Wingtip trimming and countersinking

I trimmed the wingtip aft portions to give the right spacing to the ailerons:

Markings of the minimum distance required from the aileron, before trimming

Trimmed wingtips with clearance from the aileron


I then countersunk all the hinge attachment holes for flush rivets, and the forward and inspection panel cover screw holes for #6 screws:
Wingtip with countersunk holes

Now I need to wait for Aveo to send me the fiberglass ribs (they're taking some time), glass those in, make the delrin block for securing the hinge pins, and then add the static wick attachment (probably with nutplates on a backing strip and a bonding strap to the rib). I also still need to prime the hinge spacers (except those that will bond the Archer antenna) and rivet the hinges in place.

Time lapse:


Total wing tip time: 45.9h

Cabin cover finishing

We've been doing the tedious job of filling and sanding the cabin cover, and getting the gaps around the console to be flush with it where it doesn't get covered with headliner.

Filling the forward conduit cover

Initial result of filling the forward conduit cover and console surroundings

Initial filling of the center portion to make a smooth ramp

Aluminum tape turned out to be quite a lot better than packing tape to protect the console, as it's easier to make it conform to the shape and stay put:

Applying aluminum tape to the overhead console

Filling the gaps around the overhead console

Result of filling the gaps around the center console

Next is...more sanding and filling :/

Time lapse:


Total cabin cover rivets: 64
Total cabin cover time: 102.1h

Cabin cover forward conduits

We started attaching the forward conduit for bringing wiring up to the switch pod and center console. First, I "carved" the forward flange a bit with the Dremel to make the conduit fit, then glued it with resin:

Gluing the forward conduits to the cabin cover

On the tips, I knew I had to avoid the wires coming out right into some screws, so I lifted the conduit slightly with some foam:

Tip of the right forward conduit, with a foam spacer to lift it

Forward conduits glued in place

To make a lightweight mold around the conduit to cover it, we epoxied some small foam blocks, then carved them to the right shape:

Foam blocks glued to the forward side of the forward conduits

Trimmed forward blocks to give shape to the forward conduit conver

In parts where the conduit was almost level with the rest of the cabin cover, we just covered it with some epoxy+microballoons, and on other parts we also use some more foam, which was then also cut to shape (to keep the whole thing tangent to the cabin cover surface):

Filling and gluing foam atop the forward conduits

Untrimmed blocks covering the "top" of the forward conduits

Trimmed foam blocks giving shape to the forward conduit cover

We then laid up fiber on that, sanded, and started filling it to make the height and angle be constant across the whole edge:

Peel ply applied after laying fiber onto the forward conduit and foam

Fiber laid onto the forward conduit and foam

Filling the gaps and smoothing the forward conduit cover

Finally, we also started filling the edges around the overhead console, and adding a smooth ramp just aft of the door openings (since that part is still visible, as it's forward of the headliner):

Filling the gap between the cabin cover and the door opening edge

Next comes the tedious work of finishing all the fiber and resin to look smooth.

Time lapse:


Total cabin cover rivets: 64
Total cabin cover time: 92.6h

Wheel fairings started

I've been very slowly following the wheel fairing steps, starting with making sure the two parts of each match:

Mating the forward and aft wheel fairing parts

Joint between the forward and aft parts, after sanding to make them fit well

then drilling holes at the right positions to join them:

Wheel fairing parts match-drilled and clecoed together

Getting it aligned properly is a royal pain - they tell you to draw a straight line through the center of the aftmost plane, but it's not a plane at all, it's curved in every direction, and getting it all aligned to even mark a centerline takes some effort:

Wheel fairing with center line drawn through it

Wheel fairing with center line drawn through it

I added shims to the wheels to keep the brackets in place, and added the recommended shim block on top of the tire:

Wheel brackets with shims keeping the distance from the wheel

Tire with spacer block on top

After quite a bit of trimming - mostly of the wheel opening - I got the aft part to fit as it's supposed to:

Right aft wheel fairing in place

The trimming around the tire opening is quite aggressive to get to this point:

Difference in the wheel opening between the original forward part (left) and the trimmed aft part (right)

Getting the two parts to sit in place was also quite a bit of work, which involved bending the bracket arms to keep the lower part of the forward fairing flush with the aft part:

Full right wheel fairing in place

Bottom part of the right wheel fairing not sitting flush between forward and aft parts

I also drilled the future nutplate holes on the bracket, initially just #40 so I can use sphere magnets to find the holes from the outside:

Wheel bracket with nutplate holes pre-drilled

Finally, I test-fit the nose gear brackets to check for any issues with the Beringer wheels (there were none):

Nose gear fork with brackets

Now the real challenge starts - getting the fairing properly aligned in all axes and match-drilling it to the underlying nutplate holes.

Time lapse:


Total gear leg and wheel fairing time: 12.5h

Left wingtip and NAV antenna

I repeated all the previous steps for the left wingtip and got the attachment hinge done:

Left wingtip match-drilled into place

Left wingtip with hinges attached

While I was at it, I also match-drilled the Bob Archer NAV antenna:

Left wingtip hinge and NAV antenna

Next I need to actually attach the ailerons to finish cutting the tips with the right clearance to them, prime the spacers/shims, and then I can start riveting the hinges.

Time lapse:


Total wingtip time: 39.7h

FWF kit is here

The FWF kit finally arrived, and was inventoried - almost everything was there. I did make a lot of exclusions, including many of the expensive items like alternator and governor, which explains the small box.

FWF kit 

Contents of the FWF kit

Full list of exclusions:
  • ES ALTERNATOR DELUXE - I'm getting a different one (plus the backup alt) with the engine
  • PROP GOV HZ IO-540 - I'm getting a different MT prop
  • CT BLK THROTTLE 47.5 - gonna use the throttle quadrant instead
  • CT BLUE VPROP 72.5 - gonna use the throttle quadrant instead
  • CT RED VMIXTURE 51.5 - the EFII System32 requires no mixture control
  • EA EXH 10 I(0)-540 - I got the exhaust from Custom Aircraft instead
  • Fuel and oil hoses (VA-102, VA-119, VA-133, VA-135, VA-138, VA-189, VA-190) - got the Aircraft Specialty hoses instead
  • VA-186 - already got this one with my fuselage kit
  • FAB-540 (air box) - getting the Showplanes induction instead
  • EA OIL COOLER 20006A - got the 2007X instead
I'll get started with the bits I can, but I'm still waiting for the engine.

Time lapse:

Wing tip attachment progress

I completed most of the attachment work on the right wingtip, including making and countersinking the hinge spacers, then trimming the remaining edges to just fit between the wing skin and the hinge.

Right wingtip after trimming, with both hinges attached

I then marked and drilled the wingtip inspection covers, and will later use Clickbond nutplates to secure them:

Wingtip inspection panel, marked and initial-drilled

Wingtip inspection panel match-drilled in place

I started work on the left wingtip, much the same way as the right:

Wingtip rib holes to accommodate light mounting

Hinges match-drilled from wing skins, including spacers and intermediate holes

Extended wingtip flange/jog for leveling the hinges

The left wingtip is not finished yet - once I get someone to help hold it in place for match-drilling from the wing skin, I'll be able to attach the hinges to it and finish up. The left wingtip also has one additional consideration - the Bob Archer NAV antenna which needs to have its ground plane extended through the hinges, so I'll need to remove some of the anodizing from those (probably parts of the bottom and the sides of the eyelets).

Time lapse:


Total wingtip time: 31.6h

Doors fully assembled

It was time to finish building the doors - starting with riveting the gas strut brackets:

Gas strut bracket riveted to the door

We painted them (primer, then Country Gray, then a layer of clear):

Painting doors

Painted door

It was then time to reassemble the door mechanism, this time permanently:

Door with latch mechanism and pull strap installed

Door with exterior handle installed

Door latch mechanism installed, showing green "latched" indicator

As expected, securing the rack pins through the hole was a major pain, especially since the handle covers actually interfere with it:

Installing pushrod/rack attachment pin with safety wire, through the tiny inspection hole

Before mounting the cabin cover and doors on, we painted the door "frame" to match the surrounding covers:

Painted mid-cabin deck and bulkheads

We also received the Cee Bailey's windows and windshield, so once the cabin cover is back on, I can install those.

Big box from Cee Bailey's

Next steps are installing the doors on permanently, and installing the transparencies - but that'll only come after the cabin cover is permanently on.

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 142
Total cabin door time: 184.9h