Chapter 5 - Fuselage Sides

Jigs & longerons

I followed the plans and it went just fine. I made my jigs one evening (in the living room), then layed-up the longerons the next day. The position of the doublers at the front is important. I learned (later) that bulkhead F28 needs to be at 6.25 from F22 (aft face to aft face) so it clears the canard trailing edge. (not 5.9). I have this on good authority and it's discussed in detail in the archives. Since f28 laps over the doubler its real handy for the doubler to be where F28 needs to go. By pure luck, I JUST made it on to the doubler in Chap 6. I wish I'd known about all this when laying up the longerons.

The sides

I was a bit worried about the 5 Min epoxy. Had to put LOTS of dabs on the jigs to get the foam to stay put. Thought I'd never get the foam off the jigs. They came off with a "pop" as per plans. Brought half the masonite with them, but there was definitely a pop! The masonite came off the foam without too much trouble, and a lot of the foam that it damaged will be cut away later in Chap 7. I hollowed out the stick relief, but decided I didnít like the circle. I made it a U shape blending into the foam contour. Hope this change doesnít hurt me later. I ordered my Vance Atkinson fuel sight gauges and prepared the canted inset. Vance was real nice about getting them to me overnight, then waiting for the check to cross in the mail. One change that did hurt - I must have been feeling dangerously innovative that day - was sanding away the points on the foam. I thought it looked nicer rounded off. That is, until I went to install the lower longerons and found they didn't lay straight. I dug my way out of that one cursing myself. NO MORE CLEVER CHANGES!


These worked out fine, but I didnít realize how important the position was until putting the bulkheads in during Chap 6. Turns out they fit perfectly, but I'd have been extra careful if I'd known how the top forward bulkhead is supposed to (and does) line up with LWX. The electrical conduit gave me a scare. It was being compressed by the glass lay-up on the built up sides, so I cut some wood and pushed it up the conduit to hold everything flat. I didnít know that epoxy from the lay-up would leak through pinholes and find its way to my wood. After cure the wood plugs were stuck solid. Took a few fairly hard thumps with a mallet to pop them out.

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