Today I had my friend Norio over to help me out a bit on the project. After a few hours of catching up and some good bbq we spend some time in the shop. No pictures tonight, but we got the final wing skins dimpled and nearly ready to install. Left to do is a bit more edge finishing and then riveting.
Today I installed my beautiful MT propeller! It’s a huge milestone!
I received it last Thursday, and I had to finish a couple other things that needed to be installed behind the starter ring, namely the alternator mounting bracket. I also took this opportunity to pull the starter and grind off the mounting boss that was interfering with the intake snorkel.
Here you can see it after I ground it down. Now the snorkel can fit without and modification.
I then took my time installing the prop. The mounting bolts can only turn a couple turns at a time before having to wiggle the prop and tighten another one.
Once I got them all tighten I torqued it by hand for now, but MT calls for 65ft-lbs if torque on the bolts and then safety wiring them in pairs. I will do that later just in case (I really really hope not) I have to take the prop off again.
It’s just so cool to look at.
I just had to test fit the top cowl, it’s still high by about 3/4 of an inch, it’s sitting on the baffles, which I have yet to modify. Now that the prop is on I can start with the cowl fitting and then continue working on the baffles.
And of course…Happy Mothers Day!
Today it was Christmas in May! I got my prop delivered by American Propeller out of Redding, CA. I ordered a three blade MT Prop. It’s a composite, constant speed propeller.
Tracy from American Propeller did a great job unloading it from the truck and placing it in the shop.
I had to make some room (still have to clean up a bit) to put the prop on the table. I will install it for the first time this weekend. here’s my hand on the widest part of the blade for comparison. It’s a 72″ diameter prop.
I took the spinner off and man is that some gorgeous machining and fabrication.
I’m thoroughly impressed with MT prop and I’m sure the performance will match.
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.
The metal work on the baffle is one of the most complex parts of the plane. I started out tonight by continuing on the right aft baffle.
I prepped and riveted all the doubler plates.
Here are the doubler plates riveted to the #3 cylinder baffle. I also riveted on the heat muff air intake and screen. The stock intake from vans is quite flimsy. I might replace it with something stronger.
I’m waiting to rivet the side and aft baffle parts together before final fitting on the engine.
I then riveted the doublers on to the #1 and #2 cylinder baffles and test fitted them onto the engine.
It’s starting to come together. I then began fitting the forward intake ramps and reinforcements.
I’m using a custom prop oil line from TS flightlines so the hole for the oil line will have to be slightly larger.
Here you can see a test fit. I’ll have to crest a custom gasket to go around the hose to ensure no relative movement. There’s a small amount of roof around the hose, but I’ll have to open it up a little bit.
Today I spent about five hours working on the engine baffle. It’s a very complex set of parts that connect and wrap around the engine.
I started by using the oil cooler doubler (fat right) to cut a hole in the aft baffle. You can see the part with the hole and the rivet holes match-drilled. I then clecoed the parts together to ensure everything was aligned.
I also installed the mounting screw doublers and the reinforcing rib.
Here’s the back of the baffle. The oil cooler doubler and oil cooler mount here. I then test fit the baffle section to the engine. Everything lines up nicely. I also mounted the oil cooler to ensure everything can fit. The two oil hoses will attach to the inside of the oil cooler.
Here’s the inside of the baffle where air will pass through the oil cooler. I mounted the cooler high enough to ensure the most air flow. If I need to restrict it because it’s running cool, I can also cover part of the cooler.
Here’s the oil cooler mounted to the baffle. The oil hoses are then attached to 90deg fittings into the cooler.
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.