Chapter 13 – Nose job

Today I started off by cleaning up the left side panel by first pulling the peel ply, then razor trimming and sanding it.

L battery area side panel glassed

L battery area side panel glassed

I then did the same thing with the right side panel.  I also drilled out the bolt holes.

R battery area side panel trimmed

I then test mounted the battery contactor.

Battery contactor screwed to mount

And then test fitted the right side wall with the contactor mounted in place.

Checking battery contactor fit

Checking battery contactor fit

I then made up some prepreg setups for the BID tapes to mount the right side panel.

Prepreg setup for R-side BID tapes

I realized when I was uploading these pics that I missed taking a pic of the right side wall after the layup.  So after the right side panel cured, I pulled the peel ply and cleaned up all the peel ply boogers.   I razor trimmed it as per usual, and then sanded the edges.

I drilled out the holes in the contactor mounting plate and then mounted the contactor.  Before mounting the contactor I terminated & labeled the 30 Amp inline fuse wire and the control leads on the contactor.

In addition, I attached every wire & cable to the lower terminal that will actually be mounted in the final configuration to ensure that all the wire runs are good.  The only thing I could improve upon here is to cut the lead wire form the 30A inline fuse down an inch or two.

R side wall glassed & contactor mounted

I then checked the fit of the battery with the contactor bolted into place.  I was very pleased with the clearance between battery & contactor since it was even about 0.070″ more than I thought it would be.

Testing battery & contactor fit

The space on the right side of the battery is a bit tight due to the 3 big cables all trying to get through that narrow space: the 2 big power cables going to/from the firewall and the main power lead from the battery to the battery contactor.  It’s definitely crowded, but not unworkable or impossible.

contactor mounted & battery fits

Here’s a shot of the cable & wire runs to/from the battery contactor.

Battery contact mounted

After I got the right side panel of the battery compartment squared away, I started prepping the F-7.75 bulkhead for mounting the nose tip foam to finalize the shape of the nose.  While I was trying to assess the front tip of the nose, I felt I just needed a better visual of the “flow” of the nose.  I picked up a saw and started hacking away.  I then used my hard sanding board and my “cheese grater”.

About 30 minutes later I had this.  Satisfied, I stopped for the time being and pressed forward with the nose tip.

Nose trimmed a bit

The nose tip is 6″ deep, so I had originally planned to use 3 pieces of 2″ thick foam stacked in wedding cake fashion.  My thought was that the aft 2 pieces of foam would be the blue large cell (wing) foam with a PVC foam front tip.

When I tried to locate a suitable sized PVC foam for the very front tip, I couldn’t.  The only way I could fulfill my plan was to glue 2 pieces of PVC foam together.  So I decided to go with all blue foam.  I’m using  the blue foam for a couple different reasons besides not having enough PVC.  First, I have a TON of it on hand since it encased all the wing foam cores and other flying surface I received from Feather Light.  Second, I had originally planned on building the entire nose with the blue foam to cut down on weight.  Since the original nose identified in the Long-EZ plans called for Urethane, and the foams are the same strength (2 lb/cu ft), I was going in that direction until I ran across the Davenport nose plans, which calls for the PVC/Divinycell foam which is stronger at 3 lb/cu ft.

I still plan on using the blue foam on the top portion of the nose.

I grabbed a nice piece of 2″ thick blue wing foam to use as the first (aft) piece that will physically mount to F-7.75.   I then marked the center of the foam piece.

Front nose piece

I then roughly marked the outline of the F-7.75 bulkhead. and cut the foam on the online (not shown).

Marked for trimming

I was hunting around for better pieces of foam to use in front of the piece above, analogous to the top 2 layers of wedding cake, when I ran across a 6-1/2″ thick piece block of foam in my shop storage closet.  I ended swapping out the piece above out with this new foam block.  Of course, not until after I cut the piece above into a circle!

With my foam block in hand, I decided to use a large bolt to clamp it in place.

Front foam nose block clamp bolt

I then drilled out the center of the block with a 1-1/4″ bit.

Drilling front nose foam block

Here’s a closer look.

Drilling front nose foam block

And the final result.

Front foam nose block

Front foam nose block

I then mounted the foam block tip to the front of the F-7.75 bulkhead by first applying 4 dabs of 5-min glue first, then bolting it in place to act as my clamp.  To make things just a tad EZ, I will use the large washer on the front tip as the “sand to” line for shaping the front nose tip.

I used 4 dabs of 5 min glue to attach the foam block to F-7.75 and to help stabilize the foam block while I shaped it.  Obviously I have a hefty bolt through the middle of the block, but I want to avoid any twisting or rotating slippage as I applied sanding force to shape the block.


Mounting nose tip foam block with 5 min glue

Here’s my new nose below.  Nice look huh?!

Eventually I plan on removing the nose piece after it’s shaped to gain access to the inside area to get the heated pitot tube, landing light install, light housing & heat shroud all squared away.  I’ll then flox the entire nose tip assembly back onto F-7.75 before glassing the lower nose.

Foam nose tip mounted

I then carved the nose tip down to get it closer to its final state.  There’s still a long way to go of course, but I just wanted to get the major excess foam bits removed before I called it a night.

Nose tip initial shape

Here’s another look (with Napster peeking up from behind…)

Napster hiding out

Tomorrow I’ll work a fair amount on the overall shape of the nose, and of course work on the front nose tip.  I’ll also be finalizing the install plan for the heated pitot tube.



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