Well, I haven't yet gotten to the #4 bulkhead tooling like I said. We've lost a bunch of days to weather where we couldn't get to the shop for all the snow.
However, I have managed to put heavy-duty castering wheels on three each of the five legs of the fuselage molds, so now it's a much easier job moving them around and between the shop bays. That took some welding of the ugly, grotty type. I sure am glad I got that MIG machine!
I've also been working over designs for the HP-24 landing gear system. The geometry of the struts and yoke are pretty well fixed; they're basically the same as in the HP-18. However, I want a pivoting lever in the cockpit instead of the more common slider, and I also want an overcenter at the up-and-locked position as well as down-and-locked. What I've got on the drawing board now has an idler arm right behind the pilot's right shoulder to provide the uplock and also transfer the force inboard from the armrest. I was hoping for a more direct connection like that in the HP-18, but unless a much better plan comes along I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.
Also, Brigitta's been putting in some great hours, and has made two full sets of the nose bulkheads and a fin spar. She's also been working on tooling for the fuselage and tail dollies, and has been doing tooling parts for the pneumatic tailwheel installation and the wing molds.
The big news is that we're convening another ADF; Akaflieg Douglas Flat IV runs 11 through 25 March. Brad and Doug will be back at the shop making a carbon fiber fuselage for Brad's lightweight version of the HP-24, and also getting a start on the wing molds. If you've been thinking of visiting us while we're working on this stuff, drop me an email to make arrangements.
In other news, Brad and I are still conspiring to combine Brad's Glidair touring motorglider fuselage with the HP-24 wings to make something like a Carat. We've been scheming about how to get a first-article fuselage out of Brad's fuselage molds. I've also been eyeing the Glidair fuselage with a little sport airplane in mind - with a pair of 25-foot aluminum wings and a 40 HP motor in the nose it would be a real neat little machine.
Here's the only photo this time, a shot of the #1 and #2 bulkheads that Brigitta has been making. You can see the (optional) Tost E85 hook mounted in the rightmost #1 bulkhead.
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page updated 7 March 2006 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2006 HP Aircraft, LLC