Ok, a couple more years have gone by, but there has definitely been progress in this little project.

First, the tail section is done …*really*  done.  All surfaces are mounted, bolts torqued, etc.  The fiberglass empennage fairing is finished (other than paint), the rudder cables and wiring for the tail light and trim servo are routed to the front of the fuselage,etc.

The wings are mounted temporarily, but all critical holes have been drilled, flaps have been fitted, and ailerons have been test-fitted, too.

Finally, the engine mount has been mounted and match-drilled to the firewall and the control cable pass-through fittings have been installed.


Tail is done!

Tail is done!


Engine Mount


Lots of things still to do, roughly in this order:

  • Install Baggage floor panels
  • Remove Wings and store again
  • Install rear top skin and rear window
  • Install cabin floors
  • Put the plane on its landing gear
  • Hang Engine!
  • Install Engine components
  • Fit the fiberglass cowling
  • Install Avionics
  • Fly this sucker!
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Riveting rear bulkheads   October 10th, 2010

Riveting the rest of the bulkheads in the tailcone is also pretty straightforward.  This is the F-706 with just a few rivets to hold the three pieces together.

And the F-707 with all of the rivets on the bottom and only two on the top (the other two are used for a piece of angle that holds a rib between F-707 and F-706.

F-711 gets the doubler bars that eventually are used to attach the empennage.

Note that the horizontal angle is not riveted on yet — just clecoed in place for now.

Finally, F-712.  Note that the tail tiedown extrusion is also not riveted just yet.

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F-707 and F-708 bulkheads   September 25th, 2010

The F-707 and F-708 bulkheads are pretty simple — just join the two halves and drill the two 5/8″ for the electrical wiring.

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Well, April turned into August and and we did not make any headway on the plane. The new (to us!) house kept us plenty busy. Projects are slowing down, so we’ve finally had time to get back to airplane building.

The new house has a three car garage, so there’s plenty of room for the airplane and the cars to live happily together (at least for a while….)

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Yeah..no building for the last month…we just moved!

We found a cool house in an airpark community here in Austin, and have spent the last month moving out of the old house, moving into this one, etc, etc….neverending work..

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…Just dinged up the leading edge!!   February 5th, 2008

After riveting almost all of the rigth leading edge, I dropped the bucking bar into the skin. Not pretty. This is a nice heavy bucking bar, so it not only caused a ding, but it also cracked the skin…

Now I gotta figure out how to fix this…

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Oshkosh!!   July 26th, 2007

I went to Oshkosh for the first time. Amazingly big. Some pictures here:


No build news for a while….

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Technical Counselor Visit   March 27th, 2007

Deene Ogden came to visit today. He is the technical counselor for the local EAA chapter. He took a lot of time to look at my tail components, and complimented me on the work. I guess I ain’t doin’ too bad then :-).

He gave me some general advice on all sorts of things, like using ‘blue foam’ to finish the control surface openings, lighting, etc. I really enjoyed the visit, and will try to stay in touch with him more often.

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The only thing left to do in the left elevator was to roll the leading edges. I enlisted Fabiola’s help, and we finally got it done today. This rolling business is probably the hardest task so far. It’s very hard to have these things come out looking good. Everyone says you can’t really see them once the elevators are mounted, so we’ll see.

To roll the edges, we used a 1″ diameter pipe, duct-taped to the skin. Fabiola would hold the skin while I used two vice-grips to roll the pipe and skin. This is really easy for the first skin, but when it the time comes to roll the skin on the other side, the 1″ pipe won’t fit without hitting the skin you’ve just rolled. I ended up using a plastic sprinkler pipe for the first section and this worked out very well. For the middle section, the pipe wasn’t long enough, so I used some PVC pipe. BAD IDEA. The duct tape came loose in the middle of the pipe (not sure if it was because it was PVC, or something else), resulting in a skin which was perfectly bend at the edges, with a nasty ‘wave’ in the middle. After a lot of cussing and thinking, we decided to use more rivets in the center section. This made it look better.

Here’s the finished elevator:

At this point, there are only a few tasks remaining in the tail. I am going to hold off on these until later in the build process:

  • Mount, match, and drill the elevators to the horizontal stabilizer
  • Drill some holes in the lead counterweights to balance the elevators
  • Attach wires to the electric trim, as well as trimming out some of the material in the elevator which may interfere with the trim arm.
  • Attach the fiberglass tips.

Other than that, the tail kit is done! ..just in time too, ‘cuz the wings just showed up!

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More forward progress…   March 17th, 2006

I’ve spent the last few days finishing up the left horizontal stabilizer. I got the pop-rivet dimple dies from ATS, so I’ll be able to dimple everything.

I figure I have another two days of work and I’ll be ready to prime all the horizontal stabilizer parts.

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