I did a quick test fit of the skin on the Horizontal Stabilizer yesterday and everything looks good. I’m waiting for the sealant that goes between the Support Plate and the skin, which should arrive tomorrow. So I decided to prepare the next part of the Empennage and and prime the Rudder parts and the mating surfaces of the Horizontal Stabilizer skin.
After I did some more reading about priming preparation and I’ve slightly changed the process for the Rudder pieces. I’ll see how it turns out tomorrow once it’s dried. After removing the protective plastic, I cleaned off the parts with MEK, then scruffed them up with a red (fine) Scotch brite pad and then went on to priming.
After the preparation, I unfolded my small paint booth I made out of some hardboard. I got the design from a video on the Family Handyman. If anyone wants to make their own and wants to skip the video, I’ve created some quick plans in Solidworks and took some pictures of the folding. What you need:
I was busy on the weekend at the Northwest Aviation Conference helping sell Raffle Tickets for the Charity Airplane Raffle that my Flying Club, Puget Sound Flyers, is holding to raffle off a refurbished Cessna 150 Airplane to fund scholarships for kids that survived cancer.
While at the conference I also briefly met up with a member of the Sling Builders Facebook group, who is considering building a Sling 2 in Sequim. We were talking all things Sling for a while and I look forward to have another Sling builder nearby soon.
I also attended some talks and got to say hi to Jason Miller, who’s a CFII and has a great YouTube channel with training tips about The Finer Points of flying.
Now back to the building part. When I riveted the ribs and spars of the Horizontal Stabilizer a few days ago, I was short a couple of the 4.0mm rivets. In order to finish the part, I took some from the Elevator hardware bag.
Today I reviewed the rest of the steps for the Horizontal Stabilizer and realized I need a whole lot more of them to actually finish riveting the Skin onto the Horizontal Stabilizer. I also need some sealant to put between the Stabilizer Plate and the skin, which I know Matthew posted on his blog when he did the part, so I re-read his post and noticed that he was actually also missing a bunch of the 4.0mm rivets, so it looks like the factory may be short when they put together that bag, I’ll let them know tomorrow.
I did finish up the wiring that will connect to the elevator trim. This gave me the chance to make use of the step drill bits I bought. I used my digital caliper to translate the metric instructions (9.5mm) to the closest fractional inches (3/8th) to enlarge some holes for the rubber grommets.
After that I installing some flexible grommet edging I bought as spare as the kit was missing that since it was shipped based on Revision 0, which didn’t include that part. I’ll have to see if there were any other parts that were added in Revision 1 after my kit was put together.
When we took inventory of the Empennage kit, we thought we were missing some parts of the Elevator and so I decided to start with the Horizontal Stabilizer instead, but as it turned out after double checking again, the parts were just hiding inside a channel.
So after some researching I had done ahead of time, here’s the process I decided to follow for preparing the parts for priming:
Washing off the cleaning solution with water and drying the parts
Final de-greasing using MEK
After all that was done, it was time for priming, which in on itself is a whole big topic with different opinions the more people you ask. I’ve decided to prime the mating surfaces and while at first I was thinking of using NAPA 7220, ended up using Rustoleum Self Etching Primer after I saw that Matthew seems to have good results with it and it’s easier to find in the local hardware store.
Since my kit was shipped out before the newer revision for the Empennage kit was finished, the printed copy only had the basic CAD drawings, but no instructions, so it’s a matter of combining the larger print outs with the instructions using my small laptop.
Also seen above is the Rivet Gun I’m using – it’s the Milwaukee M12 Rivet gun, which fits in nicely with all my other tools and allows me to build the airplane without the need for a noisy compressor.
After I put together everything with Clecos it was time to pull rivets.
And here’s the riveted structure (minus the skin) of the Horizontal Stabilizer:
I’m also trying to record my progress with some timelapses, so here it goes:
My Sling TSi airplane kit has finally made its way to my garage and arrived yesterday from The Airplane Factory in South Africa. Since I ordered the entire kit in one go as a quick build, it was shipped in one large 20 foot container directly to my house. The container arrived about two weeks ago in the port, but then the Seattle Snowpocalypse happened and we had the heaviest snow in February for over 70 years. The Seattle area is very hilly and so the sudden large amounts of snow and the hills made for impossible driving conditions and so while I couldn’t get a truck to deliver the airplane, instead we went skiing on our road sometime last week since our hill has a pretty steep incline.
Luckily it stopped snowing by Tuesday and warmed a bit and the City managed to start plowing neighborhoods and we could drive again by Thursday, so I called the Freight company and told them they can now give it a shot to deliver and the scheduled the delivery for Monday, which worked out great.
Unloading an airplane from a container
I set up my GoPro to try to capture the unloading process, it worked out fairly well to capture everything, so here it goes:
If this wasn’t enough, then here’s the complete story:
The Truck with the 20 foot container arrived just as my friends, who graciously were on standby the past two weeks to help, were arriving to help me unload and we went to work. The first order of business was to figure out the order to unload the container.
After taking out the big box with the Finishing kit on the side, we juggled around a bit to see if we could take the boxes on the bottom out, but they were blocked by the Fuselage Tail support, so we figured that we should take out the Fuselage next.
The wood that the Factory used to build the framing is of some impressive quality and the heavy screws driven into them were very tight, so it took some loosening by hand before even my impact driver could undo the screws, so I grabbed my trusty Milwaukee M12 Hackzall and made due process so we could get on with unloading and then undo the rest of the structure later. That and heavy use of my Utility Knife to cut through the many support straps that held down the structure.
After we got the Fuselage out, it was time for the boxes that were stored under the Fuselage, followed by the Wings.
After all that was said and done, we took down the rest of the wood framing in the container so the container was truly empty in the end:
We moved the boxes into our basement multi function room, next to our LEGO collection – building your own airplane is kind of like LEGO right?
And the Fuselage and Wings found their home in the Garage on one side, leaving me with the other side as work space, plus I can easily move the wings around since I have wheels on the wing rack.
Cleaning up and taking inventory
I felt like the tail should have some extra support, so I quickly built a small stool for the tail to rest on, in addition to the existing framing that it came in, here is a quick timelapse of me cleaning up the workshop and building the stool:
Stool for the Tail to rest on:
After that was done, I asked Juliana to come down to the Garage as I was pretending to fly the airplane as any reasonable person with a new toy in their garage would do:
And then we opened the Empennage box and started taking inventory so I can stop building wooden tables and stools and start building an airplane:
This should hopefully be the last “waiting for the kit” post. The container with the kit has arrived at the port a couple of days ago. The logistics company is working through arranging the truck to bring the container to my house to unload. Hopefully I’ll have some good news tomorrow and have a firm date for the delivery this coming week.
The garage is ready for delivery and I also picked up a wing stand to store the wings from the flying club I am a part of, as we just installed the wings onto the Cessna 150 airplane we are refurbishing for an upcoming charity raffle to fund college scholarships for kids that survived cancer. The wing stand is from a design by Tony Bingelis and can be found on the EAA website here.
I took a time lapse of the process of installing the wings on the Cessna. It took a little bit of lifting and then a lot of jiggling to get the bolts in place.
I also attended a discussion meeting at our local EAA 84 chapter last week about going to Oshkosh, which was very interesting as I haven’t yet managed to go to Oshkosh myself as I was busy last year finishing up my instrument rating, so I’m hoping this year might be my first. If I go, I will likely fly commercial and then camp there and I’d love to meet some other Sling Builders at the Sling Ding Party hosted by The Airplane Factory and Sling 2 builders Bob & Joan.