Tailcone mod riveting

We came back to the tailcone for a few unfinished items - notably, we riveted the NACA vents and the static ports:

Riveted tailcone NACA vent
Riveted static port

We then ran the static port tubing:

Static port tubing

It still needs attaching to the top brackets, which should be quick.

Time lapse:

Total tailcone rivets: 1858
Total tailcone time: 223h

Aileron trim attachment and wiring

Attaching the aileron trim servo to the pushrod is pretty simple, and involves marking the neutral position, then attaching a bracket 6 inches to each side:

Aileron trim attachment points in right torque-tube-to-bellcrank pushrod

The servos and pushrods will then be connected by springs.

For securing the servo wires, I used a Panduit RAMH-S6-D attached through the same screw as the servo:

Aileron trim servo connector attachment

This will keep the wires away from the moving side of the servo and can hold a connector in place. For the connector, I picked a mini AMP CPC 5-pin (1445820-11445829-3, 1445856-1) which has pins for the 26-gauge servo wires (770985-1770986-1). Those pins are 26-22 AWG, so I can just 22 on the other end and not have to deal with tiny wires.

Mini CPC for aileron trim servo

Crimped all the pins (it was slightly annoying, since the pin edges do NOT sit flush on the wire end of the crimper when the pin is this small), slipped on braided sleeving and some heat-shrink (just in case):

Aileron trim servo pins crimped

Inserted the pins into the receptacle and closed it up:

Cable coming out of aileron trim servo, with connector

Shell size 11 is small, but not that small (unfortunately shell size 8 only takes up to 4 pins, and I needed 5).

Full connector/receptacle pair atached to aileron trim mount

(and, for my own record, the pinout I used was 1,2-power; 3-green, 4-blue, 5-orange)

With this, the only thing left on the aileron trim is actually installing it in place and wiring it to the AP servo, which will come much later.

Time lapse:

Total aileron trim rivets: 16
Total aileron trim time: 8.1h

Aileron actuation complete

When I installed the ailerons in place, it became apparent that they were not aligned properly - the inboard end of both ailerons was catching on the bracket's rivets:

After consulting with Van's, this was solved by shifting it outboard a bit with another washer and shortening the spacer:

I then proceeded to installing the torque tubes and pushrods. I decided to do this before attaching the bottom outboard skin to make adjustments easier:

Torque tubes and pushrods attached
Template holding bellcrank in neutral position

Aileron near neutral position
The last part - adjusting the length of the bellcrank-to-aileron pushrods - required installing the flaps temporarily:

Flaps installed for adjusting the aileron actuation

then using them as a reference for the ailerons:

Aileron and flaps well aligned

Adjusting the bellcrank-to-aileron pushrods

I removed the ailerons, flaps and pushrods again after adjusting the pushrod lengths, but the only step left is to reinstall them after the bottom skin is riveted.

Time lapse:

Total aileron actuation rivets: 40
Total aileron actuation time: 22.1h

Fuel tank adjustment

In the last episode about the fuel tanks, we attached them in a hurry before moving, and some of the skin edges were still overlapping with the adjacent parts. I finally got around to removing the tanks, filing them down and reattaching. I also took the opportunity to torque their bolts properly.

Torque seal on the fuel tank bolts
This (finally, really) concludes the work on the tanks.

And of course, I couldn't have done it without my wife's help and support:


Time lapse:

Total fuel tanks rivets: 30
Total fuel tanks time: 21.9h

Testing Aveo Ziptip wingtip lights

I had received my Aveo Ziptips some time ago but never got around to testing the lights - I finally got a proper power supply and did it.

The Ziptip light assembly receives a standard TE CPC, and comes with the connector and some (test?) leads:

A peek inside the ziptip light assembly

Standard CPC with test leads

Since they reuse wire colors, I had to identify and label the different pins:

Labeled test leads
then temporarily splice the trailing-edge light wires:

Connected trailing-edge light wires

I didn't bother unwrapping the wingtips (not until I'm ready to work on them), so I was getting the lights through multiple layers of bubble wrap plus tape that covers the lenses, yet they were bright!

Landing light (the room wasn't dark, my phone adjusted this much to the brightness)
Right position light

Left position light

Trailing-edge light
Short video of the strobes:

Time lapse:

Total wingtip time: 1.0h

Wing ribs almost complete

Again the power of the quickbuild! However, the ribs had significantly more custom work than just what the plans call for - I wanted to run two conduits (power and signals) through the wing, plus pitot and AoA tubes.

To enlarge the pre-drilled wiring hole for a conduit, I followed Van's recommendation and enlarged them to the maximum of 3/4". I verified that I could get .81 conduit through the 3/4" holes using a scrap piece:

Checking that I can get the .81" conduit through a .75" hole.

To actually do the enlarging for the inboard ribs where both skins were already riveted, I used a 12" 3/8 drill extension (from Home Depot) and a unibit which had 3/4" as its largest size:

"The harpoon" - setup to enlarge rib holes

Deburring those holes was slightly annoying and required some contorting, but was doable.
Running the conduit through them, on the other side, was VERY annoying and time-consuming:

Conduit done on the right wing

Luckily, I recruited an intern (visiting friend) to do it for the other wing:


She looked happy on this picture - that's because then she hadn't yet realized how painful it'd be to run the conduit through the inboard section with the bottom skin already riveted on :) but she got it done anyway.

I chose to install the pitot tube one bay outboard of the aileron bellcrank (per previous post) and cut/bent/deburred/flared its tubes such that they'll go through the rib, angled such that they point towards the holes in the next rib:

Pitot and AoA tubes bent for passing through the rib.

In the process, I found that using a tube bender on these is a very bad idea - I tried to create a bend a little further down, and it created a kink, which made the tube break, forcing me to cut them a little shorter. Going back to the Garmin manual, I realized they were not 1/4", but rather 3/16", which explains it :/

Just in case, I protected that lightening hole so the tubes can't contact the ribs:

Grommet edging protecting the path of the pitot/AoA tubes

I drilled the second set of tube holes, for the AoA tube, using a combination of the extension shown above, long drill bits, a right-angle drill, and a snake drill (it was especially annoying to drill through the 3rd and 4th inboard ribs):

Pair of pitot/AoA holes next to the 

AoA tube holes through the ribs (not yet their full size)

Initial drilling the inboard AoA tube holes

Finally, I enlarged the holes to 3/8" (slowly, #40 -> #30 -> #21 -> #10 -> 1/4" -> 3/8") for the SB375-4 snap bushings and verified that the tubes run fine through those paths:

Pitot and AoA holes with snap bushings installed

Pitot and AoA holes just before the aileron bellcrank

Finally, I test-ran the tubes through the bushings and cut them to size (+slack):

Tubes running all the way to the pitot tube
Tubes reaching the pitot tube

I realized I don't have the proper snap-on tubing connectors for the root rib holes, so I'll need to order those.

For the second conduit, I didn't want to drill another large hole, so I used ClickBond right-angle cable tie mounts (CB4020V5N12-750):

ClickBond CB4020s for the second wing conduits
Wife examines the installed cable tie mounts

Row of installed cable tie mounts for the second conduit

For some reason, removing the Clickbond fixtures was really hard, and in fact some of the cable tie mounts came out when we pulled them and had to be re-installed.

Cable tie mounts with the fixtures removed

I ran the conduits and cut them to size (with a couple feet of slack) - it was amazingly easy compared to the first one, made me wish I had just done this for the other as well:

Second conduit running through the wing

The outer rib has no Clickbond for now - I'm leaving that for when the wingtip is installed, so I can figure out which side won't interfere with the wingtip itself. Also, if it goes on the inside, that'd interfere with riveting. Should be pretty easy to install it from the outside anyway.

Since the 2nd and 3rd inboard ribs have no Clickbond mounts (no good reason to, and it'd be quite painful to install in the tight space), I put grommet edging on those to prevent chaffing of the conduit:

Grommet edging on lightening holes that have no cable tie mount

I found the right position for the Garmin GAP-26 heatet pitot regulator, one rib inboard of the bellcrank:

Position for pitot heat controller

This position is close enough to the inspection hole but will minimize wingtip (NAV antenna/magnetometer) interference by keeping the high-current box further from the tip, and there's enough wire length to still reach the pitot tube. I match-drilled the box's holes into the ribs, then installed Clickbond CN614CR06P nutplates to hold it without interfering with the aileron pushrod:

Pitot heat controller in place

Clecos holding the pitot heat controller show that the nutplates won't interfere with the pushrod
Clickbond nutplates for attaching the pitot heat controller

Clickbond nutplates with the center shaft removed

When I test-ran the conduit, I also tried attaching the box and running the wire to the probe - the wire length is indeed good, and the run will be away from the pushrod:

Garmin pitot heat controller box with wires running to the pitot tube

Pitot heat wires arrrive at the pitot tube with good slack

In retrospect, given how much effort it was to get all of this through the inboard ribs, I probably should just have removed the inboard skin, done the work, then riveted it again - I still don't understand why Van's has to rivet that skin at the QB factory.

At this point, the only thing left related to the ribs is the root connectors (for both air and wires).

Time lapse:

Total wing ribs time: 13.2h
Total wing rib rivets: 0!!