EMG-6 "Shop Notes" November 2015

November “Shop Notes”

“EMG-6 Shop Notes” is a day-to-day accounting of what’s going on in the shop with the EMG-6 Electric Motor Glider.

November 25, 2015 Test manufacturing of another (LD) Rudder assembly.

Since the temperature has dropped substantially. The productivity and the big hangar which does not have heat becomes impractical.
I asked Jason today to work in hangar seven and go through the process of building the rudder assembly.
We have redesigned the rudder assembly slightly .
All of the components are identical except we have replaced the leading edge with a smaller, lighter weight, and more aesthetic leading edge that incorporates the leading edge spar into the one-piece leading edge.
This simplifies the construction process And it makes it possible to fit the entire rudder kit into a much smaller package for shipping.
All of the original pieces and holes still line up using the new leading edge piece and those of you that currently have a rudder assembly can simply swap out for the new leading edge. If you prefer.
In addition to redesigning the rudder assembly. We will be using the new design on the dope and fabric covered airframe that were currently in the process of building.
Since Jason has never put together the rudder assembly before. I’ve asked him simply to use the drawings that we currently have available and assembled the rudder without any input from me other than to help construct the new leading edge.
And Jason managed to build the entire rudder assembly today and has it ready to start the covering process. After we get back from the Thanksgiving holiday.
The main rudder spar assembly is predrilled  for all of the holes that adapt up to the rib subassemblies.

There is a spar reinforcing tube that slides down in place where the control arms attach

The ribs are two-piece ribs that are simply clecod to either side of the main spar and then riveted in place.
Nut plates are positioned for the three hinge points that attach the rudder to the vertical stabilizer assembly
Nut plates riveted in place.
 In the instructions there are procedures for inserting the reinforcement sleeve. By making a line down the length of the insert so that you can keep it aligned as you slide it down the inside of the tube so that the rivets will line up easily.

All of the ribs are covered with a mylar covering that has to be removed.

We only stick the labels to the mylar.

One of our main complaints when building the Quicksilver type aircraft was the inordinate amount of time spent removing labels from parts.

If the parts it set for any length of time the labels were virtually impossible to remove from the part.

In addition to being labeled the parts also have holes drilled into the rib itself as in identifying mark. Three holes means that it is rib number 3.

And if the holes are on the base aligned with the lower flange. It is a left-hand part. And if the holes are diagonal along the upper flange. The part is a right-hand part.

This assist not only in the builders being able to keep track of the parts easier but also for the manufacturing of the parts during the bending process to ensure that we been them in the correct direction.

The parts simply cleco together and next against either side of the main rudder spar and then the flanges are cleco together to complete the rib subassembly.

The next step in the process is to insert the trailing edge piece and drill it into each one of the rib subassemblies.

The trailing edge is kept aligned simply by using your eyeball or by placing it on the table or affixing a straight edge while your assembling the part.

Now that all the ribs and trailing edge have been installed the leading edge ribs at the forward aerodynamic balance section need to be installed.

They are also predrilled and simply cleco in place.

The lower leading edge rib installed in place.

The top of the rudder spar will need to be chamfered slightly to accommodate the radius on the top leading edge rib.

We now start the manufacturing of the new leading edge piece.

This will be our prototype that we will test the manufacturing process.

The part has been cut from .016 2024 T3 aluminum and is predrilled as well.

There will be three bends that are necessary in the leading edge piece.

In this picture here. Jason is laying out the dimensions for the first of the two bends which will be the leading edge spar that is built into the part.

One of the main reasons that we redesigned the rudder leading edge was for aesthetic reasons.

The original design had a little bit more point. T leading edge using a 1/8 inch radius bend for the leading edge.

We have redesigned the leading edge with a .5 inch radius which will make for a much smoother rounded leading edge.

We have made our own radius bending dies using plywood, stacked end to end.

We simply CNC machined out whole giant stack of parts and then positioned them on the bottom of the press brake to be used as a guide and then glued them altogether.

We have a total length of 8 feet worth of these individual dies so that we can take advantage of the full length of the press brake if needed.

On the prototype leading edge piece we had to eyeball the positioning in the press brake.

Jason thought that it would be important that he get a picture of my head in between the jaws of the press brake.

On the female die. We have covered it with a heavy duty cloth to prevent scratching the aluminum. During the bending process.

The press dies were designed to be able to take full advantage of the radius by pressing it down to the full depth and width of the radius which will allow for spring back.

The female die can be slid out from underneath the male die in order to assist in the removal of the part after his finish the bend.

Very thin nature of the .016 Thick aluminum allows it to spring out of the way. During the bending process. You can see in this picture the to spar tabs that overlap each other and are riveted together.

The leading edge with the reinforcement extensions that attach to the rib subassemblies.

Still some spring back that will be taken up. Once the part is put on to the rest of the rudder assembly.

The initial fit of the leading edge is nearly perfect.

In this picture here we have just a couple of cleco’s holding in place.

With the leading edge being complete Jason can start the final riveting process using stainless steel pop rivets.

November 24, 2015 Parts production.

We have started putting the CNC lathe to work on almost a daily basis since we’ve got it up and running and we are now becoming proficient with its operation.
We have been mass-producing the Fittings that fit into the main spar crossover tube on the fuselage frame assembly.
These are the fittings that the wing fold assembly uses to pivot on during the wing folding process.
After the parts come out of the lathe. They are put into a fixture for drilling the cross hole using the CNC milling machine.
The Green spacer is simply a tool to properly position the fitting during the drilling process.
After each one of the parts are completed and inspected. They are packaged and labeled.
The parts are labeled. Using the part number from the ATA code that we use to identify each one of the components.
Chapter 57 is wings
Subchapter 10 is Wing Assembly Structure.
And 22 is the part number for the wing adapter

Tube Drilling Machine

We have begun the process to accumulate the parts and components for manufacturing the tube drilling machine that we have designed.
We are going to be using this small Shearline Lathe chuck within indexing Pin to hold and locate The tube in position while being able to index the tube and the Chuck for drilling any of the required hole locations around the perimeter of the tube.
We will then use an indexing system located along the length of the extruded platform with indexing pins for each position. The extrusion that we have here is just a sample piece so that we can continue the design work for the mounting of the Chuck and the indexing system. We will also use it for manufacturing the drill guide assembly that will be mounted on the drill press and of the machine.
The total length of the extrusion we anticipate will be 20 feet long.

November 23, 2015 Progress continues on the Fabric Covering

The wind has calmed down and the temperature is perfect out today. Were going to be able to get the wings and the fuselage and vertical stabilizer assemblies sprayed with a couple more coats.

Still need to finish the wet sanding of the wings before we can add the next coat of poly spray silver.

A few new additions to the fabric get added on before we spray the next coats of poly spray.
The fuselage cabin area will need to be mask off for the spraying.

The first of two coats of poly spray from the spray gun have been added to the fuselage boom and the vertical stabilizer.

Jason continues with the wet sanding on the wings.

A second coat of poly spray onto the fuselage boom and vertical stabilizer.

Forgot to add the reinforcing strips to the lower section of the vertical stabilizer.

This is the area where the cutout for the elevator control system will be sticking through the fabric.

We will be adding three layers progressively getting smaller to the area where the controls will come through the fabric.

Both sides now have the reinforcing section added to the lower fuselage frame.

The great thing about poly fiber products is they can be applied right over the top of each other with out any detriment.

The same thing applies on doing repairs in the field. It’s extremely easy to do a repair and have it look like it was intended to be built that way.

Found a few other areas that need a little bit of touch up as well.

A third coat of poly spray over the repaired areas And it looks just like we had never even added any additional fabric to it.

Jason has finished the wet sanding of both of the wings and they have had three hours to dry.

Jason is now using a tack rag to get any dust or residual sanding dust off of the airframe, just before painting.

The fourth and final coat of poly spray now being applied to the top surface of the left wing.

Thee final coats of poly spray are thinned out a little bit and we use a 65-80 retarder mixed about 25% into the poly spray mixture which retards the curing time and makes for a much smoother finish.

The wind was blowing in the afternoon and so we moved the Sweitzer 2-33 wings over to block the wind. During the Spraying process

We now stand. The entire surface of the fuselage and vertical with a 220 grit sandpaper in the really heavily rough areas, and then use a 320 grit for the rest of the surface and then follow up with a 400 grit before we respray the surface once again.

And coat #5 sprayed on as the last coat of the day.

After the fabric has had overnight to try. We will revisit the sanding necessary for preparation for the next coat. We may need one more coat of silver before we start applying the poly tone color.


November 22, 2015 Turning parts on the new CNC lathe.

We have been setting up the CNC lathes for cutting some of the parts that are required for the kit.

Where working out the CNC code so that we can mass-produce the parts and have the machine running automated.

On this particular part here. This is the fuselage to wing adapter that is used as the hinge point for the folding wing mechanism.

We generate the code in solid works. And in solid cam and then transfer the data via a serial cable into the Mitsubishi controller.

Thank goodness that the machine has a chip conveyor this is the turning remnants from one afternoon of cutting parts.


One of the finished parts

November 21, 2015  Covering the fuselage.

We have covered the fuselage and vertical stabilizer assembly and have let it cure overnight.

We can now Heat shrink and stabilize the fabric at 350°.

After the stabilizing of the fabric. We brush on one more coat of poly brush to seal the pores in the fabric and adherent to the structure.

We now begin the process of going over all of the edges with a iron to ensure that we have good adhesion and no edges that stick up.

Once we have let the poly brush Dry for about eight hours. We can now apply the first coat of poly spray silver

We will give the first coat of poly spray about two hours to dry and then we can apply a second coat by brush.

With the second coat of poly spray applied. We will now be able to begin the process of sprain the rest of the coats of poly spray and poly tone color.

We are still debating on the color scheme for this particular airplane.



November 20, 2015

Continued dope & fabric work

Today we start work on converting the tail assembly from the Dacron sailcloth version to the new low drag Dope and fabric Version of the aircraft.

First steps in the process are to remove the old fabric from the structure which we will be using to make the new templates That were not returned when Quicksilver aircraft went out of business.

We will be making some transition tubes that will help the fabric attach and transition from the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage boom assembly.

The tail assembly removed from the fuselage boom.

All of the components from the fuselage boom will be removed so that we can cover it with fabric.

We will also have to acetone and clean the entire fuselage boom before we can begin the covering process.

Disassembling the vertical stabilizer and removing the structure from the fabric envelope.

The fabric transition pieces ready to be installed onto the aircraft.

They are manufactured from 1 inch 6061 T6 aluminum tube.

Once the fabric has been removed the vertical stabilizer structure is reattached to the fuselage boom assembly.

The lower vertical stabilizer transition tube installed in place with a couple of 1/8 inch stainless steel pop rivets.

And the upper vertical stabilizer transition to be installed in place.

A side view of the vertical stabilizer transition tubes installed.


The cable guides installed on the outside of the fuselage boom will need to be removed and then reinstalled. Once the fabric is Installed.


We start cutting the pieces of fabric to be installed and start on the vertical stabilizer first.


He left side of the vertical stabilizer with the fabric glued in place.

We now begin the process of covering the rest of the boom assembly.

We start on the top and make the seam of the fabric on the bottom surface of the fuselage boom.

Next step is to glue the fabric to the sides of the fuselage boom



In between waiting for the glue to Dry on the fuselage boom assembly. We are wet sanding the wings in preparation for the next coat of poly spray silver.


The wind is blowing significantly today and so we will have to be relegated to continuing the painting on another day.

Normally we would be shooting the paint an hour paint booth. However that hangar is currently really dirty and the has several airplanes parked inside.

We will save the paint booth work for the last several coats of paint.



November 19, 2015

The work continues on the EMG-6 Dope and fabric covered wing.

We have just recently finished up on many of the shop projects required for outside customers and are now getting back into the swing of things with the EMG-6.

Last month we had finished covering the new series of wings with the NACA 23015 Airfoil and had put two coats of poly spray silver onto the wings.

We are getting ready to continue the covering process and still need to put two more coats of silver on the wings before we can start with the color.

Since the wings of been sitting for nearly a month we need to wash them and Scotch Brite them and then tack Rag them before we can Spray the next coats of silver.

The wings will require a good scrubbing to get rid of any residue from sitting.

Simple soap and water works the best for prepping the surfaces after sitting for some time.

We’re also getting ready to remove the tail assembly from the airframe, so that we can undertake the process of covering the fuselage with dope and fabric.

This will start to take place over the next couple of days.

Jason is preparing to spray the wings with poly spray silver.

The wing rack makes for a really nice holding fixture that allows us to position the wings and any position for the painting process.

The spray gun contains enough poly spray for covering about three panels before needing to be re-filled.

The key to applying poly spray is to keep a very wet coat as you go.

It’s very easy to see the difference with a good wet coat applied versus a dry coat.

After the wings have received one coat over the entire surface of both wings. We will let them dry overnight before proceeding to the next coat.

The wings will need to be sanded and Scotch brighted in between each of the coats. This means that it needs to have about twelve hours in between coats. For best results.

Tomorrow we will be able to print the wings and apply at least one more coat of poly spray.

November 17, 2015.  Learning the Lynx 200 CNC lathe.

We’ve spent nearly the entire last week working on educating ourselves about the operation of our new CNC lathe. There is always a fairly steep learning curve with any new piece of equipment as sophisticated is what we’ve just recently acquired. Make it even more difficult is the fact that the machine is not a current vintage machine. Many of the newer machines and controllers are much more user-friendly. As part of the learning curve I needed to come up with a project that would allow me to test the limits of the machine. In the picture below is the project that I undertook for this purpose. Using brass and aluminum for the different chess pieces.

November 12, 2015

“Cotter Pins”

Sport Aviation / Experimenter magazine “Technically Speaking” October 2015 Article

Our monthly column in Sport Aviation/Experimenter  Magazine for the month of October was an article on Cotter pins

We discuss The “Tuck Method” of installing a Cotter pin.

Click here to Read the Article

November 11, 2015 Parts Production

We have finished up cutting some of the fuselage boom components that need to go out in the mail tomorrow.

In this picture here we are seeing just the beginning stages of the router cutting out the inside holes of the fuselage Boom lower skin.

After cutting out the sheet-metal parts with the CNC router. We have to take the components to the CNC break and then the flanges.

These parts are reinforcements for the forward fuselage boom where it attaches to the forty-one, thirty chrome Molly fuselage frame assembly.

These components were short on the last set of orders that went out.

The lower fuselage skins have to be bent and flanged  at the lightning hole locations.

Once the components have undergone the quality assurance Check they get a label and put into inventory.

These have both a left and right hand orientation to the components.

November 10, 2015, CNC routing of the fuselage boom components.

Since we have a special run of sheet metal components to be routed out we will have to lay out specifically the components that we are interested in routing out and fit them as efficiently to the full sheet of 2024 T3 .040 sheet-metal.
We like to use several different programs for the CNC machining.
For the shop bot router. We often like to lay out our work with the V-carve pro Software. It is very user-friendly and allows for some automated nesting that makes the layout process fairly easy.
In the layout diagram. You can see the drilling sequence.

All of the rivet holes will be drilled, as well as any of the large cutouts will also be drilled in the center of each individual piece to be able to screw it to the router table during the cutting process which will prevent the parts from flying up and jamming the router during the cutting process.

The drilling sequence alone will probably take about four hours.

And the cutting process will normally take in the neighborhood of about two hours.
This means that all of the individual pieces have to be fastened to the sacrificial MDF board to prevent them from flipping up and interfering with the router travel.
One little glitch and the entire sheet is screwed up.
This is a relatively time-consuming process to put screws into each one of the individual cutouts as well as the perimeter of each component.
It does however provide for a very efficient and accurate way for the laying out the components.

November 9, 2015, Prepping the CNC router table.

It is time to re-face the CNC router table.

We can usually get about 2 to 3 re-facings out of a single piece of .75 MDF.

This will be the last pass that we can make on this as were getting close to the mounting screws that are embedded within the sheet of MDF and are located on a 12 in. Square grid throughout the entire Sheet of MDF.

The MDF is a sacrificial piece of material that we used to screw the sheet metal components to while they’re being machined.

November 8, 2015 Missing fuselage boom component P/N 53-20-37 L / R.

Everyone that has received a fuselage boom kit is missing the right and left Frame Attach Plate.
P/N 53-20-37
We are currently in the process of making up and shipping out the missing components from the fuselage boom assembly kit.
You may also notice that it was missing from the parts list for the fuselage boom assembly.
If you have received a fuselage boom assembly kit. Please verify that you are missing this component.

November 7, 2015, New order of building materials arrive.

We been waiting for almost a month now for our latest order of metal to arrive.
In this order we have About $7000 worth of sheet metal and aluminum tubing.

The sheet-metal is for continued construction of the fuselage boom assembly’s and the other components related to the aircraft.
The tubing is to continue the construction of the wing assembly kits.

November 5, 2015, Continued progress on the CNC lathe set up.

For every machine. There is a a lot of setup that goes into beginning to use the piece of equipment.
With the new Lynx 200, it uses a Kitagawa hydraulic chuck. The Chuck is designed to open and close only about one 1/2 inch. This means that there has to be a specialty set of soft jaws made for every component that you’re going to manufacture.

To get started we simply reverse engineered the new set of soft jaws and are manufacturing several sets that we can use to begin manufacturing some of the components.
The soft jaw on the top is a commercially purchased soft jaw and the soft jaw the bottom is one that we Manufactured.
A close up of one of the soft jaws.
They fit onto the hydraulic chuck using a very specific set of grooves that ensure rigidity during the holding process.
Our starter set of Soft jaws gives us five different set up diameters that we can use them for.

November 4, 2015 CNC set up and wiring.

We now have the Lynx 200 up and running.

We have completed the 220 3 phase power Wiring.

We have tested the operation of the machine and have run it through its first set of cycles, testing the hydraulic system, the hydraulic pump for the way oiling system, the operation of the spindle and turret.

We have gone through a complete machine cleaning.

We have the chip conveyor installed and operationally tested.

We still have yet to test the Cutting fluid system.

And we have as of yet not installed the bar feed system.

They are now working on the purchase for all of the tooling necessary for the operation to begin making parts. $$$$$$

November 3, 2015, Continued progress on setting up the new CNC lathe

In preparation for using the new Lynx 200A CNC lathe. We have been doing quite a bit of cleaning and repair work on the machine.

Once it’s up and running. We won’t have much of an opportunity to do that kind of work to it.

We are still in the process of purchasing the necessary tooling to be able to use the machine and production.

We have been finishing up the wiring and still need to install all of the air Supply systems that go to the machine.

Getting to the point where we have enough equipment in the shop that were not really get anything done anymore.

Power supply wiring into the main control box.

November 2, 2015 Newest Builder of the EMG-6.

Keith Johnson From Bozeman Montana  EMG-6 S/N 15-25
Keith is getting started on the Fuselage 4130 steel frame, He took home with him a set of welding fixtures shown in the picture below. And a fuselage frame kit and a fuselage boom kit.

November 1,2015 New CNC Machine for EMG-6 Production.

We have recently purchased a new to us CNC lathe(Turning Center).
This segment of the production on the EMG-6 will now be able to proceed forward.
There are about 50+ components On the EMG-6 that require turning.

The machine that we purchased for this task is a used 1998 Daewoo Lynx 200A.
This machine has a 12 tool Turret. A 6 inch Kitagawa hydraulic Chuck. A chip auger. And a space saver bar feeder.
Total weight of the machine with the other components was nearly 10,000 pounds.
Good thing we only had to travel about 40 miles to pick up the machine and

The new machine will take up quite a bit of space in the hanger #7.

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