The Light at the End of the Tunnel! A good friend once described this as a lighted sign saying, "This Way to Next Tunnel." Thinking of this has tempered my optimism. However, I can finally envision a path that finds me in the cockpit, knees shaking and lined-up on the runway, saying to myself, "Oh, just do it." Some notes:
So!!! On to completing the project!
7 October 2014: First, a bit of work to complete the wing root close-outs.
Then on to the cowl. Rough fairing around the nose bowl.
Back on the Fuselage! My plan is to install the camlocs next.
11 October 2014: As you can see! I position the camloc opposite its final location in order to drill holes. Once I worked things out this was quick and easy.
19 October 2014: Landing Light Brackets! As you can see I've chosen to mount an Aeroled Micro Sun in the vent below the propeller. The first photo shows the brackets I fabricated. I had stuck them in place without adhesive. I then mounted the light to achieve accurate alignment and bonded them in place with Hysol Epoxy. This is shown in the second and third photo.
24 October 2014: It works!
1 November 2014: Mounting the skylight angle. The aft edge of the windshield will be attached to this. It also provides a forward mounting for the turtle deck. A combination of clamps and a 48 inch level holds it in position while the epoxy is curing.
Another view of the angle
11 November 2014: First trial fitting. Obviously the forward edge of the windshield must fit under the boot cowl flange. There is some trimming to be done before that can happen. When it's not mounted the windshield is quite fragile. It must always be lifted by two people in order to keep it from flexing and breaking. Waiting on a second person is going to slow me but, that could be a good thing. I'll have more time to think through each step.
14 - 22 November 2014: Slowly progressing. In this photo you can see the material around the forward wing roots. Some of this needs to be cut away to allow the windshield to flex into position without concentrating the bending force into the corners.
Relief cuts. I did this with a dremel sanding drum at low speed.
Meanwhile it starts to rain. Since I've been doing the work on the windshield in my driveway I have to divert to another project. The quarter windows.
5 December 2014: Easy and straight forward. After masking I bonded the quarter windows with adhesive silicone.
Just a tiny bit more force! And the windshield cracks just like all the warning labels say. Sad to say immediately after this happened I thought of several ways this could have been avoided. Nothing like an expensive mistake to broaden your thinking. Note: don't push upward. It compresses the side flanges inward.
9 - 20 December 2014: I give in to the pressure. A number of members of the TeamKitfox forum have been emphatically telling me that I really need to replace the plastic header tank with the upgraded aluminum tank. Finally, after a conversation with Debra McBean at Kitfox, I was convinced.
The first challenge is to drill properly aligned holes. Since the square tubes are curved it's not practical to use a drill press. Instead, I use the drill press to drill accurate holes in oak blocks. I then used the blocks to guide the drill bit. I first drilled a #30 hole on the top of the tube. Then I used an old bit to align the hole in the block with the hole in the tube. After clamping I let the block guide the drill down through the other side. The last photo shows the back side of the door where the drill emerged. I'm happy with the results.
21 - 30 December 2014: I fabricate the door hinges.
Meanwhile the new windshield arrives. I'm taking it slow in an attempt to avoid mistakes.
All that time! All I managed to accomplish was trimming the forward edge. But I didn't crack anything.
1 - 8 January 2015: I'm drilling holes and nothing is breaking!
All the holes are drilled. The windshield is off the fuselage in order to enlarge the holes. As you can see I've placed the glareshield in position. I'm trying to envision exactly how to mount it. Some major head scratching.
10 - 20 January 2015: Brackets to secure the glare shield. I decided to make them from plywood.
Glare shield in position! It's angled too high to show a proper fit. I may have some adjustment to do when it's in the airplane.
After much work! The windshield is permanently in place.
21 - 25 January 2015: Slot for the diagonal braces. The original cut was too small. You can see the first step I took enlarging it. There were a few more after that. In the end, I'm happy to say, I got it pretty much right.
Obviously the front edge is way too big.
Done! The touch screen GPS is a little dim in direct sunlight. It's hoped that the two-inch overhang of the glare shield will keep it in the shade most of the time.
10 February 2015: I'm back to work on the doors.
15 February 2015: Fitting the hinges! I attached a bit of weather stripping to a scrap of door material and clamped it into position along with the hinge. This mimicked the door position and allowed me to drill accurate holes. In the third photo the door is in place and all the mounting holes are drilled and clecoed.
The pilot side door is mounted.
3 March 2015: Two weeks of work.
Finishing the pilot side door.
Getting started on the co-pilot side door. Trimming the door to size.
24 March 2015: The co-pilot side door is installed.
My sophisticated pattern. I knew there was a reason to keep old boxes.
This was much easier than I thought it would be. For now I'm leaving it held in place with clecos. I have to wait until the wings are installed before I can spot the cutouts for the flaperon horns. After that I'll install the camlocks.In the third photo it appears that I installed a light bulb on the top of the turtle deck. It's a reflection.
7 April 2015: A pause. I'm at the point where I should bring everything together in the hangar. In other words, it's time for final assembly. There are a few little things I can pick at, but, until I have all the components in the hangar, there's not much to do. I anticipate acquiring a hangar at the beginning of May and then starting the push to getting airborne.
Meanwhile I'm picking at things. Such as playing with the stripe position. It will eventually be a navy blue decal.
I'm also working on the final fairing of the cowl.
The floorboards and seat. (Seat belt slots need to be cut.)
21 April 2015: Seat belts are in place.