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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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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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I suppose in this way you will be effectively treating this as if you had one very large left wing tank and one very large right wing tank.

 

I was just wondering why you could not have achieved the same thing by using the two original plastic tanks per side (with the filler cut off and the hole plastic-welded shut)?

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Hank the issue is the bottom of the fuel tanks are huge flat surfaces and as such you leave a lot of unusable fuel in the tanks. This is multiplied by 2 then 4 of course for the 4 tanks.

This new tank the outlet is higher than the plastic tank so will drain every bit of fuel out of the tank then of course you still have the issue of the one plastic tank not emptying fully. You see this dramaticly on the sav when you are getting low on fuel and on decent..the good old flashing red light will often come on because even though you still have 5 litres of so in the tank you cant use it until you flatten off or raise the nose. The angle of the tanks in the wing never sit right in the wing. You need the bottom rear edge of the tank to be almost touching the wing tank bottom cover to try to get al the fuel out.

This tanks is angled so it does drain totally and every bit. I have found also never have needed all 4 tanks full yet you do when going on a long flight so your always carrying a lot of weight unnecessarily. This will give about 6 hrs endurance when full and of course a bit lighter. The alu tanks are just a bit lighter than the plastic ones as well.

 

Speaking of those tanks I got the wing turned over and started to fit the new tanks. Had to make up the new custom fit brackets that hold the new alu tanks to the spar and in the right position. Worked out pretty well I think and happy with them. Made another set while at it for the other tank. Looked at fitting my flush fuel tank filler fittings into the plastic tank. Had a crappy one here and cut off the thread but its not going to work using the plastic tanks so its going to be the usual screw top with the SS breather pipe in the top of the filler cap. Just need to make some new brackets I think for the plastic tanks as the originals had been butchered a lot and it only takes about 20 mins to fold up some new ones. Then do the plumbing and the sight gauges. I dont use that rislan tube I will do the same as my XL where I used the 6mm alu tube and the festo fittings . The sight gauge is a polyethylene tube. havent beed to change the XL ones and its been 8 years and not a drop of a leak

 

I also riveted the tip on this wing so its all basically done. Just have to alodine the tie down brackets and rivet them in and that wing will be finished

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Havent had much time to work on Mabel this past week or so..been busy with work stuff and building CDI and getting some exciting things organised which I will show later

Had a quick overnight trip to the farm as well so that blotted out 2 days

 

Got the plastic tank wing spar mounts made and drilled also made up the brackets to hold both tanks in the correct place at the rear to make sure they are at the right angle so they drain correctly. They dont tell you this when you build the kit...you just assume they are in the right place but the rear of the tanks need to be not quite touching the tank covers otherwise when the fuel is low in the tanks they dont drain fully

The tank support bars are rivnuted to the ribs and you can see the plastic tank has a dense foam spacer to keep the tank as close to the tank cover skin when the wing is the right way up of course. The metal tank is made to the correct shape of the top skin and sits directly on it with some very thick plastic sheet to stop any rubbing to the skin and also under the support bar on the metal tank. The outlet of this tank is higher than the bottom of the plastic tank so it will always drain all its fuel out

 

Danny dropped the dash back and just had to do a bit of filling and sanding and it will be painted this weekend then I can mount it permanently and get the cabin frame all locked up

Still havent decided how my actual dash will go together in regard to avionics yet but it will have a analogue ASI and VSI plus some nice graphical instruments..and a Ipad in the dash of course

 

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Hi Mark, I'm interested in what you have to say about fuel remaining in the tanks. I assembled SVA as per the manual, with the long tank supports positioned mid-hatch. This saw the tanks tight against the top skin. When I ran the necessary fuel capacity and delivery tests, the tanks drained completely with the aircraft sitting level on the hangar floor. However, I can imagine that in a nose-down descent it would be possible to unport the tanks if they were close to empty.

What I would do another time is initially position the tanks closer in towards the wing root: we started off with the fuel filler points centered in the upper skin holes, but once we put fuel in they shifted away from the wing root, and were no longer centered in the upper skin holes. Presumably this was due to the tanks bugging out a bit with the weight of fuel. I have seen this on 2 builds.DSCF0745.thumb.JPG.d92814a5ffbf0752e0039433a5440c1d.JPG

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Hi Bob

The aircraft doesnt sit level on its wheels usually its a nose up attitude even slightly. When flying though the sav tends to have a slightly nosedown attitude so that raises the level away from the output and on decent it makes it even worse. So this time I made sure the bottom of the tank as as close to the bottom tank skin with a little clearance as possible. I dont usually fly with such a low fuel level but on a longish flight I have been caught a few times where the dreaded red flashing light has come on and it makes the pucker valve go into overtime. I can usually fly up to the farm and back on the 2 tanks but if I end up battling some winds then it comes to close for my liking and I dont like taking so much fuel on board. My tanks have never moved sideways as yours have but I did sikaflex the back corners of my tanks to the top skin so they wouldnt move. The metal tank is shaped to make sure when up against the top skin there is plenty of fall so all fuel will drain from that tank

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been pretty flatout this last week but managed to get some work done on Mabel. Using a original main inner tank it had a extra outlet in the side which I needed to seal off so turned up a alu plug and fitted it. Note the small ring formed on the inner tanks face side..this is to make sure you get a seal into the plastic when you do it up tight.

 

Need to make a breather at the other side of the tank at the top and it has to be bigger than the standard ones used as it is the breather path for the metal tank. I have a screw in fitting locally acquired for the metal tank breather. I still have to turn up 2 new main input fittings for the outlet of the metal tank into the plastic tank and this has to be a bigger size so that when I fill the main plastic tank it doesnt take a huge amount to time for the fuel to drain from the main tank into the metal tank. The outlet for the metal tank and the inlet for it on the plastic tank is made for 1/2 inch hose.

 

The dash I picked up from Danny as he glassed in the hinges I fitted into the new dash and a dummy dash plate I made as a template for the real one I will make. I fitted that just with clecos until I could get to checking the alignment of the cabin frame.

 

Big milestone yesterday, Danny came over to give me a hand to accurately align the cabin frame..its a 2 person job getting the diagonals right. I ended up with 0.5mm ..thats well close enough. The the cabin frame is now all riveted in place and the boot cowl is all riveted in and the dash frame is also now riveted in..the whole lot is all solid now and I can start fitting pedals and twin sticks and flap controls.

 

Off to the workshop to make the larger tank fittings tonight.

 

 

 

 

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Got the main fuel tank to auxillary metal tank fittings made so hopefully this weekend they will be plumbed and mounting finalized. They are all made for 1/2 inch hose. Just got to clean up the edges a bit with a file/linesher

 

 

 

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Hi Mark, in your pic that shows the over-cockpit steelwork, I see that the steel diagonals that come up from the firewall (which the windscreen will wrap around) have no bend part way up (as mine did). I also see that they are gusseted to the crossmember. Are these innovations of your own?DSCF1591.thumb.JPG.5129cb3c8c571e58a14213b41c8f8d24.JPG

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Hi Bob

Yes we have been at it again...trying to make things better than supplied..and stronger with little addition of weight.

If you look back further in the blog you will see we made a jig and made our own cabin frames. Based on 3 frames which were all not quite the same when you get 3 of them and compare them. We made sure it was actually symetrical for a start. The welding on the std cabin frames is not what I would call "aviation grade". The front bars on ours do have that bend your talking about it is just the angle the pic was taken from and I think the colour that seems to make it look like that. Yes we added the gussets at the top and also the handles. Thats the one thing that really needs to be added is those handles it just makes it easier to get in and out of and when its rough its something to hang on to. The main crossbar at the top is also a little thicker and bigger in diameter but not by much but enough to add a enormous amount of main strength. The handles we added later once we had got the right size material. Danny tacked the frame together as my tig skills are crap then we sent the frames off to get properly welded. The assemblies were then sent off to the powder coaters to get properly done they are not painted

 

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Okay, nice work. I'm still baffled as to how you're supposed to bend a flat windshield round those not-straight diagonals...I thought maybe you'd taken the mystery out of that. It would be interesting to know why they put the bend there???

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Certainly when I bolted those diagonals through the firewall to the engine mount, I was pulling those two assemblies together, so the diagonals would then have been under tension. And that tension curves (or holds the curve in) the bottom of the front fuselage.

It seems to me that the centre bend in the diagonals may serve to absorb some vibration from the engine, rather than transferring it directly to the overhead steelwork.........but I dunno....)

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Hi Bob

Yes we have been at it again...trying to make things better than supplied..and stronger with little addition of weight.

If you look back further in the blog you will see we made a jig and made our own cabin frames. Based on 3 frames which were all not quite the same when you get 3 of them and compare them. We made sure it was actually symetrical for a start. The welding on the std cabin frames is not what I would call "aviation grade". The front bars on ours do have that bend your talking about it is just the angle the pic was taken from and I think the colour that seems to make it look like that. Yes we added the gussets at the top and also the handles. Thats the one thing that really needs to be added is those handles it just makes it easier to get in and out of and when its rough its something to hang on to. The main crossbar at the top is also a little thicker and bigger in diameter but not by much but enough to add a enormous amount of main strength. The handles we added later once we had got the right size material. Danny tacked the frame together as my tig skills are crap then we sent the frames off to get properly welded. The assemblies were then sent off to the powder coaters to get properly done they are not painted

 

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That looks like a big job.

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G'day Mark,

I fitted your flap bracket a couple of weeks ago and it is heaps better than the original, the first stage is what I use for take off and most landings. I can use it for Xwind landings when I used to use no flap before as the wind used to push me around too much. (Remember I am a novice....)

Mabel is looking great!! It will be awesome when you can shift out to the farm. I love being able to walk out the house, open the hangar and fly whenever the weather is suitable.

Dean

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Thanks Dean.

 

Yes it will be so good to be able to do that when we shift to the farm. Hopefully "The Girlfriend" will be sold on saturday that will then clear the hangar down here and Mabel can be shifted up there after I finish the painting so I can start the S-21. Not much room in the hangar at the farm soon with the house frame coming in about 5 weeks especially with all the other stuff in there now. Your not on bookface but I bought a secondhand finishing mower for the farm to be able to really mow the airfield. Its 3.4mtrs wide and you can mow really fast with it with the tractor. The big rollers on it flatten the ground as well so it hopefully will end up about as smooth as a golf course. I got a grader in and leveled a heap of ground after he did some work on the new road so we can get large trucks in. I got him to level the area from just wider than my cross strip to the old road in...My mate who lives up there hooked up the mower to try it...holy cow even the first run has transformed the ground.. a couple of pics attached. Just need to give the mower some TLC and it should see me out. I will get the grader guy back and get him to do a much larger area and then literally you can land where ever the windsock tells you to

 

 

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Hey, that’s great that the ‘Girlfriend’ is sold. Lucky buyer!!

The finishing mower does a great job by the looks of it. I have a couple of bits of railway line welded about 1500mm apart that I tow over my strip occasionally which does a reasonable job. I will keep it sprayed from now on and it will pack down hard over time. My strip is 18/36 so I am getting used to xwinds but mostly don’t fly if it’s windy. Tomorrow‘s forcast is 1kn all day so a fly is planned!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well finally got the tank system finished in one wing..the next wing will be much quicker and easier. I have made the brackets for holding the tanks at the same time also have made the breather input fittings for both sides as well as the larger main input fittings into the plastic tanks. Making those 4 fittings took two nights on the lathe.. Just need to clean and alodine the wing door rest bracket that goes on the inside of the root rib now and I can hang this wing back up and get the other wing done...a little more work on the fuselage hooking up the controls in the back so I can put the seat back on then everything is pretty much ready to paint

The alu tank is about 22 litres and is a slave tank off the main inner tank. The alu tank is positioned and also made to a shape that it will completely drain into the main inner tank. I will only have the 2 tank switches now and around 57 litres per side which is heaps enough fuel for what I will be doing in Mabel. The pipe you can see inside the wing between the tanks is the breather from the alu tank back to the top of the main inner tank. Also have to hook up the 1/4 alu tubes I use to bring out the sight gauge to the cabin side of the inner rib. They are made just need to get some grommets for them to go through in the root rib.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

G’day Mark, do you use a carbon monoxide meter/detector? I have been looking at portable ones but would rather something wired in that comes on when the engine starts. I have watched a couple of you tube tutorials on making them. You are an electronics guy, do you think it’s a good idea? You can buy the components fairly cheap.

Cheers,

Dean.

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G’day Mark, do you use a carbon monoxide meter/detector? I have been looking at portable ones but would rather something wired in that comes on when the engine starts. I have watched a couple of you tube tutorials on making them. You are an electronics guy, do you think it’s a good idea? You can buy the components fairly cheap.

Cheers,

Dean.

 

You can buy carbon monoxide detectors for about $10-15 from banggood.com but they run on internal batteries. It will be pretty easy to make up a little circuit to run of the Savannah's 12 Volt supply. For instance: https://banggood.app.link/fNZx3ULmZ7 .

 

If you want to buy the CO sensor module only, they about $4 or $5, e g: https://banggood.app.link/mg6smjVmZ7

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Hi Dean

 

Yes It has been remiss of me not to have one in the cockpit. Just never had much faith in those card ones. I like the idea of the electronic one as you can test it regularly. I have quite a few different circuits around here for building those CO monitors. I will most likely get around to doing one. Probably with the small Oled display which I can make flash to grab attention. Just another job on the list..and my list is very long at the moment. getting this house design all done and owner builders licence etc sorted is taking a lot of time..got to keep the mrs happy though

 

On another note I am about to finally finish one wing totally and hang it up then get the other wing down and fit the new fuel tank system. Only been able to work an hour or two this past couple of weeks on Mabel just too much on here and at work...because I do bring work home with me as well when we are busy doing developing which we are at the moment

 

So crossing fingers I will get most of the other wing done this weekend and I can then get back onto the fuselage to fit the controls and get the seat back on and everything is almost ready for prep to painting

 

You may have noted my avatar has changed. My boss off his own bat decided to give me a avatar to use on forums and to make some monogram patches for our jackets and also some stickers etc for the aircraft. He called up the little woman in Indonesia we engage to do all of our company logo stuff and sent her 5 pictures and a few small details and below is what she came up with. Most will not recognise the symbolism in the picture but if references all 3 aircraft I have also Denice's son who was killed in a motorbike accident and his daughter who we raised from grade 6 at school..also the company logo on my shirt and The Mistress being a taildragger with a evil grin. We are both stoked with it

 

 

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Mark

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Thanks for the links 80knots, I will get something sorted soon.

Mark, your new avatar is really really good, the lady from Indonesia is very talented. It is so well thought out and extremely well executed. I hope the house plans etc go smoothly, can be a stressful time. You will be glad to get Mabel finished also. I guess you have nothing to fly now.

Cheers,

Dean

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Yep I am officially "flightless" at the moment except for bumming a ride with my mates :(......second wing on the bench now and halfway fitting the tanks. Hopefully have them all done by tomorrow and I can get back onto the fuselage.

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  • 1 month later...

Getting closer to painting now :) seat back is on and most of the controls are done and the new recessed flat seat bottoms are in with the original front crossmember for the twin sticks install and manual flaps

 

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