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Firewall Forward

More Baffle Work

With the cowl mostly done, we could finish the baffle.  All the aluminum pieces are fit to the engine, so now the fun part: getting a 3/8″ to 1/2″ gap between the top of the baffle and the underside of the top cowl.  This involves many, many iterations of putting the cowl on, checking the clearance all around, marking areas, cutting, checking again.  As you can imagine, there’s a lot to check, and with the cowl on, it’s not always the easiest to see.  To help out, Kelly put paperclips all over the baffle.  That way, when we put the cowl on, it would push down the paperclips.  When we took the cowl off, we could then see exactly how far down it went.

We ended up having to cut quite a bit off to get the fit right.  When we were done, I sanded the edges smooth and was very thankful to be done with this part.

The last real step in the baffle is to attach a rubber material to the top.  This closes the gap between the top of the baffles and the top cowl.  The rubber has to be curved in, so the high pressure above the engine doesn’t push the rubber out and flap against the top cowl.  Kelly pretty much did this herself.

Done!

Fitting the cowl

More giant pieces of fiberglass that need to be endlessly cut, sanded, and fitted.  Yay!  The cowl doesn’t seem too bad, but maybe I’m just desensitized after doing the doors and wheel fairings.  Anyway, not too much noteworthy here.  We did need to mount the propeller temporarily to get the cowl fit correctly.

Here we are working on fitting.

Baffling

With the engine mounted, we started working on the baffling, which mounts to the engine and routes the cooling air efficiently around the engine cylinders.  This part wasn’t bad–basically just a bunch of pieces of aluminum, which is a nice break from the fiberglass.  Here are a couple pictures of the aft parts temporarily mounted.

Probably the only really annoying part of the baffling so far is bending the inlet ramps, which go in the front.  Bending a large, relatively thick piece of aluminum isn’t much fun.  Here is a picture of me bending as well as one of the finished product.

im

This is about as much of the baffling we can do for now.  The rest requires the cowl (the large fiberglass pieces that cover the engine) to be fit, so on to that.

Odd Jobs

The current goal is to get the airplane ready for the engine, so we need to get it up on the landing gear.  Before that, we want to install the windshield, and before we do that, we need to paint the rest of the interior.  We’ve been doing some fiberglass work on the inside, so while the epoxy is curing, we need to do something else.

Here’s Kelly working on the cover that goes between the wing and the fuselage once the wings are attached.

While she was doing that, I worked on the pieces that attach Kelly’s cover to the fuselage.  Each piece comes straight, but needs to be bent slightly to match the curve of the wing.

Later I worked on the aluminum parts of the spinner (the pointy thing on the front of the airplane, covering the propeller hub).  Here they are primed.

I also painted some stuff.  Here are the brackets that hold the door strut to the door, as well as the engine control cable bracket, which holds the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls below the instrument panel.

Lastly, these are the parts that hold the brakes and wheel pants to the main landing gear legs.

Prop arrived!

Our propeller is here already!  The lead time was supposedly 10-12 weeks, but it shipped less than a month after I ordered it.  We’re not ready for it yet, so we’ll need to figure out where in the house we can store it for a couple months.  Almost $400 in freight charges from Ohio, which reminds me how fortunate we are to live close to the Van’s factory, so we don’t have to pay to ship all the kits.

Here’s a picture of me inspecting and opening the box; there was a small hole in the box, so I was checking to make sure there was no damage to the prop.

Here’s the temporary storage location in our living room :).  We’ll have it out of here by the end of the weekend.

Blue Engine

We decided to go with the “blue” engine color.  One of the benefits of an Aero Sport engine is that they’ll paint it one of six colors for no additional charge.  Here’s what our color will look like.

Engine Mount

Kelly and I attached the engine mount.  The engine mount attaches the engine to the fuselage and is also the attachment point for the nose gear.  Attaching the engine mount involves enlarging the 6 holes that attach it to the fuselage–they were 3/16″, but need to be 3/8″.  We enlarged the first one, then bolted on the mount and used it as a guide to drill the rest.  The pre-drilled 3/16″ holes were close to where they needed to be, but not perfect, which is why we needed to use the mount as a guide.  When we were done with the drilling, we deburred the holes, put in the bolts, and tightened the nuts.  Here’s Kelly finishing it up.

Ordered the engine!

Just ordered the engine from Aero Sport Power in B.C.  They’re pricey, but have a great reputation for doing fantastic work and standing behind it.  Most importantly, they offer a full 3-year warranty that starts on first engine start, which is way more than Lycoming offers.  Also, I’ve heard that Lycoming ships with two mags, and if you want to replace a mag with an electronic ignition (what we want) it voids the warranty.

Specs:

Aero Sport Power Ltd. New IO-540-D4A5 Engine with Lycoming Roller Tappet Technology Includes New:

Lycoming Cylinders, One Slick Magnetos and Harness with Light Speed Plasma III, Spark Plugs, New Light Weight Sky-Tec Inline Starter, Precision Silver Hawk Fuel Injection, Fuel Pump, Camshaft with Roller Tappets, Oil Sump, Crankshaft, Crankcase, Ring Gear, Spin on Oil Filter Adapter, Vacuum Pump Adapter Housing, Inner Cylinder Baffles, Dipstick and Tube. Standard engine colors; gold, red, blue, black, yellow or gray.

Now we need to pick a color.