Nose side panels

Now that the nose strut was operating properly, it was time to make and install the nose side panels.

I started out by cutting out the panels using 2" thick foam (cut from H45 PVC FOAM 2"X24"X48").



After cutting out the planform shape, I then cut the end pieces to the correct angle so that it would fit perfectly snug between the F22 and F1-3 bulkheads - this was done with my bandsaw.


It took a bit of work to get the angles right... but when all was said and done, it was a perfect fit.



I made sure I had 0.5" overhang where the panel mates with the fuselage. This will allow me to blend a nice spline into the fuselage later.





Notice the panel needs to be dished out on the inside to blend with the inside wall of the fuselage.


So I traced along the F22 pocket onto the foam...


...and drew out what needed to be dished.


Using a knife, I carved away...


After sanding it smooth, I test fitted the panel again to make sure I had a nice flush transition.


Very niiiiiiice!


Then repeated it for the other side...


Next step was to make the forward bottom corner filler pieces. Notice how there is a tiny gap (about 0.25") between the panel corner and F1-3. A filler piece is used to cover this hole. If I were to push the panel in so as to get rid of this hole, I wouldn't have the proper nose contour.


So I cut a triangular filler piece and blended it into place.


Here is a view from the outside. I made sure the piece was long enough so that when I shape the outside of the nose, I will have a moderate foam sandwich between the inside glass and outside glass.




With the filler pieces completed, I proceeded to glass the panels in place. The plans say to glass the panels on the bench and then carry it over onto the fuselage, but I figured that method would be extremely difficult - so I opted to apply the glass after the panel has been inserted in place - although one could argue this method to be more difficult.

I started out by slurrying the surface and the 3 edges that come in contact with the nose floor pan, the F22 edge and F1-3 edge.


I painted plain epoxy on all mating surfaces and installed the panel in place. I then applied a bead of flox along all edges creating a fillet for the glass.




I then applied 2 plies of BID at 45 degree bias, wetting it out in place. At this point, you're probably wondering how the heck I pulled that off... and I wish I would have taken pictures of it to show you - but I didn't so I'll do my best to explain. I positioned my credit card sized squeegee up against the wall and angled it as to create a funnel - I then poured resin onto the card, which would drip down the card and onto the glass wall - I would then move the card upward, spreading the resin into the glass.


I did a poor job of taking pictures for the remainder of the right side panel... so let me try again with the left panel...

Here I am slurrying...


I then painted plain epoxy onto the mating surfaces...


Applied flox and then the glass...



I used a brush to tuck the edges into place...


After the 2 plies of BID were in, I moved on to prepregging the 3 plies that go between the forward face of F22 and the inside nose panel.


I then peel plied all the edges...




After everything cured... it was time to trim the overhang... here is a good shot showing both reinforced top corners (between the forward face of F22 and inside nose panels).



Nothing new here... trimming the overhang with the multi-tool....






I used a rounded hand file to fine trim the F22 pockets flush...


And there you have it... inside nose panels installed and glassed!


2 comments:

josko said...

Absoluty very nice.
Ary I am working in the same nose.
I could not find to make these.
I have finished the side panels.
I am ready for the next.
Thank you.

Jack Hohner said...

Ary
I found this entry which answered my question on your choice of foam. Great stuff. Jack