Interior Painting

May 19th, 2023

Today, is a big paint job. We finished priming a few parts that were missed in the past. Then we started painting. Painting with JetFlex is turning top be easier than using the EpoxyPrimer. We are applying two layers for each parts. We started with the parts that we detached, and next we will paint the part that have not been detached from the plane.

Next time:

  • Paint, the part that have not been detached from the plane.
  • Prime and paint the canopy frame back
  • Tighten the brake blocks
  • Finish the rudder lines
  • Put it back together

Continue prepping for interior paint

May 14th, 2023, 7h

Some days you put together, some days you take it apart. Today, I got to take it apart in preparation of painting the interior:

  • Dissemble part
  • Add noise canceling panels
  • Scotch bright the interior

Next time:

  • Scotch bright the rest of the parts
  • Prime some of the parts that still need priming
  • Paint
  • Prime and paint the canopy frame back
  • Tighten the brake blocks
  • Finish the rudder lines
  • Put it back together

Prepping for interior paint

May 6th 2023, 8h

We started the prep for the painting:

  • ELT: One of the open questions was were the ELT was going to be located and whether its install will damage the paint. After some research, it turned our that a good position for the ELT is right behind the baggage compartment. So, the install does not entefer with the paint. However, since I already did all the research, I went ahead and installed the ELT.
  • A few more items to prep an prime:
    • The power coat of the back part of the canopy frame was damages, so we etched it, so get it ready for priming.
    • A couple other part needed to be drilled, deburred and etches
  • Marked the part that need painting.
  • Painting the back canopy frame research: to fix the powder coat issues, we can either power coat the canopy frame again, which is high on $$. Or, we can prime it and paint it. I decided to go for Ekopoxy primer and paint, to get the best results. For esthetics, I looked for a white Ekopoxy primer, and then I looked for the right shade for the akopoxy or jetflex paint. I requested quotes.

Next:

  • Prime the couple remaining items.
  • Create cardboard shapes for carpet or upholstered areas, the cardboard pieced will help on covering the areas that do not need painting and be the template for the carpet or upholstered accessories.
  • Sand all items that will be painted
  • Paint.
  • Prime and paint the canopy frame.

Canopy Skirts Prep

April 8th 2023, 7h

The main question for today is how to fix the canopy to the canopy frame, in order to do the fiberglass layup. I read many posts, most skip on how they made this happen. The one post that ended up having full fiberglass, went all out skipping all riveting and glueing the canopy to the frame.

The process I am going for is as follow:

  • Side skirt: keep part of the aluminum side skirts, since it helps with attaching to the inside skirts, and it provides a surface for the fiberglass, cut the lower and back parts that were problematic, then lay fiberglass on top of it. So, from the outside, it will look like full fiberglass
  • Back skirt: 100% fiberglass.

To attach the canopy to the canopy frame, the thought process is as follow:

  • Side skirt: use half of the holes to attach the aluminum skirt to the canopy and inside skirts, and the other half will end up attaching the fiberglass to the aluminum skirt, to the canopy to inside the skirt.
  • Back skirt: use half the holes to rivet the canopy to the canopy frame, then the second half to rivet the fiberglass to the canopy to the canopy frame. My main worry here is that I read that we should not pop rivet directly to the canopy. So, I am still researching this part.

To this end, the main work for today is to start prepping the riveting of parts on the side of the canopy:

  • Enlarge the top holes in C-660 for screw #6
  • Enlarge the top holes in C-759 for screw #6
  • Countersinking half of the holes in C-660 that we will use to attach the side skin to the canopy to the inside skirts.
  • Enlarging the side holes in the canopy to 5/32, and deburring (Note, the last back hole still need to be deburred)
  • Enlarging the second row of holes in C-660 and C-759 Wd-640 to 33 for MK-319
  • Enlarging the holes in WD-640 and top C-791 to 1/8inch

Next Week

  • Canopy
    • Enlarge the holes in the back to the canopy and canopy frame (not sure what size)
    • Countersink the side and back of the canopy, every other hole one the sides, chose 2 holes on the back each side.
  • C-660 aluminum outermost part
    • Countersink 1 yes, 2 no for the second and third row
  • C-759
    • Countersink if needed depending on depth of rivet
  • C-791
    • Countersink if needed depending on depth of rivet
  • Deburr steel and aluminum parts
  • Prime – All sides of parts
  • Paint – inside of all parts on canopy
  • Paint the white canopy frame with touch ups

Canopy Continue

April 2nd 2023, 8h

We continued working on the canopy, we decided to go for fiber glass on all side, while using part of the side skins. We had to redo two part:

  • The internal part on the right
  • The external side skin on the left

We also cut the external left and right parts to get rid of the part that we creating the fit issue, causing the 1/8 inch gap.

Next, we started adding packing tape, to get ready for the fiber glass

Next week:

Continue taping to get ready for fiber glass.

Tail Fairing: fill with epoxy and micro-balloons

Tail connector: fill with epoxiy

Engine mount: position and drill

Continue progress: Canopy, rudder connector, tail fairings

March 25th 2023, 9h

Canopy:

We tried fitting the side skirt again, by creating a bend to get a better bit. The fit on the side looked better. However, the bend will made the fit for the back skirt worse. So, we decided to go with fiber glass for both side and back skirts. We needed to prep and purchase a few thing for the fiber glass work. So we moved to the tail.

Rudder connector:

We finish the last connector. Nw to remove the rudder, we have easy access to the light connector, without needing to remove the fairing. We still need to add some epoxy to the connector, fr water isolation.

Fairing:

We sanded the right and left fairing. Now we have a good 1/8inch between the elevator and rudder. We decided this time to fill it with micro-balloons, as it is hard to get the fiber glass tight without vacuum, which leads to less distance between the elevator and horizontal stabilizer. With micro-balloons, we should be able to keep the 1/8 distance. To work with micro-balloons, we decided that we need respirators!

Engine mount:

We tested the engine mount but we did not have a 3/16inch drill bit

Next time:

Tail Fairing: fill with epoxy and micro-balloons

Tail connector: fill with epoxiy

Engine mount: position and drill

Canopy skirts: prep for fiber glass

Some progress: Canopy and rudder attachment

March 5th, 7h

Continues the work on the rudder:

  • Sanded the vert stab fairing and get the 3/16inch clearance. 1/8 clearance is needed and 1/16inch was added t accommodate for the fiber glass skin I need to add to seal, now that I removed the previous one.
  • Sanded the elevator fairing to get 1/8inch clearance. More sanding is needed.
  • Created a new connection for the rudder light, so that we do not need to remove the rudder fairing when we remove the rudder. Unfortunately, on of the pins of the molex broke by the end and needs to be redone.

Next time:

  • Finish sanding the elevator fairing.
  • Seal all the fairing with fiber glass
  • Finish the rudder molex connector.
  • Redo C-791 and canopy skirt fitting
  • Redo the left C-660

Feb 20th 2023, 6h

Canopy Side skins

After a bunch of discussion with Vans and reading, it looks like we do not want 1/8inch gap between the canopy and the side skirts, as this will lead to drift of air in the cabin, with a small chance of carbon monoxide coming in.

One item we can try to fox the gap is to bend the canopy skirt and to try again by redoing C-791. So, I ordered the new parts.

As well, we can try to add a rubber piece between the rail and the side skirt, to form a seal, though there is still some question marks about the back portion after the rail ends. Some notes on this:

https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=104766

https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=1525

Given that trying this again requires waiting for parts and requires one more person, I move back to the rudder fitting.

Rudder Attachement

The issue at hand is that we do not have enough distance between the vert stab fairing and rudder for rotation, when the middle bearing has full engagement. We tried acquiring a longer bearing, but it looks like it will need to be a specialized part which will be high cost for order just one. So, we will need to fix the issue with the bearings available at Vans. Given that full engagement of all bearing is a must, I needed to double check that we have full engagement for all bearing. The middle one did not have it. So, I had to redo all fairing engagements, as a result. The middle one currently has minimum engagement, which is 8 180 deg rotations, the other 2 have lot of room for change in all direction. I fitted the rudder back to the vert stab. Next, I need to sand the vert stab fairing.

Another issue is that our bearing are pretty beating up after many trials, I did a little research and found a handy tool to instal our fairings, gator socket, so I ordered one, and I ordered new hardware.

We need to have minimal 1/8inch clearance between the vert stab fairing and the rudder.

Next:

  • Redo C-791 and canopy skirt fitting
  • Redo the left C-660
  • Sand the vert stab fairing

Continue Canopy side skins

Feb 5th 2023, 8h

Continued working on the side skins:

  • Continued the fitting of the canopy with side skins by sanding more the left side and chamfering it.
  • Drilled the canopy sides
  • Fabricated C-791
  • Drilled the canopy frame sides, using C-791
  • Matched drilled C-791. We still have a gap up to 1/8 inch in the left and up 1/16 inch on the right.

Next time:

  • Check with Van about the gap on the side skins and take appropriate action
  • Redo the left C-660, as I am not happy with the front gap. The cutout is based on the dimensions on the drawing, and I was conservatively cutting, still I need to cut less!
  • I need to fabricate a spacer for the right C-791, back bottom, as 2 of the holes don’t have much edge distance.
  • Continue side skins