April 20, 2009

Cut Gear Leg Holes in Bottom Forward Skin - 4.0 hrs.

Now that the gear leg brackets are fitted and temporarily bolted in place, it's time to cut the holes in the bottom forward skin. These allow the gear leg brackets to emerge through the bottom of the fuselage. The small pilot hole is to be enlarged to 5/8" for the brake line.

Here's the left side hole being opened up. It had been previously marked with the template I made from the drawing. I used my unibit to make a series of holes around the inside of the mark. A small cutting disk in the Dremel cut through these and opened it up. Then, the Dremel was used again with the cutting bit to cut and smooth the hole up to the line. A small sanding drum in the Dremel was used for the next step. Then, after a series of trial fits and additional fine sanding, the hole was just the right size. Final deburring and smoothing with the small scotchbrite wheel in the die grinder finished the job

Here's the finished job. I'm very pleased with the final fit. The last step was to enlarge the pilot hole shown above to 5/8" for the brake line. Then, a repeat of the whole thing for the hole on the other side. When I was finished, I removed the gear leg brackets and put them away for now. They will just be in the way of all the fitting and drilling of forward fuselage longerons, stiffeners, brackets and gussets. Those things are all waiting to be done next.

Then, I pulled the F-713 forward longerons out, marked the centerline on each one and filed the forward end to a slight angle for a better fit. More trimming and work needs to be done, and a small twist put into them before I can drill them to the side skins. At least I got started on them.

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