Wheel Spats and Luggage Door

Time: 3.5hrs

Spent some time fitting the main and nose wheel spats on. I started with the main wheel spats. At first I was thinking that this was not going to work. They seemed so far off and parts were rubbing on the tires. I trimmed about 1/8″ or less from the top of the outer wheel cover. Things seemed to fit a bit better. I marked the top of the rear part of the cover (the part that bolts onto the gear) so that it lined up with the top of the front and cut that. The fit was even better. A little more light cutting and then a final sanding ended up with a pretty good fit.

A few photos of the fitment of the left spat. I’m pretty happy with it. Still need to cut the holes for air filling. 

I ended up glueing the washer to the inside of the spat since it was nearly impossible to get it to go on. 

One more look from the front

On to the nose wheel. Glad I didn’t use the factory provided holes as they were a little off. I ended up sharpening a M5 screw and screwed it into the hole then lined up the cover and hitting it with a mallet. This leaves a mark on the inside of the spat so you know where to drill the hole. 

Almost done. I still need to cut the top even and I believe the manual says to install two rivnuts at the top into the nose wheel strut. 

All spats on. Looking good 🙂

I also added some think neoprene foam to the luggage door. I had previously installed some neoprene rubber and it wasn’t really thick enough. Also it was kind of sticky so the luggage door would stick when you tried to open it. I just added the foam over the rubber and now it seems to seal up fairly well. 

The rest of the door will get covered with carpeting. 

ADS-B Antenna

Time: 1 hr

Drilled the 1/2″ hole and mounted the ADS-B antenna. Actually it’s not really installed. I need to get a washer in place of the name plate since the name plate won’t fit in the hole in the floor. In any case the antenna will have to be removed for painting so I don’t want to tighten it down.

I also replaces one of the pieces of soundproofing near the nut of the main gear bolts. It got mauled up pretty bad when I was putting in the gear bolts. I probably should have put something to protect it from the socket wrench… well it wasn’t to hard to remove and cut a new piece.

The ADS-B antenna mounted in the front fuselage skin. I used the RAMI AV-22.

A photo of the inside. I guess I’ll just double sticky the placard (name plate) there.

Up On All Threes

A momentous day for the Sling project. Thanks to my new neighbor Mike (literally I just met him) for gathering the crew to flip the plane over on it’s wheels. After a short briefing on what was needed to be done and where not to hold the plane we all made short work of carrying the fuselage out of the garage and flipping over onto it’s wheels in the driveway. What a HUGE relief that nothing was damaged. I was so stressed that we were going to drop it that I was actually shaking.

I added a weight to the front of around 30-40 lbs just to make it easier to move if needed (not having to worry if the tail is going to hit the ground). There’s also a saw horse in the back so if I put some weight on it while I’m working nothing will move. OK now lots to do… need to order some stuff… wait I need money first 🙂

Finishing Up Seats

Time: 1.5 hrs

Just painted the remaining parts of the front and rear seats that I had not painted because I needed parts to put them together. I did one coat of gray paint and will need to do a light sanding and do a second coat in a day or two. I’ve learned my lesson when the spray can says recoat after 48 hours it means after 48 hours :-). Last time I waited a day and figured that was good enough, well the paint crazed and I had to sand it down to the metal, so I will wait. M hoping this weekend I will get enough people together to roll the plane over onto its wheels. There a lot of work to be done and I’m in a holding pattern now until I flip it back over. 

Just one thing to note on the paint. I had used Rustoleum Dark Machine Gray and the paint absolutely sucks. I moved to Krylon Dark Machine Gray and the paint is awesome. Unfortunately it doesn’t exactly match the Rustoleum so I need to finish out the painting of the seats with the Rustoleum paint. I used the Krylon on the nose wheel strut and other undercarriage parts and love the paint. 

Yesterday I met with Jean and Torrance TAF and we were looking at interior options. I may end up getting a custom leather done. I really want to do a Black and Tan interior and they don’t really offer that, but I’ll see what the factory comes back with. 

Bottom Fuselage Rivet Sanding and Main Wheels

Time: 5hrs

Today I sanded the bottom fuselage rivets. I used the same procedure as the other times, except this time I went back and sanded all the rivets with 800 grit paper which took out the scratches left by the 240 grit paper. I’ll probably go back and do this to the other areas of the fuselage as well. It’s pretty quick, but I’ll need to get a bunch more done scs because they don’t last very long. 

A little hard to see from the photo. The rivet to the right has been cleaned up with 800 grit light sanding while the one on the left was only sanded with the 240 grit. This probably isn’t necessary, I’m sure the paint would fill the fine scratch left by the 240, but it makes me feel better :-). 

I also mounted the wheels on the main gear. Pretty easy except the cotter pin wouldn’t go in on one side. I didn’t bend the pins yet just in case I need to pull the wheels off. I used the grease that came with the kit to grease the two bearings and the nut was tightened just enough so there is no play in the wheel. 

Grease on the inner bearing. Same done to the putter bearing. 

Close up of the mounted wheel. 

Ok so now I just need to get about 5 people together to lift this thing and spin it over on its wheels. I don’t think my jacket rotisserie invention will jack the plane high enough to spin it and I don’t think the garage is high enough either so we’ll have to walk it out and the spin it in the driveway. Should be fun. 

Bottom Fuselage Rivets Filled

Time: 2.25 hrs

Today I riveted the main gear channel skin and filled the bottom fuselage rivets. Nothing really interesting to mention. Maybe just that the main gear bolts were torqued to 62ft lbs (84Nm). They are M10 Class 12.9 bolts and from what I could find the dry torque value is around 62 ft lbs.

Rivets filled

Main gear channel skin. Doesn’t look so pretty with the plastic still on it. It’s a little difficult to see, but I put the front edge under the other skin and the rear edge over the back skin. Make sure to torque the gear bolts before riveting this on; reason one is the the bolts pull the gear channel in so the skin will bow out if you rivet it first, second the rivet ends get in the way of the nuts so you can’t really tighten them. You might be able to get a box wrench on it, but definitely not a socket wrench.

So now I just need to sand the rivets and put the wheels one, then it can be turned back over and put on it’s wheels.

Sling Inverted

Not really work done on the plane, but a monumental achievement none the less. Through some ingenuity I was able to roll the plane over any raise it up to put it in the saw horses. A previous failed attempt at lifting it with my wife and daughters had me fairly distraught. I managed to come up with a somewhat crude system not only to raise/lower the fuselage but also rotate it all on my own. I think it only cost me about $150 with the farm jacks taking most of the cost. It should come in handy rolling back over with the gear attached as well.

In any case I’m glad I got this done. Now I just need the fill the rivets and mount the gear.

Flipped upside down and on the saw horses.

I was a bit skeptical of my mechanical engineering skills so I made sure to have some ropes strung up just in case something failed.

Rear mount. I need to swap the lag bolts in the plywood that mount the cut down inch post with carriage bolts that go all the way through. Even though the lag bolts seemed to hold ok I’m nervous that they’re going pull out of the wood the next time. For mounting the plywood to the 2×4 I used 2″ lag bolts on the top and 4″ ones on the bottom through the 2×4 spacer.

On the front I just used some long carriage bolts and large washers through the engine mount. You can also see the 1.5″ EMT conduit attached to the farm jack. The black part that the tubing fits into is a cut off 3″ fence post. All parts curtesy of Home Depot… well I got the farm jacks from Harbor Freight.

The rear jack was a bit different. I didn’t have enough room in the garage to put it in line so I had to mount the tube sideways. There’s a piece of steel bar underneath the tubing clamps and two clamps (you can only see one) on the right side. I’m surprised at how solid the tubing is on the jack I was thinking I was going to have a lot of problems with it wanting to move side to side.