Chapter 23 – The Skybolt of tomorrow…!

After another quick consult with Nick Ugolini, and after finally getting to the end of the proverbial research road on my Camloc/Skybolt solution (based on Nick’s fastener test) I had a Skybolt order sitting on my computer screen ready to go.  I wasn’t planning on buying these parts this month but since I had just spent over an hour performing some online price comparisons, and these were the lowest price I could find, I decided to not keep this in the queue any longer and pulled the trigger.

So, as with most everything on this build, besides the inevitable nickel & dime onesy-twosey pieces that will crop up and need bought, this purchase does it for my Camloc/Skybolt 1/4-turn fastener system.  This will allow me to virtually (but not completely) go Camloc on my cowlings, RAM air/hell hole cover, internal cockpit hatch covers, etc.

Concurrent to my Skybolt research and order trigger pulling, as I was watching Mike Beasley’s progress on his baggage pod installation, with the help of the ubiquitous baggage pod install master, Steve Beert, my curiosity around some particulars of the baggage pod installation got the best of me.  So late last night I pulled out my notes and ended up back on James Redmon’s Berkut13 site to see what he had to say about it.

I knew that if I wanted to use Camlocs on my baggage pods that I needed to use the removable grommet 4002-NS vs the SK-O18S grommet that is held in place with a snap ring.  If these numbers are new to you, welcome to the club!  As with so many components on these airplanes there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of possible combinations.  Thus, I’m very thankful that Nick Ugolini documented his Camloc test.

Moreover, you may note that the the face of these grommets below look a bit different (to be clear: the grommet is the flange looking deal while the stud is the “screw”).  The one on the left is the non-removable (without tools) Skybolt SK-O18S, which I’ll be using for the majority of my Camloc installations.  The Camloc 4002-NS grommet on the right is meant to come out when the Camloc is unfastened and is used in places like the aft edges of the cowlings and on the baggage pods.

This view below clearly shows the difference between the SK-O18S on the left (secured to the cowling with a snap ring) and the removable 4002-NS on the left (for aft top/bottom cowling securing and baggage pods).

In addition, I discovered a nice surprise while re-reading stuff about installing the baggage pods on James Redmon’s Berkut13 site: he mentioned that Gary Hunter provided all the BID tapes required to mount these pods to your Long-EZ!  What?!  So I went digging in the box that I’ve had for a few years now and sure enough at the bottom was a box with the instructions in there and a bunch of MARKED bags with the BID required to mount the baggage pods . . . Now, how cool is that!!!  Who knew?!  ha!

One final point.  As I was reading through the how-to manuals & notes on installing the baggage pods, I discovered –the day after I got my Skybolt order!– that I needed one more of the -7 studs that I of course don’t have on hand.  See?!  I told you!  Build an airplane if you love never-ending goose chases… ha!


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