Preparation for Viking Annual Inspection

Taking time away from the Velocity to work on the Viking, prepping for annual.  This year, the Vike gets new tires and tubes all around.  After the trip to Canada, there are several new cracks in the finish that have to be addressed.  Old paint and dope were peeled off from those areas.  As usual, it seems like the old original cotton tapes are in decay and this is precipitating the cracks at the longerons and ribs in the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, as well as along the length of the fuselage.

Discovered low compression on cylinder #2, with excessive leakage through the exhaust.  I borescoped the exhaust valve, which looked OK – no evident asymmetry of deposit, warping, or burning on valve or seat.  The cylinder head cover was then removed, and I took off the exhaust rocker and springs.  Discovered I could wiggle the exhaust valve stem about 0.003″ in its seat.  Bad news – worn guide.  Had to pull the jug and send for repair.  This is the second time for this cylinder.  What is going on???

Parts Organization and Seat Hardpoints

The bags of parts I received from the factory are in no apparent order and are poorly marked, if marked at all.  In addition, the part numbers in the manual frequently don’t match up with the part numbers on the part.  This has led to a lot of time searching for a needed part and confusion over whether I am using the right one.  So I decided to go through the manual, match up the parts by function and try, by process of elimination, to associate the hardware with the section of the build manual.  What I found was that I was missing several parts, and that I also had several parts that I could not associate with passages in the manual.

After discussions with Chad at the factory, I learned that there have been a handful of engineering changes to the kit that have made it deviate from the build manual.  For example, the side-stick option eliminates several parts from the kit, but adds many more. There is a small section of the manual for the side-stick option, but there are no photos or drawings to guide assembly or connection.  In addition, the factory is trying to get away from using push-pull cables.  I was given two push-pull cables in my kit, but it turns out that these are superseded by a new design that uses all solid tubes to connect the aileron torque tube bell crank from the aft keel to the aileron bell cranks on the wing.  There are no drawings or documentation for these parts or their assembly…….

All parts were organized, bagged, and labelled, and then stored on a new shelf by the chapter of the build manual.  Some rearrangement of the shop was required to fit the new shelf, and this gave me an opportunity to remove a bunch of wood and metal parts that have been accumulating over the years.  A net win!

With the holidays approaching, and lots of work around the house required to get ready for visitors, I decided to tackle an easy task – the front seat hard points.  First, the aluminum parts were sanded to remove sharp corners and edges.  Surfaces were rough-sanded to promote bonding. A tap was run in the threads to clean out debris, and the parts were washed thoroughly with solvent and wiped dry. Inside layer of fuselage and inner foam was removed on the outside positions, and the inner positions were marked.  All were set and leveled into structural epoxy + flox + cabosil and left to cure. The next day, a fillet of epoxy + cabosil was used to fill and fair around the aluminum, and covered with 2x bid.