Saturday wasn’t really an airplane work day. Spork had his friends over to play airsoft and I was the person who made the teams even so I ended up playing as well. It was 90 degrees, buggy, and I was dead tired by the end of the game. But Cody had come over to play and I wasn’t going to miss a chance to introduce him to airplane building. Plus all the kids leave on Sunday for a week of camp so no airplane work will get done while they are gone. Better to get something done now.
Last work session we had one wing, the one on the left above, already in the stand. The other wing was sitting on the table waiting for the Hysol in the wing doublers to setup. Cody and I moved the wings to the stands and after I taped them incorrectly so they couldn’t rotate, we finally got them safely mounted and ready to be worked on. They’ll likely spend a good amount of time in these stands and should exit covered, primered, and painted and ready to go onto the airplane. That will be a big day!
A big part of our work session was for Cody to begin learning his way around the shop and around an airplane build. Since Spork has as much education as I do on this airplane build, I put him in charge of showing Cody what to do.
The project for the day was to get our new ELT mounted in its tray. My friend Rick Gracely had installed the ELT tray back when we were at Robby’s place and it had sat quietly clecoed in place ever since. Cody and Spork pulled the tray and step one was to clean up the edges so they’d be smooth. They then took some acetone and cleaned the sticker off and cleaned the tray overall.
Then there was quite a bit of studying the online installation manual making sure they understood the process. I noted that they did this careful studying in front of the fan that was keeping them cool while I sweated over filing and sanding Hysol filler on the door.
After they finally had their plan together, they marked and drilled the ELT tray and began installing the tray.
After a few test fits, they broke out the rivet gun and did the final riveting to install the ELT. One, two, three rivets while maneuvering the gun in the small confines of the tail and they were done!
They are hamming it up a bit in this pic, but the reality is a 14 year old with a few weeks experience, and a 15 year old with zero experience opened the boxes, read the instructions, and successfully installed a life saving device correctly in an airplane. And in Cody’s words, “it was kinda fun.” I truly barely helped them. Only giving a gentle nudge a couple of times.
All that needs to be done now is to hook up the antennae and run the wiring to the front of the airplane. I’ve never pinned out a plug like is required for this install so that will be a slow process the first time. But I have a really nice soldering setup and hopefully I’ll be picking up the wire today after feeding animals. Maybe I’ll go ahead and put this part together so I’m better able to help Spork when he gets back.