The Mercury Bay Student Aviation Trust plane build team has begin in earnest for the first term of 2023. They are making good progress after some of the wrong parts arrived and had to be sent back. The students involved in the plane build programme are aware that this is the only highschool or college in the country where students actually learn to build an airplane. As well as that they are tutored by people who ar e pilots or who have had experience in the maintenance of airplanes over the months of building a plane, the students learn the physics of flying, get to experience flight and work with every small step of engineering and design to build each stage of the plane. It takes two years to build a plane. This is truly an amazing programme of which MBAS is very proud.
Leigh Hopper of Hopper Construction is the purchaser of the plane that is under construction. He is happy to support and take an interest in the progress of the project and knows that previous planes built by the students and tutors and teachers are flying in the air.
Plane build diary
Removing the Flaperons for Painting
One of the first jobs today was to remove the flaperons so that they can be sent off to Ace Panel and Paint to get painted. The paint has been sent to us by Resene’s and we are excited to see some of the components in Leigh’s chosen colour. We will share pictures once they are done. Casey was assigned this small job under the guidance of Graham.
Today is the day that the landing gear is supposed to go on however one of our mentors wasn’t happy with the sealant on the brake fittings that go into the gear leg. The sealant didn’t look like it had set. The call was made to re do these fittings, this has put us back a little however everything we do needs to be done right. The sealant issue was resolved later in the day and the gear legs were set for fitting. It’s great to see the landing gear going on after many delays due to incorrect parts being sent.
Wiring Inside the Cockpit
Hugo and Cameron are back working with Steve to continue wiring the components inside the cockpit. Todays tasks included changing over the fuel pump controller as advised by a service bulletin, checking all grounding wires and ensuring all wires are away from any moving parts.
Searching for Parts
One of our mentors Steve has taken time out to digitally upload all of our parts inventory and digitised them so that we can search a number and be directed straight to that box on the shelf. This will be a game changer as far as time spent looking for parts on the shelf.
Fitting the Vertical and Horizontal Stabiliser Casey is learning about how the RV-12 goes together and has been given the job of fitting the vertical stabiliser, it’s starting to look like a real plane!