High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Underway Now

Interior of the cockpit. Front of the aircraft is to the left.
The square openings in the floor are where the control sticks
will be mounted. Seats will go in the depressions at lower right.

I've started working on the cockpit area. The flap lever has been mounted, the slot cut for the trim control, and this photo shows me using my battery-operated Dremel tool to cut openings for the throttle quadrant. Right now I'm working on getting the rudder pedals bolted into place. Today I installed four of the bolts that will hold the seat belts. Earlier, I started to assemble the wheels and the brakes, but I'd ordered a better set of brakes and they aren't described in the instruction manual. There's a Pipistrel email mailing list, and I have a list of questions to pose. If I need to, I'll email the factory in Slovenia. They've been very helpful to other builders.

By the way, I can't imagine building a Sinus kit without a Dremel tool! I have both the battery operated tool, and one that plugs in. They are more than invaluable--they are necessary.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

First Steps

Windshield edge masked for painting

Sinus fuselage showing windshield recesses that are to be painted black

Constructing my Sinus, I'm still working on very basic things. I sanded around the edges of the windshield and the skylight, and painted same. The edge of these windows is sunken below the level of the the fuselage surface. I didn't know whether to paint so as to include the edge of the recessed area, or whether I should paint just the bottom. By masking, I allowed the black paint to come up the edges about halfway, perhaps a mm or so. I'm still not sure exactly how the transparent window material is going fit in, but if I were doing this again I think I'd only paint the bottom of the area where the these windows are going to go.

As predicted, reading the plans and the instructions is taking much more time than doing the work itself. If I were to build another one of these, I'd have all the tools on hand and I'd be able to do the work I've done so far in a very short time.

The very first job was to unpack two of the large wooden boxes that came with my kit. The other box contained the Rotax 912 four cycle aircraft engine. The other two contained transparent plastic bags with parts inside--each bag nicely numbered to be consistent with the parts list. Each of these plastic bags consisted of several chambers, each with sets of parts such as all the screws that pertain, for example, to the handgrip on the flap handle. And the grip itself.