I had a couple of little bits of luck today. The first boat chandler I phoned this morning at Wateringbury said they’d be open all day and that she had a selection of stainless steel shackles in stock. So after I’d got myself sorted out, I dropped into Portguide Marine at Bow Bridge on my way through. What a very nice lady she turned out to be. When I saw the shackles that she had available, they were all a bit too big and chunky for what I wanted and intended more for larger river boats than small sailing dinghies, which is the kind I was looking for. I happened to mention that although I was going to buy two matching shackles in fact I only needed one and that was only because the clevis pin and safety ring had been lost from the one I already had.
She then nipped smartly round to the rotary display rack that I hadn’t taken much notice of up to then and started pulling blister packs of replacement clevis pins off it to compare them to the one I was holding. She even ripped a pack open to take a closer look. It turned out that there was a pack of two clevis pins on there of exactly the same size as mine – £1.70 + VAT complete with rings. I apologised that I couldn’t spend more with her as she counted out my change and then off I went. What a bit of luck and what a Happy Bunny I was 🙂
I didn’t bother untying MYRO and pulling it out because with the nose and tail tie-downs left on I could clamber around inside without fear of it tilting and over-balancing in either direction. I’d already attached the external aileron cable connections and all that was needed was for me to attach the two inner ones. I did the first one without too many problems and Bob arrived while I was getting ready to do the second. That was another bit of luck because I knew that the last connector would be the biggest problem because of the tension in the aileron cables.
I propped both ailerons up to minimise the tension in the cable run as far as possible and struggled for a bit to connect the last shackle, but without success. So I then decided to stop for a cup of tea and a chat. Afterwards Bob said that he’d come down to give me a hand to do the last connector but before he did, I realised that if I disconnected one of the external aileron connections it would then be easier to connect the one I was having problems with inside the aircraft, because the aileron cables would then be totally slack. That would also mean the last fiddly one would be on the outside where I could easily get at it. It worked like a charm, so it shows that it pays to use your brains before starting the job rather than after.
When Bob came down, I removed the prop from under the aileron on the side that I’d disconnected and asked him to gently lift it. He did and I had the last shackle fitted in a couple of seconds. In many ways this was a bit of an anti-climax because with that shackle on, bar the prop, it meant that MYRO was at last fully back in one piece for the first time since August 2008. It was great to move the stick from side to side and see the ailerons moving up and down as they should – quite an occasion to celebrate 😀
All I could do then was tidy up but I had to take a few pics, of course, to mark the occasion. If you compare the next shot, below, with the last shot from the previous post, you’ll notice that for the first time since the wings went back on, the ailerons now don’t both droop downwards but instead line up as they should.
The next two shots show that MYRO is at last beginning to look like a complete, flyable aircraft, just the way it should.
The next pic is the first shot I’ve taken of the new panel since the wings went back on. All of the panel shots taken up to now with the wings off have given a totally wrong impression because of the amount of light entering the cabin. With the shadow produced by the wings this shot shows much more what it will be like flying MYRO with its new panel.
We’ve had a strong, gusting south-westerly wind today (the last thing you need really, when working on ailerons…) so before I secured MYRO’s doors to go home I took a strong bungie cord and used it to lock the control stick so it was held down and was also unable to move from side to side. That way the wind will not be able to damage any of the control surfaces by banging them up and down. The final shot I took from the rear shows the ailerons now nicely lining up with each other.
So what’s left to do? Not a lot now. The remaining biggest and most important job is fitting the prop and aligning the blade pitch, but with the right tool that should not take too long. Then all I have to do is tidy up the little digs and nicks in the fabric, do the paperwork for the Mods that now apply and make the placards that must be on display in the cabin. Then MYRO will be ready for inspection and permitting. Yes, I really am on the home straight now, with the finishing line almost (but not quite) in sight. 😉