Chapter 13 – Nose paint & more!

After I posted last night’s blog post I went back to an email my buddy Dave Berenholtz sent me that contained a bunch of good info that he compiled regarding instrument panel labeling.  The boiled down info is that there are essentially 4 accepted fonts (and their differing variants) for panels: Helvetica, Futura, Arial and Franklin Gothic… the first 2 used by NASA.

I played around with Helvetica and Futura for a bit, and then tried out what some of the bubbas on the VANs Air Force forum recommended: Arial and Franklin Gothic.  The VAF info also recommended 12 pitch font.  I noted Franklin Gothic looked better not bolded, but the size seemed smaller than the others so I bumped it up to 13 pitch.  I played around a bit more with all of them, but I kept coming back to Franklin Gothic as my label of choice.  And also un-bolded at 13 pitch.  I printed out a quick sheet and cut up the labels just to check font size.  I’m really liking what I’m seeing so I plan on sticking with this one (thanks for the info Dave, very helpful!).

I went out to the shop and decided to quickly knock out rounding the corners on the nose hatch door hinge tabs.  I marked the radius using an AN970 washer.

And then trimmed the corners with the Fein saw.  I then hit each corner with the sanding block and called this task good.

I had to run out to an auto parts store to finally get the correct color trunk paint for the interior nose.  Upon returning, I pulled the fuselage out in front of the shop.  Luckily it was another nice warm day.

Here’s the nose interior a bit later.  Although the front battery compartment and the NG30 area compartment are painted 2 different colors, unless we’re getting really technical they look pretty darn close to the same.  I finished up with hitting both compartments with a couple coats of matte clear coat in the upper areas where tools or hands might rub against or ding the sidewalls.

I then mounted the canard.  I have to say I was pleased that all the bolts went in without much fuss.

As a point of note, this is the first time the canard has been installed on the plane since the upper nose and canopy are in place.

I then set the aft nose/avionics cover in place and got to work dialing it in to fit over the canard.

Here we have the untrimmed, unaltered aft nose/avionics cover.

You can see from the front there is quite a large gap.

Here are the successive rounds of trimming I did.  The pics below show 5 rounds, but I missed one set of pics, so it was actually 6 total rounds of trimming with the Fein saw.

I ran out to grab a quick bite to eat, and when I returned I dialed in the rest of the aft nose/avionics cover fit onto the canard pretty much by hand.  After another half hour I was very close.

The following are just a bunch of pics of the canard installed for the first time with the nose, aft nose/avionics cover, and canopy all in place.

A side profile shot.

A couple more shots.

Some head-on nose shots.

A closer in shot…

And a couple shots with the nose hatch open:

Tomorrow I’ll start working the nose hatch door latch in earnest, and the aft nose/avionics cover attachment points as well.



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