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May 2002
I got my plane home and set it up under a large canopy that will be the temporary hanger until I move to a permanent one next year at Q99 when the new hangers are built. The best thing about having your plane at your home is that a lot gets done little by little. I started by building a wing cradle, prepping and painting my rotisserie, making a cradle for the rudder and finishing my shop.

First task was trimming and fitting the interior pieces. I then cleaned up all the excess flox from the builders week with an air-driven Micro grinder. I had started using a Dremel and Kerry at Lancair said I wouldn't like it. He was right. My advice is go with air tools. They're cheaper than a Dremel and easier to work with. The consol work went easy thanks to some advice from Ron Jones, L2K #181, who told me that the instrument panel wouldn't clear the canopy stiffener unless it was trimmed down at the bottom. Everything so far was straight forward.

I began cutting the rudder off and fitting the leading edge. Again, going on advice from those before me, I trimmed a groove out of the leading edge near the bottom so that it will fit the vertical better, and it does! I cut and trimmed out the hinge holes and clecoed the leading edge in to check for fit and travel. I marked the trailing edge of the vertical, trimmed off about 1/4" and block sanded it straight. The vertical line is established and I will build up foam strips on the rudder leading edge, glass over, ad some Aeropoxy Light filler and should have a perfect gap up and down when completed. The gap looks pretty damn good already and thanks to Jim Thomas and Ron Jones this is cake so far. Theirs are near perfect. To do all the on-and-off of the rudder I am utilizing 1/4" rods that insert from the top and bottom. I can't tell you how easy it makes this task. Once I'm finished with the body work on it I'll glass over the holes and clean up.

Must finish the inventory. I went through all the parts, organized them into separate drawers according to category of function and all unknown parts were hung on hooks in numerical order for ease of locating. I'm amazed only four things were missing. Top inboard wing skins, a fuel fitting and a bushing. Not bad. I never checked the bolt count as I'd rather work on the plane and it would be a big waste of time. Right now I'm thinking through the placement of the tail light/strobe fairing as I will be doing recessed wing lights along with Ron and Jim. I assembled the rudder bell crank and my son Patrick wanted to do the instal, so I let him.

So far I'm having a great time with the new toy and my goal for June is to continue with the rudder and begin the canopy installation and elevator fitting along with some reinforcing lay-ups and a couple of speed mods to the horizontal and wing roots.

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