Wendell Folks RV-8 Project - Page 11.
December 26, 2005: Wendell was busy during
the Christmas Holidays, and as you have read, I took last Friday off to be with my oldest
son and my sister, as well as meeting up with one RV builder and another pilot friend to
tour the Atlanta ARTCC. Last time I posted for Wendell, the wing jig was erected to
allow the remaining wing panels to be installed on the quickbuild wings. I got
Wendell started with an explanation of the correct techniques needed for these steps.
I explained the "braille method" of checking rivets since some of the
rivets soon to be set cannot be seen, but only felt with his finger tips and the rivet
gauge. I reviewed the drawing with the wing skins showing the rivet sizes, then he
went to work using this short-reach technique on the first rivets.
When he got past the first few rivets above, Wendell realized that his arms are
just barely long enough to reach the lowest rivets. After a few rows of rivets
installed from the bottom aft edge of the wing, Wendell told me his arm got
"longer" and he felt better. It was not long before he complained of
stooping over and some back aches, so I made sure he took a break from wing skin riveting
and went on to something else for a change.
That something else was the control stick assembly. The front end of the
stick was easily bolted in position to the bracket that was already installed when the QB
fuselage arrived. The rear mounting point had to be fabricated from a piece of
1/8" thick aluminum angle. Two short square tubes are used as spacers.
The angle had to be cut on the bandsaw and smoothed on the Scotchbrite grinding wheel
before drilling the mounting holes at the ends and the one hole in the center that
supports the control stick assembly near the aft end. With the aft rod-end bearing
installed to the control stick assembly, it was easy to match-drill the cross brace and
spacer tubes to the angles below. After dropping in the bolts at the end of the
brace, a board was laid into the back seat area with a folded blanket for a cushion.
That allowed an easy assembly of the rear control stick with the large torque tube.
With any construction project "milestone" event, there comes a moment
to celebrate. This was the first time Wendell could sit down and make airplane
noises and imagine himself flying this bird! Although the flash sometimes freezes
the action in an unusual way, he really is blowing through closed lips to make that motor
sound we all did as kids. I guess retirement just lets us be "big kids"
with the best toys!
January 6, 2006: The
seats became the focus today as I reviewed the plans and components with Wendell before he
begins work in this area. The rear seat of the RV-8 is supported along both sides
and the top by the bulkhead at the rear baggage area. It does not have the heavy
3/4" 6061-T6 aluminum angles used in the pilot seat (or both seats in the
RV-7/9). I recognized the omission of those heavy angles and the use of the existing
baggage bulkhead is a weight-saving design idea that does not sacrifice the strength of
the seat back.
The adjustable rudder pedal assembly was reviewed on the plans and the parts
were loosely assembled for familiarity before any work is done. Since this is a
quick-build fuselage, the mounting holes and plate nuts for this assembly are ready and
waiting in the surrounding areas of the forward fuselage. We looked at all the
hardware that provides the adjustment capability for the rudder pedals.
Wendell has been fitting the floor panels with their stiffeners in preparation
for fitting the seats to the airplane. The height of the rear seat back gets trimmed
to fit after the floor is installed. The foot wells for the passenger have been
primed and riveted together as part of the floor work.
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