Welcome to a work in progress

This blog is dedicated to the restoration and modification of a Glasfl├╝gel Standard Libelle H201B, and a tribute to those who have dared to do the same, and to those who are helping with seeing this dream take flight.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strip that paint!

Between school and looking for work, I started removing the parts from the fuselage. As soon as I could inspect them in the light of day, the extent of the corrosion became apparent.

These are the linkages for the push rods that actuate the airbrakes,............... 

 ............. the elevators,

.............. the ailerons

.........and the rudder.

The stick was also a mess. It was full of old sticky grease and had surface corrosion.

The rudder pedals were also in the same condition.

The elevator horn did not show signs of corrosion, but it was chipped up and had white over spray on it when the horizontal stabilizer was repainted after the damage to it was repaired.

The last parts to be removed was the main landing gear.

There was little corrosion on the main strut, the paint was worn away in spots, that made it mandatory to get these parts cleaned up and repainted.

Most of the metal parts had some sort of surface corrosion on them. I used a product called "Aircraft Paint Remover", though the joke is a warning label stating, "Do not use on aircraft"! This product striped the paint off real quick!. It is highly caustic, and proper protection must be worn.

During the process of striping the paint, there were numerous GRP bushing that began to unravel. I contacted Streifeneder to see if the bushings were available, and rest assured, they were!

The next concern I had were with the bearings. Most of them seemed OK, but after they were cleaned, the ball bearings were slightly pitted and crusty. I sent so far, four sets to be replaced by Streifeneder. I know there will be more.

After the paint was stripped off, I needed to remove the surface corrosion as soon as possible. Fortunately I live in an arid climate, and the corrosion did not manifest itself further on the areas that were now unprotected.

There was a discussion about sending the cleaned parts out to be sandblasted, since the corrosion was light and on the surface (no pitting), it was easier to use fine wet-dry sandpaper to polish the parts up (also, sandblasting might damage the parts by removing too much of the surface metal). I used acetone to clean them again and remove any metal and grease film. The results ... shiny clean parts!
(though, in this photo, the rudder control was not finished being cleaned)

There were two parts that needed to be sent to Streifeneder to be overhauled per a technical note.

The aileron actuator shaft needed banding straps welded to the control rod attachment points.

And the elevator linkage on the stick.

These parts needed to be inspected and modified along with the bearings.

A few weeks later the parts were returned to me. The corrected parts were repainted, and the bearings were better than the originals!

Now that I have all of the parts cleaned and ready for painting...

I need to create a paint booth and get these parts painted!