Back together, and some progress on the door and trim cable

Today Spork and I finally were able to get back to the airplane. This is the last week of school and he is trying to get everything done so we can go to work on the airplane. Spork and I are both sick, from two unrelated colds, so I thought that we’d not get anything done today but around lunch time the Mrs. said he was ok to work if he had his work done. Yeah!

Spork and I headed over about 1:30 and went to work on various projects. We started with pulling out all the tail feathers and reinstalling them onto the airframe. Flying wires were put back in place, hardware was (mostly) located and after a while we have everything installed, including the elevators. We didn’t install the rudder because we don’t need to and it interferes with the rear stand.

With the tail feathers installed, we set about figuring out the trim system. It is obvious that listening to Robby vs. reading the instructions is going to an issue at each step. Even the smallest things take a while to figure out when going by the instructions. A simple note to run the trim cable out of the access hole by the elevator bell crank took me 15 minutes of trying to figure out exactly where that is. There isn’t an access hole yet, there isn’t even a picture of where it would be. I had some pics of other SuperSTOLs that I could reference, but they were buried in my picture folder on Amazon so that took a while.

While I was searching and grumbling, Spork started sorting the hardware that I’d ordered in as extra. That took some conversation and some time, but it saves a ton of time later when we can locate everything when we need it.

We got to stopping point on the trim cable so I worked on the baggage door. I’d already started cutting out the piece I needed when I was at Robby’s place so I hunted down my air nibbler and finished cutting out our new door from what was previously the turtle deck. The turtle deck will be lexan instead so this piece of aluminum was extra.

The baggage door, roughed out and clamped in place
The baggage door, roughed out and clamped in place

Once the piece was roughed out, I marked everything and put it on the belt sander to smooth and straighten my lines.

I also located the piece of piano hinge I’d purchased at Sun N Fun for just this project. I marked and cut the piano hinge, then safety wired in the hinge pin. Then I drilled out the hinge and clecoed it in place on the fuselage, leaving it loose for final fit up on the door itself.

With the door roughed out and ready to drill, I left it clamped so I could look at it with fresh eyes before drilling anything else. I may put a small break down the middle of it to give it some stiffness. It is not like this is a speed demon of an airplane but I could see the door having some flutter in flight. When Miguel gets back I can get him to brake it and give it a center rib for stiffness.

Total time 2.5 hours.

This past week we found out that Spork didn’t get selected for Civil Air Patrol encampment staff. Originally we’d thought he’d be on staff and I’d fly up and fly cadets all week. When we learned he didn’t get selected, that meant that our entire week the last week of June can  now dedicated to the airplane build. If I can spend less time figuring out what to do, and more time doing, we should make real progress on the plane this summer.

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