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The Problem with Standby Frequency Monitoring

I used to think that the new standby comm radio frequency monitoring was a great feature. That was until I actually tried to use it. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea. Especially for mission limited aircraft. And, for the most part, it still is. But, if you're typically flying in busy airspace, as I do in Southern California, then it's not a feature you can count on for typical flight missions. A little background: TRACON in SoCal really appreciates all pilots flying in Southern California be in communication with them. They deal with busy radar screens and get a little stressed out when having to call out unknown traffic that affects you and your safe flight. They would rather be able to communicate with both pilots (sometimes more) and vector you away from in each in a coordinated manner. I know this because I regularly talk with several controllers and they say it's one of the worst things they have to deal with. Any flight to another airport will require you t
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Switch Over to EAA Builder Log

Even though I haven't posted much lately, I've been working and keeping a written log. However, recently I learned of the EAA Builders Log site and am now switching over to that. My new log keeping site is now I will continue to use this site for tracking other resources and details not suitable for the EAA's builder log, but I find that site more suitable for building logging, expense keeping, and metrics tracking.

Push to Stage the Center Fuse

I'm trying something I've been meaning to try for some time now. Instead of blogging after I complete work, I'm blogging while I'm working. The fact is, I haven't kept up with blogging after I work, so perhaps I'll do better at both concurrently. After some thought about the order of things to do, I've decided to complete the center fuse to the point where the outer side skins and skin channels are complete. This includes the firewall and perhaps the forward inner skins. I found it very difficult to fit the inner skins with the outer skins in place. We will see what I end up doing. I need to finish soundproofing the forward floor void and under the torque tubes. I'm reusing the templates from the right side to cut the left soundproofing (I wish I installed the soundproofing before I reinstalled the torque tubes). Templates drawn out in fine point blue sharpie: After blowing the surface off with compressed air and running a tack cloth over

Center Fuse and Sound Proofing

I little while back, I visited a new friend nearby building a Sling TSi. He is working five days a week, 12 hours a day to complete it in an 8-month timeframe. I think he will. He gave me a piece of advice that I now realize is very prescient. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Jig out the assembly as far as you can in advance and figure out what your build order will be and what other actions you need to take before permanently riveting it together." Well, I applied that advice to the center fuse and figured out the myriad of things I needed to do, know, and have before continuing. This weekend, I took the side skins and channels back out in order to finish the soundproofing. I finished under the rear seats with the exception of the right seat channels because I need the ELT mounting brackets. My wife helped cut templates, soundproof material, and install. The view below is from the front of the CF, looking at the void between the bottom skin and the floor skin.

Flight Controls and Center Fuse

It's time to turn my focus towards the fuselage. I spent time this weekend installing the flight controls and re-installing some torque tubes. Previously, I needed to remove the bushings and tubes for the elevator and flap controls in order to install the aileron autopilot servo brackets. Below, I'm getting ready to position the control stick tubes: Checking the orientation of the control stops (center of tube) on the elevator torque tube. This doesn't need to be installed just yet and having it out makes it easier to attach the aileron rose joints. I installed soundproofing in the control box: Top bushing bracket installed. Originally, I had only one correct top bushing bracket and one incorrect top bushing bracket. It took four months to get a replacement. The rear and bottom bushing bracket for control stick torque tube: Riveting complete and start fitting the aileron cross control tube and rose joint. The bolt comes from the front bracket, thr

Seat Logic

I finished up the rudder last weekend. Not much to say other than skinning it with no twist was challenging. This week I turned my attention to completing a front seat that was missing a part (#3 - Front Seat Base): Parts 6 & 8 are non-metallic but are riveted into the assembly. The instructions don't say this, but I'd suggest using a #4 washer around the blind end (which contacts the teflon-like piece) to prevent the bulge from pulling into the material. The picture below shows the teflon-like pieces already riveted on the lower side without washers. This was performed by the previous builder. The remaining rivets will use washers. After getting to this point, I realized the bushings that pull the cable can't be bolted through the handle from this orientation. I removed the base plate and installed the bushings before jigging the assembly together: This picture depicts how I installed the handle upside down. I had to take the assembly apart again to

Rudder 3.0

I received the second replacement rudder skin last week (third in total). I was surprised to find it waiting on my front porch since I said several times during phone conversations and and in emails that I would drive to TAF Torrance and transport it down myself. Anyway, I have it and I opened it yesterday. It was well transported in one of the new cardboard crates TAF is using. The skin was supremely bubble-wrapped and immovable within the crate., I had high hopes it would be in good condition. However, after carefully removing the packaging, my inspection revealed this horror at the top trailing edge: Unlike the other trailing edge kinks 12-16" down from the end that could easily occur from mishandling the skin, this kink required some assistance to develop. Something crushed it. Since it was close to the end of the skin, I decided to fix it. I used a combination of composite shims, needle-nose pliers, and a seamer. Here are the results: It's no