Sunday, July 3, 2016

Landing Gear (Part 1)

I'd decided shortly after starting this project that I wanted to replace the original retractable landing gear with something springier. I decided on a Diehl taildragger setup, which bolts to the front of the front spar. In order to make it easy to keep a good leading edge profile, I glued all my foam in and shaped it to the profile I wanted before I messed with landing gear.

I discovered that, somehow, when I sand on an angle as specified in the plans, I manage to sand deeper than I can when my sanding board is flat. I'll need some extra micro in the grooves, but only on the top of the right side. Next I covered the leading edges in duct tape, then laid up two layers of fiberglass overtop of the duct tape.

The duct tape I used seemed to get very loose with heat. This caused some ripples on the inside of the fiberglass, but the outside shape is still nice and even. After the fiberglass cured, I peeled it off the duct tape and removed the duct tape from the wing. I measured the area I needed to cut out for the landing gear brackets, then used a razor blade to (carefully) cut the foam away in one solid chunk. I set aside the foam and the fiberglass skins, then lined up my brackets and drilled the bolt holes through the spars. 

I had originally ordered the tricycle gear legs, but determined a tailwheel airplane is the way to go, so I had to send the legs back for the other style. Once they arrive, I'll finish attaching the gear, then finish shaping the foam and fiberglass around the landing gear and attach it all permanently. 

(Continued in Landing Gear - Part Two)

No comments:

Post a Comment