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65. Protection

06/08/2013

Sunday saw Theo out for much of the day on a family commitment, but not before, devoted soul, he’d spliced a couple of cables!

I decided to work on the protection of the fuselage longerons while I was on my own. The longerons are the four long bits of wood going from front to back of the fuselage, with metal brackets round the outside at each frame, and bolts through each metal bracket. The problem is that if you try to wrap the fabric round this, it will snag on each of those brackets and particularly the bolt heads. So the design calls for a sort of rubbing strake on the outside that provides a perfectly smooth surface for the fabric to sit on. Behind the cockpit, this takes the form of a piece of 20mm dowel with a quarter of it cut out, so that it looks a bit like a Pacman in cross section.

The rubbing strake oks looks a Pac-man

The rubbing strake looks looks a Pac-man

This then fits over the outer corners of the longerons and is screwed in place. The drawings don’t explain how these were meant to fit over the metal brackets, and one suspects that it simply bent round them slightly, and they didn’t worry too much about the fact that it would rube the paint off and provide a really good corrosion trap.

Rick had routed out the 20mm dowels, bought from our local DIY supermarket, and I managed to find a 13mm angle moulding from another one. Then it was only a question of cutting pieces of the 13mm angle to fit in between the frames, and laying the routed dowel on top. It all went very satisfactorily, and we just need some long screws to fasten them in place.

Forward of the cockpit the system is different, using rectangular sections, and we’ll be looking at that later on.

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