Category: Flaps

All You Gotta Do…

June 28, 2021 – A lot has happened lately. This is a long post, but it’s a lot easier to just do a post with everything I’ve done instead of breaking it out by specific project. So here goes…


We’ll start with the obvious…the panel.

I got the panel installed. I had some nice black brass screws to install the panel blank into the airplane. Well, the third screw in broke. I decided I didn’t have any magnetic sensitive need to use brass, so I ordered black steel screws. Much better. I started to install items in the panel, starting in the middle and high up, so I had access.

I installed a bracket for the alternate air, so I could keep from running the cable through the panel itself.

I also installed my glareshield lights. When everything important was in, I fired it up…

I’ve also been installing placards and labels where needed. My friend Clint Caldwell in Atlanta made me some laser-etched placards. Thanks, Clint!!!

I took the airplane outside to check on the GPS operation. Looks like a lot of green bars…


The next item to take care of was the stick grips and their wiring.

I used 9-pin dsub connectors for the stick grips. I wanted to make them as simple as possible to remove.

I had previously cut the sticks down to height, and I didn’t like the cut on the right stick. Luckily I had enough of the stick tube left over from the cut to make a new one. I then covered the sticks with vinyl again.


Since the airplane is registered and my number is official, I ordered numbers. These will be temporarily permanent. I got 12″ decals from Sporty’s. Decent price and a fairly fast turnaround. These seem huge, but for the time being they’re fine.

Landing Lights

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is to replace the HID bulbs in my Duckworks landing lights with LEDs. I ordered some on Amazon. These are very nice.

Aileron Stops

Another item I didn’t do before was to install aileron stops.

I’ve always read about delryn stops at the attach bolt as opposed to the stock angle riveted to the aileron. I started doing a bit of research as to how to do these. I thought about a guy at Aerocountry who does a bit of machining and fabrication for his RV6. I contacted him and he sent me a picture of his. We agreed to meet the next day at his hangar to talk about it. When I showed up at his hangar he handed me a bag with two stops turned to 3/4″ outside diameter, which according to my research seems to be the sweet spot for 7’s. “Here you go; I made these last night.” Wow. I love this community. I asked him what I owed him and he shrugged and said “20 bucks”.

I installed them and the upward throw is 27.5 degrees on both sides. That’s well within the required range, so I’m sticking with them.

Thanks, Colin!!! Here’s before and after, different sides, of course…


I hung the flaps and set out to rig them.

First off is just hanging the flaps.

Here’s my pin safety setup that I made when I built the wings…

The inboard upper skin of each flap did rub the fuselage skin, so I ended up removing roughly 1/8″ from each flap.

I had to make the flap rods that attach the flaps to the bellcrank inside the airplane.

The next thing I had to do was cut the holes in the belly where the flap rods come through the fuselage. This was a little difficult to do, since you’re cutting perfectly good metal, and also it’s hard to get a good shape without removing too much material. There are holes that get you started…

Oddly enough, it appears I don’t have a picture of the final holes.

I installed the flap actuator housing in the cockpit. To do this I closed the baggage compartment tunnel. I cleaned it out really well ,then installed the panel.

Then I installed the forward and aft faces of the actuator housing. I figured out that I had to install the bolt for the actuator before I installed the housing.

I connected the flaps to the bellcrank, locked the ailerons to the wingtips, lined up the flaps with the ailerons, adjusted the rods, the slid bolts into place. Put power on the airplane and ran the flaps. After a small adjustment, got the flaps to a perfect 45 degrees.


After tying some wiring back and cleaning up back there, I installed the large elevator control rod. This goes from the elevator bellcrank just behind the baggage compartment all the way back to the elevators.

I removed all of the blue film from the airplane. I’ve read how this causes some people a lot of panic about how hard it is to remove, but it was no problem. There’s a lot of it, and it took part of 2 days to get it all. I did have to drop end end of each aileron because I left the film on the leading edges and I couldn’t get to it all. It looks like…well…a new airplane. I left one panel of it on the left wing where I’m making a final to-do list. read more

Prepped flap mechanism parts

September 25, 2015 – Using the parts I previously worked on for the flap mechanism, I clecoed everything together for drilling.

Here are all the covers screwed and clecoed in place.

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The left side cover has to be notched to clear the bolt for the flap motor. Here’s the rough cut before cleaning it up:


I drilled for nutplates where necessary:


Then it was time to deburr, prep and paint.


After everything dried, I started assembling some of the parts. Used the squeezer for almost everything.

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I’ll still install the flap motor, but I probably won’t install anything in the airplane until later.

Time: 5:30

Started flap mechanism

September 16, 2015 – I started the flaps by installing the welded actuator assembly.

This assembly is fitted into the fuselage using three blocks to hold it in place. The outboard ones were previously drilled and ready to go. I just had to slide them on the ends and bolt the assembly in place. I used a little grease to get the welded tube started in the blocks, then it required a little finesse to get everything in, but I got it there.

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The center block still needed to be drilled and sawed in half. I did this per the drawing, but one of the bolt holes didn’t line up with the frame underneath the floor. I decided just to drill another hole in what should have been the correct location. Here’s the lower half of the block in place. You can see where the new hole is situated over the frame.


I used a drill bushing to drill through the structure, then took the holes up to size and fitted the block in place. I like this a lot better. I also trimmed the center tunnel cover so it fits around the block, allowing the cover to be removed without disturbing the block.

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The electric flap actuator needs to be drilled for safety wire, because it was possible for the actuator to unscrew itself and become inop. I had a drill bit somewhere in the neighborhood of a #54, and it worked just fine. I’ll safety it later.


Several brackets have to be made for the flap mechanism. I made those.


I fitted one of those brackets into the channel that holds the actuator. Only one of the holes was previously drilled, so I back-drilled the rest through the channel, and took the center hole up to 1/4″.


The 1/4″ hole in the channel gets enlarged to 5/8″ so the bolt head can sit in there.


The top of the channel is attached to the seat brace by a bent piece of angle. After cutting it out and bending it, I clamped it in place and drilled it.


Then it was time to temp install the actuator in the channel. Another angle needs to be drilled, but I needed to do that with everything in place. Here’s a view of the assembly, with the angle in place and drilled (under the nut).


The instructions say to get the actuator ready to install by running it out halfway. I hooked up the two wires to my power supply and saw which way it ran. The actuator came fully retracted. I extended it all the way and found that the full travel was 5 inches. So I used my silver Sharpie and made a small mark at 2 1/2 inches.


I ran the actuator back in and got it as close as I could to the mark. That’s where I’ll leave it until it’s installed.


I have to take it all back apart for deburring and painting, then I’ll do the final reassembly.

Time: 4:20