April 2011 – Bulkheads

The Long-EZ N916WP project officially begins on 24 April 2011!

The first chapter in the plans for actual aircraft component construction is Chapter 4, which covers the building of all the bulkheads that will make up the structural cross-sections of the fuselage.  Below is the first bulkhead to be constructed: the front (Pilot’s) seat back.

Chapter 4 — Step 1 of 4: Front Seat Bulkhead 

Front seat foam cut & shaped

Angling front seat back edge

Micro'ing front seat back bulkhead

Micro applied & spread

Front seat back glassed & peel plied

Glassed side #1 of front & rear seat bulkheads

 

Chapter 4 — Step 2 of 4: Rear Seat Bulkhead

25 April 2011 – The cured first sides of the front seat and rear seat bulkheads.  →

 

26 April 2011 – The work continues on the front & rear seat bulkheads.  ↓

#1 – A shot of the front seat bulkhead, glass completed on both sides.

#2 – Start of the foam prep on the backside of the rear seat bulkhead.

Front Seatback Bulkhead

Rear side of Back Seat Bulkhead

Below is the front side of the rear seat bulkhead.  It doesn’t look like a very nice glass lay-up on the front because it wasn’t!  I started out trying to save as much glass as I could, so I was piecing together remnants to save glass.  Boy, did I ever grow out of that in quick order!

Front side of Back Seat Bulkhead

•••

27 April 2011 – I shaped the rear side of the back seat bulkhead, and then vacuum bagged the fiberglass layup on the back side of the rear seat bulkhead, which was the second and final layup on the rear seat bulkhead.  The vacuum bagging worked really well.  The only down side is that with the hole in the middle of the seatback, it caused the plastic to wrinkle and that transfers some to the layup and leaves some epoxy ridges that have to be sanded down later.  Again, I was very happy with the outcome.

Prepping foam shape on rear side of back seat

Rough stage of foam contouring on rear seat

Vacuum bagging rear seat final glass layup

Spots excess epoxy being sucked out of layup

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28 April 2011 – Here’s a shot of the rear seat bulkhead after the vacuum bagging materials were pulled off.  I understand there is wax paper in the vicinity, and that I will burn in hell for using it, but honestly that’s what we were taught in our EAA composites course.  After being soundly thrashed by a few seasoned Canardians, I stopped the heinous practice of using wax paper!

A shot of the two finished seat bulkheads: front & rear.

•••

Chapter 4 — Step 3 of 4 

30 April 2011 – I only have this one pic of glassing the instrument panel bulkhead.  As you can see, I vacuum-bagged the instrument panel.  Vacuum bagging really does suck out all the extra epoxy and produces a much lighter part.

IMG_4372

 

Recent Posts

Project Update

Hi Folks,

I’ll say that over the first half of the strakes (Chapter 21) are complete.  The leading edges are mounted as well as the labyrinth of ribs and baffles as well. The bottom skins are mounted, as are the top side T-hats constructed.  The bird is ready to be flipped inverted to glass the bottom strake skins.

However, prior to flipping the bird I am taking a bit of time to finish up the aft nose/avionics cover install, the aileron construction/install, the right strake pilot air vent, and the final tasks to complete the instrument panel install. 

Then, once the plane is upside down to finish the bottom of the strakes, I plan on knocking out a whole slew of things: including bottom strake-to-bottom wing intersection finishing, hell hole cover, belly RAM air scoop, main gear leg-to-fuselage interface, firewall trim and lower cowling install.  Yes, I expect this bird to be inverted for about a month before it gets flipped back upright to close out the strakes with the top skin install.

At that point it will be on to the winglet/rudder install (Chapter 20).  Then engine and upper cowling install, finish and prime/paint.

 

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