The canopy latch is inset within an oval area that must be carved out of the top front of the canopy plexiglass and underlying composite frame and held in place with blind M5 rivnuts and screws. Let’s just say that this is a challenging and nerve racking set of tasks. And – that’s a major understatement. But, with patience and a good bit of careful work with my trusty Dremel tool, I was able to achieve what I deem, at this point anyway, a satisfactory result.
The latch mechanism is an over-center affair with a hook engaging a latch pin that mounts to the top underside of windscreen support arch. Four 3,2 x 10mm CSK rivets attach the pin and it’s mounting plate to the arch, along with whatever additional security is afforded by a dollop of JB Weld epoxy. Where exactly to position the pin is an exercise left entirely to the discretion of the builder. Good luck with that.
I think by the time I get the weather seal in place, the latch will pull the canopy closed – firmly and without gaps. We’ll see. All of this latch fitment has happened before having the windscreen and support arch bonded in their forever positions. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Time will tell.
The exhaust system has been languishing in a box and it seemed a good time to see how well (if) it fits with the engine and airframe. It looks… maybe not so bad. Good!
There’s going to be some work needed to get the cabin heat muffler shroud assembled, because I don’t have a part that actually fits. So far, I’ve gotten 2 different parts (and part numbers) from the factory, but neither part matches the mounting rings on muffler. Argh. I’ll have to adapt and/or fabricate something. But, at least it seems the exhaust pipes and muffler do fit. Hooray for that.
With a seat-of-the-pants concept, a circular saw and a box of screws, I’ve managed to fashion a pair of Sling 2 custom vertical wing panel stands. Poof! It all came together.
With the LH wing panel on the stands, I’ve got much better access. Hopefully this will be the day I get the tank mounted.
Unfortunately, most of the same fit and alignment issues persist. This is starting to feel like Fuel Tank Fitment Hell.
Before I do something that’s un-recoverable, I’ll reach out to Jean d’Assonville at Sling Aircraft (TAF) USA before it gets any later in the day. It’s Friday and hopefully I can get out of this hell before the weekend. Stay tuned.
Any work on and in the center fuselage is part of a big step forward. In this case, the work is actually rework, owing to one of several shortcomings introduced during the factory quick-build of my fuselage – which evidently was a bit hasty. TAF admittedly rushed to ship in the last hours before a three week holiday shutdown. Let’s just say there were a few shortcuts taken.
There was a general class of shortcut that I’ve found several examples of – riveting places and parts that shouldn’t have been until other steps were completed. The most vexing examples were the seatbelt anchor brackets being mounted without the AN5-5A bolts and washers in place. I’d noticed this very early on after delivery and have been troubled ever since about how I’d be able to get things as they should be.
As I mentioned in my last post, I finally overcame a mindset that I’d have to drill out and re-rivet the center brackets to place the bolts. With courage and great care I was able to flex my way to a happy result. The outer brackets demanded the drill and re-rivet approach. That has proved very doable, especially since I’ve got the fuselage solidly down on the floor where I can work on it without concern about toppling. Yay again!
I’ve gained some valuable experience with drilling out the big 4,8mm rivets from my rework of the aileron and flap hinge bracket sub-assemblies. With a #12 bit in my lithium battery-powered drill I was able to get the outer brackets off cleanly. And when the time comes, I’ll be able to rivet them back on – with the bolts in place. Glad I don’t have to worry about this anymore.