99 Hrs – Ch 19 – Wings (Right)

Foam Gluing Foam BlocksThe second most asked question, right behind “How long until you’re flying?”, is “Have you started the wings yet?”  As of 10/17/12, I can answer YES!  I drug all the foam out of the basement, took some measurements, and glued them all together using “Great Stuff” expandable foam (red & yellow can).  Per Dennis Oelmann, spray it on the edge of one side, making an “S” pattern all the way to the end, keeping about 1.5″ of open foam between.  Set the connecting piece on top and move it back and forth to collapse the spray foam and get a nice even coating.  Make sure the foam is aligned correctly and add weight and nails to keep from moving.  Note that you want to use a lot of weight.  Even though the foam looks like it is done expanding, it has really only slowed down.  Lots of weight will keep a tight joint for happier hot wire cutting.  As it turned out, I had used a full can for one wing, where Dennis can get both wings out of one can.  They still turned out great, regardless.

Dennis and Chad HotwiringDennis showed up to cut out the wing cores.  We started by cutting the blocks to the correct angle and size.  Added scrap where the plans say to add scrap to prepare to cut the cores.  Cut the cores out using the templates.  Dennis has done this so many times, he can pretty much do it in his sleep.  He told me he has completed 67 sets of wings, so I’m certainly not questioning any of his methods.  It was an all day event, but they turned out great!  Micro’d all the loose pieces on the inboard right wing to glue them together.  Added nails, weighted, and let cure overnight.

Wing Cores Being GluedGlued the right wing cores together, being sure to align everything as perfectly as possible.  The inboard section had to be raised about 1/4″ in the jig to match up the angle.  Dennis said that is pretty common, so I proceeded with gluing the cores with micro.  Secured with nails.  The joint between the center and outboard cores was off slightly, so I will need to sand flush.

Wing Bolt CutoutsMarked the cutouts on the wings for LSA4 positions.  Then marked for inserting the LWA6 and cut out.  Used a hole saw at the bottom, and cut up to the shear web from there, being sure to leave a lip for the LWA4’s to rest on.  After cutting the recess for the LWA4’s, I cut out the recess for LWA6.  Started cutting the W18 pieces, but need a little practice to get the bends right.  Start by cutting a strip of 2″ thick aluminum, lay in place, and mark the locations for the bend (it’s not 90 degrees).  Bend the piece and trial fit.  After verifying the bend is correct, and the piece still covers the hole evenly at the shear web, mark both ends for a flush fit to the skin and shear web.  It helps to put the LWA4 in place to accurately measure.  I left a bit long, and sanded tor a more precise fit.

Glassed the cutouts with 2 ply BID, after covering with micro and micro corner transitions.

Wing Bolt Depression CoverMicro’d in the LWA4’s and the LWA6 into the wing, making sure they were flush with the foam, so there are no humps when the shear web is installed.  I then used 5 min epoxy to affix the metal plates in place that cover the hole we made in the spar trough, so we will be able to lay the spar cap tape in the trough and not have it sag in the hole.  I then proceeded to cut out all the UND cloth for tomorrow’s layup and cleaned up.

After the hard points have cured, I sanded the corners down to the same curvature as the metal hard points.  Then taped newspaper around the spar area to protect the rest of the wing from epoxy.  Then sanded in preparation for the shear web layup.

Shear Web GlassingMicro’d the shear web area and started glassing per the plans.  Brandon and Kim helped half way in, which helped speed things along immensely!  Thanks guys!  Added peel ply, and realized I wasn’t quite done.  I cut back some of the peel ply around the hard points, and added th required 3 ply BID and epoxied the LWA2 and LWA3 hard points.  Added some weight, and added some nails to keep from sliding.

Cut the wing root to be perpendicular to the spar cap trough.  Then prepped for the spar cap layup.

Spar CapFilled the spar cap trough.  Took more plies then the plans showed, but it’s filled up now.  Added pour foam in the gap between the two leading edge foam cores, and micro’d the aileron access wedge back into the wing.  Spent the rest of the time preparing for tomorrows layup of skinning the bottom of the wing.  (I seem to be short on pictures of the bottom spar cap, so I attached a picture of the top spar cap, which is more or less identical.)

Bottom Skinning of Wing

Dad and David came over to help skin the bottom of the right wing.  2 plies UND at opposing angles.  Then the two supporting UND pieces at the wing root (2″ x 4″ and 12″ x 12″), as well as the triangular BID at the wing tip.  Was sure to add the peel ply for the wing tips and the aileron cutouts, and a flox corner for the access hole.  Covered in peel ply.

Got up at 4am to knife trip the edges and lay micro into the trailing edge, and then back to bed.

Finished cleaning up the knife trim areas with the file and sanded down the micro on the trailing edge to fair it in.

Put the jigs back together, flipped the wing over, checked for straightness and twist, and secured the jigs to the table with angle brackets and screws.  Sanded the trough to prepare for glassing, and covered the rest of the wing with plastic.  Added the Dams, and it is ready for the spar cap.

Spar Cap 2Brandon came over and helped me fiberglass the spar trough.  It takes a while to get all the spar tape wet out, and he did a good job helping.  Finished with peel ply.

Removed the dams and peel ply.  Trimmed the ends of the spar tape flush and rounded over the edges of the wing root.

Wing Foam OopsSanded the wing surfaces smooth and prepped the surface for glassing.  I accidentally broke the foam where it was hollowed out for the aileron tube.  I was able to use micro and nails to hold it back together.  Marked and routed the trough for the rudder cable to sit in.

Rudder Cable ConduitAdded a bead of micro in the trough, minus the last 3″ at the outboard end where the winglet will attach.  I also added duct tape to the last 3″ of tubing that lays in the trough, as well as the rest of the tubing, sticking out on the ends, to protect from epoxy.  Added nails at an angle over the tubing to hold it in place until after the micro cures.

Skinning Wing TopDave, Brandon, and Kim helped a lot today, as we skinned the top of the wing.  Filled in the top of the conduit trough with dry micro, as well as any gouges in the foam from releasing from the jigs.  Also, I used dry micro on the aileron, to ensure a light part.  Then we micro’d the whole surface and started applying cloth.  Two at angles the same as the bottom, and one additional the length of the wing, which does not go on the aileron at all.  Also added the additional plies toward the wing root and wing tip like on the bottom, and added the 3 plies of UND over the inboard hard point.  Finished off with peel ply over everything!

IMG_5475Carved out the foam on the outboard wing root with the Dremmel tool attachment to get a consistent depth.  Finished by sanding the bumps for a smooth surface.  Then I carved out the inboard wing root section.  Dennis and I did not carve out the shell when we hot wired, but we did cut off the wedge so we had the flat surface that is 90 degrees to the trailing edge.  Then sanded the foam completely out of .7″ of the edges all the way to the skin.  Also carved the other parts of the foam as described in the plans, making sure to leave the .7″ above the hard point.  In talking to Dennis, it sounds like I got my rudder cable too high, and will need to do some minor surgery.  The rudder cable Inboard Wing Root Foam Carvingwas coming out of the wing edge, which will not work when it comes to attaching the cowl, as it will be in the way.  Since I have not glassed the wing ribs yet, surgery will be easier.  Only problem is that the micro is pretty thick from gluing in the rudder cable conduit, so I will have to be very careful, as this minor surgery could have some major complications.  As it turns out, it was a non-issue, as the micro was easy to trim off.

Glassed the two 3″ pieces of UND that form an “X” around the bolt hole depressions.  Then glassed the 3 layers of BID on the inside of the outboard wing root, leaving the third layer extra long to cover the hard points.

SInboard Wing Rib Glassedpread micro on the foam, made my transitions in the corners, filled my trough where I dug the rudder cable out, and glassed the inside.  Dennis gave me the hint of cutting triangular pieces to cover the inside face and upper and lower surfaces only, then add the forward facing piece separately, and connect with BID tapes.  Now for the oaf story…  Since I believed this was done this way only because of all the angles and such, I decided to save the section where the rudder cable is coming out for last.  Poor judgement on my part, as I wrestled with that first layer forever while the forward facing cloth kept falling on me.  (Remember, the leading edge of the wing is pointing at the ceiling in the jigs)  Then I decided to lay up layers #2 and 3 on tin foil to transfer to the inside.  Good to use the foil, bad to lay them both at the same time.  I have had this happen before, and this confirms my thoughts.  In Rudder Cable Position After Surgeryorder to not get air bubbles, those layers need to be able to move around to form around all the joggles and divots.  Not a problem if you put them on one at a time, but wetting two plies and having the epoxy curing while you are working with it, certainly isn’t doing you any  favors.  Trust me, the time you think you are going to save by laying up multiple layers for these complicated surface features, you will spend again 10 fold fighting bubbles.  It is tight in the wing root, though it did help to cut the handle off the paint brush for stippling.  After all ply’s were now laid in place, finished with peel ply, and I will check frequently to make sure the air bubbles don’t come back.  Added the 3 plies over the hard point LWA6 and clamped LWA7 in place.  In hind sight, I just realized I only have 2 layers of the forward facing section of the wing root.  I have to add BID over LWA7 after cure anyway, so I will add the extra layer then.

Inboard Wing Rib Glassed 2Finished up by applying 2 BID on the forward face of the wing root (one extra ply total) and to also cover up the hard point.  Finished up with peel ply.

Posted in 19. Wings, Ailerons & Wing Attach | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

24 Hrs – Ch 14 – Main Landing Gear Cover

LG Cover Foam ShapeThe shed is complete, and took far more work during a busy summer than I was expecting.  While I’m waiting for control bearings from the Cozy Girrrls, I decided to build the LG cover.  I decided to take the Wayne Hicks approach to building this, for two reasons.  I won’t have to worry about the slugs in the LG bulkheads, and it was a very nice transition from the fuselage to the cover.  Since the indentations for the cover recess was already built into the fuselage, I didn’t really get to take advantage of the latter.  I started by cutting 2″ Styrofoam to fit into the LG cavity.  One sheet wasn’t thick enough to cover the NACA scoop, so I used some pour foam to glue two pieces of foam together.  I hot glued some wood scraps inside the LG bulkheads to support the foam while sanding.  I sanded the NACA scoop to contour, and the protruding foam to the same level of the fuselage.  Removed the foam, and added 3 layers of duck tape to the edges to match the thickness, and for release of the fiberglass.

LG Cover 1st LayupLG Cover 2nd Layup






Micro’d the foam inside the NACA scoop and covered with 2 ply BID and peel ply.  After cure, I micro’d the rest of the foam, made flox corners, and covered with 2 ply BID and peel ply.

LG Cover with Wood Foam Keeping StructureUsed a hack saw blade to get between the fiberglass and the packing tape to release.  Left the peel ply on and hot glued boards across the piece on the peel ply to hold the shape.  Peeled back the peel ply along the edges to mark the cut line.  Removed from the opening and started removing foam to 3/8″ as Wayne Hicks calls for.  I had to trim the cover at the leg openings so the cover would fit once the gear was installed.  I started by installing the MLG and putting the cover on until it caught on the gear leg.  I set a compass to the same distance that the cover was protruding, and used it to transfer marks on the cover, using the pointy end to follow the gear leg.  Turned out to be a simple technique, but one that is difficult to describe.  Continuing with Wayne’s method, I removed 1″ all around and sanded the fiberglass in preparation for glassing.  Using the compass for marking the 1″ proved to work well too.  Finished the night by rounding the foam edges, and the piece is ready for glass.

LG Cover Back Side LayupAdded 2 layers of fiberglass to the inside of the LG cover by wetting two layers on plastic and transferring to the piece.  If I had it to do over, I would have applied each layer separately, since all of the compound curves and angles made it very hard to get 2 layers to lay down properly, without air bubbles.  After getting all the bubbles worked out, I added a 2 BID strip around the area where the screws will fasten to hold the cover in place.  I did not run this all the way to the edge, as I was worried how the extra thickness would affect how it seated in the joggles.  Peel plied the edges and left for cure.

Trimmed the layup, removed the forms, and double checked for fit.  Snug fit, but I think OK.  Removed the gear bow and reinstalled the cover.  Hot glued some Popsicle sticks to hold the cover on.

LG Cover Mounting LipTurned the fuselage over, and sanded the forward and aft LG bulkheads for glass.  Cut some 2″ pieces of 2 layer BID on plastic and added in the corners of the inside to create a lip for the LG cover to rest on.  3 strips on the front and back bulkhead edges, for 6 total layers on each.  Finished with peel ply.



LG Cover Flange with LG CutoutsRemoved peel ply, turned the fuselage over, removed the cover, and trimmed the layup to 1″ width.  Smoothed the edges and added the cutouts for the LG.  Started measuring for where the nut plates will be installed.

Drilled out all the holes for the LG cover, and all the rivet holes for the attaching the nut plates.  Have to wait for the countersink to come in the mail, as I need these rivets to be LG Cover Completeflush.  I was able to use the countersink I had on the LG cover for the screw holes.

Received the countersink and riveter in the mail.  Countersunk all the rivet holes and installed all the nut plates.  Tested the cover for fit.  A-OK…

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Shed Project

It has been a while, but finally I am posting again!  At the end of my last post, I was taking a break from the plane to build a shed, to store some plane parts in.  I had figured roughly a 4 week project, but as it turned out, it was a little over 4 months.  Doesn’t help when you are building it by yourself during a busy summer.  I did have some great help from Jimmie, Dave,  David, Kim and Brandon during various key moments of the process, so I can’t take all the credit.

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31 Hrs – Ch 14 – Main Spar

Cutting Angle on Spar FrontCut the angle on the edges of the fore face of the spar and sanded.  I then cut out the foam for the seat belt brace blocks and mirco’d them in place.  Used duck tape to keep them in place for cure.

Holes Cut Into Spar FrontCut the access holes in the front of the spar, an routed 1/4″ of foam down to bare fiberglass.  Then I sanded the edges of foam to create a smooth transition for the glass to glass bond.

Wrapping Spar in GlassAdded 4 layers of UND alternating at 45 degrees.  Floxed the hard points in place, peel ply’d, and weighted.  Used a clamp on the ends to keep the hard point from sliding down with the weight.  Used a board to connect the inboard weights to the outboard weights so they also wouldn’t slide down.

Hard Points Floxed2

Trimmed the ends of the main spar, and started trimming the overhang from the last layup.  Used the file to clean up the edges.

Glassed the 2 layers of UND on the fore face of the main spar at 45 degree angles.  Covered in peel ply.

Hard Points Glassed

Removed peel ply, trimmed the fiberglass, prepped the surfaces, and cut out the strips of UND to lay over the hard points.  All ready for the next layup.

Brandon stopped by to help stir epoxy and we added the 3 strips UND over the hard points, and one 5″ BID over that.  Added peel ply.

Spar Ends GlassedCut the 1.5″ holes on the bottom of the main spar, under the outboard hard points.  Routed out some of the foam on the edges of the holes and filled with micro.  Then created flox corners around the edges of the end bulkheads (except where the spar cap is), and glassed the end bulkheads with 1 ply BID.  This concludes the Main Spar until I am ready to install it to the fuselage!  Now to build my storage shed…

Posted in 14. Center Section Spar | 1 Comment

88.5 Hrs – Ch 14 – Main Spar

Spar Foam In JigCut out the foam pieces for the main spar section after getting together all the foam needed.

Finished cutting the foam pieces to size and contoured the ends of the spar on CS2 and CS4.  Microed the 3 pieces of CS1 together, and called it a night.

Spar Box Inside Ready For GlassingMicroed the spar top, aft, and bottom pieces together and connected per the plans.  Instead of using the pine sticks to hold the spar bottom on perpendicular, I used the Wayne Hicks suggested method of adding the spar front section on, adding nails, and adding weight to keep everything in place.  Seems like it worked ok.

Cut out all the metal parts for the spar, and started filing down the edges where specified in the plans.  Then I microed the end caps on to the spar.

Cut out and shaped the interior bulkheads and marked the spar to show where the bulkheads and aluminum inserts will be placed.

Cut out the rest of the interior bulkheads and marked the rest of the measurements for the hard points.

Vacuumed the foam for the spar and cut out pieces of fiberglass in preparation of tomorrow’s layup.

Spar Box Inside FinishedMicro slurry’d the foam inside and added 1 ply of BID on the entire inside.  Added the inboard bulkheads, and added BID to both sides, lapping onto the sides.  Added the 3 plies of UND, then the LWA1, and added 1 BID.  Added 1 additional BID to the outboard bulkheads, lapping 5″, added the LWA1’s on each end, and covered with BID.  Added nails around the LWA1’s so they wouldn’t shift, and weighted down.  Added the center bulkhead and glassed both sides, lapping onto the spar.  I had micro’d the center bulkhead in place, like the rest of them, but for some reason, the plans say to flox that bulkhead in, even though none of the others are.  I will have to check with Dennis to see if it makes a difference.

Spar Box Cap glassed on Inside SurfaceTrimmed last night’s layup and drilled the 1″ holes in the interior bulkheads.  Covered the edge of the holes with dry micro.  In talking with Dennis, sounds like the “flox to connect the center bulkhead” was a type-o.  I slurried the inside faces of the fore facing foam, covered with 1 ply BID, and peel ply’d

Forward Face Micro'd to Spar BoxSanded the rough spots on the inside of the spar so that when I reach into the spar to add the wing attach bolts, I don’t cut up my hand.  Vacuumed everything and attached the top (forward) pieces, glass side down.  Added weight, and cleaned up micro leaking out the edges.

Traced and cut out the templates for the spar trough.  Then created a sanding block for the spar troughs.

Started sanding the top spar trough, but the template was not quite fitting over the spar.  It appears that when I laid boards along CS4 and added weight, it added some inward curvature, which caused the edges to have some gap which added some extra width when trying to lay the templates on the spar top.  Decided to wait until I could get a hold of Dennis before I moved on.

Spar Trough TemplatesIn talking to Dennis, it doesn’t sound like it should be a big deal.  Sounds like he uses the templates to drag back and forth to sand to the final shape.  In order to do this, I cut off the notch where they hang over CS4 (spar front).  Seemed to work pretty well.  Turned the spar over and repeated the process for the bottom.

Marked the locations for the LWA4 and LWA5 metal inserts, and routed out the foam down to the fiberglass of the inside layer.  Glad to see the center line mark for the inside layup showing through the glass.  Floxed the inserts in place and let cure.  Had some time left, so I cut out the shoulder harness blocks from 1″ x 1″ spruce, which will be inserted after the spar caps are done.

Sanded a radius on the edges for the shear web.  Micro’d the surfaces, and glassed 4 layers of UND at 45 degrees.  Finished with peel ply.  Trimmed the edges after cure.

Spar Trough Ready For GlassingCut out some 2″ strips of 1/4″ plywood and used as a dam for the spar trough.  Measured the trough size, and matched the height of the dam.  Screwed to the spar with drywall screws after predrilling.

Glassed the spar trough.  Glassed all 11 full span layers (maybe 12), and was able to get the sections at 64″, 61″, 55″, 40″, 36″, 32″, and 24″ from center.  I was not able to get layers in the 58″, 52″, 48″, 44″, and 28″ from center locations.  Not sure if I did not get the spar trough thick enough, or if the glass I used was just thicker than normal.  (The stuff I started with was certainly thicker looking)  I will have to get an opinion on that tomorrow.

Finished Top Spar CapAfter talking to Dennis (again), he verified I should try to get those layers in there (which I suspected).  After the first batch of layers was somewhat cured, I was able to run a bead of hot glue on top of my dams to add some height.  Added the missing layers in the spar trough, and added peel ply for final cure.

Trimmed the ends of the spar caps (top), removed the dams, and rounded the edge so UND will lay over later.  Turned the spar over, and added the dams to get ready for the next layup.

Repeated the spar cap layups for the bottom spar cap.  Finished with peel ply.  After cure, I removed the dams, cut off the ends, and sanded the edges to a rounded edge.

Posted in 14. Center Section Spar | 2 Comments

36.5 Hrs – Ch 13 – Fuselage Nose

Brake Reservoir Bracket Backing PlateCreated the backing plate for mounting the brake fluid reservoirs.  After verifying fit with the brackets, I floxed it into place and was able to add 1  ply BID along the bottom edge for good measure.  Took this time to add the 2 plies on the back side of the lift tab holes, too.  Then I took some various tubing and screwed them to the table on a piece of plastic.  Then I wet out 1 ply  BID, and cut into strips.  I made sure the strips were thick enough that they would lay over the tubing, tuck in along the bottom of the tubing, and still have enough for a flange on both sides.  After cure, I will cut these into 3/4″ pieces to use for cable and tubing supports.  Then I will be able to flox to the fuselage and cover with 1 ply BID.

Electrical ConduitI thought that before I close up the nose, it would be best to try to get everything done possible in the nose area, before it gets less accessible.  I routed some tubing in the nose for electrical conduit and glassed with 1 BID.  I also added one of my home made tubing supports for the pitot line as well.  Finished with peel ply.

Flushed out the pitot line and reinstalled in the nose.  Finished connecting the support with 5 Min Epoxy flox and 1 layer of BID with peel ply.

Xenon Headlight IgnitersCreated some metal bands to secure the igniters to the aft side of F0.  Mounted nut plates to the rear of the bands after bending properly around the igniters.  Note that before I attached the nutplates, I used the holes to drill the holes in F0.  Then I ran AN3 bolts through the front side of F0 into the nutplates on the other side to cinch the igniters tight against F0.


Forming Headlight LensesDecided to form some lenses tonight.  Started by cutting some pieces of the 1/8″ acrylic in the rough size.  Laid one piece on some t-shirt material, and put in the oven at 275 degrees to soften it up.  Then laid into the nose cone to get the curvature.  The piece was a little too large and would not curve completely, so I marked a closer outline and cut on the sabre saw.  Went through the process again and I go the curvature closer, but not close enough.  I will have to try the Wayne Hicks “composite Cleco” method to hold down the corners.

Nose Top TapesInstead of waiting for the weekend, I was feeling ambitious and decided to glass the bottom of the fuselage top and flox/tape in place.  Added the extra BID around the flange area as specified in the plans.  Used peel ply on the edges, making sure to leave enough room for the BID tapes after floxing back in place (or so I thought).  Since it’s hard to see the underside after it’s floxed in place, I found a few places where I laid BID tapes over peel ply.  I removed the glass from those locations after trimming the edges, and will have to fix during the next session.

There was some flox that needed to be cleaned up on the outside edges where I re-attached Nose Top Inside Tape Repairsthe nose top, so I cleaned that up with the Dremmel tool.  Then I prepared some BID tapes.  I started with inside, where I removed the sections of BID tape because I applied them over peel ply.  I reapplied new BID tapes over those areas and added peel ply.  Then I ran a bead of micro down the edge of the nose top, so there would be a smooth transition over any offsets between the two mating pieces.  Nose Top Outside Tapes(Note:  I don’t think it’s going to matter, but part of me wonders if I would have been better off using flox for that.)  I guess if a crack develops, I will have to fix it then.  Applied the 2″ BID tapes on the sides and peel ply added.

Created the foam piece to connect the nose top to the top of F22.  The plans drawing shows this being one piece, but the M drawing shows it as two.  I decided to make it out of one piece first and attach the canard to check for fit.  Turns out Nose Top Reinforcementthere were clearance issues, so I made it in two pieces instead.  Glassed the bottom of the piece, let it tack cure, then floxed it into place, adding 1 BID tapes to the bottom joints.

Glassed the top of the piece and peel plied.

Test fit the canard, but it was fitting too tight, so I decided to sand down the glass and some of the foam to make some more room.  Glassed with 1 BID and peel plied again.

Reservoir Bracket Mounting RepairsReservoir Bracket Mounting RepairsIn trying to connect the brake fluid reservoirs, they weren’t wanting to connect with enough space between the brackets for the reservoirs to fit.  In trying to make it fit, I ended up crushing the foam when tightening it up.  Cut out a section of the front glass where it was crushed, and removed the foam behind it.  I used the front glass I cut out as a template for drilling new holes.  I cut a birch plywood piece to fit in the hole, and then used the template I cut out to drill the new holes in the plywood.  Floxed into the hole after putting Vaseline in the nut plate holes.  Put some Vaseline on the bolts, and bolted the brackets on, which clamped the wood to the fiberglass backing till cure.

Removed the bolts and brackets, sanded, and glassed with 2 plies of BID.  Then peel plied.

Reservoir Bracket Mounting Fixed

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

20 Hrs – Ch13 – Fuselage Nose


Holder for Wilhelmson AEX UnitFar Forward Bulkhead/Battery Holder (Not in Plans)Far Forward Bulkheads



I have been working on the project, but I have been bad at updating my logbook lately.  Time listed is conservative, when you take into account there has been a lot of time spent figuring out the electrical wiring of the electric nose lift.  I tried fitting the lift in the opening and connecting to the strut.  I was not able to get the end of the actuator lined in NG4A so the bolt would go through.  Turns out NG3A and NG4A were not parallel with the strut.  At the time, I thought the strut was too thick.  I had sanded through the torsional layers, but that ended up being a mistake.  So after removing the NG3A and NG4A again, I added the torsional layers again and floxed NG3A and NG4A again.  I added the torsional layers again and floxed NG3A and NG4A again.  Tested fit again, and this time the end of the actuator wouldn’t quite fit into NG4A, but I devised a way to spread it apart a little so it would fit.  I found a bolt that barely fit into the opening, then I removed it and added a nut on the end.  Then I fit it in the opening and started removing the nut, which ended up spreading apart the ends.  This worked perfect, and the actuator Diagram of glass added to side of strut to Block NG3 From Slidingfit.  Than I added some layups on the sides to strengthen the NG3A and keep it from breaking loose and sliding down the strut on a hard landing.  I essentially used 2 strips folded back onto themselves to make 4 layers.  I also used a flox roll between the layers, up at the edge of NG3A, to make it a bit thicker there and block it from sliding.  Peel ply’d and let cure.Wilhelmson Nose Lift Installed

Fit the nose strut back into the fuselage and fit the electric nose lift with brackets into the nose assembly.  Connected with one bolt (per the instructions), marked the holes to drill on the brackets, drilled the holes on the drill press, and reassembled.  Tested with a battery.  Works as advertised!


Nose Bottom Carved

Carved the nose foam per instructions.  During the assembly of the nose bottom, I did not have the glass trimmed properly, figuring the excess would be hidden, but that bit me in the butt when sanding the curvature.  Sanding foam with glass in the Nose Bottom Glassedway, makes carving very difficult.  I cut out some of the micro and glass that was in the way.  Unfortunately sanding got a little too deep behind F0 on the pilot’s side, so I will have some finish work to do there.  Not too bad, but enough for me to notice.

Glassed the fuselage nose bottom, 2 plies BID, with an extra layer over the nose strut.  Finished with Peel Ply.


Slit Cut in Strut (Accident)Cut open the opening to release the nose strut cover from the fuselage bottom.  Ended up cutting too deep and cutting a slit through the torsional wrap by accident.

After consulting the Cozy list to see if I was going to have to remove the cover to fix, I found out that I would.  Turned out to not be a big deal.  The slit was 3.5″ in length, so I only needed to remove 5″ of the cover.  Added some flox into the slit and covered with 2 ply BID.  Let cure fora few hours, and then positioned the gear into the fuselage, and added the additional 3 plies to replace the part I removed.  Finished with peel ply, and back to forward progress.

Glassed the back side of the gear door with glass overlapping onto the front strut.  I used flox in the corner toward the bottom for a better hold, then used micro in the corners up the rest of the way.  Thinking this will help hold better, should there be a hard landing on the front strut.  Finished with peel ply.

Nose Top CarvedAfter talking with Dennis Oelmann yesterday, he gave me a few pointers on carving the top of the fuselage nose.  In using the template for carving the nose, it sounds like the carving template may have originally been for the narrower F28.  If you use the thicker F28 and use the template (presumably for the thinner F28), you end up with what looks to be a kink in the nose.  Regardless of the reason, I have seen where builders have had that issue, so I was listening…  Dennis recommended first installing the canard.  Then use a long flexible ruler (or something similar) and lay it from F28 to F0.  It will have to bend over the foam to get the proper curvature, and then I removed foam until there was a nice fit.  The most important part is to be sure that when the ruler is laid across the curvature, that there is a distance of 3/4″ to 1″ gap between the ruler Nose Door Glassedand the canard.  This extra thickness at that location should solve the issue with the kink in the nose.  I guess time will tell!  Then I started with the nose door.  I cut the 3 layers of BID out per plans, trimmed to proper dimensions, and transferred to the nose which I already had box sealing tape applied for release.  Added peel ply and wait for cure.

Trimmed the edges of the nose door and added 3 layers around the outside edge on the bottom side, 1″ thick.  Placed back on the nose and weighted in place to keep the proper form.

Marked the nose door on the nose after trimming the edges of the door.  Sanded down the foam for the door to fit into.  Wasn’t enough time to start glassing though.

Kim Glassing Nose TopNose Door Weighted to Ensure Fit





Micro’d the foam and added 2 plies of BID at 45 degrees.  The BID wasn’t quite wide enough for the whole nose section, so I had to have a small section of overlap.  Finished with peel ply and covered the nose door area with saran wrap and put the door in place.  Weighted the door in place with a wood contraption that I created that placed pressure along the edges.

Nose Door Cut Out

Nose Top Aft Edge Glassed





Started by cutting out the nose door, and then cut the top off that I just finished glassing two nights before.  Then I floxed the corner of the aft edge of the opening, and added 2 plies BID.  Finished with peel ply.

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39 Hrs – Ch 13 – Fuselage Nose

Duct Tape Dam for Pour FoamReattaching Nose SidesI used duct tape to dam up the sides where I cut through to reposition.  Mixed up pour foam and added in the void.  I opted to do this instead of micro and foam scraps since it will be much easier to contour later if I don’t have micro to sand through.  After the foam dried, I sanded down and reapplied 2 layers of BID on the seams, and then 3 layers BID buildup over the lift tabs.  Finished up with peel ply.

Glassed Top of Foam for Canard FitRemoved peel ply on the NG30’s, and reassembled the nose gear.  Trimmed and dressed the fiberglass from the night before, and reinstalled the canard to check measurements.  Still look good!  Cut out the 2″ urethane foam for the top of the nose and sanded to the proper dimensions.  Decided to start over, as I sanded way too much off on one side of the top.  Oops.  After getting it just right, I glued it on temporarily with dabs of 5 min epoxy and turned the fuselage upside down for the next step.

Apparently I didn’t use enough dabs of epoxy, as the top fell off over night.  Since the fuselage is upside down, I was still able to glass the foam edges of the nose wheel opening.  After Kim woke up, we flipped the fuselage back over and doubled up on the dabs of epoxy this time and turned back over.  Added a few nails this time until I’m ready to carve.  I also was able to find some Blazer driving lights (RE774C) that will work, so I snatched them up.

Measuring Nose ConeAfter doing some shopping at the hardware store, I found some nuts and bolts to mo0unt the lights.  Mounted them for a test fit and verified clearance in the nose cone.  Turned the lights on while holding the nose cone in place temporarily.  Marked the pattern on the nose cone.  Marked the center marks on the nose cone.  Did this by first finding the center of the nose cone.  Then taped a piece of string around the circumference, folded in half and marked the string, then folded again and marked the 1/4 points.  Then put the string back on the nose cone and transferred the marks onto the nose cone, which gave me center marks top and bottom, as well as center marks left and right.  Then I was able to come up with a lens pattern for the headlights.

Pitot TubeCut off the end of the pitot tube, and drilled out the end to 7/16″ bit, and tapped using 1/4″ NPT.  I was concerned about bolting the lights too tight and c rushing the foam, so I decided to remove the foam and fiberglass on the bottom of NG31 where the lights attach, and replace with 6 BID for reinforcement.

Glassed Light MountsTrimmed the layup and tested lights for fit again.  The outside flange was catching the fiberglass curve, but was able to bend for clearance.

Found a piece of 3/4″ conduit from a coworker to fit the pitot tube into for the removable pitot.  Didn’t fit, so I used a 5/8″ drill bit to bore out the hole.  Then I cut the rest pretty much as shown on Wayne Hicks’ site.  In my attempt to drill out the pitot tube perfectly center for tapping new threads, I found that I still got off enough to cause problems.  The pitot tube would bind when screwing onto the fitting, unless the fitting was allowed to move around to compensate.  Since the fitting will be floxed in, that won’t work after cure.  I shortened the conduit to the correct length and was able to grind down part of the pitot tube where the wall thickness seemed a little thicker than the rest.  Hopefully that will allow the pitot tube to be removed after the flox dries.  Added some petroleum jelly to the threads of the fitting and floxed into place.

Did some additional filing on the pitot tube thread end to help it screw in and out of the end.  Sanded out a foam contour to match the pitot tube in NG31.  Floxed the sleeve in place and covered with 5 plies of BID and peel plied.

Replacement Stainless Steel NG2 FootRan tubing for the pitot tube to the instrument panel and flared the end to connect to the fitting at the pitot tube.  Removed NG3 and NG4 from the nose strut in preparation for the new NG3 and NG4 from the nose strut in preparation for the new NG3A and NG4A coming with the electric nose lift.  Also sanded down F0 some to fit the nose cone.

Removed Ng2 foot from the MKNG15 wheel assembly.  Checked fit for NG3A and NG4A Replacement NG3A and NG4A Floxedafter removing all the flox from the original parts.  Holes were not drilled on NG3, so I followed Jack’s instructions for drilling and floxed into place, keeping the same dimension as shown in the plans (6.71″).  This is hard to measure with all the clamps in place, but luckily I marked the sides of NG3 on the side of the strut during the test fit.  I will double check the measurement after the flox is cured.  Floxed the new NG2 foot onto the MKNG15 Assembly.  Just snugged the bolts with 2 washers between the MKNG15 and NG2 for each of the bolts.  Will torque to proper value after cure.

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10 Hrs – Ch00 – Garage Preparation

Tool CaddyCreated the workstation on wheels from the Tony Bingelis book “The Sport Plane Builder”.  I made mine a little bigger to match my available space and tools.  Tony shows 30″ x 30″, but I chose 30″ x 48″.  Turned out pretty good, and I also took the chance to move my tool chest in the garage from the basement, and organize most of the clutter in the garage!

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13 Hrs – Ch12 – Canard Install

Torque Tube Sealing PieceFabricated the small piece that fits between the canard and the torque tube to block the inrush of cold air.  Epoxied it in place and put one layer of BID on each side.  Trimmed them up after cure, and checked for fit. Cut out the two aluminum pieces for the front of the Alignment Tab With Nutplatealignment tabs (not in the plans, but in the FAQ, section 12.6).  Drilled a  hole and added nutplates to accept the AN3 bolt.  Put in an order for longer bolts, and will flox in place when they arrive.

Hardpoint for Electric Nose LiftDrilled through the lift tab holes with the 5/8″ counter bore tool and floxed in the CNL bushings after checking alignment.  Floxed the nut plates (on the aluminum plates) for the alignment pins.  Covered with one ply of BID.  Also opened up the third hole on NG30 (passenger side) in preparation for the electric nose lift, and floxed in a BID plug.  Added 2 plies of BID over and peel plied.

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