Saturday, February 24, 2018

Section: 24
Hours: 7

I spend a couple hours hunting and gathering electrical components this morning. I ordered molex connectors for the wing tips, molex pins, shrink insulation, heat gun, crimp on connectors and Dymo wire label shrink tubing from Amazon.

It still hadn't warmed above freezing in the garage after the order session so I watched the tutorial on crimping molex mini pins on SteinAir's web site and added connectors to the aileron trim servo. Thank you SteinAir! The mini pins are very difficult for my old eyes to focus on - I'll have to get one of those big magnifying glasses if I have to do very many more of these :-(
I've been trying to get as much finished in the interior of the wings as possible before riveting the bottom skins. I could probably do a lot of tasks by reaching in through the access holes, but it is MUCH easier with the skins off. I'm now waiting for parts to arrive from Amazon and Aircraft Spruce and hopefully I'll be done with interior work by the end of next week.

This afternoon I trimmed the left wing tip and fitted it to the wing. The first step was to bolt the rigging template to the end of the aileron to hold it in the neutral position. I fabricated a half washer and added a couple spacing washers to space the template from the end of the wing before tightening the nut. Then I used masking tape to hold the template on the aileron.

It took 3 or 4 trim, mount, mark and re-trim sessions to get an acceptable fit. I used a strap to apply (gentle) pressure to force the wing tip into the leading edge of the wing. I also used duck tape to help pull the tip flush into the end of wing.

The fiberglass is very flexible and is easy to coerce into shape. I had read several blogs where the builders had to split the trailing edge of the tip to get it to line up with the aileron trailing edge. I discovered that depending on how you pull the lower and upper edges of the tip into the wing skins you can cause the trailing edge to move several inches up or down.

I squared up the inside edge of the flanges where they meet the wing skins using a sanding block to get a closer fit. Then I carefully used duct tape to pull the tip in for as close a fit as possible. It took a couple times of sanding and looking for interference points before I got a decent fit. Then I used duct tape to pull the tip in as close possible.
At this point the trailing edge was very close to alignment with the aileron trailing edge (see picture above). To get it into final position I gently pulled on the trailing edge of the fiberglass tip and re-set several of the duct tape strips to hold it in final position (picture below).
Finally I drilled #40 the mounting holes starting from the leading edge working aft, alternating between the upper and lower skin. I frequently checked the tip trailing edge alignment as I drilled and clecoed the holes. The alignment ended up spot on by the time I finished drilling and clecoing.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Section: OP-38
Hours: 4

The paint cured on the parts I painted yesterday after being in the warm house overnight. This morning I riveted together the electric aileron trim module. I was able to squeeze all the rivets which made it pretty easy.

After lunch I puzzled out how to attach the Garmin GAP-26 plumbing to the pitot and AOA lines. I was going to just order a duplicate of the fittings Van's provides for the kit pitot tube, but I discovered they are sized for 1/4 inch tubing and the GAP-26 has 3/16 inch tubing. I started looking for the proper AN fittings in the Aircraft Spruce catalog - there a lot of choices. Then I remembered I had a lot of plumbing parts left over after installing the static ports. I had ordered the Avery EFIS System Plumbing kit from Aircraft Spruce when I was working on the tail cone. It turns out that it has fittings for the GAP-26 aluminum to plastic tubing connections.
 I pulled the pitot and AOA lines through the wing. Then I worked on installing the aileron actuator on the end of the wing. I had cleaned and primed the tubes a couple days ago. The tubes had been a close fit before painting and now they didn't fit at all. I spent a couple hours sanding primer off to get the tubes to fit together again and then applied a good coat of grease and slipped them together. When I went to fit them in the end of the wing I discovered I had to sand even more because you need to slip the inner tubing well past the mark to get the assembly to seat in the bearings.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Section: 20
Hours: 7

I worked on fabricating and installing the pitot mast. I purchased the Gretz kit with the holes drilled from Aircraft Spruce (some assembly required). The Garmin GAP-26 heated pitot fits nicely in the Gretz mast. The kit includes the mast, mounting plate, spacer and a bag of nut plates and screws.
The mounting plate comes with a z-bend so it will fit over the spar flange. I lined up the plate so that 4 holes in the spar flange lined up centered on the mounting plate. The mounting plate is riveted to the spar flange, the bottom skin and to an angle bracket that ties to the outboard rib.
A rivet layout fan was included with my original tool kit and today was the first time I actually needed to use it. Works great! You drill the holes on either end of the line, cleco the fan in place and use the fingers to drill the rest of the holes.

I fabricated the rib to mounting plate angle from some scrap .063 sheet I had lying around. I dimpled all the holes in the bottom skin. For the mounting plate, I counter sank the holes that go to the angle brace and dimpled the rest.
 Here is the back showing how the angle brace ties to the rib.
I spent the rest of the afternoon scrubbing, etching and painting parts for the various assemblies going into the wing. I've been using the Stewart EcoPrime water based primer and I couldn't tell if the paint was drying or freezing- it was cold today. I took the parts inside the house to warm up and cure after this picture was taken.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Section: 20
Hours: 3

I riveted together the ADAHRS mounting tray and fit the magnetometer bracket. After riveting the tray together I tried to slide the magnetometer bracket in. Unfortunately, the fit was too snug because I made the flutes in the retainer covers too deep. I tried flattening them with pliers, but even then the fit was too tight. I ended up filing down the edges of the bracket to get a better fit. I should have tried the fit before riveting the tray together. Live and learn...

Section: 19
Hours: 2

I decided to run the Van's supplied light and tip strobe wiring through the wing today so I could get an idea of how it fits. I like how the connector fits into a support bracket at the wing root.

I think I will pull out the red, yellow, green and white nav/strobe wires and replace them with a 3 wire shielded cable to eliminate noise. I'll tie the shield to ground on the FlyLED's controller in the fuselage and the shielded cable should fit in the existing grommets in the ribs along with the head light wiring.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Section: OP-38
Hours: 2

I purchased the optional aileron trim kit OP-38 from vans. It includes hardware and a few aluminum parts and a Ray Allen trim servo. When I ordered it I didn't realize the kit also included an LED indicator and an on/off switch for the panel. I will be controlling the trim using the hat switch on the top of the control stick and the G3X display will show the trim status so the included LED indicator and on/off switch will go unused. I would have been $$ cheaper to order the trim servo without the switch and LED.

Section: OP-52A
Hours: 1

I also purchased 2 of the Aero LEDS Sunspot LX landing light kits which include the LED lights, mounting brackets and assorted hardware. Unfortunately I could not find the 2 baggies that have the hardware so I will have to contact Van's tomorrow after the holiday.

Section: 62
Hours: 1

Van's recently introduced a mounting kit for the Garmin GMU-22 Magnetometer. It includes a mounting bracket that replaces the Dynon ADAHRS mount in the left wing. The wing wiring for the Dynon ADAHRS can be repurposed to attach the GMU-22 so it seems like a good deal. Some builders have reported interference from the wing tip strobes causing the GMU-22 to fail, but I'm running an extra pair of shielded wires to my strobes so hopefully that won't be an issue.
Note: The mounting ring for the GMU-22 is not included in the kit from Van's. I ordered all my avionics from SteinAir and they provided the GMU-22, but it did not include the mounting ring either. I'll have to talk to SteinAir about providing the ring.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Section: 23
Hours: 5

I continued work on the aileron actuator. Here is the jig I used for setting the length and angles before drilling the bolt holes in the center tube. I marked the dimensions on my table and clamped a couple squared off blocks at either end of the width. It was easy to insert the parts and expand them to the proper width. I then used another wood block cut on my table saw to be 1 1/32 inch wide to set the angle per the drawing in the manual. Make sure you build the second one as a mirror image of the first.
I deburred, sanded, cleaned and primed the components with Rust-oleum clean metal primer.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Section: 23
Hours: 6

We are having more unseasonable warm weather (70 degrees in the afternoon) so I decided to prep and prime some parts. Here are the aileron push rods and end caps, the GMU-22 magnetometer mounting bracket, wing tip ribs and the elevator gap closure fairings. I also spent some time cleaning up the garage some.

I also spent some time working out more details for the wing wiring. I will be using the Van's provided wiring harnesses since I already have them on hand. From my initial research it looks like I will have to provide additional wiring for several items:

1) The FlyLEDS wingtip LED strobe lights may be electrically noisy so it is recommended that they be wired using a shielded pair of 18-22 ga. wire.

2) I will be installing a GAP-26 regulated pitot heater that requires additional wiring runs for power and the sense line that attaches to a G3X annunciator.

3) I think I'll be mounting the outside air temperature (OAT) in the left wing and it will require extra wiring.

4) I am going to use an Archer nav antenna embedded in the right wing tip and it will require a coax cable run.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 4

This morning I got out the rivet gun, bucking bar and drove some rivets. It's been a while but it all came back to me - like riding a bicycle at this point in the project.

Section: 23
Hours: 3

This afternoon I started work on the aileron linkage. Here I've installed the aileron bellcrank. The first time I started tightening the end nut the bell crank got tight, so I removed it and lightly sanded the inside of the pivot tube. It now moves freely without any slop.
I had previously started the fabrication of pushrods. Today I cleaned out the inside of the tubes with sandpaper wrapped around a broom stick and then taped off the ends and poured epoxy primer into the tubes. Tomorrow I'll prime the outsides.

Next I fabricated the push rods. I had previously primed the inside of the tubes. The threaded ends are held in with (long) AN470AD4-11 rivets. The manual advises using a hand squeezer on these because it is easy to lean them over. I don't have a hand squeezer so I decided to back rivet them, which worked really well. I placed the back rivet plate on the table, inserted the rivet and then held the rod in one hand so the rivet was vertical to the rivet plate and the rod was parallel to the plate. Then I aligned the rivet gun vertically on the end of the rivet and gently tapped the rivet into the back plate to get the initial set. It was easy to control the rivet using this setup.

I finished up this afternoon by inserting threaded rod ends into the torque tube sub assemblies with pull rivets.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 8

After fitting and match drilling the empennage fairing you do a final trim. You must maintain at least 3/16 inch of margin to the center of all the screw holes. A couple holes on one side of my fairing were too close to the edge, so I had to adjust the trim line out about 1/16" in a couple places. That's why you leave a 1/8 inch margin in the initial trim. I used masking tape to mark the required trim line and cut within 1/16" with the dremel. Then I used a long board with sandpaper to sand to the tape line for a nice straight final trim.
After sanding all the edges to the final trim, I rechecked the fit on the airplane and made a few more adjustments in the saddle areas to close all the gaps to less than 1/32 inch all around. Then I applied a half round to all the edges using a sanding block to first apply a 45 degree bevel all around and then I knocked the edges of the 45 bevel off with the sanding block. I did the final rounding using sandpaper held in my fingers. I should mention that I frequently run the shop vac to keep the fiberglass dust from accumulating (did I mention I hate fiberglass dust ?).
The next step is to add nut plates to the h-stab, v-stab and fuselage. I was able to use the squeezer to rivet the nut plates on the h-stab and v-stab. Then, as I was inspecting the fuselage under the horizontal stabilizer, I discovered that I was missing a row of rivets (see felt marker arrows below). I must have mis-read the manual a few chapters back. There was no way I could do all that riveting with the tail feathers in place so I spent the rest of the afternoon removing the elevators, h-stab and v-stab :-( Two steps forward, one step back...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 7

Back to fiberglass work. Today I tackled fitting the empennage fairing. The fairing is provided oversize with a final trim line scribed in the top coat. The trim line is hard to see so I traced over it with black marker.

The fairing is too bulky to run through the bandsaw so I used my dremel tool with an abrasive cutoff wheel. The dremel tool kicks out lots of abrasive fiberglass dust while cutting so I run the shop vac and hold the hose close to the cutoff wheel to catch the dust before it permeates every corner of the garage. There is nothing worse than itchy, abrasive fiberglass dust all over the shop :-(
Since I use one hand for the shop vac hose and the other hand for the dremel, I clamped the fairing to the work table to keep it from moving.
 After doing the initial trim leaving 1/8 inch extra margin you fit the fairing to the empennage. The trick in fitting is to get the saddles on the leading edge of the horizontal stab to have less than 1/16 inch of gap. You do this by trimming back the vertical stab saddle and by thinning some of the thicker spots of the fairing. I had to trim about 1/8 inch inside of the scribe line in the vertical stab saddle area to get a good fit. The fairing is flexible so a good fit is helped by using some body english as well as trimming.

Next you place a light inside of the empennage area to illuminate where the screw holes are and drill #40 holes in the fiberglass to match. It's important to tightly hold the fairing in place to maintain the close fit to the h-stab saddle areas. The manual suggests taping it in place, but I couldn't get the tape to hold securely enough and I wasn't confident it wouldn't shift.
The fit looks really good at this point. Everything is lying down and the saddle gaps are very small. The mold for the fairing is very accurate. I've seen some other RV's that had to use lots of flox and bondo to get a fit this close. I'm very impressed with the quality of the RV-14 fiberglass parts so far.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 5

I cleaned up the v-stab tip and riveted it in place.
Yesterday I inset the end bulkhead about 1/8 inch and applied a flox fillet to allow internal clearance from the rudder through full throw. Here is the result riveted in place.

Next step didn't involve fiberglass!!!! Here is the fairing that attaches below the horizontal stabilizer. I used a couple boards and clamps to hold the fairing and bent the angles called out in the manual.
The fairing attaches with #6 screws. I slightly broke the lower edge of the fairing to generate a tighter fit.
 Here is how those bends transition the fairing from the vertical stab down to the fuselage.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 4

I made a template for the vertical stab tip end out of 1/16 inch plywood and carefully sanded it to fit. Then I transferred the shape from the template to the fiberglass / balsa sandwich panel and cut it to final shape. I then bonded the panel into the tip with flox thickened epoxy and glass cloth tape.
(sorry no pictures).

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 5

I made a template and laid up a fiberglass/balsa sandwich panel to close the end of the v-stab tip and set it aside to cure.

Next I sanded and cleaned up the h-stab tips. Yesterday I had glassed in a bulkhead in the noses of the tips to push them to a fuller shape. I also added a fillet of flox thickened epoxy to the round the outside face of the end bulkhead. This will create a shape that allows for good clearance of the elevator through the whole range of throw.

Both tips are now final fit and riveted to the horizontal stabilizer. There are still a few small gaps that will have to be faired with filler, but the final fit is pretty good.

Section: 12
Hours: 5

I did an initial trim and fit the vertical stabilizer tip. Here it is after match drilling. I attached the rudder before doing a final trim.

After trimming the tip now has 1/8 inch gap to rudder.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 5

I worked on attaching the rudder tip fairings.

The drilling and riveting went fairly easily on the top tip fairing.

I had sanded the edges of the bottom tip to a very good fit a couple days ago. However, when the tip was pushed onto the end of the rudder, there were large gaps because the fiberglass was too wide. I taped the edges using masking tape to pull everything into place before drilling any holes. After drilling holes and applying clecos the fit looks good.
The K1000-06 nut plates that were provided with my kit were not -06, they were too large. Luckily I had some extras I had ordered from Aircraft Spruce. I'm also missing some of the #6 screws needed for fastening.
 The plans call out offsetting the rear nut plate on one side, but they do not specify a dimension for the offset. I wish I had offset a little more- the riveting was a little difficult for the 2 opposing rivets seen below.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 5

More fun (not) with fiberglass today.

The bottom rudder fairing on the RV-14 must be cut down to avoid hitting the tail wheel. The resulting hole must then be filled in with a fiberglass skin. I rough cut out the hole using the template provided in the manual and then used the dremel drum sander and several sanding  blocks to get the final bevel.

I had some balsa sandwich panel left over from making the h-stab tip ends so I shaped it to fill the hole. Here it is during the dry fit before layup.
 I roughed up the inside of the fairing around the hole to help ensure a good bond of the reinforcment fiberglass layer.
Here is the final layup of 2 layers of 9 oz. BID fiberglass. I applied a paste of flox thickened resin around the edges before applying the cloth.

Here's what the outside looks like after the layup. I also bonded the balsa sandwich bulkheads to the h-stab tips this afternoon. I had to work fast because the resin started kicking quicker than I thought.  Luckily I was mixing small batches in large paper bowls so it was manageable.  It got into the mid 70's this afternoon- it looks like we are going to just skip winter this year.

I cut out the opening for the tail light and did a trial fit. Unfortunately the standalone FlyLEDs tail light will not fit without some major modification so I ordered the much smaller tail light that is driven directly by the wing position/strobe light controller board. I'm not sure why I didn't order that in the first place.