FWF kit is here

The FWF kit finally arrived, and was inventoried - almost everything was there. I did make a lot of exclusions, including many of the expensive items like alternator and governor, which explains the small box.

FWF kit 

Contents of the FWF kit

Full list of exclusions:
  • ES ALTERNATOR DELUXE - I'm getting a different one (plus the backup alt) with the engine
  • PROP GOV HZ IO-540 - I'm getting a different MT prop
  • CT BLK THROTTLE 47.5 - gonna use the throttle quadrant instead
  • CT BLUE VPROP 72.5 - gonna use the throttle quadrant instead
  • CT RED VMIXTURE 51.5 - the EFII System32 requires no mixture control
  • EA EXH 10 I(0)-540 - I got the exhaust from Custom Aircraft instead
  • Fuel and oil hoses (VA-102, VA-119, VA-133, VA-135, VA-138, VA-189, VA-190) - got the Aircraft Specialty hoses instead
  • VA-186 - already got this one with my fuselage kit
  • FAB-540 (air box) - getting the Showplanes induction instead
  • EA OIL COOLER 20006A - got the 2007X instead
I'll get started with the bits I can, but I'm still waiting for the engine.

Time lapse:

Wing tip attachment progress

I completed most of the attachment work on the right wingtip, including making and countersinking the hinge spacers, then trimming the remaining edges to just fit between the wing skin and the hinge.

Right wingtip after trimming, with both hinges attached

I then marked and drilled the wingtip inspection covers, and will later use Clickbond nutplates to secure them:

Wingtip inspection panel, marked and initial-drilled

Wingtip inspection panel match-drilled in place

I started work on the left wingtip, much the same way as the right:

Wingtip rib holes to accommodate light mounting

Hinges match-drilled from wing skins, including spacers and intermediate holes

Extended wingtip flange/jog for leveling the hinges

The left wingtip is not finished yet - once I get someone to help hold it in place for match-drilling from the wing skin, I'll be able to attach the hinges to it and finish up. The left wingtip also has one additional consideration - the Bob Archer NAV antenna which needs to have its ground plane extended through the hinges, so I'll need to remove some of the anodizing from those (probably parts of the bottom and the sides of the eyelets).

Time lapse:


Total wingtip time: 31.6h

Doors fully assembled

It was time to finish building the doors - starting with riveting the gas strut brackets:

Gas strut bracket riveted to the door

We painted them (primer, then Country Gray, then a layer of clear):

Painting doors

Painted door

It was then time to reassemble the door mechanism, this time permanently:

Door with latch mechanism and pull strap installed

Door with exterior handle installed

Door latch mechanism installed, showing green "latched" indicator

As expected, securing the rack pins through the hole was a major pain, especially since the handle covers actually interfere with it:

Installing pushrod/rack attachment pin with safety wire, through the tiny inspection hole

Before mounting the cabin cover and doors on, we painted the door "frame" to match the surrounding covers:

Painted mid-cabin deck and bulkheads

We also received the Cee Bailey's windows and windshield, so once the cabin cover is back on, I can install those.

Big box from Cee Bailey's

Next steps are installing the doors on permanently, and installing the transparencies - but that'll only come after the cabin cover is permanently on.

Time lapse:


Total cabin door rivets: 142
Total cabin door time: 184.9h

Wing tips started

I finally got started on the wingtips.

Since I have one of the older Ziptip versions, Aveo has offered to replace my module with one that won't cause interference with the GTN's radio, so I removed those modules (which was pretty simple, but involved removing a pretty hard-to-reach screw) and shipped them to Aveo - we'll see how long they take to return those:

Ziptip light module attachment (and angle adjustment) screws

Position of the light module attachment screws, in a tight corner

Ziptip light modules after removal

For actually attaching the wingtips, I decided to use the hinge method, which is also described in Tim and Laura's, Mark's family part 1 / part 2Justin's and Mouser's blogs, as well as a Kitplanes article, using the extruded hinges (MS20001P4) from Spruce. I match-drilled the wingtips into the hinges:

Hinge match-drilled in place

I had to make a small relief/notch on the hinges because one of the J stiffeners was sticking out slightly:

J stiffener that just slightly sticks out beyond the wing tip rib

Also, since the original holes for screws are pretty far apart, I added intermediate holes for the rivets:

Intermediate holes drilled into wingtips and hinges

I also started trimming the wingtips by cutting the flange down to 1/2", which is the width of the skin that sticks out:

Wingtip flange marked for trimming

After this cut, the tips fit nicely on the wings, except that the light module attachment screws were hitting the rib - I used some torque seal to give me the exact interference points, then opened up holes on the ribs to accommodate them (apparently Vans is ok with that):

Torque seal on the light module protrusions

Torque seal markings where the light module protrusions hit the rib

Holes for the light module protrusions

With that, the tips actually fit all the way in, so I match-drilled them as well (which gave me matching holes on the hinges and on the tips:

Wingtip match-drilled into place

Fitting the hinges inside the tips (to match-drill the outboard hinge halves) required a bit of trimming:

Trimming the bottom inboard hinge to fit in the wingtip

Cutout to fit the top inboard hinge

It was also clear that the flange/job was about 0.05" taller than the inner surface of the tips, so to keep the hinges laying flat, I extended that by laying some fiber:

Fiber to extend the top wingtip flange

Fiber laid up to extend the top wingtip flange

Fiber layers for the bottom wingtip flange


With this, I finally clecoed and match-drilled the hinges:

Bottom hinge match-drilled into the wingtip

The next stripping step was to remove most of the flange where the inboard half of the hinges will sit (I had only kept it to have a reference for drilling). I didn't want the hinge showing up, so to keep a small bit of the jog I added some space beyond the edge, and made spacers for the inboard hinge that are slightly smaller than the 0.5" skin, leaving a small slot that the tip can fit into:

Trim lines giving some space to fit into the slot under the hinges

Spacers match-drilled to the hinges and machine-countersunk

Hinges with spacers in place on the wingtip

Next I have to add the same spacer to the other side of the right wingtip, and repeat the whole thing for the left (while also including the Bob Archer antenna).

Time lapse:


Total wingtip time: 15.6h

Fuel system started

I started the fuel system by making the TCW fitting spacers actually fit against the wing root fairing support - by trimming that support down to the hole edge, and then trimming the spacer to fit:

Wing root fairing support trimmed down to the fuel fitting hole

TCW spacer trimmed down to the wing root fairing edge

For the other spacers, Vans provided 6 of them, so I had to make another 2 (by just copying one of the 6), then I deburred and primed all of them:

Fuel fitting spacers (6 from Vans, 2 that I made)

All fuel fitting hardware ready to install

I drilled the firewall fuel return hole:

Firewall with an additional hole for fuel return

I also received the super-nice-looking hose kit from Aircraft Specialty, with the integral firesleeves for the FWF portion:

Aircraft Specialty hose unboxing

Aircraft specialty cabin hoses

I then installed all the cabin hoses that didn't require having the EFII system (which I'm still waiting for along with the engine itself):

Hoses installed under the seat

Fuel valve with hoses attached

Tightening the fuel valve fittings with Loctite 648

Valve with tightened fittings and (untightened) hoses

Valve with bracket center attached for installation

Actually attaching and torquing the hoses was actually a bit of work, given I had skipped ahead and done most of section 39 before - this would've been much easier without the pushrod in the way:

Fuel valve and hoses attached inside the tunnel

There was one small clearance issue, where I had to make sure to tighten a hose out of the way of the pushrod bolt/nut, but I'm not sure if this is a real issue after the elevators are attached, or if it just never moves this far forward:

Clearance between the elevator pushrod bolt/but and the left fuel supply hose

The rest of this section will involve installing the fuel pump hoses in the tunnel, and the fuel valve handle onto the center console.

Time lapse:


Total fuel system time: 7.8h