We got a ton done yesterday. The biggest win was getting all the control surfaces balanced. we did the layup on the new balance weights on the ailerons. So those are locked in place with 2 plies of BID. We checked the balance, and they positively balance now. The balance is past the half way point, so I am pretty convinced that we will even be able to paint them (when that time comes) without throwing off the balance.
About the time we were finishing with the layups, Eric surprised us and stopped by to put in a day on wiring. He got to work populating the instrument panel, transferring everything from the plastic template to the aluminum one. Which involved tapping some holes, drilling a few holes on the back side for anti-rotation features on the dimmers, and cleaning paint out of some holes.
I have to say, I am very very happy with how the panel is turning out. I can’t wait to fly behind this thing.
We also found a location to mount the dimmer circuit board and heat sink. It is in the left nose section. With all the components mounted, Eric took to wiring the dimmers up. The left one controls the “Panel” lights which include the rocker switch back lights, a flood light of the instrument panel, and the led lights in the fuel sight gauges. The EFIS dimmer does exactly what it sounds like and is a dedicated dimmer for the screens.
While Eric was working on that Nate spent some time sanding the elevator that was marginally out of balance. He used the contour checking template as a sanding block and spent quite a bit of time taking off primer and some of the top skin glass (which is allowed) to get it in balance. As you can see here, I think we may even be able to paint and maintain balance. Of course it would have to be light paint.
For those of you keeping track at home, that is all 4 balanced flight controls balanced. Took 3 days to do it, but I’m happy. We will have to be careful and shoot an ever so light coat of primer to maintain balance and make them look decent before first flight, but balanced is good. It was quite frustrating at this stage to be spending 3 days on balancing flight controls. For those of you building, do it after every step. The balance rig doesn’t have to be fancy, and it took me literally 4 minutes to set mine up. It is worth it. It will save you from disappointment when you “think” you are getting close.
I worked on the lathe for a good part of the day. In between my parts of all the above projects, I was working on rudder actuation hardware. I made the adjustable rudder stop. Basically a tapped aluminum slug that gets bonded in to the winglet spar that allows for fine adjustment of the rudder closed stop. The screw is a 6-32 for size reference. On the rudder side there is a block of oak that this screw hits that acts as the stop.
The rudder push tube needed a place to be mounted on the rudder side, so I also turned an aluminum slug that holds the bolt that is the rudder side pivot point for the push tube. This also acts as the washer that prevents the rod end bearing from falling apart if the bearing comes out of its housing. To align this with the rudder, we located the max and min height travel of the bell crank on the winglet and transferred that to the rudder. At half deflection we centered the push tube between these lines. This located the position of the aluminum slug. Five minute epoxy in place to be able to acetate and verify that it works, then it was floxed and BID in place.
Note that we decided to turn things around from this photo. We put the aluminum slug in the position where the bearing could be on top of the slug, and the bolt comes in from the top side. This way if the nut fails and falls off, gravity will keep it in position as much as possible.
It is not very easy to see the assembly here, but I will get a better photo.
Dudley and Kevin were in the workshop today too. Kevin spent a ton of time organizing and cleaning for me. He has no idea how much that helped, it was starting to get hard to work in there.