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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back in the garage

Early spring is here and the car has been swapped with the MAV in the garage! Good to have her back in the garage at home, which from now on is called the hangar. Need to mount all controls, trim, wire harnesses, tank, instrument panel etc. When all that is done, I'll take her back to Kjeller for full body covering.
The BC-659 radio box shows below. However, the radio box needs sandblasting except for the front plate which was a spare part never used. Looking at the back seat curved tube, it looks almost as if it's too low. I don't think there should be as much as an inch gap between the wooden shelf and the tube. Will have to check that.
Floorboard color is a hint darker than the OD on the walls. I could off course give the floorboards a top coat with the Sikkens Autocoat OD which is used on the ceconite, but I don't know how the auto paint will stick to the wood in the long run, I'm afraid it might peal off. The floorboard paint is outdoor paint for wood, so that should keep well. I think I will tolerate the slightly different OD variant there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Text on plates

This was hard! I have seen some really nice ones out there, wonder how they did it... I used a 1-2 mm brush and was not happy with the outcome. Too much wine ?... Nope. I guess the best solution would have been a kind of marker pen which leaves enough paint. Oh well, I'll let it dry and ask some advice before trying again.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Picked up parts from the local sandblaster. He's a nice guy, ha has done many other projects for aircraft restoration for the local museum. His father was a ME109 pilot for the Luftwaffe in WW2...
Parts look great. Next week I will take the fuselage from the airport back into my garage - then hopefully the project will gain momentum!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Parts from Dick Hall

It was a good day yesterday. All parts produced by Dick Hall arrived, as well as new color sample cards from Steve Dunn (I think I have lost the ones I had). Anyway, the L-4 specific parts from Dick Hall is essential to any authentic L-4. These are parts that was specific for military deliveries and you can't get them anywhere else unless you make them yourself. They are:

- Map holder to go on the aft right side wall
- Sheet metal bow for protecting elevator control wires
- Aft fuselage cover
- Observer seat back belts
- L-4 Checklist

We fly the J3's / L-4's from the back seat only in Norway. However, for static display on air shows etc. it will be good to show how it was used in the ETO during WW2. The OD color also matches mine pretty well. Very satisfied! :-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

First attempt to cover

My first ever experience with covering an airplane! Using ceconite 102. It's time consuming, but with patience and good guidance from the Aeromech guys, it went fairly well. Did the insides of the fuselage today so the floorboards can go in next. Then at the end of this week I should get some parts from the sandblaster.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slowly, but getting there...

Hi all, I'm not dead! It's been a while since last status update. So whats new:

- Fuselage welding work complete.
- Wing tip bows repaired - wings ready for paint!
- Firewall fitted to fuselage and front window.
- Stringers mounted.
- Floors fitted and painted.
- Trim parts being assembled now.

This is how she looks now:

Wooden stringers assembled using waxed chord, the type used for wiring harness etc. I was recommended this in order to avoid the tape protecting tubes from the safety wire. The chord is more gentle to the tubes and should not keep moist as protecting tape would do.

Next week I will be covering the inside sidewalls, so the floorboards can be mounted for good. Then starts assembly of breaks, rudders and all the inside mechanics. Break cylinders was taken apart the other night. It's amazing how LL100 AVGAS will work as cleaning fluid! Look at the break cylinders below - where else can you get effective cleaning chemicals for 2 Euros per liter! ?

Finally, I mentioned the wing tip bows was repaired. Got new bows from Univair. Wings are basically ready to be sprayed OD. Will try to do most of the paint job myself when spring gets here with warm temperatures. NB! Wings will be restored in "a few seasons" from now. They are in pretty good shape and was thoroughly inspected when opened.

Oh, almost forgot! Rudder pedals all had a bad deep cut, probably from wear against the tight spring. At my uncles summer party in Sweden, I met a former SAS aircraft welder (Scandinavian Airline Systems). He is one of those who said he would help out - and kept his word! I handed him the pedals and he repaired them nicely ready for priming and paint. I'm spraying the minor parts up in the garage loft, but my wife will kill me when she notices that all clothes etc. kept up there now smells of thinner and paint... wish me luck.