A ton of small tasks (that
never seemed to stop coming) were needed for this phase. While the
plywood frame was out, it was the perfect time to make the platform for
the mechanics. I did the same trick as I used on the Dauphin,
making the mounting plate self-locating with wooden dowels. This
gives me perfect repeatability as I install and remove the mechanics
(later) during the buildup.
I started from the front,
working back, so first to get installed is the nose piece:
The wing stubs with the
main gear get taped on for final alignment. As you can see, the
10mm shaft will pass through the main plywood structure right between 2
formers... I have pre-drilled the holes and inserted bronze
bushings. The holes were elongated vertically, and the bushings
will be epoxied last, after everything is aligned. This will allow
the main fuselage to share the load with the wing stubs, and will
hopefully give me a rock-solid structure!
The Keyed shaft couplers
were HUGE! Too big for this application, so I made my own.
Without the ability to cut a keyway, I took some keyway stock and
notched it in the mill, so the coupler will fit over it.
This gives me a smaller coupler, while retaining the keyway for
registration and non-slippage.
Here we have the wing stubs
and the plywood all properly placed down, and held in place with small
"Spot welds" of CA. Everything fits together
nicely. I aligned the winglets so that the joining shaft was
perfectly straight and free, which gives me a tiny misalignment on the
outside. That's what body putty is for!
Cutting out the opening
for the nose gear was pretty straightforward and easy, since the wheel
wells were painted, I simply protected them with some blue tape.
Wadded Kleenex (new) keeps the sanding dust out of the landing gear.
Here is how it came out,
very nicely, thank you! (I am still working on the main gear cutouts,
so no pics yet).
Here is the starboard
side of the assembly, you can see how nicely the BVM Aeropoxy lays
down. I used the applicator gun, then my finger to create a nice
smooth fillet. Just like caulking a window! (a very
expensive, flying window).
I used a similar geometry
on the main gear as the front, having the gear fully extended with the
servo arm facing opposite the linkage arm. Actually, it is just a
degree or two over center, so when power is removed, any load will force
the servo arm onto the Delrin stop, locking the gear firmly in the
"down" position. This is really important, as the ADF
Pod will be under the fuse, and if the gear folds up, it could be
Here we have everything
installed and epoxied down, and fully operational: