assembly has started

The tail boom has been fitted into the centre section and the nose cone has been repaired and trimmed to fit around the footwell fairing. Now its time for painting the fuselage.

Glass, fill, sand, fill, sand . . . . .

Recently, I’ve done hours of fibre-glassing, filling and sanding on the fuselage rear footwell and wing centre section to get them reinforced and smooth for painting. Side windows have been cut out (between the front and rear canopies) to widen the pilot’s field of view. An improved fuel transfer system has been fitted, so by twisting a lever the pilot can quickly transfer fuel from the wing tank down to the main tank. The wiring loom, new brake cables, new elevator trim cable and new elevator Teleflex cable have now been threaded into place, and the kevlar sides have now been glued onto the fuselage.

Mods approved

RAANZ has approved some mods, so Bruce has constructed an up-rated 450kg main undercarriage and added a deeper footwell for passenger comfort (with a streamlined fibreglass fairing). Lots of fun has been had machining undercarriage inserts, axle spacers, threaded inserts (for fitting rod ends) and window latch parts.

Bruce’s Shadow rebuild

Shadow B-D (ZK-KLH) stripped down before restoration

Bruce’s personal project is re-building and modifying ZK-KLH, a Shadow B-D microlight. Murray Hagen originally built this aircraft in 1989, alongside its sister CFM kit plane ZK-TTE. After seven years of flying, dogged by many engine failures, one day the Rotax 532 finally gave up. The result was a ‘less-than-happy’ landing breaking the main landing gear and damaging a wingtip.

During storage one of the big Fiordland earthquakes damaged the wing leading edge, a prop blade was broken and pesky starlings had picked huge amounts of foam out of the centre section ribs. Fortunately Murray was able to supply spare foam, plywood, new wingtips, new main landing gear, a replacement prop (custom built by Brent Thompson) and an unused Rotax 582 engine.

The wing’s 1.2m plywood leading edge has now been repaired.  Much of the restoration work on the fuselage and wings has now been completed. The aluminium joining tubes of the tail feathers have been crack-tested – some replacements and reinforcing were neccessary. UHMWPE bushes have been fitted inside the tail boom to stop wear on the tailplane mounting tubes. The tail surfaces have been re-covered with polyester fabric.