Sanding, Sanding, oh and more Sanding! And a scale.

You guessed it, my day consisted mostly of sanding. I started by trimming yesterdays winglet and rudder spar layups, then sanded the flanges flush with the surfaces. I am quite happy with how the layups turned out. I have a few more little things I need to do to the rudder/winglet spars, but shouldn’t take too long. One is getting the relief for the hinges cut, the other is enlarging the holes for screws. None of that will stop us from priming though.

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I did take a small brake from sanding today though and decided to start weighing parts. This was a bad idea on many levels. First off, I had to step on the scale to weigh some things, so I needed my body weight to subtract out of the part weight. Lets just say I think I have been eating a few too many cookies and not doing enough exercise. I either need to get back down to reasonable weight, or leave 5 gallons of Avgas behind.

I knew that my airplane was going to be heavier than a stock Long Ez with all the mods I have done. But I am already significantly heavier and I am not done adding required parts, read weight, to the airplane. The prototype Long Ez was 730 lbs and most small engine Long Ezs are doing well to come in at 800 lbs. Klaus’ very light no frills, no interior finish, weight cut at every corner possible is 903 lbs. I am currently 908.4 lbs, using bathroom scales, assuming they are accurate. I have the breakdown of where the weight is (wings, cowls, ailerons, etc) if anyone is dying to know. My weight includes an electronic nose lift, 4130 roll over structure, some interior furnishings, electronic pitch trim, electronic speed brake actuator, battery, aluminum instrument panel, blended winglets, beefed up wheels and brakes, braided steel brake lines, larger than stock canopy, etc. Every one of those mods, and about 20 more that aren’t listed has added a pound or five here and there.

I have no idea how to estimate how much more weight I will be adding, but I know some O-360 powered Long Ezs have empty weights of around 1100 lbs. So unless I add 200 more lbs, I will be alright. Even so, I was quite disheartened when I added up the weights. Luckily I had some good people to talk to who reassured me that Long Ezs have been successfully operated up to gross weights of 2000 lbs. At any rate, I am not going to be able to greatly reduce the weight from now to completion anyways. So, if you are this far, don’t weigh it until the very end, save yourself the demotivational factor. Going forward, I will be keeping an eye on everything and ensuring it is as light as possible.

Back to sanding. I switched to working on contouring the canard. It took me quite some time to sand half the canard. I was shocked. Just having two little hinge points in there really slows things down. Also the elevator slot is time consuming and tedious working with just your fingertips on a very small sanding block. I am pretty convinced that the left side is 95% or more there. I do still have to make a contour checking template, but the ol’ Mark O.N.E. eyeball says its almost good to go. I did sand a little bit on the right side, but ended up running out of time… and motivation.

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Tomorrow Jon is supposed to be here, so we are going to do our best to get our first coats of primer on the wings. We will see if we are successful.

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