Power to the Panel!

subsonex-panel-test

When you're elbow deep in wiring, it is motivating once in awhile to clear all of the debris, check all the connections, and apply some voltage to the input side of the airplane, just to watch things light up! (Note all of those caveats - applying power with dangling power and ground wires can lead to grief when electrons flow where they aren't supposed to - test smart!) Continue reading "Power to the Panel!"

It Starts With One Pair of Pliers

collection ot pliers

The job was to remove and replace a cotter pin (in order to remove and replace a clevis pin) in the nose-wheel well of the Subsonex. A simple task--all I needed was a pair of needle nosed pliers. Except that I'd done such a neat job of putting that pin in (on the workbench, before the assembly was installed), I needed a dental pick to pry the edge up. Then, of course, the needle nose wouldn't grip, so I needed a pair of dikes. That finally got it out - but of course, getting each new tool required climbing up from the floor and going to the tool box. Continue reading "It Starts With One Pair of Pliers"

Getting Fuelish

Fuel flows in from the right, through the filter, the shut-off valve, and the red cube - then on to the engine.

One of the interesting things about the Subsonex kit is that it is easy to skip around from one task to another as you're building. If I get tired of attaching piano hinges for control surfaces for instance, I can jump over to installing the oxygen system. Exhausted by working down in a footwell to install a ruder pedal? Time to go work on the fuel system! Continue reading "Getting Fuelish"

Engine Day!

SubSonex turbojet engine

I know that "Kneeboard Notes" is supposed to be about flying as well as building--but winter weather seems to have settled into our little valley on the eastern side of the Sierra, and this week has presented low clouds, snow, freezing mist--all of those things that tell you not to open the hangar door. But that's OK - there's lots of building on on in the shop. Today, however, in addition to building we spent all day keeping an eye out for the FedEx truck because it was Engine Day! Engine Day - the special holiday celebrated by all homebuilders when a package worth at least a third of the completed aircraft arrives. In our case - more like 50%... Continue reading "Engine Day!"

A Little of This, a Little of That

Subsonex skid plate
Subsonex skid plate

One of the nice things about having all of the sub-kits and materials necessary to build an airplane in your shop at once is the ability it gives you to skip around. After two weeks of working on the tail and control surfaces of my Subsonex project, I have those all finished, and was sort of tired doing pure metal work (measure, drill, disassemble, debur, reassemble, rivet... repeat!). So I jumped in a bunch of different tasks today, sampling a variety of materials and tasks. I mounted some tires, fitted the fiberglass ventral fin, attached the skid plate to the nose come (I don't really want to ever have to use that), and trimmed some plastic fairings to size. Continue reading "A Little of This, a Little of That"

Easy Hole Spacing

rivet spacing drawing

One of the curses of modern CAD technology is that designers can draw something up, then have the computer dimension it for them on the drawing - very, very precisely. In the case of the drawings I am using on my current project, the drawings tend to dimension to the nearest 1/64th of an inch if you find a line of rivets that has essentially been evenly spaced between two end points, you'll find it a bit tedious to measure each hole's location in 64ths of an inch from an end point. Continue reading "Easy Hole Spacing"