Chapter 21 – Baggage area bulkheads

Since I went with the GIB elbow room mod in my strake baggage area by extending the BAB bulkhead much farther aft, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by installing a mini-bulkhead just forward of each GIB strake window.  Beyond adding reinforcement to the BL 23 rib at about mid span, the second feature of these mini-bulkheads is simply baggage retainment… as in keeping anything placed in the main baggage storage area from creeping back over the GIB windows.

Starting off, I reapplied the protective tape on each GIB strake window.  I also added a strip of clear tape across the front edge of the strake window, over the existing protective tape.

After sanding the areas where these bulkheads would get glassed to, I then sanded and final tweaked each of the 3/8″ thick PVC foam mini-bulkheads to fit them into place on each side.

Here’s a couple more pics showing the fitting of these mini-bulkheads in the strake baggage areas.

I micro’d the mini-bulkheads in place and then applied the leftover wet micro onto as much of the foam surfaces that I could.

I made up 2 sets of prepreg with an underlying ply of UNI and a top ply of BID.  I then wet out the prepregged glass and laid them up onto the mini-bulkheads, overlapping about an inch onto the surrounding glass structures.

I then peel plied the layups, focusing primarily on the aft sides of the mini-bulkheads.

Here we have the front sides of the just-glassed mini-bulkheads.  Note how I don’t have a lot of peel ply on the front side of these layups.

Since I used MGS 335 with fast hardener, a few hours later I pulled the peel ply to reveal the freshly installed mini-bulkheads.  They look good and I didn’t see any significant issues.

Again, here we have the front sides of the freshly installed baggage area mini-bulkheads. The incomplete application of micro on the foam surfaces —since I only used whatever was left in cup— gives the appearance of some delams in the layups, but that’s not the case and the glass is securely attached to the underlying foam.

I’m very happy with how these turned out.  Now I can continue to press forward knocking out other prerequisite tasks before closing out the strakes with the top skins.

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