Saturday, January 31, 2015

Painted the cabin interior

Masked and painted the cabin interior with the PU paint. The result does show I am no painter, but it's good enough for me, and looks cool satin gray and solid PU'ish. The info for the paint is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wheel pant plate

Fixed the wheel pant plates, riveted on the plate nuts.

Landing gear painted and Airward

Painted the landing gear. It looks kind of brownish in the picture, but it's light gray in reality (RAL 7035)

Received the stuff from AirWard. I ordered a cabin heating kit, a necessity here in Norway. A cabin fuel shut off handle kit. The fuel shut off valve is not accessible from a strapped in position. With this kit from AirWard I will have a nice red handle positioned on the panel. Tow down bolts and cowling retainers of the "click on" type. The kits looks very nice and very complete with all nuts and bolts and wires and tubes etc included.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Landing gear

Inserted the bolts in the landing gear, then I primed the gear. Widened the bolt holes with a rotating sanding wheel, that coincidentally fitted 100%, and inserted the bolts from the freezer. Should be a very tight fit. Going with gray PU on that one also. Riveted/bolted on the main brake cylinder. Also bolted and riveted on the main gear angle spar thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cockpit paint

Got the rattle can polyurethane today, and started painting. The painting was a bit more difficult than the etch primer, but the result was excellent (keeping a blind eye to the poor paint job by the painter). I tried it first on a piece that I had primed with the Acid #8 etch primer and also the "3 in 1" (polyester thing). Acid #8 + PU works just great, but the "3 in 1" and PU does not. The PU dissolves the 3 in 1 leaving a "sludge" underneath the hardening PU. I will see tomorrow if it cures overnight.

The PU rattle cans is a rather strange stuff. The PU itself comes from Nordic Paint. This is mixed into a pre-mixed rattle can "curing soup" from Voss Chemie. This mixing also involves coloring. This mixing and shipping is done by Nordbond, and the cans are shipped the same day. The cans must be used within a month. The colors are RAL colors. I ordered RAL 7035 (light gray) with a satin finish (gloss 50, whatever that is supposed to mean, I thing "full gloss" is 95 or something). With this system, you get the easy of use and practicality of rattle can + the "industrial strength" and finish of PU, and it works great. I'm really satisfied with this one (even though my painting skills could be better).

I painted the seat, and the visible part of the main spar.

I also found out another thing while testing how different paint holds up against chemicals. The ordinary household "Quick spray" is remarkable. It is a 1K "alkyd" enamel paint available in rattle cans as "Quick Spray" and in tin cans as "Bengalack". It has been around as long as I can remember, probably much longer. Let it cure for a couple of weeks, and it holds up against everything (gasoline, acetone, ethanol, thinners). The same goes for the transparent Quick Spray. It sticks to everything too. It doesn't become as hard as PU though, but a thin layer of primer + a top coat of semi gloss Quick transparent looks great, and will last for ages. This is probably why it has been around for so long.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Engine painted, and tail wheel solved

Painted the engine "barbecue black" with real barbecue paint. It came out really cool even though the black is almost stealthy black. I will paint the cylinders with the same paint.

On Sonexbuilders I got the all too obvious solution to the tail wheel problem. Turn the brackets around! (why didn't I think about that??) This will move the bolt holes about 10 mm up, which is just fine. With the brackets turned around, the angle also became right, according to drawings.

Tail wheel

The tail wheel mount need some modifications to get the bolt in there. The space is too small and the bolt is too far down and too long. I don't want to cut too much into the main structure. Seems there are two options.

1. Make a bolt with thread on both sides. This will be able to slip in from the side more easily
2. Make new angles with the hole further up.

I have to think some more about this, and ask what others have done. Maybe there are some much better solutions out there.

The engine paint. I have no idea what kind of paint stick on magnesium. All the paint available are made for cast iron, aluminium at most. Nothing really stick on aluminium without at least an etch primer, and then the primer also have to be heat resistant. VW did not paint the engines. "Barbecue Black" from the local home ware store therefore seems to be the best option after all.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Engine painting

Washed and cleaned the engine and masked off all open and machined places.

I also planned to paint it today using Auto-K engine paint. According to the web page at Mekonomen the paint is supposed to withstand 200 deg C, which should be more than enough for the casing, and I went down and bought 2 cans. But, I couldn't find any technical data sheet for that particular paint, and that was odd. The German site for the producer of the paint has a different paint, different part number, and didn't even have this "engine paint". Did some more research and found that Hagmans is the producer of "my" engine paint. According to the technical sheet there, the paint is only rated to 100-120 deg C, not 200 deg C. This is really annoying, paint is different and produced by different producers depending on where you live !!! Hagmans is a reputable brand, but "engine paint" reaching only 100 deg C ? I find this very strange, when the "original" paint from Auto-K is 300 deg C, and where does this faulty 200 deg C come from?

Now I'm not sure what kind of paint I will get. "Barbecue black", the "brand" Sonex themselves are using, is readily available, but I'm not too found of flat black, everything just becomes too dark too see. Biltema has some OK engine paint apparently, but is it really any good?

Paint is a real pain, more often than not. So far I have found and used two paint related things that works very well:

Silicone remover from Würth and Acid #8 from U-Pol (etch primer). They just work and the result is first class. I have ordered some boxes with gray 2K polyurethane to put inside the cockpit, I hope it works out well. I will find out during the next few days. This paint is industrial PU paint that Norbond fills up in rattle cans just before shipping. They must be used before 3-4 weeks.

Painting the outside of the AC is something I just have to start planning. My experimenting with rolling polysiloxane didn't really work out, impossible to get a smooth finish, and the polysiloxane cannot be polished (it gets white/flat and ugly). But now I have read about hobby car painters getting good results with Biltema polyurethane boat paint, spray and also with rollers. I have to try that, polyurethane sure can be buffed and polished, and I have heard nothing but good tales from boat owners using Biltema PU (even if some of their other paint is less than optimal).

The AeroVee engine parts made me scratch my head in disbelief today. The manifold enters the engine in two square channels. The engine on the other hand has two round channels. Why? this is simply unbelievable.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Engine case preparation

Cleaning and filing is needed on the outside and the inside of the casing. This is what an inside out and upside down VW beetle engine looks like.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Engine bench mount, inspector

Made the engine bench mount on the bench. Had to do a little modding on the mounts, but then the engine fits. Now I am only waiting for gasket stuff from Sandelwing before I can start putting the engine together.

Finished filing/deburring the brake mounts and primed them, as well as the titanium tail wheel leg/spring. Titanium is one of the most corrosion resistant metals there is, only gold is better. But it is also high up on the galvanic scale close to gold, aluminium is on the other end. There is no way titanium will corrode, but the galvanic potential makes it extremely hazardous for the aluminium, much more so than stainless steel. The best way to prevent any sort of galvanic corrosion to the aluminium is therefore to prime the surface of the titanium. When mounting it, I will also use some Duralac.  

Had a visit from my inspector. He is head of maintenance on Helitrans at Værnes. A Helicopter company with approximately 20 helicopters. He was very pleased with everything. There is a large chance I can do the last mounting and testing at their heated hangar. I really hope that works out because I have no other places to go that is close by.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Brake mounts, flap handle

Drilled and bend the flap handle. Cut out the mounts for the hydraulic brake handle and cylinder.

Fuselage, tail wheel

I have ordered the 6 inch tail wheel assembly. It came with the engine. At first look it looks really nice, clean design and nice black anodized parts. A closer look, and I was not so sure.

The first thing was the steel horn. It has sharp edges, and when swung to one side the edges cut into the cylinder holding the tail wheel titanium spring.

The first thing I did was to remove the steel horn and trim the edges son no interference was seen. Then I painted the horn with 3 in 1 paint, so it won't rust.

Then I noticed the but holding the bolt working as the axle. Common aerospace rule of thumb say at least one thread must show, but no more than 4.

Removed it and measured the bolt. New and one size larger must be ordered, preferably with a cotter pin, because the bolt could rotate if the bearings seize up.

The titanium spring rod was way too tight fit. Lots of trimming was needed to make it fit into the tail wheel assembly. Used the bench drill to drill the holes for the AN4 bolts as square as possibly (hopefully the holes in the fuselage that I made earlier is also correct)

Then I saw something strange abut the whole design. All the vertical forces and the torsional forces from the wheel is taken up small bronze bearings. These bearing are completely exposed to the environment. If that bearing last even for one single season with normal rainy weather and mud, I would be surprised. The bearings are easy and cheap to change, and the assembly seems both solid and light, but still.

All in all, the tail wheel assembly is OK. Light and strong, but requires some modding and probably yearly maintenance (changing bearings), but time will tell. Looks very nice though.

Made the handles for the wing folding mechanism.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Engine arrived

At last the engine arrived. Half a year after I ordered... Everything was there, engine, propeller, seat and lots of other bits and pieces.

Finished several small bits on the aircraft also.