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Archive for the 'Blow by blow account' category

Baggage Area

January 22, 2009 1:00 pm

And now to the baggage area. Once the tailcone interior was painted it was time to fit it out the baggage compartment. The lower portion of the compartment was where the old vacuum tube radios were located. For now that area will remain empty. Above is the baggage compartment. Unfortunately for me, there were a few parts missing, namely the baggage floor which defines the bottom and most of the forward end of the baggage compartment.

 Here is that part as I received it from Lance Aircraft:


Interestingly enough, the floor included an interesting pouch with the ominous inscription, “CRASH INSTRUCTIONS.”


As a bonus, inside the pouch was the weight and balance information from the plane the floor had come from as well as an official looking wax sealed envelope:




April 20 1960


And here is the floor after a strip and paint with a polish performed on the latch. The pouch was hand washed in Woolite.


There is a small open area on the forward wall of the baggage compartment that gets filled with this little door assembly:


On the backside of this door you can see the clips for holding the Very Pistol (distress flare) Cartridges:



Simple! All we need to do is to insert the pin in the hinge and we’re done….NOT!!!! Of course the hinge doesn’t line up. 


The hinge pin is now temporarily attached into place for test fitting:



The door doesn’t latch however. I guess they didn’t build all of them exactly alike! I had to bend the hinge flange on a bending brake as indicated by the red line to tilt the door a bit outboard:


You can see here (hopefully) how the hinge centerline tapers from the bottom edge of the door from side to side:



And here is how everything looks all painted, stenciled and assembled:



And here is a view looking aft from the passenger’s seat area:


And finally from the outside with the N.O.S. (New Old Stock) baggage door temporarily installed…

Pitot Tube Repair

January 21, 2009 4:18 pm

 Well, here’s a quick afternoon project! First of all, the original pitot head looked rather sorry. The plating was worn off and it was pretty beat up. Tim Savage from Midwest Texans provided this new replacement to me via one of his eBay auctions at a very reasonable price. Thanks Tim! The package included new screws and lock washers, a handy diagram with some dimensions and a helpful reminder to remove the protective coating prior to use (how else could you even see it, let alone install it?).

Pitot tube repair


 Not so fast! You can’t just install the new pitot head, first you have to repair the damage to the end of the tube probably caused by some clown using the pitot head as a chinup bar. Note the rather sizeable crack and the bellbottomed end of the pitot mast tube…

Pitot tube repair


First step is to measure the crack length to see how much of the tube needs to be sawn off to clean it up back to fresh metal.


Hey, the end of the caliper makes a handy scribe!


I put some tape on the scribe line to make it more visible for when I cut it off in the chop saw.


Before I do any chopping though, I want to mark the hole locations. For that I made this very sophisticated tool:



 Let’s add a couple of C-Clamps now:



And here you can see how I layed it out:


After a visit to the chop saw and then the disc sander to square off the end to the tape line, I did a test fit. Looks great with a tight gap all the way around.


Once again I’ll use the dial caliper to scribe the hole centerlines per the drawing, 1/4″ from the end of the tube.


The four holes were then carefully drilled using a pilot hole first with the smallest drill I had to ensure that I remained on the centerline. Holes were then drilled to final size.


And here we are test fitted. I’ll need to hook up the pitot and static lines when I install this onto the wing, so I’ll put this into storage for now.

A little paint work!

July 17, 2008 9:43 pm

Finally, after months of stripping the paint work is finished on the center section wing, the baggage compartment area and the steel fuselage tubing.

 Here are a few quick photos…

From the front

From the side

From the rear

Time to start bolting stuff in! A lot of it has already been restored and is sitting on the shelf, so hopefully we can make some quick obvious visible progress.

Fuel selector gearbox

April 26, 2008 10:44 pm

This gadget is what I call the “Fuel Selector Gearbox.” I’m sure it has a more correct nomenclature in the parts manual, but I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment.

The ends of the two sticks fit into the fuel selector controls, one in each cockpit. As you rotate the fuel selectors, the sticks rotate via a set of gears in the housing on the lower left of the first photo. his keeps the two fuel selector controls synchronized. Finally, the output of the gearbox (the forked looking part) rotates another rod that is connected to the actual valve located inside the wing center section. Stay tuned and we’ll get this thing disassembled so you can see the inside of the gearbox. 

Fuel selector gearbox

Fuel selector gearbox

Fuel selector gearbox


OK, here we are two weekends later! I wire wheeled the paint and corrosion off of the steel shafts, etched them and painted the shafts silver. In the meantime, Bill chemically stripped the aluminum housing then etched, alodined and painted it.

Here it is with the shafts in place in the housing, waiting for me to add some grease to lube the gears and then bolt the two halves of the housing back together. 



And here is the finished product! Note how Bill has sanded and clearcoated the micarta block to refinish it. I had to remove the safetied taper pin and pull the U-Joint off to remove the micarta block for refinishing and to paint the rod.



Here is a closeup of the assembled housing with new bolt, nuts and washers installed to pretty it up.



And the finished assembly…



Stripped center section nearly ready for paint

April 17, 2008 10:22 pm