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October 2004
Don't underestimate the amount of little things that need to be done in the final assembly. So many little things. Worse yet are the parts you'll need that you never thought of. I made a list of things not to forget.

I had Gary back to help complete the wiring of my engine and to look over a few little things we missed in preparation of our moving day to Watsonville. We finished the engine, electronic ignition, oxygen system and tested the flaps.

Finally moving day. I had my son Nicholas with me to clean out the hangar, install the still unfinished cowls and wait for Dave Saylor to arrive with the trailer. Set Crawford dropped by as he usually does during lunch and helped out getting the plane on the trailer along with Ron Jones. We strapped it down and made the drive; biting my nails the whole way. I'm having AirCrafters help with the final assembly.

I couldn't pass the opportunity to remove the canopy coating. Nicholas had to get the first look to the outside.



And now back to work. I finished the cowls. I am using a hinge/latch system for my oil door I found at Advanced Aviation. Arron Brooks is the one to ask for. It's absolutely beautiful!. No hinges, screws or latch shows on the top. Nice and clean. It's opened by a little cable from the front.

I used my normal methods for body work to get the inlets evened out and a good seam running down the cowl. I installed carbon hinges I purchased through John Barrett of Carbhinge. I can't express how great John is. I had trouble with getting the piano hinge in and he sent me smaller diameter ones no questions asked. I believe this is the way to go. I used Hysol for the bonding, installed rivets in the leading and trailing edges and did a two bid lay-up over to further strengthen The last thing was a final coat of primer and sealing the inside with a marine-based epoxy primer called Valspar VP-50.

I finished bonding on my trim fairing and body worked it. I really think I'm done sanding!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!! I mean this is it. Finally.


So instead of a ten minute drive to the airport I'm driving over to Watsonville. A one-hour drive, but the end is finally in sight. Still lots of little things to do. I have my list and AirCrafters has theirs. They are working on completing the firewall forward and doing a custom installation of an air-oil separator. I am convinced talking to other aircraft owners that next to a GPS and fully inflated tires, this is a must-have. They made a few custom parts to complete the engine controls and RAM-air, along with oil and fuel pressure sensors. That and just going through the plane tip to tail double-checking all my work.

I finished my electronic ignition leads, installed the five-point harness, cowl fasteners. (Purchased through SkyBolt. These are CLock 1/4-turn, floating, adjustable, flush, Stainless Steel types. Absolutely beautiful and came in a complete kit for Lancair aircraft. (You will need the special tool to install). Moving along I finished the tail bolts, connected the antennas numerous wires and hoses, re-installed the flaps and ailerons, pitot static nose gear doors with the new plunger system (great fix by Tim Ong). It's been exhausting completing the to-do list and I spent a couple of late nights working down the list.

The glare shield I got with my kit did not fit and I was fortunate to have Leighton Mangels fabricate one for me from a mold he had. It fit perfect with no trimming. I made a flange so it can secure by screwing it to the forward lip of the cockpit canopy combing with nutplates.

The installation of the wings was pretty easy and I took a shot of how the hoses connect The most difficult part of this task is getting the castle nut on the aft bolt. (You'll see what I mean when it's your time HA!) When I installed the flaps I was careful to make sure that they were reflexed in the same degree side to side. Basically, line them up with neutral ailerons and check with a digital level.

Well, no first flight in October, but I can't see why it's not going to fly in the next week or two. Am I excited? Not really. I think when the motor fires and the plane comes to life a huge weight will come off my shoulders and I can enter the phase of builder to flyer. So far, all the effort and sacrifice has all been worth it.





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