“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.
July 19, 2016 Display Boards
Before every show we have to work on the advertising, brochures, and display boards to demonstrate some of the different capabilities and construction methods that we use. This year we have added to the display boards a 3-D printed parts board that shows some of the different components that are used both to manufacture the EMG-6 as well as components that are used directly on the aircraft. In addition after the show is over we have to stay a few days extra and do the “Homebuilder Hints” videos for EAA. This year They have requested that we do some videos on both the 3-D printing process as well is the Solid Works software.
We are still working on this board. This board shows some of the smaller machined components that are used on the EMG-6.
We have also included a working tow hook and release system.
We have a selection of some of the sheet metal components showing the match drilled system as well as a selection of aluminum extrusions used on the aircraft.
July 18, 2016 Packing up for Oshkosh
We are in the midst of the aircraft disassembly and packing the trailer for the trip to Oshkosh. the fuselage assembly is one of the last component to be loaded into the trailer. We don’t want to have to be working around the fuselage where we may do damage to the aircraft lower loading other components.
“Sparky” getting ready for his long journey to Oshkosh.
Jason and Austin are in charge of the trailer loading.
We have wing racks that are built into the side of the trailer. Wing strut holders across the top of the trailer. We usually bring several sets of wing struts for customers that wish to pick them up while they are in Oshkosh. The wing strut extrusion material is been very popular and we have customers that have purchased the aluminum extrusion for applications other than the EMG-6.
A view looking aft from inside of the 37.5 foot trailer.
All of the components that are used as part of the shipping and aircraft stabilization fixtures are cut on the CNC machine. In this picture here Jason is re-cutting some parts that were broken from last year’s airshow. Since all of the parts were already in the database it took about 5 minutes to reprogram them to fit some scrap materials that they could be cut from.
The wing struts for EMG-6 prototype #2 and 2 additional sets of wing strut extrusion materials loaded into the overhead. The wings are now permanently mounted with 10 holding fixtures.
July 13, 2016 1st flights on prototype #2
We conducted the 1st series of test flights on prototype #2. We did about 3 taxi tows working our speed up to about 25 mph. That was enough to feel the airplane out and establish positive control. Next we hooked up the 200 foot arrow tow rope and towed the length of the runway at about 35 mph. All of that showed very positive control and performance on the aircraft so we got out the long rope and did to more tows before we ran out of daylight. No evaluation of performance was done due to the short tows. However the airplane did handle very sweet and has improved flight characteristics over prototype #1. The 1st long rope tow was to about 600 feet AGL and the 2nd one to about 700 feet AGL.
“Sparky’s” eyeball strobe lights caught in action.
The highest rate of climb that I noticed during the launch was about 1200 ft./m
Landing for the last flight of the day.
July 12, 2016 Sparky Gets a Nose Job
made up a pitot tube mount with a removable center tube. This was version number 4. We had several tries it getting the angle just right.
We finished up the other half of the go pro mount.
This is about the smallest profile that we can adapt to the go Pro camera.
With the camera inside of the pod we can slide it up and down on the main wing strut as desired. And then we will just tighten the clamshell screws to lock in position and use a little bit of gaffer tape to lock it in position.
The internal positioning of the cameras designed to point camera directly at the cockpit.
We have been working on the adapter for the Dodge truck for our tow rig system. It basically uses a brake master cylinder to sense the pressure that’s on the towline. It sends that pressure up the forward shaft through the rear window of the truck cab so that Jason can monitor the pressure on the towline with a pressure gauge during the launch.
July 11, 2016 EMG-6 #2 Ready for Flight
Prototype #2 is basically ready for flight. We will probably pull the dummy motor and propeller off of the aircraft before we begin the 1st test flights. We have just a bit of paperwork left on the certification. And some weight and balance calculations that need to be completed. We still have to rake up the tow system into the Dodge truck. But we anticipate within the next 3 to 4 days we will have the 1st flight on prototype #2.
This picture here we have positioned the forward cowing mount and are drilling it to accept the for aluminum pop rivets that will hold it in place.
The fairing will cover up the forward portion of the motor mount but a significant amount of cooling air can transition through the rear fairing into the motor. This is intentionally designed to be able to capture any drag created by the fuselage open cockpit scenario and ducked it all through the motor, controller section of the rear fairing
After positioning the forward Cowling mount using double sticky tape, drilling the holes, then removing the double sticky tape and Pop riveting the single screw that issues to hold the forward section of the Cowing in place.
Before installing the side cowing for the motor Jason is installing a U channel onto the perimeter of the aluminum cowing.
With The cowing a place it really cleans up the aft section of the fuselage. We have a different propeller on order which probably won’t be here for another week. We will probably also install a spinner once we have the propeller that we can match it to.
The propeller installed.
All of the center section covers are now installed. Although they’re not necessary they should reduce the drag enough to make them worthwhile.
We have been making a streamlined go Pro camera mount that we will bolt to the left wing strut.
The streamlined fairing just barely fits over the outside of the go Pro camera and is made to be able to accept the backpack additional battery in addition to a standard go Pro.
A trial fit of the top half of the go Pro camera mount. Took about 14 hours to print this one half of the Mount.
We simply have four screw hole locations that will screw together the tube clamshells over the top of the streamlined wing strut. It is designed so that the camera position is pointing directly at the cockpit when clamp to the streamlined struts.
More pictures from our afternoon photo shoot
July 10, 2016 The Sewing Room
As we finish up with many of the details on the aircraft. The fabric covering for the fuselage frame center section needs to be completed. We’ve spent the last couple of days working in the sewing room making up the fabric covering for the fuselage center section.
July 9, 2016 New Wing Strut Fairings
We talked in a previous post about the desire to modify the existing wing strut fairings and clean them up just a bit. We now have all of the new style wing strut fairings completed and 3 of the 4 installed. We think these will be slightly less drag than the previous design.
Rear spar aft wing strut fairing.
The wing strut fairing as it comes out of the 3-D printer. The extensions on the wing strut fairing are the parts that slide in turn lead into the existing aluminum wing strut streamlined fairing extrusion.
The whole fairing weighs only ounces due to the design being basically a .060″ wall thickness shell.
July 5, 2016
We mask off the strobe light “eyeballs” so that we can apply sealant to the perimeter which will help to hold the inserts in place as well as seal up the edges from any water being ingested.
Black RTV silicone sealant applied.
And the final product with the masking tape removed.
July 2, 2016
Spent a little time this afternoon working on the nose art for the airplane. All of the black is simply 3M vinyl wrap material. We worked out the different designs in Photoshop and this was our final selection. I think he needs a name like “Sparky”
Any graphics that are ever done on an airplane for any of our articles have to be agreed upon by Carol. Usually we have about 10 different wild graphics and then settle on a basic concept. After the basic concept has been chosen we work out some variations upon. These as we can see below.
Once we have decided on the Best choice amongst the preliminary designs, we then work on some variations of the final design. Selection number 7 from the top ideas was chosen to work on. At this point were starting to narrow down which choices we like the best.
And out of the 6 selections we decided to go with design number 6. Next step is to figure out how to move the final design to the aircraft itself.
The big variation was the glare shield which was limited to the size shown in the picture below simply because I ran out of The vinyl wrap material.
July 1, 2016
The eyeball strobe light inserts have cured up enough that we were able to position and seal them into the nose cone. I’m not sure but he looks, cross eyed. This should look pretty cute when we get the smiley face installed.
The strobe light inserts are manufactured so that they lock into the aft side of the cutout in the nose cone and then get screwed in or installed with RTV silicone in the front like were doing here. the tape and Styrofoam blocks are simply to hold the eyeball in place during the curing process.
An inside look at the strobe lights. The next step will be to wire them into the instrument panel.
Jason has been working on the covering of the aft fuselage fairing. The covering is complete and undergoing the 1st stage of poly fiber poly brush.
The next step in the process once the poly fiber has had a day to cure is to spray it with poly spray (silver). The entire plane is undergoing painting up through silver and gray colors and will be painted in its entirety at a later date. Unfortunately it will probably be after Oshkosh because were running out of time.
The Dacron sailcloth covering that we been working on that goes from the forward bulkhead to the aft fairing is nearing completion. In this picture here were using the CNC router to mark out the windows that will be installed into the aft cover.
We have made an insert for the CNC router that allows us to install different pens and pencils to use the CNC as a plotter. In this picture here the pen insert is removed. this is just the prototype adapter which we are remanufacturing to better fit the router.
After the window plastic has been plotted by the router it needs to be trimmed to the magic marker line.
with the window plastic installed into the aft cover
June 30, 2016
You may remember a week back or so when we installed the lens covers into the eyeballs for the strobe lights. At the time we were using out-of-date PRC sealant and it wasn’t cure. Now nearly a week later it still tacky but it looks like it’s starting to cure up finally.