Construction Details

Construction Details Finish&Fly Events and Projects Building from Plans Raw Materials Q&A Tools Construction Log

Rudder
Horizontal Tail
Manufacturing Ribs
Spars Construction
Outboard Wings
Center Wing
Rear Fuselage
Forward Fuselage
Landing Gear
Controls
Instruments Panel
Electrical
Fuel System
Subaru Engine
Canopy
Cowling

 

When I started this project, I was under the impression that it would fly two years and about 1,000 hours of work later... Duh!  That was at the beginning of March 1999 (actually, I cut the first piece of aluminum on February 26th).

If my skills in estimating and managing IT projects would have been that bad, I would have fired myself a few times...Well, no, I don't like to fire people as I prefer to try to make them better... but at least, I would have given myself a bad review and no bonus! ;-)   I postponed my schedule a few times, thinking that it was not a two-year, but a three year project... Then, after 3.75 years, I thought I had only a month or so of work left to do.  Good thing happened!  I suddenly got a lot of "free time" (not because of project estimation and management skills; a major company reorg. resulted in change of structure, management and location of IT management).  So, after nine months of additional work on the plane, it was still not ready!

pmiscparttail.jpg (19950 bytes)

On June 8th 2004, I obtained the Restricted Special Certificate of Airworthiness.  And on June 24 (after noticing a "bug" with my engine mount that removed the smile off my face for a week or so), I declared the plane as being "serviceable" for the second time.

Follow those links for construction details:

Rudder
Horizontal Tail
Manufacturing Ribs
Spars Construction
Outboard Wings  
Center Wing  
Rear Fuselage
Forward Fuselage
Landing Gear
Control System
Instruments Panel
Electrical System
Fuel System
EA-81 Engine
Canopy
Cowling

powing28.jpg (20838 bytes)

I spent 2785 hours working on the project either in my garage, backyard or at the airport.  Except for a few things like the canopy bubble, the welding of parts, the reduction drive and propeller,  I made most if not all parts myself.  The long duration can be attributed to my limited skills and knowledge, my persistence to pursue things that don't make sense and the approach I took for the engine (complete custom installation that prevented me from using a manufactured cowling and engine mount).

Would I do it again?  Yes!  But with some changes:

I'd go with specified landing gear (lighter, cheaper and faster to build)
Simpler instrument panel (shock mounts not really needed and... do I need an Autopilot?)
Simpler electrical system (Bob's stuff is nice, but try to write the checklists and see if it makes sense).  That simpler system would weight less and be installed more rapidly.  One thing I don't think is needed is that "Essential Bus". 
Standard engine and engine package.  While I'd definitively keep the EIS (like that thing!), I'd go with an engine recommended by the kit manufacturer, buy the engine mount and the cowling and just bolt on the engine (almost as simple as that!).  I lost two months (full time) on that cowling and I HATE fiberglass now.

 

Things I'd keep:

Reinforcing some parts such as the fuselage fairings (as per Fred Hulen's design)
Radio with integrated VOX Intercom
Forward tilting canopy (but I'd make sure to install it at the right location--mine is too much forward by 2").
Gizmos such as the Whelen lights (I like lights---must be from that cave diving experience I have)
Building from plans.  Making parts does not take that long.  If it took me 2785 hours, it is not due to that.  I think that If I'd do the project again (with the changes mentioned above), I could do it within 1500 hours.

 

 

 

 

Home ] [ Construction Details ] Finish&Fly ] Events and Projects ] Building from Plans ] Raw Materials ] Q&A ] Tools ] Construction Log ]
e-Mail me at mtherr@yahoo.com

Counter reset on August 10, 2000 (4302 visits on main page prior to reset)
Michel Therrien, (c) 1999 - 2003.