Fuel pressure regulator attachment

As the last firewall penetration (and start of the FWF fuel system), after lifting the engine and temporarily attaching it into place, I attached the Aircraft Specialty hoses to position the EFII/Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator:

Engine temporarily attached in place, still held by the hoist

Fuel pressure regulator attached to engine and firewall fittings to determine its position

At first I was having trouble finding a position and the hose seemed to short, until they pointed out that the hose can bend at a much smaller radius than I was trying, and then I found a good position, marked it, and then drilled the bracket holes (the holes are not accessible without removing the bracket from the regulator), and made a doubler:

Fuel pressure regulator doubler clecoed in place

Once that doubler (and others from the avioncis section) get riveted on, I can then insulate the firewall, re-attach the engine mount, and complete all the other FWF sections.

Time lapse:

Total engine fuel system time: 3.7h

Engine install actually started!

I ordered my engine from Barrett, and for a while they worked on actually putting it together and testing it:

Engine block after painting

Engine mostly assembled at Barrett

Engine and EFII System32 being installed on the test bench/dyno

They even displayed it at Sun n Fun before shipping it (with my permission, obviously):

Engine displayed at Sun 'n Fun (someone else's picture)

Did you notice anything wrong in the above photos that I received? Neither did I, at the time, and I was very happy to receive the engine:

Engine unboxing

Forward end of the engine

Aft side of the engine

Now wait a minute, what's that oil dipstick doing all the way at the bottom, next to the cylinder? That can't be right:

Oil dipstick, on the lower-right side of the engine (appropriate for helis)

Indeed it wasn't - and both I and Barrett failed to notice that the RV-10 baffles, cowling, etc. expect it at a different place (on top of the case), and sure enough, going through the older pictures above, I should have noticed it was missing. On the upside, they were really nice and had me ship the engine back on their dime, fixed it (which involved opening the case, having it machined for the right location, and then closing it back and running the engine for a little bit longer). I was pretty impressed with how easy they were to deal with (unlike, well, other vendors I'm dealing with...).

Since Airventure was close, I also let them display the engine at their booth again, and paid my engine a visit there:

Me and the engine at Airventure

So by this point, part of my plane has been to both Sun 'n Fun and Airventure, which I guess is a small achievement for a homebuilder? :)

In mid-August, I finally got the engine, this time with the dipstick in the right location. We got a shop crane, and finally lifted the engine in place for the first time (this time, just to see how it fits and where we can have firewall penetrations):

Lifting the engine into place

Engine clearance from the firewall and  mount, side view

Engine clearance from the firewall and mount, top view

When we did this, I also realized Vans sent me the wrong engine isolators as part of the FWF kit - two of them are a larger model that doesn't really fit - on another upside, they promptly shipped me the correct ones when I asked about it:

Two types of isolators received from Vans: the wrong one (left) and the right one (right)

With the correct ones, we test-fit the engine, and it was actually a lot easier to attach the bolts/nuts than I expected (just based on hearing others complain about it), and used that to finalize various locations on the firewall which are part of other sections:

Engine attached with isolators and bolts/nuts for determining firewall locations

Besides that, the larger 2007X oil cooler interferes with the engine mount, so like everyone that uses it, I had to trim the forward flange a bit for clearance (which means using a shorter bolt only on that hole):

Oil cooler with trimmed corner to clear engine mount

For the cabin heat cables, since they come from the Aerosport center panel and the back of the center console, I decided to use another doubletree TTP-S fitting (this one with two holes), and used my puzzle jigs to add another hole for it:

Jigs in place to drill a heat control cable fitting hole

Finally, I made a list of all the hardware I'll need for installing engine accessories, and ordered those, which made me realize how crazy expensive "certified" parts are, like this official Lycoming bolt (STD-2156) for only $35, used to attach the starter:

$35 Bolty McBoltface from Lycoming

I'm sure there's a non-official bolt that'd be just as good and cost only a few cents, but my knowledge is too limited in this area to take the risk.

Time lapse:

Total engine installation rivets: 43
Total engine installation time: 11.4h

Avionics attachment, connectors, and TAS ground plane

I made doublers for the firewall components (ANL fuse holders and EFII MAP sensors), and match-drilled them from the firewall:

Aluminum cut firewall doublers

Firewall doublers match-drilled to the firewall (they actually go in the cockpit side, but it was easier to drill from that side)

Finished firewall doublers

We then primed those (with high-temperature primer, it's a firewall after all):

Priming the firewall doublers

Firewall doublers clecoed in place

I also attached Molex SL connectors (with TPAs) to all the lights and door sensors:

Aveo lights and door sensors with Molex connectors

The B&C alternator came with the plug already wired, but I wanted to use a different color wire so I could more easily tell them apart on the panel side, so I got a new connector from B&C and redid it:

Backup alternator plug re-done with a black/white wire

I started the ground plane for the top TAS antenna, which will be embedded in the cabin cover - the minimum size is 9"x9", so I did 10"x10" which fits well in that space, and opened up the center hole to the inner diameter of the reinforcement tube:

First attempt at top TAS antenna ground plane

For the other antennas, I had doublers laser-cut, and for better grounding used press-fit nuts (for attaching the antenna) and press-fit studs (for connecting the doublers under fiberglass to actual ground):

Antenna doublers - Left: 2x GA-35 doublers, 1x GA-57X doubler; Center - GA-35 drilling jig, Stormscope drilling jig, GHA15; Right - O2 distributor backing plates, COM antenna doubler, TAS antenna doubler

For attaching the hall effect current sensors, I designed a couple inserts that lock into place, and had them MJF printed:

Hall effect sensor and attachment insert

There'll need to be a second revision, since with this design lock too well - it's really hard to lift all 6 locking arms while pulling it out (with 4 hands, we managed), plus the wire holes in the center were a bit too tight (that much was fixable without re-printing), and someone pointed out that I have no provisions to hold the connector in place which is true. With all that, this is the new version (yet to be printed):

Version 2 of the hall effect sensor attachment insert

Version 2 of the hall effect sensor attachment insert

The connector attachment on the sensors also needed a tiny bit of trimming so the Molex connector fits, both to the side, and a little bit on the mating surface of both parts:

Tight connector fit on the hall effect sensor

Still a lot left to do for avionics - installing all the other antennas, running wires down the sides, running wires down to the tunnel, and installing the panel in place.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 124
Total avionics time: 126.1h

Door edge attachments

While we were finishing the cabin cover edge, I carved little slots for the third-latch blocks to sit in (I preferred not trimming the block and instead having it sit against hard fiberglass underneath, than have it sit only against the micro/resin filling), then attached them in place after painting:

Slot carved into the micro for attaching the third latch block

Test-fitting third latch block into slot

Third latch block attached in place

I also attached the door pin blocks, with the sensors behind them:

Door pin block attached in place

Door pin sensor attached behind the door pin block

The main thing left on this section is, of course, final attachment of the doors (which I'll do after completing the TAS antenna install) and then the door windows. This is the longest section of the build so far...

Time lapse:

Total cabin door rivets: 142
Total cabin door time: 192.4h

Firewall control cable penetrations

We drilled the engine control cable holes for the DoubleTree TTP-S fittings, using a custom drill jig that I laser-cut in D2 tool hardened steel (I had no hopes of manually getting so many holes properly aligned on a stainless steel firewall):

Control cable eyeball fitting drilling jigs attached to the firewall

Drilling firewall control cable fitting hole with a unibit (and safety glasses! That's like a first for her)

Eventually, we realized this wasn't going to work well with a unibit (especially one that wasn't new or super sharp), and got a 1-1/8" hole saw, which did the job very quickly (backing the hole with a 1/8" piece of aluminum):

Engine control cable eyeball fitting, and hole for the second one

Engine control cable eyeball fittings viewed from the cockpit side

Time lapse:

Total upper forward fuselage install rivets: 62
Total upper forward fuselage install time: 23.0h

Rear seat vent and brace closeout

I installed the rear pax vent arm for the Aerosport panels:

Rear seat vent arm installed in place

We then finally attached the O2 fill port and Aveo baggage light to the seat back brace closeout, attached Clickbonds inside the seat back brace for tubes and wires, and riveted the closeout in place:

O2 fill port secured to the seat back brace closeout

O2 fill port secured in place

We then attached Clickbonds to the inside of the rear seat back brace, to secure both the oxygen line and (some distance from that) the baggage light wire:

Attaching Clickbond fasteners inside the seat back brace

With this in place, we also match-drilled and riveted the Aerosport baggage door gas strut, which holds the door open (I'm not using their baggage door cover, just the strut)

Baggage door gas strut installed in place

With this, the only thing left for this section is the final attachment of the remaining covers, which I can probably only do after the DAR inspection.

Time lapse:

Total access cover and floor panel rivets: 650
Total access cover and floor panel time: 54.4h

Ground plane, battery cable and firewall items

We ran the battery cable ftom the panel to the tailcone, and soldered the aft lug on:

Battery cable running forward to the panel

Battery cable arriving in the tailcone through the conduit

Continuing the cabin cover antenna work, we glued aluminum tape into the ground plane extension slots, and covered that with 3 layers of fiberglass:

Tailcone ground plane extension made with aluminum tape

Laying fiber atop the aluminum tape to close and reinforce the ground plane extensions

Tailcone ground plane extension with fiber laid on top

For proper bonding, we sanded the equivalent area on the skin, and used some Goo Gone to remove glue from the tip of the tapes:

Tailcone top forward skin with primer removed for contact with the ground plane extension

After riveting the tailcone top forward skin (part of the cabin cover section), I did some finishing to make the extension look flush with the cabin cover:

Finished tailcone ground plane extension

We then started the top TAS antenna (vaguely following what others reported here or here), by opening up a 1.5" hole on the cabin cover. Unlike others, though, I'm going to reinforce that spot as much as I can - with resin+flox on the sides of the hole, and a metal tube insert (to be held in place by the resin plus metal on top and bottom):

1.5" tube roughly trimmed for supporting the GA58 antenna hole

The GTS manual says that a 9"x9" plane should be sufficient if the antenna is in direct contact with it, and that area allows 10"x10", so I'll start with that and use the GTS ground test to verify.

We drilled most avionics-related firewall holes, including the ANL fuse holders, the grounding block and the MAP sensors:

ANL fuse holders match-drilled in place

Firewall holes for attaching the MAP sensors (left top), ground block (left bottom), EFII cables (right top) and ANL fuse holders (right bottom)

Still lots to do, especially around wiring engine-related systems, and starting to actually mount antennas and tailcone equipment.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 124
Total avionics time: 120.1h