21 April Continued: I'm in the process of moving to a hangar at Arthur Dunn Airpark. I will first move the wings from my hangar at Space Coast Regional and do some finish work on them. Then I will move the fuselage and tail feathers from my garage to the hangar at Arthur Dunn.
GoPro Mount!!! A must-have for any sport plane. I already have a plan in case I get too much vibration.
14 May 2015: Safely moved to Arthur Dunn. (X21)
A Fix on the Wings: When I covered the wings I made what I thought to be a careful effort to glue the bottom fabric to ribs 2 and 3. Because of the tanks these ribs were not rib laced along most of their length. In spite of my best efforts I experienced a little bit of separation where the airfoil is under cambered. Since this was on the high pressure side of the wing I know that this was probably not as critical as it would be on the top of the wing. (In this area the top fabric is securely glued to the fuel tank.) However, these little separations bothered me so I set out to correct them.
23 May 2015: It's my hope that when I reapply the paint this will look neat and tidy. I used reinforcement tape and specialized rivets for fabric covering.
I had to use care when drilling the holes. To keep from shredding the reinforcement tape I burned holes through the tape with a battery powered soldering iron. And then, to avoid drilling into the tank, I used an egg-beater style hand drill. You can feel the difference drilling into plywood versus fiberglass. Your sharp eye will notice that I hedged my bets by wrapping tape around the bit to limit its travel.
10 June 2015: Neat and Tidy! Painting is complete.
23 June 2015: My good friend not only has a trailer but also provides labor.
Safely in the hangar.
I go to work. I connect the battery and, at last, remove all the plastic coating the windshield.
29 June 2015: I begin fitting the PVC fairings to the lift struts
This is proving to be easier than I thought it would be. I began fitting each strut by spotting the position of the jury strut bracket. From there it was relatively simple to locate the other cuts. In the second photo you can see the generous taper in the aft fairing. This is to avoid the fairing striking the fuselage when the wing is folded back.
I see a lot of sanding in my future. After gluing in place I'll fill the gaps with Super-Fil and shape with sandpaper and elbow grease.
Ready to be glued.
31 July 2015: July was filled with commitments that pulled me away from our Kitfox. At least the last 4 days of that period was spent actually flying a Kitfox. Linda and I traveled to Boise, Idaho to receive Kitfox-specific flight training along with biennial flight reviews. Our instructor was Preston Riley from Stick & Rudder Aviation. Preston is a first-class instructor from a first-class training organization led by Paul Leadabrand. Along with all the normal flight school activities they offer mountain flying training. Preston gave me a sample by showing me some canyon flying. I'm hooked! He also gave me the most intense emergency procedures training I've ever had.
Doing about nine and a half hours in a Kitfox confirmed that I made a good decision choosing a kit plane.
Back to work: Continuing with the lift strut fairing.
18 August 2015: This is proving to be time consuming. In addition, the Florida heat is slowing me down. A careful look will reveal that I have quite a bit of work to do before it's completely fair.
13 September 2015: Complete and ready to be painted. You're right, I managed to get my shoe in a few of the photos.
A case of leaving well enough alone. I decided to do a final trial of the tail covers before painting them. Because this is a case of trying to fit flat sheets into compound curves there is some waviness. Since I have neither the tools nor skills to rectify this I decided to not try anything that could lead to disaster.
7 October 2015: Painting! First coat of white epoxy primer. There is some roughness to be wet sanded.
I'm using the 3M Accuspray system. http://3mcollision.com/accuspraysystem So far I'm very happy with it. Especially when it's time to clean-up.
6 November 2015: Color! As explained on page 85 of the Poly Fiber Manual, I first applied a second coat of primer and then the first coat of Poly-Tone while the primer was still tacky. This was done to maximize adhesion of a paint normally used to coat fabric
The lift strut fairings took much too long to complete but, they're now finished and I'm finally ready to mount the wings to the fuselage.
Wing Mounting Fixtures: A friend and fellow homebuilder at Arthur Dunn Airpark developed these stands to assist in wing mounting. There quite a lot of builders at Arthur Dunn and these stands get a lot of use. By removing the verticals they can be used for low wing airplanes. Because of these, mounting the wings was a two-man job.
Order of Events: Ordinary hardware store threaded rods allowed fine adjustment.
DONE! It's looking like an airplane.
18 December 2015: Most of the work rigging the flaperons has already been done. However I need to finish fairing the tips and paint the flaperons before they can be permanently mounted to the wings. Since I now have two work spaces I can use my garage for painting and the hangar for other work.
One of those other projects is plumbing the fuel tanks. You will notice that I've chosen not to cover the butt rib to hide the wing root. I rather have it all visible.
4 January 2016: If you've been with me all these years your may remember that in order to isolate it from local magnetic influences I made a shelf for the magnetic sensor at the tip of the right wing. Your sharp eyes will notice that I mounted it to the shelf with brass screws. Since the outside air temperature probe is wired to the sensor I mounted the probe to a slot in the wing tip. When the wing tip is in place the probe will be wedged against the mounting strip. If I had mounted it in a hole it would not be possible to completely remove the probe from the wing tip for servicing etc..
Meanwhile, when the weather allows, I'm continuing to paint the flaperons.
Navigation Lights: All-in-one wingtip lights from Aeroleds
10 January 2016: After spending the better part of two days chasing wiring faults, let there be light! The problem ended up being a single crimp terminal with a bad connection.
24 January 2016: A 70 inch, ground adjustable, Whirlwind propeller.
Confirming the cowl fitting. The cowl and spinner are ready for the final finishing.
5 March 2016: I know I haven't posted in a while but I actually have made quite a bit of progress. I'm finally getting around to telling you about it.
Painting the brackets and mass balance weights. Painting the suspended brackets was like painting a wind chime.
After spotting the holes I clecoed the flaperons in place. Of course I had the help of a friend to lift them in place. While it is more common to install the mass balance weights before the flaperons are hung I decided to wait. That will be the next step.
5 April 2016: Masking the mass balance weights. They will be attached with both rivets and epoxy. When I removed the masking some of the paint came with it. Obviously I did not prepare the surface as well as I should have. While I should completely redo the paint on the flaperons, I decided to just do a touch-up knowing that, in the future I'll have to remove them and do it right.
Attaching the push rods. The first photo shows how I leveled the flaperons. This is done according to the builder's manual. I had to fuss with multiple adjustment points to get it right.
1 May 2016: Engine Start! This is the second start. After the first start I shut down immediately because of no oil pressure reading. Turned out to be a configuration error in the Dynon D120 that was easy to correct.
14 June 2016: After a pause of about 3 weeks I'm back to work on the Kitfox. With a little trepidation I tackled the job of spotting and cutting the slots in the turtle deck where the flaperon controls pass through. You can see that I first made plywood patterns following the directions in the builder's manual. I held them in place and drilled through the holes in the mounting tabs into the patterns. In the second photo I've attached one of the patterns to the corresponding holes in the turtle deck. I marked the outline of the slot, took a deep breath, and cut the slot with a dremel tool.
It worked! I couldn't be happier.
Finally I enlarged the holes and clamped in the cam locks with clecoes. Tomorrow I'll rivet them in place and mount the turtle deck.