What did you do on your airplane project today?

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Toobuilder

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Oil cooler installation complete - ready to fly as soon as I finish installation of the RH elevator stolen from the RV.

In case you need an illustration of just how tightly a 540 is packed into a Rocket cowl, here's an overhead shot during my post maintenance leak check engine run.

Tight Fit.jpg
 
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Victor Bravo

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Eyeballed, and slap-banged together some brake cylinder mount plates, had a real aggravating time getting them in to a small space. Adel clamps were designed by Satan himself. Turned out more or less airworthy, plenty good enough for a 750 pound STOL floater, but not pretty. But I managed to convert cable brake heel pedals to operate a hydraulic motorcycle master cylinder, without modifying the pedals, on a fuselage that is covered, in a small space not designed to have a brake cylinder. No gold Lindy in my future. Perhaps no six more months of this contraption on the ground either 😁
 

gtae07

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Adel clamps were designed by Satan himself.
A company called Umpco makes ones with a little locking tab that keeps them together so you can attach them easily. Unfortunately I have yet to find a reputable (non-eBay) source. I asked Spruce to carry them (as I think homebuilders would love them) but no luck.
 

Bill-Higdon

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A company called Umpco makes ones with a little locking tab that keeps them together so you can attach them easily. Unfortunately I have yet to find a reputable (non-eBay) source. I asked Spruce to carry them (as I think homebuilders would love them) but no luck.
Also a trick I learned in School in the Army, I'll post a couple of pictures this weekend, but it uses cable lace. Works great on tight spots in AH-1S & AH-64
 

Toobuilder

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A company called Umpco makes ones with a little locking tab that keeps them together so you can attach them easily. Unfortunately I have yet to find a reputable (non-eBay) source. I asked Spruce to carry them (as I think homebuilders would love them) but no luck.
I have a million of those in my stash along with the typical Adel versions. In practice, the locking tab option presents their own problems. In the end, I'm convinced one simply needs to get enough experience to manage. Adels can be a challenge, but like anything else aerospace, techniques will overcome.
 

Tiger Tim

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This week has been up and down on the airplane, it’s now getting into those off-script bits where innocent changes made early on now require creative solutions now. The throttle-to-advance mechanism was one of them where the solution originally imagined wasn’t going to be possible so I had to come up with a Plan B.

Plan B involved making a new fork end for the throttle rod at the front quadrant, basically so that it could now push and pull two rods. I had to lie a bit about my machining experience (because it’s zero) in order to get some time on a mill but in the end I made a pretty acceptable part. Of course then I moved on to the easy part of the project and immediately broke off a drill bit deep in a hole I was drilling. That took up the rest of my week and I still don’t have the thing dug out.

Oh well, back to my home workshop where I plan to sacrifice every drill bit I own if need be to get this fixed.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Back to RV-6 stuff now that the -10 is at the paint shop and Oshkosh is a week away. I've been doing a sequential ADSB tear-out/install and was foiled the other day when I screwed up crimping a pin to a tnc connector. Of course, I didn't have any spare pins, so I had to order an entire new TNC just to get the little pin (I'm sure there's somewhere I can just buy a pin, but...).

So today was the day to finish the install. It didn't go well. The first fail was I'd used and thrown away all of my razor blades at the airport so I couldn't trim the coax to install the TNC. Not a big deal, I'll just defer the TNC again and take care of it at lunch tomorrow. Then, I went to seat and power up the ADSB unit itself (a Stratus ESG). It went right in and bottomed out using the little allen wrench tightening device. So I fired up the master to bring it to life and no joy. I pulled it and reinstalled it and also unseated the power wires from the fuse block and re-seated the fuses and the wires. Still, no joy.

Then I noticed - the bezel on the Stratus ESG is slightly wider than the bezel on the King transponder it is replacing. Maybe, just maybe, the bezel was catching on the panel before the pins seated. So, pull the unit, reverse it, and try and shove it into the panel opening bezel first (just a fit check). Hmm, no-go. Now, the question - pull the tray and a bunch of other stuff to facilitate filing on the panel...or...get out the big honking file and go for it with the tray still in place. I went for option 2 got that sucker to fit in just a few minutes. I re-installed the unit, tightened it down, hit the master, and voila! It powered right up! Yay.

So tomorrow at lunch, I get to terminate and connect the TNC, then configure the Stratus in the hangar. After that, I have a week or so to find an avionics shop to test the transponder. Then I need to do the whole PAPR thing on the way home from the avionics shop.

Also, I need to clean the airplane and pack myself a 10 year old for a flight to Oshkosh.
 

Victor Bravo

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Saturday I spent working on the hydraulic brake system project for my Ridge Runner 2.

This will be known, for all time, as "The Battle Against Adel the Horrible, and the War to Brake my Spirit".

My airplane was built with cable brakes. Heel pedals pulled a cable, that went through small tubes welded in the frame, then exited into a Bowden cable sheath, looping around behind the landing gear and flapping in the breeze, then pulling on a mechanical drum brake. Standard cheesy low-class stuff you'd see on a 1980's weight shift UL as an upgrade from no !(#*$ brakes.

Well I wanted proper hydraulic brakes. So I figured I'd be a real clever flyboy, and find a way to hook up hydraulic cylinders to the existing heel pedals. Roaring laughter was heard from the bowels of Hell... "and just how do you think you's gonna mount those cylinders to a covered, painted steel tube fuselage???" the laughing voice said.

"I'll attach a mounting plate to the frame using Adel Clamps, and then bolt the cylinders to the mount plates!", I said with a smile.

Now I heard dozens of demons laughing and chanting... over and over... "I am Adel the Horrible, my evil little gremlins and I will make that impossible for you to do. You need access to both sides of the clamp, and in this installation you won't have access to either side... your pathetic mounting plate won't let you see the clamp much less touch it... and the fabric won't let you get anywhere near the other side of the clamp!"

I bravely said "I'll be able to use a small pin punch to line up the hole in the mounting plate and the hole in the Adel clamp, and get the screws through... I think."

But the laughter continued, and fire spewed from the eyes of His Horribleness; "You might lucky enough to get the screw started through half of the clamp, but you'll never squeeze the clamp closed enough to get it through the other half... if you spread the clamp far enough apart to get it over the tube, you'll have at least a 45 degree misalignment of the two holes... I call this the 45 Degrees of Soul-Crushing Suffering!!!"

But I fired back at him, saying "I can push the other side of the clamp into alignment by pushing it with my thumb on the other side of the fabric, while pushing the end of the machine screw against it with my trusty Bondhus Ball-Driver Allen Wrench Driver! I can barely reach through a gap in the wiring and control runs forward of the instrument panel, down into the foot-well, and just get my thumb on the fabric to push the clamp together!"

Adel the Horrible was quiet for a moment, and then I thought I heard whispering from the inferno miles below my hangar. The gremlins had reminded him of something, and he exploded into fits of laughter that could be heard all the way to Aircraft Spruce. With molten lava tears of joy rolling down his cheeks, he tilted his glowing red head and said "But you only have two hands, and you need three or four... you'll never in a million years get the washer and the nut on that screw in the fleeting second you get it all aligned! I am Adel the Horrible, and I decree you will never apply brakes to your wheels... but I'll apply brakes to your spirit, and crush your hopes like a potato chip!"

I thought he had me. Not enough hands, and the clock was approaching midnight. All of my fellow airport bums were gone home and being bludgeoned by their wives, never to return to my aid. But I was saved from eternal misery by Luky the Lovely. On a trip to Luky's Hardware, the last great aircraft surplus store, I had purchased the rarest of un-obtanium Unicorns in the aircraft hardware universe - the 8-32 machine thread, all-metal, self-locking, self-locating, Cadmium-plated floating clip-nut! She had a box full of them, and I bought a handful!


With a squint worthy of Clint Eastwood, I popped the clip nuts onto the Adel clamps, snapped the Adel clamps over the tubes, slid them into position, put the screws through the mounting plate, put the mounting plate in position, got the screw through the first Adel hole, then reached around the other side of the fuselage and pushed the clip-nut into alignment with the screw. With a mighty grunt and bleeding knuckles, I got the screws started in the clip-nuts, and was able to go back inside the fuselage with a micro-ratchet and an Allen bit, and tighten the screws.

Another battle was fought because the distance between the brake pedals and the firewall was exactly the same as the length of the brake cylinders. Four mounting brackets had to be made to get two good ones, getting the brake cylinders mounted into a space where they were never intended to be. So little room was there to work within, that I had to mount the brake cylinder actuator attach clevis to the sides of the brake pedals, instead of putting the pedal's actuating tab in the middle of the clevis. This required some work to prevent the clevis bolt from wobbling when braking force was applied, but I got that figured out. The heads of the banjo bolt fluid fitting touch the firewall. On one side I had to cut away the sound-deadening carpet form the firewall because I needed the 1/32" of room. On the other side I had to open up the brake cylinder mounting bolt holes oval with a rat-tail file to get the bolts started in the nut plates on the mounting plate.

At about 1:25AM - bloodied, exhausted, sore, and victorious - I closed the hangar, and got into my car to drive home. On the radio was Charlie Daniels' signature song, and I sang out loud the last line, directly to my fallen adversary Adel the Horrible:

"I done told you once you son of a bi**h, I'm the best that's ever been!"


RidgeRunner Brakes 1.jpg
RidgeRunner Brakes 3.jpg
 
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TFF

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I think you miss the game of Mr Adel. You can win the battle, but you can never win the war. You will always have another go. That’s Mr Adel cackling.
 

Victor Bravo

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VB, if you're at Oshkosh, the first beer is on me. I'll be in HBC, God willing and the creek don't rise.
Thanks much, but I'll not be attending OSH this year. Three jobs, two airplane projects, and one spoiled Dachshund keep me pretty busy, and the wife says if I go on vacation anywhere... not even my dental records will identify me :oops:
 

malte

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Feb 5, 2011
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Flensburg / Germany
We finally assembled the wings on the aircraft:

IMG_20210724_165742.jpg
IMG_20210724_180940.jpg

If you call the fitting of the wings the "marriage" of the aircraft (as some people do with initial fitting of glider wings), this aircrfat just had its third wedding with her second pair of wings :)

Soon the gear is mounted and tested, and she can stand on her own. Then I will need to tidy the shop first :)
 

Marc W

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Mar 31, 2017
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Colorado
I have been working on my new Rans S7. The airplane isn't useable if you want to keep the oil temps in the green during these warm days of summer. It runs way to hot so the current project is to install a real oil cooler. Before I can install the oil cooler I need to rework the duct that directs airflow over the front and bottom of the Jabiru 3300. The engine has ribs on the sump and I read that good airflow there is worth 10 degrees of oil temp. Mine had an opening in the cowl on the face of the sump and a duct under the sump so it had airflow on it. My oil cooler installation will cover the old inlet so I need to change it. The old setup is below. You can see the felt sealing strips on the side and the baffle for the duct under the sump.
Old Sump Duct.jpg

The present state of the new duct. I made an aluminum baffle to channel the air over the sump and also a fiberglass adapter to be fed by a 2" hose. I will rivet and bond the two parts together with epoxy and floc to fill the gaps. The next step is to make an inlet in the cowl to feed air to it.
Sump Baffle.jpg

I also made a small step on my Thatcher. One of the last ghastly kludges from the builder that I hadn't corrected was the concave sides on the forward fuselage sides. I know it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to performance but it hurt my eyes every time they passed over that area. There is a panel there to give access to the rudder pedals there. The top edge of that panel really showed off the concavity. Here's a shot of the 5/16" deep depression in the top line of the opening.
Concave Side.jpg

Since I have the top of the fuselage open now for other work I took the opportunity to straighten it out. I made a couple of .032"x3/4"x3/4" angles to rivet to the back side of the top edge of the opening. I borrowed a rivet squeezer and riveted the angle in today. What it looks like now. The side above is still slightly concave but at least the edge that catches your eye is straight.
Straight side.jpg
 

Victor Bravo

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Hooked up nylo-seal brake lines using a clever scam. Put the 37 degree flare in the nylon tube, attached with normal ferrule and B nut. We'll see if it works. If it does, it will have saved me a bunch of adapters, unions, and other assorted monkey motion. We'll see..... 😬
 
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