Monday, June 17, 2019

2019/6/17 Update

Blogger, arbitrarily has decided to import some of these landscape photos as portrait.  I can't seem to rotate them within blogger.   

Anyway, I went to a local auto paint store and got some Nason Base "Chevy White" for only $80/gallon.   He also had some inexpensive clear coat that was "good" so will try that.   Also bought another HF HVLP paint gun since the clear needs to go on pretty quickly after the base is sprayed.

I continued to work on the head rests and also the canopy latch hardware.

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The gas spring in this drawing should show the ends with dashed lines since it should be on the foreward side of TB1.

Fairing, sanding, priming, painting...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019/6/11 Update - TB1 redo, cowl interior sanding/filling, head rest mounting

The previous builder's canopy TB1 was 1" to far aft and did not come down on the shoulder support/back rest.  It appears TB1 needs to come down on the shoulder support if there was a roll over.   I removed TB1 with the Fein tool and floxed and glassed it back in.  A 1x2 with bondo dabs held the canopy shape while it cured.  A friend watched me do some of the BID taping and commented he did not have the patience to do that type of work.

I also filled (West 410) and sanded the inside of the carbon fiber cowls to prep for epoxy primer.   Several folks said you want the inside to be light or white to make it easier to see.   Also a smooth finish will be easier to wipe clean. 

The bottom cowl already had some oil drips when some oil dripped out of one of the plastic spark plug caps.   I tried cleaning with wax grease remover (bleh), then Dawn (meh) and then used Gojo and rinsed it a few times, then used Dawn to clean off the Gojo and it seems to have cleaned it.   No evidence has appeared on the 410 filler.   Fly specs on some of the epoxy wiped surfaces come off easily with Woolite and warm water.

One of the Camloc holes needed to be repaired and some other small repairs were made on the cowl edges.

I trimmed the rear arm rests where the fuel site gauges protrude.   Then I sanded the arm rests and pondered whether to fill and sand them or just epoxy primer them.   I studied the inside of the nose where the SPI primer had been used to ascertain if the primer would fill the peel plied texture and see that one coat probably would be glassy smooth/easy to clean. 

I've only got one quart of Zolatone but think I'll only use it on the canopy and interior visible surfaces so may be enough.   I think some builders used two quarts, but they did everything including seat ribs, thigh supports and under the instrument panel.

The epoxy primer appears to be pretty tough.  A drop of flox had cured to a spot inside the nose and it was like it was stuck to glass.  It was strong enough to hold a wire harness and fuel lines in place.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019/6/6 Update

I've been busy, but obviously not busy updating my blog...
More pour foam was ordered and received that was needed for fairing the turtleback and sumps.
Zolatone was ordered and should be here this week.
Received confirmation the engine should be ready in a few weeks.
Some Souther Polyurethane epoxy primer has been sprayed in the nose and the cover was glassed on.
The canard cover and mounting flange were made.
New canard contour templates were made.
The canard epoxy wipe has been done.
Some dimples were added inside the nose to increase clearance for the Dennis Oleman rudder/brake pedals.
Retaped the turtle back windows to prep for Zolatone.

Here's a few photos of progress...
Bondo curing with weight pressing down on canard cover.

Box tape was applied to the cover and a BID flange was laid up on the canard.

Dimples added for brake pedal clearance.  Masters can nearly fully compress now.

Camlocs/flange for canard cover.

Canard cover in place.  The camloc receptacles were removed and remounted after removing a little glass in order to achieve proper thickness for the -6 camlocs I use on the other covers as well as this one.

Canard epoxy wiped.

A few dry spots were found in the epoxy wipe after turning off the bright lights.

I made several contouring templates.  The 2x4 on top was overcut by the thickness of sandpaper and used on the top of the canard.   The bottom template was overcut the width of the bandsaw blade and used to check progress while sanding.   The top template was cut right on the line.   Both were traced onto graph paper to compare accuracy.

Thursday, May 30, 2019


I'll post photos of work being done into appropriate chapter related older posts to try to keep from getting updates to scattered out.

Epoxy primer was sprayed in the nose area before the cover was glassed on.  I practiced spraying on some small parts using the 1.0 tip and small HVLP detail gun from HF.   I sought some advice regarding finishing with West and 410 filler.   It was suggested to apply a barrier coat as West suggests, then sand that smooth and then spray with the Southern Polyurethane Epoxy Primer.   This should reduce pin holes and print through.

Tonight I installed four camlocs on flanges that are glassed to the top of the canard.  These will retain the canard cover.  I made one of the camloc holes to big so will repair it and dress up the flanges as my BID layups were a bit messy due to working in tight quarters.

My 2nd new engine should be arriving in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Transition Training

I went to RAFE at Covington TN and got some transition training with Ryzard and Rick.   Another fellow was preparing for his first LongEZ flight.

Speed Canard landing

The POH mentions adverse yaw.   It isn't very noticeable when doing gentle aileron changes, but the more abrupt the change, the more noticeable the yaw is.   Also, at higher speeds, the control stick forces for something like a 30 degree turn are much more significant.

As a result, at slower speeds such as on take off and final, with much less force required on the stick, it's easy to over correct.   I found that my landings were better to keep the wings level if I more actively used the rudders to stay on the centerline.

The Speed Canard has a constant speed prop and you can "drop like a rock" on base and final.   I prefer the 180 pattern rather than the standard pattern and did both with  Ryzard on the first day.

I'll plan on going back to get more proficient shortly before my first flight.

Monday, April 29, 2019

2019/4/28 Update

Worked on the removable canard cover today and decided to use a similar approach as Marc Z.

Carved a lot of the foam off the bottom of the cover and have 2" x 2 ea. BID laid up over box tape on the fuselage cover tonight.

Tomorrow I'll do some more lay ups to cover the bare foam, strengthen the cover's edges and to mount the cam locks.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019/4/27 update

This morning, added 4 BID 1" x 56" for rain lip on canopy.   Used fast hardener.   Trimmed this evening. 

Vance built up .3" in front of his canopy for .3" because the "banana effect" would pull the front of the canopy up a little.   I need to remember to do this.

Added 4 BID to fuselage cover at F28.  Used slow hardener, so wasn't ready for the nut plates yet.

Picked up 1 gallon of Southern Polyurethane Epoxy Primer in Mineral Wells at "Car Color".
Shopped for hardware to make canopy latch.

Used warm water and Woolite to clean bug specs off various parts.  I tried to use the water based "wax grease remover" that is 30% ammonia hydroxide but the water and woolite worked better, didn't require gloves or a mask.

Canopy gas spring, ball studs, SMC baluns, BNC bulkhead connectors, new headset are ordered.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Chapter 25 Finishing Primer selection

I've looked at a few suggestions and have decided to use the SPI epoxy primer (numbers below) on the exterior and parts of the interior.

SPI (Southern Polyurethane)
6600 White Epoxy Primer
6700 Activator (1:1)

700 (Wax Grease Remover)

The gun used by others is the HF 94572 kit (two guns).  Gravity feed.

One of my neighbors used this, but several current builders are using Southern Polyurethane:
PPG DP Epoxy Primer
PPG Primer Surfacer
PPG Deltron or Concept top coat.

Driveway paint job:
Masking paper designed for paint.
Guide coat/block sand/skim coat.  80 grit cross hatch pattern.  Hit one more time with guide coat to identify highs and lows.  Use it to identify the removal of previous grit sanding marks.  Step up from 80 to 120 to 180 to 220 up to 320.
Identify lows that need a quick skim coat and hit those areas.  Don't worry about sand through areas.
They'll be covered with epoxy primer.
Use tack cloth between each coating.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

2019/4/17 update

Canopy hinge installation is complete.
Pitot static tube is installed.
Canopy/Fuselage cover is cut.
Nose/nose cover is glassed.
Nose access door is cut.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Chapter 23 Engine Installation

Update:   Superior has bought back my engine minus the cost of the parts I retained:

Cold Air Sump
Ring Gear (trigger magnets for SDS)

Quotes were requested from several builders.  Two responded very quickly and a third (recommended) didn't respond to emails, web request and phone call went to voice mail.

I've ordered a Titan 370, with roller cam and 9.7:1 compression pistons. 
The necessary parts needed for the build have been shipped to Alabama.  ETA is June.
They'll run the engine for 3 hours using a carb and mags, remove them and then ship the engine to me.   This engine with the carb/mags and stock sump have dynoed at 195 horsepower.  The cold air sump and EI/EFI will likely improve that.

The current ECI cylinders are nickel treated and resist corrosion better than other popular cylinders.
If 100LL availability becomes an issue, the pistons can be replaced with 8.5:1 but likely the prop will need to be repitched due to the loss of power.

Chapter 13 Step 11 Nose Door

Top cover is hard shelled with micro and sanded smooth.  Door outline is marked in pencil.  Ignore the mistakes.  :-)
Per plans, the cover would only go to the top of the door.   I'll make a cut there later.

4 Mil plastic (Frost King brand from HD) traced for BID pattern.

A cut list helps quite often.
Glass weighed to determine exact amount of epoxy needed.

Glass wetted between 4 mill plastic.   Flipped over so pattern was on the bottom.  Then rolled the BID and pattern off the former bottom layer of plastic and carried over and placed on the box tape/peel ply on the nose cover.
Hard shelled nose cover on bottom, then box tape, then peel ply, then 3 layers BID, then peel ply on top.
Lay up popped off the box tape.

Box tape removed.   Fein tool is used very delicately to trace the pencil line and cut underneath the hard shell.

Vacuum off, sand and fit the door into the nest.

Chapter 13 Step 11 Top Cover

I'm deviating from the plans a little here and am shaping the canard cover with the nose cover.

Template for the fuselage top cover made from the M drawings.   

(not per plans) - I'm making the canard cover during the same step as the nose cover to avoid making an exaggerated hump over the canard.

Clark foam is hard shelled with micro.

Door pattern drawn in pencil, then box tape applied over the top.

4 mil plastic was laid over the nose and traced on with a Sharpie.   Two peel ply sheets were cut to go on top and bottom of the lay up.

The glass weighed 4.6 ounces which wetted perfectly between two sheets of 4 mil plastic.

Some epoxy was brushed on the box tape, then the first layer of peel ply was applied.  The layup was applied, top layer of plastic replaced with peel ply and squeegeed.   The pencil pattern can be seen through the translucent glass.   After cure, the door pattern is traced onto the top layer of peel ply.   The top layer of peel ply is left on for the next step.

After cure, the cover is pulled off the box tape.   Bottom layer of peel ply removed.    A fresh layer of peel ply is laid over the box tape.   1" wide BID tapes, 3 layers is applied to the edges of the door.

The cured cover is placed on the wetted 1" tapes and left to cure.  The pencil marked top layer of peel ply helps align the cover and left to cure.
Another blog entry covers more of the nose door task...

Friday, April 5, 2019

Chapter 18 Step 23 Cabin Vents

This step looks like it should be quick and easy.

A 2 3/4" hole saw makes quick work of making the hole in the panel.  Some paper templates helped determine the hole needed to vary about .25" from where the plans specified.   

The 2.75" plugs cut from the panel made good components to make forms for the adapter that goes on the back side of the eyeball vent.

A chunk of  foam on the belt sander yielded a nice aerodynamic ramp without much effort.
The plans say to cut the NACA vent, then trim the inside 1/4" larger and remove the foam and micro.  Make a ramp in the foam.   
A scrap piece of foam has a nice ramp formed with the help of a bench top belt sander.

The 2.75" plugs from the panel holes, some cardboard tube, box tape, round backer rod cut into quarters and some left over strake foam were used to make forms.

The finished product for one side.

A binder clip was used instead of a Cleco to hold the NACA flap in place.  Some spring clamps hold the adapter in place.

The outside air temp probe will be mounted on the front side of the chamber.   Several folks suggest adding an avionics cooling tube. 

Friday, March 29, 2019


I used some 2024T3 angle, nut plates and .063" 90's were used to support the front of the radio stack.   The angle is notched to accommodate the Dynon Knob Panels.

Since the engine is pulled and the vent lines were still sticking straight back, it was time to terminate them into the manifold.  The left and right vent lines to be fabricated.   Some clamps and bolts through the firewall will secure the lines.   I'll try to use the same bolts for mounting the master and starter solenoids.   Blue tape marked the outline of where the oil filter and pad mount alternator need clearance.   

Sunday, March 24, 2019


The last week has been quite a mix of events.    Part of Saturday was spent at our local Vintage Aircraft Museum where a B24, C47, Stearman and a T6 were available for rides.

I needed to renew my renters insurance and prepare for a BFR soon.  Also checked on canard transition training.   The EAA requires $100K medical for each passenger if you give Young Eagle Rides.  Some schools/FBO's didn't require any insurance, but others required anywhere from $5K-$40K physical damage.  I've got one more agent to check with on Monday.

I did get some work done in the shop getting the engine pulled and shipped off.  Also worked on the radio cage.

The XP-382 engine was stripped of the EI/EFI, ring gear, starter, alternators, cold air sump.   Openings covered, wrapped in pallet wrap and mounted on a pallet.   The engine was picked up Tuesday.  I've gotten two quotes back out of three for an engine close to 200 hp. 

The parts going to the builder were boxed up.   

On Friday, my friend needed to change oil so we went for a short flight to warm it up.   I cut the filter open and only found a few small shiny flecks.

After pulling the engine, I decided it was time to get the vent lines up where they belonged.   I came up with this hack for bending the line without kinking it right next to the firewall.  An AN-3 bolt, nut, bushing and some washers kept the tube from kinking when bending.

 Another neighbor asked if I wanted to ride right seat in a King Air 350 to haul some folks to Aurora IL and back.   I got this cool photo of an F35 as we were taxiing.

There were hellacious winds.  Our ground speed going North was almost 400 mph but coming back was about 300 mph.  Fort Worth ATC was very busy.


I helped a neighbor a little with replacing the bladders in his 182.   Some of the fuel lines were in pretty bad shape.  Looks like a good reason to use the good Aeroquip lines.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Chapter 23 Engine Installation - The hunt for another new engine

Nichole @ Catto advised if the replacement engine is within 10% horsepower, my prop should still work.  The challenge now is to find an engine that is honestly within that rating.

One build quote has arrived so far from Aero Sport Power.  The ECI engine price has gone up about $4K.   Superior has provided an offer and contract to return my engine minus the SDS system, alternators, cold air sump.  They've added an allowance for labor, freight etc.

One of the closest engines in performance is the Titan/ECI/Continental Motors IO-370.  Aero Sport Power calls this engine their XP-375 just to help differentiate it from Titan's build.   Another builder of Superior Engines (and others) is Barrett Precision Engines.

It seems that Superior has the edge on standing behind their products.  Recent fliers of the Titan engine on the Vans forum have posted 400-500 hours with no trouble so far.  Some are skeptical of the claimed horsepower and think it might be around 190 but there weren't details of fuel, intake or ignition systems they were running posted.   The cold air sump should help bump it up a bit.

Sales tax will be a factor, so the out of state builders will have an edge.  If they're close enough, I can haul the engine to save freight.

If I stay with a Superior XP engine, the XP-360 is the logical choice, but I'll probably need a different prop for short field take off performance.

I was eyeballing some of the baffle drawings posted on the Cozy Builders site and am thinking XP-382 case must be a little different.  I'm told the XP-382 cylinders are .100" longer as well, so I'd probably better put making baffles on hold until I have the replacement engine selected and on hand.

Meanwhile, there's plenty of other work to be done.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Chapter 17 Throttle Quadrant

I took a stab at making my own reversing throttle quadrant out of left over aluminum.  The local hardware store had teflon washers and a knob to adjust the friction.

Chapter 22 Composite Instrument Panel

I decided to try using the plans composite panel and it seems it will work just fine. The aluminum panel was used as a template and guide.   The Fein multitool and Irwin hand saw cut the longer straight lines.   A few drill holes were made to ease cutting out the Dynon Knob Panel holes.

The Avidyne installation manual indicates a minimum panel thickness of .050 aluminum.   The radio stack opening is cut at about 6.3" wide which is to narrow for the trays so I will need to open them up a bit.    Some 2024 T3 3/4" angle will be used on the sides to accommodate the tray mounting screws.

The top left edge of the left Dynon display and right edge of the right display don't quite clear the rib on the back of the panel.

Some shelves and ribs will be added between F28 and the instrument panel for reinforcement and to  accommodate the VPX and various Dynon modules.