Hot times…Welding

This fuselage had two “Butt welds” which are NOT approved by 43.13 so Brent Henneman helped me get those sleeved.

We ground done the butt welds smooth, then used the 30 degree slice method to fix these properly.

I’m not real happy with having these sleeves here on the bottom as it will make the cover material look bad, so I may make some aluminum flashings to make the cover look better.

Cables and more

Well today I worked on prep work for installing control cables.

Inspected the Aileron cables (I have two sets) and both were defective. One was showing broken strands near the ball swage. So I ordered new ones.

Cleaned and inspected Rudder cables and they passed. I will be using CRC SP350 to lubricate and protect them as it is MIL-C-16173 approved.

Also (dry fit) installed the top birdcage with the use of clecos. It’s nice to see things going on!

Control Column rebuild

OK, Rule #1, MARK ALL PARTS as you remove them! I failed to do that, as I assumed, they were all the same.

Turns out the Pulleys where the aileron cable attaches are different, however there are no markings on the pulleys themselves.

I did pull the Pulleys off, remove the control yoke bushings and universals. The Pulleys were sandblasted, primed and painted. The bushings were cleaned and the universals were inspected and cleaned.

I did order some new pulleys (Phenolic ones) as they are cheap and easy to change now.

I’m expecting the Control Coumn to come back from powder coating this week and I plan to re-assemble and install the control column this week end.

Next will be the Rudder pedal assymembly.

Below are some pics and the chart of parts for the Control Column

Oratex cost comparison

SO if you have been following my posts, I’m interested in the Oratex product which is a pre-pigmented STC’d covering that once you install, you are DONE.

The value is lighter weight, stronger, but mostly NO PAINTING, which means I don’t have to move the wings and fuslage to a paint booth and pay someone to paint.

Is it worth it? Well that is a question I’m going to struggle with. The quote from Air Tech including paint, is abut $3800. The Oratex quote is about $8700. Two times the cost. Is that work not paying someone to paint?

I mean I’m still going to have to paint all the metal parts, so there will be paint costs, but not the BIG pieces like wings and fuslage.

Shop Stuff

Busy day in a cold hangar, (well Texas cold 35’). Even with the blow heater it was not great.
Anyway bought a new large sandblast cabinet from “FB marketplace” for $100. I did put it on casters and raised the height by 4” bc I’m 6’6” tall.
Also build a spray booth by cutting 4×8 sheets of insulation and duct tape, total cost $22. I’m going to use a box fan and filter to help move the air.
My first thing in the San blaster was the aileron pulleys from the control column. I expect the control column back from the power coating company soon and all new bearings and pulleys.

I also measured the P/N 41001 pulleys for the Rudder cable AD also. I would like to find a match that is less than the $150 per pulley that Univair wants for the 41001.

New home

Well the Fuselage from Germany is now in my hangar, and its ready to start bolting parts on to it. Its defiantly a turning point in the project as you feel like this is the point to move forward.

Bad “Boot Cowl”

Well its obvious that the Boot Cowling took a lot of damage during the groundloop in 1987. The side skins have been patched at the bottom and there was a lot of bent metal.

Today I started taking off all the various pieces so I can get this estimated for repair.

I think I can get the two side skins cut locally for far less that Univairs cost of $280 per side. The two smaller side pieces on the bottom of the “Tunnel” are only $85 each and I think that may be worth it because of the bending required to remake them. I am also missing the tunnel cover and its $160 from Univair.