The strakes are the "armpits" of the plane. Per plans, the strakes provide torsional stiffness and strength for the center-section spar, crew accessible stowage, two 25.5 gallon selectable fuel tanks with sumps, and also provide aerodynamic lift.
In this chapter, I will jig and build the strakes out of glass and type H45 foam, plumb vent lines, install fuel sumps (to provide fuel in unusual attitudes including sideslips, nose-down parking, and steep descents), and plumb fuel lines forward to a valve near the bottom instrument panel and back to the pumps and gascolator.
EPOXY NOTE: not all epoxies are fuel resistant! I will be using EZ-poxy 87 for ALL surfaces that will come in contact with fuel. Although I built my center-section spar with Aeropoxy (which is not fuel resistant), I will be covering the forward face of the spar with 1-ply BID using EZ-poxy to protect it. Kitplanes magazine did a fantastic job documenting a test to see which epoxy was most fuel resistant - click here to read the article.
The strakes are built with a few ribs and bulkheads. The rib templates are found on the full-size drawings (A14) and the bulkhead dimensions are found on pg 21-1.
1. Passenger elbowroom mod
There's no debating that the Long-EZ is a small airplane, especially for the passenger - where leg room and shoulder/elbowroom is extremely scarce. New builders extend the passenger stowage access cutout farther aft (extending the BAB bulkhead with it), allowing the passenger to stick his/her elbows inside the stowage space - giving them the much more desired elbowroom they deserve! I'll explain this mod in more detail in future posts.
2. Jig table
Step 2 (on pg 21-3) has us build a jig table to install the bottom skin, ribs and bulkheads. While reading and prepping for this step, I couldn't see how one could properly align the ribs and bulkheads using this method. So I decided to glass the ribs and bulkheads on my workbench first, and then install them using a simple platform by shimming them precisely into place. Again, I'll explain my method in more detail in future posts.