Luggage Door

Time: 3.5 hrs

  • Prepped and primed the few remaining fuselage parts plus the new com2 antenna bracket
  • Etch primed the cowling strips to be painted grey (on the inside)
  • Painted inside of cowling strips grey
  • Cut rear seat reinforcing bracket and drill out holes in LGN-303 for the bracket
  • Fit luggage door and drilled holes in hinge

Very slight bend needed in the door to get it to match the rear fuselage. It’s actually pretty hard to bend the door because of the thickness of the material. Thank God it didn’t need too much of a bend.

All the holes drilled out in the top part of the hinge.

Door aligned and holes drilled in the the hinge (lowest row of clecos)

Top Rear Fuselage

Time: 4.5 hrs

Things done today:

  • Worked on the fitment of the left top rear fuselage skin. Need quite a bit of work on the area where the skin meets the tail cone
  • Installe com1 antenna mount bracket. Needed to drill out some holes to 4mm due to poor alignment
  • Dimpled holes in ribs (002 and 003) where parachute cover skin will cover the rivets
  • Finished making com2 bracket
  • Worked on fitting com2 bracket to center fuselage
  • Pulled back com2 RG400 cable from old location and used the extra for ELT antenna cable run

This is the newer com antenna bracket (com1 in my case). The fitment isn’t too bad, but the 4 lower holes were off enough where I needed to up them to 4mm from 3.2mm. Also you can see the 0.064mm space I made that will keep the skin flat when riveting to the bracket. The 3 holes in the antenna bracket along the rib 3 line weren’t drilled out. I had to mark them from behind and drill the out from the top. It will be a bit tricky to do this for the right side top skin though. I was able to use the spacer to drill 2 on the 3 holes, but there’s one left that I’ll need to figure out how to drill that one out.

Above are the dimpled holes on the ribs (002 and 003). There are quite a few on rib3. Rib2 has just two on the right side of the break for the parachute tray and a few to the left. Since the manual doesn’t say anything about dimpling these parts I tried to use the factory photos from Craig’s site. I think I got most of them. I’ll double check it with the parachute cover skin prior to riveting. The manual does mention dimpling some holes on the parachute box.

New location of the com2 antenna. This seems to be an ideal place. It’s far enough from the landing gear and steps, but a nice straight shot to the instrument panel for the cable run. Also it will hide the antenna a little putting it on the bottom of the center fuselage rather then have it so far back on the rear fuselage where it’s right out in the open. I was also a little worried that the clearance wasn’t going to be enough where I was going to mount it on the rear fuselage. The RAMI AV-17 is only 9″ high, but it is able 23″ long.

ELT antenna cable run. I’ll have to look at the rear inside fuselage skin to see if I can drill out a hole and run the cable in this channel. The factory just runs it behind the rear seat and up to the ELT antenna mounted behind the rear seat.

Control stick and AP Servo Redux

Time: 2.5hrs

Finished installing the new control sticks and also redid the rose joints in the AP servos.

The controls sticks seem much better then my old ones, though they’ve tightened up a bit not that everything is installed. Probably because the sticks are tied together and there’s more stuff the move.

Above photos are the roll servo. After installing the short push rod between the control stick and the servo I noticed that there wasn’t much movement of the servers arm. It turns out that I had mounted the rose joint on to the bottom hole of the servo arm and not the 3rd hole (2nd from the bottom). With that fixed the servo movement is much better.

On to the pitch servo. After connecting the push rod between the servo and the rear elevator control tube I noticed that the servo was hitting the stop limit of the servo and not the main stops. After reviewing the manual I saw noticed that the rose joint should be mounted in the bottom hole and not the 3rd hole of the servo. The movement is better but it still seems to be stopping on the servo limits just a hair before the main stops. It maybe that some adjustment of the control push rods will fix this. I’m not going to worry about this right now.

Also the end of the bolt is very close to one of the bolts holding the servo to the frame. I added one thick washer to the head side of the assembly and that created enough space.

Photo of how close the end of the bolt was to hitting the mounting bolt. I probably should t have used washers on the mounts, but the bolt was long enough so adding the washer to the head side of the rose joint assembly worked fine.

New Control Stick Assembly

Time: 1.5 hrs

I went down to Torrance TAF today and spoke to Jean about the issues I had/am having with the control sticks. We were able to get some new control sticks assemblies for me to compare and try. Wow what a difference. From the photos you can see that the rear control horn is further back plus this one has stop collars. It installed quick and the movement is very smooth and free now. What a big relief that this problem is finally fixed right. Now I just need to update the other side. 

For the below photos. My original control tick assemblybis on the bottom and the new one is on the top. 

Rear control horn is 1/4-1/2″ further back then mine. Having the control horn further forward made it so I had to elongate the adjustment slots in the rear bracket that holds the control stick to the main spar. It also caused the stop bushing to not hit the control stop. But the new control stick fixes all that… Yay!

Looks like they added a bit more tube and rivets for strength as well. 

Mine didn’t have the stop collars. The collars make a world of difference, it eliminate the forward and back sloppiness in the movement. 

Labeling Wires


One of the other builders asked if I could post what I was using for labeling the wiring on the plane. I’m using a Rhino 6000 labler with heat shink tubing labels. I believe the labeler was around $300. I think there is also a less expensive model that can also use the heat shink cartridges. Also I think there is a model above that can connect to the computer via USB and act as a printer so you can print wire labels from a spreadsheet, etc. So far the labeler and heat shrink labels have worked ok great. I really don’t have anything bad to say about either one. 

Pitch Servo Wiring

Time: 2hrs

Things done today:

  • Put pins on pitch servo wires
  • Started to disassemble the control sticks to fix tightness in aileron movement
  • Finished up front seat back

One of the parts I picked up from TAF Torrance was the side channel for the front seat. I had received one a few months ago, but TAF had updated the channel to a thicker aluminum and elimated the angle doubler piece. Since I had already built one seat back and had riveted the right side together of the other I wanted them to match. TAF was able to send the older style part so now the seat side all match. Now I just need to paint it grey along with the rear seat back and some brackets.

I also started to disassemble the control sticks in attempt to do a comprehensive fix. I’m going to try to go to Torrance TAF tomorrow to look at the control stick assembly from one of the kits there. Mine is a bit different then the other builders so I’m not sure if mine is supposed to have the stop collars. Also mine was assembled incorrectly with the control horn not all the way to the end of the tube. So now I’m  questioning everything about these parts. If the control sticks in the kit are significantly different then what I have Then may just see if in can take them and go through the process of removing mine and swapping them out. If not then I may be able to fix mine in some capacity. It sucks to have this issue come up again so far into the build, at least I didn’t rivet the sides on to the fuselage yet, so swapping them out isn’t too difficult.

This is the source of all my control stick issues. If you find the 2 rivets on the right side of the photo. Those rivets attach the control horns to the control tube. Notice there’s about 1/4″ of tubing past the end of the bracket. That should really be flush to the end of the tube. The 1/4″ is causing all kinds of problems.

I also pinned the wiring for the pitch AP servo. I need to look at the pin assignment in the G3X install manua so I can put the pins into the DB15 connector.

All pinned and labeled. Just need to look at the pin outs for the DB15 connector to see where the pins go.

Static Port Lines and Flap Motor

Time: 1.75hrs

Things done today:

  • Installed static lines
  • Installed Pitch and roll AP push rods
  • Installed flap motor

Flap motor installed. I had to use a 12V power supply and hook it up the red and black wires to extend the flap actuator a bit so I could put in the bolts. I pretty much followed the manual, but ended up putting in all thin washer on the end that connects to the flap tube. The bolt was a tad bit short and using the thin washers allowed me to slowly tighten the bolt until there was just a tiny bit of play in the mount. At this point I was able to put the cotter pin in. With the thick washers in the center it was a bit too tight in the bracket and I couldn’t get the hole in the bolt exposed enough to put in the pin.

I mounted the T to the longeron with a single long 3.2mm rivet. This made for easy routing of the line to the firewall and the right static port.

7/11/2017 Note: I changed the way this was routed to reduce the chance of water getting into the lines. See this post on how it was changed.

Here’s the run over to the left static port. Lots of holes to drill. I’m really happy with this static line. I purchased it from Cleaveland Tool Supply along with the static ports. It’s very easy to work with and seems very durable.