In this chapter you will manufacture the sides of your fuselage. You will
start by making jigs to provide the correct fore to aft curvature of the
fuselage sides. The jigs will first be laid flat on your work table so
that the upper longerons may be laminated together with the correct
curvature. The jigs will then be mounted upright on the worktable and
covered with 1/8 in. masonite to provide a form for the fuselage side
layup. Then 3/8 in. thick, blue, low-density PVC foam is laid in the form
and cut to the correct profile. Spacers of 3/4 in. white, low-density
Clark foam are glued to the top and bottom edges, landing gear-centerspar
cut out area, etc. The inside surfaces are contoured, that is, the
spacers are beveled, fuel sight gage areas carved, depressions carved for
additional stick clearance, etc. The inside surface receives a 2-ply UND
skin and, while the layup is wet, the upper longerons are floxed in
position. After cure, some local beef up is added to the upper longerons,
the lower triangular longerons are installed, and local beef up to the
landing gear and center spar mates to the fuselage is opened. The outside
foam surfaces are left bare until after assembly of the fuselage is
completed in Chapter 6.
Step 1. Cutting The Jigs and Laminating the Top Longerons
For this step you will need two pieces of 1 in. x 8 in. (nominal) x 8 ft.
pine board. Layout and accurately cut the fuselage jigs shown on page 2
of this chapter. Jigs FJA, FJB, and FJC will be used to laminate the top
longerons to the required curvature. Lay two sets of these jigs flat,
back-to-back along the centerline of your worktable, checking to see that
they measure 102 in. (minimum) total length, and spread the FJAs 0.5 in.
at the forward end only and the FJCs 0.5 in. at the aft end only (fig. 2).
The reason for this, of course, is that the longerons will need a smaller
radius of curvature than the sides, to fit inside the sieds. Fasten these
jigs securely in place on your table with several nails in each jig.
Apply box sealing tape to your workbench along side the jigs (so you don't
epoxy the longerons to your worktable). Take 6 pieces of 0.25 in. x 1 in.
x 105 in. spruce from your kit (fig. 1), mix up some some epoxy, paint the
mating surfaces with epoxy, and clamp them (3 strips per side) in place
tight against the jigs (Fig. 2). Don't epoxy them to the jigs! Nails
driven into the table can also be used to hold the longerons in place
(Fig. 2, sec.AA). If you have difficulty holding them tightly together
against the jigs, you can even use wedges between the nails and longerons.
Allow a smooth transition curve where FJB meets FJC, and let the excess
length extend equally at both ends. After cure, take the 60 in. x 0.4
in. x 0.7 in. wood stiffners (Fig. 1), taper the ends as shown, saw cut
0.45 in. deep at 0.75 in. intervals where they will have to bend to match
the curvature of the longerons. Make sure you make one right and one
left. Epoxy them in place, using flox, on top of each longerons as shown,
fastening them until after cure with nails (Fig. 3, sec. AA). Don't try
to drive the nails into the wood, rather, predrill holes. In a similar
manner, install the two 5-1/2 in. long doublers on top of the longerons at
the forward end, and the two 15-1/2 in. long doublers alongside the
longeron at the aft end as shown (Fig. 3). Let sure for 24 hours minimum.
After cure, remove the nails with pliers.