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Kyle Communications

Another NEW Savannah XL on its way

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Its been a little while since I last did a update have been going up to the property every second weekend getting shower and toilet and mezzanine floor organised for the shed. The fin and rudder are all riveted and the trailing edge of the rudder I admit I was a little worried about trying to do a nice job of keeping it nice and straight without any warping when putting the blind rivets into. Well that turned out really well I used some alu angle clamped to both sides then gingerly did the riveting trying to make even mushroom heads and most are pretty reasonable in that regard. The only thing is to put the plastic tips on so I have left the very top row of rivets out until I get some thin 6061 to slide between the skins and the frame to make the top edge to rivet to. Got back from the property on sunday early so went over and got the tailplane frame assembled and then proceeded to get the skins on. It all went together very well and I will rivet it all up this weekend. I also hope to get the elevator all done this weekend as well. Then its onto the wings which will be a pretty major job I think just really because of the size of them. I am really enjoying the time when I get to work on this aircraft I was told its great therapy and I do have to agree.

 

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Got a chance to do some more work this weekend on the Savannah. Last weekend I finished off the tailplane and went to work on the elevator but discovered I had the skins but no internals for the elevator it was left out when they packed the kit so couldn't get onto that and they have been ordered but there is plenty of work to do. Got all the ribs and brackets out for the right wing and proceeded to do the deburring and cleaning then etching the bits that contact each other. That took a while so that was last weekend. This weekend I got the top of the fin and rudder plastic tips organised. JG gave me some .5mm 6061 sheet which I cut into 30mm wide strips and installed them between the skin and rib in the fin and rudder to allow the plastic caps to be fitted. The plastic tips both needed to be sanded flat at the bottom so they make a nice fit a couple of pics on how I did this as the manual does not mention how to fit these then I set to making all the edges of the ribs to 90 degrees so it fits well on the skins. Its hard going trying to get that right so I screwed a piece of 35x70 to the bench and held the rib flat on its widest side onto the bench then put the edge up against the secured piece of wood then used another piece of the same size wood and tapped and rolled the edges. this worked really well I must say and I had all the edges done in about 10 mins, next made up the rear longeron and did the main assembly of the ribs to the main spar and fitted the strengthening brackets and rear longeron also the small rear ribs and brackets. I hope to get there during the week to do a bit more work on the wing and also should be able to get a lot done on it next weekend

 

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Got a chance to do some more work this weekend on the Savannah. Last weekend I finished off the tailplane and went to work on the elevator but discovered I had the skins but no internals for the elevator it was left out when they packed the kit so couldn't get onto that and they have been ordered but there is plenty of work to do. Got all the ribs and brackets out for the right wing and proceeded to do the deburring and cleaning then etching the bits that contact each other. That took a while so that was last weekend. This weekend I got the top of the fin and rudder plastic tips organised. JG gave me some .5mm 6061 sheet which I cut into 30mm wide strips and installed them between the skin and rib in the fin and rudder to allow the plastic caps to be fitted. The plastic tips both needed to be sanded flat at the bottom so they make a nice fit a couple of pics on how I did this as the manual does not mention how to fit these then I set to making all the edges of the ribs to 90 degrees so it fits well on the skins. Its hard going trying to get that right so I screwed a piece of 35x70 to the bench and held the rib flat on its widest side onto the bench then put the edge up against the secured piece of wood then used another piece of the same size wood and tapped and rolled the edges. this worked really well I must say and I had all the edges done in about 10 mins, next made up the rear longeron and did the main assembly of the ribs to the main spar and fitted the strengthening brackets and rear longeron also the small rear ribs and brackets. I hope to get there during the week to do a bit more work on the wing and also should be able to get a lot done on it next weekend

Hi Spectre-O,

 

I'm considering building a plane, such as the Savannah, probably starting next year. I was wondering about your work table: it looks pretty good. Could you tell me the approximate dimensions? I'm trying to figure out a place in my garage where to build it and I need to know the size.

 

It looks like you are making good progress!

 

 

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Hi Eighty Knots

 

The table is great and its so simple. Everyone said to build the kit on top of the box and I started to but I found it was a pain in the backside when you wanted to get the bigger parts out although it says not to leave the parts in the box because they can get moisture and corrode. A local around near where I live is building a Vg XL as well and is about 3/4 done I went and saw Steve and he gave me heaps of good hints and tips...after all he is a LAME for Virgin so he knows his stuff. I just did what he did and when you remove the lid off the box because the box is 4.2 mtrs long you use the lid as the table top. The 2 big rails that run inside the box that the lid actually sits on you remove them from the side of the box as use that as your side rails for the table then just go to Carter Holt as I think you are in NZ and get some 30x75 and cut them in my case Bunnings had 900mm precut in that size I just got a heap of those as they were cheap and some 2.4mtr ones and built the legs on the table while it was upside down and when it was finished I just rolled it over and Voila...one nice straight 4.2mtr long table to build the Savannah on. I am so please I went this way as it gives heaps of room to buil everything on and if your garage is long enough you can build the fuse rear end up at the one end and on the table and when you add the front on it will extend over the front of the table and will make it easier to build things on.I have added a couple of pics to give you the idea 2412_1 is the actual top of the box 2416_1 you can see the top inside rails I removed to make the long edge of the tale these go under the top about 10mm which keeps the top straight as well you can see this in 2612_1. The table way is much better than on the top of the box its so much easier

 

having troubles uploading the pics will get to it soon

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

 

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Thanks for the detailed description, Mark.

 

I look forward to when you can attach the photos too.

 

Regards,

 

Hank

 

 

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Hello Mark,

 

If I choose to build a Savannah, I'll certainly use this idea for a very handy table! Thanks for the pictures: they're nice and clear.

 

Hank

 

 

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Well had a big weekend building. I am surprised at how much you get done things are going together pretty quickly. On saturday I was going to skin the wings so got everything primed and rotated the wing over and set about fitting the skin support strips to the bottom skin. I actually put them onto the wing then layed the skin over and lined up the thin strips under the skin and riveted only the bits that contact the skin and not the ribs as they need to be done later You can see the strips on the bottom skin this is all on the right hand wing at this stage. I clecoed the skin into position and flipped over the wing to do the top skin. This is where I ran into a slight problem. I have one of the thin skin reinforcement strips wrong supplied. I think it was bent the wrong way as the 6 strips required for each side are all numbered correctly but 9SA163-2 is folded opposite to the way it should be so I can only fit the 5 strips which stops me from completing the right wing. I then checked the strips required for the left wing and they are all numbered correctly and also are correctly folded. The only option was to then put that wing to the side until I get a replacement strip. So now it was onto the left wing panel. I have attached a couple of pics to show how I got the edges of the ribs at right angles. it only takes 10 mins and makes it quite easy and accurate. I think I explained how I did this in a previous post. This wing went together much faster than the right one obviously because I have now built one other half and know how to do it. I have attached the pics of how far I have got. Basically I am about to fit the bottom skin to the left wing and also the strips to the skin and yes I have double checked that I have got all of the correct skin strips and they are the right numbers. I left it today after priming all the contact parts so next time I get over there I can fit the bottom skin roll it over and do the top skin and then the big test I am concerned about and that is bending the nose skin over. I really want to try to do a great job on the nose skin so i think I might try to tee up one of the other savannah guys to give me a hand with that as they have experience with it and I am open to all experienced advice :). Got a big week this week so I doubt if I will get back to do any more work and I have to go up to the farm next weekend to get the shower and the toilet all plumbed up and the water heater fitted ready for the guys to come in and dig the trenches for the sewerage system. Once we get all that in place and working I will be going much faster on the savannah so I can get to fly up there instead of the 3 hr drive

 

Mark

 

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Guest milton56

Wing Leeding edge nose skin

 

Hi Mark

 

When it came time to attach the leading edge skin, I used about 8 cargo straps and slowly pulled each one up at a time. I cleco'd the bottom edge first then folded the skin over towards the top (with a hand from a mate) then placed the straps. Another problem I found was that there was a fairly large gap between the nose rib top and skin, about four holes, and if I had riveted this there would have been dints along the top of the nose skin leeding edge. To solve this I used a syringe and car bog and squirted a small amount in each hole where the gap was, Then drilled out and riveted using longer rivets. I built the Vg and you may not have this problem. Hope this helps.

 

Milton

 

 

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We have found that the easiest way to get a good result is to attach the top of the leading edge first. Cleco all the way down to the leading edge radius. Then one strap at each rib. The key to getting the under surface tight and smooth is the length of 50mm thick spacer under the bottom surface so that the straps are pressing the skin against the ribs. Snub up the straps gradually, 'bumping' the surface with the palm of the hand to help pull it around the radius until the holes underneath line up. We got really good results easily when we did this last time.

 

That's Kenny (Dags) snubbing the straps and Hans clecoing underneath. That's steel c-section were using because it was at hand, but pine stud material is ideal.

 

JG

 

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Spent quite a few hours today cleaning and painting contact bits on the wing sheeting. I am currently working on the left wing. It has all gone together pretty smoothly so far...except...if you look at the photos with the top sheeting clecoed so far. I checked and made sure the tops of the ribs were at 90 deg to ensue good sheet contact and straightness but you can see in the attached pics that the 2 sections where the fuel tanks go are some what wonkey. I think I will remove the sheet and look pretty hard at the ribs and try to fix this. There are no stiffeners over the main tank and when you fit the extra tanks you have to leave out another set of stiffeners in the next outboard from the root section. If you look at the other pictures I have taken of the other sections on the wing are much better. I believe this is because these sections have the wing sheet stiffeners riveted to the top sheet and it must hold the sheet better. Has anyone else had this issue and if so how did you solve it?. Maybe I just made a stuff up and those ribs are not quite right but will know once I lift the sheet off

 

The other photo is of Laurie Strickland's recently completed VG XL at Caboolture this morning he has around 8 hrs on it now and loves it. He did make a comment about the static port. He doesn't like it and says it doesn't give a true indication and he is going to fit a new one the same as the one on the Jabiru. Laurie owned and flew his Jab for many years. He will get a Jab static port the same as the pic I have here and put it up on the Savannah fin the same as the Jab. has anyone here had any issues with the static port on their Sav's

 

Mark

 

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Yeh, I've never been able to find a suitable static port on my Savannah. I have six different ports on different parts of the fuselage, and have also made up and tried one out on the wing at the pitot. None gave correct readings. The best I have found is inside the cabin, which gives accurate readings within 2 knots over the used range at 2000 ft when flying 4-way GPS. Of course the problem with in cabin static is the effect of opening vents, etc. Just opening the snap vents doesn't change more than a knot, but opening my opening window which I installed for photography jumps the ASI 6 knots. So have to be careful to keep it closed at t/o and landing when such an error could be serious.....

 

I look forward to hearing how that Jab style static works.

 

JG

 

 

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im interested in this as well, our savvy only has cabin static, but opening and closing the snap vents changes ASI by about 3 kts, but also changes the altimeter and VSI

 

 

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Hi all

 

Ok got a good go at the left wing today. I was a bit uneasy about doing the nose skin and cocking it up but I am reasonably happy for my first ever attempt at one. I lifted the top skin and checked that the rear ribs were at 90 deg where all that wobble was on the skin and it certainly seems to be ok so I will put a skin tensioner on it to cover the holes from the inside and I think that will fix it. I measured the cutout for the tank and I can cut some new tensioners out of it they wont have the right angle on them of course as that will interfere with the tanks. I decided to bend the skin from the bottom and not from the top because I was going to use my table for the straps. I am lucky to have quite a lot of 50mm wide proper 2.5 tonne ratchet straps like used on trucks and the way I built my table I have rails at the bottom to attach things to. When you wrap the straps around the wing itself you have to be really careful not to bend the rear edge of the wing where all those 3/32 clecos are so I got some 90 x 35 wood and attached it to the edge of the table you can see it in one of the pics I have uploaded. The straps then go over the top of this rail and don't touch the wing on the edge so it preserves this from any tension. It also has the advantage to keeping the wing dead straight on the back edge and spreads the tension load over the whole of the rear not just where the straps or if you used blocks.

 

The straps where then attached to the bottom rails at the sides of the bench which gave me a nice angle of pull. I bought a 4.8 mtr length of 35 x 70 and cut it down to suit the wing total length. A 3.6 mtr would have been perfect but Bunnings did not have one straight piece of wood in the place in that size so I opted for the longer one where I found a straight piece. Started with 4 straps but found I needed another so the 5 of 50mm straps was just right and easy to handle. Denice gave me a hand so it was just the two of us and we managed it quite easily to get the skin bent. I was surprised how easy it all was actually to do. The real pain was getting the nose ribs lined up on the holes in the skin. I probably spent more time trying to get that done than doing anything else. That was the part that got the sweat going today. There are a few small marks on the skin that I can see but certainly they are small and not that noticeable but will be able to see better when I get some rivets into it. I will be working some more on the wing tomorrow and start to get some riveting done on the skins. Will post some more pics tomorrow night

 

Mark

 

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Yeh, I've never been able to find a suitable static port on my Savannah. I have six different ports on different parts of the fuselage, and have also made up and tried one out on the wing at the pitot. None gave correct readings.

It is interesting that the Piper GA plane I am taking lessons in has four static ports -just before halfway and just after halfway along the fuselage- and I understand they are all plumbed together for some kind of 'average' reading ...so I am told.

 

I wonder, JG, if you should connect a combination of your six ports together rather than one at a time?

 

Mark (Spectre-o), I am following your construction with great interest :) . Those wings look pretty challenging.

 

 

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80Kts

 

The whole process so far has been extremely easy the nose skin was the part I was dreading and with a bit of thought and the right gear it turned out to be relatively easy. My only dissapointment (and I was fore warned) is the manual. it does take several readings and sit downs with the parts to decipher it. Its not that bad really but when people tell you to read it several times you really need to do so. It have everything in it but maybe its the italenglish that is off putting. The drawings are quite good but you need to look at them many times just to make sure bits and holes are in the right places.

 

People of my age will know the famous "mechano set" well this is just a 600+ piece 14000 rivet mechano set. It is very well engineered and made and so far its just been a great thing to put it together and I just cant wait untill I get to fly it as well

 

Mark

 

 

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Well done Mark!

 

I am also eagerly following your build progress. I have been looking at suitable kits to complete, and am certainly coming to the conclusion that the Savannah ticks most of the boxes for me. Also, should I be lucky enough to get around to one of these kits in the next year or so, I see from this forum that there is a wealth of experience within an hour or so of the Sunshine Coast if I were to get stuck.

 

Enjoy the process and we look forward to the day when we get to see your completed masterpiece.

 

Regards,

 

Mike.

 

 

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ok got to do some riveting of the top skin today...boy I glad I have air riveters there is a lot of rivets and that is just the top skin. In general I am reasonably happy but the finish could be a lot better. Just trying to work out how to get a better result with the next wing. There is a issue you see on pretty much every single savannah even the factory ones and it is the first and sometimes the second rivet up from the leading edge on the top skin. I have put the second rivet in but not that first one as you can see in the pics. The skin gets pulled down a bit onto these rivets and I want to make it a better finish that that. I think Ron Hoey has done it and I know steve up the road from me will modify his wings as well. I will leave the rivet out of the first row of holes and possibly even pull out the second row I have fitted and inject a filler into the hole to fill the space over the hole in the rib. When it drys I will re drill the hole and then rivet the skin this will make it hold its shape better around the curve and look much better. There is also another place where the rivet pulls the skin lower and that is the first row of holes directly behind the main spar I have left these rivets out as well you can see it in the pic with the original tank hole in the skin. I measured out the distance and got the spare cutout from the fuel tank today and get my mate who has a sheet metal shop to cut me the 620mm strips I need to the top skin tensioners where the tanks go and these will also block the row of holes in the skin from the extra tanks you can see these in the pics as well the holes that is :). In general the top skin is pretty reasonable. Well I am really busy this week so wont get a chance to get the underside riveted until next weekend

 

Mark

 

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Got a few hours on the wings today. Got some help to turn them over ready to rivet the bottom. I also lifted the bottom nose skin leaving the first cleco in on the underside near the nose to look at that gap between the skin and the first rivet hole on the nose skin that puts the big divit in the leading edge when you pull the rivet. I got some tape and blocked the hole in the rib from the underside so that when I squeezed some epoxy in from the hole it would hit the rib and spread nicely over it and fill the gap to the skin. When the glue drys I will drill a hole and then put in the rivet. The glue I am using is thixotropic which means it doesn't run easily. its a special super bond epoxy made by loctite/ Hysol. We use it in out turbine powered radio control models in the areas that require super strength. It uses a special applicator and mixing nozzels its not very cheap but has a incredible bond to wood or metal so it will bond to the rib and the skin and will not compress so it should make a great base for the rivet to pull the skin onto. I will drill and rivet this tomorrow and post the pictures. I was going to do something similar with the row of holes just behind the main spar which is another area I have seen on most savs that has this issue. I may even pull out the second row of rivets in the nose as well and do the same to them if this works out to be very successful.

 

I have rivetd most of the wing and just left clecos in where I need to fit the main tank and the extra tank. I have to cut out the second tank hole and on the top skin under this I have cut new wing skin tensioners that will go in just like the originals if you are not using a second tank but of course they are flat and no right angle on it so the tank will fit. This tensioner will be sikaflexed to the wing skin and also riveted at each end just the the original was intended and this will also cover all the holes in the skin. So tomorrow I will be cutting out the second tank hole in the skin and looking at mounting the tanks also I will be doing the tip sheeting as well and hopefully doing the trailing edge rivets. I will make a stand for the wing so it sits nose down in its storage rack and that will put the trailing edge up in the air and make it easier to do those mushroom rivets. i will clamp some steel bar either side so it makes the trailing edge nice and straight when its riveted...hopefully :)..its pretty good now actually but this will help to finish it off nicely.

 

Mark

 

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Hi All

 

I was again able to do some work on the wings today. I riveted the trailing edge and am pretty happy with the result..this was another area I wasn't that confident about but again no cause for concern once you start its relatively easy to get a good job. The trailing edge isn't perfect but pretty close to it so I am happy. What I did do was drill out the glue I put in the first row holes on the top leading edge to see how it would go. I am extremely happy how the skin turned out so I have drilled out the next row and you can see in the pics how the sheet has bounced up a bit. the issue now is of course I haven't got tape behind the hole to force the glue to spread over the top of the rib so what I have done is to put glue into the hole of the rib this will set then when I force glue in there again it will fill the gap on the top of the rib I will let it dry and then of course drill out the hole and then rivet the skin again and it will be great. I have done the same with the holes in the ribs in the row behind the main spar and will do the same this will stop that horrible looking dents in that row in every savannah. I have put a pic up of the glue I use it is pretty honky stuff its about $22.00 per tube so not cheap but it is aerospace stuff.

 

The next thing I did was put =on the tip skins on the top,nose and bottom and then put in the edge supports for the tip molding and tip cover. Everyone says this is a bugger of a job and so far I can see that it is. Trying to get the molded front section of the tip in the right place is going to be a drama but anyway I will persevere. Oh I almost forgot on the right wing I will be covering all the holes I glue this time so it will be really easy to get the skin right. I am a little disappointed with the skin attachments on the underside of the wing around the nose ribs you can see in the pics these are pulled in but again its pretty much the same on all the savs I have seen and being the underside no where near as critical so i think I will leave them like that. The last thing I did today was put on the flaperon attachments this took a while as getting the rivets in the holes into some of the trailing ribs was a bit of a effort but it all came out well. I can look from the tip of the wing and see through all 4 of the attachments while looking down the hinge hole so everything must be straight.

 

Well I am off for a couple of days tomorrow up to my property we are getting the Ecosafe sewerage system main tanks and filters installed on tuesday I have to be onsite at 7am so will go up tomorrow and finish off a few jobs there and sleep over for tuesday. After they leave we will have a working shower and toilet...all the more reason to get this aircraft finished so we can fly up there instead of a 3hr drive each way.

 

Mark

 

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Mark.

 

Before you put the tanks in, you might consider putting some soft thin foam strips between the tanks and top skin. When I had my tanks out, I noticed some chafing between the tanks and the top skin. I just used a couple strips of the soft "door seal" tape from a junk shop. Also a square of thin foam around the filler caps before the tanks are put in will stop the fuel getting i the wing when you spill some.

 

Regards John N.

 

 

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Also a square of thin foam around the filler caps before the tanks are put in will stop the fuel getting i the wing when you spill some.

Regards John N.

That sounds like a problem you want to avoid!

 

I wonder what adhesive would be petrol-resistant enough to glue this foam?

 

 

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Fuel tank foam strip

 

I just used a couple strips of the $4 a roll foam weather strip from super cheap or Crazy Clarkes. It has its own adhesive. As it is squeezed between the tank and skin, it won't move.(It's good around the doors too.) The adhesive is extremely good and cannot be removed easily.

 

Around the fillers I used some 1.5-2 mm thick black foam sheet from Clark rubber.

 

Make a square and cut a hole to fit it on the filler hole, then fit the tank.(No glue required).

 

I soaked it in fuel for a couple days to make sure it didn't melt.

 

I also used Neeta 5mm vinyl tube fron Crazy clarks for the sight tubes.

 

You need to leave a lot of slack as it does shrink a bit.

 

Te first lot lasted for 6 years and was still OK. I changed it when I did all the fuel lines. It does yellow and goes a bit harder, but is still flexible.

 

Bot sight gauges cost about $2.00 total.

 

These are only what I did. and suggestions only.

 

Cheers

 

 

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