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Thread: aviator79's build

  1. #1
    Senior Member aviator79's Avatar
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    Default aviator79's build

    My kit arrived while I was out of town on the 29th. I got home on the 30th and almost immediately got to work inventorying, and spent the last couple days starting the build. I find the various build logs here on the site to be really helpful, so I thought I'd do the same.

    Build Space:

    I'm building in a one car garage with a floor footprint of 11'x20'. It also has quite a bit of attached storage, and a small attached 6'x14' workshop area. While I may not have a lot of information to add to the many very good logs on the forum (Thanks Esser, EFWD, Cherrybark, et al.) regarding the actual building of the plane, I may learn some things that someone else contemplating a build in a small space might find useful.

    I did a lot of space planning prior to receiving the kit. With one wing on a rotisserie, and the fuselage on the "production floor", I find I have plenty of working space. To accommodate this project, I built a back yard shed where all the stuff that used to be in the garage went. I also bought a 6x6 "pop up" shed for the family's bikes. I also have a large play/game room that I can use for additional storage. One of the wings, the flaperons, and some other long items are currently hanging from the ceiling in that room. I also live literally right next to the airport where I own a hangar. I'm currently renting that hangar to the flying club I'm in, so I'm not currently using it for this project in any capacity. Eventually I'll have to kick the club out and the airplane will go there for final assembly. Until then, it's nice to have a backup if the project grows out of my garage.

    I will say that if you're contemplating doing this in a one-car garage, you must have additional storage somewhere. It's best if it's on-site so that you don't have to work the logistics of moving parts around into your build schedule, but you can't store all the parts, both wings, the fuselage, your tools, etc and have room to work in an 11 x 20 space.

    The wing rotisserie on wheels is absolutely essential in this small of a space. It allows me to store the wing upright and out of the way when I'm not working on it, and I have moved and turned it a whole lot in the couple days I've been working on the project. To that end, everything in my shop is on wheels, which is also essential. It's nice to just push things out of the way.

    Build order:
    I'm not following the order the manual strictly. My plan is to build and cover each wing independently, then start on the fuselage. There are a few reasons for this:
    -The fuselage is the one part that I really can't store anywhere else. I don't want to finish it, and then have it sitting in the garage subject to handling and incidental damage while I work on the other parts. I can build the wings, and then move them out of the garage to a location where they won't be damaged while I work on the fuselage.
    -John McBean recommended that if possible, he would have preferred to spread the covering out over the build. He said he personally just got really sick of covering when doing it all at once. The manual actually makes this same recommendation. It also recommends covering the wings first. So it kind of makes sense to build them first if you want to spread the covering process out over the build.

    Support:
    While at the factory, I discussed the challenges of building in a space too small to even attach a single wing, where a lot of the year it's too cold to cure Hysol overnight outdoors. John was very helpful in offering some tips and options that are already making my life so much easier. So if you have special considerations about your build, I encourage you to talk to the factory about them, they are extremely helpful. From these initial conversations, to Brandon delivering my kit as part of his holiday after an understandable shipping delay, the factory has been a real a pleasure to work with.

    The production floor:

  2. #2
    Senior Member Esser's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    Nice! The fun begins! All the pictures on my build are not being hosted anymore so if you have any questions or need clarification on one of my posts, let me know and I can dig up the picture. I still plan on updating it when things settle down a bit.

    Good advice on the covering. Everyone says they really enjoyed the covering. I hated it. Probably my least favourite part of the build. Itís good to cover the wing first as itís the easiest bit to do.

    Good luck!
    ------------------
    Josh Esser
    Flying SS7
    Rotax 914iS
    AirMaster Prop

    Edmonton, AB, CWL3

  3. #3
    Senior Member aviator79's Avatar
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    Default First steps

    I drilled, glued and riveted the lift strut attach brackets. At first, Hysol is not the easiest stuff to work with. I thougt it would be more of a liquid, but it's a much pastier consistency. This makes measuring the resin and hardener a little more difficult than I thought.

    I think maybe I used too much on the first one.


    Cleans up nice with some denatured alcohol though:


    It's nice to have someone pull clecos while someone else rivets:


    Maybe not quite enough Hysol on the second try. I didn't get as much squish-out as I'd like, so I went back and filleted the perimeter with more. Also, I had a moment of panic: The hole on the left between the bracket ears was impossible to get at with a rivet gun. I have a manual and a pneumatic, but neither one could grip the rivet mandrel between the bracket ears. Eventually I took a bench grinder to my manual rivet gun to make it fit between the bracket ears. To my relief, it worked beautifully. It also taught me a lesson in thinking through any hole's entire lifecycle prior to drilling it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member colospace's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    Just curious. You received the kit on the 29th, and it looks like you already have the tanks installed?!
    - Gary
    S7 SuperSport Tri-gear
    w/Rotax 912, Oratex, Dynon
    (still building)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Esser's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    I think the factory does rigging now which may include installing the tanks and the butt rib
    ------------------
    Josh Esser
    Flying SS7
    Rotax 914iS
    AirMaster Prop

    Edmonton, AB, CWL3

  6. #6
    Senior Member aviator79's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    My factory pre-rig did include a bit more to help assure that all my hysol cures in a temp-controlled environment. (I can't let anything cure with the wings on in my small garage.) This also did get me off to a fast start on the wings.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    Good luck with the build Aviator79 and wish you well on the journey. It's good to see yet another KF builder joining the ranks.
    David
    SS7 Builder

  8. #8
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    Man, every time someone posts a pic of the wing struts, rigging etc. My heart rate goes up. Doing all that was stressful for me. I so did not want to mess that up and as a result I stressed out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member aviator79's Avatar
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    Default Varnish application

    I'm going to varnish my butt ribs, and was curious what application technique you guys used. Does spray application give substantially better results? The polyfiber manual specifies using a brush for the first coat and says that a spray gun may be used for subsequent coats. I'm just curious if it's worth setting up and cleaning my spray gun for two ribs.

    For that matter, did you spray varnish the rest of the ribs? It seems it would make shorter work of the task, but you might get varnish all kinds of places you don't really need it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member efwd's Avatar
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    Default Re: aviator79's build

    I used a brush or foam brush to apply the varnish. As for over spray, I found a touch up spray gun to have a small spray pattern and I used it to do the primer on all the metal in the wing. I didn't find that there was all that much over spray for that so I bet if you spray the varnish you would be fine also.
    Eddie

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