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August 2004
This month I was determined to get my plane wired. I spoke with Kirk Hammersmith and he recommended Gary Robert as a good avionics guy who could come to my hangar and help me with this job. I got a custom harness with my panel, but there is still lots of work to do in routing, pinning and connecting everything. This sort of work is not what I am good at and since I had never wired a plane before I felt I needed some help here.

In preparation for the wiring week I got my rudder cables installed and working right. I ran each cable through its conduit and used a teflon lubricant in the tubing. It does make a huge difference in how easy they move. I got the teflon lube at a bicycle shop. At the console end I floxed the conduit in place and made a 3-bid layup wrap over to make it look finished. A little fill-and-sand and the console was ready for paint. I installed my engine controls after that using lock-tight and torque seal. On the firwall side I utilized swivle eyeball grips that I found at Aircraft Spruce. Reall nice and allowed the cabels to rotate out on an angle.

The rudder cables were run through the rudder hardware and I used sticks to set an even distance from the firewall. I believe it was 11" with the pedals at full forward travel. It is more angled forward than the book, but I anticipate them settling in a bit as the cables stretch. No need for turnbuckles with the spring system these pedals have.

I was forced to alter my flap hinges due to the flaps not aligning with the ailerons. I still keep in touch with Carsten and he told me how to do it. I slotted the factory drilled holes so my flaps could be raised up and forward when fully retracted. After poisoning them I did a flox wall around the hinge so the position would always be maintained. Easy fix, but an annoyance none the less. At the same time a nut plate panel was made to make installing the hinge easier. You'll only do this with nuts and washers one time to know what I mean.

After the correcting I sanded out my access holes with sandpaper stuck to a jar lid. This made for nicely opened gaps arounrd the panels. Most everything I am opening is a popcicle stick width gap to allow for primer, paint and clear coat. Drag may be an issue, but paint that rubs off would be worse.

Last thing on my pre-wire list was to complete the avionics shelf and locate my electronic ignition boxes. I made a simple wall for them to mount to from a left-over part.


Wiring time! Gary Robert showed up on a Friday morning and we began by laying out my harness. Everything was there and we began the internal routing. From there was the tedious task of cutting access holes, de-pinning and re-pinning connectors. I made several new holes in my firewall for the wires to pass through. I utilized cord grips from McMaster-Carr. They have almost anything you can imagine and I could get them shipped overnight. The wires to the power grids had to still be created and everything checked. It took us six solid days of work and I was completely exhausted. I vowed not to look at the plane for a whole week, but after a day couldn't wait to get out and tinker some more. My son Patrick came out with me very early to see the newly installed panel and we powered everything up. I let him open the speed brakes for the first time and try out the strobes. Ahhh, fun!

Gary was a huge help and I can highly recommend him to others that need help with wires. It was good to have him there when we turned on everything for the first time. Anyone needing his services can call him at 702-401-0830 or e-mail him at glrobert@cox.net.



A nice brake from grinding and wiring was to have several builders show up on a Saturday to talk Legacies. It included Scott Alair in his close-to-being-painted Legacy, Valin and Allyson Thorn from Texas who are still sanding away on their Legacy, Set Crawford, who is a regular visitor and fellow Legacy builder, and Richard Ogg. Richard is also building a Legacy and has a line of hose kits for the Legacy. I used his brake line kit in my plane to replace the awful Nylaflos. From Left to right are Richard, Set, Scott, Me, my son Patrick, Allyson and Valin.

Another surprise was to see Carsten's old N540L parked at our airport. It belongs to Louis Lyon now and we had a nice visit with the usual hangar flying. It's great to see the plane went to a nice home. Carsten was one of the original engineers who worked at developing the Legacy and who I still call once in a while when I am stuck on a technical issue.



Finishing out August was spent bonding in my custom oxygen and headset panel. I used 4-bid where ever I could to hold it in position and floxed-in the frontal lower gap. More bodywork. Also got my oxygen bottle cradle made. I started with a six-bid layup molded over the bottle. (I first wrapped the bottle with peel ply). Then I shaped it nice and bonded it to the floor using folded-over six-bid "feet" on each side underneath.

I love having another Legacy builder at my airport. Ron Jones and I continually swap parts, tools and ideas. I gave him my oil drain I couldn't use and he gave me his remote jack plugs he wasn't using. I'm installing these in the nose gear tunnle in the event I ever need a jump start. I also intend to do any charging from these points too.

Another task is to make my oil access door. I am using the non-Hartwell latch hinge mechanism I got through Advanced Aviation. Really nice. I floxed-in my cut out corners to get them rounded out. Additionally, I am fixing the rather unfinished area below the rear wing fillet. I bonded-in foam with a runny mico, sculpted and glassed over. The rounded out area is where the flap push rod needs to travel. Still better than nothing at all. And lastly I bonded in the bottom piano hinge to the lower cowl with hysol (really easy just get the hinge to sit above the joggle lip) and I spent almost three hours on my back sanding the bottom. Nicholas, my QA tech finally said it was ready for primer. The bottom sanding this time was not so bad. I wear a really good resperator (not a dust mask) and lay on a roller creeper. Maybe I'm getting used to it. Still a miserable job and the perfect set up-up to be called "snowman". Uggh.

I am getting more and more people asking me when it's going to fly. I wish I knew. I am getting closer and have filled out my registration paperwork. The hard thing at this point is to NOT rush it and miss little things. I will concentrate on building my engine baffling in September along with completing the cowling installation. From that point on I will take it to AirCrafter's for final assembly, inspection and engine runs prior to first flight. Maybe by October, but when it's ready. I am also going to have Jim Thomas inspect my plane as an EAA advisor. Jim was the first builder I got to know prior to my purchase of this kit and has become a close friend. I used to visit him and his project often and I learned quite a bit in aircraft construction and attention to detail. I can't think of a better person for this task and I am honored to have him take a day off to do this for me.

So back to building. The list is getting shorter with my next focus on installing the engine baffling and connceting cables, wires and hoses. I'm really excited to get away from the construction and enjoy flying it. I have now eight hours dual with Josh Brugardt and everytime I fly the Legacy I realize the hard work, dust, cuts, odd positions and long hours were worth it all. It's a joy to fly.

On to baffling!





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Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. This site is the builder's log of Don Barnes and for the purpose of sharing information and opinions related to building a Lancair Legacy. Any person using these images, ideas and tips does so at their own discretion and risk. No responsibility is expressed or implied and is without recourse against anyone related to this site. This site is not affiliated with Lancair International or Neico Aviation Inc., however, we love their aircraft.

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