Monday, November 4, 2013

Late October/Early November

"C'mon Dave, lemme chew just a little piece"
Just finished the bulkhead/stringer assembly and got it varnished.

That little end bulkhead is now attached as shown with a short piece of 6061 aluminum angle holding the wood and two 1" metal clamps holding it to the fuselage.
At this point, I also cut out the baggage compartment door. This should have been done before running the stringers, that way I could have laid it down flat while using a jigsaw. Oh well. The baggage compartment is that in name only. It is really just a large glove box.
The door is usually rectangular, but I cut mine to an arc along the top to follow the curve of the bulkhead. This makes for a slightly larger door and looks good, too.
There will be another compartment below this one which was framed by the original builder to be the only compartment, but I will frame this smaller one in 1/4" plywood with another door opening through the main compartment or the cockpit, I haven't decided yet. This smaller compartment will be handy for items that will be carried all the time, like chocks, small tools, etc. I should also start planning for a small compartment in the cockpit that would be accessible in flight. Things that may be needed in flight are few, so it doesn't have to be a very big compartment. It will have to carry an iPad though, since paper charts in an open cockpit aren't very useful and sometime end up being sucked right out. All modern modes of navigation will have to be well hidden. I just can't stand the thought of a classic biplane (even a replica) having a GPS, or worse, an EFIS mounted to the instrument panel. This will require some creative fabrication.
Just as I got really busy one day, I got a call from Frank's Heads and Engine Service––the cylinders are ready. I dropped them off last week for vatting before heading to Zurich. The non-steel vat doesn't use very powerful chemicals, so as not to damage aluminum or brass parts.
The cylinders are clean enough, but will still need some work as you can see. After bead-blasting, they look pretty good–––they should paint well.
Just had to cover the valve guides with duct tape, since that is a critical diameter, and we don't need to have any errant glass beads wearing away the inside surface. So far, all the guides (intake and exhaust) check within tolerance for new parts.

 Mitchell bead-blasted the exhaust manifolds while waiting for varnish to induct. (A 30 minute induction period is required for every batch you mix, just to allow the catalyst to fully activate the varnish.) Today (Nov. 4th) there are three cylinders left to blast, and a whole pile of smaller parts, like intake pipes, valve covers, etc. Time to get to work.