Canopy Attach - Throttle Quadrant - Panel Reinforcement
front Deck - Re-Paint Interior - Door Windows - Door Latch
- 862.7 approx. total hours (774.7 By Me)
With the rush before OSH to complete
the panel, most of the other areas of the project got
dropped...including some web page updating. Sorry for the delay.
After I got back from OSH, I got set back by a cold, and then by
work, so things went slower. Also, I fractured my building into
many different branched paths, so there is not much "completion" going
on...but when it all comes together it should come together quick.
Below you'll find some gems that I wish I had before I started this
stuff. The fuselage and finishing kit plans aren't awful bad, but
they don't explain things in much detail. I did, however, learn
some things from great people like Anh Vu, and Randy DeBauw that helped
a lot...althouth even that didn't quite save me from hassles, as I
still had to learn for myself since I didn't have photos. I'll
try to give some heads-up info here.
Also, you'll notice in some later photos, my headliner is torn out.
After seeing the Colorado -10's at OSH, I was so impressed that
I decided to do whatever it takes to go that route. My headliner
was starting to suck after making a few gluing mistakes, and there was
no way to get a good finished edge. I bought 1/4" foam, thinking
that was right. Turns out Randy used 1/8" foam, which is easier
to roll the edges on. Oh well. My next attempt will be by
using some nice stiff fabric like those from Colorado. That looked
canopy attach was pretty straightforward. I did, however, start
using AN426AD4-6 rivets below the rear windows, figuring that I could
make it look nicer. In retrospect, it didn't make it look nicer,
and wasn't worth it. The fiberglass may, probably, hold up to
riveting just fine. Mine did. My concern was structural
integrity after riveting....so I used CS4-4's from the windows
rearward. I plan to cover the rivet shop head inside anyway with
fabric, so I don't know why I bothered. As it turned out, the
hammered rivets left the usual small dents in the outer skin, whereas
the CS4-4's, when countersunk and dimpled, come out really nice and
flush and no denting involved. I should have just used CS4-4's.
Mounting the 3-Lever Throttle Quadrant
a frustrating phone call to Kenn Scott at Van's, I decided just to
tackle my quadrant by winging it. When I'd asked Ken for how the
quadrant mounts....and is it centered in the panel, he said "I don't
know, we don't use quadrants around here." Then he told me to
refer to the plans, (that I did not receive with the quadrant)
only to find out that the plans were not yet available, after I pushed
him to check. Great answer, Ken, Thanks for nothing. When
I call from
now on, I'll ask for anyone else, as I know you don't like talking to
people. I don't know why I bothered.
So, that particular day I just *guessed* and drilled my panel
holes where I thought they'd work. Then when it came to install
it, I just did what felt right.
The quadrant apparently mounts by removing the old subpanel lower
mounting bracket, and replacing it with a different one. You have
to add nutplates to the new bracket, and it seems like you need
to mount it flipped from the original, where the flange now faces
FORWARD instead of rearward. If you keep it facing
rearward, the quadrant holes won't line up on that lower switch bar for
After mounting the back plate, you can cleco the forward end of the
quadrant on, and then mark holes in the center of that lower panel
switch bar for the 2 holes there. Pull the quadrant, pull the
bar, and add 2 more nutplates. There is room to leave the
original nutplates (if you have a QB and it was already assembled).
A side note....I am finding that it's REALLY nice to have that lower
switch bar permanently removable. For one thing, those ears bend
forward, so you can't silkscreen on that bar due to interference.
For another, it'll just be nice to take it out for complete
access to the front if necessary.
See HERE for how I added 2 .125 "ears" to make this bar removable. It'll be secured with screws and nuts.
Another note about the quadrant. You can see that in some photos,
I have both sticks move to full-travel to see how they interfere with
the quadrant. At first, I was very nervous that maybe the
interference would be a big issue....the stick can hit the quadrant.
Then I sat in the plane and tried it again. As it turns
out, when you're IN the plane, your legs won't allow the stick to
travel that far anyway. My guess is also that once the ailerons
and elevators are hooked up, you also won't get that kind of control
travel....it's just a guess, but I doubt it. Anyway, I know that
when I've flown in Randy's -10 and the factory -10, you don't make very
large control inputs anyway....and with my legs there, I'll never hit
Panel Reinforcement and Attach Deck
part was pretty easy. Measured right, by luck, my radio stack now
rests on a lower piece of angle in the rectangular cutout in the
subpanel. I probably don't even need to tie the radios together
with a strap. I used a fly-cutter to cut large circles in
scrap, then I reduced the diameter, and cut a smaller circle on the
same center. Then I used the same size to cut the subpanel.
The result is nice circular hole reinforcements. I didn't
know exactly where I needed them, so I positioned them conveniently.
I'll protect the wires by making grommets out of 1/4" black
rubber tubing, split down the middle, glued into the circles.
You may notice that a couple rivets are shared with my quadrant
bracket, and I did some funky reinforcement on the left side of the
box....I used .040, or .050 sheet aluminum, about 1.5" wide on the
face, and bent back a tab of about 3/4" facing rearward on that left
edge. Now I have a reinforced strip that also goes around by the
center rib to stiffen all of that too. Very happy with how this
came out. I then riveted on the front deck. Some of
those front nose rivets are a pain, but nothing is too bad. Test
fit the panel again, and it looks real nice.
area that I really wanted to have come out good was the fiberglass
joint where it meets the aluminum around the doors. I spent a
good amount of time filling and sanding and using smoothprime to do
more than add a fillet of epoxy....but to make it smooth and nice.
That caused me to have to repaint around the canopy though, so I
did that extra step. In the end, it wasn't a big deal. I
also reprimed the subpanel since I added that alodined angle and cut
those holes. I masked the rudder pedals to protect them. As
you can see from the pictures of the area below the doors, it looks
very nice. To pat my own back, I think it looks better than any
I've seen. Was it worth it?? To me, yes, but you need to answer
than for yourself.
where Anh and Randy helped a lot, but these photos will add to that
even more. Weld-on 10 comes in little jars (see below) and in 2
parts. You mix it up and it is runny, but not like liquid...more
like thick thick paint, and approaching caulk-like. You REALLY
need to move fast when applying this stuff. I started with my
front doors, figuring that if I screwed up, I'd rather screw up a door,
that is removable, than something attached to my fuselage.
First Tip: Trim your
windows back further than you probably did.... When I
pre-trimmed my windows, I had them almost PERFECT. The plans call
for zero to 1/16" gap around them. Mine were very near zero.
After talking to Randy an Anh, they said I'd want them trimmed
more, to allow the Weld-On to escape, and make it easier to fill with
epoxy later...and it might help prevent some of that paint cracking
that we all saw at OSH, caused by heat expanding the plexi. After
having mine trimmed, I wasted a whole evening going back and
re-trimming mine to give a good 1/16" gap all the way around the glass
(a couple areas were maybe less than that). Then I had to
re-smooth the edges of the plexi too.
Before you start, make sure you mask off everything that you don't want
weld-on to get onto. That's all the plans say, but there's
more.... This stuff will pour very easily...you'll have to do it
to know how it pours. You should mask INSIDE the window, on the
window, leaving maybe only 1/16" gap between the window and the door.
Too much and you'll have a huge fillet. Too little and
you'll never EVER get your tape off. (See my last couple of
photos below...I masked with electrical tape, which is still stuck
under some Weld-on...even though I had a tiny gap around the tape line.
Then, you should mask around the door side, right up to that
flange by the window. Maybe just a hair over the horizontal edge
near the plexi, but not all the way to the plexi or you'll trap the
tape there too. You don't have to mask too far, only an inch or
two, because the glue doesn't run that bad. (maybe worse on the
vertical surfaces....I'm not there yet) Then, on the outside,
mask the DOOR side almost all the way to that lip around the outer
window area. I didn't do this on one, and now I have a LOT of
weld-on to sand off. On the window side, you should
probably mask leaving at MOST 1/2" around the window, but after doing
2, I think I'll leave no more than 1/4" next time. I left about
1/2" the first time, so I could see and verify that the glue filled the
gap well. If you use enough glue, it will fill the gap...from now
on, I'd rather have less to clean up, so 1/4" is right more me.
Then, mask the windows inside and out with paper too.
Now, prepare the door and the 3/4" exposed area inside the window glass by sanding with 220 grit or so.
Note: Randy suggested to
me that it might be better to mount the door on the fuselage, to allow
the door to fit the perfect curve of the fuse, before putting the
window in. That way it doesn't set up in a less than perfect
form, and it will fit exactly as it needs to in-flight. (he did
it this way, and it looks great). I went per-plans and just did
it on the bench. The next day I fit my door to the airframe and
it still looks good. I don't know what to say, but thought I'd
point that out since it's maybe something you might want to explore.
Once you mix the weld-on, you'll find that the stuff in the container
stays runny, but anything you pour will skin over almost INSTANTLY.
You'll want to pour a 3/8" to 1/2" bead....a good share of that
3/4" flange, all the way around the window. Pour enough so you
KNOW it'll fill the gap. (The actual bead diameter would maybe be
a 3/8" cross section to do a good job). If you do it right,
you'll have a little glue left after going around the whole thing.
Try to use enough so you don't have to go back and add more...if
you touch the stuff even seconds after it's poured, you'll just smear
it since it's tearing the skinned over stuff. Have a helper warn
you of any shorted areas, and just add more glue next to what you
After you have all the glue poured down, which HOPEFULLY took you less than 1 to 1.5 minutes,
you grab your window and put it in the door frame. Quickly center
it where you want it, and have a helper hold it down all the way
around. While they're holding it, QUICKLY put weights, sandbags,
lead shot pouches (I had many from my SCUBA days), and stuff aroud the
edges to help hold it in place. Then quickly wipe all the excess
squished out Weld-on off that you can. You'll have tons of it
ooozing out the top and bottom. It's important too, especially
inside, to use your finger to create that fillet, and even more
importantly, THIN THE WELD-ON DOWN that's on the taped area, near where
the final seam will be. This is because if the weld-on is left on
too thick, you'll NEVER get that tape to peel off...it'll tear, and be
left there. I *kind of* understood what Ahn meant when he said
this, but I *really* knew after having done it.
Once the bead is wiped up, and the fillet created, quickly tape the
window down to the surrounding door. Then, let it sit for a
while. Here's where I really wish I'd have done things
differently..... DON'T LET IT SIT TOO LONG before you peel off
the tape. I waited about 2 hours. By that time the weld-on
was set so hard that I couldn't get all the tape to peel. I spent
2 more hours, after 11pm, using an exacto knife to carefully cut
through the weld-on, and the tape, to remove it down to my intended
fillet area. My advice, as soon as that stuff that you thinned
out has skinned over (maybe 15 minutes), peel off all of your tape.
It'll be soft enough that it'll probably allow you to break the
weld-on along that tape line, and stiff enough that it probbaly won't
mess up your fillet.....and, if it does create a jagged fillet, it'll
be soft enough that you can push it back smooth. Fixing it like
I did is a BIG pain....although if I try HARD, I'll be able to make it
look nice again and you'll never notice...after using seam sealer to
make a new fillet. Just do it right the first time, and tear
that tape off soon.
As for quantity, you'll absolutely need one can per window, and that should be all you need.
guess I haven't taken many photos of my work doing the door latching
mechanism. It's not too tough. But, I found a GOTCHA...
Read REALLY carefully when drilling the door handles. the hole
that you drill and later tap, from the front, ROUNDED side of the
handle towards the tail of the handle....it isn't all drilled to the
same size. You drill the initial part of the hole larger, but
then when you drill the part inside, where you later tap, you won't
drill that as big....it needs to be smaller for the tap. This is
really hard to explain, so just read your plans slowly and look them
over....I just wanted to point it out here to prevent you from having
to buy another pair of handles like I did....thei're almost $12 each.