Work Log 5

Mears Spitfire

Brake Test Video
Work Log 5
Final Progress
The Kit
Landing Gear
Fuel System
Work Log
Work Log 2
Work Log 3
Work Log 4
Engine Log
Other Habits
Firewall Forward
First Start Video









10/28 2008  Have clecoed 1/8th and fitted aileron to wing. Trial fit gap strip. Aileron ready to rivet. (894.5hrs)

10/30/2008  Cut a hole in the fiberglass hood above the engine for access to the dip stick and oil tube. Fit the doubler and the hatch with clecos. (897hrs)

11/01/2008  With the help of a buddy manning the cleco's I made lots of headway in a short time. We disassembled the flap and aileron. dimpled both. re assembled and cleco'd 1/8th and fitted to wing.(901hrs)
11/02/2008  Started installing rivets in remaining spots in wing. (lots of 'em) Riveted the aileron and flap 50%. Installed control horn in flap. Drilled inboard flap 3/32. build inspection cover in upper cowl for oil filler and dipstick. Remounted top cowl. Removed lower cowl and scoop. Trimmed scoop as needed for final installation. Messed with figuring out how to mount a cooling fan in the scoop. Ran the engine for about 30 min. Have 11.5 hours on the engine now. (910hrs)

1/11/2009  Finally spent some time on the Spitfire. finished the rivets in the aileron and outboard flap. Including solid rivets in the trailing edges. Built the aileron pushrod and the four pushrods for the flaps.(916hrs)

1/18/2009  installed panel bond to leading edges of right wing a couple of days ago. Today spent on sanding the stuff back off. and disassembling 30 rivits to shorten them to go near the trailing edges (921hrs.)

1/31/2009 Today I cut 2" of the back of the spinner to make it fit with my prop configuration. Sanded and grind and still not satisfied. Will hit again later. (923hrs)

2/08/2009  Assembled my prop this weekend. And un assembled it, and reassembled...and so on. Cut the spinner. mounted the whole thing again. one more time off for some minor trimming and I can put it on permanent.(939hrs)

3/19/2009  Took apart the throttle quadrant to relocate the throttle cable to give a better ratio and re installed. Drilled a hole in the firewall and rand the wiring harness through for the elect prop controls. Drilled a couple of hole in the dash and mounted the electric prop controls. (943 hrs.)  Still waiting for a hanger space.

3/22/2009  Today I mounted the switches and breaker for the elect prop. Tied up the wiring harness too. Spent hours on the canopy and finally got it acceptable. Installed the gas cap cover and fasteners. Decided to try out the passenger seat....ain't NOBODY fitting in there. My grand kids might, but their mom ain't gonna let them go with me for sure. No wonder they built the 26B. It might hold a passenger. (951hrs.)

4/26/2009  Mounted up both wings for the first time. Looks good. Ran the motor for the first time with the prop on. Sounds good. (955hrs)

6/05/2009   I don't think I've noted anything on the Spitfire since I moved it to the hanger. Since the moved I've bolted on both wings, ran the engine with the prop, cut both wheel wells to accommodate the wheels when retracted, built 4 control rods for the flaps, removed the left master cylinder for replacement....guess that's about it. Gonna guess I've spent about 10 hours on the plane. Yesterday I get to the hanger, and the sand bag that I've layed on the fuse somehow, someway, decided to start leaking out the sand. Why this kinda crap happens is beyond me. Anyway, most of the sand is on the floor. Some still in the sack on the fuse. The tail wheel is about 1 foot off the ground!!!! Its just sittin' there balancin'!!! If I would have been an hour later it would have been on the prop I'm sure. So at least I know my CG is going to be close. I still lack my inboard flaps, the top of the wing stub skins, and paint. Correct CG will have only 25 lbs. on the tail wheel at flying attitude. So I will probably install a backup battery in the fuse behind the seat for final ballast. (965hrs)

6/11/2009  Filed on the trailing edges to make the outboard flap line up nice. replaced both master cylinders and lines. Measured the wing bolts that didnt fit right. sure enough, got a 7/16 bolt in a 1/2" hole. started working on linning up the right inboard flap. Got hot and went home. (969hrs.)

6/25/2009   Not happy with the support on my spinner, I decided to build a new support plate in front of the prop. 6 hours later its built and the spinner is exact center. So not I must work on that.

6/28/2009  Still working on spinner alignment. built a new front plate for it. Installed the nuts and brackets. (979hrs)

7/23/2009 Installed the correct wing bolts. Much better! Now the wings are solid I see that I need to adjust the landing gear length about 1/2 inch. I make that adjustment and now need to do the final weld. Decide to fire her up again while I'm there and NEITHER fuel pump will operate! Will look into that soon! (983hrs)


8/13/2009 Haven't up dated in a while. In the last month I've worked on the aileron pushrods, mounted the bell crank on the control stick, checked power and grounds to the two fuel pumps that don't work anymore, re-aligned the front wheels and welded the spindles, messed with the spinner alignment and still don't have it right, built the flap pushrods, and generally tinkered with everything on the plane.  (993hrs)


8/16/2009  re-inserted the spring and cushion in the left landing gear. replace one fuel pump and it works fine. still will have to replace the other one later. attempted to install the calipers and remembered back when I installed the original set of calipers they took a bit of modification to make fit. My compressor has crapped out so I'm not gonna be grinding on the calipers today. did start the engine again just cause I like to. did finish mounding the aileron pushrods to the stick. ordered a new aluminum oil tank and radiator overflow tank since the plastic ones I installed are leaking now. (997hrs)


8/22/2009   installed brake calipers. Had to do some grinding to make them fit. did some grinding on the wheel well openings. (1000hrs)

8/23/2009  I HAVE BRAKES!!  installed calipers and installed fluid. All works great! Replaced other fuel pump. (1004hrs)

8/30/2009  Removed the left inboard flap. drilled 1/8th, dimpled, and reclecoed and reinstalled. lined up all the control rods and installed the correct bolts (had it lined up before with standard bolts) I think its ready to rivit. peeled off most of the proctecto tape on the wheel fairings. With the help of a buddy its 3/4 done after over an hour for each of us. I hate that shit. Brought it back home so I can use a heat gun on it. installed a few of the brake hose clamps.  realigned the leading edges from the fuse stubs to the outer wing. (1012hrs)


9/13/2009  Shimmed up the left inboard flap to align with trailing edge. drilled and clecoed two remaining braces on the engine cowling. replaced the spark plugs. built and clecoed in the left aileron tube brace. installed the brake line guides on both sides. R and R'd the spinner again. still don't run true. (1016hrs.)


9/17/2009 Finally got all the protecto tape off the landing gear fairings. Scotch brite and etchprimed. installed the port side with clecoes. Had to change the gear adjustments to get the gear a little deeper into the wing. overall a nice fit. (1021hrs.)


9/20/2009  Trial fit, drill 3/32, bend, trial fit, drill 1/8th, trial fit, bend some more, drill and tap, clean holes, etch prime, countersink, build shims, refit, install solid rivits, and mount left wheel apron. Tried a run up but brakes wouldn't hold. Re-bled brakes and moved pedals up to get a better  angle. They still don't hold. (1027hrs)


9/24/2009 Spent 8 hours at the hanger today. Flipped the calipers over and rebled the brakes. Still don't work to my satisfaction. Finished the right wheel apron. Actual work probably...(1031hrs.)

9/27/2009  Mounted the MGL V10 radio in the dash. Planning my wiring and antenna  installation. Took the brakes apart again to see if I have something on the rotors. It looks like the back side of the rotors are painted, except I cant get it off. Carb cleaner. paint thinner, mineral spirits. I even  took my scotch bright on my vibrating sander and all the pressure I could put on it and it wont come off. It acts like powder coat. So I try my drum sander on a little spot. after it knocks off the stuff and hits metal, it all of a sudden the sander drags. It just slid on it until it cut down to the metal. So I do think this is my brake problem. I brought the rotors back to town and will hit them with a tool that we use in the shop to knock off headgaskets on aluminum heads tomorrow. Then try them again. (1033.5hrs.)

10/15/2009   Installed com antenna today. Had to be a contortionist to get that done. Was by myself as usual and it was a real bitch. Should have been a  20 min job but took me about 2 hours. Finally went and got some duct tape and that got the job done. Another one of those deals that if I would have known where and how to install antenna, about 4 years ago, it would have taken 2 minutes. Any way the MGL V10 works great. I'm really happy with my choice with that radio. Also had to put a new end on the coax for the new antenna, and rout it through the fuse again. (1037.5 hrs)


10/25/2009  Installed my PTT switch. Started fitting the top skins on the wing stubs. Drilled and dimpled the left rear one. Removed the radiator overflow bottle and the metering oil tank. figuring out how to mount the aluminum ones.  (1040hrs)

1/07/2010  My friend Hans flew in to look at the Spitfire so we could compare notes on each others build. Always lots of good info. and if nothing else, it got me off my ass to go to the hanger. Did manage to work a couple of hours. Mounted the radiator overflow tank and the oil injection tank. Already did this once with plastic tanks, and didnt like them. Had to build new brackets and bolt them to the firewall. But these really look great. (1042hrs.)


Weather finally was good enough on a day off to do some Spitfire work. routed the transponder wire harness. Messed with the oil and antifreeze cans. messed with the spinner some more. charged the battery. (1045hrs)


2/25/2010  Mounted the remote transponder and routed the wire back to it. Cut out the 3 radiator blocks and mounted the front one. Put new hoses on the radiator overflow and the metering oil pump tank. (1051hrs)

2/28/2010  build the left radiator block and mounted the left side radiator block, mounted the Transponder antenna, built the antenna coax and installed, put the plastic wire loom around transponder wiring harness (1055hrs)

3/14/2010  made and installed the ground wire for the transponder. built and installed the right side radiator fairing (1059hrs)

3/18/2010   Finished the wiring on the transponder. Has power to it, but nothing lights up. downer. May have to send it in for a look see. Drilled 3/32, then 18th, the right rear wing stub skin. (1063hrs)

4/08/2010  Drilled and dimpled the right-top-rear wing skin on the center section. Drilled-dimpled and installed blind nuts for inspection covers for same skin. (1067hrs)


4/11/2010   Today worked on making the outer flaps symmetrical for each wing. And making a nice fit and finish. That 30 minute looking task only took two hours.  Then spent the other two hours I was at the hanger having a local A&P Critique my work, which helped in several area's. I'll be making a few changes on my wiring harness. But all in all everything looks good.(1069hrs)
4/15/2010  Rivited the right inner flap together except trailing edge, did build the trailing edge and cleco'd in place. worked on aligning inner-outer flaps and ailerons and fuse. worked on fairings a bit, wow...guess that's all I accomplished. (1075hrs)

5/06/2010  Worked on the starboard, forward, center section wing stub. Have been dreading the leading edge part. Worried that it would be very hard to do. Come to find out it was a non event. All worked quite well. Drilled complete sheet 3/32, removed and cleaned, reinstalled and drilled 1/8th. Used the tie down straps as suggested in the manual and it fell right into place. Now I still have to remove it again, dimple and rivet. But got hot and tired and called it a day. (1080hrs)

5/13/2010  Drilled the forward right side wing stubs 1/8th along with the wing fairings. trimmed the fiberglass fairing to fit and drilled it too. Then did the left side. (1086hrs)


6/10/10  Finally a day at the hanger. Pulled off both top wing stub skins to put the outboard edges in the shrinker. Not they sit tight against the outer wings. Made my final adjustments to the aileron push rods and bolted them up permanent (I hope). Clecoe'd up the right side. Still need to install the push rod supports on both sides. Did remove the left aileron to adjust the trailing edge for a better wing tip alignment. Don't sound like much. but it took 7 hrs. (1093hrs)

6/13/2010  Removed the transponder to take to radio shop. Installed the aileron push rod supports on both wings. clecoed both wing stub skins back on. Will have to remove one more time and re-fit and then I think it will be ready to rivet. Ran the engine for about 20 min. just to hear it again. Removed and installed the spinner a couple of times trying to make it run true. Haven't succeeded in that yet. (1101 hrs)

7/04/2010  Removed the left wing stub skins one more time and trimmed here and there. finished the gap covers on the bottom f the wing. Cleco'd back on and Its ready to rivet. Installed the inner flap and control rods. Cut and ground on the instrument panel to accept the WWII style horizon. (1105hrs)

7/15/2010  Built the 4 inspection covers on the top of the wings. Ran the wires for the wing tip lights, reinstalled the right wing skins on the center section with cleco's. Finished riveting up the left inner flap. Riveted about 50% of the left rear center section top wing skin. Riveted the left rear wing fairing.  Built the right cover strip, and don't like it and will build another. (1112hrs)

7/18/2010  Replaced the vibration mounts in instrument cluster. Looks that will give me enough room for my horizon to miss the fuel tank. Started wiring the wing lights. Replace a couple of circuit breakers. tried to build a couple of fan brackets to mount a cooling fan until Im comfortable without one. (1116hrs)

08/22/2010  Installed the inverter for the gyro. installed the flight instrument panel and everything worked! Finished wiring the position light wire harness, fuse box and switches. (1122hrs)

10/07/2010  Finally made it back to the hanger. Drilled out the new rivets I purchased from ASpruce, and from Vans aircraft, and replaced them with factor Supermarine rivets. Bout 30. I didn't like the way they looked on the compression side and wanted everything to match. cut a new aluminum cover for the fuel tank cover, cut out the opening for the gas cap, and started drilling it for screws. Finished adjusting the wheel covers to sit tight against the wing when retracted, and adjust the leg fairing too.  (1127hrs)
10/15/2010.  Another great long day with the Spitfire. Thanks to an article in the  Sport Aviation, drilling the correct aligned holes in my new tank cover was a breeze. A long process, but all holes were aligned correct. I installed every other rivet in the forward wing skins and fairings. I think I'm about finished with cleco world!  (1133hrs.)

10/31/2010  Finished riveting the top center section wing panels. finished the fairings. I lack the solid rivets in the one inner flap, and permanently installing the lower scoop, and I'm DONE with rivets! (1137hrs)

11/11/2010  Got my transponder back from the radio shop. Installed it, but haven't wired it yet. ready for hot and ground wires to be hooked up. touched up the etch priming on the rudder. preparing for some kind of paint. Removed the fairing from the left side of the stab and installed some lock nuts in skin. took a crap and called it a day. (1142hrs)

11/21/2010  Drilled dimpled and riveted the few remaining rivets in the engine cowl around the exhaust. Drilled 1/8th in the scoop and prepared to rivet. While I had it off I replaced both fuel pumps. That being done, I've decided to rivet the scoop on. (1146hrs)

5/16/2011 I've had lots of inquiries on the Spitfire. Here's an update. The winds and sand have been just awful lately. I've been to the hanger twice so far this year. Each time is is sooooo dirty, I just don't get much done. I spend more time cleaning than I do working. The last time out the sand was blowing so bad I didn't even bother to try to clean. But its just too dirty to work on. Everything in the hanger is one color. The plane, workbench, too box, floor....just all covered in dirt. So I've given up till I get back from Europe in June. By then the sand shouldn't be blowing (hoping we get rain!) and I can get back to work. I need to install wing tip lights, do a weight and balance to locate the position of the backup battery, and paint it.  

6/12/2011  Made it back from my European Competition. Took a respectable 3rd place. Went to the hanger to see if I even still had an airplane. There it was, covered in our spring sand storm camouflage. Me and my better half took the lawn blower to the hanger and plane and blew the dirt off. She was looking pretty was the plane. Poured in some fresh fuel, fired her up and did a slow taxi around the taxiway. Took the weight off the tail and did a pretend balance with the bathroom scale. At flying attitude it has a couple of pounds on the tail gear. Should be 25. So I'm not too far off. Might try to do the real thing next Sunday, weather permitting. (1148hrs)
























6/30/2011 Well, its my birthday today. And my day off at work. And the sand isnt blowing, and it's only spoze to be 104 today. Must be a Spitfire day! Finished wiring the transponder. But it has all EEEEE's on the screen. So still have work to do there. Dismantled about 30 rivets and filled them down to fit in the last holes next to the trailing edges and installed them. Sanded the top cowl for a bit better fit and reinstalled. Built a new dipstick for the engine. (1153 hrs)