I got started tonight by filing the edges of the aft canopy decks flush with the side of the fuselage and I finished dimpling all of the holes that attach them to the longerons.
I fabricated a little drilling jig to ensure the holes were a fixed distance off the floor. After some careful measurements to ensure I’d hit the clips on the ends of the mounting brackets, I drilled the floor stiffeners to the forward cover.
I fabricated the mounting brackets as specified on the Andair plans. I removed a section of the vertical portion of each of the mounting angles since I’ll be running quite a bit of wiring through this bay as well. This is 1/8″ thick angle, so it’s still far stronger than it needs to be. I could have probably used 1/16″ thick angle, but this is what the plans specify.
Here is the fuel pump screwed into place on the mounting brackets. I still need to drill the floor stiffeners to the cover, but I needed to get the brackets in place so that I could drill through the angle clips on each end. I need to order some MK1000-08 nutplates to use on these clips since regular K1000-08 nutplates are too long.
The plans specify that the aft end of the filter be roughly vertically aligned with the fuel selector outlet. This requires the fuel line to jog backward before turning forward to enter the fuel filter. The radius on my tubing bender is to large for this to work and still have room to push the fitting back to create the flare on the end. Instead, I moved the filter and pump forward about two inches and fabricated a line with a simple 90º bend. I’m hoping the stock Van’s fuel pump cover will still fit over the pump. Otherwise, I’ll have to fabricate a custom cover.
I installed the baffle in the vertical portion of the front cover (just below where the air vents are in the cover). I didn’t get a picture of it, but it needs to be match drilled and riveted along with a handful of nutplates.
I decided to go ahead and install the seat belt cables and partially bolt the bracket in place. The middle of the three AN3 bolts has been torqued and sealed. The other two would interfere with side rivets, so they’ll be installed after the top is riveted on. I also put the AN4 bolt that attaches the cable and torqued/sealed it.
I have been trying to decide between the Hookers at $410/seat (with the rotary latch) and the Crow at $160/seat for quite some time. Safety wise, I think they’re comparable, but there are several drawbacks with the Crows. There are only four colors of webbing to chose from as well as four colors of pads to chose from, none of which match my interior very closely. Also, the rotary latch is quite thick and I’m worried that it will interfere with the stick. The Hookers come in 14 colors, with 20 color choices for pads and trim, and the rotary latch is much thinner. The only drawback is the price. What finally clinched it for me is that I found out that Classic Aero Designs (who will be making my interior) sells the Hookers and will make matching leather pads using the same material that my seats are made of. With that decision made, I went ahead and drilled/reamed a 1/4″ hole, 1/2″ below the outer holes in each crotch strap bracket. I can’t use the stock Van’s hole position because the Hooker brackets are longer than the Van’s brackets.
I also primed and riveted on the inner flap motor mount bracket and bolted the flap motor in place. This bolt is secured with a cotter pin since you can’t torque it down since that would bind the motor and it needs to pivot on this bolt. I used some TriFlow lubricant here to keep everything moving smoothly. This is the same lubricant that I will be using on all of the rod ends throughout the plane.
My wheels and tires/tubes showed up today. I’m using the Grove wheels which have a much higher heat energy absorption than the stock wheels and are actually lighter because they’re magnesium. I also went with the Condor 6 ply tires and Michelin AirStop tubes because both were highly recommended on vansairforce.net. The tire on the left shows the outside of the wheel. The one on the right shows the inside with the disc brake.
I also ordered the Grove parking brake.
The wheels came with the brake cylinders and mounting brackets.
I fit the forward baggage side covers, then removed them to install nutplates on the bottom flange, The baggage floor will screw down to this flange,
Here you can see how the side cover fits. The bottom flange fits under the baggage floor and the other three side screw down to side bulkheads. The flap torque tube will stay exposed in the plane, but it rotates in place, so nothing can catch on it.
Now that everything has been match drilled, the nutplates on the aft side covers can be installed.
I got an order from SteinAir the other day which included a bunch of wire I’ll need to start wiring components in the plane. I ordered about 30′ of RG-400 which is enough to do most if not all of the antennas in the aircraft. I also purchased an adjustable RG-59 three blade coax stripper off eBay. After a bunch of test cuts, I managed to get the stripper adjusted for RG-400 so that it perfectly cuts all of the various component of the cable without nicking any wires. I then installed a male BNC connector on the end to test the crimper I bought.
The crimper I have has interchangeable dies. I installed the hex dies and crimped the gold plated center pin to the stranded center conductor with the 0.068″ die (RG-58 and RG-400 both have stranded center conductors for use in the high vibration environment of an aircraft compared with the solid center conductor of RG-59 that is typically used in home cable tv systems. It’s also 50? instead of 75? impedence). Next, the connector body is pushed onto the pin until it clicks into place. Finally, the ferrule is slide up tight against the connector body and crimped with the 0.213″ die.
After fitting and drilling the rear flap cover, I fit and drilled the side covers. This totally encloses the flap motor assembly since the seats fit right up against this.