Started working on the back seat base. The instructions were pretty clear and things were cleco'd together in relative short order.
I did run into some alignment issues of the pre-drilled holes. Some I had to drill fresh, others I just had to ream out to get a rivet in.
I've been chatting with MidWest Panel Builders about the avionics package and have made my decision.
At first, I was going to go with the full Advanced IFR Package, but after a bit of sticker shock and reevaluation of what my needs truly are.. I'll be going with the Basic IFR Package with only one G3X Screen.
The GNX375 doesn't have a NAV radio included, like the GTN650, but the cost difference just doesn't seem worth it for something I will probably seldom use. I do have the VOR antenna already mounted in the tail, but I figure I can run the wires and have them handy if there's a future owner that has different needs.
I checked all the airports that I plan on flying into and there's more GPS approaches than there are ILS, with the same minimums. If I do have an avionics or GPS failure, I could just use the Sporty's SP-400 handheld radio or similar to get a Localizer / VOR fix.
I don't foresee too many other pilots in the right seat needing to fly the plane and I have been wondering where in the world I'd be placing my iPad since I use ForeFlight quite often. With a glovebox option, I can store important items, such as snacks, backup handheld radio, flashlight, etc..
For mounting, I can place a ball joint mount on that side and have the iPad floating in front of the glovebox. It also serves as an in flight entertainment screen for the kid. ;-)
Initial deposit is submitted and it's looking like up to a 4 month lead time, which gives me time to finish up the fuselage and run some electrical wires.
Now that that's done, the hard part is deciding on an N number!
GARMIN G3X 10" SCREEN
GNX 375 NAVIGATOR
GAD 29 ARINC 429 INTERFACE
GTR 20 COM RADIO
GMC 507 AND 2 GSA 28 AUTOPILOT SERVOS
GAD 27 FLAP AND TRIM CONTROLLER
GEA 24 ENGINE MONITOR
GMA 245R BLUETOOTH AUDIO PANEL
DESCRIPTION OF WORK G5 BACKUP WITH BATTERY
2 - IBBS BACKUP BATTERIES
INSTALL AND CONNECTOR KITS
LASER ETCHED TOSTEN GRIPS
GAP 26 HEATED REGULATED PITOT
Harness, Rack and Panel
CUSTOM MADE PANEL,CUT, COAT, ETCH WITH GLOVEBOX
PANEL DESIGN AND BUILD
AVIONICS AND ELECTRICAL WIRE HARNESS
The next pile of metal on the inventory shelves was the back seat. I inventoried everything and laid out the parts I need, from there it was just a matter of clecoing everything together. I started with the seat back rests and will do the bottoms next along with the seat brackets.
The only issue I had was the bottom angled channel where some holes didn’t line up. I’ll just drill new ones since the holes are offset about half way.
A difficult piece to put on was the last channel that fits between the head rests. Since it has to fit over the skins, it was a tight fit. Had to use a rubber mallet to get the holes cleco’d into place!
With the goal of clearing some inventory from the shelves, I picked up some components that were relatively quick to install.
The flap actuator is held on by two bolts, so I placed it in there and temporarily secured it.
I am having some friction issues on the control tubes while secured in the frame.. will need to trim the brackets that hold the bushings a bit to make them move without much effort. Saving that exercise for another day.
For the heater, I measured and drilled the mounting rivnut locations. Since I was drilling through the firewall, I measured and checked at least 5 times! Didn’t want an errant hole to plug up..
Drilling the 32mm hole for the bushings was made easy with a metric step drill bit I found on Amazon.
Once done I just pulled the hoses through and secured the hose connector with some hose clamps.
From there, I moved on to the front seat rails. Only a few components there, so I secured in place with clecos.
I’ll be getting the missing rudder pedal bolts from Aircraft Spruce tomorrow, so I figure I cleco them in place. I’ll connect the pushrods and rudder cables as soon as the bolts arrive.
The next stack of parts on the inventory shelf was the heater. This also has the newer style instructions, so it is relatively easy to follow.
After inventorying the parts and having enough to proceed, I went ahead and connected the brackets and hose to the heater. You have to cut the hose to fit in the valve, while trying to keep the hose ends parallel and the same length.
The instructions call for creating some decent sized holes (32mm diameter for the hoses) in the firewall, have to get a metric step drill bit. Should come in shortly from Amazon.
The Rudder pedals came with relatively few parts, so I thought this would be a quick one.
Unfortunately, I’m missing some AN4 bolts that hold the stops in place.
While I wait for that, I’ll be priming the bottom plate and working on removing any friction from the bushings.
There were 2 points where there was still some adhesive left from the tape when these were powder coated. Some acetone made some quick work of getting rid of that and there was much better movement in the pedals.
I am working on reducing the inventory of parts on my shelf before I really dive into the fuselage. I decided to start on the seats and it was nice since there are the newer style color instructions available.
Putting the parts together for the seat was pretty straightforward, the only issue was that I only had enough parts for one seat. Missing some countersunk metric screws and a particular sized bolt for the seat mechanism.
I got as far as I could and will just order the missing parts online. For now, I just put a list of missing items in a bag with other loose items and will be able to quickly finish it up when the parts arrive.
I figured I was about to be finished with the right wing and wanted a better wing rack to place it on.
I decided to build one off the EAA instructions with some spare wood that I had in the garage. It’s not my best work, but it’s sturdy!
Also, I was down in LA for work last week and was able to stop by The Airplane Factory in Torrance.
Always good to see the guys and Barry was kind enough to take me out to lunch.
While I was there, I met several other folks building or helping build Sling 4’s and TSi’s. Love talking shop! Some great advice and tips for future steps in the build process.
One thing I saw there was a parts board, which is perfect for making it easy to find small parts in the inventory! I previously just had all the parts in plastic storage containers, but often had to dig through them to find that ‘one’ missing part.
That was much easier to build, just screwed in some small wood planks on the side and stapled the parts to the board. Viola!
Next up on the right wing is to place the landing lights. In the QuickBuild, they supplied 3 wires for the landing light.
I assumed that this meant there should be an inner and outer landing light positive line and a shared negative line.
I first had to determine which lines led to ones on the other end, pretty easy to do with a battery and voltage meter.
Once the lines were identified I used my label maker to print out labels for each.
I then soldered the negative line to 2 other wires and covered with heat shrink.
Placing the lights took some time as the angle isn’t that easy for holding everything in place and fitting the screws.
It all eventually fit after some finagling.
So I riveted the leading edge while the Aileron was braced and flat on the table. However, when I put it on the wing, I was disappointed to see there was about a 3-4mm deflection.
I went ahead and drilled out the rivets and reached out to Jean if he had any tips.
Of course he did!
He suggested doing one rivet at a time, starting in the center of the Aileron.
With 1 rivet done in the center, I was still able to adjust for any twisting, but it was a bit more difficult to move.
I then reamed the holes to the left and right of the center rivet and riveted those holes.
I checked alignment again and it was still spot on. I continued the process of reaming out and riveting from the center and the Aileron stayed aligned!
Once that was done, I fit it to the wing and ran into the issue of the outer rivets rubbing against the wing bracket. Jean said that sometimes the wing brackets are a bit under bent. The real fix is to bend the wing bracket inward.
However, after a few hard pushes, there wasn't anyway I was going to be able to budge that thing.
So, I settled on adding 2 regular sized washers in between the aileron and wing bracket to allow for adequate spacing.
Now it moves quite well!
I measured the aileron movement and it looks like I have approximately 26 degrees deflection in either direction.
With the help of the wife, I was able to move the wing to the table.
The garage is starting to feel like a game of Tetris as the space is a bit limited. Not the biggest deal, but I am sure looking forward to moving to a bigger house next year in Colorado.
The flaps and ailerons went on easily. I checked the alignment and had no major issues since I kept the leading edge unriveted. Once I felt the alignment was good, I placed the rivets in and started popping them from the center of the flap/aileron outward to avoid any inadvertent twisting.
The Ailerons did have a slight twist toward the tip of the wing, so I had to de-rivet the leading edge.
Jean suggested to line up the Aileron on the wing, then rivet each hole one by one and check alignment on the way.
I also placed the pushrods in the wing and secured them with the bolts. I then tested the maneuverability of the components and the flaps had no issue.
The Aileron, however, seemed to catch at the end of the wingtip where the brackets rub against the rivets. Looking at either bending the brackets or adding spacers.
I then test fit the wing tip and discovered the form factor was narrower than the wing’s thickness.
Not knowing any good tricks for expanding the fiberglass tip to the form and allow for match drilling/riveting, I reached out to Jean and he recommended a great idea.
Grab a styrofoam block and press it against the end of the wing to get the outline. Then, cut out the foam and glue it in place in the fiberglass wing tip to get the right form.
Ill be able to drill and rivet once the fiberglass tip is lined up with the metal.
With the great advice from Phillip on locating the AN4-16A bolts provided in the finishing kit, I was able to finish up the Ailerons.
I am quite surprised how much hardware there is in the finishing kit, really.
When in doubt, look in there! That’s where a whole host of nuts and bolts live..
My father-in-law was visiting this weekend and he was interested in the process.
We split up the tasks of clecoing, reaming, putting in the rivets and popping the rivets. It was quite nice to have an extra set of hands and made quick work of the Ailerons!
A couple things to note, the bar that goes inside the leading edge of the Aileron was straight, however the rivet holes that hold it in place to the skin were not. I tried clecoing those holes and the whole skin had a pretty bad bend. Instead of using those holes, I'll just drill out new ones to make sure it is held in place with the Aileron perfectly aligned.
Also, the brackets at the edge of the Aileron are only depicted on the first page, but not in the step by step page.
Other than that, it went pretty smoothly!
Since I was blocked on the Ailerons from the missing bolt, I decided to turn the page to the next item - the flaps.
As I laid everything out, I finally had all the parts for the ribs, bolts, etc.
However, it looks like I received two of the right side flap skins. Doh!
I put in an order for the left side flap skin with the factory. They are estimating a shipment to come in at the end of the month. At least I can press forward with the left side and get the ribs all done for both.
I cleaned, scuffed and primed the ribs and skin and started assembling the parts. Most of the flap ribs were pretty straight forward.
However, there was one rib that had a 2 step process - there is an overlapping design that would make the rivet holes inaccessible if done all in one step.
Once I figured that out, things were quite smooth.
I fitted the ribs in the skins, cleco'd, temporarily fitted to the wing and checked alignment.
Everything seemed to be in order, so I started riveting the skins to the ribs, leaving the leading edge unriveted per instructions for the final alignment check.
There was an issue with riveting the flap skin, it seems one of the brackets was blocking the rivet. I had to shorten the rivet to get it in.
As soon as I get the other flap skin and the missing bolts for the Ailerons, I'll fit everything on the wing and do the final alignment check with all the parts.