Priming Parts

Time: 1.25hrs

Nothing exciting today, just primed a few parts. Since the upper rear fuselage skins were test fit already, I primed them so their ready when the time comes. 

Yesterday I went down to Torrance TAF to pick up a few parts that had come in. I primed these as well. That should be almost be all of the priming for the rear fuselage. I think I just have the front top fuselage skin and the skin that covers the gear channel to prep and prime. 

I used the el cheapo dimpler that goes in a hand rivet puller to dimple the top rivet holes on the parachute cable tray and parachute box. It actually worked really well, but I’m going to order the ones from Cleaveland Tool Supply to do the ones in the skins. I also still need todo the ones in rib 3 and I believe rib 2. 

Lastly I removed the clamps from the static ports and they are holding well. There may be a slight bump in the skin around the ports, but it may just be a reflection of the port in the skin, it’s difficult to tell. Next will be to run the static port lines and rivet the com2 bracket. Once those are done I can put on the top skins of the rear fuselage. 


Longeron Issue

Time: 3.75hrs

Things done today:

  • Drilled longeron holes out to 4mm on left and right side
  • Test fit and prepped for priming right Top rear fuselage skin
  • Had to redo the static ports…. trying normal epoxy this time

TAF came back and said to increase the longeron rivets to 4mm so today I worked on doing that to the left and right side. The right side was easy since the holes lined up fairly well, but the left was a bit more work. I feel a bit better about this now that the they are drilled out for 4mm rivets. The rivets fit tighter in the holes rather then the sloppiness of the elonged 3.2mm holes. 

I also had to redo the static ports. When I took the clamps off they just popped off the skin. I removed the old adhesive, cleaned everything and then mixed up some regular epoxy and reclamped. This time I also used a bit less pressure on the clamping since I had noticed that there was a bulge around the ports the first time around. We’ll see if the epoxy holds. 

Holes all reamed to 4mm. This was only done from rib5 back alone the middle longeron. Other side is the same. The test fit of the upper skin went well. There are a few holes that don’t line up on rib 7 (first rib of the tail cone).

Static Ports, Updated Antenna Mount Spacer, and New Longhorn 303

Time: 4.5 hrs

Got lots done… well almost done today:

  • Test fit and prepped for priming the top left rear fuselage skin
  • Installed static ports
  • Made new Longeron 303 (RF-LGN-303)
  • Made spacer for the updated com1 antenna mount (RF-ANG-020-C-C)

Test fit the left top skin on the rear fuselage. It fit really well, only a few small areas that need to get addressed prior to priming.

Here’s one issue. The top longeron is maybe 1/8″ – 1/4″ too long so the rib (rib 4 I believe) can’t be moved forward to line up with the holes in the skin. I just need to remove a little material from the end and all should be good.

This is by far my biggest issue. This is Longeron 302-C (RF-LGN-302-C-C). The holes line up great until rib 5 then they’re all a little off. It lines up the same with the lower skin so it’s not the skins, in fact the holes one the top and bottom skins line up with each other so at least that works. I spoke to the factory and they said just drill out the longeron to match the holes in the skins… Hmmm not sure about that.

All these holes don’t line up. The right side doesn’t have this issue. I even got another longeron from Torrance TAF and same issue.

Yeah… well now all the holes are elongated. I’m thinking the best thing to do is ream these to 4mm rather then 3.2mm even though TAF says this is OK, I don’t know if I’m OK with it.

Moving on to the static ports. I found these on Cleaveland Aircraft Tools ( They’ll need a 1/2″ hole in the skin to fit. I also purchased some green and blue tubing for the Pitot/AOA tube when I get to building the wings.

1/2″ hole drilled using my step reamer and then used some scotch brite to clean and roughen up a bit.

Outside shot of the hole, I just removed some of the protective film so it doesn’t get in the way. The hole is 70mm down from the horizontal rivet row and 70mm left of the vertical rivet row right by rib 5, just like it says in the manual.

Any that’s what it will look like once installed. I like it because it’s just a small bump in the skin and not really noticeable.

Here I cut a block of wood and drilled a hole so the static port fits secure in it. This will be use on the back when clamping in place.

Front view of the clamped in place static port. I just used some Pergo we had lying around and cut a 7/8″ hole. I also put some tape on the hole of the static port so nothing gets in there by accident.

And the back side. Luckily I had these deep “C” clamps that worked nicely. Now we just let it sit for at least 24 hours and hopefully it bonds well.

Using this to bond the static port to the skin. I hope this works. The skin and port have been scotch brited and cleaned with Simple Green and Alcohol.

EDIT: This didn’t end up working, the static ports popped right off the skin as soon as I took the clamps off. I ended up using regular epoxy… well the grey kind that says it’s for use on metal. That seemed to work really well. Also I used a bit less pressure on the clamps. I noticed that there was a bit of a bump around the static ports and I think it’s because I tigthened the clamps too much. 

I’m so happy about how this came out, my new Longeron 303 (RF-LGN-303). The part in the back is the part I made out of a piece of left-over channel from a part I didn’t use. The one that is provided is a bit short and only one hole actually connects to the center fuselage support. The new one is longer so I can put all three rivets that are in the center fuselage support into this part. Also the old longeron had 4mm holes where it attaches to the skin, but the skins have 3.2mm holes. Rather then ream the skins to 4mm I made the holes on the new part 3.2mm so all the rivets will match in that area now. I’ll have to drill a few more holes once I put the side skin back on the center fuselage and will also need to drill the holes for the rear seat supports.

This is the updated com1 antenna mount that mounts to rib2. The manual says that a spacer is needed between the skin and the bracket along the rib rivet line. I made up a spacer using 0.64mm aluminum to match rib 2 material thickness.

More Wiring 

Time: 1.5 hrs

Just finished up the wiring and installed more wire tie mounts. I also installed the short run of RG400 for the transponder antenna and put a BNC connector on the antenna side. 
Here’s a few photos for the work done today and yesterday. 

Wiring and Rudder Cable Done

Time: 1hr

Things done today:

  • Finished running com1/2 cabling
  • Finished installing rudder cable and torqued bolts 
  • Drilled holes for cable ties for magnetometer. 
  • Installed rudder springs

I’ll take some photos and update the post later. I was in a rush to get in for dinner   Pretty much  all the cabling from the rear fuselage is done. I need to run the static port lines now. The parts came in a few days ago so with everything else done I think that will be next. 

The rudder cable is installed. I torqued the bolts on the pedal side and also installed the springs (didn’t tight the screws or bolts though). I need to rig up something to mimic the rudder being attached so I can check out how it all works. 


Time: 2.75hrs

Things done today:

  • Finished running VOR, elevator trim, and tail strobe cables in rear fuselage
  • Installed most of com1/2 cables in rear fuselage

The route I took for my com2. Not sure if I’m totally happy with this. I may add in a few more supports. 

Put in some spiral wrap to help reduce deforming the RG400 cable when using the cable ties. 

Strobe and elevator trim wiring running into the center fuselage. I decided to come out on the aft side of the rib and run into to the center fuselage under the luggage area. I’m thinking that it keeps the wiring more out in the open for inspections and better access rather then running it behind the riveted rear interior side skin. 

Can’t really see much here. The strobe and elevator trim wire runs inside the higher longeron. The VOR runs through the lower one. 

And here’s where the cabling exits the tail cone. I split the strobe and trim bundle into two right before it exited out the grommet. I can then put them into seperate connectors for easy disconnect from the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. 

Luggage Area

Time: 2.75hrs

Things done today:

  • Installed receptacle side (spring) of the DZUS in luggage support channel
  • Riveted the luggage support channel 
  • Tightened rudder cable sheathing… had to remove center fuselage side for that
  • Had to readjust the rear control stick bracket aileron movement…. was a bit tight. 
  • Installed heat shrink T boot
  • Installed CHL-039 and luggage support channel

One thing that was a bit troubling was that I noticed the aileron control was a bit tight. This must have happened when I put in the wood spacers in the main spar, but not really sure. The control sticks that came with my kit were a bit messed up, the control horns weren’t far enough back so I had to elongate the holes in the support brackets to get them to fit with free movement. Also I noticed that the other builders had stop collars on their control stick tubes, but mine didn’t. I assume they updated the design, but not really sure. In order to get the movement on the aileron to be free there was a little forward and back movement in the control stick assembly. I’m thinking that I may be able to put in a stop collar at least in the front to eliminate this forward and back movement. I ordered some anodized 1.5 ID aluminum pipe so more on this when that comes in. 

I had previous drilled the missing holes in the vertical support for the luggage area, but when I went to rivet it the holes were a bit off. I upsized them to 4mm and added two 3.2mm rivets in between. The larger holes in the support channel are for the rivet ends on the rear seat. 

Here’s everything riveted and done including RF-CHL-039 that reinforces the ribs. 

The heat shink T boot arrived today so I finished figured I’d install it on the cablingbthat runs to the tail for the elevator trim and strive light. This T is where the 22AWG-2 wire for the trim motor breaks off to go to the pitch AP servo for auto trim. This is what the boot looks like pre-heat shrunk. 

Here it is after it’s shrunk. It came out pretty good.