Day 57 (TF3) & Day 2 (TF4) - January 24, 2015

This Saturday, the TF4 students dove into the OP-51 project, a project that incorporates crucial knowledge of many important sheet metal basics.  The students learned how to use the deburring wheel and how to lay out markings for holes and spacing.  After their first use of a power tool, they started drilling multiple holes which will later be used for installing rivets.  Students also started to learn how to dimple holes and some students even made it to countersinking and riveting.

As for TF3, more testing of the fuel pump continued and the interior upholstery was temporarily installed.  The interior color will be a nice light grey. 
Later in class, TF3 was weighted and balanced with the wings, fairings and all of the parts installed for accurate balancing.  The actual weight registered at 756 pounds. 

Today was another productive session.  Tune in next week as TF3 nears the finish and TF4 nears the finish of the OP-51 project. 

Also, here's a great photo from last week with the students of TF3 and TF4.


Day 56 (TF3) & Day 1 (TF4) - January 17, 2015

This Saturday, we passed another major milestone; the beginning of the next class-build, TeenFlight 4 (TF4).  Today was mostly a class full of learning and starting the first project of the name tag.  For the first hour, we went over guidelines and expectations that the students have to agree to in order to be successful.  Topics covered in the class were different types of rivets and riveting, countersinking and dimpling holes, drill bit sizes and the deburring process.

After this learning session, we broke into the first project.  Each of the TF4 students were paired with one student from TF3 to mentor them.  The first project was the name tag which may sound simple, but it involves precise details of deburring, drilling, counter-sinking and setting two rivets.  After this initial project of TF4 was completed, it was back to the board for some more instruction.  

At the very end of class, the TF4 students gathered in front of the TF3 airplane for some pictures.  It was a great day! Check back next week for more progress.


Day 55 - January 10, 2015

Today at the hangar, we kept pushing on toward the finish.  One of the tasks that was worked on was the interior decals.  They were adhered to the avionics panel to label and identify what certain controls are in the cockpit.  The main things that they label are the throttle, the choke and the cabin heat.  

The plastic on the canopy and rear window was also peeled off and it produced some strong static electricity as you can see.  However, despite the fact that it was pretty funny, it also looks great!

Near the end of class, the fuel pump was tested to check the pumping rate.  The pumping rate had to be about 1 gallon of fuel in 180 seconds, or three minutes.  After the test, the pump pumped out one gallon in about 130 seconds, or two minutes and ten seconds. 

All of the wheel fairings, besides the nose fairing, have been painted silver to match the color of the aluminum and they also look great! 

The trim and attitude controls were calibrated with the Garmin G3X EFIS system to ensure the right attitude was being displayed on the screen.  Near the very end of class, we also started the EFIS continuity check.  
Stay tuned for more next week!    

Day 54 - January 3, 2015

Many milestones were achieved today as we keep making progress.  The first task that was completed was the installation of the new grey seatbelts.  This involved drilling out most of the attach points and spending some extended time in the baggage compartment.  The seatbelts were then attached and tightened.  

Another important task worked on today was the action of the fuel pump.  When we turned it on for the first time, there were no leaks anywhere and that was a relief.  And after further alignment, the decals on the vertical stabilizer were adhered.  It looks great! 

Using the Garmin G3X, the pitch control surfaces were calibrated.  
This involved aligning the stabilator with the anti-servo tab and moving the control sticks to set at zero.  

Now for the major milestone today: the inaugural engine start of TF3!  After rolling the plane outside, the engine was started and it was very successful.  There wasn't a single oil or fuel leak anywhere and the engine ran smoothly! 

Video of TF3 engine start:
After the second start, some fine-tuning was done to balance the carburetors. 
Today was a great way to start the year off.  Happy New Year!