28th March 2013

Instrument Panel

Continuing work on the instrument panel, primed the front side, and drilled last hole in the small tab braces and primed them.

Laid out and drilled the matching angle brace pieces for the sub panel. Cleaned these up & primed them also.


Then removed the new sheet metal for the sub panel so that I could clean up the mating edges of the upper skin ribs. The ribs both will need some spacers. I plan to attach those to the rib with a couple of flush rivets.

I cleaned the glue residue off the flange that holds the weatherstripping in preparation for painting this part of the interior and cleaned up this area for priming.

Still needed is mounting of the backing plates for the new canopy hinge pins arrangement and the corresponding slots. Then assemble can commence.


Hours: 3.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

27th March 2013

IP to SP Bracing

I needed this drawing I made a while back which shows the lower side of the glare shield and needed canopy clearances.


Cannot decide on the bracing with canopy off. Tried one prototype but it just cracked in the bends; so I decided to just mount a pieces of angle on each panel, IP at the small tabs, SP at the forward rib location. Then after the canopy is back on I can cut small lengths of angle for the bracing. That way I won’t be held up at this time.

So I took everything apart and got the switch panel reasy & primed it:


Also went ahead and prepped the front stack brackets and primed them.


Then I fabbed 2 small spacers and angles for the bracing tab on the panel frame.


Then worked on getting the instrument panel frame ready for priming. Part of this was to cut small notches at the top outer most corner of the 2.5″ instruments to allow the housings to clear. Only got the back primed, will finish the front tomorrow.


Hours: 7.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

26th March 2013

Instrument Panel

Pressing hard to finish up the instrument panel, decisions about how everything goes together, where nut plates are, joining switch panel to upper frame, etc. and then getting these holes drilled de-burred, ready to rivet.


After drilling, de-burring, countersinking, riveting, etc. Here is the instrument panel frame completed and ready for prepping for paint.





Also the switches/controls panel was match drilled for mounting, holes cleaned up and counter-sunk.


Then one last test fit to check everything and also give me a chance to finalize the details of the bracing between the IP & SP.


Hours: 8.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

26th March 2013

Rudimentary Milling Machine

I need to cut slots in aluminum and possible some rectangular & odd shaped holes later (USB, serial, etc). These are hard to do by drilling & filing, so I got an X/Y cross-slide vise for the big drill press and son-in-law loaned me some end mill bits. Not perfect like a Bridgestone but much easier than the filing and nibbling.


Drill & filed on the left, testing the ‘milling’ on the right.


Ones on left were done by hand, one on right by milling the slots.


Hours: 2.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

22nd March 2013


Spent a little time thinking about goals to let me make some progress. Goal is to concentrate on finishing F602 to F604 with painitng to let me start on wiring.


Hours: 1.0 | Posted in GENERAL | 0 Comments

22nd March 2013

Sub Panel

With the completion of the canopy hinge pins the sub panel is almost finished. I should be able to mount it and paint this section of the interior soon. Here is what ir will look like when finished, only painted the light machine gray.




Hours: 1.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

22nd March 2013

Backup Electrical

I spent some time this morning thinking about backup electrical. This was to be sure that what I have mounted on the sub panel is going to be correct (before mounting the sub panel).

What I have so far is:

  • I have a 12V 8AH backup battery and battery box to hold it on the right side of the sub panel
  • Right next to it I have a 12 fuse panel to distribute backup power safely.
  • On the right side of the lower switches/controls panel I have 6 switch holes for SPDT switches, This could be expanded to 8 switches if necessary

The iBOX part of the EFIS system already have some backup features built into it. There are 2 supply inputs Va & Vb isolated internally with 3A schottky diodes. They feed a power output Vs that is intented to power the SP6 (magnetometer), the SP7 (AHRS) and the RDAC-XF (engine sensors).


So what my current backup plan looks like (using the VPX backup plan B) is to:

  • When the backup switches are in the ‘off’ position, normal VPX power is fed to each of the 6 selected devices. The EFIS does not need a switch as it is isolated by the schottky diodes.
  • When the backup switches are switched ‘on’, that specific device now receives its power from the backup batter through a fused circuit.


Not yet shown is a small charging circuit for the backup battery on the ground.

But the switches require manual switchover for those devices, so I had the thought of a small pc board that would insert into 2 fuse positions of the fuse block and provide automatic switchover, isolation and fusing.



Hours: 2.0 | Posted in Electrical | 0 Comments

21st March 2013

Canopy Hinge Pins

In the limited time I had in the hangar this afternoon, I just built up the canopy hinge pin actuator for the other side.


Hours: 3.0 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

19th March 2013

Canopy Hinge Pins

Spent some time gathering measurements for new canopy hinge pins. The slots need to be cut unto the sub panel before mounting, possibly also some small backing plates mounted.

I made a small drawing with the measurements and a possible design:


Added a second screw for stability of operation & modified the drawing. I’m going to make a mockup tonight to test & then since it is steel, see if my son-in-law can weld the 2 pins & actuators for me.

Made a sketch of a way to make the pin mechanism using just a couple of pieces of aluminum angle with no welding.


And after some fab work, here is the prototype canopy pin actuator/bracket. The two screws fit through 2 slots in the sub-panel and will slide approx. 1/2″ to actuate the pin for canopy removal.


Made a drawing to show the dimensions of the slots needed and additional backing plate.


First attempt at cutting slots.



Hours: 6.5 | Posted in Canopy, Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments

19th March 2013

Instrument Panel

Removed the new instrument panel pieces from the plane to finish them up for priming and fitting.

Aligned and cut the two main pieces of the instrument panel to fit to each other. This now matches the latest panel drawings which were modified to reflect changes.


Next step will be screw holes & nut plates to join the switch/control panel to the upper frame.

I put the instrument panel back in place to check the center stack depth needed and clearances with that depth. The older longest radio needs 12″ of depth for flush face mounting.


This means that for 12″ depth, the forward avionics rack must be all the way forward against the firewall, so need to check center bushing bracket on overhead rudder pedals again.


And naturally this means the center bushing bracket will need slight modifications if the long radios are kept. Just trim the top and consider this as lightening the plane. I don’t want to move the VP-X to the top as that makes it much harder to work on.


Hours: 2.5 | Posted in Foward Fuselage | 0 Comments