Fuselage 1

Our quick build kit arrived November 11th, 2002. Wings and all. I recruited a couple of buddies from work to help unload it from the Roadway truck. We had some fun, I can tell you. Got it off in one piece though. These guys showed up late, so basically, it was me, the truck driver and the airport policeman working our muscles. Thanks to everyone… You may never see this web page, but you never know. Jim is the one with his arms in the air wondering where the beer is. Jay is in that darned yellow coat… He won’t ever take it off. He works in it, sleeps in it… He STILL has it too. How many years has it been Jay? His dad has the same coat. I know, I seen it!

I’m trying to remember where Dave was on this fabulous day. I think he may have been in Turkey or something. My memory isn’t that good.

Of course, we busted the crates open pretty sharpish. We wanted to see all inside. It was like Christmas after all! Oh, and out came the beers. Cheers Jim!

The fuselage is dwarfed in the hangar! There was a ton of stuff to get rid of.. Scrap wood.. Ultimately, I got a hangar buddy Cameron, who’s building an RV-9A. He was good enough to knock up a whole bunch of shelves out of all the crating materials. Thanks Cam!

These are all the loose parts that come with the QB kit. It doesn’t look like much does it?

A bit more stuff. Ailerons, Flaps (all pre-built)…. Wow, we’re almost finished already!

Had to get the HS on there so we could see what it looked like. This wasn’t long before Dave went to Australia.

Dave has left, and I’m on my own… I decided to do the pedal assembly. I spent a lot of time on these getting them perfect, and polishing them up to a mirror like shine….

Only to go and cover most of it up with grippy black wing walk material! The polished looks good against the black!

I didn’t like the way Van’s called out the master cylinder attachments, so I went hunting for some nice fasteners to do the job a little better, and eliminate any wobble in the bolts through the weldment.

Working on the flap actuator. I was one of the few that ended up with a ‘funky’ flap weldment where the powder coat had been masked of on the right side. I just repositioned the UHMW block. Later on we bought the Flap Positioning System from Van’s.

Here I was working out the flap position indicator. We’re too lazy to just look out the window!

This is where I mounted the Matco park brake valve. It has a travel of 45 degrees between off an on, but no internal stop! I made an external stop. It’s only temporarily mounted here because we still have to paint.

I prosealed the fresh air intakes in and used blind rivets to hold it in place. We’ll fill over these so they’re completely invisible… The rivets that is!

Made the battery box, mounted it, the starter and battery contactors, and the earthing block. Er, I mean grounding block for all the Americans viewing this….

On the QB, you have to remove the pieces held with the copper clecos and scallop out for a sliding canopy if that’s your option. You also have to finish riveting this area. You can see the temporary rivets holding it all together here.

While I was in this area, I remade the seat back support strips and angles. I wasn’t happy with them the way they were, so I went to Mike’s hangar and remade them on his bending machine. Much nicer….

Cameron had been in the hangar building his RV-9A for a while by this time, and we were both at a convenient point to do some painting. He started a slow build, and has pretty much caught up with me at this stage. He’s passed me now, but only because he had the whole summer off the lucky bum. Here I am bent over cleaning and scotchbriting the interior. My back! Ouch….

As you can see… Hard graft this ‘ere rubbin down stuff. Still, gotta be done..

Still rubbin’…. Rub-a-dub-dub…

Rubbed!

Masked…. See the shelves Cameron made out of shipping crate?!!! They’re a bit Ghettofabulous, but they work!

Some interior pieces primed…

A partially primed interior. We used PPG paint, with a self etching primer. It was recommended we leave the primer to cure for a couple of days… We were pushing it, coz it was late October, and in Michigan, that means the warm days left are numbered.

How’s your back Cameron? I know when I had my stint, I was groaning quite loudly. It was one of those jobs where it hurt so much, but you knew you couldn’t stop. By the end of the day, my back, arms and knees were killing me. After all this priming, I was definitely NOT looking forward to the topcoat.

It’s tough to see in this shot, but we were clever and rolled our own air supply to the face masks. On one side, we replaced the filter with a block of wood with a hole to accept a hose fitting. Then, with a length of garden hose connected into some tumble dryer flexible ducting and a bathroom fan placed outside the hangar, we had a good enough supply to drive two masks at the same time. Brilliant. Total cost was about $60. We already had the masks for other reasons, so they’re not counted in the budget. Since this, I’ve found some much better and lighter hose to use instead of garden hose. The garden hose was a little cumbersome to say the least.

Primed…. We really liked the colour of the primer… It had a very blue-grey tint to it.

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