Rear Seat Back Support Extensions

Time: 2hrs

I made up and installed some extensions for the rear seat back supports. The current supports will support the back of the seat, but they don’t stick out far enough so that the latch on the left side has something to latch on to. I made up 2 2.25″ x 3″ pieces out of some anodized aluminum sheet I had around. Then I riveted them to the current support brackets with 3 3.2mm rivets. Now the latch slides behind the plate and holds the rear seat back. I made one for the right side as well even though it’s not needed, just so it would look the same as the left.

The latch fits nicely behind the plate. If I were building the rear seat and knew about this I probably would have just moved the latch over an inch or so.

Control Sticks

Time: 2 hrs

Today I put the rear seat in and verified that I need to make an extension so the the slide latch on the back of the seat has something to latch into. While I was at it I installed the pilot seat so that I could figure out where to cut the control sticks. I’m using the Tosten military style grips so the control stick needs to be cut back so that the grip sits a comfortable height. I ended up cutting off 3.75″ from the tube. The grip curves forward a bit so I checked that the grip looks like it will not hit the face of the PFD. If so I can adjust the stick back a bit more by adjusting the control rod that connects it to the main elevator torque tube.

One thing that kind of concerns me is that sitting in the seat feels a bit tight. I have the seat in the middle of the 3 adjustment holes so that my feet reach the pedals, but the control stick hits my legs and it’s hard to move it left and right far enough to hit the control stops this is especially true with the stick pulled back. Everything is roughed in so I’m hoping things just need to be adjusted a bit, but it seems that the stick movement may be somewhat limited.

The control sticks are mounted. I’m not going to permanently attach them because they may get in the way when I work on the avionics. I spent some time putting pins on the wires as well. Once the grips are permanently mounted I can put the pins in the connector and connect it to the other connector end that’s mounted under the control stick arm.

It’s starting to look comfy. I noticed a few small tings with the rear seat. One is I put the hole for the ELT antenna cable a little too far forward so I’ll have to cut a little off the flange of the rear seat so that it doesn’t rub on the cable. I also verified that the slide latch doesn’t reach the seat back stops so I’ll need to make some extension and mount those on the seat stops.

Luggage Compartment Mat

Time: .75hrs

I’ve been busy with a few other things and haven’t had time to work on the plane. I did get the vinyl from SCS interiors and the ensolite so I was able to put together the mat for the luggage floor. I had fit the carpet that TAF provided with my upholstery kit a week or so ago so I could use that as a template to cut the vinyl. The vinyl is easy to cut with a sharp utility knife. I cut it a little larger than I needed and then fine tuned the fit. After the fit was good for the vinyl in stuck the 1/8″ ensolite (that came with an adhesive backing) to the vinyl and then trimmed the edges. It didn’t take too long to get it all put together and I’m happy with the results. I don’t see any reason to use the carpet under the mat, but will hold onto it if I every change my mind.

Next I need to fit the rear seat to see what I need to do for the rear seat back supports. I saw on another builders log that the supports that mount to the rear rib to hold the rear seat back aren’t wide enough to touch the seat so the seat back just falls through or at least you can’t lock the seat back… can’t remember, but I’ll check it out when I put the seat in. He needed to make some extensions to fix it.

The vinyl is cut to size and the 1/8″ ensolite is ready to be stuck on.

The ensolite backing is on. You don’t really need the backing, but it does make it a bit nicer. Plus it will add a little more sound proofing.

The mat fits nicely. I’ll have to trim a little off the bottom of the rocket cover since the mat is a little thicker than the carpet.

I bought a small 15″ x 15″ net to use to hold down luggage or whatever else might go back here.

I’m hoping the fuel tank skin will arrive in the next few weeks so I can continue with that and also the wing tips. If I can get my taxes done soon and have any money left then I’ll get some more avionics. But not too hopeful about that.

More Interior Work

Time: 5hrs

Today I spent some time on the interior. I had purchased a few L-Track and hold-downs from USCC┬áto use in the luggage area baggage tie downs. These are similar to the mounting strips the airlines use to fasten the seats to the floor. They’re cool because you can move the hold-downs around pretty easy. The luggage area on the Sling 4 is pretty small, especial when you have the parachute box so there’s really only about 1.5 ft deep of storage space. I also am planning on putting a rail on the back of the rear seat so that when it’s folded down you can strap things down in that area as well. I’ll probably need to come up with some way of locking down the seat back when it’s folded down so it doesn’t try to flop up if you hit turbulence. I’ll most likely be using the plane in the 2 passenger, large cargo area config (rear seat folder down). I may also see if I can figure out a way to temporarily move the rear seat to the more forward position if I do want to carry 2 largish passengers. Originally I was going to use the Rotax 915 which is a bit more heavy so I was told by TAF to leave the rear seat in the more aft position, but since I’m using the 914 I should probably move it forward… well at least have a way to do that for the occasion I want to take 2 passengers in the rear seat. I don’t want to do that permanently because with the seat more forward the transition from the luggage area to the folded down rear seat isn’t so flat.

I also did some cutting of the carpet pieces for the floor to get them to fit better. I’m not planning on using them since I’m going to get some nicer carpet from SCS Interiors, but I need to make some templates for SCS so I figured I’ll get these to fit and then use them to make the cardboard templates. If I do decided to use them under the SCS carpet then they’ll be ready to go.

A few photos of the L-track I installed today. It’s very easy to cut (just aluminum) to size. I drilled through the luggage floor for 6mm screws. I was thinking of using rivnuts since that would be a lot easier to install, but I was worried that the rivnuts might pull out of the floor if the track was pulled hard. I ordered some 6mm countersunk screws (these are just to make sure everything lines up) and will use washers and locking nuts on the bottom. The front piece should be pretty easy to screw down, but the rear one is a bit of a reach underneath.

The middle photo shows the vinyl material that I’m going to get from SCS Interiors. They also provide a nicer backing that will just stick onto the vinyl. I’ll just order the raw material and cut to myself since I don’t really need the edges to be finished like the cabin floor mats will be.

Avionics Work Continues

Time: 14 hrs

I’ve been working on getting some of the avionics done for the past week. I’ve kind of switched my thinking in that originally I was going to mount a few more things on the panel so that it could all get wired by someone else. Well I’m thinking that it will be better if I do the wiring and run it so that the panel mounted avionics can be easily connected through the holes in the panel. The issue I have with outsourcing the panel work is there are quite a few connects that have to come back from the panel mount avionics into the ones mounted on the aircraft structure. Like power if using the VPX and a few serial lines, switches, ignition, etc so what you end up having to do in install a few connectors so that you can more easily connect all that stuff once the panel is screwed in. What I’ve decided to do is mount as much stuff to the aircraft structure and get that all wired up. Then I’m running wiring out to each location where panel mount avionics will go. For the switches and indicator lights I may need to wire up a DB15 connector so that I can more easily make connections to them since a few of them are solder only. There should be reasonably good access through the GDU holes in the panel to connect everything and going underneath the panel isn’t too bad either. The GNX375 (which I’ve decided to use instead of the GTN650) has a premade 4 ft pig tail so that will need to go into a DB25 or maybe a few smaller connectors.

Anyways it’s coming along, but still a long way to go. I think next I need to purchase the G3X kit which has the GTP59 (temperature probe), GSU25 ADAHRS, and config module, I also need the VPX (I have the light weight cheaper version right now… ha ha) so I can get that all done. The last will be the 2 GTR20’s and the GMA245R audio panel which will mount on the left side shelf.

I have just about all the wiring run now. Just a few short runs needed. I’m using some split cable sheathing to protect and organize the wire runs out to the panel mount avionics. It seems to be working out well.

I mounted the LC50 dimmer and GAD29 on the right shelf. Originally I was going to mount these to the GNX cage, but with the change in plans this seems to make the most sense now.

Next I’ll do some work on the baggage area. I orders some tie down rails that I need to install. I can then order the floor material that I’ll be using for the small luggage area. Oh and I need to make up some templates for the front and rear floor mates so I can get those ordered as well.

Interior Panels Done

Time: 5 hrs

I finished installing the interior panels and the cover that covers the gap in the canopy and fuselage join. There were a lot of rivnuts to install so it took some time. I had two areas that the rivnuts conflicted with where a rivet had been installed so I had to drill out the rivet and move it over. The hole for the rivnut ate into the rivet hole so no extra holes where left. I also had to shave off a corner of 2 rivnuts so that they could fit next to a rivet since they were a bit close. It’s always fun trying to line up the parts to get the screws in especially on the carpeted parts. At least the M4 screws are a bit easier than the M3 screws. I also found that I couldn’t fully tighten the screws along the top part of the panels because it caused the material to bow a bit so I used some light hold (pink) loctite on the screws and only tightened them slightly snug.

Side panels and gap cover are installed.

Join between front and rear panels. The dash will also hold the front panel in and a side pocket gets attached near the dash at the top so a few of the screws will get hidden. I’m thinking of maybe just using some strong double sided tape to attach the pockets or maybe if I can find some button clips. Using rivnuts may be difficult since you’ll need access to behind these panels to install the rivnuts.

Interior Panels

Time: 4hrs

Well since I’m kind of at a stand still with the wings I decided to try to finished up as much of the interior as I could. Today I got the interior side panels lined up and drilled the holes for mounting. I also drilled the holes for the piece that covers the gap between the end of the canopy and the fuselage. The panels fit pretty well. It did take some maneuvering to get the large rear panels in and around the seat belt bracket. I also needed to cut out the seat bracket area and the the edge that touches the bracket under the front seats on the large rear panels. My panels seem to site pretty close to the row of rivets that hold the inside aluminum skins so I verified that most of the rivnuts that will need to be installed will not interfere with them, but there are 2 that will so I’ll need to remove the rivet and move it over a little.

I got the front and rear panels aligned. I also made sure that the canopy door latches clear the panels. I still need to install the capture pins into the canopy that the latches latch onto, but I don’t want to do it now because I think the rubber seal will change the position of the latches a bit and I can’t install that until the plane is painted.

Pilot holes are drilled. The holes along the top where already drilled out on the fiberglass side of the panels so I just needed to drill them through the leather and then I used those as guides to drill into the canopy. The lower ones were just placed where they will be hidden and where they seem to secure the panel well. There’s really no mention on how to do this in the manual so I’m just guessing where to put the other screw holes. Eventually I’ll need to put in M4 rivnuts where each of the clecos are.

The dash holds the seam fairly well so I’ll just use 2 screws for this area and one on the lower section.

If not secured here the panel will get in the way of the rudder pedals and the brake line will rub so I put in some screws here as well

The cover for the gap in the canopy is done as well.

I added some carpet material in spots so that you won’t see any metal in the cracks. The panels don’t completely cover to the floor there’s a very small gaps so I thought this would make it look a bit more finished once the panels go on. I’m also planning on getting some nicer carpet for the floor pieces so this will help if they aren’t perfectly sized as well.

I added some extra carpet along the side panel here as well since the side panels have a little gap at the end.

I need to think of a way to mount the pockets that attach near the dash. I’m thinking some kind of snap might work. I’ll need to look into that. So next I need to drill out all the pilot holes and put in rivnuts so that the panels can get screwed in.