Engine Ordered

Not much to report on the plane except I finally plunked down the cash and got the engine order. So I guess no new car for me, mine will just have to hold out for a few more years. I ended up ordering the 914UL2 from TAF and it should be here in a few weeks. Now of course Rotax will cut the prices… just my luck. Anyways it’s good to know I’ll be able to start making some progress on the plane soon.

Oh yeah. While I was there Jean and I tested out their new ordering system. I think it’s going to be pretty cool. Basically you just sign into the website and order whatever parts you want by part number. You can also choose whether it’s to replace a missing part or a new part, etc and then they ship it to you. It looks like shipments go out once a month towards the end of the month so it will still take some time to get them, but should be much easier to get the parts.



Brake Line Torquing

Time: 1hr

I haven’t worked on the plane for about 2 weeks now. My wife (Rose) and I had a great trip to Germany to run the Berlin Marathon. I was almost able to meet my goal of running a sub 4 hour Marathon. I came in at 4:00:19 so missed it by 20 seconds. Oh well we have Chicago Marathon in a few weeks so maybe that might be the one. My mother and younger brother Jason went as well. My brother speaks a bit of German so that helped quite a bit, of course we were all completely lost when we got to Prague. We also went to Dresden and Heidelberg on our way to and from Prague. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit Peter V. and Pascal (2 other Sling builders) on the trip, but maybe we will try to do another Europe trip next year to run another Marathon and if they still want us to come we will be there. The other excitement was that I separated my AC in my shoulder the day we were leaving for Germany. So in addition to last minute packing we had to do an ER run. The good news was the doctor said that running wouldn’t make it any worse, the bad news was it was extremely painful to run. Of course being the stubborn person I am I ran the Marathon anyways and got a PR to boot.

Well back to airplane stuff. Today I went through and torqued all the AN4 brake line fittings. I’m thinking that I want to put in the brake fluid now rather then after I get it painted just to make sure I don’t have any leaks, etc. The brake lines that run down the back of the gear can be easily pulled away and masked off so they shouldn’t get in the way for painting. I need to read up a bit on how fill the lines with fluid. I watched a YouTube video and it seemed fairly straight forward. Basically you pump the fluid up from the fitting on the bottom of the caliper up through the cylinders on the pedals until it comes out of the reservoir on the firewall. There may be a bleeder valve that needs to be opened on the cylinders so I still need to look into that.

The other good news is that the box of upholstery (3 large cow hides and 25 ft of carpet) I sent to TAF in South Africa finally arrived there. It sat in the FedEx warehouse for almost a week because no one thought to call me to find out who was going to pay the duties on it, even though I put that I would pay them on the customs form. The shipping was outrageous. I figured it would be a few hundred dollars, but it turned out to be around $1000 to ship it to TAF. I probably should have just done the upholstery here in the US, but it will be nice to have the real TAF made seats and I want to support them in their business as well.

I purchased a set of crow foot wrenches to use on my torque wrench so I could torque the AN fittings. Since the crow foot wrench adds a bit of length to the torque wrench you need to do a little calculating to determine the exact setting of the torque value on the wrench. It’s a fairly simple calculation and I even found a site that has a calculator that figures it out for you.

The above screen grabs are from the Engineer’s Edge Website. I needed to torque to 11 lb-ft (132 lb-in) so after putting in the necessary distances it came out to 10.25 lb-ft (123 lb-in) and that is what the torque wrench was set to. Really 11 and 10.25 are pretty close so I probably didn’t even have to worry about the calculations, but what the heck.

Rear Interior Skins

Time: 2 hrs

Today I labored a bit, even though it’s Labor Day and I’m supposed to be out having fun. I riveted the left and right interior skins. I can’t think of any reason I need to wait on these… famous last words. It all went very smooth, things fit surprisingly well. There were 2 holes at the very bottom of the skin that needed to be drill out and was a bit difficult to get the drill in to drill them out.

So with only a few things left to cover I really need to get the engine ordered. I’m away for 2 weeks in Germany to run the Berlin Marathon so maybe I can get it ordered before then.

Photo of right side rear interior skin done. Left side looks the same so didn’t take a picture of that.Seat belts work great as well.

Rear Seat Back Stops and ELT Antenna

Time: 2.75hrs (includes .75 avionics time)

Today I did some work on the interior section behind the rear seat. Prior to installing the rear seat stops I riveted and covered the area with carpet. I also had to drill a few missing holes in the rib. For the ELT antenna I put in a few M3 rivets so that I could remove the antenna if I decide to move it to a new place. Unfortunately the only better place I can think of would be just in front of the vertical stabilizer inside the fiberglass and running cable back there will be quite involved. I’ll try this out and if it doesn’t work then I’ll have to move it. I also made a mistake and mounted the antenna a bit too low on the rib. I forgot that the BNC connector would add about an inch to the length of the cable. It would have worked but it was a bit too close to the luggage support and I didn’t want the connector to vibrate and have issues so I moved the antenna up about an inch and installed 2 more rivnuts. I covered the other rivnuts with carpet. I also drilled out the top line of holes in the side inner skins (the holes that go into the fiberglass of the canopy).

The ELT mounted using 2 M3 rivnuts onto the rib. Covered the area with carpet and installed the seat stop. I also drilled a hole in the luggage support and installed a grommet for the antenna coax cable and crimped on the BNC end. I put some large diameter wire sheathing over the BNC connector and cable, just thought it looked a little nicer. I still want to install a few clips to hold the antenna on the rib.

Carpet installed and rear seat back stop installed as well. I will have to check how well the latch on the rear seat works. I saw that Peter C. added extensions on the seat stops because they barely reached the latch. I may need to do the same.

Rear Floor Covering

Time: 2.5 hrs

Today I covered the center section and the uprights of the rear floor area. This went without any issues and was pretty easy to do. I left some over lap on the floor that I may need to cut back a little later. I’ll be using some custom aircraft carpeting for the floors that I’ll hold in place with either velco or some or clips. I’m almost down with all the areas I wanted to cover. The rest I’ll wait to get the pieces in the upholstery kit from TAF. I also need to work on getting the materials to TAF SA by the end of the week.

After doing all the cuts for one side I use it as a template to make the piece for the other side. This piece will cover the center floor section. The holes for the rivnuts were made with a leather punch.

Both sides done on the center floor section. I put a little overlap onto the upright so the the corner is fully covered. I also put some overlap on the floor that I may need to cut back a little once I get the carpet for the floor.

Finished the carpeting on the uprights as well. I left some overlap on the sides of the uprights and the floor. I may need to cut these back a little so I didn’t glue them down yet. It’s starting to look a bit comfy now 🙂


Rear Floor Panels

 Time: 2.25hrs

Today I riveted the rear floor panels. The brake lines have been run for a while now. I still need to clean them out and then put the brake fluid in, but I think it’s safe to install the floors now. I did a few things to the landing gear bolt inspection covers. First I rounded the corners a bit and then I use the edge tool to put a bit of a raised edge so that the M4 rivets would fit well underneath the cover. The cover sits a little higher then the rest of the floor, but I’ll have some fairly thick carpet so I don’t think it will be noticeable. It would have been better to use M3 screws and rivnuts, but the predrilled holes were a bit too large so I think M4 worked better.

floors riveted and (3) M4 rivets installed in the floor for the inspection cover.

Inspection cover came out pretty good. Need to prime it though.

Yay both floors are in. Have to do the sides next and then a little more carpet covering

Close up of the inspection cover. The edges are beveled a bit so that the rivnuts can sit under it and I though the rounded corner looked a bit nicer then the squared off, plus the beveling comes out a bit better if there’s not a hard corner.

More Center Console Covering

Time: 2 hrs

Covered the lower panel and the rear floor center with carpet. The snort (Barge glue) worked very well on the carpet as well. Also the leather punches I purchased worked great to make the large holes for the rivnut heads. A few more pieces to cover.

Lower center console panels and rear floor center covered. This went much quicker then the leather. After gluing I just cut to the edge with scissors and utility knife. The holes for the rivnuts came out perfect using the leather punch.

I’ll have to cut the bottom of the rear center console cover. It’s fits a bit too tight with the floor piece in place. I’ll have to peel back some of the leather and take about 1/8″ of metal off.