We're plugging away at a set of handling dollies for the new fuselage while I figure out how to keep things in alignment while bonding in fuselage interior stuff. I'm pretty much resigned to bonding in the wheel well boxes while the fuselage is in the molds. This weekend I'll get a start on that by putting the castoring wheels on the molds so that we can wheel them around more easily. The bummer there is that the box of casters from UPS arrived with a hole in it (taped up by UPS, thanks!) and one caster short of the set.
This weekend I'll get a start on making the #4 bulkhead, the one that goes in station with the aft lift carrythrough tube. I think we'll make the plug for that bulkhead right in the fuselage mold so that it is true to the intended shape.
I'll also start scoping out fuselage internal stuff. I'm now thinking that I'll have molded parts to form the box section that stiffens the canopy rail; that same molding will extend down the inner surface of the fuselage shell and then protrude inboard to form the top surface of the armrest rail. That rail will continue unbroken from the wheel well boxes forward past the pilots' knees to stiffen the fuselage shell against buckling on forward impact.
Anyhow, here's sme photos of the latest stuff at the shop. The thing that looks like half a cheese is the male mold for the pneumatic tailwheel fender. It's made of layers of particle board bandsawn to rough shape and then turned to profile on the lathe. In the photos Brigitta is varnishing it. We're making the exterior tailwheelfairing as a separate part, you'll see more photos of our new attempt on that soon enough. Theres also a couple photos of a new mold for the bottom part of the vertical fin spar; I'm now resigned to making that a separate part.
Oh, and a hearty congratulations to Bob Harris, who on this day twenty years ago set the current sailplane absolute altitude record of 49,009 feet! A lot of very well-equipped folks have since tried to better it, but so far it's stood for a score of years.
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page updated 17 February 2006 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2006 HP Aircraft, LLC