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


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.



Recent Posts

Project Update

Hi Folks,  

Well, it’s coming up on about 2 months since I’ve been back on the build.  I have a few canopy tasks (latch handle, left side seal, interior paint) to complete to get it very close to 100%, minus exterior finish and paint.

Over the last couple of weeks I was able to get  my 3D printer back online which has helped immeasurably in modeling parts, especially for the canopy latch handle.  In addition, I was finally able to resolve my issues with the plasma cutting table and to get back to being productive with that.  In fact, I just cut test panel #3 out of thin 22 ga steel and really think the next cut will be the actual panel. Finally, I am slowly reassembling the milling machine while converting it to CNC.

I’m currently transitioning off of the canopy (Chapter 18) and onto the nose (Chapter 13).  After a few more canopy tasks over the next week and when the nose is near completion, I’ll start on the strake build (Chapter 21).   The final big airframe assembly will be the winglet/rudder install (Chapter 20).  

That’s the plan . . .

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