Cowling Test Fittings during “The Grand Mock-Up” & Beyond
22 June 2013 — Today I pulled out all the stops . . . or should I say I pulled out all the pieces of the build so far. Before I am separated from my project while I spend a year in the Middle East for Uncle Sam, I wanted to get an idea of what this thing looks like put all together.
So I pulled the fuselage out into the front yard, and kept it covered while I collected the other components. Next up was the Centersection Spar which I placed into the fuselage for the first time since I completed it about 8 months ago.
After I got the CS spar & firewall in place, I added both of the wings next. Also, as you can see I had to throw on at least one winglet just to get an idea of how it would look. Although it was a little awkward to get it on the end of the wing so it looked half-way normal, I think I got in the ballpark. Well, and of course we can’t forget the canard… yes, it’s on there too!
Once I got the wings on, it was now time to fill in what gaps I could to make it look at least a little like it had some mass to it. Next came the engine cowlings.
In the next couple of shots you can see how the lower cowling hangs down 4 inches below the stock/plans firewall. Again, since Mike Melvill had built a NACA inlet for his engine air intake the back end of his fuselage–and subsequently the firewall–was 4 inches lower than plans [in essence making the bottom line of the fuselage continue straight until aft of the firewall].
And then the following pics are more close-up shots of the upper cowling.
21 September 2016 — Tonight I finally got that lower cowling mounted so that I could mark up the firewall for trim.
I had to lean way over into the cowling in order to mark the lower line without disturbing the taped-in-place cowling.
I took this shot just to get an idea of what the bottom profile of the plane will look like.
Another thing that I did that is not shown in these pics is I ran a line from one wing TE corner to the other. This let me measure from the back face of the spar to the string to determine the sweep. I determined that I’m only 0.1″ short at the BL23 mark at the very inboard wing, and 0.4″ short on my wings’ sweep over the entire wing span: BL175.6 vs the plans BL 176. Again, not bad and I’ll take it!