Cowling Test Fit

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.

Chap 19/23 - Wings & Cowling trial fittingChap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Long-EZ Project Mock-up

Chap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-CowlingChap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-Cowling

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fitChap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-Cowling

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].

Chap 23 - Cowling Trial FittingChap 23 - Cowling Trial Fitting

And then the following pics are more close-up shots of the upper cowling.

Chap 23 - Cowling Trial FittingChap 23 - Cowling Trial FittingChap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

•••

21 September 2016 —  Tonight I finally got that lower cowling mounted so that I could mark up the firewall for trim.

Mocking up lower cowling with wings & FW

I had to lean way over into the cowling in order to mark the lower line without disturbing the taped-in-place cowling.

Marking firewall for trimming

I took this shot just to get an idea of what the bottom profile of the plane will look like.

Rear profile with cowling in place

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!

•••

Recent Posts

Project Update

Hi Folks,

Well, Rough River 2017 is in the history books.  A great Rough River all the way around!  Marco’s new GRT Mini & GNRS480 avionics install went off without a hitch, providing an awesome proof of concept for my upcoming panel.  In addition, the myriad of builder tips that I got from Buly, Rick Hall, James Redmon, Terry Schubert, Mike Beasley, Bruce Sinclair, Bill James and countless others were gold in the bank for so many upcoming component decisions and configurations I need to make.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had to adjust my schedule a bit over the past 6 weeks, which of course impacts my goals.  Yes, I will continue to fight in my hope that this will be the final push to get the main assembly of the aircraft completed.   I do plan on having the main structure of the aircraft finished by year’s end.  An aggressive timeline to be sure, but I think it’s very doable.

I’m still working out the finer details of making everything fit inside the cockpit.  Since the vast majority of what I’m doing are all mods, these usually require a lot of in-house R&D, and then trial & error when finally at the install phase.  However, the curve is exponential in that as each component is designed and installed, it accelerates the build because besides just being in the “done” column, it is one less thing to design and build.  Moreover, it’s a variable that has been changed into a constant.

All this is just to say that even though things seem to be going slowly, there really is a momentum building for this project.  These pesky mini-tasks burn time, but as they are finished and systems are integrated, then when the final airframe components builds are finished, this plane will seriously be close to being done. Again, these mini-tasks are definitely time-consuming and a lot more slow going then planned.  But finishing them now allows me to work all this stuff while I can stand right next to the fuselage without having to deal with strakes, or nose, being in the way!  

I have to say that it’s much easier and more fun to build the big stuff that makes this project look like a plane, and I often feel my discipline waining to go build something “cool”.  So, although obviously not as sexy as seeing major aircraft components (i.e. nose, strakes, canopy) being completed, these mini-tasks are oh so necessary for quality of flying later on!  Moreover, these immediate tasks, in turn, will allow me to finalize the configuration of the nose components. At which point I will focus on the building the nose and the canopy.  . . while concurrently finalizing the wheel pants install (nope, haven’t forgot about those!).

Cheers!

 

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