Structure Assembly


 

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 damaged.
 


 

Here we have everything installed and epoxied down, and fully operational:  
 

 



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