Custom Floor Mats

TIme: 0.5hrs

Finally received my floor mats from SCS Interiors and they look great. The rear ones don’t fit as tight as I had hoped so I’m going to still us the TAF carpet underneath. For now I just wanted to make sure everything fit so I didn’t install any velcro, but will do that in a bit.

I’ll be getting back to doing the fuel tanks hopefully this weekend, if the weather holds up.

They’re here… They’re here!!! And they’re super light.

Fronts fit nice. I don’t think I’ll use the TAF carpet underneath the mats. Just need to install some velcro to hold it down. The red matches the red on the seat logo πŸ™‚

Rears fit well, but there’s a few spots that the primer shows so I’ll probably just us the TAF carpets under or I could probably just install a few small spots of carpet to cover the primer spots… will think about it.

Rear Seat Back Support Extensions

Time: 2hrs

I made up and installed some extensions for the rear seat back supports. The current supports will support the back of the seat, but they don’t stick out far enough so that the latch on the left side has something to latch on to. I made up 2 2.25″ x 3″ pieces out of some anodized aluminum sheet I had around. Then I riveted them to the current support brackets with 3 3.2mm rivets. Now the latch slides behind the plate and holds the rear seat back. I made one for the right side as well even though it’s not needed, just so it would look the same as the left.

The latch fits nicely behind the plate. If I were building the rear seat and knew about this I probably would have just moved the latch over an inch or so.

Luggage Compartment Mat

Time: .75hrs

I’ve been busy with a few other things and haven’t had time to work on the plane. I did get the vinyl from SCS interiors and the ensolite so I was able to put together the mat for the luggage floor. I had fit the carpet that TAF provided with my upholstery kit a week or so ago so I could use that as a template to cut the vinyl. The vinyl is easy to cut with a sharp utility knife. I cut it a little larger than I needed and then fine tuned the fit. After the fit was good for the vinyl in stuck the 1/8″ ensolite (that came with an adhesive backing) to the vinyl and then trimmed the edges. It didn’t take too long to get it all put together and I’m happy with the results. I don’t see any reason to use the carpet under the mat, but will hold onto it if I every change my mind.

Next I need to fit the rear seat to see what I need to do for the rear seat back supports. I saw on another builders log that the supports that mount to the rear rib to hold the rear seat back aren’t wide enough to touch the seat so the seat back just falls through or at least you can’t lock the seat back… can’t remember, but I’ll check it out when I put the seat in. He needed to make some extensions to fix it.

The vinyl is cut to size and the 1/8″ ensolite is ready to be stuck on.

The ensolite backing is on. You don’t really need the backing, but it does make it a bit nicer. Plus it will add a little more sound proofing.

The mat fits nicely. I’ll have to trim a little off the bottom of the rocket cover since the mat is a little thicker than the carpet.

I bought a small 15″ x 15″ net to use to hold down luggage or whatever else might go back here.

I’m hoping the fuel tank skin will arrive in the next few weeks so I can continue with that and also the wing tips. If I can get my taxes done soon and have any money left then I’ll get some more avionics. But not too hopeful about that.

More Interior Work

Time: 5hrs

Today I spent some time on the interior. I had purchased a few L-Track and hold-downs from USCCΒ to use in the luggage area baggage tie downs. These are similar to the mounting strips the airlines use to fasten the seats to the floor. They’re cool because you can move the hold-downs around pretty easy. The luggage area on the Sling 4 is pretty small, especial when you have the parachute box so there’s really only about 1.5 ft deep of storage space. I also am planning on putting a rail on the back of the rear seat so that when it’s folded down you can strap things down in that area as well. I’ll probably need to come up with some way of locking down the seat back when it’s folded down so it doesn’t try to flop up if you hit turbulence. I’ll most likely be using the plane in the 2 passenger, large cargo area config (rear seat folder down). I may also see if I can figure out a way to temporarily move the rear seat to the more forward position if I do want to carry 2 largish passengers. Originally I was going to use the Rotax 915 which is a bit more heavy so I was told by TAF to leave the rear seat in the more aft position, but since I’m using the 914 I should probably move it forward… well at least have a way to do that for the occasion I want to take 2 passengers in the rear seat. I don’t want to do that permanently because with the seat more forward the transition from the luggage area to the folded down rear seat isn’t so flat.

I also did some cutting of the carpet pieces for the floor to get them to fit better. I’m not planning on using them since I’m going to get some nicer carpet from SCS Interiors, but I need to make some templates for SCS so I figured I’ll get these to fit and then use them to make the cardboard templates. If I do decided to use them under the SCS carpet then they’ll be ready to go.

A few photos of the L-track I installed today. It’s very easy to cut (just aluminum) to size. I drilled through the luggage floor for 6mm screws. I was thinking of using rivnuts since that would be a lot easier to install, but I was worried that the rivnuts might pull out of the floor if the track was pulled hard. I ordered some 6mm countersunk screws (these are just to make sure everything lines up) and will use washers and locking nuts on the bottom. The front piece should be pretty easy to screw down, but the rear one is a bit of a reach underneath.

The middle photo shows the vinyl material that I’m going to get from SCS Interiors. They also provide a nicer backing that will just stick onto the vinyl. I’ll just order the raw material and cut to myself since I don’t really need the edges to be finished like the cabin floor mats will be.

Interior Panels Done

Time: 5 hrs

I finished installing the interior panels and the cover that covers the gap in the canopy and fuselage join. There were a lot of rivnuts to install so it took some time. I had two areas that the rivnuts conflicted with where a rivet had been installed so I had to drill out the rivet and move it over. The hole for the rivnut ate into the rivet hole so no extra holes where left. I also had to shave off a corner of 2 rivnuts so that they could fit next to a rivet since they were a bit close. It’s always fun trying to line up the parts to get the screws in especially on the carpeted parts. At least the M4 screws are a bit easier than the M3 screws. I also found that I couldn’t fully tighten the screws along the top part of the panels because it caused the material to bow a bit so I used some light hold (pink) loctite on the screws and only tightened them slightly snug.

Side panels and gap cover are installed.

Join between front and rear panels. The dash will also hold the front panel in and a side pocket gets attached near the dash at the top so a few of the screws will get hidden. I’m thinking of maybe just using some strong double sided tape to attach the pockets or maybe if I can find some button clips. Using rivnuts may be difficult since you’ll need access to behind these panels to install the rivnuts.

Interior Panels

Time: 4hrs

Well since I’m kind of at a stand still with the wings I decided to try to finished up as much of the interior as I could. Today I got the interior side panels lined up and drilled the holes for mounting. I also drilled the holes for the piece that covers the gap between the end of the canopy and the fuselage. The panels fit pretty well. It did take some maneuvering to get the large rear panels in and around the seat belt bracket. I also needed to cut out the seat bracket area and the the edge that touches the bracket under the front seats on the large rear panels. My panels seem to site pretty close to the row of rivets that hold the inside aluminum skins so I verified that most of the rivnuts that will need to be installed will not interfere with them, but there are 2 that will so I’ll need to remove the rivet and move it over a little.

I got the front and rear panels aligned. I also made sure that the canopy door latches clear the panels. I still need to install the capture pins into the canopy that the latches latch onto, but I don’t want to do it now because I think the rubber seal will change the position of the latches a bit and I can’t install that until the plane is painted.

Pilot holes are drilled. The holes along the top where already drilled out on the fiberglass side of the panels so I just needed to drill them through the leather and then I used those as guides to drill into the canopy. The lower ones were just placed where they will be hidden and where they seem to secure the panel well. There’s really no mention on how to do this in the manual so I’m just guessing where to put the other screw holes. Eventually I’ll need to put in M4 rivnuts where each of the clecos are.

The dash holds the seam fairly well so I’ll just use 2 screws for this area and one on the lower section.

If not secured here the panel will get in the way of the rudder pedals and the brake line will rub so I put in some screws here as well

The cover for the gap in the canopy is done as well.

I added some carpet material in spots so that you won’t see any metal in the cracks. The panels don’t completely cover to the floor there’s a very small gaps so I thought this would make it look a bit more finished once the panels go on. I’m also planning on getting some nicer carpet for the floor pieces so this will help if they aren’t perfectly sized as well.

I added some extra carpet along the side panel here as well since the side panels have a little gap at the end.

I need to think of a way to mount the pockets that attach near the dash. I’m thinking some kind of snap might work. I’ll need to look into that. So next I need to drill out all the pilot holes and put in rivnuts so that the panels can get screwed in.


Some Interior Work

Time: 3.0 hrs

I haven’t been working on the plane much since the weather has been kind of crappy. I did get one of the fuel tank skins from TAF a few days ago so I’m able to start putting that tank together. If the weather gets better then I’ll mix up some tank sealer and finish the stainless steel rivets on the wing and do some of the preliminary items for the tanks like the sender, drain, cap, etc.

Today it rained so I finally got to doing the last interior panel. The other panels were pretty easy, just cut the material put on the glue and cover the panel. These last two panels that go near the firewall on the center console are a bit more involved. The material is both leather and carpet sewn together. You need to line up the seam with the previous 2 panels that install on the console and also put in a foam backing piece. The foam piece is to fill in behind the leather to get it to sit nicer on the panel since there is a seam that protrudes out the back of the material.

The first part was finding where the seam needed to be and then figuring out how the foam would go. I figured that this panel will sit under the other 2 panels since those panels would most likely be removed more frequently. I decided to leave the foam material out of the area where the other panels join so the panels would sit more flush. After that it was just glueing and cutting.

The foam is 7/16″ higher than the line for the seam and butts up against the join with the other panels. I glued down the foam and trimmed it, then glued the covering on, making sure the seam line up with the other panels.

The join looks good and the seam lines up with the other two panels.

After some trimming and more gluing it’s done. I think that’s all the covering I needed to do. I still need to install the side panels in the fuselage though.

Carpet for Luggage Area

Time: 5 hrs

Over the past few days I’ve been working on getting the carpeting installed in the luggage area. I tried to use some spray on 3M adhesive which looked to be pretty good, but it turn out to be a bit of a disaster. It really didn’t stick so well to the metal and you couldn’t reposition the pieces as you installed them so I ended up going back to the Barge and a bit larger brush. I also wore a respiratory since it a closed in area and the smell will definitely give you a decent headache. It all went pretty smoothly, the only area that was a bit tricky was the right side area next to the parachute box. This was only because there’s not a lot of room to work and you’re already in an uncomfortable position anyways.

I started the install by doing the main pieces along the top, some trimming was involved, but I left each piece a little oversized to get some over lap on backs or side (whoever another piece needed to get installed). Next I installed the left and right pieces on the parachute box leaving some overlap to the back (bulkhead), then I installed the back pieces on the bulkhead and finally the small pieces on the stringers.

For the floor I’d like to find some rubberized type material. I’m thinking maybe some kind of trunk or bed liner and I’d also like to install some luggage tie downs… maybe a rail where you can place the loop attachments at various spots along the rail. So still some work to be done in the luggage area, but the bulk has been completed.

Luggage area all carpeted. Just need to figure out the floor material and tie downs.

The luggage door came out pretty good. to do the hinge part I just opened the door all the way, cut the carpet to length and then glued it down. The piece that TAF gave me for the door was a bit short so I ended up adding on the top piece above the angle.

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 πŸ™‚


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.