Monday, 9 May 2016

Off to the painters

A very strange feeling today, seeing the fruits of my labour driving off into the distance.

I guess this is what it must feel like sending your child off to school for the first time?

I know it is in safe hands with Murray Flint though, he was very particular about tying everything down securely.

In 5 weeks or so it should be back.

Murray tying things down.

All done, ready for the road.

It will look a little more colourful next time we see it.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Week 247 - Fuselage Base, Gear fairings and wing fitting.

Hours to date: 2568.0

A fairly busy week, lots of heavy lifting and moving wings around.

The fuselage base is now finished on the outside, still have to bond the inside at the back - only the bits you can get to through the baggage area mind you.

Had a bit of fun when I couldn't get one of the wings off. I forgot to tape up one small area on the inside and that stuck quite well!

The solution was to use a long piece of wood and with a piece of foam taped to the end to protect the spar - hammer it out using a soft mallet on the wood.

Turns out I had to use this method each time on each wing, as I am working by myself and I cannot really pull that hard on the wing to get it out without the fuselage moving too.

So that was 6 times in all as there is the wing to root gap - filled with flock, then the wing to fuse outside profiling to do - using micro - top and bottom, one at a time. What a long week!

I've also been fitting (well trying to) the gear leg fairings. They fit so tightly around the gear leg that even when you take almost all the material off the inside of them they still do not slide down the leg without having to take a bit of material off the gear leg itself. By this time they were very thin at the opening and I couldn't help them getting a crack or two. Will have to repair those later.

As you will see below they don't fit that well to the fuselage at the front either which is a real pain - still not absolutely sure what to do here as a fix. Probably will have to build out the area that has a gap underneath with layers of glass then sand down the top area afterwards and try to get a nice finish, this won't be easy...

After reading the manual about the fixings I decided to do an 'Andy mod' to them as if you just used the M6 screws straight into the fiberglass fairing it would be no time at all till they had worn out the holes and the fairings would work down the leg and be loose. No good at all I thought, so what to do? I modified some washers by cutting 8 slots and roughing them up so that the flock would ooze through the slots and bond them in place. The same type of principle as the composite threaded post fasteners I have used elsewhere. They have holes in the base for the flock to ooze through.

Now we have a metal to metal contact and hopefully this should last and keep these fairings tightly in place for a good while.

I wasn't looking forward to cutting the threads into the gear legs for the M6 screws but as it turns out the gear leg is quite soft - not solid carbon as I previously thought - so it was quite easy.

Unfortunately these fairings cannot be fixed to the fuselage base as they must be free to move when the gear leg flexes. I see Adrian Hatton did it the other way around and fixed them to the fuse rather than the leg.

I've got the painter - Murray Flint - coming down on Monday to pick everything up and get going on the paintjob. I am ready, sort of :) Maybe I will have to take a few small pieces up to him later on, we'll see what he says on Monday.

Things may go a bit quiet on the blog while Murray is painting as he will have everything for 5 weeks, however I still have a few little jobs to do so will be updating with those as I go.

Fuselage base bonded on and reinforced with glass tape on the edges, then made flush with filler.

Extending the root edge to match the flap - it had to have 15mm added. I used two pieces of glass tape, one on the top and one underneath - seemed to work out okay.

This is the area I forgot to put packing tape on so it stuck. (central vertical bit).

Solution to removing stuck wing? Hit it with hammer lad! Wood through the spar tunnel.

Washers modified for bonding to the gear leg fairings.

Bonded in place. Hopefully these will last longer than just plain fiberglass touching a metal screw.

On the wing gaps make sure you use plenty of flock so it oozes out - don't scrimp here!

Gear leg fairing, fits okay everywhere except at the front inside edge.

Fitting okay everywhere else.

The Starboard side is even worse - quite a bit gap here. Gonna be a pain to fix.

Up on the hoist to get the gear legs back on - not fun trying to do this by yourself!

Fuselage base looks good now it is all fitted and flush.

Final access panel done at last. This one is on the top of the fuselage just behind the firewall.

All that work is worth it for the tape width gap you end up with. Hardly any room for paint!