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Archive for January, 2009

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.