EAA Chapter 245

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Zenith 750 CruZer Project

Airventure 2016 at Oshkosh, Zenair built 5 wings to give to EAA chapters across North America.  Ameet Nidmarty instigated our chapter to get involved in building a set of the wings.  Bill Reed took up the challenge to co-ordinate getting the wings transportation back to Canada.  A big thank you to Bill Reed (chapter 245,, and Ed Lubitz chapter 115).  Ed managed the transportation.  Phil Johnson & Ritz Bartoli drove up, with a trailer, to Zenair Limited which is located on the Huronia Airport (CYEE), in Midland Ontario Canada. They picked up the remainder of the kit and soon chapter 245 had everything it needed to get started with the build. 

Zenair Ltd offered to support our chapter by providing a two day complimentary training session at the chapter hangar in which approximately 30 of our members attended.  Construction techniques were very different to those found on RV products and it took some recalibration for those builders who had built their own RV's.  With the wood burning stove in the chapter clubhouse, the project started to take shape.

The Chapter now has the wings in storage and a complete CruZer kit to be assembled.  Thanks to the interminable team of volunteers at the Chapter's Sunday morning get-togethers, the fuse, and tail feathers are now 90% done and 90% to go.

The aircraft is worked on at the chapter's hangar Sunday Mornings starting at 10 AM.  Chapter 245 welcomes anyone who wishes to try their hand at building an aircraft, to come along to our chapter facility on a Sunday morning someone there will work with you and get you involved.


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The fuselage was moved into the heated workshop for the winter (2019-2020) and work concentrated on fitting the empennage and connecting rudder and elevator cables and balancing the elevator.

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Control cables were connected to the elevator bell crank / control torque tube.

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Weights were added in different combinations to achieve a balanced elevator. The weights are zinc chromate green at the end of the elevator balance arm.  

 
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Final installation of the elevator control pulley involves a safety clevis pin to prevent the cable from jumping out of the pulley.

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Fairings for the rudder cables were added, nylon cord was used initially before cutting the steel cables to length.

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Rudder cable and turnbuckle assembly that attaches the cable to the rudder horn.  Final assembly will involve setting cable tension and then safety wiring the turnbuckle.  
 

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Rudder cables attached to the rudder pedals; parts of the brake cylinders can also be seen.

Work resumed on the Cruzer in September 2020 after COVID-19 restrictions eased a bit and builders could work with adequate distancing while wearing masks. The project was moved into the Chapter 245 hangar where the empennage was re-assembled to the fuselage and the wings were installed.

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Wings were installed using wing stands while the main spar bolts were inserted. The wings adjusted to be perpendicular to the fuselage centre line by measuring from wing tips to the top fuselage centre line at a point just in front of the rudder fin position.

 

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Once the wings were set to perpendicular, the rear spar bolt holes were drilled. Our youngest builder, at 14, is busy deburring and cleaning up the holes.

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Wing dihedral was then set relative to a string drawn tightly along the main spar rivet line and between the wingtips. This allowed the struts to be cut to length and installed to give self supporting wings.

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The Chapter Mill/Drill was used to remove excess mass from the steel weights with final adjustments being made in small increments of about 5 to 10 grams.  Weights were clecoed in place after achieving neutral balance on each flap and aileron individually and then checked again after being bolted together to form the balanced flaperon.

 
 

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With wings in place, installation of the ailerons and flaps began with flaperon balance weights to be added.

 

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Aileron and flap balance weights in position on the starboard wing with the flaperon balanced in its neutral position.  The weights will be primed and painted bright yellow to try and minimize the number of times it is likely to walk into one and dent your forehead!  As of 22nd November 2020, this is where the project stands. Plans for the winter involve interior work in the cockpit, the instrument panel and the engine mount welding for the Jabiru 3300 that the Chapter has for rebuild.

 
 

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Final riveting of the rudder hinge assembly took place to allow installation of the rudder and complete the empennage installation.

 
 

December 2020


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A new access panel was made to give pitot / static tube access under the port wing.  The pitot tube assembly itself can be separated from the access panel if required by drilling out four A4 rivets.

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Four underwing access panels were installed, 2 for each wing.

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Nut plates and washer head screws were used instead of A4 rivets for the tail inspection panels. These give access to the lower elevator cable where it passes under a pulley as well as access to wiring connections for the section of Bowden cable that goes to the elevator trim motor.

 

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Martin finished welding the jig together from which the Jabiru 3300 engine mount will be fabricated.

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Beginnings of the engine mount!  The steel mounting plates that will bolt to the firewall have been cut to size and clamped into position with clecos. The protruding cleco ends mark the pilot holes for the mounting bolts. Steel tubing will connect the steel plates to form the mount.

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The instrument panel blank was put in place temporarily to help visualize the area covered by the panel and to promote dreaming about various instrument layouts. The space heater and orange tarp make the cockpit a bit warmer during winter and help to prevent fingers from freezing!


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