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Deskpilot

A short story, then a long journey

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OK, next request and one that's been out there for other before me.

 

My plane came with a few instruments, a bit of a panel and some bits of wire. With the exception of the dual CHT gauge, I'll probably not use the ASI in MPH, nor the real ancient altimeter, nor the dual EGT gauge. The rev counter is usable but I don't really like the half circle design. So, I'm on the scrounge for cheap replacements. Can, glass and bezel condition not important as I intend to re-house them with imported equipment. Obviously, all gauges must be complete and in working order. Also need a Rate of climb/descent gauge. I'm looking for instruments that will fit in a 4inch square can. Not asking much am I? 008_roflmao.gif.692a1fa1bc264885482c2a384583e343.gif

 

This is what I hope it will all look like in the end.

 

973385975_Cockpit(Copy).jpg.819f794949214483894345c7a5208e1a.jpg Please search your workshops guys. Will pay what I can afford for the items, and full postage.

 

Any one wanting the spare gauges, they're yours if and when I get replacements, No charge.

 

 

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OK, no replies to my last post which leads me to ask this. Where do all the salvaged instruments go? There must be a huge pile somewhere but I've searched the web and can't find any. I can't believe they're all smashed up, either in a crash or after the salvage operation. If you know of somewhere I can look, please do tell.

 

 

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Been a while since I last posted so.............................I said this would be a long journey and it's turning out to be longer than I thought. Whilst the "do a little every day" idea is good in theory, it's no so good when you turn 75, the weather is way too hot and you have visitors from the UK staying with you. I got a little despondent over my person skills whilst repairing the pod on my kite. I couldn't get a good finish on the f/glass and consequently, the following paint job is crap. (It's all in the preparation folks, no matter what you're doing) Anyway, here are a few photos of the journey thus far.

 

118907929_DSCF4832(Copy).JPG.73ec1ca2468f8fd120b76d03e1eef4a7.JPG

 

1992681959_DSCF4831(Copy).JPG.a0b52affd2ff4617a9130d12e29b16a4.JPG

 

1598545607_DSCF4830(Copy).JPG.d64d1259415a01a6eda982e10a400433.JPG

 

Not started on the engine yet

 

613123794_DSCF4672(Copy).JPG.8647bd0de0a49a63d5f693981f71e52a.JPG

 

Hmm, wifey took over half the garage yesterday to store the overflow of her "craft stuff". Just another hurdle in the journey to the skies.

 

872412560_DSCF4830(Copy).JPG.8ad3668deeaff55d31f0c828124e194f.JPG

 

 

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Looks great from here, DP.......and I'm sure she'll look beautiful in the air.

 

That's what she's for....right?

 

 

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Hi DP..I am about to start on a similar mission with a rebuild of a Kestrel tail dragger. I am in Adelaide also and would like to catch up to share a bit of knowledge.

 

Can be contacted on 0415 459 431

 

Bob SVD

 

 

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I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in that my Thruster re-build is now underway. New floor in situ but not fixed. It's a snug fit and I might leave like that. New shock-cord fitted to rudder pedals, seat mounts re-positioned to take the seat and the battery tray clipped into place just for this photo.

 

576589162_DSCF4842(Copy).JPG.5431cddd34c935b7a668535a87a42bfc.JPG

 

Next to-do is getting a new control column. the pivot point is now under the seat so I need a new one with a crank in it. Re-assembly of the boom supports will also take place this week. Whilst the wheels and suspension legs are ready, I'm leaving them off for the time being. I've got a question though. Plastic cable guides have a very narrow 'slot' into which the rivets go. How do you do it? A special rivet puller head?

 

I met up with Ben/SVD (Bob) and his brilliant artist wife Margaret during the week and saw his 'gifted' Gemini. What a lovely find. Needs very little done to it but he tells me he's going to pull it to pieces so that he understands it's make-up. Skins are in excellent condition for it's year, not rotten like mine. Anyway, I'll leave it to him to talk you through his journey on a thread that I'm sure he'll be happy to open (get of of that, Bob)

 

 

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I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in that my Thruster re-build is now underway. New floor in situ but not fixed. It's a snug fit and I might leave like that. New shock-cord fitted to rudder pedals, seat mounts re-positioned to take the seat and the battery tray clipped into place just for this photo.[ATTACH=full]48426[/ATTACH]

 

Next to-do is getting a new control column. the pivot point is now under the seat so I need a new one with a crank in it. Re-assembly of the boom supports will also take place this week. Whilst the wheels and suspension legs are ready, I'm leaving them off for the time being. I've got a question though. Plastic cable guides have a very narrow 'slot' into which the rivets go. How do you do it? A special rivet puller head?

 

I met up with Ben/SVD (Bob) and his brilliant artist wife Margaret during the week and saw his 'gifted' Gemini. What a lovely find. Needs very little done to it but he tells me he's going to pull it to pieces so that he understands it's make-up. Skins are in excellent condition for it's year, not rotten like mine. Anyway, I'll leave it to him to talk you through his journey on a thread that I'm sure he'll be happy to open (get of of that, Bob)

Looks great. I have a comment, though:

 

If the control pivot point is under the seat, so that the control column has a crank or gooseneck in it, this becomes a natural pinch point: objects placed or dropped on the floor can jam between the column and the floor, making it impossible to get the stick forward. Believe me, it happens.

 

Aircraft with gooseneck sticks often have some sort of soft boot round that area to prevent this happening.

 

 

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Can anyone aid my bad memory as I can't remember where the S/S shim goes in the under-carriage assembly. Is it used as a barrier between steel springs and the alloy cross member, or is it to spread the load under the bolt heads? There are spring washes under the nuts. Should have taken photos before disassembling the craft.

 

OK, sorted it myself. It goes on top as a load sharer. Did take photos after all.

 

468323640_DSCF4681(Copy).JPG.e1a092a583a80cb72db746148beb6bca.JPG

 

 

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There's a saying, "Slowly, slowly, catch'im monkey" and that's the case with my rebuild. Very slow progress but on the right path. My boom is now back on and the control wires partially reconnected. Look good from a distance but I've managed to mark the paint a few times. Put it down to age. My mum turned 100 a fortnight ago and there are days when she is steadier than me.

 

105948511_DSCF4956(Copy).JPG.f741bd361b39c3d5c0d47c39eda92865.JPG

 

 

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Hi AB, actually it's old stuff tarted up. A light coat of Chrome paint. Unfortunately, it's very soft and will take months to harden fully. Well, I hope it will harden,

 

 

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I found a reasonable etch primer to get paint to stick and harden better on ally, it is from Bunnings but a bit more expensive than cheap stuff, cant move the primer once its dries, took to it with wet and dry, then stainless steel scourer, got all the wrong paint I put over it off and primer is there ready to be painted over again, was well worth the extra money but can't remember the product but will see it once I get back in the spray can section, grey in colour

 

 

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A few new images of my rebuild.

 

152711676_DSCF4957(Copy).JPG.736098761f46cc91193a741a18329706.JPG

 

696181040_DSCF4958(Copy).JPG.5dd7871f1c6b44c75c026c4f38d9f71b.JPG Seat and cover hacked to fit lower and around control stick. Playing with a cardboard instrument panel. Still need to make a new c/stick, this one was intended to fit under the seat.

 

1859986852_DSCF4964(Copy).JPG.0bc942034141a91cb3acc01d010ab5bd.JPG New 3D printed tank mounts, I modeled on SketchUp and had them printed courtesy of my local library. 4 off, solid, $8.00 the lot. To think I was originally going to have them machined from alloy billet. Before you ask, we used the hard stuff that Leggo is made from. Very tough. I will be putting bolts through them later, but only on the bottom rails.

 

908172840_DSCF4960(Copy).JPG.2c3e6b3fd891be354c56a41708d65ba6.JPG

 

 

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Dosen't matter if it's a long journey Doug. You're making progress, which is what counts, and no doubt having a bit of fun along the way= satisfaction.012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

 

 

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Time for an update.

 

Although not wired or plumbed, my new instrument panel is ready for completion. I finally decided to go with the all red finish and to keep it warm, there's a nice new top-coat with a smart platted belt. The windscreen will fit around it and will be finished with a nice 'chrome' strip.

 

457707608_DSCF5207(Copy).JPG.11d08926c4a48d78b1954891cbe63291.JPG

 

So as not to smash my face into the panel in an emergency, I'm in the process of fitting a 4 point safety harness, (only AU$35 on Ebay. Brand new)

 

1799192413_DSCF5208(Copy).JPG.6d8f2dc4b2a84a569d80a126c608af33.JPG

 

Now, I've spoken about replacing the rotten skins with a resin impregnated Lycra. Having finally got the correct pressure foot and needle for my sewing machine, I decided to have a go on the skeg, that being the smallest part to 'cock-up'. As you can see, the Dacron is past it's best and certainly needs replacing.

 

1160208200_DSCF5185(Copy).JPG.a69c36bcfeef18aec287ea3d0f997f8e.JPG

 

I removed the skin and after measuring it, I modeled it on SketchUp, and the scaled it down to allow for the stretch of the Lycra. This first effort was too small and I also realised that it would need to stretch more in one direction that other.

 

1719215797_DSCF5188(Copy).JPG.83ad568f917b06b7793fb2eb30793b68.JPG

 

This is the final size I came up with. Quite a bit smaller that the original and a hell of a lot cheaper than the replacement Dacron. My first purchase of Lycra was from Spotlight(for convenience) and a meter cost me about $35. I will source the bulk buy elsewhere at $10 per meter.

 

2075086218_DSCF5189(Copy).JPG.be0b15599b35e4ce733fd0bab4e1add8.JPG

 

Before things got 'sticky', I had decided to cover the tubes with grease-proof paper, just in case it has to come off again. My other half says it's too porous and won't work!!!

 

1764065804_DSCF5191(Copy).JPG.9c55076df637da7e339b71be4d5acf44.JPG

 

Not a clear picture but the most difficult part was pinning it in place. Trying to inset small headed pins (they're going to stay embedded in the resin) whist the Lycra is trying to shrink back to it's original size. Another pair of hands might have been a bonus.

 

288306097_DSCF5192(Copy).JPG.fd6ba0bd0021cd690559460d6746ccb7.JPG

 

Happy with the first fit,

 

1526368676_DSCF5193(Copy).JPG.3de9cc917ae7dfea03e7408b456bfb21.JPG

 

I proceeded to the first, thinned coat of resin. Mistake one, thinned it too much and found it difficult to get an even coating.

 

946362102_DSCF5196(Copy).JPG.b872de62c42300db3b6355c217bbb1e3.JPG

 

Pressed on regardless, after all, it can/might come of again.

 

1642671351_DSCF5197(Copy).JPG.fa5d129ca51ff5507264a85489848dbe.JPG

 

Second coat hid some of the first coat errors

 

1416950198_DSCF5198(Copy).JPG.f291eb65a127d8d7678d664d8a740acf.JPG

 

So pressed on to the third and final coat. Doesn't look too bad. Brush strokes are evident but not unsightly. The final tension is almost the same as the Dacron, so I'm well pleased with the result. Managed to get it done in just over 6 hours(applying resin and letting coats dry slightly between coats. Fully dry in the 6hrs.

 

1356197736_DSCF5200(Copy).JPG.870ea7ad118f393f19ee27ebf0d2c467.JPG

 

Mi intention had been to add strips along the vertical tube to act as joint covers between the fin/skeg and rudder. A lightly 'resined' piece will bent very easily as the rudder is moved. However, I found that the Lycra roll on istself if no pinned in place so I'll make them separately and add them later.

 

As usual, helpful comment are welcome gentlemen. Please don't criticize if you have nothing to base your criticism on.

 

.

 

1173440524_DSCF5203(Copy).JPG.1c340954f81a62aedba8bfc6dab0e404.JPG

 

98966588_DSCF5204(Copy).JPG.bb28ff0d058915c3f942021eca2f2eb6.JPG

 

 

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Hmmm, first attempt.....Failure. I think I got the resin/hardener ratio wrong as over-night, the resin layers began separating. At the time of brushing them on, I had wondered about the speed of setting. Now I know. Ah well, learn by your mistakes. I'll do some more test pieces and try to find the correct mix ratio for small amounts of resin.There must be an easier way than counting drops of hardener.

 

 

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Hmmm, first attempt.....Failure. I think I got the resin/hardener ratio wrong as over-night, the resin layers began separating. At the time of brushing them on, I had wondered about the speed of setting. Now I know. Ah well, learn by your mistakes. I'll do some more test pieces and try to find the correct mix ratio for small amounts of resin.There must be an easier way than counting drops of hardener.

So, it's been some weeks since your last progress report ...... what's happening? Being in the throes of bringing a Gemini back to life, I've been following your rebuild saga with great interest. Updates welcome.

 

 

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