It's been a long time since the last post, primarily due to not a lot of progress being made! However, a new year has come, and this will hopefully spur me on. Spent some time tonight starting to properly tear down the VW engine so it can be inspected. I'd already removed most of the ancillaries, but this would be the first time I'd seen the guts of it!
After removing the rocker cover and I removed the cylinder head (complete with cooling duct), I got the first look inside...
All looks okay so far - it appears to have been well lubricated, and there's no sign of any corrosion, which was my biggest worry after it had been in storage for so long.
I also removed the cylinders themselves but had some difficulty removing the retaining pins from the piston heads. Time to check the books again so I don't damage anything!
Work has steadily been progressing in cleaning up various parts of the project, and the rudder and tailplane have been stripped of the old fabric. There was quite a bit of sanding required to remove as much of the red dope that had been used, but that's the tail parts clean and ready for re-covering.
Other than adding a new bracket to the rudder for tailwheel steering, and repairing a small break in the ply covering the horizontal stabiliser, there's hopefully no further work required on these parts.
I was very glad of the little Ferm combitool recently purchased - it makes light work of cleaning up difficult to reach places and all the metal parts.
One of the requirement of the LAA is that the tailplane incidence is set to between -2 and -3 degrees. As the brackets and mounting holes are already in place, I need to try and work out what angle it's currently set to. Today I pulled the fuselage out of the garage to allow me to mount the horizontal stabiliser and try to calculate the angle. Looks like that could be quite interesting as both it and the fuselage are fully covered, so establishing the datum line and chord of the tailplane aren't as simple as I'd hoped.
Having spent the last couple of weeks cleaning all the accessible parts of the airframe, I decided I should try and get some detailed images of the inside of the fuselage to check on its condition. I'd already used the camera on the phone to take some rough images and noticed what seemed to be a dark mark on the bulkhead behind the cockpit and under the rear shelf.
Using a decent camera revealed it wasn't a mark at all, but rather one very dead bird! A coat hangar duck-taped into some plastic pipe and much fishing about then took place to try and remove it!
It's also clear I'll have to try and clean inside the fuselage, which might mean removing some of the ply covering.
I'd known since buying the project that I'd need to re-cover the rudder and tailplane as the covering system used was unknown. But the quality of the finish meant I found it difficult to bring myself to remove it! However, there wasn't any point in putting off the inevitable and I wanted to get a check the internal fitting for corrosion, so off it came.
Thankfully there's no horrors hidden inside, so other than adding a second bracket to allow me to have tailwheel steering, I hope to get it covered again soon.
Finally, after all the bad weather and delays, I've been able to complete the trip to Shenstone Airfield to pick up TK. With the very welcome help of Dave Stewart from Prestwick Flying Club we picked up the Luton box van and headed south through blizzard conditions at Beattock. Thankfully the weather for the rest of the trip was fair, with some sunshine breaking through after crossing the border!