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kgwilson

Sierra 100 Kit Build Underway

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I was down at Taree on Monday & saw the crate all screwed down. It will make a good workbench if you don't already have one. There is a new Cougar at the factory about half built going to WA as well. My build has been slowed a bit due to some house alterations getting done but I now have the elevators skinned and will be skinning to fuselage soon, then the fin and rudder. I bonded the trailing edge with high strength araldite rather that riveting it. The undercarriage leg is done and now just needs the 6mm tube for the brake hydraulic lines to run through to be glued to the rear edge of the leg and the whole thing filled and sanded.

 

Kev

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I was down at Taree on Monday & saw the crate all screwed down. It will make a good workbench if you don't already have one. There is a new Cougar at the factory about half built going to WA as well. My build has been slowed a bit due to some house alterations getting done but I now have the elevators skinned and will be skinning to fuselage soon, then the fin and rudder. I bonded the trailing edge with high strength araldite rather that riveting it. The undercarriage leg is done and now just needs the 6mm tube for the brake hydraulic lines to run through to be glued to the rear edge of the leg and the whole thing filled and sanded.

 

Kev

Hi Kev, Yes, I've held off making the long bench until the crate arrives. The freight and insurance is all organised so the crate should be on it's way shortly. What are you using to cut the long 6061 sheets? I can imagine that handling that big roll of aluminium sheets would have it's moments. 3M make an excellent industrial strength 2 pack adhesive that is often used in the aviation industry ... Scotchweld 2216 B/A. I've seen it used during structural repairs to a helicopter. I wonder if that 6mm tube for the brake lines could be glassed into each leg during the beefing up process? Would be nice to hide them. John.

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The best sheet cutters are good quality Gilbow Tin Snips. They are not cheap but are drop forged with hardened edges. Good scissors are OK for 16 thou sheet. Don't use what are called "Aviation Snips" as they are usually serrated and don't give a smooth edge. A nibbler is a complete overkill & a waste of money except for the firewall which is colorbond steel. It is very hard to get a good accurate cut (within a millimetre) with a nibbler due to its wide cutting path but it does not distort the metal on either side of the cut which can happen easily with snips or scissors if you are not careful.

 

Aerospace 2 pack adhesive is the best, but the araldite is equally strong and a lot cheaper. Don't use the 5 minute stuff, it's crap. Selleys instructions are useless. Get the full spec sheet from the Huntsman website who are the manufacturers. Selleys just sell under licence. Garry has done various tests and determined that the additional cost was not warranted.

 

Yes the tube will be glassed in so the hydraulic line is totally hidden but if it needs replacement you just pull it out & push another one through.

 

Kev

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It's a while since I posted any progress on my build. It took me about 6 weeks to re-build part of my house and get a new Kitchen organised & was away in NZ for 2 weeks etc etc.

Anyway since September I glassed in some 6mm vinyl tube on the trailing edge of the main fuselage leg, through which the hydraulic line will go down to the brake callipers. The same is done though the floor skin. This is the way Garry does them too & as the line goes though at acute angle a grommet is useless, but a full vinyl sleeve glassed in works perfectly & eliminates any possibility of chafing. Don’t know what ATSB were going on about when they said the line was unprotected (Ferris Wheel interim report).

The whole leg has been given several coats of polyester resin with Qcell fill to keep it light & sanded back to form a smooth aerofoil shape. The stress bends were wrapped with 2 layers of glass roving & then the whole leg wrapped in glass cloth but it was somewhat thicker at the stress bends so the fill has now made it all nice and smooth. I positioned the leg on the upturned fuselage marked & ground grooves for the mounting bolts and drilled the mounting bolt holes in the steel subframe.

I set up my elevators & clamped them together & drilled the holes through the

chromoly spar (smaller than the bolt) then reamed them so the bolt was a super tight fit.

Got some lead & wrapped it all round the mass balance arm at the end till the elevators levelled horizontally, melted it in a tin & then used an aluminium drink can as a mould & put the arm with 3 holes drilled in it at different angles & galv nails pushed through in the mould & poured the molten lead in. Worked a treat & even looks good.

Next I turned the fuselage over & laid out the bottom sheet. I drilled & clecoed the front then marked the shape removed it & cut the bottom out with about 2-3 mm overhang. Repositioned the bottom, marked all the rivet positions, riveted it to the frame & bonded it to the diagonals. I put in the rear piece fitting the sheet under the rudder hinge plate and added the last 2 rivets to the plate, then ground and filed the excess to be flush with frame edge. Turned the fuse over and glued all the skin stiffeners in place.

I made the final fit for the rudder pedals and mounted the brake master cylinders, and installed both rudder cables. Then I cut out & fitted all the insulation (bottom and sides back to and including the baggage compartment. This means that the fuselage sides and bottom & the firewall are insulated back to the rear of the baggage compartment

I needed some 3mm ply for the baggage compartment but couldn’t get any normal stuff locally so ended up with some with a wood grain plastic veneer on one side with random grooves. Doesn’t need painting & actually looks good.

After cleaning and polishing out all the little scratches on the frame I cut out and installed both side skins riveting to the longerons & uprights and bonding to the diagonals.

My next step is to install the turtledeck, make & install the tail & dorsal fins plus rudder, set up & install the wheel axles with the right amount of camber & toe in & then it will be ready for the engine & all the other peripherals.

Oh I forgot it will also need wings, flaps & ailerons.

 

 

Progress Pics below

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Hi Kevin, you have been busy! I like the luggage locker ply ... I'll use that myself. I extended my luggage locker aft half a bay so I can fit my guitar in (country singer from way back). I've been making up and fitting the firewall over the last day or two. I'm interested to know what tools you used when you tackled the raw U/C leg. I can't say I'm looking forward to doing that but any hints are most welcome.

I'll try and get some pics posted so you can see what progress I've made. Did you have an issue with the controls and flap rods being a bit too close to the fibreglass seat? John.

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Hi John,

 

I used a 100mm grinder with a 16 grit sanding pad. I bought 2 pads but only needed 1. Got em from Bunnings. Choose a windy day & try to stay upwind as best as possible. Worked really well but I got really itchy from the glass. Garry has all the answers but you need to ask when you can't work out the best way to do something. He knows absolutely how to do everything & often it is so simple you kick yourself that you didn't think of it. Haven't got to the flap rod issue yet but I checked out one of Garry's Sierras and it seems to all fit in neatly enough.

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Hi Kevin, good to see your latest building report, with KJFab's Sierra temporarily grounded (Back in the air now) I 've been flying around ON my Avatar aircraft.......bit of a cow to fly but four leg landings are easy because the entire wings become flap..flap..flaps and the take off run is only 20 feet...sorry 20 hoofs.:roflmao:

Alan the typical Guern.

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Kevin, I've just about driven Garry nuts with questions along the way so I thought I'd spread them them around a bit ... lol! Went to Bunnings and bought the sanding pad for my angle grinder ... and a couple of full coverage hooded throwaway paper overalls. Alan, how many kilometres do you get to the bushel with that avatar plane? John.

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Kevin, I've just about driven Garry nuts with questions along the way so I thought I'd spread them them around a bit ... lol! Went to Bunnings and bought the sanding pad for my angle grinder ... and a couple of full coverage hooded throwaway paper overalls. Alan, how many kilometres do you get to the bushel with that avatar plane? John.

 

Haven't actually measured how many bushels but our airfield is 170 acres so the Air-cow is tethered on a long tie-down so that it takes around half a hectare of 4.8 cm long grass to supply a stomach full of methane gas which gives us around 4 hours endurance at an economical cruise of 85 knots. Incidentally the Flying Guernsey has a life expectancy of up to 30 yrs without any overhaul.:yikes:

Alan.

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Hi Alan. I can see that a little bull goes a long way! Merry Christmas buddy! John.

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Hi guys you need to find a good Sheetmetal shop with a guillo or better a punchpress I know of a good one in Adelaide

Merry Christmas

Kev

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I thought that I'd post a progress report as now people walking past my garage ask about what sort of plane it is now, not what sort of boat.

 

After skinning the bottom and both sides, I cut the 2 small aft panels and cut slots in them for the rudder cable fairings & epoxied the fairings in place with the cable installed through the nylon tube. Riveted the panels in place and will fill later with polyester resin & Qcell & sand to a smooth finish.

 

Next I glued all the insulation to the sides and bottom from the firewall back to the baggage compartment, then re-installed the elevators and did a complete re-check and adjustment of the setup of the cable & joystick and riveted the mass balance arm in place. After doing all this I dismantled the bench & made a forward support about 600mm of the floor so I can get better access to everywhere.

 

The turtle deck was fun as I used some offcuts to determine the sheet size to cut out by setting up the rear bulkhead & running a string line down to the fin post making sure it cleared the elevator horn then curving the offcut strip over the fuselage & taking measurements at half metre intervals. I made the rear rollover cage from some 3mm angle & bolted this to the top longerons with the elevator cable termination bracket to form a complete triangle.

 

I cut out the 32 thou forward sheet and the 25 thou aft sheet for the turtle deck and riveted them together, marked a longitudinal centreline & then riveted the rear bulkhead in place & somehow managed to get the big wobbly sheet up on the fuselage & drilled & clecoed the centre at the top of the rear bulkhead. Then it was a matter of getting the correct line & angles, cutting out the slot for the tailfin & pulling it down with a bunch of ropes drilling & clecoing one side & bulkhead, then the other. Sounds easy but it wasn't especially on my own but I felt good about it when it was done. A final trim, file and sand of the sheet edges & it was all riveted in place.

 

The fin was easier than I thought. Getting the leading edge bend to the tight 180 degree bend was quite easy but with the fin rake I'd made the fin too short. I checked the plan & manual & I hadn't made any mistakes. Garry advised me that the fins were now taller & he had not updated the plan so I needed the cut out to be 50mm longer (or cut the fin post down). It didn't matter as there was plenty of spare 25 thou sheet so I made another one. I bent up the ribs & installed them & spent a lot of time trimming up the bottom to follow the curve of the fuselage & then sighted the top with the centreline & clecoed it in place. A final trim & it was all riveted on.

 

The dorsal fin ended up being the original fin cut down, but bending the tabs was a bit of an effort & getting the curve around the leading edge required some panel beating skills of which I have none. I got it done though and sanded it back to where the dimples are barely noticeable so a bit of filler will make it look good.

 

I have the rudder to do and then install the undercarriage & set up the axles & put the wheels on so then no forward support will be required. Progress pics attached.

 

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Hi Kevin! You sure are making progress! You'd have to be happy with the way the skinning has all panned out. I'm not far away from needing to skin the bottom and sides of my fuselage. John.

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Love the accuracy of your riveting, very professional.

Alan.

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I have done a bit this month and now have the fuselage 90% complete with only 90% to go.

 

I needed to make the rudder post 20mm wide at the top from 40mm tube so I thought squeezing it between 2 bits of 4 by 2 in my 4" engineers vice would do it. Wrong, I broke the vice so ended up whacking the tube between the 4 by 2 with a decent hammer. This worked well even though the post was a bit ripply. Rivetted the rudder horn on the bottom & shaped the nylon block at the top riveted it on & trial fitted the post. It was spot on. I then bent up some 25 thou sheet to make the rudder ribs & set it all up with clamps to make sure I had the right amount of movement left & right. I cut out the 2 sides for the rudder bent the leading edges a bit to go round the post & riveted it all up. Next I bonded the trailing edge with super strength araldite & it was all done. The rudder & fin will be capped with some foam & resin later.

 

I have already fitted the undercarriage leg but removed it while I installed the front bulkhead behind the fuel tank & then measured & cut out the 32 thou sheet for the front deck. Pre-bent the sides and pulled it on with some ratchet ties. I drilled & clecoed it on, marked it for trimming & cabin cutout & the took it off, cut all the excess bits off, put it back on & filed & sanded the edges till it looked smooth & straight. I took it off again & marked the fuel cap hole location, drilled the hole & put it back on again. It all fits well & looks good so I will remove it & store it away till the engine goes in.

 

Next step is to install the main wheels & the canopy plus elevator trim & start on the wings.

 

Progress pics are attached.

 

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Hi Kevin! You're going like a house on fire there! I too broke a (chinese) vice bending the diagonal (seat back support) tubing. I've slowed down a bit lately as I've been working on fibreglass bits. I have to agree with Sloper ... I hate fibreglass!!! I'm also waiting on the seats/upholstery which I'd like to have before deciding on a final fore/aft position for the rudder pedal bars. With no adjustment available, I need to get that right. Seems the upholsterer in Taree has a three month backlog of work. How happy are you with the rudder pedal height? I would have thought it would be a bit difficult to lift feet up to the pedal tops, particularly as the need for brake application can come out of the blue quite suddenly. I've been considering lowering mine by an inch but am wide open to thoughts and suggestions. John.

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I have always lifted my feet off the floor when applying toe brake force so I don't have a problem. The only issue with moving the pedals down is the reduction in mechanical advantage though you could make a linkage to overcome that. You could put in an electrically operated pedal adjustment system as is installed in Garry's training aircraft.

 

If I haven't got it right I'll just move them.

 

Kevin

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Quote: "If I haven't got it right I'll just move them"

 

Kevin, that makes a lot of sense! John.

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What I did on a sierra is make a flat bar and drill holes in it as a strap, cable to one end, and bolt it to the horn in the middle of the strap ,this will give you some adjustment ,and for other size pilots.

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Thanks Garry, I remember now you telling me that before. The fuselage is coming off the bench onto trestles today so I can finalize the pedals and start skinning the bottom and sides. John.

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Looks fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing Gary and his aircraft at Natfly this Easter.

Bernie,

 

Be sure to go for a fly with Garry or Tim preferably in the Jab 3300 powered Sierra. Power to burn, 130 knots cruise, 1200fpm climb out at 80kts 2 up with full fuel, superb light handling, (you only need thumb & forefinger on the stick & hardly any rudder), no adverse yaw, nose down attitude straight & level gives a great view down, ahead & of course up, excellent control & feedback at low speed (40 knots) with a nice little buffet about 10knots before full stall. The strength of the airframe is now legendary (think Ferris Wheels). You will be impressed. I was and am but of course I am biased.

 

Kevin

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Bernie,

Everything that kgwilson has said and yes we are biased but for very good reasons.

kjfab (my Son-in-law Kevin) will also be on Gary Morgans stand with his 3300 powered Morgan Sierra.

Alan.

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