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April/May 2006

We spent lots of time deciding about our instrument panel and even longer assembling it. We are both new to electronics, but we quickly got the hang of things. The back still looks a bit like spaghetti but we are gradually tidying it up into a loom so it looks more like cannelloni.

It was nice clean work and fairly enjoyable. Hardly any swearing except when we tested the radio and found one of the microphones didn't work. Because it didn't work we couldn't even hear the swearing! We e-mailed the manufacturer in Germany. They responded asking if we had tried moving the little switch on the side as per page 3 of the manual. Of course we hadn't. Manuals are for sissies. Anyway it sorted out the problem.

We reached a major milestone in April. After several completely hashed up attempts at soldering and some very burnt fingers, Peter finally gave in and borrowed Ian's reading glasses. It made a huge difference instantly. It comes to all of us eventually. We now have at least six pairs of specs placed around the workshop.


Early fit with Peter's hairy leg.
Spaghetti front of firewall
Spaghetti rear of firewall
Voltage Regulator
Finished panel - ready for painting

June/July 2006

Goff Moore came to see us last November and we tried really hard to put him off building a Europa. We failed miserably. Although Goff has decided not to build his own Europa (for the time being anyway), he has joined us and bought into our project. We waited until his cheque had cleared before telling him that his main task over the next few weeks is to finish the filling and sanding! We let him sit in the plane just to get the feel of it.

Goff has a share in a Mooney and he kindly agreed to take us on a trip to Blackpool. So here are some pictures of three aircraft builders enjoying a rare moment of leisure.

On the pier

By the Mooney

On departure


Hi vis jacket - just in case you can't see Peter!

Goff is always very health conscious


The following text is from Peter. He has an accountant's sense of humour:

"Whilst Ian was away on yet another holiday Peter started work on the speed kit. When he came to use the resin pump it wouldn't work and he noticed the hardener tank was full of crud. It appeared that the hardener had become like sludge all on its own. This entailed emptying the tank and cleaning it out. Peter used acetone for this and it was a very difficult job getting rid of the gunk. Eventually it appeared to be okay but upon re-assembly the hardener reservoir developed a leak. Peter subsequently discovered that the seal is damaged by acetone but he thought it best not to tell Ian! Ian ordered a new seal from the States and upon re assembly everything was fine."

"Work resumed on the fitting of the speed kit. Peter donated a lot of money to the swear box when fitting the wheel spats. Holes have to be determined for fixing points and this proved to be a 3 dimensional jigsaw. Eventually the wheels had to come off several times before the holes could be drilled. In the end all was well but it took a lot of time and effort to get it right."

"Ian then went on another holiday and Peter tackled the fitting of the springs to replace the bungee for the nose gear. This also turned out to be a fun job. Stretching the springs with an engine hoist and inserting bolts to spread it certainly made Peter a little apprehensive. He was worried that if something went wrong the springs might project themselves through his bedroom floor. However after a bit of fiddling they went in successfully, so hopefully our Europa won't be nodding like the dog in the back window of your car."

"We decided to fit panels in the wheel spats so that the tyres could be re inflated without removing the spats. This required splash mouldings to be made. When we came to use the pump it was totally solid and would not move. Investigation revealed a plastic cup had fallen into the hardener. But guess what was in it - yes, resin leftovers! The hardener and resin then formed a very nice crust of glue in the innards of the pump locking it up. Accusations of carelessness flew around the workshop. Obviously it wasn't Peter because he never makes mistakes. The last person to use the pump was Ian and our new member Goff. Ian took the hit on the chin like a man, folded back his ears and whimpered apologies. It took some severe leverage to extract the piston from the cylinder but Peter manfully tackled the task and won. The innards were all coated with glue that had to be scraped out. Ian called the man in the States to order new seals and valves."

Here is th finished inspection hatch in the wheel spat:

We also now have a fourth member of our team, Peter's new Weimariner Egan:

We have found that if we smear honey on parts we need to sand, Egan's rough tongue soon smooths the surface for us. (Only joking).