I made some hydraulic jack extenders from 4×4, 2×4 legs, and plywood gussets. The jacks were Harbor Freight specials. I also laid up some tapered foam parts that fit around the main spar of the aircraft. A slot was cut in the top layers of glass, and the foam was hollowed out to accept the top of the jack. This will keep the plane from sliding off the jacks if it gets pushed.
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 I was given two push-pull cables in my kit, but it turns out that these are superseded by a new design that uses all solid tubes to connect the aileron torque tube bell crank from the aft keel to the aileron bell cranks on the wing.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.
Spent a weekend getting the workshop ready to begin fuselage work. After months spent taking care of other problems around the house, traveling and writing proposals for work, I am finally ready to start working on the Velocity in earnest!
Spent time getting everything organized to make fiberglass layups, mounted the fiberglass cloth rolls in the rolling rack, along with some clear plastic for layups. Organized the shelves with adhesives, hand tools, abrasives, etc.
Cleaned all of the old masking tape and tape adhesive goo from the inside and outside of the windows. Hot glued some poly sheet around the windows to prevent scratching and dust accumulation.
Getting organized-wing racks
I built some racks in the storage shed for the wings, canard, doors, cowling, and the boxes of parts. I have left a temperature and humidity data logger in the shed on top of the wings so I can track the high temperatures. The epoxy pails and jugs got moved to the office so they can be maintained at a reasonable temperature. They make my office smell a bit like styrene, but it reminds me of my childhood downwind from Pasadena.
Velocity kit arrives in Georgetown
The truck from the factory arrived today with the fuselage, wings, canard, cowling, and many, many boxes of parts and materials! With the center section wing spar attached, the fuselage is too wide for a standard trailer, so the trailer that was used to haul the airplane has a nifty hydraulic device that holds the fuselage at an angle, so that its not too wide, and not too tall. To unload the fuselage, the hydraulic carriage tilts down, and the airplane rolls off the trailer on ramps.
It was very hot today, so we had to take several breaks while unloading everything. We finally got it all unloaded from the truck, and carried it all into the garage. Here, the airplane will live and be worked on until it is time to take it to the airport. If I’m very diligent, maybe a couple of years, otherwise longer. The hard part now is going to be organization. I need to find a place for all the parts, and clear out enough maneuvering space in the garage to allow efficient work.