Cutting windshield and window holes

Used jigsaw to cut windshield and window holes out of top fuselage.  Sanded edges straight, filed contours of corners.  Used router to remove inner skin and foam around window opening to make a flange for bonding the plexiglas.

Plexiglas windshield was trimmed to fit with bandsaw.  Iterative process due to compound curvature.

Nose landing gear doors

NLG door hinge tabs (8) were cut out of a thin fiberglass layup.  These were ground to fit the contour of the fuselage when bolted to the door hinges, and then fixed in place using 5-minute epoxy.  Once the epoxy set, excess was ground off and a 2-ply BID layup was placed around the hinge tabs.  The NLG door part was removed from the fuselage and cut into two halves.

Winglet fabrication

The winglets foam parts were removed from the billets, glued together with micro and set aside to cure.  The next day, the foam cores were sanded and excess micro ground away.  Trenches were cut for the VHF COM antennae (one on each winglet), the antennae were glued to the surface, and the cables were run to the winglet root. The surface was filled and faired with micro and cabo, and then UNI glass was wet out on the surface, with the orientation along the long dimension of the winglet.

Glassing wing top surfaces

The fiberglass on the bottom of the wings cured overnight.  The wings were removed from the wing fixtures and placed top-side up on sawhorses.  Any overhanging fiberglass was cut off with a sharp blade.  The trailing edge foam was trimmed and removed using a knife and a long steel straightedge to expose some bottom glass for the top glass to bond to – this surface was sanded well. All other edges were sanded to remove sharps.  The foam was sanded to make the surface smooth and any excess micro was ground away.  A trench was melted into the foam with a soldering gun for the rudder cable, running from the wing root to the tip.  The Nylaflo housing was inserted and hot-glued into the trench. The foam was rough-contoured on the wingtip, and a cutout was made for the rudder horn cove.  A pre-fab cove part was microed into place with the rudder cable housing passing through it.

The top-side aileron seams were taped to prevent the glass from sticking, and then the wings were filled and faired with micro.  Then cabo was used to do a final fill and wet of the spar and non-foam pieces.  Triax fiberglass was cut, draped, and wet out on the wing top surfaces.

Fuselage bulkhead placement

The lower half of the fuselage was leveled fore and aft and side to side, and then it was fixed in place in its cradle using Bondo. Working forward, the engine firewall, landing gear pockets, gear bulkhead, cable conduits, keel, and canard bulkhead (all pre-fabricated parts) were placed in their respective positions, trimmed where necessary to fit, and their positions marked on the fuselage. Holes were drilled through the bulkhead flanges and the fuselage inner skin for later clecos.

The area of the fuselage close to the NLG door hinges was protected with aluminum tape.  Next, the NLG door part was glued into place with wood sticks and hot glue.  The NLG door hinges were alined and spaced correctly using a piece of all-thread, and then cemented into place with resin+cabosil+flox (cabo/flox).

Glassing wing bottoms

With the micro starting to get tacky, the final fill and fair of gaps and transitions was done with a thick mixture of resin+cabosil (cabo).  A length of triax was cut and draped over the wing, and smoothed out by hand.  Resin was squeegeed and worked into the glass to wet it out completely.  Peel ply and weights were used in select places to keep the surface flat.  The trailing edge glass needed to be periodically forced into a sharp edge by stippling with a brush.

Prepping wings for fiberglass

The trailing edge foam was cut back to make an even and straight edge.  Ailerons were cut out using a long hotwire foam cutter, and then the foam was replaced in the wing.  The control surfaces will be cut back out later, after the wing is glassed, filled, and primed. A hole was melted through the foam with a soldering gun to the cable conduit in the leading edge foam blocks.  The VHF NAV antennas were placed on the wing and glued into place, with the cable and balun routed to the wing root.  The foam surface was sanded lightly to smooth the gaps and to fair all the edges.  Micro was spread over the entire wing and squeegeed into the foam.  Micro was used to fill gaps and holes and to fair all transitions.