Monday, August 1, 2016

It's Been Awhile - Developing a Habit - Being Reminded

It has been some time since I blogged about my CX4.  To tell you the truth.  It's all my fault.  I have not been interrupted by family or obligations, work, or anything.  Just a shall we say, plateau in my building.  Mostly because of my self doubt in completing a project of this magnitude.

Everything I have read says do something every day.  That is how to complete an airplane build.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I have doubted my mechanical abilities.  Experiencing several set backs in my efforts to build parts from plans.  Instead of taking the goofs and mistakes as a learning process, I have let the failures turn into negative vibes.

Went to Oshkosh Airventure 2016 this past week.  Thanks to my loving wife Nancy for putting up with the experience.

But I feel re-vitalized.  Seeing all the beautiful homebuilt aircraft and the normal people that built them.   Talking to many of them.  I learned that just about everyone of them had experienced something like I have.  So I feel re-energized.  I hope the feeling lasts.  When I return home from Airventure I will have a new approach to my goal.

More to come -


Monday, April 14, 2014

Warm Weather Returns - Work Resumes

The weather is warming up.  I was able to spend a few hours in the shop this weekend.  First I had to clean up and throw out a bunch of junk that collected during the cold winter months.  That done I did the re-wiring for navigation lights that I mentioned in an earlier post.  I replaced the automotive grade 20gauge wire with Mil-Spec 18gauge wire per recommendations I found in other EAA and builder sites.  Including the information in the Tony Bingelis book "Sportplane Building Techniques"

I also used small tie-wraps to hold the wires together.  Hope that is a good idea.  I wanted to keep the wires in place somehow.  

Next I started drilling the top leading edge skin and attaching with clecos as I went along.

Slow going - drilling, measuring, drilling, de-burring and then cleco attaching the skins to rib.

Only seven more to go on this wing!

That's it for now - thanks for checking in.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Support the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act

As a life-long aviation buff and active commercial pilot I urge anyone that is interested in protecting this great freedom of personal flight to show their support by endorsing this law.  I hope you will join me in contacting your state congressmen and senators to express our viewpoint.

This legislation builds on the overwhelmingly positive safety aspects of the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category introduced in 2004 which permits pilots to operate certain types of aircraft with a valid driver's license in lieu of a traditional medical certificate.  The category and its medical certification standard have been a resounding success, and there is no significant difference between the medically-related incident rate of LSA pilots and pilots with traditional medical certificates.  This shows that self-evaluation is already working and can be expanded to a wider pool of recreational pilots.

I am an active member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)  The EAA and AOPA make it really easy to take action to support this legal proposal.  Just select "Take Action" in the box below.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Too Cold to Work

So it's been very cold here in the past few weeks.  Too cold to spend much time in the shop.  Need to wait for a warm up.  So what do you do when you can't build in the shop?  You find somewhere else.  I have been doing some small part work inside the house.  Made some more bell crank parts for the ailerons.  And did some scavenging for parts.  Was able to find a nice Falcon sensitive altimeter and a VSI that a guy removed for a panel upgrade.  

No where near ready for these parts yet but the price was really great and it helps keep my momentum up having these parts on hand.

I also found a great deal on a wet compass.  

So let's hope the weather warms up a bit so I can get back in the shop.  Meanwhile I'll just place these instruments on the bench and make airplane noises ;)

Thanks for checking in, 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Post for 2014

Back from the Holidays.  Back to work in the shop.  Had a great trip to the Florida Keys over Christmas.  I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

This is what I did most in Florida:


Want to get back to work on the CX4 but the weather is not cooperating.  Frigid temps and an unheated workshop makes it hard to get anything done.  It should be warming up a bit this weekend so I hope to get back to it then.  I need to do the wiring for my lights in the leading edge (see prior post) and get the wing done.  Until it warms up a bit and we're through this "Polar Vortex" (I thought that's what the airliner in the Langoliers flew through) I will not be working in the shop.

Thanks for checking in -


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Aileron Bellcranks

While waiting for parts and materials to continue work on the right leading edge wing I started working on the aileron bellcrank pieces.   For my first attempt I traced the shape of the bellcrank parts onto .030 6061-T6 and cut the shape out with aviation snips.  Well, the result was not good.  The pieces I cut were "warped" during the cutting process.  So I chucked them in the trash can.  For my next attempt I traced the part from the plans to tracing paper then used a glue stick to adhere the tracing paper to poster board then cut it out from the poster board to use it as a template.  Instead of cutting out the piece with tin snips I decided to use my bench band saw to cut the shape and then finish off shaping by hand file and 3M green pad.  The resulting pieces were much nicer.

In this photo you can see the plans, the template I made, and the cut out and shaped pieces.  Much better.  I have to finish the other two pieces and then cut out the piece of 2024-T4 1" x 1/4" bar stock then drill.  I am much happier with the results I get with the band saw for cutting out the pieces.

Tomorrow I will be installing the new MIL-SPEC 18 gauge wire I got for my lights in the leading edge and then drill the bottom leading edge skin.  And the lights I ordered (see previous post) arrived.  It will be a while before I install those.  Have to finish the wing and make the fiber glass wing tips first..

Thanks for checking in  -


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Skinning Bottom of Leading Edge (Right Wing)

Started the skinning on the bottom of the leading edge for the right wing.  First rivets on rib #1 drilled and cleco'd.

I will be replacing the wire for the lights.  I originally used automotive wire for the lights.  However after doing some research I have discovered that while okay to use automotive wire the recommended material is MIL-SPEC shielded or un-shielded wire for use in aircraft.  Shielded wire is used for ignition, strobes, and any other "noise producing" electrical connections.  Un-shielded is okay for non-strobe lights so that's what I'm going to use for the wing navigation lights.  I found nice plain old navigation lights online for a decent price.  About $70 per side for normal incandescent lights.  These are the lights I ordered.

Regular old incandescent lights for my CX4

I also ordered 100' of 18 gauge un-shielded MIL-SPEC wire to hook them up.  I will be taking out the automotive wires shown in the photo above and replacing with the MIL-SPEC stuff then complete the riveting of the skin to the leading edge.  Then I'll start attaching the main ribs and getting ready to skin the rest of the wing.  

While waiting for my wire I have been fabricating the aileron bell crank parts.  I'll put some pics up of that work later.

Thanks for checking in -