Sebastien & Roger Visit, Paint Arrives

Two build sessions to cover this week.  Lots of progress.  I think we are now at 90% done, 50% to go! (As opposed to 90% done, 90% to go).

Sebastien Heintz and Roger Dubbert from Zenith Aircraft made a visit to EAA HQ to plan our One Week Wonder project for AirVenture Oshkosh 2014.  For those that haven’t heard, EAA volunteers will be building a CH-750 Cruzer in one week.  They stuck around the next day to help out on our CH-750. IMG_1908

Tracy finishing up the rudder cablesIMG_1912

Tom and Jerry removed the magnetos and accessory case in order to cut off the pull starter “pinion” that just gets in the way of our new B&C Specialties starter.IMG_1944

Here is a close up of the shaft that needs to be removed.IMG_1946

And here it is with the shaft removed.IMG_1949

Even Roger has to consult the plans sometimes.IMG_1948

Tim doing some riveting.IMG_1951

I (Charlie) installed the battery box.  We are using a Aerovoltz battery.  Super small and lightweight.IMG_1141  Tiny!IMG_1140

Matt finished up the controls and is starting in on the center console. IMG_1006

Kyle trying to determine the best place to put the flap switch….IMG_0968

or maybe he just wanted to sit in the aircraft.IMG_0966

Jim working on the gascolator which is mounted under the pilot seat while Joe and Jerry work on the engine baffling.IMG_0861

Joe drilling some holes for the engine baffling.IMG_1084

Joe, Kyle and Jerry finished riveting the baffling by the end of the session.IMG_1047

Tom fired up the Dynon SkyView for the first time. Exciting!IMG_1961

Tom was able to get the two throttles and mixture control installed.IMG_0955

Steve at Aircraft Specialty donated one of their flap switches.  I really like this design to replace the basic toggle switch.  You’ll be able to know it is the flap switch without looking.  Nice!IMG_1123

Here is where we stand on the panel.IMG_1134

Poly-Fiber generously donated all the paint we will need for the aircraft.  It arrived on a palate so we unpacked it and inspected it for shipping damage. IMG_0987

Thanks Poly-Fiber!!!IMG_1102Maybe next time I’ll share the paint scheme.

Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage | 4 Comments

Seats Installed-Let the Airplane Noises Begin! Alternator Upgrade

One of the great milestones of every homebuilt aircraft project is sitting in the cockpit for the first time (and of course make airplane noises and dreaming of that first flight).  Your EAA staff builders are no different than you!

Abby at Flightline Interiors dropped off these beautiful seats last week.  Although this is the first set of Zenith 750 seats she has made, you sure wouldn’t know it.  Thank you Abby!IMG_0042

Tom likes it.IMG_0564

Matt likes it.IMG_0558

Kyle fits.IMG_0536

Jim fits with the door closed.  He had plenty of room.  And of course, he likes it!IMG_0520

Even Jen wanted her photo (who usually stays behind the camera).IMG_0551

Looks great with both seats in!  Thanks Abby and Flightline Interiors for the donation.IMG_0067

Charlie (me)  and Jerry enjoying the flight (at least that was what I was imagining).IMG_0065

Last week I pulled the old alternator off in anticipation of the new B & C Specialties alternator.  The new one arrived so I set it next to the old one.  Quite a difference!IMG_0382

Since the new one is so much smaller, I wanted to know the weight savings.  The old one came in at 10.6 pounds. IMG_0505

The new B&C Specialties alternator is only 4.2 pounds.  So not only is it smaller (and prettier) than our old one but it saves 6 pounds!!  Thanks B & C Specialties for the generous donation!IMG_0509

Matt finished up installing some fair leads to guide the rudder cables.IMG_0585

Tom riveted in the nutplates for our panel.IMG_0321 IMG_0303

Kyle Charlie and Jerry try to agree on our approach to installing the silicone baffle seal.IMG_0369

Jerry using a stick with a Sharpie duct taped to it to mark where we need to trim the aluminum baffle.IMG_0410

Kyle clamping the silicone baffle seal in place.IMG_0525Until next time…


Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage | 7 Comments

Baffling, Alternator, Gascolator, Panel

Lots of good progress last night.  We made serious headway on the engine baffling.  Finally got the panel cleco’d in place.  We are making progress!

Jerry and Tracy studied the prints.  Fortunately, there is a baffling kit for the CH 750 with an O-200.IMG_0598

While Kyle and Tracy worked on the baffling, I was in the background removing the alternator.  B & C Specialty Products have been nice enough to donate one of their new gear driven alternators which are much lighter than the current one.  In order to take them up on their offer, I had to pull off the old alternator and remove the 5 piece Continental gear drive assembly.IMG_0679

Jerry forming some of the baffling for a better fit.IMG_0760

Kyle and Tracy working on the baffling.IMG_0689

By the end of the night, it was coming along quite nicely.IMG_0692

Here is the old Airecon alternator with the the 5 piece Continental gear drive assembly sitting in front.  The gear drive assembly is being sent to B & C Specialty Products today for installation on the new alternator they are donating.  I don’t know how much the Airecon weighs but it was heavy.  I know the B&C alternator weighs only 4.4 pounds and will save us some significant weight (Yea!)IMG_0723

Tracy has a solution for using dual throttles and here is determining what length throttle to order from Aircraft Spruce.  We placed an order for throttles, mixture and carb heat controls.IMG_0607

Jim continued to plug away at installing the gascolator.  On the 750, it is not placed on the firewall but on the bottom of the cabin. IMG_0613


We ran into a bit of a snag on our panel.  When we provided SteinAir with the panel dimensions, we failed to mention a structural cross member across the bottom.  So we have to relocate some of the switches.  Tom is taking charge of remaking the panel blank.  We don’t think it will impact the beautiful wiring job that SteinAir provided.

IMG_0780 IMG_0781 IMG_0803 IMG_0807 IMG_0816

We still need to add some more cutouts for swtiches and such but we did get it cleco’d in place.  That big Dynon Skyview is going to be sweet!IMG_0674

Posted in Firewall Forward | 324 Comments

Technical Counselor Visit

On Saturday, we had our second Technical Counselor visit on the 750.  For those unfamiliar with the program, EAA Technical Counselors are experienced airplane builders, restorers, and mechanics who volunteer their time to visit other EAA members who are in the process of building or restoring their own aircraft. The goal of the Technical Counselor Program is to help EAA members present a “zero defect” aircraft at its final inspection by the FAA.

Although a number of us working on the project are TCs, an “independent” TC visit is a must so we called up Joe Norris for a visit.  Joe is a former DAR and experienced TC that works over at Sonex Aircraft.

I strongly urge all of you builders out there to get at least 3 TC visits during your project.

Overall, Joe was satisfied with the workmanship and only identified a few items that needed fixing.  Thanks Joe!

Joe checking the rudder/brake installation.IMG_8307

Joe reviewing our wiring diagrams.IMG_8305

Jerry, Tim and Joe discussing the engine istallation and cowling.IMG_8311

Hal was busying scotch brighting the wing surfaces in preparation for painting.IMG_8316

Jerry and I installed some, but not all of the nutplates on the cowling.IMG_8322


Posted in Uncategorized | 361 Comments

Engine Bolted On, Cowling On

Sometimes on your project you work and work and work, and not much seems to happen.  Other times, like last night, you work a bit and BANG!  Big leap forward.

We started the night with the motor mount bolted on the firewall.  Our Lord mounts for the engine arrived from Aircraft Spruce so we had what we needed to hang the engine.IMG_8799

The great part about a group build is you don’t need an engine hoist, just muscle it into place. IMG_8836 IMG_8819

With the lower cowl duct taped in place, time for some fitting and trimming.IMG_8966

Tracey eyeing up the cowling.IMG_8958

Lots of fitting to go but starting to look pretty good.IMG_8989

Tracey laying out where the cowl fasteners will go.IMG_9185

Jerry drilling the holes so we can cleco it into place.IMG_9190

Jim adding the clecos.IMG_9188

Bang!  A big step forward toward a completed airplane!IMG_9249

Posted in Firewall Forward | 341 Comments