Chapter 21 – Lower right strake cleanup

Before I started the cleanup on the right strake bottom skin layup I wanted to get the ply of Kevlar laid up on the bottom aft fuselage… that will serve to protect the bottom side of the GIB thigh support sump tanks if I were ever to have a hard landing that ripped the main gear off and resulted in a belly slide down the runway/ground.

I made a bit of indentation on the aft side of the Kevlar ply in case I need to dig into the original bottom aft center fuselage for positioning of the RAM air scoop that will be coming soon.  After I laid up the Kevlar I peel plied it.

Also, I should note that before actually laying up the Kevlar, I test fitted the left and right fuel sump drain valves to ensure I had enough clearance around them to insert a socket on them to install them.  The right side channel in the bottom skin needed to be widened just a hair, and after I got it so I could slip a socket in there I proceeded laying up the Kevlar.

After nearly 2 hours of cleaning up the bottom right strake layup and removing all extraneous glass, I then cleaned and mocked up the bottom engine cowling.  I went ahead and temp mounted the armpit air intake scoops as well to get an idea how they will fit.

Here’s the protective Kevlar ply on the aft bottom fuselage after it cured and I pulled the peel ply.  At this point I dug out the foam around each of the thigh support fuel sump drain valve points and filled in the edge of the channels with flox, not only to provide a stronger bottom fuselage skin to internal skin bond, but to clean up the raw foam appearance of these drain valve points.

With the drain valves and the center threaded hardpoint that installed before I skinned the outside the fuselage eons ago… I think the Kevlar looks like Pokémon!

Also note the right strake glassed trimmed away from the GIB strake window and the GIB air vent NACA scoop.

The next few days are going to be busy with some social events, but I will attempt to press forward as much as possible on the aft bottom side of the fuselage and hell hole.

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