Nose Wheel

Time: 1.25 hrs

My kit was missing the nose wheel rim, but Jean had ordered it a week or so ago so it came in today. Also I don’t have the correct inner tubes for the main (so I can’t work on those yet), but I do have the correct one for the nose wheel. Jean said to get real aviation inner tubes for the mains. The kit came with motorcycle inner tubes. So with the nose wheel rim in hand and the correct inner tube, I figured I should put together the nose wheel today. Now I thought this would take me about 15 minutes… I mean how hard can it be to put a wheel together?

Well the first challenge was to get the value on the inner tube into the rim. I first put the inner tube in the tire and then put the rim half on the tire, but it was nearly impossible to get the valve all the way through. So I attached the valve to the rim and then put the inner tube into the tire (I still need to tighten the bolt on the valve stem… I need a very thin 1/2″ open end wrench). It was then difficult to get the rim onto the tire, but some dish washing soap help. OK so now I have the valve in and halve the rim on. Now on to installing the O- Ring (not really necessary because I’m using an inner tube).

So I attached the other half of the rim with a few bolts and then stretched the O-ring over the rim. I then pushed it down as far as I could, but the tire was in the way. I found that pushing down on the edge of the tire and the O-ring at the same time was enough to get the O-ring down to the rim split point and I just did that all around the tire. You can kind of see the O-ring in the above photon how it sits in the split of the rim.

Great! So now I just had to bolt on the hub. The hub is held on with 3 allen bolts. I had already installed the other 3 allen bolts and I though it would look nice to have the allen head side on the same side as the the valve… well that didn’t work. The hub has large flanges that hit the nut on the valve so the hub had to go on the other side, so I had to remove the other 3 bolts and swap them to the other side. Above is the finished product. The manual also says to fill with air to 80% then down to 50% then to 100%. The manual states this in “bar” so 2.5 bar converts to about 36psi. So fill up to about 29psi then down to 18psi then up to 36psi.


Center Fuselage Sound Proofing

Time: 2.5 hrs

  • Painted a few of the undercarriage parts
  • Started installing soundproofing in center fuselage
  • Repaired left front NACA duct

One achievement today was to fix some problems in my left front NACA duct. There was a small crack and some missing resin which I probably could have left, but I figured it would be nicer to fix it. I just mixed some fiberglass resin, hardener and talc powder and dapped it on to the places I needed to fill. Then after it hardened I used the Dremel with a sanding cylinder to lightly sand down the fixed areas then I use 320 grit sand paper to finish the sanding. I then used some filler primer. Didn’t take any before and after photos though.

Started some work on installing the sound proofing to the center fuselage. This is going to take some time. There are a lot of pieces that need to be cut.

Got a few pieces installed on the left side.

And about the same for the right. Still lots to do.

NACA Ducts and Undercarriage Kit

Time: 2.5 hrs

Things done today:

  • Inventoried the undercarriage kit
  • Messed with undercarriage parts and reviewed manual
  • Drilled holes in NACA ducts

I went down to TAF at Torrance Airport today to get the undercarriage kit. They had a bit older kit in stock so I decided to take it rather then wait for one to come from South Africa. Not too much in the kit, just the parts for the wheels, landing gear and some brake parts like the reservoir and some lines and fittings. I decided I’ll paint up a few of the parts so I’ll do that in the next few days.

The other thing I did was to drill out the holes in the NACA ducts. I order some sikaseal from Amazon which I’ll us etc seal around the ducts so I’ll wait for that to come before I install them. I also ordered some aluminum tape to cover some of the left side front duct. The reason is that I want to install the Garmin GTP59 temperature probe and the body of the probe needs to be connected to the airframe as a ground. I could run an wire from the probe to the airframe, but I thought this might be a bit cleaner. So I’ll give it a try and see how it works… if not I’ll just use a wire.

My kit is a bit older so I have front and rear ducts. This is the right rear duct.

The front right duct

Inside of the right rear duct. I removed some of the primer so that the sikaseal will stick better.

And inside of the right front duct.

Seatbelt Brackets and Misc Fuselage Riveting

Time: 2hrs

  • Drilled out missing holes in side fuselage skins
  • Install seatbelt bracket with 4.8mm rivets and AN3-5A bolt
  • Cleaned up inside
  • Installed rest of soundproofing on floor
  • Riveted rear seat upright panels

Installed the seatbelt bracket with 3 4.8mm rivets and an AN3-5A bolt. I also tried an AN3-6A bolt but it seemed a bit too long, the 5A was a tad on the short side, but still in spec I think. The manual doesn’t mention anything about the seatbelt bracket. 

The inside of the seatbelt bracket. I had a bunch of 4.8mm 10mm length rivets and not even thinking I used those, but after looking at the back of the brackets the 10mm rivets seemed a bit short. I had a few 15mm length rivets so I drilled out the bottom most rivets on both sides and used the longer rivets. I’ll have to hit TAF up for some 15mm 4.8mm rivets and drill out the remaining 2 rivets in each side. 

Just took a few photos of the fuselage. 

Looking aft

Looking forward 

More Fuselage Riveting

Time: 1.25hrs

Things done today:

  • Finished 3.2mm rivets on left side fuselage skin
  • Riveted center and rear fuselage join on longerons
  • Drilled out holes in LGN-303 

Pretty much done with all the fuselage skin riveting. I noticed one spot near where the floor meets the skin up by the rudder pedal channel that pulls in a bit. I may need to drill out the rivets in that part and make a small spacer. This is happening on both sides. 

Also there are a few missing holes in the wing reinforcing channel piece that aren’t drilled in the skins so I’ll need to drill those out. After that is done I’ll roll the fuselage onto its side so I can fill the bottom rivets and get that all done. 

Here’s where the pulling issue is on the inside. That right most rivet before the cut out (right near the RG cabling).

It’s a bit hard to see, but there’s a definite pull on the rivet. Also the same on the other side. I don’t know if bending out the inside piece will help or a spacer is in order. 
I also riveted the rear to center fuselage joins at the longerons and had to drill out the holes in the LGN-303 that I made. The top longeron rivets had to be put in facing up.  I couldn’t get the rivet gun (manual or pneumatic) in the small space between the longeron and upper “L” part. So note to other builders… Try to rivet the join before riveting the side skins. 

The top rivets are going into LGN-303 which I made (near the grey rear seat support bracket). I extended to all three holes instead of just the last hole. I believe Peter made a spacer and an extension which would work just as well. 

Still need to vacuum everything up. Lots of debris from drilled out rivets and holes. 

Misc Center Fuselage

Time: 1.25hrs

Things done today:

  • Used edge tool on bottom flanges of side fuselage skins
  • Moved cable hold to front of center console support
  • Reviewed all parts in fuselage are correct

Below are photos showing the join on the bottom of the front fuselage. I used the edge tool to put a slight bend on the edge to get a better seal. The bend helps prevent the scalloping between the rivets.

Looking aft

Looking forward


I moved the tie wrap mount to the front of the main center console support. This whole area is behind the instrument panels so there’s no need to pass the wires up behind the support like I had.


Left Side Fuselage Skin

Time: 1.25 hrs

Clecoed the left side fuselage skin on today. Now I just need to find some time to rivet… lots of rivets. Unfortunately with the “Honey Do List” so long I know I will get in trouble if I get caught working on the plane instead of getting things done off the list.

I’m thinking of using the edge tool on the bottom flange of the skins to get a straight seam. I should have done this on the rear fuselage tops too, but the rivets were so close to the edge that the seam would have been in the middle of the rivet holes. I think the bottom flange of these skins are a bit wider so I think it will work.

Once the side skins are riveted I’ll need to fill the rivet holes. I’ll need to check out Peter’s build log, I know he had already come up with a good technique for this. Then I think I’ll do the gear and get this thing movable and can also mount some antennas.

Since I don’t have the wings yet I went down to Torrance TAF to look ┬ádouble check the width of the spar on the quick build they have there. The wing sparis just under 27mm… something like 26.86. My spacers are slightly wider then 27mm (like 27.1ish) and a tight fit so I think I’ll be good. Jean said even a millimeter too wide and you’ll get a crease in the fuselage skin when you tighten the wing bolts.

Almost looks like an airplane. Actually it’s funny because people will come by the house while I’m working and first it was… “What are you building, a sled?”, Then it became… “What are you building, a race car?”, now people actually say… “Is that an airplane?”. So I think it’s starting to take shape.