Day 21 - April 5, 2014

Today's session involved work on assemblies of all sizes. Starting with the tail section, the bulkhead assembly was finally completed and attached to the tail cone structure along with the side skins.


For the fuselage section, a few students completed some prep work on fuel tank pieces and landing gear components. Others worked on bolting the engine mount standoff to the fuselage firewall, as well as attaching the canopy frame.


Now onto the major assembly of the day...


The hangar experienced a little rearrangement today to make room for the 27 feet span of wing and fuselage! The exciting task of wing attachment was finally accomplished this afternoon. After some period of maneuvering and adjustment, both wings slid into the fuselage and are now resting comfortably in their proper places on the plane. A great deal of satisfaction and excitement was shared among all, however the hangar suddenly feels a bit crowded.



Day 20 - March 29, 2014

Work continued on the empennage kit. A mix of teams Red and Green began assembling the framework of the tail cone, riveting the stiffeners, bottom skins, and frames together.


A couple of students were given the task of preparing the bulkhead assembly, which will reside in the rear of the tail cone structure. This piece required much effort, involving many different types of fasteners and sub-assemblies.


As always, more work progressed within the fuselage. Team Purple continued with some more flight control installation, specifically the flaperon lever and pushrod assemblies. Both seat backs were also constructed, and placed aside for future installation.


With the flaperons installed onto the right wing assembly, both wings are ready for the following step of construction: attaching to the fuselage, the main task for next week's session. Stay tuned.

Day 19 - March 22, 2014

What better way to start off the new spring season than another productive session at the hangar! The Red team helped prep the empennage/tail cone kit pieces by deburring, cutting, and riveting necessary parts.


Team Purple proceeded with more fuselage wiring. Today they helped install the connections for the headset module, routed the pitot, and install the ELT bracket. With all the wires and mini components currently in the fuselage, the intricacy of this section is definitely showing.


The canopy latch and handle were attached to the frame, as well as the attach angles.


The right wing neared completion with the wing tip skins riveted on, and the landing light system was finally fitted and installed in the forward outer section of the wing. With the landing light done, work began on the wing tip lights, which involved crimping connector pins upon the wires and fitting them into their proper housing.



Day 18 - March 15, 2014

The empennage/tail cone kit finally arrived at the hangar, so the parts were inventoried by a few members during the beginning of the session.

Some more students from different teams were given the opportunity to work on the wings. Today's session involved riveting the upper skins to the right wing structure. A couple of students worked on prepping the wing tip skin.


For wiring, more work was done on the landing light system for the right wing, specifically crimping Molex pins upon the wires and installing them into the connector housing. Team Purple continued work on the fuselage wiring. They constructed and attached the control sticks, along with wire installation for the PTT (push-to-talk) system. Some flight control components were also installed, including the fork assembly onto the detent bracket.

 
Some further work was done upon the canopy frame installing the latch handle stop and preparing the attach angles. In the midst of all the production, the left wing flaperons were attached by the end of the session.


Day 17 - March 8, 2014

In order to give the students exposure and experience in different aspects of the plane, some members were switched around in today's session and given the opportunity to work on the wing assembly.

Some wiring for the lighting kit was installed onto the right wing assembly. Then the right bottom wing skins were deburred and prepped before being attached and eventually riveted. The outboard skin contained the area for the landing light, so it required some extra preparation. A couple of members and mentors were working on match-drilling and fitting the light ribs within the wing structure, as well as cutting an opening within the skin for the light itself.


Team Purple was given the intricate task of assembling the fuselage wiring harness. They installed and connected the wiring for the CPU fans and the fuel flow transducer. This section has little room for error so it required much extensive reading and comprehension.


A team blue member worked alongside a mentor installing the oil tank braces to the upper firewall, then began constructing the canopy frame. Another individual member, from team purple, continued with some finishing portions of the left wing including the wing tip close-out and access hatch, and then worked on further installation of the lighting kit.


With the left and right wings near completion, hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll be taking the next big step and attaching them to the fuselage.

Day 16 - March 1, 2014

The sounds of pneumatic rivet guns were heard throughout the session today as more work continued on the left wing. Green team finished riveting the upper wing skins along with the hinge bracket assemblies.


Purple Team provided some assistance with the wing assembly, creating and attaching the handhold as well as the bottom, aft, and forward wing tip skins. A couple of the members began preparing the wing tip close-out toward the end of the session, which included some precise bending and naturally, some deburring.


The blue team spent the day working on some flight control assemblies, specifically the flaperon pushrods, control stick pushrods, and bellcranks.


The red team continued and finished both the left and right flaperon assemblies. This included riveting the counterbalance, brackets, nose and main ribs, and the flaperon skins. Both are ready and waiting to be attached to the wings.


With the left wing near completion, assembly began on the right wing which means a lot more riveting is in store for next week.


Day 15 - February 22, 2014

It's amazing to see how much progress has occurred within two weeks worth of build sessions. The students are flying through the plans.

The exciting event of the day was attaching the skins onto the left wing assembly. Everyone was elated to see the wing take its form. Team Green spent the session performing the incredibly fragile task of riveting the skin pieces. It was important for the members to avoid making any profound marks upon the surface, for aesthetics as well as corrosion protection.


Team Red began work on the flaperon assemblies, helping with the left and right skin preparation, as well as some match-drilling for the brackets and main spar.


Both the Purple and Blue teams worked on detailed upper fuselage sections. Blue members assisted with the preparatory work for the control system components while the Purple members continued attaching the firewall assembly along with the instrument panel base assembly.

Day 14 - February 15, 2014

As a result of an unexpected arctic blast of snow and ice, last week's session was canceled. This in turn, left the students plenty of work for this Saturday's session.

At last another kit had arrived at the hangar this week: the finish kit. So for the first half of class, Team Blue helped inventory the pieces. The Blue members were also assigned the delicate task of preparing the wing skins. These pieces required extreme care in handling, so deburring them became a meticulous, prolonged task.


The Red and Green Teams worked together on constructing the skeleton of the left wing, this included attaching the main and nose wing ribs to the main spar, as well as attaching the rear spar and stub spar assembly. A couple of the members helped assemble and install the stall warning system upon the left wing. The system is a safety feature which alerts the pilot of a potential stall, where the wing's angle of attack becomes so steep it loses lift.


Team Purple helped attach the upper firewall assembly to the fuselage structure, and finished installing the components of the fuel line system. They also spent the day creating and applying tank sealant to all the edges, corners, rivets, and joints, to prevent fuel leakage.

Day 13 - February 1, 2014

Today's session started with a mini introductory course on tubing. The students were taught how to properly bend, cut, and flare tubes, then given some practice on scrap pieces.


Team Green started and finished constructing the rear wing spars. The assembly took much of the day, with much deburring, drilling, dimpling, and riveting involved.

Team Blue and Red worked together to finish riveting the side skins on the fuselage and then onto wing rib preparation. The members ended up deburring and fluting over 50 rib pieces, a tedious process but well-worth the effort.


Team Purple started creating and constructing the tubes for the fuelline system. They had to hand-cut, bend, and flare each tube before linking them together with fittings. At the end of the session, they were able to fasten the gascolator, fuel flow meter, and fuel pump within the fuselage. The gascolator acts as a filter to separate and remove water along with any sediments that may collect in the fuel system.

Day 12 - January 25, 2014

Some wing parts were finally in use today.

Team Green got a headstart on the wing kit this session, and spent the day working on the wing spars. This included preparing the attach angles, doublers, and tie-downs; then attaching all those parts. The students got to practice tapping the tie-downs in order to fit an eye screw. The spars will serve as the main framework for the wings, providing the most support for the forces and weight loads placed on them.


Aside from that section, Teams Blue and Red both worked on the fuselage side skins. The pieces required a lot of preparation: cutting, dimpling, deburring, priming, countersinking; practically every technique was used before actually riveting them upon the fuselage structure.

 
Team Purple was split into two sub-groups: one worked to finish constructing the map box and began work on the supporting pieces for the battery and oil tank; the other group finished the upper firewall assembly and began planning the fuel line system.


Day 11 - January 18, 2014

Things were once again alive and active here at the hangar.

After some of the members finished fastening the bottom skin onto the fuselage, the structure was handed off to Team Purple to rivet the step floors, attach the baggage bulkhead, and install the systems block studs.



Team Red continued working on the brake system, and test-fitted the assembly into the lower front fuselage section. The section was finally attached to the entire fuselage structure, an additional piece to the growth of its construction.


The Green and Purple teams helped prepare the instrument panel along with its various parts and assemblies, including the map box and center instrument panel where the radio will reside.


Team Blue finished the roll bar and started constructing the baggage bulkhead assembly which will eventually connect to the bar and attach to the plane tailcone.


The side skins and roll bar assembly are next in line to become attached to the fuselage.