Chapter 23/24 – More inlet ramps

I started off today with the task of pulling the bottom cowling off the bird.  However, before I pulled the cowl off I spent about 20 minutes trimming and shaping the right front ramp to allow for fit inside the right armpit inlet.  I then finished removing the bottom cowling.

Over on the left side bottom cowl, I pulled the peel ply and razor trimmed the excess cured BID that secures the left armpit intake front air ramp.

After cleaning up the front air ramp, which looked better than I expected to be honest, I started working the fitting of the aft ramp.  I spent about 45 minutes trimming the aft ramp and getting it fit into place.  On Mike Melvill’s template he has a 1.5″ hole to allow air to flow through to cool the alternator (I’m assuming… there’s no label on the template for the hole or mention of its purpose in the instructions).  I used a 1″ hole saw, but drilled at an angle so I have a 1″ wide oval hole: I’d guesstimate it averages about the same area as 1.2″ round hole.

I then cut the the 2 single top plies of BID and since I’m using micro as a front edge setter & filler, I cut the aft lower edge (the curved side) ply of BID as well [I either had to use only micro on the bottom/inside front corner or glass it now, since I couldn’t peel ply the micro edge and glass later… too difficult with such little access in there. In fact, I pre- pregged this ply to facilitate laying it up].

I drilled a small hole in the inboard side wall to secure an installed nail which is what held the aft inboard edge in place.  I then mixed up epoxy and micro, put a bead of micro down along the marked front ramp edge line and after setting the ramp in place I tacked the outboard corner to the cowling surface with a dollop of hot glue.  This allowed me to do all my layups without fighting the ramp’s ever-changing position as I was on the front ramp.

After I laid up my 2 plies top and 1 ply underside BID tapes I peel plied the top side BID tapes.

Now, by moving the left side aft ramp forward about 1/2″ and lowering the ramp’s aft edge about 1/8″, the entire ramp needed to be set lower. Since I didn’t want to cut away a significant surface area of the ramp, as well as allow for the exhaust pipe that is a significant air blocking surface on the outboard edge, I went ahead and leaned this ramp inboard as I did the front ramp… even more so as can be seen in the pic below.  Remember, I can still control the final exiting of the air off the ramp with the upcoming attached top aluminum vane.

Here’s a shot of the aft ramp’s inboard edge securing nail.

After getting the aft left ramp glassed in place, I moved on to the right front ramp.  I spent about 15 minutes finalizing the trimming and shaping of the ramp so that it would fit at the position and angle I wanted, which is within a 1/2″ of Mike Melvill’s template position.

I cut 3 small BID tapes, 1 for the inside top junction with the inboard wall, and the other 2 plies for the top and bottom outboard junction with the outboard armpit scoop wall.  I had already predrilled a small hole about center of the ramp through the outboard wall (see below) and used a rivet in the hole to hold up the inboard side…. I still needed to watch the outboard edge since it wasn’t secured in place other than some thick micro fillets and the top and bottom side BID tape layups.

In fact, the aft edge kept wanting to sag about a 1/4″ so I taped the ramp trailing edge so it pulled very lightly forward and up to keep it locked into place.  I then peel plied the BID tapes.  Note that just like the aft ramp on the left side, I’ll have one more BID tape layup to do on this ramp (both inboard lower edge) before these ramp installs are actually complete.

Here we have the right forward ramp’s inboard edge securing rivet (actually one of the pins that gets removed from the floating CAMLOC receptacles).

Switching gears . . . I then unscrewed and pulled off the GIB headrest surround cover to expose the cured foam platenut tabs secured in place with micro.  Actually, before I took the cover off I threaded the screws all the way out, then all the way fully in, and then finally all the way back out to ensure that the micro’d-in foam tabs were secured… they didn’t budge at all.

I then made up 3 new #6 platenut assemblies using 1/32″ G10 plates that will then get secured into the next round of foam tabs as before using micro and a ply of BID [BTW, I forgot to mention that I weighed a completed foam platenut tab with screw at a whopping weight of 3 grams… not bad].

Again, I’ll assess whether 6 total screws on the GIB headrest surround cover will be good, or if I’ll need to add an extra pair for a total of 8 screws.  Tomorrow I suspect I’ll just get the foam tabs created with the #6 platenut assemblies glassed in place.

I of course plan on getting the last inlet ramp configured and glassed into place as well.

Pressing forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.