Ryan ST Light Sport – Nick Pfannenstiel – Brighton, Colorado

Discussion in 'Member Project Logs' started by 32fordboy, Feb 13, 2017.

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  1. Feb 9, 2018 #21

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    The tie rods were ordered earlier this week. Here you can see the simple but effective method for adjusting and measuring. The mock-up wire is simple mechanic's wire, and the adjustment bolts are from the local hardware store. The trick is to let the wires stretch over night before adjusting/measuring, otherwise, you'll be chasing adjustment back and forth as the wires move. The mock rigging process took only a few hours and was very simple. The wire lengths were identical left/right...a good sign of a squared airplane!

    Edit: we also made sure the wings were hovering over the table to protect them from falling to the floor if the wires broke over night.
     

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  2. Feb 23, 2018 #22

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    Nothing too interesting has gone on lately, just a lot of small things. Welding up wing lugs, adding some missing bits to the control system torque tube, making a new instrument panel, etc. One big change for this factory demonstrator was pushing the rear windshield forward roughly 2" and opening the cockpit hole. I liked the old cockpit hole, but as someone pointed out, if they can't fit in it, they won't buy a kit! Rest assured, the cockpit of this 95% replica is roomier than the 100% scale original ST...by quite a bit. That's okay, anyway, as the visual difference is truly negligible. The photo and color plates below show the new cockpit opening.

    We are currently taking a vote on the color scheme...military or civilian? Right now the race is a close one with no clear winner.
     

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  3. Apr 9, 2018 #23

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    Where to start? So much has been going on lately...most of it small and not update-worthy, but we have a few things for you. First, the interior has been painted a light gray...almost white. Hopefully it'll balance well with the dark upholstery.

    The instrument panels were painted with black wrinkle paint, like the factory plane. The front panel now has three segments, just like the factory ST. A Belite 3-in-one gauge (airspeed, altimeter, and VSI) fits very nicely in the left segment, the right is blank, and the center is still the baggage door. So clean a look!

    In addition, the controls are now installed, as are seat harnesses. There are two baggage locations. One is MASSIVE and sits above the finally-installed fuel tank (hardware needs finalized). The other baggage location is similar to the factory location behind the front seat.

    Notice the transponder case and paper tray ahead of the control stick.

    We also started cutting aluminum on the CNC. It cuts so well! But that is a post for a different day.

    Also, by request, here are photos of the instrument panels installed. To hold the radio, voltmeter, and other things, there will be a smaller, less visible panel tucked under the rear panel. The front baggage door will eventually be sealed with weatherstrip for a cleaner look. Notice the large size of the forward baggage. Also note the instrument access hole on the rear wall of the rear baggage (baggage door behind the front seat, access panel removed). The photo is at a bad angle, but this access hole allows easy instrument maintenance. For kits, the suggested location of the rear panel will be 2" forward of what is shown here. That'll give a roomier feel with easier entry/exit for people with longer legs.

    The rubber strip around the cockpit opening will eventually be covered by the distressed brown cockpit combing.
     

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  4. Apr 27, 2018 #24

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    I was finally able to get the wing walk on. We ended up using honeycomb aluminum for the ribs. Mainly for manufacturing purposes, but the honeycomb also gives better spar support compared to stamped ribs and allows us to ditch the heavy plywood wing walk that Ryan used. It's amazing how strong it is! I weigh just over 200 lbs (something I'm "working on") and can walk just a few inches shy of the trailing edge before the ribs start to flex at all.

    Hopefully covering begins in the evenings next week. With Oshkosh coming up, I'm starting to panic a bit at the slow process. Of course, we only get one shot at making something our customers will be proud to own, so better slow than hurried.

    Nick
     

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  5. May 19, 2018 #25

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    It has been a while since the last big update. Most of the work done recently has been on the wings, though I also pushed the rear instrument panel forward and added a new radio and transponder panel.

    As for the wings, the most daunting task was gluing the cap strips to the aluminum honeycomb ribs. The process was actually easy! It was somewhat messy, though. The whole process can be done in a day, maybe a day and a half.

    Right now, I am getting the right wing panel built in the mad dash to Oshkosh, along with covering the stabilizers as time allows in the evenings. The upholstery is also being done at the time.

    There is a lot to do, so I better get back at it. Just wanted you all to know the project is going well!
    Nick
     

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  6. Jun 15, 2018 #26

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    Well, I'm a believer! As long as the Stewart Systems paint holds up, I'll be using it again. I added the full amount of flattener to the EkoPoly Premium. This gives the plane a very original feel with a slight sheen. We'd call this "eggshell" in the automotive world. Without the flattener, the paint is crazy glossy, and able to take a cut/polish...maybe on the next plane. I got myself all nervous while researching waterborne paints, but the color sprayed out very nicely. You just have to follow directions and avoid getting in a hurry.

    There are things I'd do different next time, but I'm happy with the results, particularly for a first go-round with covering. The ST-L instruction manual will include covering tips (non-brand specific) so builders can try and avoid my mistakes.

    As you can see, the voters picked the yellow PT-20 military scheme. Please excuse the disaster of a shop...it'll probably look like this until the week before AirVenture!
     

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  7. Jun 15, 2018 #27

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    A forum member requested that I share my experience using Stewart Systems. A few things to keep in mind before we get started:

    1. I am in no way affiliated with Stewart Systems. I LOVE the product so far, but it was just sprayed this week, so longevity is unknown.
    2. This is NOT an instruction manual. I am not a chemist. Not being employed by Stewart Systems, what follows should be taken with a grain of salt…I may be wrong in my processes! Nobody can ensure the product is properly used…except you, the user.
    3. I used flattening agent in the paint. Without the agent, the paint is super glossy!
    4. This is my first-ever cover job.
    5. I come from the hot rod industry. In the local industry, we avoid waterborne paints like the plague…presumably because the learning curve and new equipment setups are too costly to be practical…until the government steps in and mandates it like they have in a few states.
    6. The Stewart Systems online videos seem to be out of date. USE THE WRITTEN MANUAL! There are a lot of good tips in the videos, but some seem to be out of date.
    7. Keep the fabric damp if you plan on using EkoFill to brush INTO the weave. The idea is to encapsulate the weave with the EkoFill, giving a secure bond. Stewart Systems has apparently changed from brushing in EkoFill to brushing in EkoBond (like they used to). If the EkoFill holds up, it will remain my personal preference. Talk to Stewart Systems about the change before you select a method.
    8. When I purchased my covering materials, Stewart Systems was recommending only Superflite fabric for their products. Please make sure you are ordering whatever fabric they recommend when you buy your supplies.
    9. Do research! When doing research, you’ll read a LOT of bad things about every single paint brand. People are far more likely to complain publicly than they are to praise publicly. For ever complaint you hear, there are likely 100 happy customers with no problems whatsoever. Read about failures. It will scare the daylights out of you. But understanding WHY things fail will significantly increase your chances of great success.
    10. If you try and spray this stuff without following the directions, you will create a mess you don’t like. And it WILL be your fault. This is very serious stuff when you consider the time and cost involved.
    11. Stewart Systems does indeed change their product line and instructions every now and then. This is normal! We have to deal with it in the automotive world all the time. What you are seeing (in my opinion) is a company that not only wants to make things easier for their customers, but also wants to perfect their product, bringing it to the peak of the market. This is a very good thing.
    12. You must sand surfaces to get a good mechanical bond. Do not rely on the product to stick to a smooth surface. It likely will not. This is normal for most paints. Some paints can rely strictly on a chemical bond. I don’t trust chemical bonds over dried/cured substrate…EVER.
    13. Know the difference between “waterborne” and “water-based”. Do not ever shake these materials. Bubbles will build up and will flow right from the gun and onto your parts. Normal bubbles are very fine and they will likely flow out, but once shaken, the bubbles are unmanageable.
    14. Follow all safety precautions! It is easy to get stupid. Don’t get stupid. Your body will regret it.
    15. Spraying the top coats takes time. Tell your spouse. Tell your kids. Come to an agreement. Lock the booth door so Wingus and Dingus from next door don’t walk in, getting contaminants all over your paintjob. Turn the phone off and COMMIT. You get one shot at this.
    16. Every single comment above and below is my personal opinion based on my personal observations. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for the Stewart Systems manual and tech support. Their tech support is amazing, by the way.

    Okay, now for the report. I’ve never covered before. I’ve never written a project report for covering before. Please forgive me if some of this seems random with nor real direction:

    There are certain things I’d surely do different on my next plane. For instance, I’d iron more. Get those air pockets and bubbles down before brushing on the EkoFill. They can be difficult to see, which is where I made my mistake. You can iron after putting on the EkoFill, but it softens up so you have to be more careful.

    Next time I’ll also stitch closer to the ribs…or something. Graphite corrodes aluminum. My tail feathers are aluminum. It seems the standard for pre-punching stitch holes is to use a pencil. I did that, but was afraid of rubbing through the etch primer on the ribs. My fear was that if a bit of corrosion occurred on a rib edge, it would eventually crack. So, I pre-punched the holes out just a bit. A seemingly microscopic bit. What happened is the stitch, when pulled tight, puckered the fabric ever so slightly, leaving a bubble effect under the finishing tapes. It is something I’ll have to attempt to iron down.

    I picked round stitching cord since I was after a vintage look. The round cord doesn’t protrude through the surface tapes as much as I thought it would. If you’re after a smooth look, go for the flat cord. I don’t think I ever will.

    The knot used for stitching was the Staggerwing knot. I loved it. It was super easy to learn and VERY fast in practice. There are a few videos about it online and the Stewart Systems video, by far, is the easiest to learn from. I watched several other videos. They talked about yank left and up, yank right, pull the cord that feels tight, spin around and clap your hands, jump twice, and the stitch is done…some videos just complicate things.

    Also, plan your stitch locations very well. I went with a standard 2.5” spacing on my tail feathers. The result was a bit of interference with underlying structure. Now, I knew a bit of interference would be an issue. I just figured I’d bend the needle as required to dodge things. It was possible, but now I have a slightly crooked stitch on each horizontal, and could have saved a lot of time by planning better.

    Backtracking a bit, make sure you start your stitches from a particular datum point for a clean, even look. For example, I started the first stitch 2-1/2” from the outer edge of the horizontal spar. The spar is straight, so everything is even. Had I started from the curved leading edge, all of the stitches would have been uneven and--for a lack of a better word--ugly.

    Make sure to clean rib stitching residue (wax) with alcohol.

    Jumping forward a bit. Rib tapes first, THEN perimeter tapes. The look is so nice.

    Once the fabric covering was done, I brushed in the EkoFill after spraying the fabric with distilled water to dampen it. I didn’t realize how fast the moisture evaporates out of the fabric. The moisture is supposedly to help the EkoFill wick into the weave, where it can get a nice bond with the fabric. Luckily, I realized to point of brushing the EkoFill and really got good penetration. Unluckily, I didn’t realize the excessive brushing and dry fabric would cause lots of air bubbles. Brush them out and sand them after the first sprayed coat of EkoFill. That’s all I could do. It worked well, but was time consuming. Had I kept the fabric properly dampened and watched for evaporation, the bubbles would have been far less of a problem. This was only on one surface, so I adjusted for the rest and things were much smoother.

    It is important to point out what Stewart Systems calls a “cross coat”. Here in the automotive world, you spray a coat, let it flash, spray another, let it flash, etc. Once you have about 4 coats of color and 5 coats of clear, you’re done. The Stewart Systems is different. They spray one direction, let it flash, spray 90 degrees to that, and let it dry. Once dry, they call that a single cross-coat. Tricky terminology for someone who is used to spraying other things. Read their manual for more. It is important to know that their topcoats use regular terminology (at the time of writing this).
    I used white EkoPrime to make sure my topcoat coverage would be acceptable. If you try putting color right over the EkoFill, it will take more coats of color. More coats = more weight and more likely to crack.

    My airplane has bolt holes through the fabric. I burned these holes with a red-hot 1/8” rod after EkoFill but before EkoPrime. My logic was that I didn’t want smoke contaminants on the inside of the fabric before the EkoFill went on, but also wanted the EkoPrime to help seal the edges of the hole after it was burned. It worked like a charm. A 3/16” rod was used to burn the drain holes on the bottom of the surfaces. One hole per rib. An FAA covering guidebook I found online says drain grommets aren’t needed if the hole goes through two layers of fabric. The drain holes were located over the perimeter tapes, so it worked perfectly! WORD OF WARNING: when burning holes, do NOT accidentally burn through the opposing surface!!!! Be careful!!!!

    I decided on AN Yellow for a topcoat. Apparently this new(er) EkoPoly Premium is far different than the EkoPoly from a few years ago. It now has what I assume to be a catalyst (contact Stewart Systems for accurate info). Catalysts are a very good thing in paint. They increase the paint’s ability to bond. They increase longevity, durability, and sprayability. And they sand/polish far better than a non-catalyzed paint. I absolutely LOVE this Eko Poly Premium. I mixed entirely by weight (get a good painters scale!), since my Ford #4 viscosity cup must have been something entirely different…something that didn’t work anywhere near the way it should. Mixing by weight worked perfectly. PLEASE NOTE: if you decide to add a flattening agent, it changes the mix ratios a bit. The appropriate mixing instructions are on the bottle of flattening agent.

    I noticed it does take a bit of time between coats compared to automotive paints. Follow the manual and understand when a part is ready for the next coat. Do NOT rely solely on the clock. It will not work. I waited for the paint to tack up before the next coat. This is the moment when paint will no longer transfer to the back of your knuckle..but before the paint looses tackiness. If you spray before the paint is ready, you run the extreme risk of solvent pop and runs. This is normal of all paints! If you put the next coat on after the previous coat loses tackiness, there will be a weak chemical bond between coats. This can lead to peeling. If the surface loses tackiness, fight the temptation. Throw the remaining paint in the trash, sand the part once it dries, and spray again. Heed my warning!

    I used two spray guns for the color coat. The first was a Sata jet3000 with a 1.3 tip. It worked, but left more orange peel than a car guy like myself can tolerate. The second gun I used was an Iwata LPH-400 with a 1.4 (???) tip. Okay, so the tip has no size written on it. I’m told it’s a 1.4, but it looks like a 1.2…?

    Anyway, the Iwata LPH-400 hit the nail on the head! Material was turned on 1.5 turns, PSI with the trigger pulled was set to 25 psi. The fan pattern was opened up to 100%. Good golly did it work.

    As with any paint, there comes a time to call it. What do I mean? I got done with coat number three and had a few areas of poor color coverage (a common problem with yellow). The temperature was rising and things just didn’t feel right. So I called it. Done. Yeah, I could have done a 4th coat for full color coverage. But with the temperature rising, I didn’t want to risk solvent pop. I let the part cure and now I can scuff for another coat, I can spot-paint the areas in question with an airbrush, or I can live with them. But the important thing is that I know my paint isn’t going to solvent pop. If it ever does that, you have to sand all the way past the damaged area until the paint starts to “feather”.

    I should point out at this time that you need to be comfortable and you need to be able to see. Being able to see the droplets hitting the surface and flowing out is paramount to a good paintjob. Our spray booth has two windows. Great for visibility! NOT! Those windows were so overly bright, they had to be covered up. With my back to them, they mad life easy. Facing them was a different story and would have caused all kinds of problems, had I not stopped to cover them. Get plenty of artificial lighting…something you can control. Turn them off, turn them on, scoot them around the shop…do whatever you need to do so you can see.

    We are very fortunate to have a good two-phase compressor with a very large capacity. Stewart Systems says to limit air hose quick disconnects and anything that can reduce air flow. This is VERY important. You NEED airflow. Their manual states 90psi at the gun (consult their manual to confirm). Since our compressor is so large, we were able to get 100psi at the gun with far more quick-disconnects than they recommend. That was my experience. You mileage will almost certainly vary. To check the psi at the gun, all you have to do is look at the pressure regulator that I’m assuming hangs off the end of your gun. It should read no less than Stewart Systems recommends. To set the psi for spraying, pull the trigger in a safe direction. The air pressure will bleed off very rapidly, then slow a bit as it approaches its current setting. Once it stabilizes, you can adjust to the psi that works best for you (I’m assuming you tested this on a scrap already, right?). The psi that worked best for me was 25. This psi varies by gun and operator.

    Do NOT use a turbine gun setup. Stewart Systems mentions this several times in the manual. Heed their warning.

    Watch contaminants. This can be air, dust, cleaner residue, tack rag residue, etc. You must use a waterborne compatible tack rag and be VERY gentle with it. See their manual for more info. I did notice that the rubbing alcohol (use 91% only) tended to give me fisheyes in the filler and primer. It must have been residue I couldn’t wipe off completely. I learned that early and decide to handle my parts with “laboratory consciousness” after priming and before painting, negating the requirement to clean with alcohol. I used rubber gloves, worked in a consistently clean area, and used alcohol for cleaning only in certain areas of possible contamination seen during close inspection immediately prior to painting. Leave out the alcohol for cleaning AT YOUR OWN RISK. Don’t use EkoClean after EkoFill, either. It will etch the surface, as will any other water-based product.

    Air contaminants. Since we had so much psi to work with, I was able to put a bunch of driers and filters in the air line, including a filter right at the spray gun. Keeping the incoming air dry is VERY important. If you put a filter at your spray gun, be careful, as the weight of the air hose alone can be enough to break a cheap filter.

    It is also important to watch the air compressor. If it has been running all day, it is probably spitting out air that it too hot and humid. Keep the air cool!

    I also wet the floor down with water while blowing out the booth. The idea was to make sure any dust raised up during the pre-paint cleaning process was stuck to the floor. If you wet the floor during cleaning, it is at your own risk. It may adversely effect your paints. Colorado is very dry, so I just let the water evaporate most of the way before spraying. I made sure the booth filters were cleaned and installed during the cleaning process. Cleaning the booth took an hour.

    If you don’t want dust in your paint, do not skimp in the cleaning process. Even clean yourself off. Most dust in your paintjob will be from you. Wear gloves and the appropriate protective clothing to help. On that subject, trim your beard and keep it under your respirator. Watch for humidity building up in your respirator that may fall onto your paint. Sweat will build up in your gloves, too, so keep an eye on that. Keep water bottles on hand, as your respirator will dry you out as you paint.

    Booth air flow is important, too. It doesn’t take a lot. You need enough to help make the paint work, but not so much that it skins the top layer of paint over before the underlying layers have time to cure. If this skinning-over happens, you’ll get solvent pop (bubbles or blisters).

    The day after one side of the part is painted, flip it and do the other side. I found the paint doesn’t leave a lot of overspray. It leaves so little overspray, in fact, that I was able to spray the second side of the tail feathers with ZERO taping whatsoever! And it left an invisible blend line on the radius of the leading and trailing edges. With no tape!! Your mileage may vary. Do some tests to see what techniques work.

    If the parts are left on stands after paint, the stands will mar the soft paint over time. To prevent issues, I put the tail feathers on the plane the next day. It seemed like the safest place for them.

    Speaking of soft paint, paints usually take at least a week before you want them to see sunlight. And even then, we typically tell our automotive customers not to let the paint see the elements for at least six weeks. If you paint something and put it in the sun/weather too soon, you’re playing with fire. We also tell our customers not to wax or polish anything until the 6 weeks are up. Better safe than sorry.

    Watch the weather. All paints like to have a good curable temperature and workable humidity. I’m not sure what humidity Stewart Systems recommends, but ours is listed below in the “paint session specs”.

    Knowing what I now know, if I ever do a show plane, my painting method will be as follows (if tech support agrees with it):

    1. Brushed cross-coat of EkoFill. Get in the weave and make sure to control the bubbles!
    2. Sprayed cross-coat of EkoFill…nice and thin.
    3. Sand.
    4. Sprayed cross-coat of EkoFill…nice and thin.
    5. Sand.
    6. Sprayed cross-coat of EkoFill…nice and thin.
    7. Sand.
    8. One coat of white EkoPrime.
    9. Sand out dusts, scuff the rest with red scotchbrite.
    10. Three light fog coats of EkoPoly Premium (see their manual!)
    11. Sand.
    12. Two more coats of EkoPoly.
    13. Nib dust and polish.

    Now for the paint session specs (recorder during the spray session):
    Gun: Iwata LPH-400 set to 25psi, fan pattern open, material dialed out 1.5 turns.
    Subsrate: white EkoPrime scuffed with red scotchbrite.
    Paint: EkoPoly Premium with flattening agent added at 2 parts yellow to 1 part flattener.
    Parts lying flat for better flow-out after spraying. Watched the spray pattern. Goes on as very fine grains and flows out after a few seconds. Did not try to “bury” the grains. The result would have been runs and solvent pop.
    3 coats of color took approximately ¾ quart of color to spray the underside of all horizontal stabilizer parts and the right side of the vertical stabilizer. 5 parts in all. It is best to mix a bit of extra paint.
    Humidity and temperature at beginning: 73 degrees F, 43%
    Humidity and temperature at end of process: 81 degrees F, 33%

    Closing statement:
    I have never covered or painted a plane before! My report is NOT to be taken as some sort of instruction. The above is to illustrate my experiences with the Stewart System. If you take anything from what I wrote above, it is at your own risk. I may be wrong on some of my techniques. Always talk directly with any paint manufacturer before using their product. Read their manuals. Only the paint manufacturer can guide you in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  8. Aug 1, 2018 #28

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    As you can imagine, the prep for Oshkosh was brutal, so there is a bit of a jump on this update.

    Now that we are back, it is time to assess going forward. We got some good feedback and want to make some minor upgrades to the plane. More on those in future posts. For now, we'll focus on getting the wings done and controls hooked up. That'll be a bit of work, but not too bad.

    More to come when I've got something ready.
     

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  9. Oct 3, 2018 #29

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    It's structurally complete! Well, aside from the wingtip leading edges, but close enough to celebrate with an update. To get the leading edges made, we built a simple "Spicer Press" out of some wood and a steel tube. It made easy work of the bending. The leading edges were simply wrapped by hand from there. It took a piece of wood and help from an employee to get it started, but it was smooth sailing once a few clecos were in.

    Now that we're on to the systems and the remainder of the covering, I'm hoping the pace picks up a bit. We're scheduled to be flying in late April/early May, but it's going to be a photo-finish.

    As it is, the plane weight 376 lbs, including the controls, fuel tank, seat belts, upholstery, instruments, etc. This is putting us on track to meet the weight goal of 745 lbs empty. Planes tend to gain weight rapidly, so I'll be watching it very closely.
     

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  10. Nov 4, 2018 #30

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    What a crazy few weeks it has been. I’ve gotten the ELT installed, drilled holes for various antennas (hidden as well as possible), built and installed the lower rudder hinge V, got all controls hooked up and adjusted, and installed the brake cylinders and rear pedals. A lot of small stuff got done, but two things really stand out for this update: the nose bowl buck and the new tailwheel!

    Yes, you read that right. A new tailwheel. During Oshkosh 2018, there was a lot of talk about tailwheels. As a response, we changed the tailwheel to a more modern steerable-castoring unit. This unit offers easier maintenance and replacement, but more importantly, it is what people know. Listening to our customer base is our #1 priority as we finalize the kit for manufacturing this coming summer.

    Now let’s get to this nosebowl buck. While our plane will accept the Rotax 912 engines, we are designing it specifically for the direct drive D-Motor LF-39 of 125 horsepower. Modern engine choices were a huge driving force in deciding on 95% scale for the replica. The original Ryan ST has a narrow cowling to house its rare-as-hen’s-teeth Menasco engine. This presents a challenge, as most modern engines are horizontally-opposed.

    Enter our CAD Consultant, Glenn Gordon. Glenn, a master at his craft, was tasked with stuffing the D-Motor LF-39 into a cowl that was originally meant for an Inline-4. After countless hours of work and with the help of a CAD model from D-Motor, Glenn was able to fine-tune the cowl for a perfect fit, fooling the eye where required to maintain an authentic Ryan ST look.

    The result of his work is shown here in the CNC cut nose-bowl buck. I added a few hand-cut parts for locating the inlet holes. This form is currently at the metal shop to see what they can do with it. We’ll have updates on that in a future post.
     

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  11. Dec 17, 2018 #31

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    Making messes! That’s what we’ve been up to. As you can see from this old photo of the Ryan ST replica, it’s a bit…naked. Here we are tooling up for wingtips (fiberglass standard in all kits), flying wire covers, and the nose bowl.

    All fiberglass parts require a male plug. From there, we create a thin fiberglass female mold. Before pulling the mold from the plug, it is reinforced with further layers of fiberglass. Once separated from the plug, the mold is boxed for additional rigidity and to keep it safe during handling or storage

    These molds are finalized and will be used during kit manufacturing.

    Back at it!
     

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  12. Feb 16, 2019 #32

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    As of now, I have probably 200 hours into making production tooling and fiberglass parts.

    Here we have a few photos of fairings. In the photo with the painted stabilizer fairings, notice they aren’t even screwed down. The fitment with hardware installed is just about perfect, with no unsightly gaps between the fairings and tail surfaces. This excellent fitment can be seen in the photos of the unpainted fairings.

    I’ve also gotten the wheel fairings installed! To install the fairings properly, the range of gear motion must be checked. As the gear goes up and down, the position relative to the flying wire lug changes. In this photo, the near landing gear leg is fully extended, while the far gear is fully compressed.

    To see these fairings in operation, check out the videos below:

    https://youtu.be/paPu-OF9oZo
    https://youtu.be/zVBw0nfY0Ls
     

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  13. Mar 23, 2019 #33

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    I’ve been very kindly reminded that it is probably a good time for an update.

    Rest assured much progress has been made, sometimes 15 hours at a time, 6 days a week. I see the light at the end of the tunnel! As of now, the windshields and all the fairings on the plane are fitted, the wings covered and days away from paint, and the cowl ready for construction at the metal shop.

    Pending timely delivery of the D-Motor LF-39 and cowl, and assuming I don’t fall behind, we’re hoping for certification in late May/early June. What this means is that there is a very real possibility you’ll see 24NK arrive at Oshkosh under its own power. Fingers crossed! We have our goals, but nothing good comes from rushing aviation. Therefore, we must focus on the tasks at hand and not rush just to make a self-imposed July deadline.
    FBdrawing1.jpg FBdrawing2.jpg FBdrawing3.jpg IMG_20190215_153931372.jpg IMG_20190307_163147901.jpg IMG_20190311_173942107.jpg IMG_20190315_133749411.jpg IMG_20190320_130635043.jpg IMG_20190322_154103737.jpg
    Nick
     
  14. Apr 20, 2019 #34

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    Yesterday we assembled the plane after everything was done being covered and painted. Aside from getting some cool photos, we did this so we could get a "phase" weight and balance. This far into the build, and just before arrival of the engine, it is critical to make sure we're on track with weight and stability. As is, it's looking like we'll be able to meet our goal of 750 lbs empty. As far as stability is concerned, we'll need to make sure the engine-related items are properly placed within the cowl. I have no real concerns, which is good, as the expected first flight should (hopefully) be sometime in June 2019.
     

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  15. May 25, 2019 #35

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    With inspection just weeks away, most of the recent work on the Ryan ST replica has been uninteresting stuff. You know: check this bolt, check that bolt, finish the cockpit combing, do electrical, rebuild the instrument panel to reflect the engine changeup, finish up the pitot/static system, hang the engine, plane the exhaust, hang the gorgeous propeller for a photo op…mundane stuff. Oh, it's so close!

    And take a look at that propeller. It's more than just a prop. It's a phenomenal work of art from Frank at Performance Propellers USA. If the prop performs anywhere near as well as it looks, Performance Propellers USA will have my repeat business, there's no doubt about that.

    We have not yet found a company to produce our replica spinners (in due time), so we are currently using a PA-22 spinner. A hair too short and pointy, but it really looks great. Anyway, I thought our fans deserved an update. Back at it!

    Nick
     

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    jmt1991, cdlwingnut, delta and 3 others like this.
  16. Jun 30, 2019 #36

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

    32fordboy

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    I've been so busy it's been difficult to find update time. Since the last update we've run the engine, finished electrical, fit the cowl, and gotten the Ryan ST replica to the airport for weight and balance. We are.doing that today and are shooting for 750 lbs empty, so wish us luck!
     

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    pshadwick, spaschke, bmcj and 7 others like this.

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