Landing Light Wiring

I continued some of the electrical work for the starboard wing, securing wiring and adding electrical connectors for the lights.

The two lights share a return wire, so I split out the return using a sealing solder sleeve and then cover the whole thing with heat shrink tubing
Deutsch DT connectors completed and labeled
Added a standoff to rib 9 and to the main spar
Sometimes this guy watches me work on the plane… But he doesn’t like all the noise!

I also decided it was time to get rid of the shipping crate for the fuselage kit. The first crates I received last year were assembled using screws, which made for quick disassembly. It seems the factory has switched to using staples, which are much harder to remove. I did try to pull out a few, but at the rate I was going it was going to take a week! So, I resorted to just chopping it up. I was able to salvage a few plywood panels, but the rest will be going to the wood pile at the town dump.

Goodbye, shipping crate!

The last thing I’ll note is that I’ve been looking more into avionics, since I need to start laying some of the wiring as I build the fuselage. I want to go with a nice Garmin G3X panel, but I’m still recovering from the sticker shock! Something I’m considering leaving out is VOR/ILS capability. LPV approaches seem to be all the rage now, and Garmin recently rolled out some well-priced navigators (GNC 355, GNX 375). These might fit the bill for me, and save me from having to buy a more fully-featured unit like the GTN 650 or a dedicated Nav/Comm like the GNC 255.

Left Wing End Rib

All 3 sizes of rivets to secure the end rib. I also had to use my hand puller for some of the rivets, due to tight clearances.
Checking alignment of the trailing edge – flap looks good. Aileron coming next!

1 hour last night riveting the end rib to the left wing. It’s amazing how much stiffer the wingtip feels after riveting this rib in place.

Pascal L. recommended a trick to check alignment of the trailing edge using a string. I haven’t done the aileron yet, but it looks like I got lucky with the flap!

Yesterday I was also looking at lighting again. Aveo has some updated products on their website, a PowerBurst Daylite NG 3-in-1 light for wingtips, and a MiniMax Ariel for position / recognition. I’m thinking of getting a white Ariel for top of the rudder, and a red Ariel for fuselage belly. The Ariel is works both in steady and flashing mode, which is perfect. I have to find out where I can buy them, since neither are listed at Aicraft Spruce (yet). I will put an inquiry into Aveo and see what they say.

Started Rudder

It’s been a little bit since I’ve been able to work on my plane – work has been busy (including an overnight trip), but I’ve also been taking advantage of the nice weather lately, doing some outdoors stuff  like biking, hiking & pool days.

I spent about an hour last night prepping the rudder, as shown above.  Removing wrap, deburring, cleaning, etc.  I’ll get the parts primed and then assemble it this weekend.  For now I’m leaving the fiberglass cap off, since I haven’t yet decided on which lighting system I’m going with.

The choices I’ve narrowed down to are:

I’m leaning towards the third option.  Price seems better than Aveo, and has synchronization features like the Aveo but even slightly more advanced.   The similarly-named Avio lights don’t synchronize, and right now don’t comply with the anti-collision lightning requirements for angular coverage, but I’ve contacted the manufacturer and they tell me they are releasing an updated version soon that addresses both of these issues.  Nonetheless, I’m holding off on making a choice for now.  I’m going to Oshkosh this summer so I figure I’d take a closer look at options at the show.

I know Whelen is a pretty big name in aviation lighting, but they don’t have a good product option for the top of the rudder.  TAF’s chosen location for the tail light – at the top of the rudder – is a little different compared to other designs.  It’s really only suitable to put a recognition light there (aka beacon), because all the small, LED-based position lights/strobes I’ve found are designed to be installed aft-facing on the back of the rudder (or tail fairing), not on top.  Whelen does make recognition strobes for this application, but they’re honking huge!

In other news, I also received my second rivet gun last week, so now I’m ready to tackle both sizes of rivets more quickly!