Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost done

I took this week off from work to make some progress on the RV-7A project and, wouldn't you know it, I got a bad cold on my vacation. But I got two long days of work in, including installing the interior from Flightline Interiors.

You can see when I close the cowling how well the fiberglass "skirts" I made came out. I didn't like the gap between the fuse and canopy, not so much because it looked lousy from the outside -- it did -- but I didn't like seeing so much daylight when inside, even if I had put the weatherstripping in place there (not to self: don't forget to put the weatherstripping in there).

And then, realizing a little more about how the baffling material relates to the nose inlet "ramp," I drilled out a couple of pieces and added a few more, finalizing that project. Even better, having moved a couple of pieces, the cowling fits better.

(The music is the Killers, which I have begun and ended every work session with since this video came out)

The white cowling? That's Smooth Prime -- a filler primer and UV blocker. I have some sanding to do on the bottom piece before painting. I bought a can of MarHyde from the auto parts store and some catalyst and reducer, intending to shoot the cowling, then realized the can they sent me wasn't grey, but beige. Beige? Man, that'll look lousy. I may just get a big rattle can of MarHyde grey to finish this off.

There are a few more things to be done, yet. The empennage fairing is almost complete, just need to sand some SuperFil off and roll on some Smooth Prime. I haven't done the leg fairing, intersection fairings or wheel pants yet, and I still need to configure all of the avionics.

I had the Grand Rapids EIS-4000 engine monitor updated to allow a second tach reading, but I don't know yet where that shows up on the unit. Also, it occurs to me as I look at the engine start video that the RPM reading off the lightspeed ignition was probably half of what it actually was.

Oh, and I have to rivet on the most forward piece. After that, done! Well, there's the weight and balance and static system check, of course.

I did see an unusual blue spot on the floor under the tank the other day. It's very suspicious for a couple of reasons (a) I went almost three months without seeing any such spot, (b) the spot was big enough that you'd think there'd be fresher gas dripping (or any additional, for that matter) and c) we considered playing a practical joke on another builder in which we'd pour a small amount of avgas under his wing just to watch his reaction.

I've been filling out the paperwork to get a bill of sale from Van's so I can register this. Also contacted the Minnesota Department of Aeronautics regarding sales tax. I've been dreading this. You have to pay sales for anything you buy online, although all they really want to know is kit cost, prop cost, and engine cost, which should run me about $3,700.

I'm looking for Minnesota builders to come "inspect" the plane before I even think about having a DAR look at it. Interested? I'll be at KSGS most weekends.

My wife is losing her job at the end of the month and most of the things I thought might come true when I put this plane up for sale last winter actually have come true. So writing big checks right now is not something I feel comfortable doing. So, the plane will sit until we figure out a solution to what life is throwing at us.

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