connection and have to order more.

    Still to do: final rigging and safetying of all the castellated nuts on the aileron push rods.
  • May 29, 2012 40 Final assembly of empanage control surfaces - riveting on the fiberglass tips (3.5 hours)
    My previous post on removing hinge pins was prophetic... I had to pull of the Ruddervators as I had installed them one hinge lug too low. What a PITA !! I attempmted to straighten the ruddervator hinge pins, pulled them off and reinstalled them-putting dabs of greese here and there in the process.

    While I had them off, I pulled the rudder off again, riveted the painted fiberglass cap on, reinstalled it and safetied the hinge pin. After that I final riveted the stabilator tips in place. Next I reinstalled all cables and pushrods. Held off on cotterkeys on the control cables/rods until I'm ready to finalize all control surface rigging - hopefully this weekend.
  • May 28, 2012 38 Install and rigging ruddervators and flaps (6 hours)
    Installed and rigged the ruddervators and the flaps. Had to drill the ball end rod joints for inspection holes of the flaps and ailerons. Putting the saftey cotter key in the flap hinges (keeps the hinge pin in place) was a challenge. If I were to do it again, I would NOT recommend following the factory method. Not only is it tough to do, but getting the hinge pins out in the future will be very, very tough. I will be using a different method to secure the aileron pins when I get to that point.

    Item of note: Sonex claims that 2 people can remove the wings in 20- minutes. That, my friends, can probably only be done after they've actually been removed about 10 times and all the holes are loosed up -- and you've got two people who've done it all 10 times and know what they are doing. Otherwise, plan on about 2 hours. Also, evidentally, they are using easily removeable trailer pins to hold the flap bar to the actuator rod. Installing the flap bolts per plans requires somebody extra flexible. I cut out between the lightening holes in the root rib per Sonex to help access during this phase of assembly. Without doing this - you better have access to a 10 year old to get thier small hands in there.

    Had to file out the aileron counterbalance holes in the rear main spar by an additional 3/32" over plans to clear the bolts that secure the lead to the aileron.

    Installed/greased the tailwheel steering tube between the rudder and the tailwheel bracket. I'm using the bracket that Kip Laurie of Atlanta made for me as it allows a bigger 6" soft rear wheel (Vans RV type).

    Also spent several hours cleaning up and organizing the hanger after the big move. Much more room to get around. Also regorganized the hardware storage boxes as they were a mess from being in the garage and then moving.

    All in all, an excellent Memorial Day weekend.
    1) Moved plane to hanger
    2) Installed wings
    3) Installed ruddervators
    4) Installed flaps
    5) Tailwheel assembly ready to be final installed
    6) Ailerons fitted to wings. Installing pushrods to control sticks. Also have to saftey hinge pins in place.
    7) Bottom skin cleco'd in place, ready to rivet.
    8) Fiberglass parts at paint shop being painted this week.
  • May 27, 2012 38 Installed wing castellated nuts (3 hours)
    Performed the time honored tradition of installing the "wing nuts" on the Waiex today. Tight tollerances means that this is a little challenging. I had installed the rear bolts backwards and had to reinstall them. These bolts can be very challenging to get installed, but mine worked out pretty well.

    Installed pilot side ruddervator.

    Spent time with Doug Boyd and EAA Chapter 675 president Paul Adams planning for the FAA/DAR inspection. Paul has been through this at least three times already, so we picked his brain.
  • May 26, 2012 38 Moved plane to hanger - Pictures (8 hours)
    Spent the day packing, moving the plane to the hanger, unpacking, and plugging the wings in.

    Also attached the passenger side flap

Aircraft Project Photos - Latest 50 (Newest to Oldest)