“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.
May 31, 2016 Prototype #2 Nears Completion
As the month of May comes to a close where getting very close to finishing up all of the small details on the aircraft. We are still awaiting the FAA registration so that we can certificate the aircraft and begin flight testing.
We on version number 5 of the pool noodle gap seals. they’re still not quite perfect but will function well enough for the flight test. In the meantime we will order some solid pool noodles and expect that we can manufacture seals that will function a little better.
We made some changes to the tail skid attachment using aluminum saddles rather than the nylon saddles that we had used previously. These will last considerably longer and we noticed that the nylon saddles were starting to crack.
We are installing all of the fairings temporarily using white vinyl tape.
The main landing gear rounded tubes are getting some drag reduction fairings installed onto the aft side of each of the tubes.
The 3-D printing fairings will simply be taped in place for the initial test flights. This will allow us to do some evaluation and perhaps change the angle of the trailing edge material.
The gap seals on the lower side of the horizontal stabilizer/elevator.
The idler arms on the rudder control system have Now been powder coated..
The rudder pedals have now been stripped of anodizing and re-powder coated in black.
The brake cables attached to one of the 3-D printed standoffs.
We made some smaller standoffs to route the RG-58 Coaxial cable from the antenna to the cockpit.
We finished powder coating the pilot seat and now still have to install the aluminum back rest and rivet it in place.
We have completed the brake lever installation utilizing a system that allows a single lever to operate both brakes. the system is designed to utilize a pivoting arm which allows pressure to be evenly distributed to each of the brakes. If the cable adjustment become slightly out of adjustment the pivot arm will automatically change the dimension maintaining equal pressure on Both brake calipers.
We have a 20 pound gas shock strut that holds the brake handle in position alongside of the fuselage and provides a small amount of artificial feedback during the braking process.
The Break handle has been shortened slightly from the original design which allows us to have easy access for the plug-in rudder pedals for the passenger.
We are using a couple of dabs of blue silicone to hold the speed fairings in position.
The gap seals can be trimmed to interface very tightly with the horizontal stabilizer strut fairings.
May 26, 2016
With the nosecone now removed from the aircraft we can start the prepping and painting. Nosecone will need to be trimmed to its final shape marked in masking tape in this picture.
After having significant difficulties with the bead blaster, we have managed to get the rest of the landing gear parts bead blasted and powder coated. In this picture here Jason and Billy are getting the landing gear struts reinstalled so that we can put the aircraft back on its wheels.
With the main landing gear struts reinstalled we can now remove the Jack from the aircraft. The aircraft is been up on the Jack now for almost 3 days.
We are slowly making progress on all of the minor details on the aircraft. Take one part off, paint or powder coat it, and reinstall it.
The days are starting get longer allowing is quite a bit more time to work on the aircraft. Back to our beautiful California sunsets.
The aileron control system is now coming together as the last parts of the control system are painted and reinstalled.
All of the control system inside of the fuselage boom assembly also has to be removed, powder coated, and reinstalled.
All of the pushrod tubes that transition from the lower fuselage frame assembly up to the fuselage boom assembly have now been final finished and reinstalled.
You may have noticed that all of the original blue anodized parts are slowly being converted either to white or black. The reason for the blue was originally As Part of Our Agreement with Quicksilver Manufacturing. since the collapse of the Quicksilver company we are working on rebranding the aircraft and breaking all design ties with the Quicksilver design.
We are preparing to install the manual brake handle cable system to the disc brakes that are installed on the main wheels. the break cabling system is designed as a retrofit to the existing structure that simply clamps in place. This makes this type of break system a retrofit with out modifying the 4130 Crome-Molly fuselage frame.
The break handle located on the left side of the fuselage ties into the break cabling system. This handler also incorporates the throttle system for the electric motor as well as the tow release handle.
The tow release cable is routed along the length of the brake handle, clamped in place by the streamlined cable clamps and then routed back up to the forward keel assembly.
Another one of the 3-D printed standoffs that fits around one of the frame tubes and then uses the zip ties to hold the brake cable assembly in place.
The brake cable attached to the standoff mounted on the fuselage frame assembly being held in place by a zip tie.
May 24, 2016
The landing gear has been removed from the aircraft for final power coating.
layout for the forward nose fairing for final trimming and will now be ready to start sanding and painting.
One of the cable clamp designs that we have come up with that allows for the center clamping device to be slid horizontally along the longitudinal axis of the clamp for easy removal of the cable.
All of the control system pushrods are being removed and primer and painted and then reinstalled on the aircraft for the final time.
Hangar 7 is so crowded that we can no longer work on the aircraft inside the hangar and only outside.
The right main landing gear being reinstalled after powder coating.
Before we were able to get the landing gear struts powder coated and reinstalled on the aircraft a summertime storm came through and started pouring down rain. always very risky with the aircraft up on Jack’s when the storm is blowing through. We eventually had to put the aircraft onto a dolly and move it into its hangar in the middle of the storm. They needed to be washed anyway.
May 20, 2016
All of the 3-D printed fairings on the aircraft are coming off the aircraft one at a time in order to be prepped and painted both for UV protection and primer prior to the final painting.
Rudder gap Seal segments being painted
This picture here Billy is Scotch Brite 1 some of the flight control system pushrods. They undergo a good cleaning, and etching primer, and finally a gloss coat of black before reinstallation onto the aircraft
May 19, 2016
We have been making some modifications to the nosecone preparing it for the final installation. iit takes about 5 minutes to remove the entire nosecone from the front of the aircraft.
Inserts are placed inside of the rudder pedal tube which will provide the mounting structure for the side mounts that hold the nose cone in place.
We are on version number 5 of the nosecone side mounting plates coming out of the 3-D printer.
May 18, 2016
We’ve completed the installation of the horizontal stabilizer Seals. They are designed with the leading edge section having 2 screws that can be removed to have access to both the forward and rear horizontal stabilizers Spar for removal and installation. The aft section of the gap seals are permanently riveted to the Inboard rib.
May 17, 2016
This week we have been boxing and shipping additional subcomponent kits. Jason here is packaging up elevators and stabilizer kits.
Even the shipping boxes for the fuselage welding fixtures has CNC manufactured.
All of the fuselage welding fixture components ready to be boxed.
Fuselage welding fixtures all boxed up ready for shipment.
May 15, 2016 Honda scooter to be modified into payout winch.
We’re almost ready to start modifying the 250 Cc scooter that we purchased for doing scooter tows. After our 1st series of testing we decided that the Scooter was can be minimal amount of power for doing scooter tows. However after some contemplation and looking at some other payout winches we have determined that we may be able to use the Scooter as a payout Winch and rewind system. In the next couple of days we will start doing a little bit more engineering on the process but we have a good idea how it’s going to take place. We’ve been talking about the possibility of being able to accomplish Step tows at our small airport. This just might be the ticket that will allow us to do that.
May 14, 2016
the landing gear is now nearly complete. The new Shock struts combined with the new die spring (located inside of the streamlined struts tubing) look to be a about the perfect shock pressure. We have a few fairings to make for the landing your system.
We are currently hooking up the brake system to the brake handle located on the left-hand side of the fuselage. If you remember from early on this is the brake handle that we used for the Mono wheel configuration
May 13, 2016
3-D printed voltage converter mount. these plates are designed to clamp onto either side of the fuselage frame assembly at the landing gear box and have the voltage converter directly to both clamshell Mounts. In these pictures here we are painting the 3-D printed plastic parts to increase their longevity with exposure to UV sunlight.
These 2 mounts are version number 7. tTo get them to fit the aircraft perfectly took several tries
With the voltage regulator/converter mounted to the clamshells and then to the fuselage frame you can see the nice clean installation with the cooling fins of the regulator in line with the airstream. The battery that we will use is located on the far side but in close proximity to the converter. The converter is taking 24 bolts coming out of the battery pack and converting it to 12 V to be able to use for the instrumentation, radio, lights,, and any other data recording equipment that we install on the aircraft.
May 12, 2016 Progress on the EMG-6 Returns to a Frenzied Pace
We have just recently finished a three-week long Light Sport Repairman Maintenance class. During this period time our focus has to be directed entirely towards the maintenance class. As a result the progress blog as been on a forced hiatus. The good news is, the progress on the EMG-6 electric motor glider is back in full swing.
We have been putting together another fuselage frame welding fixture kit to go to the next customer. This consists of 4 sheets of maple plywood.
CNC router time for the 4 sheets of plywood, about 20 hours.
Landing Gear Modifications
We have been robbing parts from EMG-6 prototype #1,in order to expedite the building process on prototype #2. We were so happy with the operational characteristics of the disc brake system that we installed on prototype #1, that we just remove the entire assembly and replaced the landing gear on #2.
On #2, we have significantly reduce the total drag on the main landing gear system using the streamlined strut material and an internal gas shock and booster spring. none of the shock strut system can be seen because it contained within the confines of the streamlined struts material.
3-D Printing Parts For the EMG-6
One thing that has continued for the last 3 weeks has been the constant production of 3-D printer parts. Our 3-D printer averages about 12 hours of operating time per day.
We have created a streamlined fairing for the low-cost, Com antenna. How much drag reduction can occur from these individual components is hard to determine but even working on aesthetics alone its worth the extra effort.
Round objects like the antenna and its base are horrible profiles for drag. The estimate perhaps 25% reduction in drag over this simple antenna base. The 3-D printed Faring has a hollow honeycomb internal structure making its final weight only a few ounces.
Much lighter than Adel clamps these cable routing clamps have been working very well.
We will be mounting a battery in prototype #2 to operate lights and instruments. all of the initial flights will be done as a pure glider for we moved to the power plant. As a result we will need battery power for data collection and instrumentation. This 3-D printer battery box perfectly fits one of the 5000 mA hour battery packs that we will use.
A 3-D printer Variometer mounting box.
And a 3-D printer battery box mounting system for the ICOM handheld radio.
We have been printing multiple different sizes of inspection covers for the fuselage wings and tail assembly. These are screw on access covers that utilize a 3 prong clamp on the backside and are designed to fit the flanged lightning holes throughout the aircraft. Once again only a few ounces for each cover.