Covers & Fairings
3/16/12 WOW! Had an oh crap moment and a nice moment all in the same day. Last night I was mounting some small pieces of birch for the captive nuts to hold my front seats into place and I believe I may have damaged one of the antenna lines in the bottom of my fuselage with my dremel. I could not see how deep the scoring was on the coax I hit so i will have to see when I actually hook up the radios if I need to come up with a replacement antenna setup or not.
Then after the layup cured I installed the seats, the center console and sat in my plane to see how I liked it. Hence the WOW. Everything was spaced perfectly for what I want. Leg room is awesome, stick is in perfect position, throttle is good. everything I am going to need to have easy access to for my controls is well within reach.
I sat there in my plane for about half an hour just marvelling at how beautiful this project is and how perfect a fit it is for me.
The picture on the console is of Burrall Sanders control panel layout. His is the cozy I got to ride in last year down at the Kanab, UT fly-in. Mine will be a bit different in the controls but it's a very clean layout and I hope to make mine as clean as that.
12/31/13 I borrowed my brother's oil cooler (i havent bought mine yet) to get all the hardware measurements and to show what the final product will look like. I am building a cover that extends from the top of the spar to the top of the canopy, when the fan is not in operation I believe the heat escaping into the fuselage will be minimal. I have some aluminum vent openings that will be installed at the bottom of the cover for air intake purposes. Since heat rises, and the intake will be below the height of the oil cooler, I don't see much heat escaping without fan operation. Minimal holes through the firewall, (2x 3/4 holes for the coolant as opposed to a big vent hole that can bring carbon monoxide into the cab if there's an exhaust leak.)
You may note I haven't done the reinforcements for the engine mounts yet, I'm a bit low on BID and will be making an order around mid january. The area that the ducting used to go thru under the spar is going to be where I install my fuel selector valve, just need to figure out where I want to run the fuel lines, rotary install and all...
12/21/13 First off I want it to be known that this is a very blatant deviation from plans. There are a few things we builders seem do do as a collective here in Utah and this is one of them. The area above the spar is going to be used for the cabin heat feature. I am taking the ducting up between the seats and attaching it to a box, above that box will be a positech oil cooler (with coolant running through it) and above that will be a bilge vent fan to blow mass air thru the cooler into the duct up to my feet. This is a copy of 2 other builders, Ric Lee and Rick Irwin. (Lotta Ricks in this community)
I like the idea that I am not taking cabin air from the exhaust manifold, less chance of CO2 poisoning. And with the cover over the area above the spar, there should be minimal seepage of hot air when I don't want the heater in use. Since it's been pretty damn cold lately here, i've been working on little things like the ducting, and I can just close my canopy, toss a heater in there, and it stays nice and warm for cure.
11/09/2013 I need to figure out a methodology for updating this site... seems I only get to update every few months. But in this case it has been a busy few months.
First off, I got my Private Pilot License. Now when I finish my cozy I can transition to it and fly it instead of having to get my license.
I also finished the core of my wings. I left the ailerons and winglets til later, but I got the wings skinned, and recruited another local builder (Rick Irwin) to help me level them to the spar and drill the mounting holes. Now there is nothing holding me back from installing the spar into the fuselage.
So I jumped back to chapter 14 to the spar attach section and made a discovery. When I decided to make my fuselage 4 inches wider I did not take that into account in the placement of the engine mount inserts. After a quick email to the cozy girrrls about the placement of their engine mount I had to install 2 new aluminum hardpoints at the correct locations in the lower firewall. The ones I had installed were too far apart. Finished that today.
I also had run out of epoxy right after doing the wings so I took that as an opportunity to upgrade my plane building factory. My sawhorses were looking a bit weak so I rebuilt them, and found some new steel furniture for my hot box and screw storage.
3/26/14 Rework on the lower seat complete, very comfy back there. I just finished routing my fuel lines inside the cabin! See! Oh you can't see in this picture, that's the point... it's covered by the seatbacks and arm rest covers.
I'll remove the seatback and try again... there it is. Bottom lines are for fuel intake from the tanks, top lines are return lines from my fuel injected rotary. Yes, it is an electric fuel selector valve from Pollak, usually used in a boat. It's an either or switch... it's switched to one tank or the other, no off position. That will be addressed in a different location. I"m going to hold off floxing the lines where they exit the fuselage until the strakes ribbing is in place.
3/13/2014 Has it been 2 months since an update? wow.... Well, I've been putting together my back seats and here's what I came up with. I had some strangeness pop up on my project, not sure how this came about, but seeing as how the project I got my canopy molds from is the same, I don't feel too bad about it. The rear windows extend too far back for a cover to go strait across the top of the spar, so I angled them on either side of the center flairing toward the firewall, so when the cover touches the canopy it is aft of the windows.
Since I installed my cabin heater in the top center above the spar I decided to make that whole area one compartment to keep the heat minimized in times when I don't have the heater on... The 4 white circles on the cover are air intakes, I put them below the level of the oil cooler behind the cover, and since heat rises in theory it should keep heat from the cabin when I don't have the fan on.
Another thing I did is I extended the seat back up to the top of the spar. This served my purposes for a couple of reasons.
First it covered the 2 big gaping holes in the front of the spar.
Second it gave me more space to run wires back there. I have seen many pictures of wiring installations where there are great big runs of wire running off the top of the spar and there is no way to hide these. This way the only thing that requires power above the spar is the fan for cabin cooling, and it will be much easier to hide 2 wires than 200.
This configuration also gives me some latitude on putting electronics down inside the spar (clickbonds) and under the spar. With the seatback higher I can run wires in and out of the spar openings and it is all hidden by the seatback. Since electronics hate heat it will also keep the electronics lower in the cabin (hence cooler)
Another item you might notice in these pictures is the flat aluminum bar sticking up off the top of the seatback. This is intended as a mounting point for round headrest type cushions. After looking at the original seatback configuration there's a kink between the top of the seatback and the front of the spar.... I don't know anyone that has a bend in their spine right there... ouch...
The bar is embedded in the seatback. It is bent at 35 degrees right at the top of the seatback and continues the length down the seatback... adds to rigidity of the seatback. Plus I plan on putting velcro squares on the outer edges of the seatback to hold it in place. The bar / headrest gives me something to grab if i want to open the back compartment to inspect.
Here's a view from above... I put a cover on the top of the armrest where the elbow goes to allow me to hide wiring and fuel lines. Using a fuel injected engine means I will need a return line to the fuel tanks and it should come in at the top of the tank... This cover allows me to hide the fuel return line from getting dinged or bent.
REWORK TIME. Crap... I unthinkingly used the plans distance between the thigh support and the seat back... I went to sit in the back of my plane and OUCH! That's my head hitting the canopy. I noticed my butt was sitting on the thigh support and that made me sit higher in the plane than was optimal. Time to rip out the thigh supports, move them 2-3" forward and reinstall them. After rippng them out I sat in the plane and positioned the thigh support forward and it made a big difference. My butt was on the floor, and it was far more comfortable. After I finish this I believe it will be time for the canard cover.
11/08/14 I have been working on learning how to finish pieces. I'm using my armrest covers, seat backs, etc. to learn how to do the finish work and I have to say so far it's looking good. I'm using the West 105/205 for the finishing process. Using my structural epoxy for finishing would be like sanding granite. This is much easier.
Here's one of my panels after the finish process. It does look a little brown, but I'll spray it with another shot of zolatone and hopefully the brown will fade to white. I'm using the white granite looking zolatone, I started with the dark grey but changed after I saw how hot those dark colors will be. My accent color will be a deep purple (after all it has to match my hair.)
All of the pieces I get powder coated will be purple for a white / purple interior. I also had a metal piece made to border the armrest control hole. This will provide a nice clean edge for the control stick and I will powder coat it purple to match the rest of the panels.
The other item I have been hitting hard is my canard cover. It will be separate from the canard so I had to fabricate it with some sort of mechanism to hold it in place. What I ended up with is a canard cover with vertical surfaces on the forward and rear faces to mount to the plane. I installed 4 pegs on the front which fit into holes on the canard cover, and there will be 4 bolts going through the canard cover at the aft face into f28. this holds the canard cover forward on the pegs and keeps everything in place.
11/08/14 some other airplane related events, I did get to go down to Kanab again this year for the annual fly-in. That was a lot of fun and I'm always amazed at what I notice on other planes. When I was working on the canard I noticed canards, now I was noticing finish work and strakes, as well as interiors.
After the fly-in Stuart had arranged for Marc Z. to fly up to our area and do some tech inspections on our projects. Those of you that know me and my plane building history know that this caused me more than a little anxiety. However it was a non-issue. The inspection went well, and no major structural items were found during the inspection. Just little minor fixes. Whew!