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Final Assembly and Fit Out

[140 hours]

May 31

Applying the vinyl registration numbers isn't as easy as one would think, especially over rivets. I would recommend that the registration numbers by painted onto the aircraft, this way you end up with no bubbles.
TIP: Spray soapy water on the surface before applying the numbers, this way you can move them around before using a squeegee to work the water, bubbles of air, and wrinkles out from under each number. Use a pin to burst any bubbles and work out the water and air.
After the numbers have been applied to both sides of the fuselage, an emblem depicting the Australian Federation Star and the Canadian Maple Leaf is applied to the tail section to signify the Canadian design and materials constructed in Australia with an Australian engine as it's powerplant.

June 1, 3, 7,  8, 10, 14, 15, 21, 22 & 23

  The four days have been spent assembling all the components while fielding visits and answering questions which is good, but you would be surprised at the amount of time this takes:
1. attaching the elevators with it's control rod and return spring
2. the rudder
3. the wings, struts and supports leaving the ailerons until later when I install the joystick
4. instruments, wiring the switches and fuses and installing the air vents
Instead of using flexible fuel grade hose to run from the fuel selector inside the cabin to the gasolator, I have used the aluminum fuel line for a solid connection which will also help to hold the gasolator firm when doing the fuel check. There is a  fuel filter in the line before it reaches the electric fuel pump with heat insulation surrounding all fuel lines.
TIP: Use safety tie wire to secure each end of the heat insulation covering the fuel lines.
Forward of the firewall is starting to take shape with the battery, starter, regulator, oil excess bottle, fuel system, electrical cables to pick up the CHT thermocouple, oil temperature and pressure, magneto's, scat tubes, choke, throttle, cabin heat, fuel pump, landing light etc. and the list goes on and on.
Testing each of the switches and fuses went without any problem with all electrical equipment working first time and no blown fuses. The two mag. switches are on the left with the starter button separating them from the other electrical switches.

A view of the dash with all the switch and fuse panel, GPS,  instruments, fresh air vents, compass, radio and aux. power outlet. The twin throttle controls have not yet been installed.

The fuel line at the lower left of this image has yet to be bent into position and connected to the fuel selector switch which is located in front of the pilots seat.

Left: The oil filter and oil cooler are connected using oil hose covered with heat resistant tubing
TIP: Use safety tie wire to secure each end of the heat insulation covering the oil lines.
Right: The hydraulic brake line has been run from the cylinder attached to the pedal, through the cabin, down the undercarriage steel tube and fitted into the brake cylinder attached to the assembly.
TIP: Allow the brake line to loop under the cabin so it doesn't stretch with the movement of the undercarriage on take-off and landing.
Flare the end of the fuel line, run fuel grade hose to the Tee piece fitted to the rear outlet then forward to the front outlet making sure there are no kinks in the fuel line.  
TIP: Place a section of fuel hose over the fuel line where it passes between the rear wing mount bracket and the cabin structure to protect the line from rubbing against metal.
Left: The throttle cable clamped into position under the dash. Even with the bend in the throttle cable there is no obstruction.
TIP: When constructing the cabin, adjust all measurements for the twin throttle lever arm to match the engine you will installing in your BushCaddy. With a Jabiru the Bing carby is under the engine block
Before clamping the rudder cable into its final position make sure the pedals are in the vertical position and the rudder is centre. The image on the right shows the rudder clamped into the central position while the image on the right shows the swaging tool in action.
TIP: Install a turn buckle on both rudder cables to allow for adjustment to make sure the aircraft tracks true and straight with the control stick in the vertical position.

July 6, 8, 11, 12, 15, 19, 20 & 22

  1. After adjusting the tacho sender to the correct height above the two (2) tabs on the flywheel, the next step is to reset the tacho phase setting to two (2). 
2. Complete the wiring harness and terminate each cable in the engine compartment.
3. Secure all the cables under the dash with cable ties.
4. Attach the plastic tube from the pitot tube to the air speed indicator as well as the tube from the static ports in the fuselage.
5. Continue the static port tube from the air speed indicator to the altimeter and vertical speed indicator.
6. Install the landing light on the front cowl just behind the intake for the oil cooler
7. Fit the lexan to the left and right doors and attach a catch to hold the door up under the wing to enter and exit the aircraft.
8. Balance the prop. using wet and dry to remove excess lacquer and apply another coat of paint to the tip.
9. Run an extra cable from the ground terminal of the oil pressure sensor to a pilot warning light on the dash to show no oil pressure.
10. Modify air intake scoops for 3300 Jabiru engine to make sure enough air gets to cylinder 6 and mag. coil.
11. Modify the baffle at the rear of air left and right scoops so all the air gets to the back cylinder heads
12. Araldite an aluminum tube air vent from the back of the air scoop above cylinder 6 to blow fresh air onto the mag. switch to keep it cool
13. Silicon and rivet the windscreen into position
14. Begin modifying the air scoops to match the nose bowl to force air over the cylinder heads
15. Move the battery from the firewall into the cabin between the pilots pedals and rewire

August 16, 17 & 24

  It's difficult to exactly put a finger on what I have been doing, lots of little jobs required to finish off the aircraft ready for final inspection. One this is for certain, the little fiddly tasks take up a lot of time.  
On advice from the LAME who will be inspecting my aircraft before registration, I have turned the bolts around so they come from the back of the propeller mounting plate and have used drilled bolts with castle nuts, tensioned to 12lbs per sq.inch and split pins. With the spinner firmly secured to the backing plate all is now ready for the final inspection so test flying can commence.

September 2

  1. Part of the the weight an balance is to fill the fuel tanks, however and it was during this test we found a small fuel leak in one of the tanks. On inspection, where the baffles were welded, a couple of pit holes had been formed. After a generous coating of sealant that sets in about ten minutes, it stopped the leaks. This is only a temporary measure and I will be replacing the tank.
TIP: Perform a leak test on each tank at an early stage of construction at 5psi using a brush and soapy water on all surfaces to check for air bubbles. If they appear, there is a leak and depending on how serious it is, it may be repaired using a sealant. Better still, replace the whole tank.

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