25 Sept 05 - More Super Fil, Rudder Light Stuff


The Super Fil has cured, so today is going to involve lots of sanding, and then (depending on what various parts need) we'll put more Super Fil if there are still any gaps, low spots, or pinholes.

Something else we're just starting to think about is mounting the wingtip lenses. I've heard of some folks epoxying nutplates on the inside, which seems like an okay idea. What we tried to do last time was just rivet them on, and given the rivet head we were using and how we were trying to do it, it was such a disaster that I don't think anything about it even made it onto the site. However, we're going to try this again, probably using soft rivets and then putting epoxy on top of that. Maybe. I guess we'll see. Because we're talking about soft rivets and epoxy and fiberglass, though, it made sense to actually tap the nutplates, which is something that I haven't done yet. The nutplates (as you know, if you're in the midst of one of these kits) are actually pinched in a bit, so the screws are a dickens to get in there, but then they don't have a tendency to come back out. I've known a few RV folks to tap all the nutplates in the plane, but I don't think this is a very good idea, as it'll mean the screws have a higher probability of coming unscrewed by themselves. For ones like these, though, I think it's not so bad - otherwise, we've got a pretty good chance of breaking or bending something when we try to get the screw to go in.


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Horizontal stab tip after sanding.
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Oh yeah. I forgot to put even the first Super Fil layer on the rudder top, so this is now to the point where all the other parts were yesterday.
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Horizontal and vertical stab after sanding an the second layer of Super Fil stuck on there. Surprisingly, the vertical stab was okay after sanding, but it looks like it's the only part in that category.
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Tapped nutplates for the wingtip lenses. As you can probably guess, we're using three screws for each lens.
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The other project for today was continued work on the rudder light. If you compare this picture to how this part looked yesterday, you can see how it fits in there a bit bigger because the hole has been enlarged.
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The hole is now big enough so that the lip around the back of the light fits inside the fiberglass, too. Now it sits nice and flush.

After some amount of head-scratching, we determined that making the hole big enough for the lip to fit inside the fairing was probably not a good idea. The cap that screws on over the glass cover (sorry, there's not a picture of either one of them) is designed to seal by pushing down glass cover against the rubber seal. Because the whole mechanism sits a bit lower, now, it's just sort of sitting there. What to do? We'll continue to think about this tomorrow, but take this as a word of warning: you may not want to enlarge the hole in the rudder fairing so it looks like this.




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