Antennas, O2 Bottle Install, More AC work, and panel wiring

I decided to send my Mountain High bottle back to take the regulator off of the bottle (shown on the bottle below) so I could remote mount the regulator. That will give me the option to take the tank out and get it filled at a shop somewhere. I chose to copy Joe Keys’ installation and mount the bottle to the right side behind the baggage bulkhead. I used an ELT mount along with some angle and flat 1/8″ stock aluminum bar. The angles were mounted to the J stiffeners and I used one hole of the ELT mount for attaching the mounting brackets. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but I used 1/8″ flat aluminum bar between the bottle mounting bracket and the angle/ELT mount to Secure to extend as far as I needed to and attach to the structure.

In somewhat of a paranoid redundancy of my engine bus move, I decided to modify the fuse block to add a 2nd stud. The unit has a spot (both a hole and an indent in the plastic) for a 2nd stud.. it’s just not exposed. Below is a picture of the fuse block as it came to me.

I popped the top open and inserted a second stud and then drilled the plastic to expose the stud and be able to tighten down the nut. This will allow me to have the 2 separate feeds of the engine bus connect to different locations protecting against a nut coming loose or something breaking from removing power from the fuse block.

Fuse block modified for 2 studs.

I then moved on to more AC work. I got the skinnier return ducts from Bill and installed them. This moves the whole evaporator forward to give more clearance to the J stiffeners on the top.

Skinnier return ducts installed.

With those installed, I positioned the evaporator, and fabricated new forward brackets with an angle and some scrap metal, seeing it sat much higher than the bracket provided to me and they didn’t reach the shelf. This was a suggestion from Bill.

Fabricating new forward brackets

I spent some additional time routing the hoses to the evaporator unit with the service ports easily accessible by taking the lower baggage bulkhead off.

AC hose routing to evaporator
AC hose runs with service ports shown.
Hose to the dryer unit.

Then it was on to antennas.. More in the category of finishing electrical runs out to the tailcone. One of the things I had yet to finish was mounting the NAV antenna on top of the Vertical Stabilizer. I fabricated a doubler plate and drilled holes in the skins at an angle to accept the cat whiskers.

I sanded down a long wooden dowel to a point in order to insert nutplates up into the VS to hold the antenna puck in place. I’ve also seen people use a rod threaded for the 10-32 nutplate as well, but this worked okay too.

NAV antenna in place.

ELT antenna was next. A lot of builders try to mount this inside under the fiberglass. Some DAR’s, including the one I’m using, want to see this external to the airplane.. so I decided to just bite the bullet and put it just forward of the Vertical Stabilizer. I fabricated a doubler, riveted it to the skin, and mounted the antenna in place.

ELT antenna.

I also utilized another ELT mount on the left side to mount the diode with it’s heatsink and the Battery Bus relay. Shown just below and aft of the ELT.

Then it was lots of panel wiring. I first got the remote transponder mounted on the left side with some angles added front to back.

Remote Transponder mounted.

I mounted all the needed components not already on the avionics shelves to the sub panel shown below.

Subpanel components mounted.

I then put the metal panel frame and outer panel back in place and got the wiring harness re-attached to all the switches etc..

Panel wiring stats now!

A bunch of time was spent locating the fuse blocks and getting the basic power connections hooked up. Still lots to do, but this is a snapshot of where I am today. Left side, right side, and center of the panel.

Pilots side. Engine bus fuse block is here… mounted on top of the transponder.
Co-pilots side. Fuse blocks were the bulk of the work so far on this side.
Center part of panel. Not much going on here.. I did wire up my defrost fans..

Oshkosh 2022

For the first time in several years, I returned to Oshkosh with the family. It just hasn’t worked out recently based on the Pandemic as well as Jeanine being in nursing school. Seeing the RV-10 isn’t ready yet.. we decided to fly commercially to Chicago and drive the 2.5 hours north to KOSH. It didn’t seem to make sense to take a connection flight to a closer airport seeing it was a short flight. The time waiting for a connection probably would have been pretty close to the same amount of time overall. Also seeing how many flights go into and out of Chicago, any flight delays/cancellations would be easier to deal with. We were actually delayed 2 hours due to storms and a ground stop in Chicago.. No worries other than arriving a little later in the afternoon then we expected. We rented a car through Turo and the owner of the car came and picked us up at the airport, drove us back to his house, and off we went. We’ve used Turo twice now and it’s worked really well. We rented a 26′ travel trailer from Kunes RV and had them deliver it to our site the week leading up to the show. We decided to do a water and electric site. We could have dry camped, but it’s just easier with AC and basic things with a 5 year old. Flying in commercially is tougher in terms of trying to get and use a generator. So water/electic site was it!

Home for the week of the show.

We spent part of the Sunday before the show at a park at Lake Winnebago. Swimming and there was also a large playground there. Declan had a ton of fun.

The show was a lot of fun and I think Declan enjoyed it. We visited Kidventure where we checked out some planes. Declan got to fly the RC airplane with help from the volunteers. He didn’t seem too interested in doing other activities there, but I feel like he’s still a little too young for some of them. In another year or two I suspect we might be spending a couple of days there. They have some pretty neat projects that kids can participate in.

We toured the hangars and Declan seemed to enjoy that. He walked to each sign in front of each plane and asked me what it said.

Checking out planes in the hangar.

A big hit were the pedal planes. I’m pretty sure he tried all of the planes available multiple times over. He asked to come back here pretty much each day.. I would be tempted to get one of these kits for him, but he’s already pretty big for most of them, so it wouldn’t probably last that long.. Not to mention distract me from making progress on the RV-10.

Obligatory picture at the brown arch

This years show, for me, was spending some time engrossed in aviation with my family. It also served to meet several builders I’ve interacted with over the last several years. In addition, I made it a point to stop by most of the vendors I’ve dealt with over the years and put faces to names/emails/voices over the phone. I really don’t have a need for anything at this point to finish the plane, however I did end up spending way too much money on things I will need relatively soon. Below is the list

I bought a Best Tugs A3 model for moving the airplane around the hangar.

I also bought a nifty adjustable creeper for working on the airplane now in the garage as there are several things to do on the belly of the airplane. It’ll also come in real handy in the hangar. Not only for working on the plane, but for cleaning it too.

I purchased a travel weight cover and cowl inlet plugs from Bruce’s covers.

A purchase needed to finish the plane was a Halon Fire Extinguisher from H3R. I plan to mount this on the tunnel cover just behind the armrest near the rear passengers legs so it’s accessible from any seat.

With the Cold Air Induction sump there is a hose/quick drain setup to connect the Sump back to the engine seeing there is no internal oil connection like the stock Lycoming oil sump has. Tom has the below hose and quick drain setup to facilitate quick draining of oil for oil changes and connecting back to the engine with the 90 degree fitting shown at the top. These Lycomings have an oil suction screen in the cavity where that 90 degree fitting goes in the the rear of the engine. This is something that should be serviced often.. Having to remove the 90 degree fitting is a big pain because once the pipe threads are engaged and the fitting is clocked properly to connect to the hose, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to clock it back to the same spot each time you service the screen (basically every oil change).

CAI oil sump hose and quick drain

Tom has proposed using this small screen that goes inside of the AN fitting and removing the suction screen all together. That alleviates the need to remove the 90 degree fitting at all. To service, it’s simply unscrew the hose from the fitting, remove the screen, clean, and reinstall tightening the flared fitting. These screens are used in racing dry sump applications. At least 1 RV-10 builder has beta tested this and it has worked out well. So Tom is now recommending these.

AN screen vs the stock Lycoming suction screen.
Screen goes inside of the AN fitting.
A view from the other port of the fitting. You can barely see the screen peeking out when it is fully seated.

And last, but not least.. Sort of an impulse buy.. ZipTip Premiere wingtips to replace the stock Van’s wing tips. I’ve always eyed these things, but originally opted not to go that route. A few of the reasons I decided to do this were:

  1. They are very sturdily made with no flex. I’ve seen several builders having to reinforce the insides of the Van’s tips to get rid of some of the flex.
  2. The lights are not recessed into a cutout in the stock tips. They are practically on the leading edge of the wing and will be better for dispersing light more to the middle of the plane for landing at night.
  3. They remove the need for a tail light/strobe in the rudder with the module having a rear facing position and strobe light on each tip.
  4. They are much more aesthetically pleasing compared to the stock tips. The newer ones have a winglet curve shown in the picture below on a plane at OSH.
Stock photo from the website showing all the functions.
Picture of a ZipTip on a plane I took at OSH.

Panel work, AC work, Seats, and Tailcone work

My panel items don’t contact the sub panel, but the connectors with wire bundles did, so I cut out a rectangle from the sub panel to make sure there was plenty room for the connectors and wiring bundles with strain relief.

Cutting a relief in sub panel

I fabricated a doubler per Van’s plans

Sub panel doubler

Laid out a hole pattern, drilled, and riveted it in place.

Hole pattern drilled
Doubler riveted in place

I may end up re-connecting the bottom flanges back together once the location of the connectors are in place. I then fabricated supports of the avionics trays and shelf that houses some components to the sub panel for overall support. I used a small angle riveted to the sub panel and connected another angle to it with a couple of rivets. The aft side where it connects to the avionics trays has a screw with a Nutplates for easy removal if ever needed in the future.

I also took some time to fabricate some hinged access doors to get to the AC connections under the rear seats in the first bay. These will secure down using the 2 existing screw locations on the rib. These connections are for the AC condenser.

Access door in rear seat pan
A view of the access to the AC connection on bottom skin

Additional work was started on the AC evaporator unit. First up was to mount the return air ducts.

Right return duct
Both ducts on and interior holes cut
Cap put on

I’m adding a 3″ blower fan to boost airflow into the overhead.

I then placed the flat upper panel from Airflow into position and started rough fitting the evaporator in place on the shelf.

You can see that I will need spacers on the front mounts. I’ve seen several others have to do the same thing. Also I ran into a clearance issue with the J stiffener on the top as shown below. Bill from Airflow said he’s had others run into the same thing due to variation in the units from his suppliers. He’s sending me shorter return ducts to move the unit 2″ forward to solve the clearance issue.

Clearance issue with expansion valve
Manifold is very close as well, but some gap is present

Just before Oshkosh, my seats from Aerosport Products arrived. They came out great! I had to place one into the plane in rough position to see what they look like.

While waiting for AC parts to arrive and needing to finish up some things in the rear of the plane prior to putting the evaporator in place more permanently, I decided I needed to finish some remaining tasks out in the tailcone.

I installed my ELT unit and wired things up to the panel.

ELT in place

I also worked on plumbing my static line from rear to front. This thing needs to go multiple places, so I’ll likely be using a manifold style connector behind the panel vs a long daisy chain.

Static port routing out back.

Pitch and Yaw servo installation was next. I used a laser level to help drill the hole needed for the pitch trim arm to connect to.

Prep for drilling pitch trim hole in bell crank

Crawling into a small and uncomfortable space is always painful. Here I am in the back sort of on my side to drill out 4 rivets so I can attach the yaw bracket to the airframe.. Wish I had waited to buck these 4 rivets, but got them drilled out.

Fun in the tailcone.
Pitch and Yaw servo brackets in place
Pitch and Yaw servos in place

Finishing AC hose routing, Evaporator shelf, front baffle “walls”, interior panels, and test fitting panel.

I finished up the routing of the AC hoses down the right side of the fuselage. The hose going all the way to the tailcone dives down towards the floor and goes through the bottom most lightning hole to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the flap tube in the next bay aft. I placed a small piece of angle on the angle attached to the side skin, used nut plates to screw the 2 angles together and then utilized a nut plate to keep the hose from rubbing on the angle attached to the skin.

View of the metal piece riveted in all 4 corners of the lowest lighting hole with a bushing through the center for the hose to pass through.

The hose destined for the condenser scoop, goes across the flap tube area on it’s way across the tunnel and to the 1st bay under the left-most rear seat.

Hose continuing to the tailcone under the right rear seat.

I utilized Adel clamps anchored to the step to route the hose inward and keep it away from the bolt holding the step in place. It then makes its way aft to the tailcone.

Similar for the hose going from the condenser to the tailcone.

With the hoses done short of crimping on the ends, I started working on the evaporator shelf by using cardboard as a template.

I test fit the cardboard until it was trimmed correctly to sit between the longerons.

I then used the cardboard to mark up the fiberglass shelf and trimmed it, sanding a little bit to get a good fit. Shown here as well are the 3 holes matched drilled into the shelf brackets that get riveted to the longerons.

One other small task was to trim the upper cowl ramps and add a “wall” so that the baffle material could sit in-between the upper air ramp and this “wall” so it has something to push against.

Using some scrap fiberglass to trim up a “wall”

I then mixed up some flox and bonded the “wall” in place with a small “D” shaped piece to provide support against the cowl wall. This was repeated for the other side.

One nice day, I decided to head outside and paint the interior panels. I ordered the lighter tan ones knowing that I was going to paint them a darker color. I think they came out nice!

I ran into a snag with continuing with the evaporator install so I worked on completing disassembling the panel. I removed the wiring harness and separated the metal sub frame of the panel from the carbon fiber.

Wiring Harness removed
Carbon fiber panel with avionics trays.
Metal subframe with shelf for various components.

I spent some time getting the metal subframe in place, followed by the carbon fiber panel with the avionics trays. This first test fit was mostly done to mark the sub panel where I’ll need to cut away and reinforce making room for the connectors on the back of the 650 etc.. Not a whole lot needs to be removed just a small rectangle near the bottom and really just for the connectors and so the wiring harness doesn’t get bent too much.

SDS hall sensor protection and magnet mounting. Left side air for heat and Continued AC install

I’m probably being a little paranoid here, but I’ve decided to protect the wires coming out of the hall sensors up near the flywheel. These connections are needed to keep the engine running. I fear an alternator belt snapping and whipping around as it’s sort of hung up in the area for awhile cutting the wires. Of course, it would have to cut both wires for it to be a real issue, thus maybe I shouldn’t worry about this too much.. However, the solution really didn’t take too much time to implement. I bent up some 0.032″ metal to wrap around the sensor as shown below. One side has a narrower flange to accommodate the alternator tensioning arm.

Metal cage

Test fit.

Below you can see the hall sensor and the use of these small center locating punches that screw into a hole and mark the exact location to drill for the bolt.

Punch screwed into position.

Previously I had used this technique to locate the 2 holes for the SDS fuel pressure regulator on the firewall and forgot to write about it previously. I used a piece of scrap metal to drill and use as a template to drill the firewall.

Punches in place

I placed the unit down on the scrap metal and tapped it with a rubber mallet to mark the location location of the holes that needed to be drilled.

You can see the punch marks on the scrap metal ready to drill.

This technique worked perfectly and allowed me to drill holes for the regulator on the firewall that exactly matched the hole location on the regulator.

Back to the metal guard for the hall sensor… I punched the top side, drilled the hole, and once that hole was located, I installed the bolt and marked the location of the 2nd hole then drilled that and bolted it to the hall sensor mount. Below is a test fit of both bolts installed.

I re-used some aluminum fuel line to route the wires from the hall sensors through. I used an Adel clamp to secure it with the one of the bolts. drilled a hole through the baffle and installed a piece of angle on the aft part of the baffle for another adel clamp.

Front part of the tubing with adel clamp.
Aft part of the baffle with angle and adel clamp.

Below is the whole thing put together. Obviously the wires will ultimately be routed through the tube, but I need to remove the baffle and paint it at some point, so waiting to do that until after that is completed.

Also the DB-9 connectors on the end of the hall sensor wires are soldered on.. so another reason to delay putting them through the tube just yet.

My engine builder supplied a flywheel with the magnets for the SDS system already installed, but I needed to install the magnets in the dual pulley flywheel suppled by Airflow AC. I basically followed this blog linked on the SDS website. https://tasrv10.com/?p=2822.

Below is drilling the holes with the drill guide provided by Ross.

I wasn’t quite as lucky as the linked blog post and the hole sort of ate into part of the grove, but not completely.

Drill hole location.

I mixed up some 5 minute epoxy, as specified, and also applied red loctite onto one of the grub screws, which was inserted into the hole from the outside. The magnet was inserted into the hole from the outside. The grub screw was screwed down until the magnet was basically flush with the inner surface of the flywheel.

Magnet flush with the inside

Once everything cured.. I decided to buy the Devcon Titanium putty recommended in the in the linked blog. It is expensive and you really need a very small amount compared to what is provided, but I didn’t want to skimp on this. I prepped the flywheel and applied the putty to each hole location as shown below.

Putty applied to one of the holes.

I let the putty cure for approx. 3 hours and then sanded it using a combo of files and sandpaper. It was a bunch of work, but the end result is what is shown below.

End result of the putty sanding

One other thing left was to size up the air intake into the left size heat muff. I mocked this up with some skeet tubing I has lying around. It seemed like it would work, stealing some air from the left side intake,.

I cut a 2″ hole in the left snorkel.

2″ Hole cut

I took a 2″ duct and flox’ed it in place over the hole that was drilled. Once cured, I re-test fit the skeet tube to the exhaust.

Test fit of the heat tube.

I then laid up some fiberglass cloth and some peel ply to glass over the flanges of the 2″ metal tube.

Fiberglass Coth and peel ply curing.
Finished product.

I was then able to get back to finishing up the condenser install of the Air conditioning. I utilized some scrap metal along with some construction paper to mark out the center lines of the connections on the aft side of the unit. I did decide to use some straight connectors that Airflow systems provided to put the connections in the first bay from the tunnel.

Marking the center lines of the aft connections.

I used some cardboard to enlarge the holes and make sure the holes were in the right position prior to drilling into the bottom fuselage. Everything seemed to be correct.

Cardboard template

I then took the metal template and screwed it into position and prepared to drill the holes to mark out where the hoses are to be placed.

Metal template in position.
Drilling the hole .
Both holes drilled to final size.

Then I screwed the AC scoop into position and test fit the aft hoses that go up into the fuselage. Everything worked out well as shown below.

Holes drilled and connections inside in place.

I installed some grommets into the holes to seal them as much as possible.

Grommets in place

A view from the inside with the connections coming up through the fuselage skins.

FWF hoses, Oil door pin airfoil, and exhaust update

Most of the FWF fuel and oil hoses are complete now minus some Adel clamps that still need to be added. I’ve tried to annotate the pictures as much as possible to help show what all the hoses are.

Below you can see the main fuel supply comes out of the firewall bulkhead fitting on the left (pilots) side and attaches to the SDS post filter. In this picture is also one of the two oil cooler lines that connects to the engine.

Below is the closeup of the post filter clamped to the engine mount.

The fuel supply comes out of the post filter and continues on to the fuel rail after it passes through the baffling. Also shown is the fuel pressure line that comes back to a sensor, the other oil cooler line, and the oil pressure line.

A better view of both lines coming out of the oil cooler.

The blue hose is the oil breather line connected to the Air/Oil separator. This configuration will keep oil off the belly of the airplane. I also added an adel clamp on the firewall to hold it midway.

Moving to the other side of the engine, we have the manifold pressure line coming from the sensor on the manifold block. You can also see here the fuel return line coming through the baffling as it makes its way back to the fuel pressure regulator.

One of the add-ons I decided on was a remote oil filter adapter. This will make oil changes much easier with the filter readily accessible and with the filter oriented vertical, all excess oil will be in the filter when you spin it off preventing a mess. This does, however, require 2 additional hoses to get back and forth to the engine as shown here.

Below you see the Borla pressure regulator for the SDS system mounted to the firewall and taking return fuel (top right) from the engine, and returning it to the firewall mounted bulkhead fitting below the heat box on the right (copilots) side. I still need to attach a manifold line to the center of the regulator.

Looking at the engine side and the fuel block on top of the case.. you can see the supply, return, and pressure lines as they make their way from the rear baffle to the block. There is a T fitting in the supply inlet to provide the pressure back to the sensor.

Each of the cylinder is fed out of the sides of the fuel block like the 3 cylinders shown below.

I also drilled a small hole in the oil filter adapter to attach safety wire to when safetying the oil filter itself.. not done here as the install is all temporary for now.

One of the other things I needed to finish up as creating an airfoil of sorts to back up the pin for the hidden oil door. I used some air-drying modeling clay to form the shape that I wanted.

I then laid up a few layers of fiberglass cloth over the clay and allowed it to cure overnight.

I finished it off with some micro and sanded it smooth.

With the pin inserted.

Another task I needed to figure out was how to feed air into the left side heat muff. With the AC compressor installed on the engine there is no good way to use anything from the air inlet area like the stock setup does. The only options I saw were to feed it from the aft baffle (like the right side does), feed it from the left intake snorkel, pull from the right inlet area (but this is also tight with the alternator over there), or add NACA vents to the lower cowl.

I’ve decided on pulling from the left intake snorkel. This does steal some combustion air , but the Showplane’s setup is designed to only need air from one side to be sufficient. So I will add a 2″ SCAT tube between the locations shown with arrows below. Of course, I’m going to need to get a 180* setup for the #2 cylinder heat muff from Custom Aircraft parts instead of the normal 62.5* one I have now. This will have air come in from the outside of the exhaust and intake tubes to the engine and the outlet will be on the inside of those tubes feeding the left heat box.

A rough mock-up of where the 2″ SCAT tube will go. There seems to be sufficient space between the lower cowl and the engine to do this.

A rough approximation of where the inlet to the heat muff will be.

In talking to Clinton about this, he’s also been fighting some cracking in the exhaust on the left side. He had previously sent me a support setup for the exhaust to help with vibration, which I have, but haven’t done anything with it quite yet. He asked that I install my exhaust and check for any interference with the intake tubes and in the end, I’ll need to send my entire left side of the exhaust back to him for modification to help prevent cracking in the future.

Left side of exhaust installed.
Right side installed.

While sending it back, I’m also going to have him “stud” the heat muffs on both sides (as shown below) to allow for some better heat transfer. I didn’t know about this option prior to ordering and it apparently helps get some more heat for the colder months. The stock Vetterman exhaust is known to have too much heat, but that’s not always the case with the Custom system.

Picture of Bob Lusslow’s studded exhaust that I’m going to have done.

Fuel filter/cabin line redo plus FWF plumbing starts

Back when I installed my fuel lines, Tom from AS Flightlines ( http://www.aircraftspecialty.com) really only had one solution to the SDS fuel filters. On top of the fuel pump module using adel clamps. I really don’t like having these in the tunnel for maintenance reasons. It seems inevitable that some amount of fuel will spill out into the tunnel no matter how careful I am trying to catch it all as I take this all apart for yearly service. Additionally, I placed the access panels on the tunnel sidewalls a little further aft and not perfectly aligned to the whole assembly, so access to the forward-most fittings is a bit challenging. Taking the top of the tunnel off, while doable, is a royal pain seeing there are throttle cables, etc.. routed on top of that. I really have always viewed this solution as something I’m going to regret and will spend way more time than I really should on each condition inspection. Also I can envision lots of curse words being used. Below is a view of the original filter setup in the tunnel.

Original tunnel fuel filter arrangement.

Since that time, Tom has come up with pre-filters in the wing roots, and moving the post filter firewall forward. Despite having some re-do.. I opted to take some time now to change and use this new configuration. Maintenance will be much easier and more accessible that way. If fuel does spill, it’ll be outside of the cabin. With just the fuel pump in the tunnel, there will be basically no reason to ever go in there very often at all, other than to remove the access panels and check on the pumps.

Of course that meant all new cabin hoses and some additional expense, but Tom actually helped out in this regard. I also went with some other arrangements that Tom has standardized on for routing, like having the supply come out on the left side of the firewall and return on the right. One thing that we did decide on was seeing we had to remake the hoses under my seats, was to re-use the hole I had already cut for one of the fuel lines. I cut this hole pretty close to the stock supply hose location and sided it just big enough to get a -6 hose swivel fitting through. Seeing both the stock and hole I drilled were too big for normal AN bulkhead fittings, I had to utilize the TCW fittings (https://www.tcwtech.com). Bob has come up with a washer with a neck/bushing on the inside that fits into the 1″ stock location so the fitting doesn’t fall through the hole. I also asked Bob if he could make me a custom one for the 25/32″ hole that I had already drilled. He made it the next day and had it off to me. I’d say I had a bit of shit luck with how these 2 washers fit basically perfectly. I really figured I was going to have to carve a half moon in one of them for clearance to the other.

Supply and return fittings on the fuselage side skin.

I installed 2 new hoses under each seat for the supply and return.

Below you can see the routing to the side skins. In retrospect, I really wish I didn’t route my brake line in the middle row of the systems brackets.. It would minimize hose crossovers.. In the end the right-most hose in the picture below passes under the brake hose with some clearance. The left-most hose is angled enough with the 45* fitting that it also clears everything.

Routing of hose lines to side skin.

I then spent some time re-locating the pump module. I used the “standard” length hoses from Tom to place this. I also noticed that I needed to raise the module up 2″ from the 3/4″x3/4″ angle I had placed on the tunnel sidewalls already.

Using the hose lengths to place the pump module.

In order to raise the module up, I decided on using some square aluminum tubing. I could some 2″x2″x.125″ material on Aircraft Spruce and ended up cutting 2 pieces. I re-used one set of holes and nut plates I already had on the angle for the aft-most tube. I then added 2 new pieces of angle for the forward tube as shown below.

Using square tubing to elevate the pump module 2″

I was then able to bolt the pump module down with 4 bolts into the square tubing with nut plates and AN3 bolts. I added a couple of adel clamps to the longer return hose as it made its way back to the selector valve.

Finalized pump module

Tom also sent along my FWF package with integral firesleeved hoses.

Example of the integral fire sleeve hose

I started on the fuel supply and routing it from the firewall to the post-filter to the fuel block on the top of the engine. This hose passes through the aft baffle with a grommet.

FW to post filter hose.
Post filter location on engine mount vertical tube and routing through baffle
Supply hose to fuel supply rail on engine top. The T fitting is for fuel pressure back to the manifold block on the firewall.

More FWF plumbing to come now that the cabin and pump are complete.

Completely baffled

In prep for installing the baffle material, I used my go-to method of using construction paper to make templates for each piece prior to cutting the actual material. I targeted 2.5″ above the metal baffle material based on what others have done. I did a few test fits with the upper cowling on to make sure that length seemed like it would work. I tied to make the pieces overlap around the split points in the metal in case I ever need to take the whole assembly apart at a later time.

Tempates for baffle material
Working my way around the engine.
Another view
All done with templates.

I then marked the templates with a line along the metal baffles to mark their position for reinstallation later on. I also marked out a line with enough edge distance for drilling 1/8″ holes to pop rivet the baffling material to later.

Once that was done, I removed the templates and cut out the material one piece at a time. I tried to cut such that the natural curve from the material roll would be in the direction I wanted the material to lay.

Cutting the first piece.
Test fitting it in place
Inboard view
First couple of pieces done.

The method I found worked the best to punch holes in the baffle material was to first tape the template on the piece.

template taped in place

I then used the previously drawn line to place the template/piece assembly in place relative to the metal baffle making sure I had enough material for the overlap spots to the adjacent piece. I would use a drill to cut away the construction paper enough to mark the spot of the hole to be punched. I did the first 2 holes, then punched holes.. put the piece back into place with clecos and then drilled the remainder of the holes so I didn’t have to try to hold the assembly in position for the entire sequence.

Drilling away the construction paper at the hole location
All holes marked with the drill.

I then used a punch to make the hole in the proper spot in the silicone baffle material.

Punching the holes in the baffle material at the proper locations.

Below are some pics of the final install. I did have to take some of the curl out of these pieces as they tended to curl inwards a little too much. I rolled each piece by hand in the opposite direction and sat some weight on the pieces to take some of the curl out. I also used some duct tape to hold adjacent pieces somewhat together. This will simulate the eventual RTV that will be used to hold everything together.

Closeup of Prop Governor area.

I then did something similar to the plans for the stock cowl to bridge the gap between the air intake tubes and the cowl. I used the metal strip material provided and curved it to match the round intake shape of the cowling. I then matched drilled 3 holes for #6 screws to hold this to the cowl. I cut some additional baffle material and used contact cement to adhere to the metal strips.

Metal strips formed to cowl curve with baffle material adhered to it.
View of lower cowl with baffle material added.

Below is a picture of the iniital test fit of this strip/baffle material fit. It seals up the small gap between the cowling and the intake tubes by resting on the inside of the air intake tube. I’ll likely trim this piece a little more for a better fit. Note also that I was sort of holding this in position to take a picture so the alignment is a little off, but you get the gist of what I am trying to accomplish here.

Panel has arrived

It’s really exiting to have the last major piece of the puzzle in hand.. There is still so much to finish up…, but it’s encouraging and helps me to keep grinding away towards completion.

To recap the configuration:

  • Triple Garmin 3GX touch screens
  • GTN650 IFR Navigator
  • Dual GSU25 ADAHRS
  • G5 Backup Attitude Indicator
  • GMC507 Autopilot Head
  • GMA245 Audio Panel
  • GEA24 EIS (Engine monitoring)
  • GTR20 Remote COM (COM2)
  • GTX45 Remote Transponder
  • SDS EFII Controller
  • Mountain High EDS-4ip 4 place oxygen controller. 
  • GDL-51R Remote Sirius XM receiver

A picture of the panel propped up on my table.

Pictures of the left, center, and right sections closer up.

Aerosport Switch Pod housing lighting controls.

Lower center console housing the SDS EFII controller, defrost, and Air Conditioning controls.

Stick grips came in the package as well all wired up and ready for me to connect. I went with the Infinity HOS (Hands on Stick) Military style grips. Several controls are on the stick that might otherwise be on the panel. The idea here is to have both hands on the controls and throttle during critical phases of flight; not having to move them to activate flaps, for instance.

Here’s a rundown of the button assignment:

  • High hat in the center to control roll and pitch trim.
  • A switch on the thumb side to control the flaps. This is a momentary down to advance the flaps electronically to the next “notch” and a constant up position so the flaps are raised all the way up.
  • Opposite of the flap control, there is a Take off/Go Around button. This will sequence the autopilot/GPS to the missed approach segment when needed.
  • The Red button on the thumb side is a Auto pilot disconnect/control wheel steering button.
  • And finally a frequency flip-flop button. I didn’t really know what to add to this button, but decided on this.. Some people do ident, start button, or other functions. We’ll see how useful this ends up being in practice.. Guess if doing instrument approaches etc.. I may be setting up next frequencies in the standby area ahead of time enough to just have to hit a button with my pinkie to switch when needed.. We’ll see..

And finally some pictures of all the wiring between all the components. Along with several P-Plug connectors on either side of the panel for me to connect to all the other locations in the plane. Aerotronics mounts as many of the sub components right to the panel, as you can see. This alleviates me from having to mount them on my sub panel. Of course all the wiring harnesses are also already all done for me. Including runs out to the wings for AP servos and magnetometer, along with runs to the back for AP servos and trim servos back there. Lots and lots of wiring ahead..

And finally a picture of my panel from Aerotronics all powered up and tested prior to shipment.

They have been really great to work with.

Finishing the hidden hinge oil door

During some down time with baffling tasks, I decided to tackle finishing off the oil door and its hidden hinge release method using a Bowden cable. I started by filling in the left side upper inlet with expanding foam to allow the baffling material in the area of the prop governor something to press against.

Initial foam fill and sand flat.

I then placed it on the plane and looked at the clearance to the governor arm. I sanded it down as a curve until I was happy with the clearance.

A test fit of the foam area

I then put the Bowden cable in place and got a rough idea of where the cable would penetrate the upper inlet ramp. I marked and drilled 2 holes on either side and then ran a 1/4″ drill bit through the foam to connect the 2 holes. I was then able to get the cable through.

Marking where the cable will go through and the rectangle is the area where the cable end will sit.
Cable in place left long on the cowl opening side.
A closer view

I then laid up 4 layers of cloth over the Bowden cable, the exposed foam to close it out, and the upper inlet ramps to better adhere them to the cowl per the Showplane’s instructions.

Fiberglass layup w/ peel ply

After curing the view of the results.. The cable is now permanently adhered to the cowl. I also cut the metal cable housing to length and bent the inner pin at 90* to get your finger on it.

A view aft to front

Then I took a quick video of how one opens the oil door. Closing is equally easy.. just hold the door down and push the pin back into position. I still do need to get some molding clay and make a small weathervane with a slot to house the cable end in the inlet area. This clay will be used as a mold to lay up fiberglass and allow it to cure.