Well, we're still recovering from ADF IV, but coming up fast on the ADF V scheduled for 21 April through 8 May 2006. We've been scrambling at the shop to clean up and get ready.
For ADF V we hope to make another two or (hopefully) three wing molds. In ADF IV we discovered how devilishly hard it is to fit in all the tasks it takes to make wing molds. Things I thought would be an easy afternoon's task, like welding up the steel wing mold support from the prefabricated trusses, were in fact two full days of hot grimy work.
Also, I wasn't able to spend as much of my own time at the ADF as I'd hoped, since I was working hard in the Silicon Valley for most of the week. What we did instead was to move Brad's carbon fuselage up from ADF V into ADF IV, keeping the shop humming. Of course, we also got the lower right wing mold done, but we've still three to go.
Anyhow, for ADF V we've welded up two complete wing mold supports, all ready to bond onto the bottom of a wing mold shell. Well, actually, the support for the bottom left mold still needs a bit of welding to add the supports for the rollover spindles, but it's substantially complete. Most importantly, the support for the upper right wing mold is ready to go; that's the one we need for the next mold layup. We've also got most of the trench features in place. All that's left to do is to add a few detail features and we can wax it up and start the layup.
I might or might not weld together the last of the supports, that for the left top mold. As it is, our storage bay is getting somewhat crowded. With the trusses unjoined they make a relatively compact package, so I might just leave them as is until we're closer to actually doing that last mold layup.
At this point I can really tell that we're going to need to develop a system for arranging all of the molds in the storage bay. Probably I'll weld up a tall rack on which we can stack all four wing molds. Whatever we do, we'll need to be able to use up a lot of the overhead space that's currently going to waste in our ten foot tall shop bays. But lifting big molds and stuff up there is going to be somewhat of a problem. I figure that each wing mold is going to clock in at somewhere around 250 lbs.
Here's the only two pictures I have right now. I had more, but my new laptop computer corrupted the XD card while reading it, so I had to reformat it. Not a good way to start your day; especially when your day starts at 2am with a 130-mile drive to work. The good news is that the camera still reads the card fine. The bad news is that I lost several days of pictures that Brigitta took, and she's gonna be torqued about that.
Here I'm welding on the doublers that stiffen the truss longerons that bond onto the mold shell. With these doublers in place the longerons effectively become 1" x 2" rectangles.
Here I'm welding the rollover spindle sockets onto the support for the left top wing mold. This time around I'm making the sockets out of steel washers with 1-1/4" ID, instead of making them out of stubs of 1-1/4" ID steel tubing. This way it's easier to get the spindles through the sockets.
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page updated 10 April 2006 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2006 HP Aircraft, LLC