Chapter 24/25 – Gear fairings ready!

I’ll start today with a pic of the nose hatch door which I actually finished the 5x epoxy wipes on late last night.  I’ll give it a good 48 hours to cure before sanding it in prep of its first round of primer.

My first task of the day was dialing in the bottom cowling and doing some minor refills with straight West 410.

Grant it the very final shape —hopefully with no more required finish fills— will be dialed in with the cowling mounted onto the plane.

I then got to work to finish up the initial construction of the main gear fairings.

While the fairings were still secured in place with the death grip the cured glass had on the underlying tape and clay, I went ahead and gave the un-peel plied glass surface a thorough sanding for the upcoming micro finish.

I then did the same thing on the other side.  Thus far, I am extremely pleased at the surface smoothness… with minimal egregious bumps and depressions that will in turn require minimal amounts of micro fill.

Here we have the thoroughly sanded gear fairings.

I then marked the initial cut line on the left gear fairing.

And then did the same on the right side.

Again, here we have the marked initial cut lines for both gear fairings.

As you can see, the cut lines follow the perimeter of the green clay were it intersects the “surface” of the fuselage, currently covered by gray duct tape, since this is the first point of contact between fairing edge and fuselage.

After the initial cut lines were marked, I then carefully worked and pried the right gear fairing to pop it free from the tape and clay.  Although technically it popped free from the tape with the clay still attached to the fairing underside.

I then spent well over an hour cleaning out & off the clay, as well as pulling the peel ply from the internal surfaces of the right gear fairing. You can see for the most part that the underside/inside is fairly clay free in this shot.

With the fairing secured near the wheel/bottom end of the gear strut, I then removed the tape from around gear leg and off the fuselage.

I then set the fairing back in place to check my initial cut line to ensure that the fairing would cover the gear thru-hole in the fuselage.  Which it did by at least 1/4″ all the way around.

I then used my ever-trusty Fein saw to trim the excess glass off the right gear fairing just outside my initial marked cut line.  Here are a few shots . . .

And one more pic from the aft side.

I then repeated the process on the left gear fairing.  Slowly, carefully prying up the gear fairing to gain access to the inside to remove all the green clay.

Again, this process took about an hour to remove all the clay and then pull the peel ply from the internal surfaces of the gear fairing.

After removing the protective tape from the fuselage, I then trimmed off the excess glass with my Fein saw just outside the marked initial cut line.

And Voila!  Gear fairings are glassed and ready for install.

Clearly I’ll have some minor/fine tweaks, sanding and shaping to do on these gear fairings, but overall I’m extremely happy with how they turned out and am ready to press forward with my remaining bottom-of-plane tasks to get this bird flipped back upright, finished, and in the air!

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