Much progress with no pictures

Since moving to the airport, it has been a mad rush of activity. I’d love to say that I have lots of pictures of the progress, but the reality is I’ve taken exactly zero pictures of our work so far. Partly because the things we are doing aren’t really photo worthy, and partly because I have my phone now attached to the speaker to play our music. So what we have instead of pictures, is our list of things that we’ve done and we are doing. Our daily to do list.

Oh wait. No that is the wrong list. That’s my daily list for before I leave the house.

This is my list for the airplane for this week.

Airplane to do

Electrical master and starter hookup Dan – 3 hours – Almost done
Avionics install Dan – 1 day
New panel cut and installed – Dan 3 hours – Done!
Fuel flow test Both. 20 mins
Fuel tanks – calibrate Spork – 2 hours
Engine oil Service Bulletin – both – 30 mins – almost finished
Carb hookup Dan – 30 mins
Choke hookup Both – 2 hours
Fuel transducer Spork – 4 hours – Started already
Engine probes installed Dan – 8 hours
Oil engine – both 30 mins, just needs topping off after service bulletin completion
Coolant engine – Spork – 30 mins – Done!

We’d already hooked up the fuel, the oil lines, the coolant lines, and the throttle cables. We’d installed and rigged the rudder, the ailerons, the flaps, the brake lines and many other things I can’t even recall at this point. None of them look like big progress in pictures so I’ve been slack and just not taken pictures of them.

We made our instrument panel from the material provided with the kit. It was easy since I’d already made a panel from Lexan previously to get everything arranged just how I wanted it. With about three hours of work, I had a shiny new panel made and temporarily installed. I then decided to make sure that the avionics fit, one last time.

They didn’t.

So off to the metal supply store to get more metal. With our new purchase, we cut out and made a new panel, this time bigger and with the instruments not centered but instead biased towards the pilots side (if you are counting, this is panel #3). This allowed the SL30 Nav/Com to be able to clear the support bracing. Everything else is very small and fits pretty much wherever. I primered and painted the panel and got it, and it’s support brackets installed, last night. So it is ready for avionics installation today.

I also (I’m saying “I” instead of “we” because Spork had some other stuff to get done at home so I had a rare solo work day at the airport) installed the battery master solenoid and its control wire, and installed the starter solenoid and its power wire. We just need to install the starter control wires, the master and avionics switches, and some associated wiring and the electrical side, at least to the engine, will be hooked up.

Then we’ll be onto installing the avionics, which I’m sure will eat up way too much time. We have to install all the engine sensors and hookups so we have oil pressure, RPM, EGT, that kind of stuff. That is going to require a good bit of book work and probably a call to the manufacturer somewhere in there but if we can get all that hooked up correctly, it is only simple steps remaining to be able to start the engine for the first time! I’d dearly love to get the engine running by Saturday. Friday would be even better. Then we’ll take a break from actual work and move onto paperwork.

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