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First Parts Added

Gear legs are installed. No wheels yet as they were direct shipped from that supplier. The gear legs are resting on some little dollies so I can push it around the shop.

Joystick and aileron torque tube. The sealed U-joint sure makes it easy.

Throttle and choke levers are installed.



Tail Unfolded

The tail feathers had to be unfolded so the control cables could be built to fit.

The tail wheel was installed first, as access was better with the tail folded.

Hand drilling of gear legs and parts left something to be desired in alignment quality.

Finally the excuse I needed to order a drill press. I should have done that 20 years ago!


Brakes and Cables

Brake pedals, master cylinders, rudder tension springs and cables all installed.

Bolts are just temporarily installed as it has to all come apart for covering anyway.

This was all really easy, once you get past the trepidation of making the first cut on the roll of cable.

The brakes are probably overkill, but I like the ability to do engine run-ups and tight turns.


Nut plates for Nose Cone

The Firefly plans call for the fiberglass nose cone to be riveted to the two small square cross tubes at the front of the fuselage. This is also where the pilot rests his heels directly on the fiberglass. Neither of these things appealed to me, so I committed my first homebuilder "sin." I modified the design....just a little.

Nut plates were attached to aluminum angle and the angle was riveted to the face of the cross tubes. This allows for large head screws to be used to fasten the nose cone to the plane. Now access to the rudder pedals and brakes is as easy as taking the nose cone off. Also, you don't have to stand on your head to work on the instruments; just take the whole thing off and work on the bench!



Wheels and Brakes

A closer look at the Black Max brakes and larger wheels/tires

Since I plan on operating "off airport" it is likely to not be very smooth so the larger tires may be needed.





OK, I got a little silly here.

Engine turning has always appealed to me, so I thought I would try it.

It is not a very good job, but not many will see it anyway, and it was kind of fun.


Seat and Gas Tank

Both of these were installed according to plans.

Simple and easy to do.

Time will tell how comfortable the seat will be.

The good thing is endurance is only going to be about an hour before you have to get out and refuel anyway.



Fitting The Nose Cone

The molded fiberglass was not completely flat on the bottom, but the fuselage is, so there was a gap between the nose cone and the nut plates. The solution was to put an 1/8" piece of plywood between them.

This also solved the problem of resting your feet directly on the fiberglass. Now the plywood takes the wear and tear and is easily replaceable.



Brake Peddle problem

Everything fit, if you did not move the rudder peddles.

Both toe brakes hit the nose cone, the left had less clearance than the right.



Problem Solved

After staring at it for a while, the solution was obvious.

The part of the toe peddle outside of the weld was just extra dead weight anyway.

A hacksaw and a file did the trick.



Side View of Nose Cone and Wheels

Now it is starting to look like progress is being made!

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