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February 2003
A nice break from all the sanding was to assemble the nose gear with my son Patrick. We're both looking forward to hanging it for the first time.

With the belly primed, blocked and straight, I rolled on one more coat of primer and focused on getting the gear doors finished. I spent a lot of time bodyworking them and after touching up some spots with glazing putty, I sprayed a final coat of white epoxy paint and installed them. Ahhh, the belly is finally done and I took my plane off its rotisserie for the first time since builder's week.



I keep priming as I move along and using a digital scale means I can mix up as much or as little primer as I need. Most of the body work so far looks good. Everything is nice and straight and nothing that some minor glazing putty can't fix. I am using a Metal Glaze over the primer. I had heard from another builder that it could delaminate, but I have called the paint supplier, two painters and several builders who enthusiastically recommend it. That, and it does not come off anything when it cures---even with high heat from a heat gun.

In preparation for hanging the engine mount, I made phenolic spacers and bonded them to the firewall. I then hung the nose gear and clamped it into position. The over center linkage will bind with the strut, so I still need to adjust before the bolt holes are drilled. It really is looking like a complete plane now.




The canopy has been a source of frustration with it slamming down because of the doublers reducing the effectiveness of the gas struts. With an idea that I got from Ron Jones I removed the hinges and inserted a washer in between the hinge and the canopy on the rear most bolt. What this does is create a pitch forward in the canopy. All I can say is that it works. I removed the doublers and my canopy does not slam down. In fact, it will stay opened even when it's cracked about three inches. The best part is that it still remains flush with the top deck of the cowling. I don't know if this will work for everyone else, but it worked for me and it's worth a try.

Another problem I encountered is with the elevator control tube rod end binding with the weldmount. The problem is the check nut. The fix is simple, get a longer rod end from Vern and adjust it out or forward more. In my picture you can see old and new. You will need to drill the weldmount bracket to enlarge the holes to accept the AN4 bolt that will be used, but you won't have the slop from a too-small rod end. This fix will require the elevator idler arm to swing aft when neutral, but according to Mark Mahnke, it is acceptable.

I installed my hydraulic pump and lines to the firewall. I had to purchace a countersink for this one-time-use-only task. I lent it to Ron Jones and whoever else needs it in the area can borrow it. We have devloped a nice system of sharing tools and it is helping to keep the costs down. Getting to know the other builders and being able to share this experience is still the best part of this build. My next phase of building will be a complete focus on pluming and getting the gear moving by itself (with a little help from the pump).



Ahhh, Sunday morning and nothing to do means polishing. My daughter Chelsea was bored so she came out to help me remove and polish the canopy hinges. I was surprised by the ownership she took and we finished this job together. Now the only thing left to polish are the flap hinges!

This month I made a trip to Redmond on business and got treated to another ride in the Legacy. My fourth so far. What a rush! No doubts that this is the best airplane out there. Every time I get a ride I pick up on something a little different. This time I remarked how absolutely smooth it is. The control harmony is sweet and it is so stable in mild turbulence. If you don't look at the gauges, you have no idea how fast it is. With the new scimitar prop at a power setting of 20" and 2650 RPM Peter and I estimated 250 KTAS! WOW!.....but it gets better. When the prop is slowed down to 2300 RPM the loss of speed is 12 knots. So, it's fast! The new scimitar prop is incredible. I made a few movies of the start-up, take-off, rolls and landing.







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