Chapter 21 – Strakes (Up to T-Hats) – 94 Hours

Strake BulkheadsI had already joined and glassed two sheets of foam per the Cozy Girrl’s method.  After cure, traced all the bulkheads onto the sheet and cutout all the bulkheads.




R33 & R57 PlacingUsed the Bernie Siu’s dremmel trick to auger out some foam from the half circle openings, and filled with flox.  After cure, I aligned the R33 and R57 bulkheads and floxed to the spar.  Used the floss technique to align the 17.4 W.L. stretched between the fuselage and the outboard rib I added (not in the plans).


R33 & R57 Glassing 2After the R33 and R57 bulkheads cured in place, I fitted the connecting bulkheads, sanding the connecting edges to the correct angle for a custom fit.  Test fitted everything using drywall screws to hold together.  Floxed all but the leading edge bulkheads together and 2 BID taped.  Finished with peel ply.


R33 & R57 Glassing 3Taped the leading edge bulkheads in place.  After cure, figured out where to flox the extended strakes to the fuselage.  With sanding down the front edge of the the extended strake bulkhead as such an angle, the front of the bulkhead is at FS38.3 and the rear is at FS40.0 where it attaches to the fuselage.R33 & R57 Glassing 4






Strake Top Skins Fitting 4Cut out the skins to basic size and fine tuned the top left skins to a good fit.  Had to sand down the tops of the bulkheads a bit to get a flat fit and a nice transition to the spar.  Hot glued some foam pieces for the inboard skin to rest on, and used a straight edge to figure the position.  1xBID on bottom side of both the inboard and outboard top skins.  When ready to bend along the R33 and R57 bulkheads, I used the Andrew Annunson approach.  I didn’t cut my slits parallel.  Especially since I am doing the Cozy Girrl strakes, with the Ed Richards Latch, I need to have clearance for my latch handle.  The far inboard curvature will be much more gradual and take a longer distance to make the same curve.  With the fuselage level, I used a level across R33 to the fuselage on the foam pieces that are hot glued.  I did this where the curve starts flattening out.  When level, I mark both locations.  Then I measure the distance along the bulkhead/fuselage to get that height.  (Fuselage=30, R33=10.2)  10.2/30=.34 Inboard Top Skin.  So the slits would be 1″ at the fuselage, but only .34″ at R33.  I repeated this process for the outboard top skins as well, getting 3.9″/5.4″=.72″ or .5″ at R33 and .35″ at R57 for narrower slits.  Using this method made very nice bends with no flat spot mentioned so often in the archives between R33 and R57.  The inboard slit, I covered in masking tape before I made my cuts, but the masking tape was starting to come off before I could fit with curvature.  I managed, and filled all the cracks with micro, removed the tape, and let cure in the correct position toStrake Top Skins combining keep it’s shape after cure.  The outboard section I tried adding the tape after the cuts and follow the cuts with a knife and micro right away.  That didn’t work well and I ended up scrapping the tape all together and just microd the foam and cracks figuring I could just sand really well before skinning the top.  After the micro cured, I was able to micro the inboard and outboard top skin on the left side together and glass together permanently with a 2″ BID and Peel Ply.

R33 & R57 Glassing 6I have been repeating the top skin process for the right top skins as well.  Have cut out the top skins and glassed the bottom of the inboard skin already.  Today I completed the slits on the inboard skin after applying masking tape.  (Be sure to run the masking tape in the same directions as the cuts to keep from removing every 2″ along each slit after the cuts are made!)  Applied wet micro into the slots, clamped everything into place, and removed the masking tape for cure.

Glassed the bottom side of the Right Outboard Top Skin with 1 BID and peel plied.  Measured and cut the slits in the right outboard top skin after covering with masking tape.

Placed on bulkheads and micro’d into the clits and used drywall screws to hold onto the bulkheads.  Removed the masking tape and let cure.

Left Top SkinPrep sanded the bulkheads and fuselage side for the T-Hats.  Epoxy’d peel ply to the top skin first where the bulkheads will touch.  Placed in place and weighted down.  When ready, placed flox bead in each of the corners of the fuel bays.  Laid up a section of BID (1 ply) and cut into 2″ strips and glassed into the corners.  After glassing, covered with peel ply.  After cure, trimmed to 1″ wide (not shown)


Left T-Hats

Posted in 21. Strakes, Fuel, & Baggage, In Progress: | 3 Comments

Chapter 14 – Spar (Mounting into the Fuselage) – 41 Hours

20160513_120227.jpgA bit of a break, with planning a wedding, new job, moving, and having a baby!  The latter will continue to keep progress at bay to an extent, though a well received one.
20170122_170016Started working on fitting the spar into the fuselage.  I estimate that I had to sand 1/4″ into LWX to get the spar far enough forward to clear the firewall.  Once I was able to get the spar lined up in all 3 axis, I faired the sides of the fuselage (outside), so bid tapes would go around nicely.  Once all was satisfactory, I floxed the spar in, but only the tight fitting areas.  The less tight fitting areas have shims, and once removed after cure, all
gaps will be filled with flox and taped all around.

Side Note:  The break, along with emptying out the epoxy from the Michaelson pump, caused the hardener to lock up the piston in the pump.  I purchased a rebuild kit, and proceeded to rebuild the pump.  Just have to set the ratio, and will be good to get back to work!

IMG_1531Started the BID tapes, 5 BID LWY to spar and 5 BID Longerons to Spar, inside and out.  Looks like the spar tapes are also supposed to include lapping over the turtleback per the drawings, however the canopy section would be a future chapter.  Will have to add more tapes here.

Glassed the spar to LWY on the inside of the hell hole.  (Aptly named)  Since I laid up the fiberglass on plastic in two layers, I just made it an even 6 layers for ease.  Covered in peel ply to cure.

IMG_1538Completed the 5 ply layers on the inside bottom spar to LWY.  6 layers for ease of cutting tapes.  Added peel ply.

Completed filling the rest of the gaps with flox and 2 BID taping the rest of the seams, with the exception of inside the bottom of the landing gear bulkheads, as that will be easier when the fuselage is upside down for the strakes.  This is such a small section, I wonder if it is even necessary…

IMG_1543        IMG_1544

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Chapter 13 – Fuselage Nose (Nose Bumper)

Nose Bumper

1-20-2016 – 1-26-2016

Decided that since the fuselage was turned over, that I would work on the nose bumper.  I decided on the Wayne Hicks method, but chose to shape it like John Basol’s version, as it is much easier to fabricate, and I figured it had less of a chance of diverting air away from the center of the fuselage, which would affect the cooling air reaching the engine.  Started Match Drilling Nose Bumperby figuring out the correct dimensions.  Decided on 6.5″ x 6.5″ and then cutting out the void to make the horseshoe.  Cut the dimensions out on paper first for figuring out the correct size, then made the cuts at a 45 degree angle for all but the inside cuts.  Then cut out the cutting board materials at a 45 degree angle matching the smaller side of the aluminum (Since it is smaller from being cut at 45 degrees)  Sanded/filed down the saw cuts and matched up the aluminum and cutting board.  Then decided where I wanted the screws to be located through the fuselage and drilled through the aluminum on the drill press with a 13/64″ bit.  After that, I placed  it on the fuselage and match drilled through the fuselage, but not through the inside skin.  Nose Bumper Hard Points 1Marked a 1″ – 1.5″ diameter around the hole and hollowed out the foam in that area with a dremmel.  Filled with flox and glassed over with 4 x BID.  After cure, match drilled through the fuselage again, but this time went through the inside skin.  With the holes match drilled, I opened the fuselage holes to 1/4″ and tapped the aluminum with a 1/4-28 tap.  First attempt was too close to the axle hard points, so I had to repeat the procedure further aft and further outboard, which will work much better.

Nose Bumper Hard Points 2

Nose Bumper Placement






Nose Bumper Reinforcements


Cut out the window openings in the nose cone, and then marked and cut the plexiglass lenses to a closer shape.  Once close, began filing to a closer fit at the 45 degree angle for a good fit.  Once fit, tacked in with 5 min flox and then floxed permanently.  Also glassed an additional 8 plies on the plywood skid plate support and Peel Ply’d.

Final Lens Shaping

Using popsicle clamps to get final shape of lens to match nose cone with help of a heat gun.

Lens Openings






Lenses Floxed Permanently

Posted in 13. Nose, Nose Gear & Brakes | Leave a comment

Chapter 09 – Landing Gear (Gear Leg Fairings) – 30 Hrs

Landing Gear Fairing SegmentPut the gear back on the fuselage and propped it off the ground with a 2 degree up attitude and leveled side to side.  I had purchased the pre cut cores from Eureka for this, and while a discussion on the forums discussed only needing 2 ply for these, I noticed that the foam that is used is the hardware store variety made by Dow.  Since this foam is much smoother than the foams we use normally, I was worried about Landing Gear Fairing Segmentdelamination, so I decided to also use 3 layers of BID to cover.  I removed the cores from the foam and cut into 2.5″ sections, making sure to label everything with Pilot/Copilot side, Top/Bottom, and 1-13 starting at the top of the gear leg.  Dropped a center line for the fuselage and used that to verify the fairings were aligned left to right, by dropping lines off the front and aft corners.  Also used a water level to be sure the fairings will be level when at a 2 Landing Gear Fairing Segmentdegree up attitude.  Micro’d these onto the gear leg, but used 5 Min epoxy/micro mix in the center of each so I could keep attaching sections.  Once both sides were done and all the micro cured, I started sanding the foam to remove the high spots.  Since the foam doesn’t bend around the gear leg perfectly.  Then proceeded to micro and fill the low spots and cracks with micro and glass with 3xBID.  Removed peel ply and trimmed after cure.

Landing Gear Fairings OutsideRemoved the gear and mounted upside down on the table to prep the bottom surface.  Sanded the foam intersections down smooth, as well as any extra micro.  Used the dremmel to remove the foam on the trailing edge, similar to the wings.  Micro’d the foam and laid up 3 layers on the bottom, lapping over the first layer similar to the wings.  After cure, filled in the trailing edge with dry micro and peel ply’d.

Landing Gear Fairings InsideLanding Gear Fairings Inside








001002Now that the brake lines are complete on the landing gear, it was time to close up the landing gear bulkheads.  Cut out the 3 pieces, and glassed the bottoms with 2xBID, overlapping by at least 1″.



Turned the fuselage over and prepped the surfaces for a 2xBID tape around the LG bulkheads.  After taping, added peel ply to finish.






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Chapter 23 – Engine – 11 Hrs

Engine 3
Found an engine at Wentworth Aircraft with 996 SMOH that was in an off field landing.  It is an O-360-A3A with chrome cylinders.  I was able to swap the stock starter for a light weight Skytek starter that they happened to have in stock.  Dad and I drove up together to look at it, where we met John Basol to scope the cylilnders.  Everything checked out, and Wentworth verified the crank dialed out to 0.00, which doesn’t get any better.  Wrote the check and drove home.  The crate ended up a little larger than I was expecting, so I needed a new plan for getting it off the truck.  John Tvedte was able to come over with his engine hoist, and we Hoist Completewere able to get it off.  I also ended up building the Tony Bengilis hoist using a come along.  Worked great!  I then built the plans engine stand, which also works great and keeps the footprint relatively small.  I purchased the engine preservation kit from ACS (Made by Tanis) and pickled the engine for long term storage.

Engine MountReceived the engine mount from the Cozy Girrrls at Oshkosh and noticed some rust spots on it in the day light the next day.  The engine mount is not painted or primed, so some of this is to be expected, depending how long this particular engine mount was in storage before delivery.  Sanded the engine mount with 220 grit, sprayed with degreaser (per instructions), wiped dry, cleaned with acetone and let dry.  Once dry, sprayed with self etching metal primer, and followed up with white high temp engine paint.

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Chapter 18 – Canopy (Part 2) – 84 Hrs

Canopy Forward PieceMarked the canopy to cut off the forward section.  Attempted to use Wayne Hicks method, but with all the bumps and joggles with the FHC, it didn’t work as well for me.  With needing to open the gap to 1/8″, I was able to even things out with the long board sander.  I also had to fix a few saw cuts, but otherwise it turned out pretty well overall.  Cut some 1/8″ pieces of foam to make the drip rail and fastened to the canopy with duck tape.  Applied 2x BID, 2″ wide for the drip rain and peel ply’d.

Front Piece Drip EdgeGlassed the foam where the saw cuts were using 2x BID and flox corners, and extending on the drip rail.  Floxed the forward piece to the canopy and used peel ply on flox in prep for glassing.

Front Piece Glassed PermanentlyGlassed the under side of the forward piece to F28 with 2x BID and peel ply’d.  After cure, glassed the top of the forward piece with 3x UND and peel ply’d.  Glassed with 6x BID for the canopy lip over the front piece per plans.

Hinge AlignmentNext was mounting the hinges.  Checked for fit, and noticed my canopy hard points are a bit  closer together than I thought.  The FHC plans say they need to be that far apart for the radio stack to fit, but it looks plenty wide for that.  Given that I am going with a glass panel, I’m not too worried about it right now.  These plans were made for the Cozy 3 which is a bit narrower, so understandable that the hinges are not the same dimension
Canopy Hinges in Actionto the fuselage sides.  With everything matching and clamped in place, I measured between the hinges to verify the hinges will open parallel to each other, and laid a level across the longeron and checked the canopy frame angles were parallel to the level when pressed against it.  Once everything was verified, we verified with the canopy on one last time, removed it again, and drilled the mounting holes through F28.  Used a 3/16″ twist drill bit, as I couldn’t find a #8 that was long enough to clear the forward part.  Wasn’t able to get a 90 degree hole in the top holes toward the inside, as the forward part again is in the way, so the bolt is at a bit of an angle.  After bolting in place, put the canopy back on and checked fit one last time.  Unbolted the hinges from F28 added flox to the angles that will connect to the canopy frame, and bolted back to F28, making sure not to touch the floxed portion to the canopy frame yet.  Mixed up some 5 min epoxy with flox, and after pushing the floxed hinge onto the hardpoint on the canopy rame, I put dabs of 5-min on the side with the flox, but there is not much room to work there, not visible, and limited time for the 5-min to set up.

Hinge to Canopy AttachmentIn trying to get the canopy off with the hinges floxed in place, it was not clearing the forward part and the hinges ended up coming off the pads.  Had to cut some clearance slots for the hinges to fit into to solve that issue.  Luckily the hinge bases left a perfect impression into the flox so I could still align it perfectly to drill the holes.  Drilled the 3/16″ holes on the pad side and up through the top.  Followed with a 1/2″ spade bit from the top for quick material removal.  Once close, finished up with a counterbore bit for a flat surface.  Bolted in place and test fit to find that I need to sand down the overhang lip over the forward part.  Also needed to increase the cutouts for clearance for the hinges.

Mold Taken for Instrument Panel CoverNeed to create the instrument cover, but with the thick pads for the canopy hinges, it won’t work per plans.  I ended up using the canopy as a mold and covered it with 2 layers of duct tape for mold release in prep for glassing.



Instrument Panel Cover FormingGlassed the instrument cover with 2x BID by using some scraps of glass.  Covered with peel ply.  Once cured, I prepped the instrument cover to glass in the curved piece behind the breakers at the top of the instrument panel.  Carved some urethane foam to fit in the opening that was left from using the canopy frame as a mold.  Hot glued the foam to the IP and added the 2″ in front of the IP for a glare shield.

Instrument Panel CoverGlassed 3 ply on the breaker cover portion of the IP cover.  Put peel ply down first, then 3x BID, and then peel ply again.  Was sure to put the first layer of peel ply under the OP so it didn’t interfere with adhering the two pieces together as one.

Now that the wedding is done, it’s time to get working on the Cozy again.  Figured out how I will lift the canopy while not having the latching system be in the way.  Ultimately I settled on the plans lay down gas cylinders.  My main issue with this was that with my latching system, I could not install the “Thrust Bolt” shown on page 20, section EE of the FHC plans.  This is because my latching system is mounted along the face of the longeron, instead of under Additional Hard Point Prepit, like the standard plans.  This is not in the FHC plans, but is a design by Ed Richards.  To solve this, I decided to move the thrust bolt further forward, and create something to attach to the canopy to take the loads of the gas springs.  This will take the place of C8A in the FHC pans, and this will be adjustable for future maintenance.  With this figured out, I was able to determine where my hard points would need to be installed.  Once figured out, I removed the Additional Hard Pointsglass and foam for the hard points, then proceeded to start grinding away the glass around the hard points in layers to prepare for scarf joints.  Once ready, I taped around the hard points and completed the glass/flox layups for the hard points.  After cure, I created paper templates of the layers needed for the scarf joints and cut all the glass.  Then layed up all the layers with 1 extra BID covering, and covered with peel ply.

Finished Hard Point PatchAfter cure, I started to attach the gas shocks.  Drilled my holes in hard points to attach the ball studs and counter bored the holes so I could attach the nuts.  I then moved to the attach points on the longerons.  I cut out two 1.1″ x 2.5″ pieces of 1/4″ 2024 T3 aluminum and drilled holes per FHC plans.  Then used the holes in the aluminum as a drill guide, drilling the 3/16″ holes through the longerons, placing AN3 bolts in each hole after drilling.  With the bolts in place, I
Canopy Shock Ball Studused the 5/16″ hole in the aluminum as a guide to counterbore the longeron far enough for the ball stud to clear.  Since I needed it to fit in the hole with the nut fastened, I opened th hole up to 5/8″.  Counterbored the holes running through the longerons and was ready to assemble.  I had to remove 3″ of the instrument panel inboard from the longerons for the gas shocks to lay down properly.  Hooked up the shocks to test, but found that the shocks are not strong enough to hold the canopy open Gas Shock Mountingand do not open far enough to get in easily.  For replacement shocks, I was able to measure from ball stud to ball stud in both the closed and fully open positions to get the compressed and extended lengths, but I didn’t have access to a spring scale strong enough to measure the force needed.  Then I realized that I had known values of the 90 lbs  each for the shocks that I had, so I just needed to attach some twine around the ball studs and measure the amount of force needed to lift the canopy.  52 lbs additional on the fish scale to lift the canopy.  I settled on the Strong Arm 6922 gas shocks, with 14″ extend length, 8.75″ compressed length, 123 lbs, 10mm sockets for both sides.

20151013_223124.jpgI then started with the latching mechanism.  Measured for the holes to drill through the longerons.  Once measured, I drilled the 5 holes on each side.  Four for the latches and one for the outside handle.  Counter bored the 4 latch holes on the outside and fit the attaching hardware.  Drilled through the shoulder brace for the draw rods to pass through.  Attach all the latching hardware together to test fit.  Once fitting correctly, floxed the permanent pieces to the fuselage.

Once the flox cured, I assembled the latch 20151013_223132.jpgmechanisms, reattached the canopy, and realized that the widening of the canopy made it so the hard points are hidden over the longerons and I canopy attach the canopy hardware per the plans.  After far too much trial and error, I had Kim make some 90 degree 2xBID over a 2×4.  After cure, cut them into strips (1-2″) and 5 min epoxied to the side of the canopy, after lining them up correctly to the latches.  Added 2xBID on the Canopy Latch Hard Point 2 Canopy Latch Hard Point 1





Canopy Latch Hard Point 3bottoms, and realized that I had to auger out a  cavity on the inside of the front latches to get a bolt into it.  After that, I could add 2x BID on the inside of each as well.  Lined up the latch hardware and bondo’d in place long enough to match drill the holes through the hard points.  Removed the hardware, opened up the holes for an AN3 bolt, and tapped the holes on the hardware.  Had to add additional layers to the bottom of the hardpoints to get the spacing correct and get the latches to work smooth.

Instrument CoverRemoved the canopy to finish up on the IP cover.  Cut the sides off to build a cavity for the gas shocks.  Built up the cavity and glassed 2xBID in the cavity.  Finished with another ply covering the rest of the IP cover for a total of 3 BID.




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Chapter 18 – Canopy (Part 1) – 175 Hrs

I’ve been hassled to get an update out on the Cozy build. I am currently working on the Canopy chapter, and I have several modifications here, so it is taking me more time to complete than I had hoped! I also got engaged a few months ago, which in addition to some other side projects has slowed things down a bit. I’m at a good point for an update, so here it is…

Turtleback BulkheadI have the Featherlite turtleback that I got as part of the project I purchased, which I decided to modify to meet my needs for more head room. We started by cutting out the front turtleback bulkhead and Kim glassed it with 3 plies BID and 1UND on the horizontal portion. After cure, we repeated the process on the back side.


Turtleback-Adding Width and HeightSince I am making my turtleback 2″taller and 2″ wider, I started by finding the center of the turtleback and cutting it along it length and micro’d a 2″ Clark foam wedge to make it 2″ wider in front, and the same size in the rear. Glassed with 2 UND on the outside. Marked a line on the sides about 1″ above the flange and cut the flanges off with the Rockwell saw. After cleaning up the edges, I micro’d a 2″ Clark foam wedge to raise the canopy 2″ in front. Glassed with 2 UND on the outside and peel ply’d.

Attaching Firewall to TurtlebackThe turtleback was too long from Featherlite, and needed trimmed.  Since I added height and width to it, it was no longer perfectly perpendicular in the front and back. The front should not be an issue, but the rear needs to be flush with the firewall. I decided to mark the 46″ length on the flanges first, since that will be the most accurate place to measure. Then I secured the firewall against the rear of the turtleback. (Note the turtleback needs to be on a level surface) I made sure the Securing Firewallfirewall was plumb in relation to the table, and measured the distance from the firewall to my marks. They were 1.9″ from the firewall on both sides. (Perfect) Then I measured 1.9″ from the firewall in several locations around the outside of the turtleback that I could connect the dots. After drawing the cut line, I cut it to length for a perfect fit to the firewall. Much easier than some of the other methods I’ve seen, so I’m happy that worked! Sanded and cleaned up some of the foam pieces that were micro’d in last night in preparation for glassing.

Turtleback BulkheadChecked the TB bulkhead for fit, and marked the inside of the TB for reference. Marked the cut line on the inside per plans, and drilled the holes for reference. Then I decided to glass the inside over the three foam wedges I added (2 UND). The clark foam is a bit thinner in thickness than the honeycomb that Featherlite uses, so I have a bit of a gap to fill. Applied micro and covered with 2 ply UND in opposing orientation per plans. I had to wet the first ply on plastic and transfer it, so I didn’t have to worry about it soaking up any micro in to the glass. Finished with peel ply. With my leftover time, I created the 1.5″ strip that is used for the drip rail and 5 min epoxied it into one long piece. Glassed in the drip rail with 2 BID and 1 UND per plans.

Windows Cut into TurtlebackTurned the turtleback over and marked the outside cut line and started marking out the windows. I did this per the FAQ instructions, but I found out that the lines did not look right. Came to the conclusion that as long as the windows follow the lines of the exterior, that is what you are looking to achieve. My process is:

  1. Draw the horizontal lines per the FAQ.  (I made mine slightly higher to get above the 2″ wedge I added for height)
  2. Measure 2 1/8″ from the cut line to determine the inside vertical edge of the windows, so they are parallel with the cut line.
  3. Measure 5 1/4″ in from the front of the TB to give a parallel line to the front of the TB
  4. There was no dimension given from the firewall to the window in the plans, but the FAQ says 38 7/16 from the FRONT of the TB at the bottom, so I used that mark.  I then measured that mark to the firewall, and made a similar mark for the top of the window to get a parallel line.  Note that I already made the aft end of my TB plumb.  The front is no longer completely plumb, since I raised it.

I then proceeded to cut out the window openings starting with a hole saw and an oscillating tool making sure to leave the material proud, so I can sand to the perfect dimension.  Completed that and started removing all the nomex honeycomb.  To create a cavity for the plexiglass to fit into.  Removed the 1″ strip as shown in the plans, and began fitting windows.  Continued fitting windows into the TB.  Both copilot side windows cut for fit, and taped up on the outer surface with 1/8″ gap between tape and TB.

Prepped the rest of the windows, drilled the holes for the cleco’s, and floxed the windows in place.  After cure, I am finding out that epoxy from the wet flox seeped into the edges of the tape where they overlap another piece of tape.  Another contributing factor is the bulb was burned out in the epoxy box, so I was starting with colder epoxy than normal.  The curing of my wet flox may have warmed up the mixture enough to make the epoxy run out of the flox easier.  Bummer!

I was able to get the excess epoxy off the windows by VERY CAREFULLY using a razor blade to get under it.  Dennis tells me to be very careful with the razor, as any scratches can cause the plexi to crack later!  Finished up with lining up the turtleback and firewall to be floxed together.  Bondo’d the upper firewall to the lower firewall with angle aluminum, making sure everything was square and plumb.  Floxed the turtleback to the firewall using 1/4″ spacers under the turtleback.  At this point, I realized I needed to round off the back edge of the upper firewall so I can wrap glass around it.  Will wait until the flox cures now.  After cure, I drilled 1/4″ holes through the flange of the turtleback and into the longerons in the back half of the turtleback for locating pins.  Then cleaned up the edges where the flox squeezed out.  Rounded over the back edge and taped inside and out to connect the turtleback to the upper firewall permanently.

Placed the canopy on the fuselage and approximated it’s position.  Added layers of electrical tape to the rear edge to protect the outside while I figure where my cut line will be.  Used pallet wrap to create streams that I taped to the inside of the canopy using electrical tape, but that eventually all came falling out because it was too thick and flexing the canopy taking it off and on caused it to detach and fall inside the fuselage.  Ended up  placing multiple layers on the inside of the canopy as was on the outside when I received it, and it seems to be staying much better.  Cut out the BL0 template, but it seems everyone says it doesn’t match up.  I placed the canopy on the turtleback so the nose of the canopy was at the correct position fore and aft, and the template matched up almost perfect.  Since I raised the canopy 2″, and widened it 2″, and went with the texas canopy, perhaps that is the difference?  I will need to trim at the instrument panel 1/4″, since it is currently resting on it.  I will know for sure after I trim at the rear for length and can get a good trial fit against the turtleback.

Window StripFloxed in the fiberglass strips I cut out around the windows back on the larger windows and covered with 1 BID and peel ply.  Only did the one and left the turtleback upside down so the flox couldn’t run out.  Used the left over fiberglass to glass the brake conduit back in place on the main landing gear.  Repeated the process for the smaller windows, and turned the turtleback right side up for cure.  Then floxed in the hard points, since I confirmed with Ed Richards that his latch system keeps the same positioning per the plans.  2 BID over the top of the hard points and peel ply.

Since I removed 1/4″ to clear the instrument panel, I attached a 1/4″ temporary spacer for the canopy to rest on while working on it.  Cut out my templates and adjusted how far they extend inboard to account for the wider canopy.  (trial and error)  After cutting the rear of the canopy for length, I used the templates to find my tape lines.  I decided to do a sacrificial tape line below the line so my real tape line can butt up to it.  Masking tape doesn’t stretch, so it holds a straight line better, but don’t use long term, as it will be hard to get back off.  I took a tip from Tim Andres to get some 3M painters tape from the auto paint store, which I purchased 1/4″ and 1/8″.  I butted the 1/4″ next to the masking tape, and 1/8″ butted against that, then 3m electrical tape butted next to that (3 tapes wide)  Then covered the 1/4″ and 1/8″ painters tapes with electrical tape to protect it.  Then over that, I placed 3-4 layers of duct tape for the fiberglass to butt up to.  Taping is tedious Taping for Fiberglass Transitionwork, but will pay off later.  The fiberglass will end up butted up to the 1/4″ tape.  That will be removed in the finishing stage and the 1/4″ of canopy sanded for a micro filler transition from glass to canopy.  Then the 1/8″ tape is removed and 1/8″ of canopy sanded to prepare for everything being painted for a very smooth transition.  After this was done on the outside, everything is matched up on the inside.  I had a lot of trouble with the duct tape pulling off on the inside close to the front where the curve is tighter, so I recommend using short2-3″ pieces to help keep this from happening in these areas.  Then I started building my wood frame Canopy Inside Support Structurefor the foam blocks to rest on.  Since I am leaving 1/4″ for a seal between canopy and longeron, I need these raised more than a few layers of duct tape.  I added 1 layer of duct tape on the longerons and installed the boards 1/4″ above the longerons.  Then I needed to add a spacer on the longerons which I did by slicing strips of blue foam at 1/4″ and using “Great Stuff” foam to glue it onto the duct tape covering the longerons.  After drying, I sanded the tops flush, and theGlassing Turtleback to Canopy sides to the proper curvature.  (Looking back, this didn’t work out as well as I had hoped and ended up with air bubbles where the overlap transitioned from canopy to fuselage.  Something to be aware of.)  Then covered everything with a layer of duct tape.  Added a few layers underneath that layer to protect the fuselage side.  Placed the canopy on for a test fit, and floxed the canopy to the turtleback.  Added the 1 UND at the bottom of the canopy.  After cure, added the 3 BID vertical strips to secure to the turtleback.  After that cured, I started cutting blocks for the canopy frame.  Using the technique illustrated on Charles Furnwager’s site works very well to get a perfect fit the first time, but the process still takes some time.

Gluing Canopy Deck FoamAfter finishing cutting out the foam blocks, I glued them all together with Great Stuff spray foam.  I made sure to put some wax paper under all the blocks to ease with canopy frame removal in the future.

Began the process of shaping the canopy frame, using the templates as a guide.  Since I raised everything 1/4″, I had a bit of a gap to the fuselage sides for glassing.  I cut strips of 1/4″ x 1/2 foam and micro’d into the gap, holding with nails.  Once cured, I was able to sand down to a closer profile.  I will still have some gap, but much better.  Sanded in my depressions from the forward hinge canopy plans, and marked my cut line, and hopefully ready for glassing.

Glassed Canopy Deck TopI ended up cutting a pattern for pre-cutting the glass.  The plans call for 2 pieces at 45 degrees, but I confirmed with Dennis it could be in more pieces if I stagger the joints.  I chose to make it in 3 pieces, front and 2 side pieces.  I pre-cut out my 2 BID, 2 Carbon fiber, and 2 UND.  Vacuumed  and micro’d my foam and laid my first BID into the valley around the canopy.  Filled the valley with flox and laid the rest per plans.  The forward hinge canopy plans call for 2 ply carbon fiber sandwiched between the BID and UND glass, which I did.  Sounds like a lot of people say the carbon fiber isn’t needed and is over kill.  I don’t know of anyone flying the forward hings canopy without the carbon fiber, so I kept it in for piece of mind.  Completed all 6 layers with the help of my lovely assistant, and covered with peel ply to cure.

Canopy Support StructureRemoved the peel ply and trimmed the front to be flush with F28.  Then I started building my canopy frame supports and bondo’d them to the canopy frame.  I also decided to add a little more strength to keep the canopy from sagging while sitting on the table.  Figured it a good time to replace the hardboard on my work table, and used the old hard board for the support.  Worked the edges loose with a hacksaw blade which released easier than expected.  Once released, I moved the entire top to the table, and continued to cut the turtleback free.  Not floxing the rear turtleback in place proved helpful here, as it was hard to cut through the turtleback flanges all the way through without boogering up the outside skin.  I was able to turn the canopy frame upside down to finish freeing it.  I was then able to clean up the edge of the rear turtleback and glass the drip rail.  With the canopy upside down, I was able to begin mapping out my hard points and contour the inside foam.  After some research on the forward hinge canopy, and thinking through the geometry, I figured out how the hinges would need to be mounted.  Three main things to watch out for:

  1.   Be sure the foam is removed all the way to the skin so that the hinge pins can be mounted as close to the outer skin as possible.  The hard points for the hinge pads will probably have to be built at an angle for this to work properly.
  2. Be sure the hinge pads are level in relation to each other, or you will risk binding.
  3. The cut line needs to be aft of the hinges, or things can pinch.  If you thing of a teeter totter on the playground, you know the only part of the board that moves up, is on one side of the hinge, and the other side actually moves in the wrong direction, and will cause pinching on your canopy.  The further rearward from the hinge, the better for this endeavor.  Hopefully it will be that easy, so time will tell!

Exothermed Canopy Hinge Hard PointI have been unfortunately been dealing with some setbacks in this portion.  After getting the main hinge hard points figured out, (which required me to build up the aft edge of the hard point by 1″, essentially creating a wedge) I glassed them with the flox/BID process spelled out in the plans.  I should have known better, but I got distracted and ended up completing these very thick hard points in one layup.  I was on the last layer, getting ready to peel ply, when the layup Canopy Hard Point Fixstarted to exotherm!  I attempted to get a fan on to cool it down and opened the garage door, which allowed me to keep it from starting a fire or melting through the upper skin, but the whole layup heaved and cured completely un-flat.  I ended up having to remove the Canopy Hard Point Fixmelted foam from around the hard points after cure, and grind most of the hard points out.  I then built up the surrounding area with new foam and got all my angles correct again.  I waited to shape the outside of the foam area until after the hardpoints were completed this time too, in case I ran into more issues.  This time I completed the hard point in multiple layups (2 large, and needed one additional for a minor touch Finished Fixed Canopy Hinge Hard Pointup)  After cure, I was able to fair the surrounding foam into the rest of the foam on the canopy frame.  Then continued to fill the rest of the hard points.  I am waiting to do the hard points for the gas springs until I have a better idea what the best positioning should be.  It will be much easier to handle the canopy not having to worry about dinging the foam or having things sag.  Since I am having the canopy top extended lower than the longerons to help prevent air leakage, I ran into some issues with air bubbles in the 3/4″ below the longerons.  With the carbon fiber, this is impossible to see, since it is completely opaque.  After grinding out the bubbles with the dremmel, I am able to fill in the areas with more carbon fiber, so the thickness will be Fix Canpoy Air Bubblesmore consistent when the inside layers are applied.  I also found that there were significant gaps between the canopy and turtleback where I added the foam wedges to add width and height, since it didn’t match the curvature as well.  Here I ground down the turtleback on the inside where it stood proud, then added a thin layer of flox and 2 BID over it to patch.

Back Arm Rest KeeperPatched up the air bubble locations and floxed and 2 BID the rear arm rest guides to the rear seat bulkhead to stiffen it up when installed.

F28 StiffenersCut out the F28 doublers and floxed onto F28.  Glassed with 3 ply BID.  Since I made the hinge pads larger on the canopy to facilitate moving the hinges more inboard, I made the doublers wider to accommodate too.

Glassing Inside Canopy DeckGlassed the inside of the canopy today (partially).  Glassed both sides with 2 BID, 2 Carbon Fiber, and 2 UND per the forward hinge canopy plans.  I left the overlap sections staggered at the front so I can come back and finish the front.  Covered with peel ply, and finished up the front section of the inside canopy after cure.


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175hrs – Ch 24 – Covers and Fairings

I haven’t kept best track of this chapter, as there is a lot of thinking how things are going to fit, and is also a good time to get other little things completed on the interior. Since this chapter consists of making covers for all that stuff, it’s good to have the stuff in there to guarantee a proper fit!

Electrical Contuits In Place 2Started cutting out the foam for the armrests and fastened the pieces together with drywall screws. Realized that I would need to have my electrical conduits in place before finishing the covers, so I added them in next. Created foam molds for the conduits, covered in tape for release, and glassed with 2 BID.


Front ArmrestI started fitting my arm rests in the front seat, and realized that I needed to install my electrical conduits, rudder cable conduits, and brake lines first. I decided to to the electrical conduits in chunks and have removable armrests to access the cabling. Floxed them in place, and followed that by adding the rudder lines. Then I determined the position of my brake lines to the brake actuators. While I have the fuse on the left side, it was a good time to try out the landing brake. As it turns out, the previous builder attached one of the brackets with the nuts in the middle of the channel, and the actuator cannot clear when running. I created a new bracket with a longer base so I can position the nut in an area where it will not be in the way.  I would of liked to have turned the bracket around, but there was not enough hardpoint NACA Scoop Wideningthere to drill new holes and keep secure. I have also been modifying the NACA scoop, as they should not come to a point as the plans state. There should e a 1.5″ section that is completely smooth with the belly for good cooling.  Something I first learned in the CSA newsletter, and reinforced at Rough River last year. That being said, I sanded down the NACA scoop flat at the tip, and will finish up with some micro and glass.

Additional Supports for Control HardwareAgain, I have been bouncing between projects, and taking care of misc items. After sanding down the tip of the NACA scoop, I realized I sanded too much foam, which is easy to do, since the foam sands off much easier than the fiberglass. I created a dam and used pour foam to replace. Finished with two layer of fiberglass.

Similar to Wayne Hicks, I have glassed in a couple of triangular pieces to the control blocks to strengthen them, so I have the option of removable armrests. While I had the torque tubes out, I decided to prime them with Dupli-color self-etching primer. Also opened up holes in the bulkheads where clearance was needed. Traced out Hanka Spring 2and glassed the front seat thigh supports. After cure, cut them to the final dimensions. Created the jigs for the Davenport pitch trim spring, and the Hanka roll trim spring and glassed.

Davenport Spring 2Work continues on the left arm rests, as I figure how I will proceed. Decided to go completely removable, Ala Wayne Hicks. I also adopted his solution to the transition urethane, and just completing it with more of the PVC. Continued with building the rear left armrests, also fully removable. Added the 45 degree sliver on the inside for support. Glassed the inside with one ply BID and peel Front Armrestplied. Realized the rear armrest was touching the torque tube when fitted, so I had to extend the arm rest and glass it .

Prepped the outside of the front armrest and glassed with 2 BID. Finished with peel ply. Kim glassed the top of her thigh support with 2 plies BID and peel ply. Finished prepping the left rear armrest, and glassed with 2 ply BID.

Offset of Front Console SidesThe center console isn’t technically part of this chapter, but may as well be. Started by figuring out the basic shape I was looking for. After looking at some other sites, and taking into account my throttle quadrant, I decided to keep the rear section narrow for added hip room, and the forward section would be wider to fit the throttle. The height in the front will be higher so the Curved Armrest for Fuel Shutoff Clearancethrottle will be at the relative same height as the stick. I took a lesson from John Basol’s site and curved the rear section of the center console to leave room for the fuel selector switch. I highly recommend (as do others) to build a mock-up with cardboard, and sit in the fuselage to rest for fit. After doing this, I cut out the sides from 3/8″ PVC, and glassed the inside with 1 BID. Oriented the side plates of the throttle onto theThrottle Quadrant Hard Pointsinsides, and matched drilled, and installed nut plates on the throttle body plates. Cut some sections of phenolic block for hard points to connect the throttle body to the center console without crushing the foam. I had to use this technique because I hollowed out some foam to make room for the throttle, and it turned out I didn’t need to. The other hard points I will be able to make out of flox. I then placed 6 plies BID over the corner of a 2×4, and cut 1.5″ pieces after cure for hard Center Console Mounting Bracketspoints. Bondo’d the center console with throttle assembled to it into place and then floxed the 90 degree pieces onto the heat duct so the center console can screw to it. After cure, I drilled match holes through both so the center console will be removable. I then put some release tape on the side of the IP and glassed the center console to the release tape, so I can add another mounting point there.

Front Console 2

Duplicated the armrests for the passenger side using similar technique. Decided to make some 90 degree tabs for mounting the arm rests to the fuselage, similar to how the center console is mounted. Did this by laying up 6 BID over the 90 degree edge of the 2×4 Right Angle Layups for Mounting BracketsMounting Bracketsand cutting into strips after cure. Then I aligned tabs on the arm rest to the other edge will lay on the fuselage side, and match drilled a #12 hole through both pieces and added an AN3 nut plate to the bracket. Put in an AN3 bolt to hold it together, and then floxed all the tabs to the fuselage and used clamping pressure to hod in place. After cure, I just unbolted the bolts, and removed the arm rests from the tabs, which are now part of the fuselage. Then ground off any excess flox, and added more flox to fill in gaps.

Armrest HardpointsDremmeled out around the holes and filled with flox to make a hard point, and covered with 1 ply BID, and covered with peel ply. Re-drilled the holes through the hard point, and checked for fit. Cut out foam for the rear center console and assembled with drywall screws. Cut out the pieces for the seat pans, seat bulkheads, seat backs, and center console and glassed with one ply BID.After floxing the rear center console together and BID taping, glassed the outside with 2 BID. Also glassed the other side of the seat bulkheads, and seat backs with 2 BID. Cut the 1″ slits in the seat pans to contour to the curvature of the front seats. Bondo’d to them temporarily and glassed with 2 BID.

Continuing to work on the seats, arm rests, and consoles. Glassed in supports for the rear consoles. Did this by attaching them temporarily to the arm rest first, then floxing the bottoms of the tabs onto the center console. After cure, I removed the screws and removed the console. Glassed the seat bulkheads in place. Cut 3″ hinges for the front seats, back seats, and rear seat backs. Anodized the hinges and attached the hinges to the rear seats.

Cross Hair CenteringHave the rear center console with the matching holes 1/8″. Had the idea of drawing cross hairs showing the exact center of the hole. Then routed the holes to about 1/2″ in diameter, making sure not to go all the way through the glass on the rear. Put some masking tape over the inside holes, and filled the cavity with flox and covered with 1 BID. Once cured, will extend my cross hairs again and find my center, and re-drill my holes with a #12 bit in place. So I also drill through the mounting tabs for a perfect match drilled hole. Then glassed the hinge area of the front seats. Seat Hard PointsNot in the plans, but a good idea to secure the seat. After cure, I re-extended the cross hairs and re-drilled on the drill press. Put in place, and match drilled through the supports. Added nutplates for a perfect fit.


Landing Brake Actuator CoverCut out the foam for the belly board actuator, 5 min then together, and glassed with 2 ply BID. After cure, I secured it in place and added the 2 BID flange around the outside edges to secure later.




Front Cabin AreaRear Cabin Area

Posted in 24. Covers & Fairings | 1 Comment

26.5Hrs – Ch16 – Controls

Control Blocks GlassedI had already cut the birch CS109 and CS117 pieces.  Normally you wouldn’t fiberglass these until after you flox them in the fuselage, since it wouldn’t need much more glass to cover than the BID tapes anyway, but since I am using click bonds to secure the bearings, I wanted fiberglass to flox them to.  I marked where the holes would normally be drilled with a punch, then used a compass to draw a circle around the mark, so I can align the click bonds easier when I flox them on.  Added 1 BID to the sides that will get the clickbonds, peel ply, and set aside for cure.

Cut out all the additional tubing to size and began cleaning up the edges.  Sanded the cut pieces of tubing in preparation for connecting.

Torque Tube Assembly

Started drilling and assembling the parts for the controls.  First hole was not as expected, as I didn’t have good luck with the drilling a small hole first, and opening to the #12 like the plans state.  I used the #12 bit right away, and the results seemed pretty good.  There were a few holes I would have liked to have had more vertical with the others, but all in all, I can’t complain.

Measured and marked the position of the bearing blocks.  A water level is a big help with this.  Turned the fuselage on the left side and sanded the glass around where the bearing blocks connect.  Bondo’d in my blocks for floxing in the blocks.  During floxing, I Torque Tube Bearing, Washer Interferenceaccidentally twisted the block too much, and the click bonds popped off.  (as they weren’t glassed in place yet)  Floxed them back on and weighted for cure.  I will try floxing the blocks in after the clickbonds cure.  I also found when drilling my holes in the control tubes for a tight fit, my tubing didn’t fit nicely against the washers.  Turns out that the problem was that the washers are too big and overlap onto the two holes for the Torque Tube Bearing Washer Modificationsnap ring pliers, where as the rest of the washer fits inside the snap ring, causing the washers to fit at an angle.  I was able to notch my washer to get it to slip past the snap ring holes, but that left me with some play in the bearing that needed a snug fit.  I was able to double up on washers on the side opposite of the snap ring, and I only had to file a little off the adjoining part to secure the snug fit I was looking for.  Controls are MUCH smoother!  Duplicated my work on the other side, but need to order a couple extra washers.

Control BlocksFloxed the bearing blocks in place after sanding the hole in the seatback and LG bulkheads a little larger for clearance.  Fiberglassed the bearing blocks to the fuselage with 2 BID on each side.  Put shrink wrap over the click bonds to protect them from epoxy while fiberglassing.  The fiberglass bunched up around the clickbond post some, so I will have to evaluate after cure.

Turned the fuselage over and floxed the bearing blocks in using the same technique as the left side.  Allowed to cure.

Torque Tube and Stick

Glassed both sides and lapped onto the fuselage.  I was not real satisfied how the BID separated around the clickbond post, so I added some scraps as a patch and the smaller piece didn’t separate as much.

Aileron Bellcrank

Blocked up the controls so the stick was at the proper angle, and the bellcranks at the firewall were as well, and drilled the last of the holes in the torque tubes. Then I floxed the CS123 bearings into the firewall and bolted the torque tubes together so there was no sag. 

Testing Elevator Push TubesThen proceeded to build the push rods for the elevators. Installed the canard to check fit. 

Created the foam molds for the electrical conduits, covered in tape for release, and glassed with 2 plies BID. Glassed into place in the fuselage. Similar to Wayne Hicks, I glassed in triangular pieces to help support the control blocks, so I can install removable arm rests. Painted the control rods with Dupli-Color Self-Etching primer.

Electrical ConduitsElectrical Conduits

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30 Hrs – Ch 20 – Wingletts

Winglette-Inboard PreppedCreated the 1″ top tips of the wingletts, rounded the corners, and prepped for glassing.  Glassed the wingletts with 2 ply UND and finished with peel ply.

Winglette-Outboard Glassing2Removed the wingletts from the forms and began prepping them for the next layup.  Finished prepping the wingletts and trimming the forms from the hot-wiring.
Cut the poles of the foil tape antenna to 20.3″, and soldered the RG400 coax center and shield to the poles.  Sanded a depression for the antenna and coax, and micro’d the antenna in place and covered with peel ply, leaving the antenna still recessed so I can still put micro on before skinning.  Also put micro in the groove and placed the coax in to pot that in place.

Winglette Antenna2

While removing the peel ply from the micro, I realized that I forgot to add the torroid coils to the coax before potting in place.  Will worry about it after Rough River and vacation.

After messing with removing the coax carefully, thinking I could salvage and add the torroids, I accidentally ripped out part of the antenna.  At that point the decision was made, and time to focus on removing the old antenna’s completely.  Doing so required a little cosmetic surgery to my original grooves, essentially making them a little deeper, but not too bad.  Made the new antenna’s with the torroids, placed in the grooves, and potted again with micro.  I decided to add some BNC connections to verify the connection with my portable, and they work great!

Winglette-Inboard MicroSet up the wingletts for glassing the inboard side.  Bondo’d the wingletts to the foam templates, and the templates to the table.

My friend Jeff is looking at the Cozy design as a possible build project, and he came over to help skin the other side of the wingletts to get some experience.  I filled in the coax impressions with micro before skinning, but left a little more of a divet after skinning than Winglette-Outboard GlassedI expected.  In hindsight, I probably should have used pour foam like Wayne Hicks, which would have saved me some trouble.  Skinned with 2 ply UND per plans + 1 BID square, and peel ply’d the entire layup.  Trimmed after cure.  The basic pieces for the wingletts are done, but I will not attach to the wings yet, since the wings are so much easier to store without them attached.

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