Both doors attached

I started working on the cabin cover door flanges for the McMaster seal:

Cabin cover door flanges trimmed for McMaster seal

Cabin cover door flanges trimmed flush for seal

I had ordered a couple of different versions of the McMaster seal (just 10ft of each, the minimum they sell) to try out sizes, and it looks like the 1120A313 was the best fit, but I still need to adjust the gap from the door to be uniform before I confirm that:

Test-fitting the McMaster 1120A313 seal

Test-fitting the McMaster 1120A591 seal


I also took the opportunity to test fit the Airward reinforcement, and to my own surprise, the bolt holes were straight enough that it fit easily:

Bottom side of the Airward door reinforcement

Top side of the Airward door reinforcement

I then started the other door. I used the same technique, by cutting slots around the door to find the right depth (until the slanted part of the cabin cover shows), except this time I knew what to expect so I was much more aggressive in how much I removed, starting with the scribe line and going deeper in many of them:

Left door in place with "sighting" slots

Left door taped in place for drilling the hinges

Left door hinges attached to the door

After the doors were sanded to fit, there were only a few small flaws in the bonding of the door halves that will need to be filled:

"Air bubble" that was left when the doors were bonded

With this, after only about 40 hours of sanding, the hardest part of the doors (getting them to fit) is done!! Lots of finishing left, plus the latch mechanism, seal gaps, etc. Measuring the window heights on both sides, the difference was minor (about 0.1" in the front, 0.05" in the back), so I'm happy with the results.

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 40
Total cabin door time: 99.1h

Control systems mostly done

We completed most of the control system assembly, starting with riveting and adjusting the pushrods:

Elevator pushrods riveted and adjusted for length

Safety wire to secure forward pushrod to control column

then installing the pushrods, control column and sticks:

Control column installed in place

Pushrods attached to elevator idler arm

Attaching sticks and pushrods

Sticks and pushrods installed

Finally, I was seeing some interference between the center pushrod and the tunnel hole, so I (at least temporarily) added some grommet edging to prevent having to touch up the primer there - if that turns out to be beyond the limits of the stick when everything is connected, I can easily remove it.

Center pushrod hitting the tunnel hole edge

Tunnel holes with grommet edging installed

With this, the only steps left from this section are to final-adjust the pushrod lengths (with the elevators actually connected) and torque the remaining bolts. Since I may still make changes to the battery mount (which houses the bellcrank), I'm leaving that for later.

Time lapse: 


Total control system rivets: 37
Total control system time: 15.2h

Flap system done

With the last bit of section 26 out of the way, I completed section 40 by actually installing the flap motor. This required some trimming of the angles so the motor doesn't interfere with them when it moves:

PH flap motor brackets put together temporarily

A test run of the motor showed only minor adjustment needed to the rod end, and it was exciting to see something moving in the plane:


I made the spacers for attaching the motor rod end, and drilled the safety-wire hole at its tip (not strictly necessary since the tip doesn't try to rotate/disengage the bearing like the stock motor does, but it's added safety anyway):

Spacers for attaching motor rod end
Safety wire hole drilled through actuator head

Actuator head with attachment hardware


Finally, I picked the proper spacers from aluminumspacers.com for the motor - I ordered pairs of a few different sizes, but ended up using the 5/16" ID / 1/2" OD / 15/32" long ones:

Spacers for attaching motor

With this, I'm now going to sell the original flap motor (any takers?):

Stock vs PH flap motor

To actually install the flap motor, I also had to secure the TAS cable around it, which I started by running the cable to check its path:

Running TAS antenna cable near flap torque tube

TAS antenna cable running through tunnel around flap motor area

TAS antenna cable reaching antenna, with connectors in position

This was not good enough to understand the cable bends and overall path, so I actually crimped one of the connectors to it:
Stripped RG-400 for QMA connector

Crimped QMA connector

Inner QMA connector conductor, which needs to be soldered

Using that one cable (and the other 3 connectors) to see a realistic cable path, we installed the Clickbond fasteners along the cable's route, and checked that it won't interfere with the pushrod:

Clickbond fasteners installed in place for TAS antenna cables

TAS antenna cable temporarily secured to Clickbond fasteners around tunnel

TAS antenna cable temporarily secured and connected to antenna underneath pushrod

TAS antenna cable connected to antenna underneath pushrod

TAS antenna cable connected to antenna's far-end connector

TAS antenna cable secured to avoid flap crank

We were also wondering if it was ok to mount the control systems and flap motor at this time and still be able to install the antenna later, so we tried a mock install - turns out we can pass the cables out the hole, connect 3 of the 4 to the antenna and still get it back in place, with the last one being the only one that has to be connected through a tiny space around the flap motor and pushrod:

4 TAS antenna cables running through tunnel

Checking if the TAS antenna connectors can be secured from the outside

With this, after completing a large chunk of section 39, I finally installed the flap motor, mostly completing this section:

Flap motor installed in place

I'm leaving the final torquing of those last bolts, the safety wire and running the motor cable for later just in case I need to remove the motor to attach anything else in this busy section of the tunnel.

Time lapse:


Total flap system rivets: 0
Total flap system time: 20.2h

Right door fitting and Aerosport latch assembly

After a LOT more sanding of the right door edges (OMG will the sanding ever end?), we got to the point where they fit reasonably well within the cabin cover:

Lower aft corner of the door, sitting flush with the fuselage

Lower forward corner of the door, sitting flush with the fuselage

It was then time to attach the hinges. The parts were WD-1018-L/R and WD-1019-L/R, and the plans are slightly confusing about what "L" and "R" mean - they show L and R on the left door, but then no hint as to whether the right door is a mirror or the same. Facebook rescued me (they're the same - R is forward on the passenger side and aft on the pilot side), so I made 1/8" shims and drilled them into place:

Labeled door hinges

Door hinge positioning shims

Door hinge in position for drilling

Door hinges attached to cabin cover

With the door in place, we finally match-drilled the hinges into it:

Door trimmed to fit sitting in the cabin cover

Preparing to match-drill the hinges to the door

Door swung open on its hinges

Hinges bolted to the door

Door sitting flush with the cabin cover

I also got to work on assembling the handle/latch mechanism (for which Ed's video is extremely helpful, except they mount the e-ring on the opposite side - seems to be an older version of the same kit?):

Door handle plates with nutplates riveted 

Handle aseembly with handle plates, spur gear and Aerosport inner ring

Handle mechanism attached to delrin spacer, strike plate, lock and cam

Trimmed lock cam to rotate freely

With this, the handle and lock mechanisms work!


Finally, I trimmed the openings and edges of the Aerosport door handle cover a bit, to fit better and to not interfere with the latch spring when mounted:

Enlarged handle cover hole to not interfere with spring

Some additional trimming of the covers will still be required to fit the lock.

Now on to repeat all the cutting and sanding for the other door...

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 40
Total cabin door time: 84.9h