Time: 10 Hours
So the fuel tanks have no leaks after having both the left and right tanks full of 100LL for several weeks. I drained the fuel out back into the 5 Gal fuel containers using the fuel sump drain. While the wings are on I’m gonna finish up the upper gear leg fairings. I couldn’t do these before when I had the wings on since I didn’t have the gear leg covers done. Now that they are I can get this last gear fiberglass task done. The upper fairings I bought from Cleaveland Tools and matched the lower fairings. These are not a perfect fit so you have to some work. I started by finding the two lower holes and drilled them. These holes are part of the gear leg inspection cover holes and I just needed to match drill them to the fairings. After that I worked slowly trimming the remaining edges to get the best fit possible. I found that the upper edge needed a lot of work so I decided to cut most of it off and add a layup to the inside and make the fit perfect. Before I did the layup I needed to secure the fairing on the top so that I returned it to the same position each time. I took an idea from my buddy Glenn and used a nutplate but reversed, meaning I put it on top of the side skin on the fuselage rather on the inside. Trying to put this nutplate on the inside of the gear tower would’ve been a nightmare. So I ground off one ear of a #6 nutplate then I drilled a hole large enough for the center of the nutplate to fit in. I then drilled for the wing of the nutplate for a blind rivet. I countersunk for the dimpled nutplate wing so it would sit as flush as possible.
After that setup I added some epoxy/flox to fill in the gaps and smooth out the transition. I also added some SuperFill to get the fit against the fuselage better.
The left side is done for the most part and just needs some finish sanding. I started the right side and had the same issue with the transition so I cut it up as well to add a three layers of fiberglass to make the transition work.
The inboard section of the right side had a gap of around 1/4” so I needed to cut off a good section in order to get it to lay up flat to the gear leg. After a couple of layers of fill I had the fairing pretty close. I then added a little Super Fill to the leading edge so I could get a real nice fit around the fuselage.
I real happy with the fit and will call them done, minus a little surface work but that can be done off the airplane. So now the wings can be removed again until final assembly!