Landing Gear Done!

Setting toe alignment...

Buddy Rick Mueller, tack welding with a MIG (great Dentist BTW)...


The landing gear saga is finally coming to a close...with 1610 pounds of cement bags on the plane, I got the toe alignment set to 0. With more weight, she will start to toe-out, less weight, toe-in, this toe alignment shift it seems, is very minimal as the gear squats and the weight shifts between 1800 (full gross) and 1500+. I am also happy with the resulting camber, I forgot to measure it, but visually it was pretty obvious there was plenty of positive camber at 1610.

I had already mistakenly drilled the locating bolts in the sockets, and they needed rotating slightly, so the plan was to elongate the bolt holes, then weld on a 1/8 patch plate over each hole. The rotation required wasn't much, so I did this with a chainsaw file sourced from the Home Depot. Once the toe was dialed in, I fitted the patch plates and the bolts, then I got my MIG buddy to tack weld the patch plates. Everything was then removed from the plane. Pant brackets and wheels are packed away for later in the build, the legs need a top coat of 2-part paint, and the engine mount requires the patch plates to be finish welded. A TIG buddy will do this for me, since I didn't want to use gas with all that heat moving things.

Finishing up loose ends, my TIG buddy will also weld on a couple of finger plates at the lower rear of the sockets where they meet the engine bolt bushing. This plate will add more weld real estate from socket to bushing, and at the same time add some torsional strength to the sockets. Since I have decided not to have an extra pick up tube to transfer landing loads from the lower mount bolts to the uppers' (like the Pitts RV gear conversion), I added an extra gusset that wraps around the lower bolt bushing(s). This gusset partly wraps around the horizontal and vertical adjacent tubing, thus passing the loads through to the upper bolt bushings. I was going to have these gussets TIG'd, but I felt my gas welding is now becoming much better...'not the prettiest, maybe, but I felt comfortable in gas welding them in place.

I am using the RV-10 wheelpants and whatever else comes with the RV-10 'Finishing Kit'. This is basically the pants, extended axle nuts, pant brackets and hardware. The leg glass fairings I sourced from The F1 Rocket company which is just down the road. The rake and squat of the legs are totally different from the RV-10, so the Vans intersection fairings will be no good. These fairings I will have to make from scratch.

My final conclusion regarding the weight of this gear compared to the Groves gear:

Groves: 47.97

RV Mod: 48.30

The above takes into account the glass fairings, wood dampers, and brake linings for the RV mod. But doesn't include the weight of the four 1/8 patch plates to fix my drilling mistake.

Moving on...

I have decided to fit a smoke tank. I have fabricated and welded everything in place, ready to accept the tank.

The ELT has been fitted: I fab'd some steel and welded in behind the pilots seat to accept the bracket.

I have now started adding all the previously made stuff, such as the brake pedals, push-rods, throttle linkage etc. I am getting it all in so I can check for clashes when I start planning to route the fuel lines and similar stuff. The next step is to install the gas tank, then see what tabs I need to weld on for the fuel lines and work out how to make an isolation valve for the upper tank to drain into the main tank, but to be operated from the rear cockpit :-|....

Gusset for lower engine mount bushings before hammering over...

The RV/Wittman gear conversion is now really over. The mount came back from the TIG welder with the 0.040 torsion straps in place. This deal is now ready for blasting and paint :0).