Chapter 13 – Winning by a nose!

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.

Switching wire cutter blades

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.

Wire cutter blades switched

Here’s a couple shots of the wire strippers.

Mil spec & standard wire cuttersMil spec & standard wire cutters

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.

Pre-pregged BID tapes

I applied the flox to the aft edges of the NG30s.

Floxed NG30 aft edges

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.

Interior NG30 BID tapes

I then laid up the NG30 assembly’s internal BID tapes after applying pure epoxy to prep the glass surfaces.

Interior NG30 BID tape layupsInterior NG30 BID tape layupsAfter laying up the internal NG30 BID tapes, I did a final alignment check with the laser. Thankfully it was spot on.

Double checking alignment

Double checking alignment

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.

Mounting NG30 nose assembly

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.

Interior NG30 BID tapes

Here’s a shot of the left side external peel plied BID tape.

Exterior NG30 BID tapes

And an aft view of the external BID tapes.

Exterior BID tapes - aft view

I then fired up a heat lamp and took a break for dinner.

Heat lamp for curing

Upon my return from dinner I removed the peel ply from the external BID tapes.

Ext BID tape - peel ply pulledExt BID tape - peel ply pulled

Exterior BID tapes - peel ply pulled

I then razor trimmed the top area of the NG30s.

Interior NG30 BID tapes

I then removed the one piece of internal peel ply, and then the protective tape around the nose gear actuator mount.

Interior BID tapes - glass trimmed

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.



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