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

Preparing the door mechanisms

I started getting the Aerosport handle and the PlaneAround center latch, by cutting the racks in half, then test-fitting all the parts together:

Door lock racks cut in half

Door lock mechanism on the workbench

Door lock mechanism mounted into the door

From the position above, I trimmed the forward and aft pushrods leaving only a couple inches sticking out in the "closed" position, then safety-wired the parts together:

Door lock pushrods and racks safetied together

We then attached the reinforcement blocks around the center latch position:

Center latch reinforcement blocks glued in place

As the last thing before joining the door shells, I decided to add the iflyrv10 door pull strap, so I made doublers for those. The included mounting hardware is kind of useless - they're very long 1/4" screws and nuts, which I wouldn't want inside the door). so I instead used nutplates for #10 screws (the AN520 series has the same head size as the socket screws they included). I attached them (using the same method as for the gas strut attach doublers) to the top-center of the aft part of the door, which will allow us to easily pull the door closed from the ground (without climbing on the wing just for that):

iflyrv10 door pull attachment block and backing doublers

Door pull doubler match-drilled to the door shell and ready to rivet

Door pull block in place over the door pull doubler

Door pull doublers with primer and nutplates

Door pull doubler epoxied in place

Door pull holes, as seen from the inside

Next, there'll be some more sanding to do (e.g. around the reinforcement blocks), and then we'll join the door shells.

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 32
Total cabin door time: 48.2h