Chapter 9 – Wheels on ground!

Tonight was a milestone in that it was the first time the fuselage has rested on the main wheels … ever!

I lowered the fuselage dolly platform to get the fuselage as low as possible to slide it aft on the fuselage dolly and thus get the main gear wheels on the floor.

Setting main wheels on the deck

Forgive the camera angles, but I was backed up all the way in the corner and trying to get as wide angle of a shot as I could!

Main wheels on the deck

After I got the fuselage set so I could access the CL on the belly, I started attaching straight edges, running strings and plumb bobs, etc. to double check the toe-in on each side.  As I suspected, I jacked up the toe-in pretty good after I had set them correctly from the first go around with the gear in the air.

When I flipped the fuselage over I had double-checked the toe-in and it seemed to be either negative (wheels pointing out) or not enough.  So when I mounted the wheels I sanded down the mounting pads to reset the toe-ins correctly.  Of course, as often is the case, I should have left well enough alone!

Fuselage on main gear wheels

With access to the CL mark on the belly this evening, I could actually determine the CL to double check my toe-in measurements.  After it was all said & done this evening, I confirmed that my left wheel assembly is mounted approximately .08″ farther outboard than my right, which is not enough for me to worry about any further.

However, my toe-in is much more than it technically should be with each side a hair over 0.3″.  I figure that per plans the max you want to be at is 0.45″ combined, and I’m sitting just under 0.65″ combined.  However, since my plane will have a bigger engine and weigh a couple hundred pounds more than what Burt was originally planning these birds to weigh in at, I’m not going to make something not-so-great even worse by mucking about with it.  At least not right now.  I’ll wait until I do my high speed taxi tests to see how my tire wear is progressing & then adjust fire from there.

Tomorrow I’ll get the fuselage dolly out from under the front of the fuselage, lower the nose gear and play around with that a bit and grab some pics for prosperity sake.  I’ll then start working on prepping the wheel pants for install.


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