Saturday, September 25, 2010

Installing the airsickness detectors

It never fails. There we are cruising along at speeds normally reserved for Ferraris, which, as you can imagine, provides a fairly healthy amount of fresh air through the vents, when my passenger du jour starts fiddling around with the vents "trying to get more air." It almost always means one thing: he or she is starting to feel nauseous. It's not uncommon in any airplane, but the RV-6 seems to bring it on more often than more sedate rides. Those vents have prevented more than one smelly mess in the airplane since the warning is always taken seriously and pains are taken to return to the airport as quickly and smoothly as possible.

I don't know if the RV-12 will also induce nausea in inexperienced passengers, but just in case I installed the airsickness detectors today. Well, it wasn't actually just me; I had assistance today from Co-pilot Egg. I had prepared the pieces/parts a couple of nights ago and probably would have had everything installed by this morning if it hadn't been such a cruddy day at work that day. I was tired and irritable, and when it came time to countersink the outer doors for rivets I decided that I just wasn't in the mood. Bad things happen when I try to press through a black-cloud mood, so I deemed it to be a good idea to just forgo the pleasures of countersinking for the night.

Here are the parts that awaited us this morning:

It was a simple matter to cleco them together.

I demonstrated the countersinking operation for Egg, but she wisely demurred when offered the opportunity to try it herself.

The way these little doors will work is that a fixed screw will slide in the slot as the door is opened and closed. To enable smooth operation, the slots needed to be filed to remove some rough spots left over from the machining. Egg is comfortable with filing, what with having spend a hot, sweaty hour at Oshkosh filing a block of wood into a rough approximation of a propeller.

She already knows how to cleco, so after showing her the proper orientation of the parts (sadly, that was accomplished via trial and error - I got it in backwards on my first try, but Van's method of making it difficult to install things incorrectly caught my error) she clecoed them into place.

This is the fixed framework that will support the door as it slides open and closed:

The holes needed to be final drilled, a task that I found to be somewhat difficult. Because the slides only have two holes, removing one of the clecos for drilling allows the slide to move around. I didn't want the slide to move off center from the hole as I was drilling through the side of the fuselage, so I pushed it out of the way, drilled through the fuselage and frame holes, then moved the slide back into place and drilled through it into the newly drilled holes in the fuselage.

While I was drilling, Egg was reading ahead in the plans. "Ooh, you're not going to like what comes next," she said ominously, "We have to take it all back apart again." That came as no surprise; it was obvious that we'd need to deburr the holes. I let her take it apart and put it all back together after the deburring, and then it was time for some fun! She loves the pneumatic rivet puller.

While she was busy riveting, it was my turn to read ahead a few steps. I was somewhat taken aback by the way the screw gets installed in the slide/slot combo. Usually a screw in an airplane is installed from top to bottom. This one is not.

There must be a reason for that, but I can't figure out what it might be. Still, we do as we're told in the land of E-LSA. Once the frame was riveted in, we went back to assembling the doors. They too needed to be riveted together, but they use squeezed solid rivets instead of the blind rivets the frame used. I held the parts together while Egg squeezed the rivets. She doesn't like the rivet squeezer nearly as much as she likes the pneumatic puller.

I bolted the doors in place in the frames.

Here are the finished airsickness detectors, shown in both I'm-feeling-fine and I-ain't-feeling-so-good position:

Team photo:

1 comment:

Torsten said...

Concerning you're thoughts about the frequency of the need for airsickness detectors in the RV-12, I might have to disappoint you. If you thought they'd be needed more often than you like in the -6, it will likely be worse in the -12.
My wife is doing just fine in any commercial flight, boat rides and other options for acquiring nausea. As soon as we fly in even just slightly thermal conditions in my RANS S-12S (gross weight 1050 lbs) it doesn't take long until the need for more air is expressed. No chance. And as the S-12S is not even close to a Ferrari in speed, the need for a resealable bag becomes more than apparent.

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