Badland F2 - Peer E. - Woodland Hills, CA

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Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
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86
The timing was perfect, in that Chris finished my wings and was ready to deliver them not long after I had finished covering and reassembling. The plane was finally on it's own gear for good, and I was ready for the next step.

He delivered them for a very fair price, and I was the first recipient of his "builder's assistance program", since he stuck around and helped me assemble and fit the first wing. While this could be accomplished by one person, having his assistance was an incredible value. It was also nice to get a second pair of eyes on the work I had done so far.

Once the wing was fitted, it was time to make sure it would fit back in the garage. No problems there, with the rearranging of work benches and a few of the other toys, I still have (barely) enough room to prep the other wing, as well as the flaperons and jury struts.

After he left, I pulled the wing to add the spar root reinforcements, and tidy things up a bit...deburring, filing and sanding. I enlisted the assistance of a neighbor to refit the wing, and called it a day.

one_wing.jpg

wing_pivot.jpg

in_garage.jpg
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
Messages
86
Since my last post, I've managed to mount one wing, utilizing Chris and his "builder assistance program"...he made the trip out to deliver both wings (and flaperons) and helped me fit one. Once fitted and after he had left, I hung one flaperon and finished all the riveting and gluing that still needed to happen. I also managed to fit the jury strut on one side. Everything is loosely fitted for the moment, as it will all need to be disassembled again for covering.

flaperon.jpgjury_strut_fitted.jpgjury_strut_2.jpg

Once this was completed, the sealing started. A lesson in patience for sure. I opted to brush on rather than spray, to try to keep things tidy. Three coats later, I was ready to move on to something a little more pleasant...cutting trim pieces for the flaperon hinges. Tin snips and a drill bit worked well to shape the pieces, then some industrial adhesive and clamps to set them in place. They should make a nice bonding surface for the fabric. They were fitted to allow the flaperon to fold upward completely without making contact.

flap_plate.jpg

The last few days, I decided to tackle something I had intended to save until the very end. But, since I will be assisted by Chris again in the near future, and he has aircraft scales, I wanted to get as much of the "finished weight" into the plane as I could. So I decided to go ahead and work on the instrument panel. I've had all of the bits and pieces sitting on my desk next to my work computer, and it's probably the part I've been most interested in seeing in the plane. So I went ahead and tackled it. I'm a big fan of "steam gauges", so that's the route I decided to go. I think I'll have some room to play with in terms of weight; last time Chris was here with the scales we weighed all the components separately and came it all came in at 230 pounds - less than I expected. I figure the wing covering will add another ten pounds or so, but there's still some wiggle room there.

Panel_2.jpgPanel_1.jpg

And yes, I DID make airplane sounds when I sat in it...
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
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As the number of small projects I can still tackle without the second wing mounted begin to dwindle, I figured I'd try to carve myself some flaperon end trim pieces. I figured the flaperon end could use a bit of sprucing up, and this is all in line with "find one project, no matter how small, to accomplish each day."


Flap_end.jpg

I ordered up some balsa wood and dug out the old X-acto set. I used 1x3" sheets and trimmed them down with a saw, and then a blade to the outline of the rib.

Flap_carving.jpg

A foam sanding block and some sandpaper did the rest, and they are ready to be sealed. I may "cap" the holes after installation, but haven't decided yet.

Flap_ends_finished.jpg

I think they'll look pretty good when covered....assuming I can do a better job with the Oratex than I did on my bends and curves in the past...

flap_end_mounted.jpg
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
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The next thing I decided to tackle was a PTT for my control stick.

I had an old generic PTT that I had opened up a long time ago, and was discouraged to find four wires inside, versus the two I was expecting. After "chasing" the wires with an ohm-meter, I couldn’t figure out how I could make it work with my two pronged momentary switch, which I had already purchased.

Old_PTT_and_Momentary.jpg

I had bought another generic push-to-talk from Aircraft Spruce, but didn’t want to simply Velcro it somewhere in the cockpit. I wanted it on top of the stick so I wouldn’t have to take my hands off the controls. Also, (not gonna lie) I figured it would look cool.

Velcroing it to the top of the stick like a trigger was an option, but I have a feeling I’d forget it was there, rest my finger on it and have my mic open for the entire flight.

I decided to take a risk and open up the new switch, figuring it was a loss of $20 if it didn’t work out. I was happy to find just two wires inside.

PTT_Switch_open.jpg

I did some cutting and trimming of the wires and soldered the two tiny tabs to it. The connectors mounted with tiny screws, which I fumbled with for a while. Once connected, I used small pieces of heat shrink tubing to make sure the screws wouldn’t back out, nor make contact with the inside of the aluminum control stick.

Drilling the grip was easy enough; it’s a harder plastic, so it was easy to create a nice round hole with a drilled pilot hole, then a Dremel. I fed the cord through the tube, then the grip, and connected everything before drawing the cord back while pushing the grip with the new push-button down onto the tube. It seated firmly, and was ready to install.

PTT_done.jpg

PTT_top.jpg

I plugged it into the radio and headset and tested it. The "transmit" icon showed up on my radio screen, and it seems like it will work just fine. I'll need to test it with a second radio, when I have access to one. SO far the cockpit is looking nice and tidy, I think.

Stick_installed.jpg

I now need to find a place to mount my handheld radio. I need to mount it where I can keep all of the cords out of the way of any flight controls, so I am leaning toward the right edge of the panel. Also, I noticed that, when weighing my fuselage, the scale under the left wheel weighed in at roughly six pounds heavier than the right. I am guessing this is because most of the controls are oriented to the left side of the cockpit. I’d like to balance this out a bit with the weight of the radio on the right. I’m probably being a bit OCD, but why not…

I guess now I have a new project – making a mount for the radio. I’d like to incorporate the belt clip so it’s quick to install and remove…more to come!
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
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With the recent rains and some sense of restlessness, it was time to tackle the radio mount. I want something that's not "permanent", should I find a better location for the radio down the line. Nor did I want to drill holes in any other parts. Keep it simple, and make it "reversible".

A run to Home Depot scored a hobby board of 1/4" thick Poplar. I don't know much about wood, but it was nice and clear of imperfections, and seemed like a good hard wood for my project. My intent was to have it fit between the tubes behind the panel, so some measurements were taken and a rough plan formulated.

radio_wood.jpg

In retrospect, I should have run the grain in the other direction, but no worries - some added reinforcement would take care of that. I cut out the pieces, and did some careful trimming to align the forward tube, which runs diagonally. Fit, trim, fit trim each side piece separately. They finally fit snug, and were assembled with Loctite structural adhesive. I ended up with this.

radio_rough.jpg

It's a bit of a puzzle to fit into place, and requires a few changes in angle and direction until it seats behind the panel. Once seated, it will be held in place with a zip tie or velcro strip around the tapered tubes.

radio_glued.jpg

The radio also fits into the mount with very little play, which is nice.

onradio.jpg

It got a coat of paint to seal it, and reinforcements were cut out of .016 6061 T6 aluminum scrap I had left over to fit perpendicular to the grain.

radio_reinforcement.jpg

Once the glue is dry, I'll need to test fit it a final time. It may need further trimming (and resealing), but I don't expect it to. Pictures of it mounted to come...
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
Messages
86
And installed...the mount is nice and solid, but there is a bit of play with the radio itself...sleeving the clip on the radio itself with some inner tube rubber should fix it,. as well as help to damp any vibration. I hopped in to test the "fit", and it's out of the way of my knee, so all good there. And (of course) while in the seat, I made airplane sounds...again.

Mount_in_rear.jpg

Mount_in_front.jpg

Radio_installed.jpg
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
Messages
86
Chris made it back to LA, and he and I were able to fit the other wing. We also managed to attach the flaperons and cables, with a temporary extension. (He took some measurements and will ship the proper fittings.) I also managed to finish the jury strut for the new wing, glue and rivet the spar attach point doublers, fit the butt ribs and pretty much prep everything for covering (with the exception of the pitot tube).

The next round of Oratex has been ordered and should ship within the next few days.

Wings deployed:
Wings_Deployed.jpg

And folded:
Wings_Folded.jpg

I figured this was a good place to call it a day. We had gotten a lot done. I had asked Chris to bring his scales, as I was pretty curious to see what the weight would be with the plane so far along. I threw whatever was left to add to the total (windshield, some brackets, the pitot tube and fittings and some nuts and bolts) onto the seat, and we rolled it onto the scales and got it close to level.

Scale.jpg

Not too shabby. The Oratex should add about eight more pounds to this total. Still well under 254, so there's that.

In the meantime, I had gotten rough moment arm measurements from the datum for the weight and balance some time back. (I say "rough" because I don't have any level ground nearby to be fully accurate.) But I figured an approximation would do for the moment, just to satisfy my curiosity.

I had also created an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the CG for me. I took the weight numbers (also not entirely accurate for each wheel, since the tail of the plane sat just above level).

The rough calculations (without wings and flaperons covered) puts my CG at the very rear edge of the allowable range. I'd rather have it middle or toward the front of the range, so I may have to figure out how to address this later.

Of course, the CG may register quite differently once the wings are covered, I measure the moment arms more accurately (and get my hands on another set of scales). I'm not sure how much a pound or two added to the nose will help (the cowl, for instance), but I'm hoping it makes a reasonable difference, being in front of the datum (which is the firewall in this case).

In the meantime (while I wait for the Oratex), I also built a small dolly for the tailwheel. Having had to move it in and out of the garage by lying under the tail and steering the tail wheel by hand was...unpleasant. The caster wheels on the dolly should make this a bit easier going forward, since most of the work on the plane from this point on will require it to be outside the "hangar".

Tailwheel_Dolly.jpg

The wings still swing when I'm moving the plane, so the next project is to weld some brackets to hold them in place.

More to come!
 

Peer Ebbighausen

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Mar 26, 2019
Messages
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Wow. Five weeks since my last update. A lot has happened since then. After assembling the jury strut on the left wing, it was time to take the wings back off for covering. I opted to do one at a time, mostly due to limited work space. As it was, the car and plane would typically get rolled out of the garage to work, then back in at the end of the session. After several hours hunched over both wings, I can't recommend a work table enough, if you have the space for it. The right wing ended up with a few small wrinkles, as I expected, but I seem to have gotten better with the left wing - almost entirely wrinkle free!

wing_leaned_up.jpg

Covering the left wing was a bit more complicated, since the pitot hardware needed to be installed prior to covering the wing completely. I covered the bottom first, then added the pitot mount. (I believe the plans call for the pitot tube to be glued to a rib, but I opted to hastily fabricate something.)

Pitot_mount.jpg

I fitted the pitot tube from the top and marked the Oratex underneath. The hole was melted with a soldering iron, and the pitot glued into place with structural adhesive. Once the adhesive had dried, I added an Oratex reinforcement around the hole.

The tube was routed to the wing root, held in place with 1" pieces of tubing and zip-ties. At the root I opted to have the tubing exit the wing as far rearward as possible, so a minimal excess of tubing is needed to fold the wing. As it sits, when the wing is deployed the tube "retracts" nicely into the wing.

Routed below the false ribs.
Pitottube_in_wing.jpg

Pitot_Buttrib_routing.jpg

Everything moves smoothly and folds properly. The flaperon cables need a little bit of guidance during the last few degrees of fold to keep from getting pinched between the wing and the fuselage, but aside from that, they fold nicely.

With the wings refitted, I finished routing the ASI tubing down to the back of the panel. Looks clean enough as the tube follows the door frame. I'm not sure if it will need to be moved once the windshield is fitted, but I've also considered running it through the aluminum stock that frames the windshield. I believe it's the same material used for trailing edges.

pitot_cable.jpg

With the help of a neighbor, I refitted the second wing, grabbed a torque wrench, and tightened down all of the nuts and bolts. Once both wings were fitted, back into the garage it went. Unfortunately I didn't have time to deploy both wings and see how it looked, as I had prior obligations. That moment will have to wait.

two_wings.jpg

The to-do list gets shorter and shorter. I still need to cover and install the flaperons, make the windshield, and attach some of the wiring and sensors for the instrumentation. I still need to weld up some brackets to hold the folded wings in place, but realized that I can't do so until I have the flaperons attached, as it will limit how far they are able to "tuck in".

However, I'm happy to say the parts bin has very few items remaining in it!
 
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