Contouring the floor

Now that the fuselage was square and straight, it was time to work on the fuselage floor.

Just like when I bonded the fuselage side panels together... the floor is composed of two large 1.75" thick H45 foam boards.

I let this cure overnight. You can't see it in this picture, but I also had a box on the ends sandwiching the foam boards together.

After cure, I placed the floor on top of the fuselage (fuselage is upside down on my bench) to trace the outlines of the bulkheads and fuselage sides.

Since I had my fuselage in the jig (holding the fuselage straight), I couldn't crawl under it to make the traces. So I asked, "What would MacGyver do?" Shhhhhhh! Don't tell Elle' that I took the broom apart!

Using the broom stick as an extender, I inserted it through the F22 and instrument bulkhead leg cutouts and made the necessary tracings. 

Vuaaaa-laaaa! Trace complete!

It was now time to pull the NB nose wheel box cover out... notice Livie keeping me company!

The dashed black line is the 0.7" measurement around the perimeter. This is where the foam will be trimmed to later. I didn't want to trim it just yet so that I could use the overhang to clamp it down to the table - this way I could press down as hard as I wanted without fear of damaging the part of the foam that actually matters.

 I then proceeded to make all the measurements for the contours.

Here is the nose wheel box cover lines; forward of the instrument panel.

Here is the front seat and "map" compartments. For those of you who have never sat inside of a Long-EZ, the map compartments are accessed by reaching through the leg cutouts and blindly reaching in through the backside of the instrument panel. What a wacky design - but hey - whatever works, right?!

 Passenger foot rests...
 And last but not least, the passenger's seat.

It was now time to contour and remove a lot of foam! Since each contour has a fillet around the perimeter, I decided to clearly mark off a smaller area (the area where material had to be removed using the router) and leave enough room for the 'ramp'. I planned my contours a little different than the plans - I decided to put a more aggressive ramp. In my opinion, this increases the strength of the floor and will also give it a more 'clean-cut' professional look.

Here is one side complete and the other marked off..

 Here is what it looks like after the router work (bottom pocket); top pocket is complete.

 I then sand it smooth.

 Passenger leg rests after milling out using the router with a straight bit.

I then switched to a 45 degree bit. I didn't have a clean bit (notice the extra step at the tip where I removed the roller bearing). Although this leaves me with a small step in the foam, it's easy to sand it to a nice finish.

Here' what it looks like after going around with the 45 degree bit.

Close up... notice the step I was talking about earlier..

 After sanding it round and smooth...

Oh, no! The famous Long-EZ Tiki god! (Marco, you know what I'm talking about!!)

Pilot leg rests...

Post straight bit router work...

Post 45 degree router work...
 Post sanding...
 Passenger seat (butt rest). I started by milling down steps using the router. I then hacked away the aft portion of the butt rest using a knife.

Post sanding. Note that this was a rough finish and is not the final work. I later trimmed the corners to give it a tighter radius.

The pilot seat (butt rest). I made a foam model to get a better idea of what the 30 degree front end ramp should look like. Don't worry, I won't use my iPhone's inclinometer to measure my wing incidence when the time comes! But for the seat ramp, I figured it was accurate enough!

The back end needs a 45 degree angle to match with the front seat bulkhead.

After removing material with the knife...

Post sanding. Looks like swiss cheese! I'll later fill this with dry micro prior to glassing.

 Here is the final work of the pilot foot rest area...

Here is the final work of the "map" compartments just forward of the front seat.

Here is the final work of the pilot seat butt rest.

 Here is the final work of the passenger feet rests...

Here is the final work of the passenger seat butt rest.

After all the contours were ready, I trimmed the perimeter using a jig saw.

 Floor contours complete!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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