I thought I would head north to Dayton and get out of the Florida summer heat. That great plan failed miserably! 105-to-115-degree heat index every day this week and working inside the hangar and sometimes inside the Merlin.
Pizza oven comes to mind. Tomorrow night I will fly back to Florida to cool off for the weekend. Builder Don and I made excellent progress on this Merlin build this week and one more day left to complete more tasks. Let’s get right to the photos:
The cowl is in the correct position with prop perfectly centered. Now just working out final radiator and fuel pump positioning.
The tail is installed, and rudder cables adjusted, and safety wired. Elevator trim is installed along with the stick grip to control the trim and the PTT. We are trying out the Ray Allen G303 stick grip as it has all the functions we need and is relatively simple to wire up and install.
The wings have a plastic tube installed from the wing root to the wing tip. I didn’t know if I would have to remove the wing tip to access this tube to run the strobe wires. But before the wingtipectomy I wanted to see if I might get lucky. I positioned the strobe fairing in the ‘looks about right” spot and drilled a hole for the strobe wires. Then probed around a bit and shockingly found the tube only about 1/2 inch away! My lucky day. I pushed one wire through then used it to pull the 4 wires I needed to power the strobe. Why 4 wires you ask? Good question.
- Strobe power
- Position light power
Why do you need to sync the strobes you ask? Even better question. Hell if I know. Don says they look better flashing together. To whom? The pilot that cannot see them. Another pilot that can only see one? I suppose that if they are not synced there will be more flashes per minute and therefore safer. Builder Don supposes if there is a sync wire it needs to be sync’d regardless of logic. What do you think?
So now the wing fuel senders and strobes are all wired up and the wings ready to install. Maybe tomorrow.
BUILDER NOTE: Check the forward travel of the stick. The G303 added an inch of height which would interfere with the panel. That is not acceptable. Trim and inch off the stick before installing the handle.
First look at the deluxe panel EFIS. About ready to power it up! And check of the custom upholstery fit.
Panel is mounted on a hinge for easy access.
Sub panel or technically the instrument bulkhead has a 12-volt USB power supply with two USB ports and a volt meter. This unit just about fits perfectly into the lightening hole. It just needs a pass with a step drill then slip it in, tighten the plastic nut on the back, and wire it up.
Next in line are the headset jacks. And after that the parking brake.
If you look inside to the right you can see the electronic valve that switches both the wing tank fuel and the wing tank fuel return line.
All the work we are doing is documented so we can supply the exact parts with the firewall forward package. And we can prepare wiring harnesses mostly finished to simplify and speed up the aircraft build.
And we keep finding big and small ways to make this aircraft even better.
My son (microchip), in college for electrical engineering, got a circuit board birthday cake. He claims a Chip shortage when I am in Dayton.