Door trimming progress

I did the initial trimming of the edges of both doors with the Dremel:

Trimming off outside door edges

All door edges trimmed off

Then started the real journey of fitting the doors - I started by making small notches with the Dremel, slowly making them deeper until I reached inner surface of the cabin cover all around the door:

Notches around door to find proper trimming depth

Door in place after initial trimming

After this I trimmed off the index hole "flaps", and now I have a TON more sanding/trimming ahead to get the doors to actually fit in the cabin cover. Sand, try it on, still doesn't fit, take it off, rinse, repeat - that's my life now :)

In the meantime, I also 3D printed the door strut placeholder, which will be used for drilling the gas strut attach brackets into the door:

3D printed gas struct placeholder next to the actual gas strut

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 32
Total cabin door time: 69.6h

Baggage door mostly completed

With the baggage floors riveted on, I moved to the next section, riveted the door hinge frame, and attached the door (using the split pin mod that others have also used):

Baggage door installed in place

Door attach pin, split in the middle and folded into the door

Baggage door strike plate


Door seal applied around the door borders


The only thing left on this section is to attach the left baggage cover, which I'll do later along with the section 35 panels.

Time lapse: 


Total baggage door rivets: 173
Total baggage door time: 14.3h

Rear seat floors and mid seat rails installed

Along with installing the baggage floors, I also installed the rear seat floors. I started by painting the seat belt attachment points, which I hadn't before for some reason:

Painting the protruding rear seat belt attachment points

Then protecting the conduit hole so the conduits don't get damaged by the edges:

Grommet edging to protect the rear seat floor conduit hole

And finally, actually riveting the floors, which was kind of annoying to do without getting inside the plane (which I'm avoiding since it's still on sawhorses):

Riveting the rear seat floors

Riveted rear seat floors

The mid seat rail support doesn't really have attachment instructions (an omission in the manual), but since this section calls for installing the seat floors over them, I also installed them at this time - they were a royal pain to get bolted down and torqued, and required 3 hands and a lot of contortionism:

Mid seat rail installed in place

I'm starting to look at my interior options so I can work on the other cover panels.


Time lapse: 


Total access cover and floor panel rivets: 516
Total access cover and floor panel time: 31.7h

Baggage area conduits and floors installed

The baggage area is mostly complete! It was also great to get a break from sanding fiberglass.

I ran and temporarily attached all the conduits underneath the rear seat and baggage floors:

Conduit run through side walls and underneath baggage floors

Conduit run underneath rear seat floors and baggage floors

Conduit runs underneath baggage floor and into tailcone

Right-side conduit runs underneath rear seat floor and baggage floor

Conduit going underneath step and being tied away from the bolt

After over a year waiting, I finally received the GripLockTies that will fit through the Clickbonds, so I got to work attaching the conduits:

GripLockTies are here!

Conduit runs attached with GripLockTies

I then proceeded to install and rivet the floors:

Rear seat and baggage floors being lowered into place

Baggage floors fully riveted

The right floor angle definitely requires two people to rivet:

Right baggage floor angle riveted in place

And, finally, I riveted the door channels:

Door channels and cover riveted in place

With this, I can actually install the baggage door.

Time lapse:


Total baggage area rivets: 635
Total baggage area time: 55.7h

Empennage fairing progress

I continued to make slow progress on the various fairings - I got the rudder top fairing ready to rivet:

Rudder top fairing match-drilled and clecoed in place

Backing strip attached to rudder top fairing

For smoothing the face of the elevator fairing and filling the pinhole, a nice layer of resin with cab-o-sil was used, followed by patiently sanding down to 2000 grit:

Elevator fairing with tons of pinholes to fill!

Elevator fairing after filling pinholes

We glued foam to the horizontal stabilizer fairings, and proceeded to mold it to be slightly concave to preserve the gap from the elevator fairings. The vertical stabilizer fairing didn't need that and was just flat:

HS fairing with foam plug glued in place

Sanding foam to fit the HS fairing

Concave-sanded foam plug for the horizontal stabilizer fairing

VS foam plus, which was mostly flat

Adding a layer of fiber to it was easy, but removing the foam afterwards took a bit of work, first cutting chunks off, then sanding, then cleaning up the remaining bits with acetone:

Layer of fiber applied to the HS fairings, following the shape of the foam

Removing bits of foam from the HS fairings

Remaining little bits of foam on the layer of fiber

Layer of fiber after cleaning with acetone

I last-minute decided that I wanted to use screws to attach the vertical stabilizer fairing (since I'm running conduit up there, may as well make it easy to install something - be it a camera or a NAV antenna if the Bob Archer one doesn't work well), so I added those, but of course overlooked the fact that I didn't have any K2000-06 nutplates for the last hole, so that'll get finished and glued on later:

Vertical stabilizer fairing backing strip with nutplates for attaching with screws

I then added the two layers of fiber to the inside of each of those fairings. Working in that tight space was not the easiest and getting the fiber to not fold on itself required some contortion, but it worked out well:

Tip fairings atop fiber layers to be added to their inside

Tip fairings after adding the inside layers

Next will be finishing the outside face of those layers, attaching them to the stabilizers, then smoothing the joint so there's no gap. After the above steps I'm also able to detach the HS and elevators, and finish drilling/tapping the holes underneath it.

Time lapse:


Total empennage fairing rivets: 116
Total empennage fairing time: 65.2h

Joining doors and drilling Aerosport handle holes

We finally joined all the door shells, which was actually pretty easy:

Adding resin to the Parabeam fiber between the door shells

Door shells clamped into place to give their final shape

There were a few mistakes on the first door - for one, I forgot to cover the pin block holes with some tape, so a lot of resin leaked out of them and had to be cleaned up:

Resin that oozed out of the pin block holes

Pin block holes after sanding out the excess resin

Pin block holes on left door, covered with tape this time

Also, the reinforcement blocks weren't really attached to the outer shell, so we used a chip chaser to push resin into that small gap, and that actually turned out well (minus having to carefully clean the chip chaser with acetone afterwards, of course).

Reinforcement blocks not attached to the outer shell

Reinforcement blocks after adding resin and sanding

I also started turning the door into swiss cheese by drilling the holes for the Aerosport low-profile handle, and making sure the parts fit properly:

Holes match-drilled for installing the Aerosport low-profile handle

Test-fitting the exterior Aerosport parts

Test-fitting the interior Aerosport parts

Since on the first door it was clear that the thinner layer of resin hadn't been enough to attach that latch recess to the outer shell, on the second door we added a thicker layer with cab-o-sil (just like on the edges of the door). I then filled the gaps in the first door with resin using a curved-tip syringe, which made a decent mess, but one that was easy to clean up:

Gap between the latch recess and the outer shell

Puddle of resin after filling the gaps between shells


Finally, I countersunk the flush screw holes:


Next will be the long task of trimming the door edges until they fit perfectly.

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 32
Total cabin door time: 60.1h