Building a Kit Plane – Part 5by Patrick Borton
Thinking back to being in school and longing to hear that we had a 2-hour delay brings back fond memories. However, as the Zenith CH750 project comes together, I cringe at the thought of any disruptions in the flow of planning and assembly.
Fortunately, we aren’t working on any sort of a deadline. Instead, personal goals are an excellent way to set the pace and make sure corners aren’t cut. The majority of the flying surfaces and fuselage were completed well ahead of the time we had in mind. A few things have been slightly beyond our expected timeframe. One of them is paint. Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, the people you are depending on don’t have the same goals you do. Certainly a setback, but not the end of the world.
What I consider a setback allowed me additional time with the fuselage to get the windows and doors fitted. The more parts on the plane during paint means less touch-ups during final assembly. A great deal of grinding and trimming went on while fitting these parts to accommodate the folding wing option and the front straps of the BRS parachute system. I learned that plexiglass (acrylic) can easily be trimmed with an angle grinder. My other methods would have resulted in (at least) a replacement windshield that would still have required trimming.
Inside the cabin, wiring is slowly finding its place. The Garmin radio harness is nearing completion. The radio stack consists of a GMA240 audio panel, GNS430W, and the new GTR225. The GTR225 came with a (nearly) completed harness but receives information from the GNS430W. The GNS430W and GMA240 came with connectors and bags of pins. The installer is responsible for wire and proper crimping tools. Additionally, we are using a Dynon Skyview for our instruments and engine monitoring. It has a lot of little modules to mount behind the scenes. Those have also been given good homes and all wiring is done with the exception of the engine monitoring system.
This brings me to the engine! It has arrived and looks stunning on a cart. I’m looking forward to bringing it to life. It is the UL Power 350iS. It provides 130 horsepower, direct drive, FADEC, and weighs in right around 180 pounds!
Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our progress in the coming months as we wrap this project up!