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!


Big Cut

Today I spent a few hours in the garage working on the canopy. Goal for the day was to make the big cut.

I started by putting the canopy on my work bench and screwed down some scrap wood to hold he canopy in place. The whole cut took about 15 minutes, mainly because I had to wait for my air compressor to catch up.

I set up some space heaters under the canopy to keep everything nice and warm. Temp was about 85 when I made the cut.

The cut was nice and straight and I finished the edges with my file and some sand paper.

I then put the forward section back in the plane to check the alignment. With the top rear section lined up with my centerline, the sides shifted forward about 1/8th of an inch. This should relax back when I make the final cuts along the front of the canopy.

Big Cut


Last weekend I started on my canopy. I did the initial trim cuts to get rid of the clamping flange.

Here’s the canopy on the benches with the rear flange marked for cutting. I cut all four sides off.

Today I spent the whole day working on the canopy, trimming it to fit.

Here’s the canopy sitting on the plane for the first time. The forward flange is still very large and needed to be trimmed significantly.

I then made the first trim cut, and the canopy fit much better. It took a few iterations before getting the fit nice.

Here you can see a small 1/32nd inch gap on the side of the front of the canopy.

Here’s the center where the gap is slightly bigger, about 1/16th of an inch. I’m really happy with this fit, but needed to pull the sides in a bit. I cut a more gradual curve where the sides started curving in.

I then lined everything up, and taped the canopy in place for final measurements. I then laid out tape along the cut line for the “big cut”.

I’ll do this cut tomorrow.

I’m glad the canopy is fitting nicely. I was worried that the shape of the canopy was going to be tough to get right.

I will say it looks super cool, starting to really come together!


Canopy latch

Yesterday my friend Mina came over and helped me out with some canopy latch work.

We started by fitting the rear latch to the fuselage.

This is the latch spanning the width of the fuse. We clamped it in place and then back drilled the holes through the fuselage bulkhead.

Here you can see the two bolts through the bulkhead.

While Mina was working on the latch fingers and mechanism, I spent some time on the skin cutout for the latch.

This is the cutout beginning to take shape. I’ll need to finesse it a bit more to get everything to fit perfectly.

Here’s the latch lever attached to the rear latch mechanism.

Once I finish the skin cutout I will fabricate the push rod that attaches this lever to the latch.

Canopy latch

Canopy latch

Today I spent a few hours working on the canopy latch. I’m going with a latch from JDAir that is a nice machined aluminum.

I started by measuring and marking the side skin for the latch cutout.

It’s slightly different from the plans due to the thickness of the latch.

I then measuring and aligned the latch angles.

The notch in the top angle is for the ball joint that activates the canopy latch fingers. I’ll work on that tomorrow.

The thickness of the skin is 0.032″ so I installed the latch with that offset in order for the latch to sit flush with the skin.

Canopy latch

Canopy frame

Today I spent some time working on the canopy frame side rails and ribs.

Here’s the frame attached and pivoted forward to check the clearance. I then got the side frame pieces out and prepped those, along with the attach brackets for the frame.

Here you can see the side frame drilled and clecoed to the rib

And here is the side frame attached to the forward frame.

I then drilled the side brackets to both pieces.

The gap you see between the splice bracket and the frame on the left will be filled with a wedge.

This looks so cool!

Canopy frame