Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Hours: 8

I just attached the data plate. This was an interesting project. Several builders I know have had their plates engraved, but I thought the engraving was hard to read. I decided to use metal letter punches to mark my plate.

I tried manually holding the punches but did not get very good results. You really need to align the punch vertically before striking it so I built a guide to hold the punches using some aluminum angle pieces.

I clamped the data plate to another plate and clamped an alignment bar over it that. I was then able to slide my guide along the alignment bar to register the punch position vertically to make straight lines of text.

To control the horizontal spacing, I printed out labels that matched the spacing and size of the punches. I taped the labels above each data plate field and used that to guide where to place the punches.

Here is the result.

I attached the plate under the horizontal stab.

Saturday, April 23, 2022


Hours: 8

I calibrated the fuel tanks today. I filled the tanks a gallon at a time and punched in the result to the Garmin G3X. I did this while the tail was jacked up to flying position and also while the plane was in taxi position. With 25 gallons per tank times 2 tanks times flying and taxi position that comes out to 100 readings. A rather tedious task.

Here is one of the calibration graphs.

Friday, April 22, 2022


Hours: 7

There are going to be many operations come up that require me to level the airplane by lifting the tail to the flying position. When the tail is on the ground it weighs over 100 pounds and is awkward to grab because the tail surfaces are in the way. There used to be a commercially available lifter called TailMate, but it is no longer sold. So I decided to build one. I found a couple articles describing building ones out of wood so I decided to have a go. I used some 2 x 4's I had lying around and purchased some wheels and a ratcheting reel from Harbor Freight.

The projects I had seen on the internet used a plywood shoe. I build one, but it was not very sturdy.

The commercial units were welded steel, but I don't know how to weld so I designed an aluminum one using 1.5" x 1.5" aluminum angle and riveted connections. The first version I built just slid on the 2 x 4 and had too much friction when under load. So I redesigned the shoe to use some skate wheel bearings. I purchased a set of 52mm skateboard wheels, some 8mm x 350mm steel rod, a length of 8.1mm id tubing for making spacer bushings and a couple of 98mm fasteners to secure the ends of the rods. The shoe with the skate wheels works great.