March 27, 2009

Cutting slots in the Longerons - 1.5 hrs.

Just when I thought I was ready for the big JOINING of the fuselage halves, several other chores surfaced that need to be done first. The main one was cutting slots in the longerons, so they will fit over the F-711C vertical bars at the tail end of the airplane. These bars will eventually hold the vertical stabilizer in place. The other little chore was deburring and filing the slots in the bulkheads that the longeron angle slips into. They need to be opened up a bit wider. The longeron won't fit until this is done. Fortunately, it doesn't take much. A bit of smoothing with a piece of emery cloth wrapped around a small flat file is all it took for mine.

I clamped the longeron to the workbench. I actually had these parts marked several months ago when I bent the longerons to their current shape. But I held off actually cutting into them. After re-checking my work, I drilled a hole where the slot ends to provide for smooth corners, then cut the slot open by hand using a hacksaw. After some careful filing and deburring, the part was checked for fit.

The fit was perfect, although as it turns out, the slot didn't need to be this deep. I could have cut the slot about 1/8" to 1/16" shorter. But this is what the plans called for, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Well, here's the left longeron after cutting the slot and fitting it in place. The plans call for doing this when the structure is upside down, but this seems to me to be an easier way to do it. With the clecos back in place in the side skin, it holds itself in place. After putting the right side longeron in, I'll flip this over for the joining with the center section. But I'm out of time tonight. I'm leaving for the weekend. I can't wait to get back to this. I still hope Daniel can help me join the sections before he goes back to college Sunday afternoon.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)