Another Kitfox IV rebuild project

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Posted

So I took a few minutes today to weigh my new gear and the stock Kitfox IV gear. The stock gear legs are 15 pounds for the pair, uncovered, no axles, brakes or wheels. The new gear is 20 pounds, also no axles, brakes or wheels. So looks like I'm about 5 pounds heavier than stock, but 4.3 pounds lighter than a Grove gear which the website says is 24.3 pounds.  I'm happy with that.

On another note, i finally got the fuselage all sandblasted. Weather was not cooperating, so I had to hang plastic sheet in one section of my barn to get it done. I also got the primer coat on tonight, but didn't get any pictures with the cloud of paint mist. White urethane will go on tomorrow I hope. I really hate painting tube structures and will be glad when its done.

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Posted

Progress is being made. I fabricated a new firewall today. The old one was badly mis-shaped and consequently did not seal to the cowl really at all. In order to make sure the cowl was holding its proper shape I had to make a new windshield and cleco it in place. I then cut a 1/4 plywood blank for the top of the firewall that was a bit undersized and clamped that in place. With the cowl on I used a 1-3/4" diameter cable pulley and with a pencil ground to fit in the pulley bore I ran it around the inside of the cowl. This gave me a line 7/8" offset from the cowl. From there i was able to cut the cowl exactly 3/8" undersize which allows for the bulb seal that I am going to use for the edge seal. The bottom part of the firewall is basically straight cuts so I jus winged that. I didn't build the firewall like the plans say because I don't like the idea of drilling into the fuselage tubes and riveting. I had welded on about 20 tabs for attaching the firewall and welded up all the holes from the previous firewall attachment. It attaches to tabs on the top horizontal tube, center horizontal tube, and the tube under the rudder pedals. The engine mount will also clamp it. This way, I can also get to the nuts underneath for the rudder pedals by just taking the screws for the firewall off from underneath. I'm terrible about taking progress pictures so i only got the final result.
 
I also got the ELT and antenna mounted. Not a big deal but I decided to mount the antenna inside the fuselage and here is how it came out.
 
I also got the autopilot servos mounted and made some temporary pushrods to get things figured out. Everything looks like it is going to work well. A couple picture of those are attached too.
 

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Posted

Looks like it's coming along.  What kind of AP are you using?  Making progress, but it always takes longer then we expected.  Keep at it.   JImChuk

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Posted

Looks like it's coming along.  What kind of AP are you using?  Making progress, but it always takes longer then we expected.  Keep at it.   JImChuk

I'm using Garmin. It will have the following components:

  1. Garmin G5
  2. Garmin GMC 507 autopilot controller
  3. Garmin GMU 11 magnetometer
  4. Two Garmin GSA 28 servos

I found that the G5 can be used as the encoder for a transponder,  so it  will feed altitude info to the GTX 327 transponder via serial data out. The serial data input and output can be set for different tasks and I will  use the serial input for inputting navigation data from an Android tablet running Avare or Naviator. This will give GPS steering for the autopilot.

The G5 can replace the airspeed, altitude, vertical speed indicator and skid/slip ball, the weight gain will be minimal. Probably a pound or two, and that  will be saved because  I can lose the blind encoder since the G5 does that  too.

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Posted

got the laser cut instrument panel that I ordered from sendcutsend.com and couldn't wait to test fit the stuff in the panel. I highly recommend sendcutsend. You simply upload a cad drawing of what you want, pick the material, pay, and about a week later a perfectly cut instrument panel appears on your doorstep. This panel cost $53 delivered.

Wiring is progressing. The airplane had good wiring for the com and intercom, so reusing that. The harness for the G5 and the autopilot stuff is almost done. Still a lot of wiring to do still though.

 

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Posted


gonna be tough making left turns with your rudder pedal setup. ;)

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Posted (edited)


gonna be tough making left turns with your rudder pedal setup. ;)

Yeah.  Been fighting getting the rudder pedals to swing smoothly. Too much drag in my opinion. They rotate and are probably smooth enough but won't fall on their own like I think they should. In the picture there is nothing holding that pedal vertically other than the drag on the pivots. I dorked around with it so much that I've now decided to do a little mod to make it better than the factory design. Not really anything wrong with the factory design, just that the original builder of this airplane did a shoddy job on it and the brackets are a bit cockeyed making the bolts not in line with the pivot tube. When I got it the bolts were loose and it was pivoting on the bolts in the aluminum  brackets rather than on the plastic bearing. The build manual says not to do  that. I'm going to put a full length stepped shaft down the middle of the pivot tube so that the bearings stay  inline. Hopefully that will take care of it. Might have  to egg a few holes where it bolts to the fuselage even though I loath egged holes. It'll work though. 

Edited by 109jb

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