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January 2004
Much work on the two fuselage halves. Our next big job is to glue top and bottom together.
Ian celebrated breaking the 1000 hour mark by accidentally breaking our last (expensive) double helix drill bit. Peter was so un-amused that he had a double dose of white powder to calm him down:


Peter after a white powder session

With the top on (temporarily)


27 January 2004
We rigged the wings into the fuselage to check the angle of incidence. This involved working outside on Peter's driveway on probably the coldest day of the year.

Chose the wrong day to do this!

Set up for incidence


Mount for wing pin

These radiators are very efficient!


February 2004
The month came and went. We had to rig the wings a few times to get the incidence right, then construct a cardboard box around the wings to keep them warm while the redux cured. Ian spent two weeks on holiday while Peter did the rather horrible and fiddly job of installing the wing tie bar. Some of the nuts were so awkward to reach that Peter resorted to super-glueing them to his fingers while he tightened the bolts with his other hand.

6 March 2004
We rigged the wings again to mark and cut the slots for the flap operating bar. We checked the wing incidence again and found it was spot on - exactly 2.5 degrees!

April & May 2004
Just a brief summary update this time.
We continued to work on the flap operating controls, fitted the actuator and adjusted everything. Also finished the interior bulkhead and generally tidied up ready to put the top on. We wanted to do this because it is a milestone - it stops looking like a boat and starts looking like a plane. But everyone said don't glue it on until we absolutely must. It is so much easier to get access without the top - so we decided to leave it till later.

We spent a day going to the midlands and to Yorkshire in a borrowed van to collect our engine and installation kit. We figured that after waiting several unsuccessful months for Europa to arrange delivery we'd get it ourselves. We now have a lovely new Rotax 912S in a cardboard box. The propeller is still in New Zealand, so we'll probably have the share the driving when we go to pick this up.

Here are a few more pictures

one wing in the garage and a tarpaulin to keep the heat in

Cut out for the finger brake mod

here is the wing tie bar - doesn't look like a week's work!

The rear bulkhead - all complete

30 May 2004
Having spent the previous day at Wentworth watching the golf and enjoying the hospitality we were probably not in the best condition for today's work. We aimed to get the legs and wheels on the plane. Just about everything went wrong. Nothing fitted properly, we didn't have the right tools, and we greased all the bits we weren't supposed to. In the end we pulled the nose wheel apart and heard air gushing out of a hole in the inner tube - caused by the tube being pinched between the two halves of the wheel casing. We packed up early and went home.

JUNE 2004
We finally got the beast on its own legs, and moved the cradle into the garden. We also sorted out a slightly kinked fuel tube. We bought a right angled fitting (from a racing car specialist) to attach to the fuel cock. Next job is fitting the bungee. We have booked places at the hernia clinic in readiness.

Fitting the bungee worked out quite well. We borrowed ideas from Kevin Pilchner and Richard Iddon. We split the bungee cord into five sections and made them into loops using rope clamps. Then we fixed an eye hook into the concrete floor and bought a £6 cargo webbing ratchet. We used this to pull the bungee cord down far enough to slip over the bars. The tension is very high and if anything gave way it could have caused serious brain injury to the person under the plane. Because Peter has substantially more brain cells spare, he volunteered to operate the ratchet under the plane. Here are some pictures: