Plane Has a New Home

After three and a half years in the garage. I finally moved the plane to its new home in my hangar!

There was probably a lot more work I could have done before moving it, but there were some circumstances that dictated I needed to move to the airport.

It started by first getting a giant truck with a lift gate. Once I got that to the house I had my friend Mike over to help me out. We removed the canopy and rear window (which I just had sitting on the plane temporarily…need to finish this) and then rolled the plane out into the driveway.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but seeing the plane in the driveway is one of the coolest things.

After doing some measurements and planning over the last couple months, I realized that the wheels were too wide for the lift gate. Luckily Mike had a 4×8 sheet of plywood that we laid on top of the lift gate.

We rolled the plane forward and lined it up. If it wasn’t for the plywood, this would have been a very precarious balancing issue (Thanks Mike!).

We chocked the wheels once we made sure the engine wouldn’t hit the floor of the truck when lifting, and then raised the plane up and pushed it into the truck. My girlfriend Britney did an awesome job holding the whole airplane in the air!

Once the plane was in. we loaded up the rest of the few remaining items and secured everything down. It felt a little nerve wracking having all this in the back of a truck, but it all went off without a hitch.

I managed to drive the truck (slowly) down to the airport in San Martin and we basically did the reverse, and there were no issues. Luckily the rain held off the whole time we were moving.

We rolled the plane in and it felt like a huge accomplishment. I immediately wanted to start mounting the tail and wings and everything on the plane, but the wings will have to wait for another time.

I loosely fit the horizontal and vertical stabilizers using some clamps. This is probably the coolest thing ever (so far)!

All in all, it was a very successful and satisfying day. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mike and Britney and of course my mom, who brought us all some lunch and helped with the moving of everything! (Garage can now be used for her car again)!

Plane Has a New Home

Flap motor housing

First off, I got myself a hangar! I’ve been checking the hangars at the San Martin airport for a while, and finally got in contact with them and got the hangar last Wednesday! It’s a nice T hangar that’s north facing (shaded all day), and has plenty of room for the project. I’ll be migrating there over the next couple weeks.

Before making the big move, there’s still a couple things that I want to finish up in the garage. The first thing was that when I installed the canopy release mechanism, I realized that the flap housing was being pushed backwards and wouldn’t install. So I modified the mounting holes, and everything lines up much nicer.

This will get installed with a couple washers and the offset of the holes won’t be noticed.

I also installed the elevator push rod that goes through the center tunnel, since I had everything off. It needed some coaxing but it installed just fine.

The push rod connects the control sticks to the bell crank that’s right behind the baggage bulkhead.

I also cut some two conductor wire to length for the flap motor power lines, and added a couple connectors so that it’s removable. Once it’s installed this will get a zip tie wrapped around it between the tabs and it will be fully secure.

Next up is to finish the canopy frame.

Flap motor housing

Baffle and pushrods

This weekend I spent a few hours continuing the work on the baffle. This primarily was focused on the baffle fit around the valve cover gaskets. I had the parts on and off several times to remove more material and then check the fit.

I then spent time on the inlet ramps.

Here you can see the left and right inlet ramps. The left ramp (cylinder 2) will also have the intake filter. This piece will get modified to accept the filter as well as the snorkel that routes air down and to the air intake on the engine.

Just to give myself a change of pace, I spent some time making the remaining two pushrods. The elevator pushrods consist of a smaller rod that attaches the control sticks to the elevator bellcrank, and then from the bellcrank back to the elevators.

On a side note, my interior from Classic Aero Desings arrived! I’m going with a full custom interior using the Sportsman2 side panels and Aviator seats. They are absolutely perfect and look SO good!

I’m not quite ready to install them just yet, but here’s a sneak peak at one of the seats.

Baffle and pushrods

Baffle and rudder pedals

Tonight I finished deburring all the baffle parts. It’s tedious because of all the unusual shapes and bends. I will go over it once more with a scotchbrite pad before final assembly.

I’m ordering my interior from Classic Aero Design and I needed to provide the distance from the firewall to the approximate location of my heels will be. This required installing the rudder pedals (which nothing is preventing me from installing permanently) and then sitting in the plane and measuring to my heels.

With the pedals installed, placed some cushions that were the correct thickness, and then sat in the plane. The distance from the firewall to my heels was approximately 10″. I hope this is the correct measurement. The seating position felt pretty natural, except I might need to boost myself up with some extra cushions.

Baffle and rudder pedals

Cables and wires

Today I spent a few hours working on the ELT DIN wire, which is the power, ground, and GPS serial Rx. This allows the ELT to transmit GPS location.

I soldered the shielded 3 conductor wire to the connector, insulated it with some silicone, then soldered the short 4th wire, which is connected to a small LED to test the gps signal. Once that’s verified as working, that short wire gets cut and insulated against cable coming from the connector.

I also measured and cut the coax cable for the ADS-B antenna. It’s routed through the center rib near the pitot tubing.

Here you can see the elevator bell crank in its forward most position. Plenty of clearance to everything routed there, and considering the way I have things secured there is no relative motion between the antenna, pitot/AOA tubes, and the surrounding structure. I then crimped the BNC connector on the other end and connected it to the module.

I then spent some time experimenting with the Engine Module location and sensor harnesses. Once I install the rudder pedals I can rivet the panel sub structure and begin systems installation. It will be temporary, just to make the wire harness, then things will be removed for the interior painting that I will do.

I also confirmed and placed the order for my interior. I am going with Classic Aero Designs in Oregon. They have some really nice options and custom colors.

I am going with an all leather interior, with their Aviator seats, with the headrest option. The seats also have my N number embroidered and an RV-7 logo. I am very pleased with the service and support that I got from Classic Aero. A few back and forth emails and one phone call, and everything was figured out and the order placed. I am very excited about this!

Cables and wires

Installed ELT and ADS-B

The goal for the weekend was to install the Vans ELT mount and the ELT in the plane. It’s mounted on the right side behind the baggage bulkhead. The Vans mount has you use blind rivets to attach the bracket on the stringers than run along the side of the fuselage. It’s extremely difficult to get the rivet squeezer into the right position to drive the rivets properly, but I managed. I also decided to install the ADS-B module on the same bracket because there was plenty of room.

Once I had everything in position I ran the wires through the conduit. This includes the harness for the ADS-B, the phone line for the ELT, the 3-conductor wire for the ELT power and gps, and the rg-400 coax cable for the ADS-B antenna. I somehow managed to fit everything through the two conduits I have running under the seats. Only thing left to do is attach the antenna to the ELT and the ADS-B. By closing those two units out, the tail is now completely wired! Everything else will be forward of the seats and under the panel.

Installed ELT and ADS-B


Happy new year!

Yesterday I got a box of hoses from Tom at TSFlightlines. First and foremost, I want to say that it was some of the greatest service I’ve had from any supplier during my project.

A couple weeks ago I sent an email expressing interest, and Tom immediately responded. A few back and forth emails and I was out in the garage measuring hose runs.

I put together a list of lengths and applications, packed up a box of my existing hoses that came with the engine, and shipped them to Tom.

Tom let me know he received my package and almost immediately he turned it around and shipped me my finished hoses. It was incredible service. I opened up the box yesterday, and in about 10 minutes, all the hoses on the plane were installed, everything lined up perfectly. It was one of the easiest things I’ve done thus far on the project. I will also say, the price for the hoses and service is incredibly reasonable and worth every penny. I highly recommend them!