Soda and patterns

Today, the weather in Dallas was PERFECT, so I got out the Harbor Freight soda blaster and worked on the light surface corrosion inside the vertical stabilizer. Only took about 45 minutes and a lot of dust, but the inside looked great after. Later I took it down to the airport and sprayed the inside with Zinc Chromate Primer (after flushing with water and drying of course).

I also “Dry fit” the OLD cargo floor and front wall to evaluate using aluminum to replace each and the use of Oratex as a side wall covering. I came to the conclusion that I may want to go with the original cargo canvas material, because if I cover the entire cargo area with Oratex, then getting into the aft fuselage may be difficult. I may use a local upholstery company to remake the cargo envelope.

I watched a video on YouTube about using this material used to protect new floors as a great thickness of cardboard to make patterns. Well I gout out my floorboards and made patterns. I plan this week to go to a local meta sales store and see if I can buy aluminum plate that is waste from drop cuts.

Considering everything from diamond plate, to smooth aluminum with anti skid material. Also considering either powder coating or cadmium plating. Stay tuned.

Oratex decision made

Tonight I also made a decision on Oratex. I decided to use the dark navy “Corsair” blue for the exterior and Bright Silver for the interior.

Yes, I plan to use Oratex for all the interior covering, it will be very light and provide more space is it is expressly thin, yet strong. Also easy to install inspection plate and such.

I tried to estimate some rough material needs with some measuring tonight. The material comes in two widths, 42” and 71”. Then you purchase in 1 meter linear lengths.

The 42” wide runs about $68 per liner meter.

Glamor Shot!

I was out at the hangar tonight, working on Brake master cylinders and the Cleveland calipers. I put the fuselage out of the hangar in the grass so I could have more room to work. Well the Sun set was nice and I thought I would take a Glamour picture.

As she sits here, she has all new control cables installed with all new Pulleys. Also rebuild control column and Dual brake / rudder pedals.

Working on Floorboards and Brake lines now, next will be 1/2″ fuel lines and selector.

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!

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.