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Day 31 - April 28, 2012

TeenFlight did meet Saturday, however I was absent and therefore not available to take pictures.  There was a work session on Tuesday also.  Most of the wiring was completed, the fuselage was flipped upright, and spun 180 degrees around to face the hangar doors. 

The nose gear was attached to the fuselage, a flaperon was completed, and more wiring was accomplished yesterday.

There should be pictures next week!
TeenFlght crew was busy at the hangar today finishing and beginning old and new projects.  We are to the point now where the plane is 90% done but still has 90% left to go.  This is where we make slow visual progress but incremental actual progress.

Today saw a LOT of fiberglass work, and fiberglass powder was thick in the air.  Fortunately for those of us who were not grinding down composites it was a nice day, and the "grinders" all went outside.

The canopy frame was deburred, matched drilled, and parts were aligned.

These switches are what the wiring team labored over all day.  The wings are attached to the fuselage in the plane by pins that run through the spars and through the main center bulkhead.  This setup tightly secures the wings, but also allows the option for trailering the aircraft because the wings come off easily.  These switches sense a magnetic field.  The wing pins have strong magnets inside them, and when the pins are securely in place, the magnet in the pin will come in contact with the switch.  This is a warning mechanism, so that if the switch is not making contact with the pin's magnet it will warn you on the electronic flight information display that the wings are off or not attached properly. 

The versatility of a Starbucks cup.

One of the hangar doors was opened and warmth and sunshine streamed in.  One of the mentors left early to do some soaring, much to the envy of all the rest of us who stood at the door, gazing at the clear sky, and wished that we were flying.

As of last week, the wing rack is finally full.

The cowling was pulled out for the first time and many people worked on trimming and grinding it into its final shape.

This is an example of fiberglass powder thick in the air.  Notice the powder all over his arm, shirt, and pants.


The empennage fairing was trimmed and fitted.  This will cover the gap between the vertical and horizontal stabilizers.

More next week!

Day 29 - April 14, 2012

Today was one of the first weeks of true spring weather for us.  We threw open some of the windows and let the sunshine and warm breeze in!  There was talk of opening the hanger door for the next future sessions, though that could be a bit of a challenge considering that most of the door has been sitting in the same position for close to fifty or more years.  It has rusted to its track over time.

The landing gear came back from being painted and that assembley has been taken care of. It has not yet been installed however because of the effort still being concentrated on the wiring inside the fuselage.  After the wiring is done, it will permit the fuselage to be turned-right-side-up and the landing gear, tail feathers, control cables, seat backs, seat belts, and avionics can be installed.

These are the two main gear completely assembled with the tires, brakes, and legs.

The nose gear is not a steerable mechanism, so the ground manuvering is done solely by rudder at higher speeds and by differential braking at low speeds. (e.g. to turn left, the left brake is actuated.  This stops the left wheel and turns it into a pivot point that the entire aircraft rotates around.)  The nosewheel castors within a sixty to ninety degree range.

The visible parts of the wing attachment pins were painted, and they were nearly completely assembled.

More wiring.

These are the right wing strobe and navigation lights.  Since it is the right wing, the navigation light is green.  The strobe light is the aft portion of the light and the forward portion is the navigation light.  As with the landing light, it is also an LED.  It is BRIGHT!

Final drilling of the wingtip for the light attachment fairing.

To be continued.

Day 28 - April 7, 2012

The last two weeks have been a little bit slower than normal as far as progress is concerned.  Week 26 and 27 were mostly spent attaching the instrument panel.  They began on the fuselage wiring, and installed the brake lines.

Here is the progress that the TeenFlight crew made on the build today:

The problem children of the project have been the flaperons, with many restarts done to ensure correct assembly.

A team worked on the tires, inner tubes, brakes, and axles.

The most complex job of the day was the wiring.  We fed in and mostly installed the main fuselage wire bundles.

After weeks of struggle, the wingtip navigation and strobe light composite fairing was adhered to the wingtip.
Shown here is the landing light that was also installed.

This is the "high-tech" way of testing the lights to make sure that they work.

Finally, here is the line of RVs that the mentors flew in today.  It was in the  60's, 10-20 miles visibility with light and variable winds.

More to come next week.