June 28, 2017
It’s time for an update.
We continue our frenetic pace getting ready for Oshkosh. Most everything that we been working on for the last week has been detail stuff. The only big thing that we are still waiting for is the sailcloth fabric covers. But let’s go over some of the work that we been doing lately.
June 24, 2017
We have been on a mad dash trying get ready for Oshkosh. As a result the progress blog has not been able to be updated on a regular basis like we would during normal operations. I’ve collected a few pictures from the last couple weeks of work that we can share. We basically have 25 days left until we leave for Oshkosh. Although the sails from ultralight sails of Canada are being worked on as we speak the schedule to get them installed and then still have time for the test flights for we leave for Oshkosh is getting very close. We are working on some of the basic details of the aircraft at this point. We are waiting until after we fit the sails to the structure to ensure that we do not have any other additional modifications that we need to do the fuselage frame. As soon as the fabric sales have been fit and everything is a go, we will then need to completely disassemble the aircraft, prep and paint the fuselage frame and then do a complete reassembly prior to test flight. We then need to disassemble the aircraft once again to put it into the trailer for transport to Oshkosh. So as you can see, we’ve got a lot to do in a very short period of time. We have been simultaneously trying to fill orders for some of the components and subassembly kits as well as getting together some the parts that we are going to deliver to customers at the air show.
June 14, 2017
Progress updates for the EMG-6 #3
June 10, 2017
Well, we started make enough progress on the website that we can continue with our updates on the progress of the EMG-6 prototype 3. You will still notice several changes happening to the website over the next few days,. We have lost a lot of links and images during the transfer process. Although most of the data is there, there is still a considerable amount of work to do to relink all of the images with the individual pages and blog posts. Most of the website work can only occur on weekends and evenings so that we can reserve the normal part of the day for working on the aircraft and preparing for the Oshkosh air show. Our goal is to significantly upgrade some of the pages to provide more direction for the builders. So let’s bring you up-to-date with what’s been happening on the aircraft over the last week.
We only have a few items left on the aircraft that are major items to complete. The fuel system, the landing gear system, and the fabric for the new sailcloth covers. Everything else that we are currently working on is detail stuff, and finishing the aircraft.
We received the Black Max wheels and brakes system and have been working on the drawings and the design for the installation on the aircraft. Were pretty confident that these breaks will now become the standard brake system for the EMG-6 tail dragger configuration. We asked the manufacturer for all of the solid model 3D drawings for the components, it didn’t sound like they were very excited about releasing those drawing so we went ahead and completely 3D modeled all of the components on the aircraft so that we could complete the drawings for the installation and operation of these new brakes.
The brake caliper housing will be held in place with a keyway machined into the axle.. This keyway is the keystone to the entire installation. When the axle is assembled and the axle nut is tightened the keyway should be just flush with the outer housing of the caliper assembly.
The axle cannot be installed until after the caliper assembly and the rotor have been preinstalled. The entire package is really well-designed, lightweight, strong, simple, and nearly perfect size for the weight and size of the aircraft. and as far as brakes go on aircraft in the ultralight industry, The pricing is very reasonable.
The brake caliper housing has a set screw to hold it in position, positioned directly over the Woodruff key, and although the set screw is not used to carry the load of the wheel pushing inward, it does help hold the assembly together during the installation process.
The caliper assembly, rotor, axle and installation hardware.
the wheel hub assembly. The wheels and brakes are very similar in size to the Heggar wheels and brakes. However the Black Max brakes have a few design changes. The wheel halves are not exactly the same size as the Heggar wheels but talking to the owner of the company he said that they could be used but require some trimming of the caliper housing in order to provide clearance. The wheel halves, unlike the Heggar wheels are welded at the center. One of the original problems with the Heggar wheels was always the problem of air leaking through the hubs. This required an O-ring and several other components in order to assemble the wheel halves. This welded wheel assembly should really eliminate a significant amount of air leakage problems that we’ve seen in the past.
This picture shows the axle and the Woodruff key installed with the hole drilled on the mounting and per the drawings for the EMG-6. In addition the end of the axle has been cut off by approximately 1 inch. The positioning of the hole is fairly critical as the bolt hole provides the proper distance for the mounting of the landing gear leg.
You can see in the final installation with the axle positioned properly that the Woodruff key slot leaves just enough room for a washer to be installed which will provide the load bearing surface for the Wheel and brake assembly. These are 5 dates axles which are the standard axle size for most ultralight sized aircraft. The wheels and brakes are actually rated for a maximum of 1000 pounds.
We have been doing some organizing in the shop putting in some new shelving and organizing a lot of the tooling necessary for building the EMG-6.
1 of our newest processes that we have adopted is the set up of a copy-CAD plating system. For all the components that we will be sending out that cannot be powder coated, anodized, or painted we required some kind of corrosion protection. This is actually a zinc plating process with a chromate conversion coating applied. Jason has been working for the last week to complete the set up and perfect the process. On parts like this landing gear shock strut component, the parts have to slide together smoothly and move in and out during the landing process the spring will allow movement along these parts. The plating along with lubrication should give a fairly long life to these components.
More of the parts that Jason has been working on with the plating process.
Wit’se are even replacing some of the hardware that we are reusing from prototype 1. We want to make the airplane looked pretty before the air show.
Cutting out more welding fixtures, in this case here we had to remake the welding fixture for the control stick in order to be able to provide enough clearance for the hydraulic brake handle that we will be installing on the control stick as a single master cylinder operating both brakes simultaneously.
The axles installed onto both landing gear legs ready for the wheel assemblies to be installed. We won’t install them at this point as we have to powder coat the landing gear legs before installing them back on the aircraft.
This close-up shows the position of the Woodruff key in relationship to the axle. We are using the axle positioned with the caliper and Woodruff key facing forward. This will give the most amount of strength to the axle during a landing. The mounting bolt hole on the aft side is what positions the axle in place.
June 2, 2017
We are currently prepping the Polini 252 get ready to run with the new drive system installed. All of this system is now complete and ready for operational tests. We still have a few other things to complete on the aircraft before we can run the engine. The electrical system and starter system has all been hooked up. The coolant system is now filled and ready to run. Once the aircraft receives its new wheels and brakes we will be able to take it out on the flight line and begin testing.
We have recently contracted with Black Max brakes to be the primary supplier of brake systems for the EMG-6. Although we will have additional options for other types of wheels and brakes on the aircraft we will be focusing prototype number 3 on developing the drawings and installation procedures for the Black Max Brakes.
In order to use the Black Max single lever master cylinder we had to modify the control stick to allow the transition of the plastic hydraulic line to transition through the center of the control stick in order to prevent binding and pinching and possibly damaging the hydraulic line. This also required a modification to the control stick to change the angles so that the brake master cylinder would not hit the instrument panel.
The exit hole for the hydraulic line keeps the installation very clean with minimal bends in the line and an easy transition to the aft portion of the aircraft where the hydraulic line will be teed out to both brakes.
We are currently working on a production run of 10 steerable tail wheel assemblies. In the picture above you can see the main body of the tail wheel housing being machined from solid aluminum billet. 6061 T6. There is a total of 16 different machining operations that take place just for this 1 single part. It has to be reindexed 4 times, so the machining jaws have to be machined to allow reindexing each time that we rotate the part to a new orientation.
Once all of the G code is established the actual process of machining the parts is fairly automated.
The new installation of the Polini 250 inside the fuselage is looking really good. By the time we get the covers onto the fuselage this should be a very low drag profile.
Jason has continued to perfect the wiring system making one bundle that is tucked neatly together and has welded tabs along the fuselage to clamp the wire bundle to.
Worst-case scenario with the control stick all the way forward shows that we still have plenty of clearance from the hydraulic brake lines to the instrument panel.
On the Polini 250 installation we can weld in some additional structure to enhance the seating arrangement. Because of the permanent installation of the motor in the rear seat the ability to be able to utilize that space is no longer an issue. So we have added in an additional tube that will allow us to form a bucket seat. We will probably add a vertical section that will provide a headrest as well.
The demand for parts continues to come in and so we are constantly ordering raw stock material. In the last 2 weeks we’ve ordered over $10,000 worth of raw material to have on hand for manufacturing other components of the aircraft. This box contains 12 foot sections of aluminum tubing to be used in primarily the wings and flight control systems.
This section of aluminum tubing is for manufacturing push pull tubes for the aircraft. All of the push pull tubes except for the long tube that is used for the elevator control system that is inside of the fuselage boom assembly are manufactured from 6061 T6 aluminum .625 ×.035. This will allow us to finish up the control system on the aircraft.
The MS 20219 – 2 pulleys are used in the rudder control system. These pulleys are quite expensive so we have manufactured some lower cost aluminum pulleys that can be CNC machined without bearings in them that we will be testing.
We are constantly ordering new stock of hardware for both shipping to customers as well as using in the shop on a regular basis for building the prototypes. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a project and running short on 1 or 2 simple parts.