Hex flap drive rods

Purchased flap drive rods from Cleveland Aircraft Tool. They are stronger than the stock round drive rods.


Gear bolt retainers

Installed to allow easy access and torquing of gear bolts. The added thickness of the retainers requires a longer bolt. I installed NAS6606-36 bolts, same grip slightly longer threaded end. These bolts are for Showplanes gear the stock Vans gear will require a different length bolt.

The retainers are sold by a guy on VAF but he is not easy to find. His email is diamondwave@zoomtown.com $40 a set as of this posting.

Brake lines

Finally got a set brake lines from Aircraft Specialty, the brake system is now complete.


Wingtip stiffeners 

Fabricated wingtip stiffeners using a CPVC pipe cut in half as a mold. Glassed up two layers then filled the center with flox. Slightly heavier than I wanted but stiff enough.


Showplanes Fastback conversion

  • High quality kit. Since I have a slow build fuselage I was able to add the ribs and skin as I built the fuselage. 

The canopy directions are not the best for a neophyte. The only gotchas are:

The gas strut location end on the seat back support. Keep in mind the strut will further collapse as canopy opens. My location was almost too short. Better to have the canopy go slightly beyond 90° when open to prevent bottoming while closing.

I would make reference marks on the canopy before trimming. Two on each side at 1/4 graduations and centerline forward and aft.

When trimming the forward end of the canopy have someone help push the canopy sides to the flange. Doing so raises the front of the canopy. Mine ended up with about a 1/2″ gap. Tracing the contour of the skirt with a sharpie onto the canopy will maintain proper shape as you trim the front.

Before bonding canopy to frame cleco parts together then mask off inside of canopy at upper flange for hysol squeeze out. This prevents tape for being pinched between the flange if masked slightly low.

Bond canopy with frame on a table then remove inside tape and squeeze out ASAP. Then install canopy onto plane and cure. Add extra mask anywhere you think squeeze out may drip.


Removable rudder fairing 

Installed nutplates to allow for removal of rudder fairing.


Rudder cable exit fairings 

Added formed aluminum exit fairings.