With some time on my hands due to finishing kit delays, no
projected to perhaps be many months away before shipping, the
intensity and excitement is dropping off a bit. Too bad
because I'm wasting the best months of the year for
building. It will now be basically impossible to fly to
OSH 2015, and I'll be lucky to be flying this fall. But,
the panel is still an area that I can progess, thanks to my
deviating from the standard avionics package.
With the subpanel painted, everything can now be mounted permanently, so the panel frame is now riveted in place, and all of the radio tubes have been drilled and screwed in. The panel will be mounted and wired, but then pulled for painting and labeling later. I've left the quadrant off for now, just so I don't bump it. Once I mount the engine I can put it back on and start cabling that up too.
One thing I'm not sure I understand is the canopy quick release. They said not to paint the bushing (but you need to paint the unprotected steel mechanism. But the bushing is inserted into a steel sleeve in the bracket, so there isn't much but the ends of the bushing that even show. I did mask those off. The outside of those steel cylinders may need to be cleaned of paint later, but it appears those are what ride on the brass bar stock that is mounted in the forward fuselage. Probably not ideal from a wear point of view, and another bushing might have been nice. The mechanism will hinge on the quick-release pin fine the way it is, and even with paint there, I'm sure it'll last a long time. The catch is, when you pull the quick release pin there is nothing that is yet removable. So I must assume that the canopy top is held on by a thin (maybe 1/4" or so, so you can call it thick too), piece of aluminum stock like the flap brackets are made of. This would thenslide in between the steel halves of the bracket. That's the only way I can see the canopy being jettisonable. But now that the parts are painted, I could bolt them in. I also can mount the air vents.
One of the things I got for avionics was a new TruTrak Vision 385 autopilot. I tested it out in my RV-10 this weekend and it worked well, so I may upgrade that plane also. I got the copper bus bars cut and drilled for my breakers, and threw all the avionics into the panel. I also installed my GRT EIS in the panel. I'm not sure if I'll stick to the behind-panel mounting or buy a bezel and cut a big hole, but it looks at least ok how it is.