The flu took me away from airplane building for a while, but I managed to get back to it earlier this week. In addition to sanding and putting a coat of dope on the tail feathers while the weather was warm, I managed to secure my fuel tank and route the fuel lines. The nose gear and throttle linkages are in place now as well. If the weather turns warm again I'll try to cover the tail feathers with Sig Koverall. If not I'll turn my attention to the rudder and elevator linkages or finishing the front of the fuselage.
Harbor Freight had an 8” drill press on sale for $55 so I’m now the proud owner of a drill press. A few nights ago I set it up and drilled holes in the engine mount. I’ve mounted the engine with some 3/32” bolts for the purpose of sorting out the throttle and fuel line routing. Slow but sure…
I stole a few minutes away from other tasks last night to epoxy the firewall in place. After removing the temporary crosspiece at the front of the fuselage and sanding the front to allow the firewall to sit flush against it, I realized the backs of the bottom two blind nuts for the nose gear sit against the lower cross piece (just like everyone says they do), preventing the firewall from fitting correctly. I initially used a file to try and carve out some room for the backs of the blind nuts, but decided to simply cut a small rectangle out of the cross piece to allow the firewall to sit against the rest of the fuselage. I'll cut that rectangle in half and place it back in to preserve some of the integrity of the cross piece.
I had stopped working on the fuselage at the point where the vertical stabilizer is joined. I wanted to build the vertical stabilizer so it was handy when I attempted to sheet the top of the fuselage where it is seated. That approach worked well and last night got a chance to fit the vertical stabilizer in place.
I purchased a copy of Jules Bergman’s “Anyone Can Fly” for my father for Christmas, but it didn’t arrive in time and I had to ship it to him after he’d returned home following the holidays. In the package I placed my engine mount, dutifully marked, with a note asking my father to use his drill press to drill the four necessary holes in it.
The book arrived at his home yesterday with the shipping envelope shredded at one end and no engine mount inside.
Today I called Sig to order yet another engine mount and was told the item is out of stock.
I placed my order anyway knowing that Sig manufactures the engine mounts onsite.
Here is one way to look at this situation: If all my problems are related to model airplane engine mounts, then I'm a really lucky guy.
This kit was old enough to come with the aluminum engine mounts once common in Sig kits. After building the firewall and getting everything lined up for the Satio engine I set the firewall aside thinking I'd use my father's drill press to drill the necessary holes in the aluminum.
While visiting my father for his 83rd birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!) we ventured into his workshop to drill the holes. He was also good enough to let me use his band saw to cut out the cowling pieces that would have taken far longer had I cut them by hand. So with oil in hand we started the press and slowly began to drill our pilot holes. Fifteen minutes and two broken drill bits later we had two of the four holes drilled. Nuts.
I called Sig and placed an order for a glass filled engine mount for the Kadet Senior (and a Sig Parasol, because you can't have too many Sig Parasol's handy), but they sent me an extra large mount for a size 60-90 engine. Not wanting to completely butcher my firewall to accommodate the far larger engine mount, I called Sig, returned the mount and exchanged it for a mount one size smaller. When it arrived I discovered that I could use the holes at the top of the firewall and the engine thrust line would be fine, but I'd have to drill new holes at the bottom of the firewall to match the holes in the engine mount.
To prevent more trouble I carefully worked the blind nuts away from the firewall, and then plugged the holes with a bamboo skewer. Then I...Continue Reading
It took some time, but I managed to collect the necessary items for a new building surface. Like Piper Joe (thanks, Joe), I purchased a few ceiling tiles and used masking tape to join them. I also used masking tape to seal the edges. The tiles are sitting on top of a panel board that ensures a flat surface.
With the new building surface in place I was able to resume building the Kadet. My first task was to use a combination of different razor blades to carefully remove the TE from the wing. The TE showed a slight uptick at the back due to the concave shape of my old building board. Last night I pinned the wing to the board and re-glued the TE back into place.
You can also see an AMA Dart in the corner that is getting a new motor stick after four years of faithful service.
The Kadet's wing panel fills my 36" building board. I pinned down the lower spars and too quickly test fit the ribs and trailing edge. But when I began gluing in the ribs, I found that my building board has multiple warps in it and the surface I was building on is progressivity concave. As a result, the front and back of the ribs sit on the board, but about halfway down the board the spars pined to it begin to move away from the notch in the ribs. Fortunately, I'm building with Titebond glue, so I had enough time to unpin the spars and pin them to the ribs, rather than the board. I stopped building there.
Later, I placed the wing on the flat surface of our kitchen island and felt relieved to find it is fairly straight. My chief concern was that the trailing edge would have a slight upward tilt, but this doesn't appear to be the case.
The obvious next step is order a nice new 48" building board, but Tower and Guillows appear to have stopped selling them.
Four recent builds ready for the 2016 flying season: Thayer Syme’s Randolph Observer built from a free Fly R/C plan, 1/2A Berkley Brigidier built from a plan I found on Hip Pocket Aeronautics, the Herr Aquastar, and a Guillow’s Cessna 180.
In Dave Thornburg’s book about the history of aero modeling he tells a story about Duke Fox handing out Berkley model kits at a Nats and promising a new Fox .35 to the first person to finish building their kit.
I’d never be in line to win the engine from Fox.
The completed Aquastar weighs a portly 11.7 ounces. The advertised weight is 19 ounces, but that was in the day of heavier radios and a Norvel .061 atop the pylon. I’ll have to wait for warmer weather to say whether it will ROW.
Next up…a Prairie Bird followed by a Sig Kadet Senior.