Days 2&3 - Familiarisation Hours today: 12     Hours so far: 27

After a very shaky start - I had lined up a nice business unit for the first two months of the build until I finish building my new garage. All was going well, until the last minute when it fell through! Eek! I had to find somewhere else, and quick! Fortunately I managed to 'borrow' some space in a barn, so spent Sunday making it suitable - this included a new workbench and trestles for sitting the wings on.

Monday was spent running after myself, trying to catch up on things. I found some of the more unusual items: lightweight body filler and lithium grease from a car body shop, acetone from a car paint supplier (it's actually a branded thinner with a very high acetone content - Terry at Reality now tells me he can supply acetone and MEK by the litre), and reamers, clecos and other stuff from Glosairparts based in Gloucester. The chap who runs it (Harry) sent the stuff next day and just asked me to send him a cheque by return - great service! Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Being a housebuilder, I already have quite a few tools, but had to get a few bits and pieces - especially reamers, for getting rid of powdercoat from bolt holes. Other stuff included metal sandpaper, loctite, various masking tapes, permanent markers, just basic stuff at this stage.

Tuesday involved sorting through the kit - checking all the components for faults (none so far), going through the packing list, even sorting all the bags of bolts and rivets into numerical order, so that I don't have to go through a box full of bits each time. It feels like a waste of time, but definitely is not. I cleaned the kit, got rid of glue left over from packing materials, looked at the parts, read the manual, and generally felt a lot happier about it. It's not as daunting as you think!

I thought I'd start with something easy and obvious. The seats bolt together easily after reaming out the powder coat from the bolt holes. The seat backs need to be cut (with snips) to shape. Riveting will come later.

Close-up of the pin which forms the seat adjustment.

On to day three. I offered up the noseleg - still missing washers inbetween the suspension rubbers, and the bearing for the bottom of the leg (oh, and the wheel!).

The main gear, minus safety cable to make sure the gear can only move 4 inches, and also the suspension bungee. The cable fits under where the bungee will go, but I need to borrow a swaging tool to crimp it.

I was advised to follow the order of the manual, but chose instead to jump about a bit to get the feel of it all. Nothing is bolted in permanently yet, so if I have got ahead of myself, it's no big deal taking it out again. The control sticks bolt together easily, the sticks will have to come out to be painted.

After a break of 4 hours, helping my cousin move furniture!!! I started on the flap and aileron leading edges. Left hand flap Offer the fibreglass up so that it sits flush with the wooden rib capstrips. Then look through the fibreglass to see where it needs to be trimmed, mark the line, then trim using snips, finishing with sandpaper. Right hand flap Then mark the position of the ribs for gluing later. These aren't finished yet, they need false capstrips fitted first (more of that later). It all makes sense if you have the manual in front of you.

That's it for day three. Next page