Day 50 - November 22, 2014

This Saturday was another productive session.  More work has continued on the throttle and choke controls.  This involved a whole lot of adele clamps and tight spaces, just to make things harder.  After a lot of work, the throttle and choke cables are functioning well. 

The canopy latch warning light has been installed as well as the "eye ball" light that can be used to look around the cockpit.  This involved riveting and drilling holes to route the wires that power the light. 
The wing seal on the fuselage has been successfully adhered on both sides.  This first involved attaching a layer of electrical tape around the line that the wing root forms on the fuselage in order for that area to be cleaned.  After cleaning, the seal was adhered. 
Also on the left wing, the anti-slip wing walk material was attached.  A heat gun and needle were used to puncture the air bubbles around the rivets and now it looks great.  The inboard wing edges were also cut and sanded to align with the wing seal on the fuselage.  After many metal shavings, the wings look great as well.  
The lower cowling is finally nearing its last days of completion.  The reshaped section of the cowling has been sanded down to clear the cylinders and the radiator duct seal on the cooling duct has been adhered correctly.     
See you in a couple weeks.  We'll be taking a break next weekend for the holiday. 
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Day 49 - November 15, 2014

The lower cowling, nose gear strut fairing, and ELT were some of the main tasks that were worked on today.  On the cowling, more sanding took place to prepare the final heat shield for application. 
After the heat shield was applied, we had to reshape a part of the cowling that was interfering with the cylinders in order for it to fit properly.  This required heating up the cowling and holding it in the new position until the fiberglass cooled.  We then applied three strips of fiberglass to reinforce the reshaped section.  Also, the duct seal for the radiator was completed and it is now curing. 
 The nose gear strut fairing was temporarily fitted to ensure a nice fit.  The ELT unit was also installed in the fuselage and we made progress on the wiring.

The wings were installed, then removed, in order for the wing seal markings to be successfully completed.  This required drawing lines around the wing skin onto the fuselage, and drawing lines onto the wing skins for proper spacing of the wings from the fuselage.  And in case you're wondering, this is what TF3 looks like as of now.  Here is an up-to-date photo of the fuselage.
In the cabin, work has been done on the interior controls and this is what the present day cockpit looks like.  We're really making progress!

Day 48 - November 8, 2014

This Saturday, Teen Flight 3 again accomplished many tasks.   

One of the first tasks that was worked on involved the stabilator.  Some students were involved in replacing the left half of the stabilator due to a dent on the underside of it.  After a few hours of riveting and deburring, the replaced half was already in place.   
The oil hoses were connected, and due to oil being trapped in the oil reservoir, students also had to drain it out. 

  The fuel neck was taken out because it did not seal properly, and it has since been resealed to the skin of the aircraft. 
  Of course, you can't have fuel without the fuel tank, so that was also reinstalled. 

Other jobs that took place today involved the installation of some of the cockpit controls, which included the cabin heat knob and parts of the throttle.  Last week, the nose gear strut fairing hinge had trouble fitting correctly, and after more sanding today, there is a nice fit.  Also, more sanding and fitting continued on the engine cowling to prep for the installation of the heat shield.  Three sheets of heat shield were applied to protect the cowling from heat off the muffler, exhaust pipe and the four cylinders.  Little work was completed on the ELT today, due to parts that needed to be painted.  However, the details of the ELT wiring were analyzed and some wires were sautered into place.
Check back next week for more photos and progress on these items.

Day 47 - November 1, 2014

We worked in teams and completed many different tasks on the airplane today.  We also spent time cleaning up our hangar's back room area which will free up space for the next build, TeenFlight4. 

The first prep work was started on the installation of the ELT, or Emergency Locator Transmitter.  On the interior of the plane, nut-plates were installed.  These nut-plates are attached to a metal plate which temporarily hold the ELT antenna in place.

The fuel neck was Pro-Sealed on the gasket today to form a removable seal with the skin of the aircraft.  More work has also been done to prepare the nose gear strut fairing.  This included countersinking many holes and riveting those holes to attach the hinges that were placed on the inside of the fairing.  As a result of the tight hinges, the team had to try to align them with the hinge pin for a long period of time. 
Sanding continued on the engine cowling to remove any sharp edges from the earlier applied fiberglass.  The entire cowling was coated in epoxy resin which allows for a smooth surface.  The heat shield, which will later be applied, will now be able to successfully adhere to the cowling.


The front area of the canopy was sanded down to smooth the surface of the previously applied filler flox and to allow for a nicer look. 
Here are some other photos from our busy day out at the hangar.