Because I now have a nose!
I started out today doing some research on my wiring tools. I realized that I didn’t have a crimping tool for larger diameter wires under 16 AWG, so I did a little research and ordered one online.
Then, while I was doing an impromptu inventory of my wiring tools, I decided to go ahead and swap out a set of blades to give me a fuller spectrum of MILSPEC wire stripping. The wire strippers to the left in the pic below are mil spec wire strippers that strip 16-26 AWG wires. The wire cutters to the right are basically the same strippers that also strip 16-26 AWG, but with standard wire stripping blades for automative purposes, etc., not for aircraft wiring. While in Qatar I took Nick Ugolini’s advice that he provided on his blog to simply buy a set of aircraft grade mil spec cutting blades (shown to the right below) and install them in a standard, cheaper pair of wire strippers.
So that’s what I did. But instead of buying 16-26 AWG mil spec cutting blades, I ordered a set of 10-14 AWG cutting blades to give me the capability to strip wires as large as 10 AWG down to 26 AWG wires.
Here’s a couple shots of the wire strippers.
I then started working the install of the NG30 nose gear assembly. I started by mixing up some MGS epoxy with fast hardener. I had already prepped the 2-ply BID prepreg setups for both the internal & external BID tapes for attaching the NG30s to the F22 center strut. I quickly wetted them out and then began mixing up some flox.
I applied the flox to the aft edges of the NG30s.
After applying the flox to the NG30s aft edges, I attached them to the front of F22 with the clamp and then marked up the internal 2-ply BID tapes and cut them to length: 13.5″ long x 3.3″ wide.
I then laid up the NG30 assembly’s internal BID tapes after applying pure epoxy to prep the glass surfaces.
I then laid up the external BID tapes that wrap around the aft side of the F22 center strut on the first inch and a half of each aft NG30 edge. Because of the clamp securing the NG30 assembly to the F22 center strut, I could only lay up the top 7″ of the external BID tapes. I’ll add the bottom external BID tapes later.
After I peel plied the external BID tapes, I was in the middle of adding the first of some peel ply strips to the edges of the internal BID tapes when I felt the epoxy cup in my hand getting really warm. I was able to get a little bit more epoxy on the center peel ply strip but I stopped when the epoxy started getting much, much warmer and was clearly heading towards exotherm.
Since the internal BID tapes will rarely see the light of day, I left them as is and didn’t mix up any more epoxy to add any more peel ply.
Here’s a shot of the left side external peel plied BID tape.
And an aft view of the external BID tapes.
I then fired up a heat lamp and took a break for dinner.
Upon my return from dinner I removed the peel ply from the external BID tapes.
I then razor trimmed the top area of the NG30s.
I then removed the one piece of internal peel ply, and then the protective tape around the nose gear actuator mount.
Tomorrow I plan on laying up the bottom external BID tapes. As the the BID tapes cure, I’ll be working on the elevators to ensure they’re balanced and meet the up/down angle specs on the canard.