Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Engine compartment

Build hours: 210
Completed engine compartment on UCA to same point as UCB. Planned engine cowl and baffling arrangement since we are departing from the plans a bit in this area.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Engine compartment

Build hours: 206
The filler pieces and skins for UCB were drilled and clecoed to the engine mounts. The skins were cut to their final dimensions and the double row of rivets and rivet pattern on the A to B skin was laid out. The skins for UCA were also hung for fitting to the engine mount.
A test was made on the front engine cowl to create a more finished look and appears to be workable. A 3/16" flange was added to the node cowl behind the spinner. This will cover the top of the slots in the attached flange and also give the engine cowl an edge to butt up against instead of being an overlap.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Engine compartment

Build hours: 198

Jake, the shop rat, caught in the flash!
Anyhow, we riveted the top angle to bulkhead "A". Riveted the engine supports together and to the lower angle on "A" but did not rivet the lower angle to "A". We're planning to align, drill and rivet the engine skins before riveting the lower angle and supports to "A" so that blind rivets are not needed below the engine mount at the "A" bulkhead. This also means we have to order the nuts and bolts that become inaccessible after closure. Two additional changes are also being considered, see below. Installed the engine nutplates and mounted a plywood engine pattern to hold the mount square while fitting the skins.

Change 1 - Make the filler plates in two pieces. One piece rivets to the skin, the other rivets to the vertical engine support then the two pieces are riveted together when adding the engine ring.

Follow up: Decided to stick with the plan filler pieces and use blind rivets as needed.

Change 2 - Speaking of the engine ring... After looking at various examples of the engine ring implementation, we decided to purchase a real metal shrinker(Porto-Metal, I believe) and shrink the flange around the top of the ring. We needed the shrinker for the ribs anyhow to avoid fluting so why not!

Follow up: Fluting and hand skrinking aluminum in the T6 state is only practical for large radii and the metal shrinker must be used sparingly to avoid marking the material to much!

Engine compartment and tail components

Build hours: 194

While waiting for some materials and our work schedule to synchronize, 10 hours was expended in cutting out blanks for the tail parts for both UCs. (horz. stabs, horz. stab forward spars, vertical stab forward spars, rudder spars and ribs) Additionally, the horizontal and vertical engine mounts were cut and flanged to the indicated angles and the "A" firewall angles were aligned and clecoed on.

When Rick and I got back together we were able to drill and cleco the engine mounts together and hang them on the firewall. The mounts were squared by clamping a wood spreader to the front and an engine compartment skin pattern was made. The engine mounts will be leveled when the skin is attached. Finally, all holes EXCEPT the firewall holes that hold the rudder bar attachment were drilled to 1/8".

We also gave metal shrinking a try on the filler plates for the front of the engine mounts. We flanged the straight edge of the filler plate in the brake and made a particle board form with a slot to accomodate the flange to tap the curved edge around. We bent the curved edge to leave 3 puckers. A wood block was clamped to each side of a pucker and the pucker was then flattened. The filler plate came out well but this method is not practical when a tight clamp cannot be applied to both sides of the pucker.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shoudler strap doubler

Build hours: 178

The shoulder strap attach brackets on top of the C bulkhead were added. The skin was trimmed to allow the plates to align with the bulkhead. The plate and doubler were given a mild radius to lay flat across the C to D skin seam since we attached the C to D skin in two pieces. We used driven rivets in this area - because we like to drive rivets. (If you choose to drive the rivets, be sure to wear hearing protection when you stick your head in the fuselage to buck the rivets:)) The doubler plate was attached with flush rivets so that any future bracket would not be hitting rivet heads.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

UCB riveted

Build hours: 174
Assembled and riveted UCB to the same point as UCA. Removed beam. The fuselages look great setting side by side!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

UCB skin prep for riveting

Build hours: 167
Clean and deburred bulkheads and skins.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

UCB drilled

Build hours: 165
Installed all skins on UCB and drilled up to 1/8". Removed all skins for cleaning and deburring. Moved bulkhead D supports to opposite side of bulkhead and removed beam beyond bulkhead D for easier removal later.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

UCA riveted

Build hours: 162
In a fit of progress, the remaining UCA skins were drilled up to 1/8" where possible, removed, deburred, clean and reinstalled. Rivets were installed and the beam was extracted leaving the following results:

Monday, September 3, 2007

UCA riveting

Build hours: 157
Well, we finally get to complete assembly on some of these #!$ skins and bulkheads! Man, we've been doing this forever - isn't it done yet! Construction so far has always been hot, sometimes perplexing and once in a while just dang tiresome and frustrating. However, in the next few paragraphs, the plan comes together - who needs laser cut kits! Whoo-hoo!
The skeleton of UCA (refresher coarse for the slower readers - UCA = UltraCruiser "A") was further denuded as the last two skins, bulkheads and stringers were removed for riveting, deburring and trimming at the overlap. Additionally, the overlapping skin edge was inserted into the brake 1/8" and bent approx 3 degrees to create a tighter edge when riveted.
The skins had a lot of marking from skin oils and perspiration that was unattractive and could lead to surface corrosion on the 6061. Acetone or mineral spirits had no affect on the smudges. Some weak AlumiPrep (phosphoric acid etch normally followed by an Alodine treatment) on a sponge followed by generous rinsing was found to remove the smudges and return the aluminum to its originally bright state.
The E to F skin was wrapped and rejoined at the bottom stringer with clecoes and the top stringer was clecoed in place. E2 was riveted in followed by F and the stringers. The pieces were handled with cotton gloves during the riveting to avoid re-smudging the inside surfaces. Finally the three 1/4-28 nutplates were added at the appropriate E2 tabs.
Plan note:
F was not riveted where the tail wheel spring bracket will be and the top stringer was not riveted where the vertical stab lower rib will be added later.
Bulkhead E was put in place with a few clecoes and the stringers for the next section were riveted onto E. The D to E skin was rejoined on the bottom stringer and the top stringer was added. Bulkhead E was riveted in along with the stringers. Some denting or wrinkling as the rivets pull the skins to the bulkheads is inevitable at the change of angles on the skins.
Some more of the beam was removed (with joy!) and the D to F assembly was hung on the D bulkhead.
UCB was denuded so that we could get the original C skins back for UCA. C skins for UCB
(UCB = UltraCruiser "B" in case your still not catching on to the naming scheme) were cut from the originals. The original skins were repositioned on UCA ready to be drilled up to 1/8" holes.
At this point, there really should be a picture but I'm too pooped to walk back out to the shop!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

UBC skin A to B doubler, vertical stab

Build hours: 150
Drilled the A to B skin at bulkhead A and added the A to B skin doubler.
Notched the F bulkhead for the vertical stab and added the vertical stab as detailed on UCA. An ATS rivet gun was purchased from Aircraft Spruce for 97$. This rivet gun worked really well and made the riveting process enjoyable. It was well worth the expenditure. Even without prior experience, Rick was driving first class rivets on the first attempt. Well, I still hold the title of "Rosy (the Riveter)" for now.