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Thread: And so it begins

  1. #1

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    And so it begins

    Well, not exactly. It began a couple years ago pondering what I could do to a PA18 to better suit my mission. And if I made all the mods I desired, would it still be a PA18 derivative or be closer to something else which would lead me logically to build something else. I started writing down ideas for modifications: higher gross weight, more accessible baggage, wider fuselage, decreased pitch angle on landing, hard points on wings for mounting whatever stuff I want to mount, improved door geometry so I donít have to be ďpretzel boyĒ to get in and out, etc., etc..

    After that exercise the question was: Could I develop the necessary skills to build it? I had a piece of crap tig welder so I replaced that. I bought a large quantity of 4130 tubing from an aircraft welding shop that was liquidating and set about hacking it into small pieces to practice welding clusters. I built notching jigs that attach to my metal lathe and started welding. Initially the clusters looked like something out of the movie Elephant Man. So, I invested in private lessons. I spent eight months, welding two to five hours a day, three to four days a week. I dated each cluster, cut some apart to polish and etch the welds allowing inspection for defects and beat others apart with a sledge to test failure points. About eight months in, I was happy with the results.

    I bought the Northland drawings, made prints, drew on modifications, made changes to those and started looking at other modified Cubs. I found other kit builders were doing mods I thought I had dreamed up. Although, nobody seemed to be doing all of my mods in one kit. One kit supplier was doing most of mine plus others I hadnít thought about. There are some nice kits out there! That led to the question: Why reinvent the wheel? I guess, because the wheel is there. And also because the wheel costs a pile of money. If we settled for the status quo, everybody would still be flying around in a J3.

    Since all the mods were forward of the tail feathers, I built the tail feathers. In need of someone with significantly more brain power than I possess, I started searching for an engineer willing to evaluate the proposed fuselage changes. I found a willing fellow who is now crunching numbers. Meanwhile, I built the jig table, fuselage rotisserie and an engine stand. I also bought the wings from a fabulous kit manufacturer whoís tested them to the gross weight I desired.

    As summer play time comes to an end and our typically SUCKY winter weather sets in Iíll have a project to keep me occupied. I donít have the desire to post the detail that other builders have but will post photos of the progress and pose questions when I get stuck on something. Lots of great info on this site and all of your collective wisdom is appreciated.
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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Mr. Ed, I'm thrilled to see another starting a project. I know you don't want to post details, and I know that takes a lot of time, but remember: we are hungry and want pictures!

    Seriously, your start sounds a lot like mine. There is a lot of encouragement and knowledge here.

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    Wag2+2's Avatar
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    You need horses of course. Maybe an O-360.

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    I acquired the horse well before the cart. Titan 340 stroker, injected, dual electronic ignition, hollow crank claims to produce 185 HP.
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    I picked up a load of tubing about five weeks ago but had commitments for a week after that. Still employed, so that takes a bit of my time too. I started setting up the jig table to weld up the sides of the fuselage a month ago. For anyone who hasn’t done this, notching tubing takes a butt load of time and patience. I spend an inordinate amount of time measuring a dozen times, checking angles in multi-tube clusters, standing back and scratching my head and then dicking up the last cut. Getting better though. Both sides are tacked up and the project just became three dimensional today. Lots of jigging to be done prior to doing any more notching and welding. I’ll have to figure out how to post photos.

    My Keller flaps were delivered and are still crated in the hangar. Hopefully they won’t turn to dust before I get to that point in the project.

    Still having fun with it.

  6. #6
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    I picked up a load of tubing about five weeks ago but had commitments for a week after that. Still employed, so that takes a bit of my time too. I started setting up the jig table to weld up the sides of the fuselage a month ago. For anyone who hasnít done this, notching tubing takes a butt load of time and patience. I spend an inordinate amount of time measuring a dozen times, checking angles in multi-tube clusters, standing back and scratching my head and then dicking up the last cut. Getting better though. Both sides are tacked up and the project just became three dimensional today. Lots of jigging to be done prior to doing any more notching and welding. Iíll have to figure out how to post photos.

    My Keller flaps were delivered and are still crated in the hangar. Hopefully they wonít turn to dust before I get to that point in the project.

    Still having fun with it.

    buy or make(inner thin part, some wires from a flat donor counter gauge, and a chunk of heat shrink outside wired..) https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...ickkey=5542203

    and then just mark tube, then cut out the tube with regular aviation snips...
    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...ickkey=3027198

    you won't spend 2 or 3 minutes a joint..... learned that from a guy who built production planes...

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    snips work on 4130 tube?
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46 Cub View Post
    snips work on 4130 tube?
    Like butter. .035Ē


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46 Cub View Post
    snips work on 4130 tube?
    I learned that trick from Wayne Mackey but we use a rounded wheel on a bench grinder.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  10. #10
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    Like butter. .035”



    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I learned that trick from Wayne Mackey but we use a rounded wheel on a bench grinder.

    I used both. Snips work great, but sometimes a little touch up on the wheel is easier.
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    Talk about learning things from this site! I had never even thought about using snips. It seems so obvious now...
    Thanks!

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    And so it begins

    An endmill chucked in the lathe and the tube attached to the compound also works great.


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    An endmill chucked in the lathe and the tube attached to the compound also works great.


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    just don't cut to deep and have the tube roll under cutting edge of end mill.... gets exciting fast!!

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    Tail post to tail spring bolt hole measurement?

    Im welding up the fuselage bottom tubing and I can’t find a drawing on the North Land disk that has the dimension between the tail post center and the center of the bolt hole at the forward end of the tail spring.

    Would anybody have a measurement or a drawing # they would like to share?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Denis

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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Do you have NL12183? It looks like 5", if I understand what you are looking for.

    Vic

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    Thanks Vic,

    I saw the 5” notation but assumed that was for the bracket for the stabilizer wires. Looking again, I can see you are correct which means there’s no dimension given on that drawing for the wire bracket. Solved one problem, found another.

    Denis

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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Thanks Vic,

    I saw the 5” notation but assumed that was for the bracket for the stabilizer wires. Looking again, I can see you are correct which means there’s no dimension given on that drawing for the wire bracket. Solved one problem, found another.

    Denis
    20642. 6 3/4 inches.

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    Still kicking around flap operation/handle and would appreciate information/opinions. The fuselage is almost ready for the rotisserie, tail feathers are built, wing is ordered from Javron and awaiting delivery, Keller/Airframes Alaska flaps have been delivered and the Titan 340 is crated in my hangar.

    I like the concept of the overhead flap lever. It gets rid of a bunch of cable routing monkey motion. The cons I can think of are: 1. Something else to crack your skull on. 2. The position looks like it could cause an issue with your arm side swiping the throttle when operating the flaps.

    For those of you that have the overhead lever, and those that have flown with both, would you care to opine? Why you liked or didnít like it.

    Also, is there a source from which I can purchase the overhead flap lever assembly?

    Thanks

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    What size flap and aileron are you building? Pstol flaps?


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    Keller/Airframes/PSTOL flaps, standard length ailerons.

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    I started cutting tubing mid October. Progress has been slow but steady. The modifications to the fuselage have slowed the process considerably. I built the tail feathers about a year ago. Still having fun.......most days.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I pulled the fuselage off the jig table yesterday and got it mounted on the rotisserie today.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last week my wings arrived from Javron. They look great!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Still kicking around flap operation/handle and would appreciate information/opinions. The fuselage is almost ready for the rotisserie, tail feathers are built, wing is ordered from Javron and awaiting delivery, Keller/Airframes Alaska flaps have been delivered and the Titan 340 is crated in my hangar.

    I like the concept of the overhead flap lever. It gets rid of a bunch of cable routing monkey motion. The cons I can think of are: 1. Something else to crack your skull on. 2. The position looks like it could cause an issue with your arm side swiping the throttle when operating the flaps.

    For those of you that have the overhead lever, and those that have flown with both, would you care to opine? Why you liked or didn’t like it.

    Also, is there a source from which I can purchase the overhead flap lever assembly?

    Thanks

    i think oli, here, used a toyota park brake, search his stuff.
    Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves
    Do you have some more pics of the over head flap system? I'd be interested in seeing them.
    Sorry for the delay...

    The handle is a modified old Toyota car handbrake.

    Last edited by tempdoug; 02-11-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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  23. #23
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    I started cutting tubing mid October. Progress has been slow but steady. The modifications to the fuselage have slowed the process considerably. I built the tail feathers about a year ago. Still having fun......
    Looks to me like you are moving at a pretty good clip! The Javron wings look impressive. I'm still going back and forth on building wings. I planned on scratch building, but that package looks very appealing.

    Question on the wings. What gross weight are they designed for?

    Vic

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    The flap handle on the shock cub looked light from what I could see from the video.
    DENNY

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    Javron wings are good for a GW of 2200 pounds. I had an engineer look at my fuselage mods and make changes where required. I wanted 2200 Utility category but couldn’t get there, at least not easily. Ended up with 2000 Utility and 2200 normal. I hope to finish with an empty weight 1200 or less.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    ...For those of you that have the overhead lever, and those that have flown with both, would you care to opine? Why you liked or didn’t like it.
    Also, is there a source from which I can purchase the overhead flap lever assembly? ..
    A couple guys I know used an old TriPacer flap handle.
    I'm curious as to whether people really think the overhead flap handle is an improvement, and why.
    Looks like just one more thing to impede your vision, and maybe whack your head on.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I’m about to build the birdcage. I have a wing root template bolted to each wing attach hinge. Question for folks who have done this before: Do you build the birdcage lower than the height of the top of the wing so that the skylight ends up flush? If not, is it noticeable? I assume the windshield lays up over the top of the skylight, then gets covered by a trim strip. Doesn’t that double layer cause a noticeable bump?

    If if anybody has photos during the build of what you’ve done and then again of the finished project I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Mr. Ed
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  28. #28

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    1025 steel.

    Specs call for 1025 sheet steel in five thicknesses from .032 to .125. I’ve called every steel yard around Portland and nobody stocks the stuff but can get it if I want 4’x 10’ whole sheets! Searching Aircraft Spruce nets zero results for 1025. So the question for all you scratch builders is: Are you using 1025 and if so where are you sourcing it? If not, what are you using? From what I’ve read, 1025 falls within the “mild steel” classification. I just don’t know what would be a suitable replacement if I can’t find reasonable quantities around here.

    Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.

    Denis

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    The flap handle in a cub and a pacer both suffer from the same issue the Cessna has, having to bend down to reach the handle. Not really an issue on any of them if you always preset some flap for takeoff. Some people don't like to drop the flap handle on landing, they want to lower it all the way down once again head low. Some also have an issue in the cub with flap handle/left leg interfering with full left stick. A helmet is the answer for protection of the head, lot of things to bump into with a cub. I think it would be like toe or heel brakes you will get used to whatever is in the plane.
    DENNY
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    Birdcage is built and ready to weld into place. My skylight is .125” thick. I’m scratching my head about what height to set the front of the birdcage. Combined thickness of the windshield and skylight is .25”. Should I set the height of the skylight frame (birdcage) lower in front to compensate for the double thickness of the material it will be supporting? Maybe it’s just not noticeable but if it is I don’t want to have the thing looking like some Neanderthal brow ridge.

    Any help would be appreciated. Also, I was able to post photos in previous posts. Now I try and nothing happens. Anybody else having the same issue?

    Mr. Ed

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    Instrument panel

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    cut out a pattern/mock up of the instrument panel and pasted a full size print just to see what it would look like. As you can see, I got this photo to post! Tried to post a 4 second time lapse video and it said the address was invalid.
    Last edited by Mr. Ed; 12-29-2019 at 06:26 PM.

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    Name:  0FF189F4-B60A-4309-A58E-45A2AE6D3B30.jpeg
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    I picked up a couple sheets of aluminum from Van’s a few days ago. I’m making progress on the boot cowl and instrument panel. False boot cowl is one piece. Boot cowl is two pieces. Top will be riveted on, makes no sense to me to screw that section on since removing it would require removing the windshield. Lower section is all one piece which makes it a bit more of a project to remove but that shouldn’t have to happen often. Still have to make stiffeners, form the joggle where the top meets the bottom, remove the polycarbonate firewall and replace with stainless and then drill the rest of the holes at the forward edge of the boot cowl. I’ll hang the engine before I drill those last holes so everything is flexed to final position.
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  33. #33
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Top will be riveted on, makes no sense to me to screw that section on since removing it would require removing the windshield.
    look at the wildcat cub thread for how and WHY to make some of the top boot cowl quickly removable.... very simple to do and makes getting behind the panel quick and easy... and if you plan appropriately and point all the connector at the opening, makes troubleshooting a breeze!(garmin G3X)

    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...cat-Cub/page12

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    Mike,

    I saw what you did with the modification of the composite boot cowl on the Wildcat Cub. Very cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills, or tooling, to do that level of work. Mine will open at a position similar to Bill Rusk’s and Buggs builds. I’m putting a Dynon HDX 10” display in the panel. When pulled out it makes a big access hole.......that you can only get one arm through. Hopefully I can plan the avionics shelf so there is easy access to most connections.

    Thanks for your input, all suggestions are welcomed.

    Mr. Ed

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    Avionics

    Question for everybody that put glass displays in their cubs and all the magic boxes on a shelf behind the instrument panel:

    Did you provide a source of cooling air or screened vent holes to allow heat to escape/air to circulate? A cub isnít exactly a tight aircraft but that space behind the panel could get a tad toasty.
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  36. #36
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Question for everybody that put glass displays in their cubs and all the magic boxes on a shelf behind the instrument panel:

    Did you provide a source of cooling air or screened vent holes to allow heat to escape/air to circulate? A cub isnít exactly a tight aircraft but that space behind the panel could get a tad toasty.
    Small fan


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Mike,

    I saw what you did with the modification of the composite boot cowl on the Wildcat Cub. Very cool. Unfortunately, I donít have the skills, or tooling, to do that level of work. Mine will open at a position similar to Bill Ruskís and Buggs builds. Iím putting a Dynon HDX 10Ē display in the panel. When pulled out it makes a big access hole.......that you can only get one arm through. Hopefully I can plan the avionics shelf so there is easy access to most connections.

    Thanks for your input, all suggestions are welcomed.

    Mr. Ed
    Tooling costs $90. Dropping the screen will cost??$$.
    3 to 10k$ depending on the screen version....


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  38. #38
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    I Cub windshield can be out in 30 minutes or less. 5 or 6 screws across the skylight and down each side and it slide out of the boot cowl wrap around fairing. Don't do it often but is pretty simple and quick to do.

    I leave the factory fresh air vent in the top of the boot cowl. Most people remove these at rebuild but I live in Texas where it gets hotter than I like and it is something I use a lot. It would dump a lot of air on those avionics.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  39. #39

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    My Dynon is cooled by attatching a small muffin fan on edge next to it. The GPS is surface mounted, so no loss of panel space.
    What's a go-around?

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    I’m trying to fabricate the “D” window channel and not having much luck. Actually, no luck at all. I thought I would get on line and buy the stuff already bent. No luck searching so far. Would any of you folks have a source for this part?

    Thanks for the help.

    Mr. Ed

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