Fiberglass Items

Time: 6 Hours

After I finished up the last little bit of the windscreen fairing and finished admiring my work I set out to do some fiberglass work. First was to add two layers of fiberglass tape to the rivet lines on the gear leg fairings. I covered the tape with ply peel and will get to sanding these after cure. 

Next up was to check on a task I did last night and that was a flox/epoxy spacer I made to get a good fit between the wheel pant and the bracket that it gets attached to. The idea is that the screws that attach the pants to the brackets will deform the pants if the mating of the bracket/pant isn’t perfect. That would look bad after the pants are painted. So I carefully filled the space between the bracket and pant with epoxy/flox to make them fit perfect. 

I sanded the flox all around and cleaned up the edges. This is gonna work perfect so I did the upper holes of this bracket and the lower holes of the other side. 

Next up was removing the primer on the canopy skirts and add two layers of fiberglass over the rivet holes. I’m doing this as I have found that my filler that I put over the rivets was starting to crack under the flexing during opening and closing the canopy. This took several hours to get accomplished and I still have the vertical rows to do. 

I only saw cracking on the lower few rivets towards the forward edge but I though I better do all of them as that would have been the right thing to do in the first place. This means that once I’m finished with this I will have to fill and smooth these out all over again but that’s the way it goes when you have no idea what you are doing. Luckily this stuff is forgiving and can easily be fixed. In between these tasks I started putting in all the carpet pieces and trimming as needed to fit around the forward stick boot and fuel pump. 

I love days like these as I feel like I was really productive. 

Windscreen Fairing #10

Time: 1 Hour

I sanded the areas that I added Super-Fill to and cleaned up all the areas. I taped off the areas around the windscreen and added 3 light coats of filled primer. After letting that dry for an hour I looked the surface over and was pretty happy with how it looks. So off came all the paper and tape to see how it looked. 

I’m so happy with how it looks. I’m sure the painter will have some tweaking to take it to their satisfaction but it’s good for me. So I’m calling the windscreen, at least the exterior, done for now. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the interior side, finish it my self or let the painter do it and paint it as he does the exterior. 

Windscreen Fairing #9

Time: 2 Hours

I did some touch up sanding along the fairing and cleaned up all the dust so that I could prime the surface to fill the pinholes with UV smooth prime. I ended up with two coats of UV prime sanding in between the coats. 

After sanding I taped of the entire area and sprayed three coats of filler primer. 

After the primer dried I used a flashlight at an angle to see the few larger pinholes that didn’t get filled. I used some Super-Fill to get those and will sand them tomorrow and reprime. 

I’m happy with the work and will let the painter finish up the detail work. 

Gear Leg Fairings

Time: 2 Hours

I removed the gear leg fairings and their hinges. I cleaned and deburred all the holes in the hinges. I also countersunk all the holes in the fiberglass for flush rivets. With my squeezer and soft rivets I attached the hinges to the fiberglass. 

The hinge pin gets a 90° bend in the bottom end and cut to one inch so that they can be secured with safety wire through a small hole I will drill in the fiberglass. 

Little progress anytime I can get it gets me one step closer to flying! I will sand the entire surface to prep for a layer of fiberglass  to cover the rivet heads to prevent paint cracking in the future. Then I will square up aft edge where the two sides meet so that they have a nice finish.