Assn 1-26 Logo
The Official website of the 1-26 Association Username    Password  


Site Map

K&L Soaring

1-26 Association scoring by
K&L Soaring

Contrails Software & Consulting Logo Contrails Software & Consulting ®

Copyright © 2021 the 1-26 Association.

                    RESTORATION OF SCHWEIZER 1-26A, SERIAL #026

................................................................(Click on the image to view the larger version.)




After all that work fitting everything to the fuselage it all came off for cleanup and painting, just like you see in the car buildout TV series.  The fuselage went to a powder coat shop for the application of a two-part, baked on polyurethane coating that will provide the basis for attaching the fabric.  Gray was chosen as the color since it is much cooler than the black and would blend in better with the rest of the items in the cockpit area.  (Note:  You may need to shop around to find a company that has a large enough oven to handle the 20' fuselage.  Some auto painting companies might have it.  Also prices vary so it may be worth it if you are controlling costs.)








Although this shot is a little further in the process, it shows that the carry thru plates were also given the polyurethane paint except for the inside.  If you look at the right hand side of the front plate you will see the bare aluminum with some remnants of zinc chromate from over the years.  The tolerances between the wing spar and the carry thru are very close and even a "thin" coating of primer or zinc chromate may be too much to allow for easy mating of the wings to the fuselage.  Once you have everything bolted together and rigged is not the time to find out that the wings won't go into the slot.  They would be extremely difficult to strip without completely removing them.  At the bottom you can see the spoiler/brake bell crank has been installed as has the brake shoe.  On the left of the photo you can see one of the older Teflon cable guides that don't show a significant amount of wear from over 1,500 hours of flying.  If you have to make new ones, it doesn't take any longer to make them from Teflon or Delron and I think it is quieter of the long run.  I was missing about 8 of them so borrowed a friends small lathe, purchsured some Delron from the plastics store and went to work.  I made a couple of extras just in case once I got started and found it wasn't all that hard.








      The skid was an interesting project that went through a couple of iterations.  Harry had provided a laminated blank with the curve already built in, however, it was going to be heavy even after trimming.  My son and I tried for a couple of hours to fit it to the fuselage and finally gave up. 
       I ordered a skid from K & L Soaring with the holes already drilled.  The only problem was that dad didn't get all the attachment points forward of the cockpit bulkhead in exactly the same positions.  So we plugged the holes with epoxy and dowels and went back through the fitting routine. 
       We started by bolting the front two holes then putting the number of rubber blocks in each position.  The rear of the skid was then forced down onto the rear blocks and clamped in place.  Once everything was properly aligned we used a long drill to come up through the fuselage bracket, blocks and then the skid.  This assured the proper angle for the holes. 
       After everything was bolted in place I spent some time keeping the wood fully saturated with water, although a blend of ammonia and water would have been more effective.  I left it bolted up until the wood was completely dry and ended up with the requisite curve without building a mold as shown in the restoration manual.  It was then sanded and sprayed with multiple coats of a high quality spar varnish.
       I went to a local sheet metal company near the airport and had them use their shear break to cut the metal skid plate to the specifications on the drawings.  I drilled and countersunk holes for the wood screws but could convert them to bolts is the screws don't stay in place with use which hasn't been a problem so far.  I also have several weld beads put across the surface to help with braking ability when landing on asphalt surfaces, which is what was on the old plate.  These will be redone as they wear down.






       This was the tough one.  If you don't need to remove the cockpit skin, then don't.  This is the second time around for this one, which made the alignment a little more tricky.  The top image is the beginning point with C-clamps doing the major holding in place job.  As I noted before there is a lot of pressure that the cleckos can't handle unless almost all the holes have one.
       The middle image shows how many cleckos it takes and the plans talk about needing at least 250 cherry max rivets for the job.  You are only looking at one side from the center line stringer to the cockpit rail so there are lots more cleckos on the other side.  I was fortunate that we had enough of various sizes to fill almost all the holes, which was the result of many years of collecting them from the aircraft company salvage yards in the San Diego area during the 50s and 60s by my host's father with my dad contributing to the hangar supply when he cleaned out our garage.  I am sure some of them were used during the first restoration.
       The bottom image shows the riveting job almost done.  The remaining holes had some variations in depth so additional rivets had to be ordered, but at this point the hard parts are done since the cockpit rail rivets are in place.
       In this picture you can also see that the wing root fairing is now installed, so everything is moving along.





This picture shows the progress being made on the cockpit area now that the outer skin has been installed.  At this point the canopy fairing is just cleckoed in place while the fitting process was underway.  While the front edge is lining up well with the instrument panel hoop, the rear frame hoop is still not aligning completely with the cockpit turtle deck section.  I tried to be very careful in establishing the correct position for the turtle deck when riveting the bottom rail back onto the skin, but it still has to be gently pushed into position before it drops onto the latching pins. 
        From this shot you can also see how the rudder cable guide modification was completed.  Now both sides look exactly the same versus having different configurations.  Essentially I made the old one look like the new one since it was the governing piece based on the scrap stock I could get from the plastics store.







This is the beginning of the nose section buildout.  A new bulkhead was built that includes a small shelf for the Winter mechanical variometer 0.45 liter bottle.  It is held in place with a large regular hose clamp.  There is another shelf on the front of the bulkhead but the Tazman electric variometer turned out to not need one.
       The set of three holes on the left side of the bulkhead are for the pitot and static lines coming from the nose.  The hole above the vent tube will align the total energy tube that has been routed from the vertical fin through the turtle deck and under the seat pans to the nose area.
       The air vent tube in now in place.  The zip ties at the front end were replaced with a hose clamp and enough slack left so the nose cone can be taken off.  Don't forget to allow some slack in the static and pitot lines.  I practiced  attaching things inside the nose through the nose cone bulkhead to make sure once the fabric was on I could still get to each item especially the tow hook.
       The long cable along side the hose is the elevator trim.  It has been safety wired to the bulkhead hoop and secured where it goes through the nose bulkhead.  You can also see the pulley installation for the tow hook release and spoiler/brake cable on the left side.















Much further along now with the nose bulkhead getting a coat of epoxy primer and riveted to the fuselage stringers.  The rudder pedals are now installed and the new springs attached.  K & L soaring had all the necessary springs so I just ordered a full set rather than trying to find them at various other vendors.
      The oxygen bottle has been installed using a small flat plate of aluminum and adele clamps to attach it to the fuselage cross members.  I can't reach the valve knob in-flight so have it on my checklist to turn on before takeoff.
       The pitot and static lines are installed and routed to the back of the instrument panel.  The battery pack on the back of the panel is for the Tazman variometer in an effort to save valuable weight.  All the repairs over the years added to the overall weight so I put the project and me on a diet and replaced a 12v wet cell with this 9.6v radio control dry cell from Radio Shack.  The only downside is the audio volume will only operate at the #3 level vs. at the #5 level that 12v would provide however this has not been a problem during flight since the 3 setting is just about right.
       The nose fairing tubes are all in place and the fairing transition pieces held in temporarily.  They were riveted to the nose bulkhead prior to covering.  I installed blind nuts on the bottle hoop so the panel could be easily removed if it became necessary.  The longitudinal tubes have been safety wired to the bottle hoop through the small holes you can barely see in the hoop to prevent them from moving around once the fabric is attached.  A little trick passed along to me was to curl the twisted wire end back on itself so you don't have any sharp ends that can catch you later when working inside the nose making connections.  If you zoom in on the picture you can see one example of this on the stringer parallel to the vent tube.
        The bottom shot is the wing fitting to check the aileron and spoiler rigging.  Since I didn't change any of the settings on the bell cranks and cables I didn't expect any problems.  We had to add a couple of washers to the bolts in the stick stops to keep the ailerons within the limits, but that was an unknown since the original stop bolts had been removed years ago.  We weren't too far off.  The right spoiler required two turns on the attachment fitting to make it match the left deployment.  The difference wasn't enough to cause an adverse roll, but I just wanted everything right.  The gray on the ribs is epoxy primer to cover spots where the chromate had come off over the years.











The instrument locations have been finalized (yes there is an extra airspeed indicator in the lower hole but it is just filling in for the Winter variometer that I had to order).  The layout allows for being able to see the airspeed needle and the electric variometer readings with a simple glance inside.
       The mount on the lower right is for the Icom handheld radio and is designed so it is held in place with the standard belt clip.  This makes it easy to put in and take out.  The antenna cable goes under the floor boards to a point in the wing bay where it is attached to the handheld radio antenna inside the fuselage.  This eliminated the external antenna and for the type of flying on plan on doing will be adequate from a range standpoint.  So far in the air reception has been excellent but I haven't done a transmission yet to determine if there is any interference from the fuselage skins.
       The black box on the left side is the Mountain High oxygen controller that replaces those big bulky WW II constant flow regulators.  I elected to get a medium size aluminum bottle to save weight but still give me plenty of use time for the type of flying I will be doing. You can see the bottle mounting plate in this shot.  In the bottom photo you can see the red oxygen feed line under the left longeron.  I held it in place with some left over decorative electrical wire cover that already has a sticky backing.
       A quick note on the knobs.  You want to keep them off the panel so you can get your fingers behind them to pull.  I found that automobile air-conditioning hose works great since the inside diameter is just the right size and is very rigid.  I got some for free from a local auto shop.  I was being teased about the yellow stripe around the red tow release know, but I have since found an old slide with my dad's hand on the stick and the yellow stripe.
      The plate on the carry thru shows the original contruction date and weights from 1958.










Here are some shots of the instrument panel after completing the wrinkle painting and installation of the final instruments.  I like the wrinkle look but it took time and some Internet searching to finally find a brand of paint and local location to buy it.  If you are interested in doing this go to your neighborhood Auto Zone store and ask for VHT wrinkle paint in a spray can.  Other auto store may also carry it but Auto Zone was the only one that showed up in my searches.
       I applied four coats but I found that probably only two heavy coats would be enough when I did the sizing ring on the Tazman electric variometer.  I also did two coats on a Stearman panel for a friend and it came up just as good.
       The instruments are a mix of old and new with a Schweizer airspeed indicator, a surplus Air Force altimeter that was donated to the project by a friend, the original compass and g-meter from the 1963 rebuild, then the new Tazman and Winter variometers.  I also installed the standard Schweizer fresh air vent sine it looked much neater than the home made version my dad had installed years ago.  The only thing missing is the data plate that will be installed in the lower right corner after the weight and balance is completed.






I was initially puzzled about these alternate seat belt attachment fittings.  Then I ran across something that indicated they were some type of kit to move the point forward from the original point you see just behind it.  Although I haven't hooked everything up yet, I am assuming that this allows the lap belt to actually give you more protection since the angle provided by the new mount wraps tighter around your waist.  The floor pan has been modified to clear the new bracket.

Here is a shot of the new seat belts that continue with the color scheme of gray and maroon from Hooker.  I elected the wider lap belt and narrower shoulder belts for safety and comfort.  Based on the condition and age of the original hardware I also elected for all new hardware even with the increase in cost.  I imagine you can send Hooker your hardware and have new belts fitted.  The shoulder harness webbing is veed and has plenty of length to reach the attachment point on the fuselage cross member allowing for adjustments.  I have since removed the sholder harness pads so there isn't as much bulk to try and move around while putting them on.






These shots show the finished and installed aft turtle deck bulkheads and stringers.  The vertical fin was bolted in so the total energy tubing could be fitted from the tail up to behind the instrument panel.  I used heavy duty opaque plastic water tubing so it would be stiffer between the turtle deck bulkheads to minimize flexing that could affect the readings.  I installed a fitting in the line just before it enters the first bulkhead so the vertical could be removed for covering.
       Although it is hard to see in these pictures the total energy mounting tube has been welded to a half piece of aluminum tubing that fits around the leading edge tube.  This was epoxied and riveted to the leading edge and another half piece glued/riveted to the back side of the leading edge tube.  This created a clean and strong joint since it is essentially a complete wrap around the leading edge.  The actual probe that was donated by Tom Riley will slide into the tube with almost enough friction to hold it in place but I am using a piece of electrical tape around the joint to make sure.  No problems so far the the Tazman appears to working great with this arrangement.

           ...       
................1...........................2............................3.............................4........................5................6.......................7.
        In previous pictures you have seen the canopy framing being held in place with cleckos  and just an empty shell. 1. is the canopy attachment fairing now completely riveted to the framework.  The canopy is one of the old ones with two big cracks so it worked great for fitting since I didn't have to worry about breaking it.  The biggest issues were with the fit against the cockpit turtle deck since the new rear canopy hoop had a slight angle that didn't we didn't get quite right during the welding.  A little pushing and pulling worked out most of the fitting problems and the front hoop was almost spot on so didn't require any additional work.  Someone reminded me this glider is 60 years old so things aren't always going to fit like new.  This does help mentally with accepting less than perfect.
        In 2. the canopy frame process is now moving forward toward finishing after having spent a hour or so sanding off all the excess bondo now covering the pop rivet heads.  I wanted to keep the sleek look of having everything flush so I had also done a little bit of grinding so I wouldn't have to build up bondo to cover them.  You can see I managed to keep the amount of leftover bondo to a minimum.  The inside is painted with a coat of epoxy primer and I have now sealed all around the frame with clear silicon to help keep out water and give a good base for the final paint.
        3.  shows the frame with the last coat of filler primer before wet & dry sanding and coat of epoxy primer as the base of the final paint.  I think it looks good and hopefully I won't get any major cracks in the bondo as the canopy is taken off and put back on all the time.  The paint shop that did the wing striping and priming of the wing surfaces felt there wouldn't be any problem with bondo, so only time will tell.  So far there haven't been any issues with cracking after several setups and tear downs.
       The new canopy (4.) came from Aircraft Windshield in Los Alamitos, CA (southern Los Angeles area) (http://www.aircraftwindshield.com/index.html).  They were great to work with since I took an old canopy and the frame in at 10:30am and picked up the completed new canopy at 2:30pm the same day.  Since I had the frame they offered to drill the mounting holes at $2 each which was the best insurance against cracking that I could have purchased since the drilling was on their nickel.  5. is looking at it from the front, while 6. is a shot through the glass to show how distortion free it is so I am very pleased.  7. is a shot of the bubble head nuts I used instead of just plain locks nuts.  I got them through Genuine Aircraft  Hardware but they are a little pricey at about $1.10 each when ordered in the necessary quantities.  (http://www.gen-aircraft-hardware.com/storeintro.asp)

            
..................1.........................................2.........................................3.....................................4.................................5.
Starting with 1. the cockpit turtle deck after doing the bondo filling and sanding to cover up the rivets holding the skin to the bulkheads.  Most of the bondo was sanded off but I haven't primed it yet since the area outlined by the pencil line is going to be cut out (photo 2.) and Lexan bolted in its place (photo 3.).  That means there are a lot of mounting holes to drill and dimple before the cut is actually made.  I really like the look of the extended cockpit area since it helps give the fuselage a longer look as shown in 4. with the two pieces in their approximate positions than just having the short canopy area, especially with white paint.  5. is the Lexan piece that will be installed after all the painting is completed.  It is drilled and ready to go except for removing the protective covering.  Making the template for cutting the Lexan was a lot of work but I think it was well worth the time and effort.  I have the template rolled up and saved just in case I should ever need to make another one.





This is a shot of the area under the seat showing the guide block for the elevator cable as it goes to the back.  You will notice the stick has been chromed, which was one of the neat things my dad did during the previous rebuild.  The tube on the left is the total energy line coming in from the aft fuselage turtledeck.  Be careful that something like this is not routed where seat pan hold down screws could pierce the tubing.  I rerouted this slightly and also used it to help support the radio antenna extension cable into the wing carry through area.  Although not done at this time, all the seams from the longerons down have been sealed with silicon to keep moisture out of the joints.  Make sure to leave the drain holes open so any heavy water from an unexpected rain can get out rather than sitting in the bottom.





This was the first fitting of the wheel brake that came with the wheel well cover I got from a local 1-26 surplus supplier.  It has brake shoe material riveted to it and was somewhat longer than the metal only brake originally on the glider to help keep out dust and dirt at the cable entry point.  However, I found that there are some differences between models and/or tires so this later version would not fit with the shoe material and I had to go back to the original one that only wraps around the tire providing some friction for stopping.  I also replaced this tire with a new one since the one pictured had too many sidewall cracks from old age and I didn't want to risk it giving up on a hard landing.  Cheap insurance from my point of view.  See below for more on installing the fiberglass cover.




I just like this shot since it makes the fuselage look long and sleak, especially when you add the nose cone.  It also shows how well the added nose fairing tubes help with giving the nose a more rounded and smoother look.



This was the starting point for my first attempt at putting on the covering.  The elevators were small, easy to handle and had all straight edges to work with.  This was a wrap job around the spar first attaching the bottom side to the trailing edge and then the top side with at least the one inch overlap around the trailing edge.  The hardest part was making the straight line cut of the excess fabric from the top wrap without having the razor "accidentally" cut into the covering, which would mean an ugly patch.  The same problem presented itself at the ends, but by taking it slowly and getting some good advice on technique from friends.





Here is a shot of the horizontal stabilizer part way through the initial attachment of the Poly Fiber fabric.  This is the method covered in the Schweizer drawings I got from K&L Soaring where you don't have to put the hold down strip down the middle of the main spar.  This allowed for an easy wrap.  I started by tacking the fabric along the spar edges to keep it from moving around and then wrapping the bottom side to the leading edge tubing with as much overlap as possible.  The ribs were prepped with Poly Tak and then another coat added so the fabric could be worked into the wet glue and attached without the screws/rivets, which is allowed in the revised specifications.  Once I got the hang of working around the curves with the iron  the job went quickly but it does take some patience.  Once both sides were covered and the Poly Tak had plenty of time to dry I did a light shrink, used reducer to make sure the Tak had been drawn through the cloth and then let everything set overnight before doing the final shrink.




So as not to bore everyone with the entire covering process here are the tail surfaces up through the two coats of sprayed on Poly Brush over the top of a single brushed on coat.  You can see all tapes over the ribs that were put on with Poly Brush after the initial brushed on coat and then the edges ironed down where necessary in between the spray coats.  I attached the rudder and elevators to the main structure with temporary bolts and then installed the gap strips so they would get the same coverage and give everything a uniform look after final painting.  It was a little tricky swapping out the bolts for new ANs, but by using the new bolts to push out the old ones everything stayed in line.  The alternate method would be to install the gap strips after the silver coats or the final paint, but that also has it down sides.  They now have three coats of silver and have been given an initial sanding to remove as many of the imperfections left from the spraying in an airport environment.




 
I have now moved on to covering the fuselage which is going to take a long time since there will be a lot of taping to do after the fabric is on.  The left image is the bottom section the is the starting point according to the factory covering instructions.  This is logical since it allows for the side piece lap joints to flow downward  which looks better under the final taping.  At this point the wheel well opening has been cut out but the fiberglass wheel cover still needs to be installed (see below).
      The right image shows the right side of the fuselage that still needs to be covered.  The left side piece goes the entire length of the fuselage from the rear vertical tube to the nose cone ring.  Again, this is the way the original instructions called for covering.
      Don't forget to make sure all your control cables and prooperly run and that all the guide fairings are wired into oplace since you won't be able to get to them again.





This top image is the left side with the fabric having been initially attached to the longerons, the fuselage tub and the root section support plate. The bottom image is the cockpit tub covering showing how to get the fabric to lay down on the sheet metal.  The edges around the tub were pre-coated with Poly Tak (silver area vs. red area) and the rest was given a coating of Poly Brush (red stuff).  The fabric was attached to the skin edges with a fresh coat of Poly Tak rubbed through the fabric and allowed time to properly dry.  The fabric was then shrunk through progressive heat levels with an iron to get rid of as many wrinkles as possible.  Then Acetone was used to draw the Poly Brush up into the fabric for the final attachment and the irom used to reduce any bubbles that might have appeared.  The same was done with the root plate.  This process has worked extremely well since no new bubbles appeared during subsequent spray coats.




This is the fuselage with all the side covering in place on both sides.  At the front you can see the bottom of the cockpit skin hasn't been covered yet, but that is now done.  Sure looks long, doesn' it?


 



Here is the bottom of the nose before and after covering.  This gives you a good idea of all the fairing tubes that will need to be covered with 1/4" tape on the peak of the tupe.  It is a little hard to see in the picture, but the fabric had to be split toward the front of the nose in order to get it to wrap around the compound curve.  I made an initial cut from the nose to the flat area at the rear of the tow hook slot.  I then got everything attached in the slot which helped remove some of the loose fabric.  I then made another cut to get rid of the excess fabric forward of the slot and glued it down.  This area will be covered with tape on the underside so I wasn't quite as neat as I probably should have been.
     This shot also shows the spacing blocks between the fuselage bulkheads and the fairing tubes to keep the bows in them as the fabric is tigthened.




This is the fuselage in the upright position getting ready to put on the top nose fabric.  The sides have now been shrunk to the 300 degree point so everything looks nice a clean.  The wing spar hole has been cut out and the fabric rolled around and attached on the inside so there are no raw edges to break loose from the root plate.  I had decided to leave the fabric in place over the large lightening holes so they didn't need to be trimmed and also rolled inside.

                          
........................          .........1.......................................2......................................3.....................................4.
1. is a shot of the nose top before it was covered and 2. is after the covering. The fore and aft bulkhead fairings were prepped with Poly Tak before applying the fabric and then a fresh coat of Tak worked through the fabric as is was put on.  3. shows that I was able to get everything wrapped without having to do the compound curve split that was necessary on the bottom.  This was partly due to less down slope on the nose top than the bottom and the fact that there are nine fairing tubes to smooth out the curvature.  The fabric has been pre-shrunk at 250 degrees with the next step at 300 degrees and a final at 325 so as not to deform the fairing tubes.  4. is of the nose with a the hand applied coating of Poly Brush and then tapes added to the fairing tubes.  I used 1" tape here since it met the Poly Fiber standards and it allowed for spacing between the tapes at the narrow front bulkhead points.  If I had used 2" tapes there would have been such a severe overlap point at the nose bulkhead it would have been almost like laying on another layer of fabric.  It looks really good this way and allows for mounting the nose cone since there is no excessive buildup of tapes.

            
....................             ........1........................................2........................................3.......................................4.
This is a series of images on the wheel well cover installation.  1. is the rough fitting of the cover with the brake shoe in place.  The cover didn't fit very well over the tubing forming the well and was going to be a messy taping job.  One of my advisors suggested some areas that could be trimmed and then to use a heat gun to reshape the curvature of the fore/aft sides so they conformed with the fuselage tubing better (photo 2.).  Using a heavy glove I was able to soften the fiberglass and then put the cover in the well and hold the edge around the tubing until it rehardened.  It also required a little forming work on the rear edge to get the best fit.  3. shows it installed with 4" pinking tape as noted in the restoration manual.  4. is the completed installation with the coating of Poly Brush and the pinked edges ironed back down.

          
                1.                                 2.                               3.                           4.                          5.                                       6.  
This is the current point of covering the fuselage.  Image #1 is  the vertical fin with rudder attached due to the gap cover having been permanently installed.  The elevator cables have been strung through the vertical spar and bolted/safetied to the control horn and the elevator push rod installed permanently while there is an opening and the ability to work in this narrow space.  The rudder cables have been temporarily attached and a template can made to locate where they will come through the fabric so the slot can be cut in the correct place when the time comes. 

Image #2 is the rough fit of the fabric to make sure there is enough all around for the gluing.  Image #3 is the is the fabric now attached to the fuselage and the initial shrinking done at 250 degrees.  Again the front fairing was given a prep coat of TAK and then a fresh coat worked through the fabric.  Image #4 shows the covering ready for taping with the final shrinking done at 325 degrees.  I did progressive shrinkings to make sure the stringer structure was not going to bow under the pressure.  Image #5 is the fuselage now ready for spraying on two coats of Poly Brush to start the fabric filling process.  The coat on there now is hand brushed before the taping which can be seen as the darker areas along the stringers and longerons.

Image #6 is the area around the base do the vertical fin.  Either my father or Harry made up a set of transition fairings that are bolted to the center stringer just in front of the fin.  They provide the desired angle for the fabric to come off of the fin and go to the longeron.  Tape was then applied on the fin and turtle deck fabric to smooth everything out.  The blue tape was used to keep the Poly Brush used for taping from destroying any more of the silver coating than necessary.  Everything above the blue tape will be masked off to prevent overspray when doing the Poly Brush spraying.  The area where the horizontal will sit is eventually going to be covered to keep dust, dirt and critters out when the horizontal is not in place.  It has to stay open for now so the rudder cables that are tied to one of the vertical fuselage supports can be released and fished through the slots in the fabric.  You can see the pencil marked area just above the inspection plate hole indicator that corresponds to the template made earlier.  The inspection rings have now been glued on and covered with tape.






Something that didn't come with the turtle deck lumber was a small bulkhead for attaching the aft most part of the fabric.  I was puzzled on how to finish the fabric attachment until  I happen to notice it on one of the drawings and after some experimentation with the transition fairings decided it was worth building one.  It is 1" high in the middle to avoid interference with lower hinge bolt nut and safety pin.  A french curve came in handy for forming the shape.  It is attached to a bracket using two countersunk AN3 bolts through the drilled holes.  It is hard to see but I also added a small piece of aluminum extending aft under the bulkhead so there is a fabric attach point for covering the opening that is normally under the horizontal.  This will keep dirt and other stuff out of the fuselage when the horizontal is not installed.  After it was installed and covered with fabric it was discovered the bulkhead was about 3/8 to 1/4 inch too deep, which until corrected will prevent the horizontal from lining up with the bolt holes.  I had to remove the fabric, cut off about 3/16th leaving a little wood for the bolts, trial fitted it witih the hornizontal and then reinstalled and covered it.  You can see the results in the lower image.



Here is the fuselage with two coats of silver but still needing one more to provide the necessary UV protection for the fabric.  The horizontal is on during the trial fit for the revised bulkhead noted above.  The masking and plastic has come off so everything can get the third coat at the same time.  I did the third coat on the horizontal and elevators when I did the right wing aileron cap seal taps as covered in the fuselage rebuild section of this site.


               
Here are a series of shots taken in mid-October when everything was temporarily put together for a trial weight and balance.  At this point it is now ready for the final paint job but the local weather and a backlog at the paint shop have slowed this down considerably.  It is anticipated the painting might get done the week of Christmas if the weather holds.

               
Here is what the final cockpit interior looks like with the seat cushion, seat back and stick boot all in position.  The thigh pad elevation is 7" and provides just the right amount of support for longer flights.  I had this built by a professional aircraft interior fabricator and had him install zippers so the outer covering can be washed periodically, especially after summer days of sitting in a hot cockpit waiting for the tow plane.  The boot is riveted to the frame using a washer on the back side for the rivet mushroom for plenty of support so the leather won't pull away.  The frame is then held to the floor pan with 4 sheet metal screws.  The boot in installed by slipping it over the stick inside out, a tie wrap put around it just below the top and then the boot folder over into the normal position.  This keeps the boot tight on the stick so dirt and other things can't fall through.
Click HERE to bring up the final preparations and first flight page.

Updated:  5/12/14                        Back to the SN026 Restoration Home