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My Savannah S model rebuild Blog


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I have ordered the tapping drills to modify my fuel tank access panels because i want to modify the fuel system to a manifold like yours and change to the efi hose to reduce the fuel odor. I have also ordered the McFarlane throttle assembly. I have new larger tyres to fit as well so it will mean a day or two in the workshop when I catch up with my real work!!! I need to get a right angle drill attachment and a rivit removing drill like yours one day. I landed today into a 15+ knot southerly and it was a real short landing and a real buzz!! These Savannahs really feel the bumps in the air but are great fun when its smooth!!

Mabel is coming along slowly but surely but most importantly, she is done right. I cannot wait to see her finished and flying and then to see the Mistress being built. If I am over your way again, I'll shout you that good feed.

Cheers, Dean.

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Hi Paul   Not a lot lately worse luck. Just getting back to it now.   Had some skin cancers cut off my left leg. 5 in all. 4 required skin grafts and one was just sliced out and st

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I have ordered the tapping drills to modify my fuel tank access panels because i want to modify the fuel system to a manifold like yours and change to the efi hose to reduce the fuel odor. I have also ordered the McFarlane throttle assembly. I have new larger tyres to fit as well so it will mean a day or two in the workshop when I catch up with my real work!!! I need to get a right angle drill attachment and a rivit removing drill like yours one day. I landed today into a 15+ knot southerly and it was a real short landing and a real buzz!! These Savannahs really feel the bumps in the air but are great fun when its smooth!!

Mabel is coming along slowly but surely but most importantly, she is done right. I cannot wait to see her finished and flying and then to see the Mistress being built. If I am over your way again, I'll shout you that good feed.

Cheers, Dean.

 

Welcome to Dean, the new member Farmpilot.

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I tapped and drilled the alu strips for the angle on the spar for the tank cover tonight. Then spot the sikaflex so when it gets pulled up by all the screws it doesnt get into the threads and make the screws impossible to get out. Pics should tell the story. Quite a few havent seen these tapping drills. They come in metric and imperial and they are fantastic. i use them so much its not funny. just in the battery drill it drills its own hole and then taps then just reverse out but anything more than 3mm alu becareful as you can easily break it off in the hole. But with care they are great. Also quite cheap I get them from Banggood..

 

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I'm one that hadn't seen the tapping drill before. Fantastic idea! Jeez why did I muck around with those bloody nut plates, could have just put some small bits of ally there and tapped them.

 

Might do that for all the other places I want to screw together. Sounds good for where the cowling joins the skins overhanging the firewall.

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If you are going for the 600/6 tyres make sure you get the tubes with the right angle stems..you dont have to drill the hubs then and its a much easier install.

If you need rivnuts the best ones I get from a company in Melbourne called concept fasteners..they are the only ones I have seen around that do the steel and plated 3mm euro style rivnuts with reduced head for thin sheet

https://conceptfasteners.com.au/product/open-end-steel-reduced-head-splined-euro-measurement/

 

Marty I get those drills from Banggood they are cheaper than I have seen around here. You can get them in sets or individually

https://www.banggood.com/6pcs-HSS-14-Inch-Hex-Shank-M3-M10-Combination-Drill-Tap-Bit-Set-Metric-Deburr-Countersink-Bits-p-1023662.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

 

Do a search around on Banggood you can even get them cheaper...you can buy them separetly but just check the prices

 

Just finishised putting masking tape under the front rib edges ready for the Dskin and to epoxy the holes to allow the sheet to have its proper curve without pulling the skins in when riveted. Tomorrow night should get the bottom skin on and rivnuts around the fuel tank cells. Was away at the farm for last weekend so no work done on Mabel but hope to have the wing pretty much all skinned and done by the end of the week.

 

Just got the mold plug from Danny tonight for the new dash I just have to shave the ends to get it to a good fit at the boot cowl side then he can finish the plug and we can get the new dash frames done. We are both pushing the dash a bit further to the front of the plane to allow a better look angle to the dash. The dash itself will must likely be carbon and finished with that nice looking weave and also hinged at the bottom to make easy access to the instruments. Also we will have a fixed section either side like the new style ICP dash for throttle and choke and other stuff that you dont need to get at.

This is a reverse plug so the inlays are added to the plate to create the plug

 

 

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I'm one that hadn't seen the tapping drill before. Fantastic idea! Jeez why did I muck around with those bloody nut plates, could have just put some small bits of ally there and tapped them.

 

Might do that for all the other places I want to screw together. Sounds good for where the cowling joins the skins overhanging the firewall.

Hey Marty, just be aware that:

1. Nut plates (broadly speaking) offer a far stronger fixing then a hole tapped in ally strap.

2. Nut plates also grab the screw/bolt very tightly, effectively providing their own 'self-locking'

As I see it, it's a horses for courses thing. For instance:

Mark is using a row of tapped ally holes to secure the LE of his tank underskin, and that seems like an entirely appropriate application to me. However, the LE of the Savannah tailfin is held in place by 2 bolts into nutplates, and there's no way I would be replacing them with tapped ally.

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Yes I agree with Bob...the places I use this method are not for high strength of course. I wouldnt be attaching the sides of my cowl to the skin of the fuselage with it. I would use the steel nutplates. On the top of my cowl though I used rivnuts into alu thinish plate the main cowl attachments at the side use nutplates. The top and bottom seams of the cowl I use Camlocks

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Back at working on Mabel again. I have had a few weeks off mainly because I couldnt work on her or anything else really as I couldnt see properly. I had a skin cancer cut out of my right cheek...no not my bum cheek :)....It wasnt supposed to be too much drama but when the surgeon got in there he had to mod what he planned. So basically he removed my whole cheek to cut it out and so he had to get enough skin to cover it all back up..so the right side of my face had a facelift. I had to stay in bed for at least 3 days after the op and after that I couldnt see as my right eye was totally closed. Its been 3 and a half weeks since the op and now pretty much back to normal.

 

So since the last episode.... I have continued working on the last wing. Its almost finished now. Just have to fit the last half of the solid rivets into the trailing edge and do the wing tip outer panels and tip. Should hopefully get that finished this weekend. I have to scrounge some more rivets from Danny and a few more rivnuts (those tank skins use up a lot of rivnuts) then it will be finished all bar having to panel beat that triangular section that fits in the root rib above the door. Its a bit crushed so have to spend a bit of time to straighten it...its very difficult to make a new one so quicker to panelbeat. Did the usual trick of the epoxy in the holes on the front 3 holes in the Dskin over the ribs and the 2 rivets behind the spar... really happy with how it came out. I did have a couple of whoopies in the Dskin which I had to form out..I am getting much better now getting those dents out of these skins.

 

So after this just waiting on the new dash frame from Danny and I can lock up the cabin frame and will finish the tail bracket that attaches to the tailplane mount so I can fit the fuselage in the rotisserie. Then pretty much everything will be ready for painting

 

I know most everyone on here is a older fart like myself and I am now paying for my sins when I was a lot younger and far more stupid. But when ever going outside make sure you have a hat and heaps of sunscreen..I am most likely preaching for the converted. I have had so many skin cancers taken out of me now it must be getting into the kilogram of flesh range. This last one was certainly the most severe and a real lesson to get check regularly. This one was a incidious one..didnt look much but until the dr got in there...luckily I was out to it....he saw there was 2 cancers inside each other. A intradermal carcenoma and a squasal cell carcenoma living inside each other. I got the biopsy report on Thursday when I had to go back to see him..The piece he took out was 65mm x 35mm by 9mm thick and he had got 4mm of clear margins so am very grateful that its all gone. So please get regular skin checks to make sure as the little buggars can hide really well.

 

Thought I would throw in a couple of pics to scare you into seeing your doctor

 

 

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When you said 'whoopies in the D skin taht you had to form out'....do you mean the sort of dent you get when you fumble the sheet in a certain way and it leaves a sort of little crease at the edge of the dent? I think I may have seen it referred to as 'fishscale'........I'm not sure???

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Yes Bob I have not heard of them being referred to as a fish scale but that would certainly describe it. Danny Leach showed me how to get them out..its time and patience and a little tool I made on the lathe..after a little practice it actually works quite well

This is 3 weeks after the op..last Tuesday . I can not believe how well it has healed...maybe one of the advantages of my GP sending me to a plastic surgeon to do the job :). Still a bit of swelling under the eye but on Thursday when I saw the surgeon again he says in 6 months it will barely be seen...not that I am worried about any scars at all as I have tons of them all over me now..the best one of course is the zipper in my chest and the wire they wrap the sternum with so it doesnt fall apart sticking through the skin :) so scars are not really a thing...they dont stop me from building and flying thats the main thing

 

 

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Hi Mark, good to see you're healing well.

 

If we're talking about the same sort of LE dent, I read somewhere that it could be taken out by careful burnishing with smooth hard convex object...like the face of a hammer.

I have had good success using this method: first using a very fine emery to polish the face of the hammer to ensure it was entirely smoothe, then applying a little grease to prevent it grabbing, and burnishing the crease in the LE with a tight circular motion and steady pressure.

I have done this on both my own wing (where I attempted to wrap the LE from top to bottom, resulting in a fishscale dent near the strut attachment point) and also on a another builder's wing. These were small but unsightly dents, and in both cases they were completely removed.

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Worked on the tip today. Went really well. The tips that Danny pulled out of the mold he made of the original split tip style used on these earlier 2010 type savs fitted just like a dream. They would be able to be used on any of the new style ones that have those horrible new fibreglass tips or the latest metal tip

I am sure I posted some pics of them earlier in this thread. So easy to do literally too 15 mins and it was fitted. It helps of course using the plywood former I made to make sure the outer tip LE skin is held to the proper shape. I also had to make the tip V at the top . That turned out pretty easy with a pair of fluting pliers I bought for the S-21. It is a heavily vee'd strip at about 60 deg and then when you flute it the piece curves to conform to the shape of the tip skin.

Just have to make the bottom 120deg straight V strip then I can finish the tip with the rear flat plate section

 

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Second wing pretty much completed. Wasnt happy with the tip section..it didnt look right so pulled it all apart and redid it but this time not freehand I used my table jig to make sure the skins were flat and level compared to the top skin. The first wing is now back on the table and the second wing is now hung up out of the way so I can finish the tip off on that first wing. Danny had not finished the fibreglass tips from the new mould he has back then so time to do another tip and a few other finishing bits

Danny has finished the mould for the new dash frame and was starting to lay one up today so hopefully later this week I will have it in my grubby hands and I can start to lock up the fuselage cabin frame and front section...then I can get it on some wheels

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First dash frame out of the mold and the cutout done. Trialed fitted it into Mabel tonight. Looks really great !. Its stronger by at least 2 fold compared to the original and just as light. Main coverage is carbon fibre and the rest is high spec twill glass matt. The frame is sized so that it sits back at the top by about 30 mm from the original to make the dash look angle better for us larger/taller people here in OZ. It is similar in design to the later dash panel with the fixed side areas and the panel cutout. The bottom rail is about 25mm deeper to allow more room for the switches and to give more panel space for instruments. The sav throttles will be in the same place but I am fitting the McFarlane throttle and putting it in the bottom rail area. I will make a small bracket to hold the throttle and carb heat there. I of course have twin sticks in Mabel so a centre throttle is a no brainer especially when the Rans is the same so it will allow me to get more comfortable with that throttle position

 

The dash instrument section will be alu and the bottom will be hinged to make it easy to get at everything for the wiring instead of laying on your back trying to get all the wiring done. The panel will also be rubber mounted on grommets so to dampen any vibration on the instruments.

 

Once I have all the mounting holes done for the dash frame then it will come out and be finnessed as far as edges and finish. We were going to have a carbon matt look finish but it really needs to be vac bagged to get that so it will be hand finished then painted

 

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Got the hinges cut into the dash panel with a test alu panel. Now it just has to have some filling and rubbing and undercoat. Danny will sort that for me this weekend and then next week I can paint it and get it into the fuselage. Then I can finally lock up the cabin and cabin frame. Once thats done I can get ready to do some painting on the fuselage at least.

 

Got the new wing tanks back today from the welder. Danny made up the tanks and the end caps and did a fantastic job on them. He took them to the local gun welder and boy its a nice job too. Tanks have been pressure tested as well. These will replace the outer plastic tanks. The way they are designed it to work in series with the inner tanks but the bottom area is much smaller and the outlet will be higher than the plastic tanks so should be able to drain every ounce of fuel out not leave quite a few litres like the plastic tanks. I will measure the capacity but we think they should be around 24 litres each so 72 plus 48 gives heaps of fuel for what I want to do and also will require less switching of the fuel. Also 2 breathers on the tanks should allow better flow. My plastic tanks I have to mod yet. I am making proper flush fuel fillers for them so should be less disruption on the wing so no two big caps hanging in the breeze. The new tanks will be mounted similar to the originals you can see the side mounting bosses. Its a 1/2 inch outlet so will take a little extra time with filling but pretty sure it will all work better and still give me much more than peeing range

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Not enough hours in a day Mike. This week I have gone back to 3 days a week for work so have 4 days off now....hopefully can start to get a lot more done. The Mrs has had me working on the new house stuff lately most nights so havent had a lot of time on Mabel. Getting all the sheeting and flooring and all the other stuff worked out and organised. Mostly all the important stuff is done now for that so can now get back to working more on Mabel. Up to the farm next weekend though so looking forward to that

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Paul

I bought this as a project to do to keep me busy as I usually am and also of course I enjoy building and using the grey matter.

 

What looked at first to be a relatively easy project turned out to be a worst case scenario..well for me anyway. Once I started pulling Mabel apart to repair this is when I found all this terrible building that was done. The aircraft turned out not even to be symetrical or square. Such a shocking build. I couldnt live with something like that..I could have just bodged it up and it would have been safe but for me it would bother me 24/7 or when I went to sleep at night. So basically I started remaking all the parts that were drilled wrong or drilled when they shouldnt have been. It was so bad essentially that I have remade about 90% of the aircraft by hand. I bought from ICP the rear frames and corners and thats all. All the skins I ordered the sheets and made all the skins myself. The seating has also changed. I have made it like the new sliding seat setup but I wont be using sliding seats I am making my own which will be far more comfortable than the ICP ones either older or newer style but with the higher cross member to allow me to fit the twin sticks like I have in my XL. I just love the twin stick setup it is so much more comfortable to fly. The twin stick setup is also from the factory but no electric flaps. My flap bracket I redesigned to change the standard lever angle and positions allows me to have the twin sticks. ICP say you cant have it that way but yes you can being a 19 rego owner built I can do the mods to make it so :)

 

Mabel will be the aircraft I fly while I build my Rans S-21 and my wife will be doing a lot of flying now with me as we have not the responsibilty of being the grand daughters trustees anymore she is off our hands and setup now. Mabel has got what I consider the necessary mods done to make it a stronger safer aircraft after building my XL 8 years ago and flying it and dealing with a lot of sav builders. Not big mods but just little things that yes do add weight but I think in the end it will total about 10kg all up all the mods. I expect her to be around the 325 kg to 335kg mark Most S models are around 315kg

 

Time will tell I suppose but finally now at the pointy end of the rebuild. The rest is the time consuming bits and pieces to finish off...90% done 90% to go

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