Carlson Skunk Works

May 27th, 2012

AMF 14H MARANDA SN:1026 Making Sawdust May 27, 2012

Posted by Roger in AMF 14H Maranda SN1026, news

You just know this has to be good because I am posting again so soon! Today I sat in my airplane and made airplane noises!!! Then my wife climbed in, too.

What this means is that I now have seats in the airplane. Well, a seat actually. I decided to go with a bench seat arrangement. I built some supports to go under the seat and used 3 mm plywood for the seat bottom, then used some 6 mm plywood for the seat back. I will need to get some foam padding and some reasonable upholstery as well.

I also drilled some holes and mounted the rudder pedals, but either I will need to put some serious padding on the seat back, or I will need to move the pedals back about four inches. I really don’t think that my legs will grow any longer, so waiting until I get taller is probably out.

Now for the pictures:

This is how I started the seat. I made four frames to support the seat bottom at the same height as the bottom of the opening in the rear bulkhead. These were 21 inches long. I glued them up and then glued them to a piece of plywood going across the front of the seat bottom. The seat bottom itself is 24 inches wide by the inside width of the fuselage. The seat is notched so that it will fit over the bottom of the rear bulkhead.

There is the seat bottom in place.

And then the seat back in in position.

Here are the rudder pedals.

As long as things were going along quite nicely I decided to drill the holes to mount the fin. However, the fin is too tall to allow me to put the tailwheel on my workbench in the garage, so I can’t get the plane in the garage with the fin in place.

And here is proof that the seat works and is able to support me.

This is a two place airplane after all.

May 24th, 2012

AMF 14H MARANDA SN:1026 Making Sawdust May 24, 2012

Posted by Roger in AMF 14H Maranda SN1026, news

How about this? Two posts in one month!

Yes, things are progressing again. The tailwheel is now in place, but that does not mean that it is fastened to the fuselage permanently. I am only using temporary bolts for two purposes; first, I needed to find out exactly how long the permanent bolts need to be, and second, the bolt holes need to be sealed on the inside. I have been thinking that I will probably use drilled bolts and castellated nuts and cotter pins to fasten the tailwheel permanently.

I did take some pictures. Last Saturday when the work was being done, the weather was cool and a bit wet. However, it was nice enough that I could get the plane outside and take a few pictures. Then Marsha offered to take a picture of me with the airplane so that you could get an idea of the size of the project. So here are the pictures.

Well, it is time to start the day.

May 4th, 2012

MF 14H MARANDA SN:1026 Making Sawdust May 4, 2012

Posted by Roger in AMF 14H Maranda SN1026, news

It has been more than a month since my last post, but work has commenced and Sawdust is now on its wheels! We are currently in Minnesota for a quick visit and I brought the engine mount with to show my brother-in-law that I really can melt steel tubes together. Once he is done laughing I am going to see if he would be willing to show me how it is supposed to be done, or loan me the use of his torch for a while.

The last post showed the landing gear parts. Jeremiah and I spent an evening putting them in place and attaching the wheels and breaks. I expected to need to shorten the shock struts, but when we put them in place we found that I will probably need to extend them a bit. The wheels are sort of tucked under as they sit now. I am hoping that they will spread out a bit when the full weight of the fuselage, wings and engine are in place, but I suspect that I will still have to add a bit of length to each of them.

The wheels and breaks went on fairly easily. I have a 1/4″ thick plate to serve as an axle mount for each wheel. The axles were purchased from Matco and things line up pretty well. I may need to make a few adjustments before the final assembly. The main thing that I found was that the break calipers will need to be on the leading side of the wheels. Most of the installations that I have seen have had the calipers on the rear side of the wheel assembly. I don’t know if it really makes any difference as far as performance goes, but by positioning the calipers on the front side of the wheel assemblies I will be able to perform wheel and break maintenance much easier.

When we finished installing the wheels my wife noticed that the top of the fuselage was taller than the opening of the garage door. This is not a major problem because I will have to take things apart at least a couple more times before the plane is done, but it would be nice to be able to move it out onto the driveway to do some of the other work fitting things together. However, moving the fuselage forward allowed the tail to drop down and this reduced the overall height of the plane so that it does fit through the garage door.

I did take a few pictures of things as they are now, so here they are:

Here is the way the plane sits in the garage. This position leaves plenty of room ahead of the firewall for the lawnmowers or snow blower. In this attitude it is too tall to get through the garage door.

Another view of the same thing. This gives a little better view of the engine mount.

This is a detailed view of how the shock struts fit and hold the landing gear in place.

Here you can see how the wheels sort of tuck under just a bit. This also gives a bit of an idea of the overall size of the plane.

This is from the other side. Here you can see the pilot door opening and the seat mock up (cardboard). One of my next projects is to build the seats. Once they are done and in place I should be able to position the rudder pedals. I will place the rudder pedals at the best location for me since this is my airplane.

Speaking of the rudder pedals, they are ready to be installed. Except that they are too long for my feet. I will need to cut them off a couple of inches and add the mounts for the break main cylinders and the toe breaks.

The main landing gear has been fit into place, but there are a couple of things that I still want to do with them. The plans call for a 0.040″ thick strip of steel to be welded on the inside of the V tubes. Then an aluminum sheet is bent to become a step and is bolted to the steel strips. I don’t really like that arrangement, so I am thinking about adding a tube across the top of each V and welding on a peg to act as a step. My tires are large enough to provide a pretty good first step up, so another small peg type step should be almost ideal. The peg step is what Cal and Fred did with their Pobers and I kind of like how they look. This arrangement will allow the landing gear legs to be covered and painted to match the fuselage.

So here is what things look like at present. I expect to order the tailwheel early next week, so the next post should have pictures of the tailwheel and vertical stabilizer installations.

I have also been working just a little bit on the horizontal stabilizer, but that has been a very slow process and will be covered in a later post.