CS Spar Test Fit

CS Spar Test Fittings during “The Grand Mock-Up”

22 June 2013 — Today I pulled out all the stops . . . or should I say I pulled out all the pieces of the build so far.  Before I am separated from my project while I spend a year in the Middle East for Uncle Sam, I wanted to get an idea of what this thing looks like put all together.

So I pulled the fuselage out into the front yard, and kept it covered while I collected the other components.  Next up was the Centersection Spar which I placed into the fuselage for the first time since I completed it about 8 months ago.

Chap 14/15 - CS spar & firewall mockupChap 14/15 - CS spar & firewall mockup

You can see in the pic below that I got the measurements correct for running the rudder cable conduit through the fuselage sidewall, then through the CS Spar and positioned just off the edge of firewall (the curved metal conduit bracket that the Nylaflo will run through will get mounted to the firewall).

Chap 14/15 - CS spar & firewall mockup

I’m jumping ahead with the following pics below since they were at the tail end of the this grand mock-up as I was tearing it all apart, but I wanted to keep like pics together.

Chap 14/15 - CS spar & FirewallChap 14/15 - CS spar & Firewall

Chap 14/15 - CS spar & FirewallChap 14/15 - CS spar & Firewall

Chap 14/15 - CS spar & FirewallChap 9/14 - Main Gear & CS spar

After I got the CS spar & firewall in place, I added both of the wings next.  Again, besides the measurements provided to me in the plans, and of course a couple dozen confirmation measurements, I had not lined up either wing with the CS Spar to confirm that the hard points (aluminum extrusions) lined up with each other.  Obviously, I was very relieved to confirm I hadn’t jacked any of my measurements up!  Also, as you can see I had to throw on at least one winglet just to get an idea of how it would look.  Although it was a little awkward to get it on the end of the wing so it looked half-way normal, I think I got in the ballpark.  Well, and of course we can’t forget the canard… yes, it’s on there too!

Long-EZ Project Mock-upChap 14/15/19/20 - CS spar-firewall-wings-wingletLong-EZ Project Mock-upChap 14/19/20 - CS spar-wings-winglet

Once I got the pics above taken, now it was time to fill in what gaps I could to make it look at least a little like it had some mass to it.  Next came the engine cowlings.  The wind had picked up a little bit and I didn’t want to damage anything just to get some pictures, so I removed the Left winglet & put it inside the garage.

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

And then the following pics are more close-up shots of the upper cowling & CS spar-to-wing fit.

Chap 23 - Cowling Trial FittingChap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Finally, after I broke everything down and got the wings, canard, cowling & firewall back inside out of the sun, I spent some time looking at the CS spar, taking some measurements and looking at how square it was to the fuselage (this was a quick mock up to keep all the parts in the sun as little as possible–about an hour total time . . . and if you actually look at the shadow of the house on the mock-up from start to finish, there’s not that much movement).  At this point the CS spar and the fuselage were in the shade provided by the sun going down on the other side of the house.

Chap 14 - CS spar trial fitChap 14 - CS spar trial fit

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Project Update

Hi Folks,

Well, Rough River 2017 is in the history books.  A great Rough River all the way around!  Marco’s new GRT Mini & GNRS480 avionics install went off without a hitch, providing an awesome proof of concept for my upcoming panel.  In addition, the myriad of builder tips that I got from Buly, Rick Hall, James Redmon, Terry Schubert, Mike Beasley, Bruce Sinclair, Bill James and countless others were gold in the bank for so many upcoming component decisions and configurations I need to make.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had to adjust my schedule a bit over the past 6 weeks, which of course impacts my goals.  Yes, I will continue to fight in my hope that this will be the final push to get the main assembly of the aircraft completed.   I do plan on having the main structure of the aircraft finished by year’s end.  An aggressive timeline to be sure, but I think it’s very doable.

I’m still working out the finer details of making everything fit inside the cockpit.  Since the vast majority of what I’m doing are all mods, these usually require a lot of in-house R&D, and then trial & error when finally at the install phase.  However, the curve is exponential in that as each component is designed and installed, it accelerates the build because besides just being in the “done” column, it is one less thing to design and build.  Moreover, it’s a variable that has been changed into a constant.

All this is just to say that even though things seem to be going slowly, there really is a momentum building for this project.  These pesky mini-tasks burn time, but as they are finished and systems are integrated, then when the final airframe components builds are finished, this plane will seriously be close to being done. Again, these mini-tasks are definitely time-consuming and a lot more slow going then planned.  But finishing them now allows me to work all this stuff while I can stand right next to the fuselage without having to deal with strakes, or nose, being in the way!  

I have to say that it’s much easier and more fun to build the big stuff that makes this project look like a plane, and I often feel my discipline waining to go build something “cool”.  So, although obviously not as sexy as seeing major aircraft components (i.e. nose, strakes, canopy) being completed, these mini-tasks are oh so necessary for quality of flying later on!  Moreover, these immediate tasks, in turn, will allow me to finalize the configuration of the nose components. At which point I will focus on the building the nose and the canopy.  . . while concurrently finalizing the wheel pants install (nope, haven’t forgot about those!).

Cheers!

 

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