April 11, 2017
I'm at the end of the project and I have a bunch of details and the final assembly left to do. I got tired of trying to put each detail in the right place in the database so I created this chapter to take care of it.
Installed the fuel pump / filter assembly, and fuel selector valve for what I hope is the last time.
Put the nutplates around the bottom of the Vertical Stabilizer for the emp fairing attach points. Cleaned up and started getting ready to move airplane parts out of the garage. Tomorrow it starts heading to the hangar.
Loaded a bunch of small airplane parts into the car and took them to the hangar. Mostly just covers and fiberglass stuff. I'll really get starting moving stuff tomorrow.
Loaded up all the control surfaces, a bunch of tools, and the wings and took them to the airport.
Moved the fuselage to the hangar. I guess that makes it official. The bird has left the nest. Now all I have to do is bolt all these parts together and go fly. I also managed to get my toolbox loaded up and out there.
Loaded up a bunch more stuff to take to the hangar. It's gonna take forevever to get all the little tools and pieces-parts that I'll need to the hangar. I also took the plans and started putting the tail together. I got a call from a customer that is having trouble and that put a damper on the tail assembly. Oh well I also got to go sailing and watched the fireworks from a boat anchored in Upper Galveston Bay. Life is good.
I finished bolting the Vertical and Horizontal Stabilizers to the fuselage. I had forgotten to put the nutplates on the Horizontal Stab. for the empennage fairing so I had to stop and do that too. It's really fun to be putting these things on permanently.
Installed the Rudder.
Put the elevators on the plane and started installing the trim servo. I'm gonna have to do some more trimming on the elevator to get the trim servo linkage to clear.
Had a hangar warming party today to let people take a look at the plane and help find squaks. I got some good suggestions and a few squaks. Also managed to get the wings on the plane with the NAS bolts and we put the prop on too.
Finished installing the trim servo in the left elevator and I managed to get the elevators balanced.
Got the bolts in and torqued for the elevators except for the center bolt that goes through the horns. My hole was a little close to the welds so I may have to put a socket head screw in there instead. I also managed to get the right aileron on.
Finished the elevator attach. I wound up putting a washer underneath the bolt head and grinding a little relief on the back side of the washer to clear the weld. I had to use a longer bolt. Installed the big elevator push tube and torqued that all up. Installed the left aileron. Torqued the rear spar attach bolt on the left wing and installed the cotter pin but I couldn't get the nut to line up on the right side and at the correct torque. I need to order some more bolts and nuts so that I can try some different combinations.
Torqued up the 20 bolts that attach the main wing spars to the center section. Now all I lack having the wings on permanent is that rascally little bolt on the right rear spar.
Fixed the spinner backplate. Torqued the bolts on the starter. Tightened up the little fuse gusset bolts. Put the little elevator pushtube in and started to install the control sticks.
Installed a small heat sheild on the exhaust where to keep some heat off the fuel line. Ran the two little air tubes for the AOA up to the AOA CPU. I also started connecting the autopilot wires that I had stubbed out under the floor pan of the passenger side. I had a couple of wires that had lost their labels along the way so I had to remove the servo from the wing to get to the little D-sub connector so that I could identify those wires. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm glad I did it because I'd forgotten to put any loctite on the bolts holding the servo.
Finished hooking up those wires to the autopilot and reinstalled the servo into the wing. There are two wires that can be interchanged on the servo that determine the direction that it works. I wanted to make sure that I had these right before I buttoned it all up so I turned on the autopilot and wiggled the wings and tail to make sure that it would try to move the aileron in the right direction. It did! That was way too much fun! Then I finished all the wiring on the lights. I did both wingtips and the tail, dug out the right fuses and started flipping switches. I had one small problem with the left position light. The factory connector had been put on too tight and pinched the ground wire. Fixed that right fast. I turned on the position lights and they worked then I flashed the landing/taki lights and they worked and then I tried the strobes. That was a lot of fun too. So while I had all the wiring tools out I decided to finish up any wiring that I could find and the only thing around was the capacative fuel sender adapters for the EI Fuel Gauge. So I put those on. Unless I'm forgetting something that should be the last of the wiring.
I got a new bolt for the right rear spar today so I installed that one. It still took a couple of iterations to get it torqued and lined up but I had plenty of washers, bolts and nuts to play with. I installed the flaps and hooked up the control rods to them. I also managed to get the tailwheel springs on but I'm not sure that I like them very much.
I put the tanks on and hooked up the tubing. It's gonna take longer than I thought to get all those bolts and screws tight. I need a smaller ratchet.
Fiddled with the tanks some more. I managed to get one on and the other one started.
Managed to get the left tank on. There were a few bolts that were trying to be difficult but I managed to get them in. I tightened up the tail wheel chains and that made the rudder interference problem worse. I think I'll have to try that Rocket Steering Link. I also started rigging the ailerons.
Started rigging the ailerons and installing all the control stick stuff. I discovered a little interference with the bellcrank and the short aileron push tube. I rechecked everything, from finding the neutral position with the aileron jig. I decided that the way to fix it was with the "optional" aileron stops. This pretty much took the rest of the day. Oh and I put a little adel clamp on the ELT antenna so that it wouldn't be flopping around back there tearing up something important.
Jeff loaned me his torque wrench and crows foot wrench that will fit the prop so I managed to get those torqued and safetied. I bought a better angle finder today so I spent some more time making sure that the ailerons are rigged correctly before I rivet those stops on permanent.
Finished up on the ailerons. Torqued all the rod end bearings for all the aileron controls and the sticks.
Re-safetied a couple of things that I decided weren't safety wired correctly. I also fixed the fuel gauge. Apparently the polarity of the little converters for my E.I. FL-2CA dual fuel level gauge matters. The black wire is the ground and the white wire is the plates. I also riveted on the center section side covers.
Jeff came by the hangar today and helped me calibrate the fuel tanks. We filled each tank up measuring the fuel as we put it in and calibrated the pre-flight stick. Then we lifted the tail into flying position and took the fuel out and calibrated the gauge on the way down. Then we managed to get the preservative oil out and the mineral oil in. Jeff put the air fliter on permanent. This is all in preparation for running the engine tomorrow.
Jon and Marshall came by in morning and we spent time putting the spark plugs in, tying up loose ends. We spun the engine with the starter to pre-oil the engine. We pulled the plane out to start it up and found a fuel leak right where the fuel line comes through the firewall. After making one hose up we turned the bulkhead fitting around. I guess the fitting is just a little out of shape and the softer aluminum tubing formed to it better than the hose end. We took the plane out again and then I ran the battery down. Marshall brought his truck over and we hooked up the jumber cables and managed to get the thing to start. It ran great once we burned the gook out of it. The idle is a little high and it seems the front spinner bulkhead is wobbling a little bit. Other than that it ran real smooth. The runup went okay, the prop cycled fine but the mag was a little rough but I suspect the plugs are pretty well fouled from the preservative oil. The electronic ignition is smooth as it can be. After shutdown we rolled it back into the hangar and looked it over and I couldn't find any leaks or stuff coming loose. It might actually fly some day.
I decided to try and make sure that the spinner was lined up okay. I checked the front bulkhead and it did have a lot of wobble in it but I was sure that the spinner was true. I put the spinner on and tried to check it but every time I moved the prop the whole airplane would shake around and it was impossible to tell. So since the airport bums were there I rolled it out again and started it up with the spinner on. They both said that it ran true. I had also turned the idle adjustment a half a turn and it seemed bring the idle speed down to about 850 RPM. It had been at 1050 and I'm chasing 750. It ran pretty rough on the mag this time. Worse than it did on Sunday but it has been idling so I probably just need to run it up and burn the plugs off.
Finished putting the tail number on and installed the dataplate. I lowered the exhaust a little bit.
Today was a details kinda day. I sealed the baffles with RTV and sealed the firewall penetrations. I re-safetied the dipstick tube because it was a little loose. I bled the brakes and loosened a couple of the brake pedals that were sticking. I put the screws in the wingtips. I took that hose off that we made to fix the fuel leak last Sunday and put firesleeve on it. When I put it back on the fuel leak was back. I'm gonna replace that bulkhead fitting, and I may redo the fuel line inside.
I built a stand to prop the tail of the airplane up. This get's it into flying attitude for weighing and oil changes and stuff.
I put a coat of paint on the little tailwheel control arm that came with my new Rocket Steering Link. I think this thing will fix the rudder bottom interference issue that I have. I also had to cut 1-1/2" off of the co-pilot stick. I had never realized that it would get tangled up in the mixture control when the mixture was all the way back. Not that I'll ever be able to fly like that but it still needs to be clear. You may be asking how I can get the stick tangled up with the mixture control. My throttle/prop/mixture/purge controls are located about 6-8" to starboard because I thought that was more comfortable for me. It is but I didn't realize that it would interfere with the 'other' stick. No big deal.
Shannon helped me replace the bulkhead fitting where the fuel goes through the firewall. It seems that is cause of my fuel leak. So far it seems to be holding. I also remade the tubing that goes from the FloScan turbine meter to this bulkhead. Just in case.
Installed the Rocket Steering link on my tailwheel. I did this to try and solve the interference issue that I was having with the chains. It works. Once I got the tailwheel sorted out I decided to taxi it around a little bit so today was the first day it moved under it's own power. I did a run up and found a really fouled plug on the number 4 cylinder. If I ever doubted my decision to buy an istrument that shows EGT's on all four cylinders I won't doubt anymore. I knew which cylinder it was in a few seconds. Once that was over, Daryl Helped me get the fuel drained out and then we weighed it. 1068lbs!! Whooop!! Nice and light. Now I really have to buckle down and get that paperwork done and get an inspection scheduled.
I put the fuel back in the plane and took all the bottom spark plugs out and cleaned them. I had cleaned #4 but decided to clean them all before I ran the engine again. Jeff came over with his compression gauge and we checked the compressions after I ran the engine a little bit. It is still not running quite right. It stumbles a little bit. I also mangaged to get the new firmware and airspeed limitations uploaded to the Dynon.
I took the fuel injectors out and checked to make sure that they were all flowing the same amount. I put each one into a different Dixie cup and ran the boost pump with the throttle at full and then at idle and checked how much fuel came out of each one. I also cleaned each of the spark plugs.
I put a shop vac in the inlet filter box to pressurize the induction system and then checked for leaks with some soap and water. I couldn't find any. Then Vern came by and helped me get the idle mixture set and we also checked the timing. To check the Lightspeed electronic ignition a normal automotive timing light is used. The timing was WAAYY off. Apparently the people at the build shop can't read the manual. I reset it according to the book and now the engine seems to be running much better.
Today I finished up countersinking and dimpling all the access ccovers and fairings that I just hadn't gotten done until today. I also crawled up under the panel and secured all those panels that cover up the wiring and fuel lines. While I was down there I tightened up the fittings on the pitot system. Afterwards I retested the pitot system for leaks and it seems to be sealing fine now. I guess my leak was one of those fittings behind the panel.
Today N727WB became a real airplane. It passed inspection by the DAR! It's a huge relief to have that done. (The hours for the inspection are not included in the log.) I used up the battery in my electric screwdriver installing access covers and fairings. I got all the exterior panels and fairings installed.
I took the fuel filter out and took it apart to see how dirty it was. There were a few tiny little flakes of what appeared to be pro-seal. Other than that it was clean. I also managed to get the covers over the fuel pump assembly and the seat covers installed.
Finished installing all the covers. I put on the flap mechansim covers and the baggage bulkhead.
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