Today we were lucky to have sunshine and temperatures around sixty degrees. With a cold front approaching we had to hurry to get the landing gear fittings installed. We tack welded the last fitting in right as the temperatures started to drop. Jim notched the seat back so the seat snaps into place.
We also received two of our engine cases from the machine shop.
Today we started drilling holes in our landing gear fittings using our drill guide.
We put brass tubing in the 1/4" holes in the guide allowing us to use a 7/32" drill bit to drill the holes. After drilling the holes we will ream them to 1/4". Our drill guide works okay but we feel improvements could be made. I told Jim that the landing gear fittings would be the most difficult part of our build, now he believes me.
Today started early with heavy rain and me having to service both of my sump pumps to keep my shop and carport from flooding. I almost decided not to go to the EAA meeting and Jim's to work on our project. My wife said I should go so I went.
I drove the hour and fifteen minutes in heavy rain to Spinks airport for the Chapter 280 meeting. I haven't attended a 280 meeting for a year due to my job at Pepsi.
I quit Pepsi a month ago and was able to attend today's meeting. It was a great meeting. One member spoke about his human powered aircraft and another about the Odyssey project being built at our chapter hangar. Everyone had a great time and the hamburgers were great at usual, especially if you were as hungry as I was.
I also ended up volunteering to do the welding for the prototype Odyssey that we hope to bring to Oshkosh this year. It is a very interesting project and I'm excited to be involved with it.
After the meeting Jim and I were able to make good progress on his project. In the last post, we were having problems drilling through the landing gear fittings.
This was due to poor quality drill bits and using a die grinder to drill at too high RPM's. Jim found a right angle drill at Northern Tool and since only the display model was left he was able to buy it for twenty six dollars. I went to CDC products in Richardson Texas and bought some high quality cobalt drill bits. With Jim's new drill and the new drill bits we were able to drill sixteen holes with one drill bit.
We then stepped up the holes from 7/32" to a "C" sized drill bit. This allowed a 1/4" step reamer to glide right through our fittings.
We spent a lot of time on these landing gear fittings over the last year. We made several modifications to them and at times were very frustrating for the both of us.
Tonight when we were reaming the holes and everything went smooth, and everything ended in perfect alignment, it was very gratifying. It was the perfect ending to a great day.
We had another great EAA chapter 280 meeting today. Our chapter president Jim announced that we have acquired a Schweizer sailplane that was once owned by Neil Armstrong. After the meeting we took it easy due to the heat. We did some welding on the landing gear components. We also were comparing a pair of Zenith carburetors. We acquired both of these from Sun-N-Fun over the last two years.
The larger one is for the full VW, the smaller one is for the half VW
Yesterday after our EAA chapter 280 meeting, we made some progress on our landing gear. We're working on shock strut attach fittings.
We used 1/2" electrical conduit to make mock up solid struts. I got home a 2:30 am.
Today we fit and tacked in the lower left shock strut attach fitting. Jim cut out the four shock strut attach fitting doublers. Jim bought a new set of cylinders and pistons. He got all four cylinders, pistons with rings and wrist pins for two hundred and sixteen dollars. Try doing that with a Lycoming, Continental or Rotax.
Today was cold and certainly not the best conditions for welding. We used a propane torch to pre and post heat the welding. My welding was not going the best for me today, I've been working a lot and was very tired. We welded the doublers on to the right lower shock strut attach fitting, then I decided to stop until next time when I'm feeling better. Jim cut some mock up axles from 5/8" tubing and fit the wheels with new bearings.
Jim has been working with Russ on the Odyssey project. Everyone liked the fiberglass seat Jim made so much that they decided to use his seat as a plug to make a female mold. They then produced a new seat from vacuum infused carbon fiber. We now have a nice carbon fiber seat that weighs four pounds, and a very nice mold to produce more. We have had a lot of interest in the seats and need to make about six for everyone so far.
Today we welded the last two doublers onto the left shock strut attach fitting, and did some finish welding on both landing gear struts. Jim notched the new carbon fiber seat to fit into the seat back gussets.
We tried out the new seat, it's great. At the end of the day we had to put the mock up crank case on the firewall. It's funny how easy it is to put the engine on.
Today we finished welding the two aft landing gear, wing strut attach fittings. This was some difficult welding taking all day to complete. I dropped and damaged my #2 welding tip a few weeks ago.
Yesterday I bought a new #2 tip at Harbor Freight for ten dollars. It fit my standard Victor torch and worked great.