Brigitta and I spent most of Saturday cleaning up the shop so that we can get the fuselage molds into the heated area. The biggest part of that is removing a long, narrow crate of HP-11 wing spar extrusions that I brought back from Ohio several years ago. We managed to tuck away 26 of the 25 foot long angles in two 4" diameter ABS pipes in the back yard of the house. The rest I'll chop down to 12.5 feet and put into the racks in the shop.
While at the shop, we did manage to get some pictures of stuff that's been lying around for a while but never got photographed, specifically, the fuselage plug with the canopy frame and canopy transparency on it. With those pieces in place, it really starts to look good. Of course, the fuselage in the photos is still just a molding plug made out of the first-article short tub and a bunch of foam and fiberglass for the aft part. However, it shows exactly what the molded fuselage will look like. It also shows how nice the transparency came out, with great optics and perfect tangencies all around the perimeter. The one piece I need to show off the fuselage contour is the turtledeck, which the builder will semi-permanently install once they've put in all of the control system and wing carrythrough parts.
Also, I've ordered all of the fiberglass and Kevlar(tm) fabric that I need to make one fuselage, and also the gelcoat and other sundries. I'll get the epoxy resin on order next week, and we'll probably make the first set of fuselage shells over the Christmas holiday.
Here's the latest pictures:
These are the pins and sockets that will structurally connect the horizontal stabilizer and vertical fin. The pins go on an aluminum plate, and the sockets get pressed and bonded into the spar of the horizontal stabilizer.
The fuselage plug with the first articles of the canopy frame and canopy transparency set in place. Everything is just held on with gravity and masking tape, but it still fits together pretty good. The canopy transparency is stretch molded over a specially-built canopy plug. I'm really glad I went to the trouble of a molded transparency. I've never seen a free-blown or vacuum-formed canopy that is as smooth as this and has such perfect tangencies and such good optics.
A couple of photos of the fuselage molds in the temporary space I've rented.
A few more shots of the fuselage plug and canopy, this time with me on the inside. The photos don't show it well, but I'm sitting up very straight to get my head near the crown of the canopy. With the partially-reclining seat pan we have planned in place, I'll need a cushion under me to get this high in the cockpit.
Return to HP-24 page
page updated 13 November 2004 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2004 HP Aircraft, LLC