Chapter 9 – Prepping/Glassing Main Gear

Well, the first thing I did today was something on the landing brake, so if you have any good guess as to what it is you’d be right if you guessed something to do with a syringe and injecting epoxy!  When I floxed the LB19 plywood reinforcement piece into the center of the landing brake foam, with one side floxed to the outside skin, the flox apparently didn’t squeeze out as smoothly as I would have wanted.  Thus, there are veins of air running through the area between LB19 and the outer skin.  I grabbed another trusty syringe and injected a very wet flox mixture into these veins and once again ridded my apparently air enriched landing brake of a little bit of that excess air.  It looked pretty ok when I finished.

Ok, on to today’s build.  I pulled out the Main Landing Gear Bow that I received from Mike & Larry at Feather Lite (who apparently thought they would provide me an old-world European spelling of my name: “Wayde” vs the clearly Americanized version: “Wade” since I was on my way to Germany when they shipped it).   I inspected the bow for any major dings or damage, and I cleared it with a clean bill of health.  Since it looks so much like a regular bow (read: Robin Hood), I had to take a pic of it being used as such…. I know!  I’m quite the card!  Yuk-yuk…..

Chapter 9 - Main Gear Glassing

Chapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingI took the bow out to the front of the house, threw it on my handy foldout table and commenced to sand it with my 32-grit sanding block.  It doesn’t seem like this is much of a notable event, but this was not really a “small” or “lesser” task per Se.  One line in the plans to the effect of, “Oh, yeah, just sand it a little until dull” ends up costing you almost nearly an hour and a half of your life… sanding away!  With itchy S-glass no less!  And on an unusually warm German day, and of course wearing a respirator.  No worries now though because this step is done!

Chapter 9 - Main Gear Glassing

I vacuumed the gear after sanding and ensured it was fiberglass dust free.  I then went to my downstairs shop and prepped it for glassing the main gear bow.  I used 3″ drywall screws & 5-min epoxy to mount the gear onto the table.

Chapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingChapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingChapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingI laid up the first half of the gear layup, which has 4 alternating plies of UNI wrapped around the trailing edge of the gear and meeting close together (but not overlapping!) at the leading edge.  After this first layup is complete there will be 4 plies on each side with 2 plies in one 30-40°diagonal orientation and the other 2 plies going in the opposite 30-40°  orientation, so it merely creates a cross-hatch that grips the gear and provides it support when it flexes (kind of like sticking your fingers into those old style mesh curlers and then trying to remove your finger).  I tackled the Right side first and then the Left, using a pre-preg method of course to ensure all the excess epoxy was squeegeed out.

Chapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingAfter I got all the glass laid up on both the Left & Right sides, I peel plied the entire gear bow since it would be nearly completely covered with the next layers of UNI in the 4-ply configuration.

Chapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingChapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingChapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingChapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingLater that evening, after the initial main gear layups cured, I pulled the peel ply and razor cut any offending glass around the leading edge.

Chapter 9 - Main Gear GlassingI removed the gear from its 3-screw perch and cleaned up all the peel ply boogers.



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.