Sunday, January 10, 2010

LimaFox Cleco Delivery Service

There were just a few more things to do to finish up the installation of the static ports. Once those were done, two of the last three tail cone skins could be clecoed into place. Which, as it turns out, presented a problem.

As I drove over to the hangar, I couldn't help wondering how painful it was going to be to spend a couple of hours out there working. The concern came from the helpful electronic thermometer in the car that quite blithely informed me that we were enjoying 8, count 'em, 8 degrees of fresh Fahrenheit. In golf that's called a snowman. In everything else that's called, well, it's just called really cold if you want to maintain a family atmosphere in your writing.

All that really remained to be done with the static ports was to finish routing the various hoses and seal the ports with RTV. The former problem I had had with the RTV (which was not having any) had been resolved, but there was a new problem: the R in RTV stands for 'Room', and the T stands for 'Temperature.' And there's the problem: I'm sure Siberian Huskies might consider 8 degrees to be a suitable room temperature, but most of the people that I know insist on defining it as at least 60 degrees more than that. Still, it's bound to get warm at least once between today and the day it actually matters if the RTV has set up, so no worries. On we go.

With the RTV in place, it was just a matter of trimming the 1/8" inside diameter hose to length and plugging the longer part coming from the right static port into a little plastic T fitting, using some of the remaining hose to run a much shorter length from the left static port to the same T fitting, and attaching the 1/4" outside diameter hose that will run its way up to the instrument panel to the third port in the T.

A command decision was required. The instructions that came with the package of static system parts showed one method for attaching the hoses to the T:

The instructions that came with the RV-12 showed a slightly different method:

It was an easy decision; I went with the RV-12 variant. It's not a critical decision anyway. The RV-12 is apparently shaped a little differently than the other RVs and having the 1/4" OD tube coming straight off of the bottom of the T just fits better.

The part of the T that takes the 1/4" OD tube has to first have a 1/4" length of the clear 1/8" Inside Diameter hose applied to it:

That little piece of tube acts as a kind of seal, I think. Apparently the inside diameter of the 1/4" OD tube is too big for the fitting; the small length of clear tube acts as a type of adapter. Easy enough for me to understand, but the 1/4" OD tube was having none of it. It adamantly refused to fit over the clear tube. Fortunately the Cone of Comfort was able to do double duty as the Cone of Coercion. I heated the end of the 1/4" OD tube in front of the heater and was then able to slide it right over the clear tube and onto the T fitting:

Before securing the clear tube with tie wraps, I performed the critical blow test. That entails blowing in one end of the 1/4" OD tube and listening at each static port to ensure that air is making it all of the way through the system. The blow test is not in the plans; I invented it myself, even if only for the caption contest that's in it:

Here it is, all installed and sealed up (eventually, weather depending):

That completed all of the steps that are better accomplished with the tail cone only partially skinned, so I was able to then install the next two skins. I'm sure glad that I ignored the suggestion of 38" tall sawhorses! It was hard enough with the stubby little sawponies I'm using:

I mentioned a problem with clecoing. Here it is:

I'm all out of clecos! Lucky for me, Wingman (and RV-10 builder) Ted was flying out to Indianapolis from his home base in Portsmouth, OH and offered to sidetrack a few miles to drop off 150 more clecos for me to use. And thus was born the LimaFox Cleco Delivery Service, delivering clecos to the needy on a moment's notice:

They were put to good use:

I would have kept working, but the next step called for a couple of pieces that I hadn't prepared yet. So, it was back to the shop to cut apart a couple of little brackets using my new and improved method of cutting apart small brackets:

The band saw makes a much cleaner cut than tin snips or a hacksaw. I wish I had picked one up sooner! You don't have to have a band saw to build an RV-12, but I think it's going to be a welcome addition to the shop.

What you do have to have is a 12" long #30 drill bit. I only have a 12" long #40 drill bit. I'm going to have to borrow the bit I need, and I'm at a stop until I do.

It was pretty cold anyway, even with the heater blowing. It can wait a couple of days.

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