Day 49 - December 22, 2012

After mostly finishing up the engine wiring, we moved on to the propeller.  The ground-adjustable, two-blade, composite Sensenich propeller was fitted into its slot on the propeller hub.  Two discs hold on the spinner, and after we attached the propeller, we tested the spinner clearance with the cowling.  We had good clearance with the bottom cowl half, but the top cowl half was just rubbing the spinner.  Later on, we made sure the spinner was on straight, and then we drilled the holes in the spinner attach discs.  


 We attached the stabilator to the tailcone (again) and hooked up the stabilator control cables.

Some of the students climbed into the fuselage and finalized the control system by using the plans to go step by step through the section to make sure all of the correct hardware was used in the correct order.  
Merry Christmas from the TeenFlight Crew!

Day 48 - December 15, 2012

Airway Science for Kids held a fundraiser-open house at the TeenFlight hangar this week during the latter half of our work day.  Lots of benefactors, donors, parents, and previous mentors showed up to support the program. 

Some of the students began working on the propeller assembly section.  Shown here is the propeller hub where the two propeller halves meet under the spinner.

We drilled holes in the side of the spinner where the propeller blades will protrude.  The aluminum circle next to the spinner is the spinner back plate.

Some more wiring from the firewall to the engine was accomplished before the beginning of the open house as well.  There are only a few more things to be hooked up before we can start working on the exhaust system.

Day 47 - December 9, 2012

After many weeks of wiring around the firewall, we finally got to a point where we could hang the engine.  Between the avionics and the power plant wiring harnesses, there were quite a few sensors that had to be hooked up prior to engine installation (or else one would have to make up some pretty interesting arm gymnastics to fish the wires around behind the engine).  But after lunch, a few of the mentors lifted the engine off the table, carried it across the room, and a couple of us plunked the fasteners into place on the mount.  (It wasn't quite that easy, but...)

We mostly finished up with the avionics including the installation of the ADAHRS (Air Data/Attitude/Heading Reference System) in the tailcone.  It hooks up the the EFIS and feeds it all its information regarding your airspeed, attitude, heading, altitude, outside air temperature, etc...

We began installing the landing gear modification kit to satisfy the service bulletin Vans Aircraft published regarding the landing gear.

Our cowling pieces are getting really smooth.  We spread a thin coat of microballoon filler over almost the entire surface of the lower cowling half to fill some of the larger pinholes.  And then sanded it off again.

More next week!

Day 46 - December 2, 2012

After a hard day of work we almost completed the avionics installation.  Because our fuselage and empennage kits were manufactured and delivered before the new avionics update was made standard, we have had to do some drilling to provide holes for the new components.

Lots of wires!  Between the transponder, EMS, EFIS, intercom, ignition, com radio, backup battery, and switch panel harnesses there quite a few wires.  Thankfully all the harnesses come prepackaged so all we have to do is plug and play.

We routed the firewall-forward harness through the firewall.  It is ready to be hooked up to the various sensors and relays on the firewall.  The lower engine mounting bolts were attached to the lower firewall.  These bolts are also the bolts that hold the nose wheel to the firewall.

Another item to note is that our fuel tank passed its final pressure test this week! It is now ready for paint and eventual installation.

Hopefully we will hang the engine next weekend!