On this first day of 2021, I went down to the cold hangar and worked on the Kydex fitting. I focused on the forward kick panels. I also shot this short video to cover the Kydex work to date.
Time to start working on the brakes. I took the temporary tires/tubes off today and started prepping for the new parts.
I used a space heater to heat up the wheels so I could get the old wheel bearing races out and new ones installed. I’m installing new FAA/PMA Timkin races P/N 13889 and bearings P/N
I cleaned, inspected and painted the wheel halves. I need to let them dry before I reassemble.
I now have the opportunity to install the Cleveland brakes that I inspected and cleaned about a year ago.
This is what the gear leg looked like when I started.
Really looking forward to adding all these pretty new parts!
The original firewall blanket was old, greasy and didn’t even cover the full firewall.
I did a lot of research on various material to cover the firewall to protect against, heat, flame and sound.
I really liked a material from Aircraft Spruce, but of course it was not FAA approved.
I send a few pieces to a DER for testing and get the test report so now it IS approved on my aircraft.
I cleaned the firewall, cut the material and used 3M V77 adhesive spray to attach it.
I have begun building the substructure to support the Kydex in the interior. I’m using 1/16” aluminum angle and flat stock. Those angles and flat stock will be held in place via adel clamps around the fuselage tubes.
In each of those I’m installing #8 nut plates every 4”. This will hold the .040 Kydex in place.
I started dreaming about what the final product would look like, so I used my daughters ability to do digital drawing to play with paint schemes.
As you know I’m coving the aircraft in dark blue oratex fabric, so I started playing with White, Silver and Black as trim colors.
I also found a great site called www.aerographics.com that makes vinyl decals you just stick on the aircraft.
Below is the design I think we are closing in on. Note the Big “S” on the tail for Stinson!
Today I had the kiddos at the hangar helping me get the TOP BOW Assembly cleaned.
Before cleaning, I noticed that the “Tails” of the upper structure, where it joins the fuselage were both cracked, so I needed to make some quick patches to re-enforce that area.
We cleaned the aluminum with Eco Clean from Stewarts which helps remove dirt and grease. Over the next few days I will use the Stewarts Eco Etch, then alodine to prevent corrosion. For good measure I will also paint the assembly.
I have said from day one, this will NOT be a traditional Stinson 108. In fact, I want this to be a modern day twist on a classic aircraft. Of course in certified aircraft I can’t go crazy, but I would like to think of this aircraft being a kind of Next Generation.
That new mindset also made me consider renaming the aircraft. For 74 years she had been known of N97954, but if we are going to make a change, the a new name is required.
I did some searching on the FAA site for a new N number, but I’m sure you can imagine, the FAA site is not well setup for searching. I found a great site on an RV builders site called www.tailnum.com
On that new site, I found the new N number for my Project which has now been registered and mine.
I have really liked the patrol door look and since I had an extra set of doors I thought what the heck!
There are two types of doors, framed and stamped, N97954 originally had the framed doors, but the parts I bought in OK had Stamped.
So I cut the cut the bottom panel out, then sanded the doors down and then some light body work.
I should have done this first, but I did a dry fit and the fit very well.
I did have to add some small body work as the doors were a little beat up over 70 some years.
Next will be ordering the dark tint plexiglass. The bottom will be held in with a seal on each side of the glass, and use of backing strips and hardware.
The upper window was originally a two piece window that slid, but I’m going with a one piece window and a Piper like flap window