Really exciting to follow other who are building the 14! We are about right in the middle of the project. Fuselage 85%, tail done, quick build wings which is truly cheating and finish kit about 50% done. It is amazing how much is completed on the QB wings, it is well worth the money.
I'm in Colorado but would love to see your project in Israel if I ever get out that way.
Please keep sharing!
Larry in Colorado 14
We just went through a progress inspection yesterday to make sure we are building it correctly and it came out with flying colors! Since we are new at it we just hired someone with vast experience to inspect periodically what we are building.
Build on! Larry
Absolute motivation for us to keep going.
Status Report: #10
That report is about:
Just in time, we have all the parts making the
full functional empennage. It wasn't too hard
to connect all the 5 parts together but the
result is so fu**ing magnificent. I couldn't
stop steering on the plane all that evening.
I'll start from the bottom line, it is the first time we
got the plane to look like a plane. All the parts that
we constructed from sheets of metal and riveted all together
are suddenly united into one beautiful construction.
It is much better to attach the elevators section to the
horizontal stabilizer -- once it is disconnected from the
plane. You have better access. The bolts are not easy to
be inserted into the barring so it is much better not to
deal with the horns inside the deck hole but to focus on
inserting the bolt into the baring hole.
That is the beauty from any perspective.
I think I will keep all the words for other
events. And will leave the picture to speak for itself.
If you think that the metals combined together look good, wait
for setting the fairing up. It is a bit new technique to study - how
to work with fiberglass. But the result is really worth all the effort.
And now we are going to have the first light out of all the future lights.
This is the first stage finale. We started working in the
middle of November and there it is: mid of December, and
we are totally proud of the achievement. How did all those
pieces of metal form an aerodynamic sculpture? Next
step will be to turn it into a flying machine, but
there is some time till there. Promising to keep you posted.
Roman & Dima
The camera must really make a loud noise...:D
In the meantime we are working on the future
Status Report: #11
We took a pretty big break after finishing the empennage,
and now we are coming back to start the next big part
of the aircraft -- the wings.
To start doing wings, you need two things: a plan and
a good table. Here Dima used all his engineering skills
and made one of those good workbenches; we kept
saying all the way, "what would we be doing without
it?.." It gives you really good access and allows to work
on the wing during all the stages and at any angle you
Now the plan: so, the plan was to make all the first-time
assembly -- all the four parts of both the wings totally,
and then paint them altogether. This is exactly what we
have done. The main section, the leading edge, the aileron
and the flap of both wings. No single rivet was banged
at that stage, but the whole wing was completely constructed
on cleco, and after tons of match-drill and dimpling we had
a ton of aluminium prepared for the coating. Eventually, we
spent three full days just on painting, but, hey!, no more
painting till the fuselage. Pretty effective time-run this time.
However, we actually had the chance to do some riveting
work on; it was the main spar. Basically, it included a ton of
careful setting of nut plates and then precise rivetting on the
right locations. The work on the spar was the most
tedious during all that stage because one should go slow and
double-check all the steps. No mistake is forgivable; after all,
this is the lift that will hold all the plane -- including us -- up there
in the air.
The spar is one big piece of ingenious engineering by Vans.
It is very strong and thick on the inboard side and it is becoming
thinner and thinner, more and more flexible as you got toward the
tip. All its structure is pre-rivetted with pretty heavy rivets by the
manufacturer. I guess, our rivet gun would not work here. Thank
you, Vans, for making that one for us!
Meanwhile, rumors are bringing curious birds to our
hut. Some guys, real high school teachers, happened
to plan some aircraft construction with a bunch
of kids from their class. A totally crazy idea, but they
came to the right place -- we are usually the first
ones to jump in for any crazy idea. Hopefully, we will find
some time to spend a couple of days in their class to share
some of our experience and see how they are doing.
The plan turned out to be a good one, and
after spending about 200 hours of two-man work
we had all the aluminum prepared for the final rivetting.
Let's see how much time that one is going to take.
Stay with us till the victory!
Roman & Dima
Status Report #12
That report is about:
The wing assembly structure is pretty simple once your preparation
is done carefully. What I described in the previous post was our idea how to
prepare all the aluminum for the assembly up front; then eventually, we
had many pieces of metal coated in toxic yellow. So what we had to
do from here was to keep focus and no to follow our temptation to
finish quickly. The rivet counter was not stopping, and at the end
of that post we passed 9000 rivets. But let's put it down step by
Once you have the match drilling: done, countersink: done, dimpling: done
and eventually anti-corrosion coating: done, you have to find the right
orientation of the main ribs and rivet them onto the main spar. The
spar is a pretty vast bulk, so you have to use bolts additionally to
rivets to hold the main ribs on the place. It is once again inspired us:
how such a delicate piece -- as an aluminum rib -- can form that
surprisingly strong and light construction.
Section 16: installing the top skins. It is funny, but because we usually
have the wing lying upside down, those skins are really bottom skins for
us. But the real bottom skins -- we will keep them open for a while. A
better access for all parts of the wing seems pretty important here.
- Flap structure
Nose ribs, main ribs and the hinge brackets -- these guys are pretty
impressive. The hinge brackets are designed to stand out extensively,
so they make a very dramatic whole wing cord change. The most
challenging part of the flap construction was to rivet the 2 skins --
the top one and the bottom one. Especially the second skin, 'cause
you never have a good gap to insert your hands and control the backing
- Gordon visit
We had a very cool guy who pitched up in our garage. Gordon (@Waiex-guy)
appeared in our place and told us some pretty interesting stories about
flying in the army, flying in business jets, and flying pretty much
everywhere except Israel -- cause our authorities asked him to do
all the theory exams one more time before he could rent a plane.
Fortunately, we don't make a test for a person's riveting expertise, and
another pair of hands is always valuable, so we jumped directly into the
work on the flap.
Cheers, Gordon! Come back whenever you are around!
Wet riveting is already a pretty common thing. For finishing the flap
it is suggested to wrap the edge with some pro-seal. I guess the
reason, as always with control surfaces, is cracks prevention.
At first glance, an aileron is just a shorter form of a flap, but it is
not that simple. It has its special parts and pitfalls.
- aileron structure
The common parts of all control surfaces are nose ribs and main ribs.
The aileron is pretty much following that pattern and working it out
makes no problem. But the counterbalance pipe -- that looks pretty
harmless -- appears to be not that easy to install.
- counter balance
The first problem is that you have to drill the pipe precisely using
the stand drill. It is not that simple task, cause the pipe is very
tough stainless steel, it is rock hard, much harder than the soft
aluminum. Second -- you have bolts that would hold the pipe on the
ribs, and the chance to make a mistake there is pretty high, and if you
didn't do the work correctly there, you have no chance to insert the
pipe into the nose skin.
The leading edge has 7 large ribs -- which are pretty much the leading edge
ribs of the whole wings. It was the first time we had to paint it with black
color, so the nasty yellow wouldn't be visible through the light leans.
The light leans gig is a really challenging task to make it match the light
hole. After ~8 hours of cutting and fitting, it started to look like a part
of a real wing.
We got pretty cool and professional lights for the leading edge. Will
tell about the internals in a special post about our wings.
Section 23 is dedicated to the aileron actuation. The general idea is to
assembly 2 push rods, and connect them with a provided bell-crank. The
torque tube -- the part that will be connected to the actual stick
eventually -- should be carefully measured to be twisted in a precise
angle. That is why we had to put together a 25 mm spacer block.
Eventually, not a big deal -- still have to wait for the fuel tank to
be done -- to connect the actuation directly in the place.
Don't forget: the airplane has two wings, so once job on the first one
is done, it's better to push forward and do it one more time.
It took us about 100 hours of 2-people work on the main section,
the ailerons, the flaps, the leading edge and all the pushrods, and
leans cuttings. The wings are now looking like real wings but there
is more work to do, and we will tell you all about it.
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