Dirty 30

Well, this weekend didn’t see a lot of progress on the Long Ez. Though I did hold true to spending at least an hour a day in the workshop. Today is my 30th birthday, so the weekend was full of celebration with family and friends. Since we were having a party and I was going to show off the EZ, I of course had to do some clean up in the Garaggio. Though a major cleanup is long overdue, I  only had time to get it looking somewhat presentable. Thanks Mom for your help with that.

I had a lot of fun showing off the details of the latest work on the Long Ez to both airplane people and non alike. I probably had too much enthusiasm for sharing the details of the latest projects. I am quite sure my brother and sister cringed about an hour into the tour when they heard, “It started as a mouse trap spring, and to modify it I had to heat it up to a cherry red…” But I couldn’t help but continue explaining, in excruciating detail, the finer points of spring loading a gear door. Their heckling ensued after many of the long winded explanations I was all to eager to share. It was all in jest. I am pretty sure that even though they could have lived with the abbreviated penny tour and less details, they were happy to humor their younger brother.

Since I didn’t have a lot of time over the weekend to build, I should have spent all day in the Garaggio, but I had an airplane beckoning me to fly it. And why not, its my birthday. I figured what better way to spend the day than to take a friend for his first small airplane ride, and do my first EAA Eagle Flight. So Vic and I took out the RV-7A and did some sight seeing. We stopped in at Stanton (KSYN). It is a grass field south of the Twin Cities that is a very active glider port. It also happens to have a glass bottle Coke machine, which makes for a fun and memorable stop. A nice thing about having an airplane available to me to fly while I build is that it keeps the motivation high to get the EZ flying.

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Rest assured that the EZ was not neglected completely today. I decided to get the nose bumper bonded to the bottom of the fuselage . Just before we went flying, holes were drilled partially through hockey puck. These created pockets for “flox rivets” and a stronger bond between the hockey puck and phenolic backing plate. Then the hockey puck and phenolic plate were bonded together with flox and put under a heat tent to cure. 

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After returning from flying, the flox had cured enough to proceed. The assembly was taken to the fuselage bottom, located, and marked. Release tape was added to the bottom half inch of the hockey puck to allow for a clean installation. A little prep sanding, and flox was put on the mating surfaces. I also mixed up a small amount of 5-Minute Epoxy and flox. A small dab of this was put on the center of the mating surfaces. This allowed me to rigidly position the assembly on the fuselage bottom.

20131110-233020.jpg I then proceed with the bid tapes that finish securing the nose bumper to the fuselage. Four plies of BID, and some peel ply and it is left to cure. 

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That is all I got done on the airplane , but all in all, it was a great weekend in the Garaggio.

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