Aileron actuation complete

Total hours: 883.3
Time on actuation since last time: 1.0 hours
Time on aileron actuation: 34.7 hours

Now that the flaps are done, we temporarily installed them and used them to adjust the aileron-to-bellcrank push-rods in order to neutralize the position of the ailerons. With this done we could also set the center state of the autopilot roll servo.

Aileron Actuation complete

Total time: 791.0 hours
Since last time:  21.7 hours
Aileron Actuation: 33.7 hours

Finished with the aileron actuation. This includes the Dynon Autopilot roll servo and the aileron trim servo. Nothing of any great interest to report. One error was creating two left torque tube assemblies. Not a big problem to fix. In one of the assemblies I simply drilled holes through the tube at 90 degrees from their original position and recreated the right torque tube assembly.

Then I was a little uncomfortable about the slightly short push-tube – the one discussed here (click here) because it seemed that too much of the rod end bearing was exposed after the bellcrank was set to its neutral position along with the torque tube assembly. So I ordered longer rod-end bearings and all is well.

Nothing exciting aside from that. We’re really making some good progress now. While waiting for some primer to dry we ran the conduit – which was not fun, by the way. But it’s done now. Technically, we still have one task left. We have to set the aileron to its neutral position, but this can’t be done until the flaps are complete. Not a big deal. We’ll mention it later when we install the flaps.

*Note that the Aileron servo linkage has not yet been torqued because I am waiting to get the ailerons neutralized first. Once that is done, the servo linkage will be torqued and torque seal applied.

Aileron actuation

Total time: 735.5 hours
Since last time: 12.0 hours
Aileron actuation: 12.0 hours

I decided to jump to the aileron actuation before finishing the lower wing skins. This will allow me the access needed to more easily make everything fit like the roll servo and the making sure the pitot tubing doesn’t interfere with the aileron push-rods or bell-crank.

It’s turned out to be a bit frustrating so far. In these steps there is a large diameter aluminum push-rod that connects a bell-crank with the wing-root and then a small diameter steel push-rod that connects the bell crank to the aileron itself. They both require being cut to size and then a “rod-end” being riveted to the ends. I used a tubing cutter to cut the aluminum tube and it slipped on one of the tubes causing a gash. I polished out the gash and cut that tube a hair shorter, making sure the rod-end rivets were beyond the minimum edge distance of where the gash was. I was planning to buy another length of tubing which would have been very expensive to ship because of its size. I came to the solution I did after speaking with Ralph Hoover (Tech. counselor). He probably saved me $100.00 in shipping alone. He also suggested I use Loctite 620 retaining compound on the rod-ends which I did.

Then came the small diameter steel tubing. I cut two lengths to size. Then drilled the pilot holes for the rod-ends. None of them were aligned properly. Although I did use a drill-press and and a home-made V-Block, I didn’t do it right and the holes did not go straight through. So I ordered another length of steel tube – and a professionally made V-Block. I cut two lengths to size and drilled good pilot holes. I primed and prepared the rod-ends, match drilled them, then I got out the squeezer and began to rivet the rod-ends to the steel tube. First tube all good. It was very difficult to squeeze because of the tubular surface but it worked. A couple rivets don’t look perfect but more than acceptable. Then to the second tube. First rod-end no real problems. Second rod-end, slip on the squeezer and a half smashed rivet shop end, completely unacceptable. I drill out the rivet which requires drilling from both ends, and with much banging and effort I get the very long rivet out. Install a new one and squeeze. Good. Insert the second rivet. Same slip on the squeezer and same unacceptable mangled rivet. Drill into if from both ends, pry off the heads, bang, bang, bang, bang with a punch to get rivet out. It will not come out. Drill more, and bang, and drill more, and bang. Finally rivet is out and the hole to enlarged. So I drill out the hole for a 5/32″ rivet (#19 bit) and “successfully” install a long 5/32 rivet. But because of the tubular surface the larger rivet head hangs over the edge. I try to squeeze the sides of the manufactured head down a little and cause a very oval and cracked shop head. Arghhh!

This last tube was probably fine but because of all the banging and not being sure that the 5/32 rivet edge distance was maintained on the inside, and because of just how ugly that last shop head looked, I just reordered the length of steel tube and a couple more rod-ends. They arrive and I cut a length to size and drill the first set of pilot holes. Arghh! I mess up the hole by mis-aligning the V-block. So from the latest reorder I cut another length of tubing. This time it all goes well. Finally. And that includes riveting which this time I did using my C-frame tool and my cleaveland back-rivet set. This all took me twice as long as it should have.

All in all it’s been a while since I had any really big flubs. I was overdue, I suppose. I hope to be ordering the Fuse kit pretty soon.