It’s Alive! Weight & Balance and Engine Run

A couple of major milestone are in the books:  weight and balance complete and we fired her up for the first time.  Yes!

I’m thrilled that she will make to AirVenture under her own power!

Charlie getting the scales ready for our weight and balance._MG_4787

Tracy and Matt checking for level with a smart level inside the cockpit.  Tim giving it a visual check._MG_4719

On the scales._MG_4733

Tracy dropping a plumb bob and Tim marking the floor to establish our datum point.  We had a sheet from Zenith but we still want to establish our own measurements._MG_4763

Tracy and Jerry measuring our marks. _MG_4878

Running the numbers in our weight and balance spreadsheet._MG_4892

With the weight and balance complete, we are ready to roll it out and see if it will start._MG_4924

Adding a bit of fuel for the engine run. _MG_4965

With Tracy at the controls and Jerry holding the fire extinguisher, we are ready to give a try._MG_5039

YES! YES! YES!_MG_5043

She sounded great._MG_5064

Tracy and Tim checking the indications on the Dynon SkyView._MG_5086

Giving the engine a good post run inspection._MG_5103

Checking for leaks._MG_5108

The happy team basking in the glow of a successful engine run._MG_5118

If you want to watch our 30 second video of the start up, here you go.

Until next time…


Posted in Firewall Forward | 74 Comments

4 Sessions, Lots of Progress, First Radio Call!

We had four build sessions since our last update.  EAA SportAir Workshop instructors Dick and Bob Koehler were in town over the weekend to lend a hand.  With their help, we made so much progress.  Here are just a few of the things completed:

  • Oil door in cowling
  • Angle of attack probe mounted
  • Primer line run and secured
  • Installed and wired 12V outlet
  • Ray Allen stick grips installed
  • EGT sensors installed and secured
  • CHT sensors installed and secured
  • Spark plugs installed and torqued
  • Fuel lines completed
  • Fuel flow sensor installed and secured
  • Oil temp sensor installed and secured
  • Breather tube installed and secured
  • Engine dataplate reinstalled

As the wiring guy, Tom had the unenviable task of working under the panel._MG_9965

The joys of aircraft building….climbing into the tail section.  Not even sure who this is!_MG_0166

Installing the dataplate on the engine.  You have to be extremely careful or your can drill all the way through the case (which would totally ruin your day)._MG_0286

Lots of adel clamps installed with the goal of securing and cleaning up all the hoses and wires.  Oil pressure sensor installed._MG_0345

Jerry with the nutplates riveted on the AOA mount.  These were the first driven rivets Jerry has ever done even._MG_0351

Matt installed the seat belts and shoulder harnesses._MG_0366

Here is a good shot showing our Ray Allen stick grips installed.  We went with the G205. _MG_0387

Once Bob and I had the primer line run, Tim stepped in to secure it and some wiring. Tim making sure the stick and primer/wiring bundle don’t rub._MG_0730

I used EZ Turn “fuel lube” to seal the NPT side of our fuel line fittings.  (You don’t use it on the flared fitting side, just the pipe thread)._MG_0410

Always skip the first thread and be careful not to have any sealant on the end of the fitting as it could block the fuel flow._MG_0408

Installing the fitting on the fuel pump. _MG_0415

Dick mounting the master relay and starter relay._MG_0588

AOA probe mounted.  Time to take it off and paint the mount._MG_0605

A beehive of activity.    _MG_0725

Tracy cutting the oil door. _MG_0737

Tom holding the dip stick to make sure the oil door will be big enough to make it easy to check the oil._MG_0744

Jerry installed the static ports._MG_0849

Static port installed._MG_0852

Jim working on an access cover. _MG_0858

Lots of activity going on._MG_0761

I spent some time making the hoses to run from the firewall to the carburetor.  These stainless steel braided hoses are pretty easy to make and look great installed.  Here I am cutting the hose._MG_0705

Tightening up the fitting.  Note the tape I use to make sure the hose end doesn’t slip._MG_0774

After completing the hose, I ran some mineral spirits through the hose and blew it out with compressed air to make sure no debris was in the line._MG_0684

With the hoses complete, we should be able to test the fuel system soon._MG_0881

Tracy re-installing the prop with the spinner back plate in position. _MG_0813

Cummings Spinner installed.  Looks much nicer with the spinner.    _MG_0868

Tom testing the stick selector circuit._MG_9839

Bob and I securing the carb heat cable.  _MG_9846

Dick and Tom working on the panel.  (No way Dick was climbing in there)._MG_9924

Everyone head down and working hard._MG_9946

Dick heating up some shrink tubing to complete some wiring._MG_9953

Tom and Tracy doing some wiring._MG_9958

With the comm antenna installed, Tom called OSH ground for a radio check….loud and clear!_MG_0174

Until next time….

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Access Panels, AOA Bracket, and Engine Baffling

We are working hard to tie down all those loose ends that are just part of any aircraft build.

Jim making an access cover for the left wing._MG_4976 _MG_5001

Tim making new engine baffling.  The old stuff was pretty beat up but worked as a template._MG_5023 _MG_5060

We are going with the Dynon Angle of Attack (AOA) system.  The mount arrived so we needed to enlarge our original pitot-static probe hole._MG_5071

Jerry drilling the wing skin for the AOA mount._MG_5152

Kyle making a couple of access doors for the baggage compartment. _MG_5137

We ran the rudder cables under the flaperon control tubes which was not per plans. Here Tracy is correcting the error._MG_5111

Tim test fitting the engine baffling while I secure the mixture control with a cushion clamp._MG_5157 _MG_5160

Tracy and Charlie (me) installing the cowl to check the fit.  We had to add blisters for the spark plugs and re-work the airbox area._MG_5294

Looks like it fits good now._MG_5300

Until next time…


Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage, Wings | 2 Comments

Pushing Hard for Oshkosh

Like so many of our members, we are pushing really hard to get done for “Oshkosh.”  The big advantage we have is that either way it will make it since we are on the field.  I just hope it is under our own power rather than being towed into position!  If you want to see the aircraft up close, make sure you visit the Homebuilders Hangar during Convention.

Tracy opening up the cowl for more airflow._MG_0555

I always like cowls that look like they are smiling._MG_0554

The airbox was interfering with the cowling.  Time for some surgery._MG_0564

We had to cut the cowl to relieve the airbox._MG_0579

Some scrap aluminum and clecos will hold everything in place so that we can lay in some Fiberglas._MG_0690

Time to get the fuel line cut to size.  Here I am trimming the hose to the correct length._MG_0532

I’m tightening up the hose clamp on the Tee connection that ties the two fuel tank lines together with another line that runs down the side of the fuselage to the firewall.  _MG_0796

Tom cleaning up the wiring for the wing tip lights._MG_0643


Tom tracked down the error on wiring the right light.  We had mislabeled some of our wiring flags.  All is good now._MG_0558

Tracy and I installing the WhirlWind prop hub._MG_0729

Blades in place with the bolts going in._MG_0732

WhirlWind supplies a nice laser cut jig for setting the angles on their ground adjustable prop.  Makes it much easier to get it right._MG_0750

Looks nice with the prop on!_MG_0767

Looks even better with the cowling on._MG_0765

Now that the trim pieces are painted, Tracy secures the windshield.IMG_2389

Jerry riveting on the dorsal fin. IMG_2393

Kyle installing the cable for our cabin heat box.  Always fun working under the panel.IMG_2394

I was able to install all the scat tubing for the cabin heat and carb heat.IMG_2395

Jerry riveting the skylight.IMG_2401

Kyle was helping Jerry by holding the washers on the rivets.IMG_2404

Tim was tasked with fabricating a mount for the fuel selector so we could install it on the lower left side of the cockpit.  He used a couple of adel clamps to secure the valve to a bracket he made up.IMG_2396

Here is how it will look in the cockpit.  The slot is for a vertical stiffener on the side of the fuselage.  We still need to add some positive stops for “on” and “off”.IMG_2400

Until next time…

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Lots Done with Lots to Go

We are making strong progress but there just lots of little details that still need to be crossed off the list.

Hal, Jerry and Dick getting the horizontal stabilizer into place._MG_0033

Dick is always using his head to solve problems ;-) _MG_0038

Rudder final assembly._MG_0070

Jerry doing the final torquing of the flaperons._MG_9909

Jerry and Tim torquing the strut hardware._MG_9935

I finished up the throttle and mixture controls._MG_9949

Tim and Jerry getting the flaperons hooked up._MG_9973

We had a wiring issue on the right strobe so Tom had to do some troubleshooting._MG_9988 _MG_9989

Now that the rest of the painting is done, we need to make the doors and trim match.  Here Tracy is laying out the masking tape on the doors._MG_9950 _MG_9953Until next time….

Posted in Firewall Forward, Fuselage, Wings | 4 Comments