Chapter 23 – Armpit ramps glassed

I started off this morning by pulling the peel ply and razor trimming the cured BID securing the G10 reinforcement strips to the armpit intake air-directing ramps.  To be clear, these are the aft sides of the ramps.

And here is the front side of the ramps.  In both of these pics the ramps on the top are the left ones, and on the bottom the right ones.

After the 3-ply CF flange cured on the right side of the cowling, I measured the left side and found that it’s about 0.15″ shorter at the edge than on the right.  I slung a 2.5 lb. weight near the center of the bottom cowling and it was enough to get the bottom cowl on the left with the same side opening as the on the right.

I then laid up the 3-ply CF flange on the left aft “1/3” of the top/bottom cowling gap just like I did on the right side.

I then peel plied the layup on each side.  Now, since I wanted to knock out the middle flange layup on each side tonight, I used MGS with fast hardener here.

While the left side aft flange layup cured, I created a cardboard mold to act as the exterior top cowling skin while I laid up the middle transition area of the top/bottom cowling transition.  The main reason I used a taped mold here is I wanted the CF as close to the exterior skin as possible, especially right at the edge of the top cowling.  If I had eyeballed this as I did the aft flange, I don’t think it would have been as close to the edge as using the form.

Just like on the other flange layups, I peel plied both the inside and outside of the layup.

A few hours later I pulled the peel ply off the cured left side 3-ply CF aft flange layup, and here’s how it came out.  Not bad at all… I’m really happy with how this turned out as well.

Also note that before I separated the top and bottom cowlings to pull the tape and peel ply, I measured, marked and drilled holes for the securing Clecos at the CAMLOC positions.  In addition, the lime green tape on the bottom cowling is my trim line marking to take just a hair more off the bottom cowling outboard edge.

I then used the same mold (taped up cardboard) method on the left for the middle transition area as I did on the right side.

Here’s a shot of the left side middle 3-ply CF flange layup on the inside before I peel plied it.

I’ll note that on the aft 3-ply flange layup that the inside ply of CF was short an inch on the front side.  Conversely, on the middle 3-ply flange layup the inner CF ply was inch longer than the first 2 plies —on the aft side— to allow an overlap onto the aft flange.  Moreover, all the 3 flanges on each side will get a 2-ply CF tape that will run the entire length of the flanges on the inside to tie them all together into a single 5-ply flange.

All told tonight, that’s 4 out of 6 major layups completed on the top/bottom cowling interface.  Tomorrow I plan on knocking out the last 2 before jumping into the interconnecting and finishing layups to tie the two cowlings together.

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