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Air Camper Construction Log
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Date:  2-13-2010
Number of Hours:  8.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Cross Braces and Compression Struts

This winter is brutal. We have been experiencing below average temps and several moderate to heavy snow storms almost weekly. It really hasn’t helped my progress much, but I’m trying to squeeze a few hours in here and there. The temps were in the mid 50s this afternoon, so I got up early and got started.

With my hardware and compression struts installed, I started my day by applying tension to the drag/anti-drag cables. I started by adjust all four turnbuckles by hand as tight as I could get them, then I started working around the horn giving each turnbuckle 1/2 turns, checking each cable with a tensiometer as I went.

I did a little test a few weeks ago with a cable. Many of the guys on the forums said that if tuning cables by ear, they should be tightened to the point that they resonate to the tune of G, like a guitar string. I did this and then checked the cable with the tensiometer… it read ~190 pounds. I spoke to Chuck Stephenson (local A&P AI) about this reading, and the note of G style adjustment. He confirmed that strumming the cable is a fairly accurate method, and also thought that 190 pounds of tension wasn’t unreasonable.

Anyhow, I proceeded to adjust the turnbuckles until I got each of them in the 190 pound range. A fellow could chase his ass all day (and then some) trying to get each one of these cables adjusted exactly the same, but I think mine are all within 5 pounds of each other. Once adjusted, I secured the silicone tubing between them in order to reduce wear, but I still need to install safety wire.

Once I had all that done, I changed gears to cutting/shaping the diagonal braces required to finish up the wing. A couple of hours of cutting and shaping and I was ready to mix some glue. About that time, Roger showed up and asked if I wanted to go for a ride in the Champ. Heck yeah! So, we went out and killed a half an hour. That little airplane is way cool… I hope my Air Camper is that much fun. We flew over Stone Creek, The Patriot, The Port… low and slow.
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Chain Link Shackles

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Silicone Tubing

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Grumman Wildcat

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