Sunday, September 12, 2010

More cowling chronicles

I don't have a big video presentation for you but I do have another installment of the process of figuring out how to fit the canopy on the RV-7A. After some fiddling and the 35th and 36th reading of the instructions, I at least have the order of fitting figured out.

Once the top of the cowling is where it should be, this -- as near as I can figure -- is the process.

1) Cleco the front of the bottom cowling to the top cowling behind the spinner. By the way, it's a real pain in the next to fit the bottom while the spinner back plate is on. I had to cut an extra three or four inches on the nose gear slot.

2) Drill the top cowling to the top hinges. Today I changed out my shims from .020 to .032 because I added some fiberglass to the aft edge for strength when I put some fiberglass back on from the original trim.

3) Mark the aft bottom edge of the  bottom cowl and cut. I did this last week but decided to put fiberglass back when I cut 1/4" off the top of the front to make it fit better. I retrimmed the back bottom today. I still have too big a gap -- I think -- at one point. But I can put more fiberglass back later.

4) Drill the bottom aft of the cowling to the hinge.

5) Mark and cut the side edges (after sanding a straight edge on the top cowling). I'll be cutting the top of the bottom cowling. There's an "indented" molded edge on the top of the bottom half of the cowling. The top cowling does not mean this edge at one point on the left side so I'll be adding some glass there soon.

6) I think at this point you drill to the horizontal hinges connecting the top and bottom sections.

7) Trim the aft side edges of the bottom and drill to hinge material.

I may have #6 and #7 reversed; I'll have to see.

One of the things that's been delaying me is rather than just get this thing fitted and sliced, I've been messing around with gaps and adding glass etc. I'm pretty sure this is something that can be done after everything is drilled to hinge material.

We'll see.

More as it happens

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