Main landing gear installed

To get started on the finish kit, we started section 46, with the main landing gear.

I started by figuring out how to mount the Beringer brakes, since their manual leaves much to be desired (plus there are two versions of the manual, and they contain different information!).

I started by using a reamer to enlarge the holes that match the Beringer spacer, put a bolt through those for position, then match-drilled the 4th hole:

Match-drilled Beringer spacer hole

The axle is aligned by a small lip in the inner surface that fits through the brake, and bushings make the bolts be positioned with some accuracy:

Beringer brake and wheel mount showing bushings

The whole thing then gets attached to that spacer, and the wheel fairing bracket:

Beringer brake, wheel mount and spacer

Beringer brake attachment to spacer

making the final assembly look like this (I'll tighten mine only after that bracket is done and primed):

Beringer brake and wheel mount assembly (not tightened yet)

I also added the Flyboy jack points, which actually fit well with the Beringer, requiring just longer bolts (which they provided after I said I was installing with the Beringer) and an extra washer:

Brake mounting before adding jack point attachment

Side view of jack point attachment

Bottom view of the jack point attachment, showing extra washer in place

Side (and upside-down) view of the jack point attachment

I then reamed the holes for the pin that attaches the Beringer bracket (the original plans call for a bolt through these, but Beringer uses a pin which is held in place by the wheel itself):

Attachment pin going through Beringer mount and gear leg after reaming

Attachment pin going through landing gear leg after reaming

We then went on to attach the landing gear legs, which were a major pain - for one, priming the inside of the gear mount was a big mistake, but even after removing that primer, it still fits very tighly, and took a lot of rotating back and forth with a lever and even a bit of help from our friend the rubber mallet:

Using a lever to rotate the landing gear leg into place

Landing gear leg in place

With that in place, I followed the instructions to final-drill the attachment hole - first to 19/64", then to the recommended 0.311" (7.9mm), which fits the bolt extremely tightly:

Landing gear mounts with legs in place

Ready to final-drill gear leg attachment hole

Attachment bolt is very tight in this hole

Removing them was, again, no easy feat, and I'm eager to put on the wheel bearing grease on the surfaces before final attachment, as that will make it a lot easier. The whole process left some scratches on the gear right leg, which (after checking with Van's) I had to smooth out:

Scratches on gear leg from fitting it

After sanding that, and applying a good amount of grease, we installed the gear legs for good (the grease made it so much easier!):

Final-installed main gear leg

Main gear leg bolt torqued into place

After deburring and a primer session (shared with other sections), it was time to final-install the wheels and brakes:

Primed parts, including the gear mounting brackets

I'm using the Cleaveland/Aircraft Specialty axle extensions, so I enlarged the hole in the Beringer axle nuts and installed those, drilling through the bolt to install the cotter pin:

Axle nuts with the Cleaveland axle extensions

Finally, with all this, it was time to start installing it all:

Gear/brake parts ready for mounting

Along the way, we realized that the jack point can only be installed after the brakes are in place, otherwise it leaves no room for the gear leg to go in:

Jack point gets in the way of the gear leg if mounted before installing

There was also some interference between the mount bracket and the gear leg which had to be trimmed away and re-primed:

Interference where the brake mount bracket hits the gear leg

After those corrections, we assembled the brakes and wheels/tires onto the landing gear for good:

Installed brake and wheel axle

Installed brake and jack point

Installed wheels and tired on both sides

As a last snag, the cotter pins that are supposed to secure the axle nuts were too thick for the pre-drilled holes, so I had to final-drill them larger. Beringer uses part number L-V-005, which in one of the versions of their manual I found out is a 3.2mm (about 1/8") x 71mm pin (hole size 0.141"), but the cotter pin included with the Cleaveland axle was a bit smaller (7/64", hole size 1/8"), so I went with that smaller one.

As for the rest of this section, both the engine mount and nose wheel are on hold until I order the engine, since Barret needs to modify the engine mount for their cold-air induction.

Time lapse:

Total engine mount and landing gear time: 13.1h

Empennage fairings started

We've been slowly working on section 12 in parallel with other tasks for a number of months.

We started by following the instructions to match-drill and rivet one of the elevator fairings:

Elevator tip fairing match-drilled in place

Elevator tip fairing riveted in place

Of course, only after riveting this first fairing did we realize that we should have removed some of the gel coat in the gap between the parts to make a smooth joint with filler - so we'll need to somehow do that later.

We drilled and trimmed the horizontal stabilizer fairings to clear the elevators:

Horizontal stabilizer tip fairing drilled in place

Progressively trimming the HS tip fairing to clear the elevator

HS tip fairing gap to the elevator

We also did most drilling and trimming of the empennage fairing:

Empennage fairing sitting in place

Empennage fairing with some holes match-drilled

I managed to find and drill the other holes using either the backlight trick (though I had to reduce the garage's lights to 1% for that due to the opacity of the gel coat), or with the strap duplicator:

Using the strap duplicator to match-drill the VS to the empennage fairing

Empennage fairing with all holes match-drilled

I then trimmed all the fairing's edges per instructions, which for the most part matched the scribe lines pretty well.

Empennage fairing with trimmed edges

Empennage fairing aft portion match-drilled to the tailcone and VS

Gap joint underneath the horizontal stabilizer

After trimming the edges, there are still some gaps between the fairing and the skins, which will have to be filled later:

Gap between the empennage fairing and the horizontal stabilizer skin

Gap between the empennage fairing and the vertical stabilizer skin

Since we're installing Aveo Ziptips, we have no reason for a light underneath the rudder. Unfortunately Van's doesn't make a rudder bottom fairing for the -10 without the light protrusion (they do for other RV models), so we had to remove that:

Rudder bottom fairing, with the protrusion marked off for removal

Rudder bottom fairing without the light protrusion

Next steps will include closing that rudder fairing opening, filling the empennage fairing gaps, opening up and countersinking the empennage fairing holes for screws, working on the rudder and VS top fairings (which right now are mounted on the plane, so pretty hard to reach), and laying fiber to close the HS and VS fairing rear openings.

Time lapse:

Total empennage fairing rivets: 22
Total empennage fairing time: 19.2h

Finish kit is here!

The finish kit finally arrived!

Finish kit box in the garage

I was told this box was smaller than usual, probably due to delaying the engine mount (so it can be shipped directly to Barrett for modification)

We of course unboxed it soon after:

Taking out fiberglass parts from the finish kit box

Wheel fairing hat

Doors (or as someone on Facebook said, "oh joy, doors!")

Opening up sub-boxes

Landing gear legs (those are heavy!)

Finish kit box all opened up

And then took some time to inventory and organize everything:

Tons of hardware from the finish kit

Organizing and counting screws by size (why do they have to mix them to begin with?)

I now have little excuse not to keep making progress :)

Time lapse: