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66. Mobility

06/08/2013

Monday was forecast to be wet – indeed the England cricket team had particular cause to be thankful that it was – and we used the opportunity to concentrate on the undercarriage. We’d done the preliminary work on the woodwork a week ago, but couldn’t complete the cross-bracing cables until he had the necessary shackles and pins, so we removed the cabane structure and turned the fuselage over.

While Theo did more splicing, I set about re-erecting the woodwork and re-checking that the axle was exactly in the right place. We also had to make a hole in the crossmember for the wire to come through. None of the information we had indicated what sort of hole was required, but by the time we’d made it large enough to let the spliced end of the cable through it would have left the whole thing pretty understrength. We had to choose between threading the cable through the crossmember before splicing it – something we didn’t think made a lot of sense, since if you ever had to replace either cable or the crossmember, you’d have perforce to replace all three – or making a slot. We adopted the slot, and you can see how it looks on the dummy crossmember here. The one on the real thing should be a good deal smarter, but like everything else on the chassis, it’s all at odd angles, and one more or less has to make a trial hole and see how it comes out at the other end.

Dummy chassis crossmember with slots in each end for the cables to run through. We had no information from pictures or drawings to help us, and this seemed the best option.

Dummy chassis crossmember with slots in each end for the cables to run through. We had no information from pictures or drawings to help us, and this seemed the best option.

These are the largest size of cable, and splicing them is very hard work, but it was pretty much done by lunchtime, and when we reassembled the whole thing it started to look really robust (having said that, most of the accidents in Bristol Scouts seem to have involved undercarriage failures…).

We needed to get some gluing done while the fuselage was upside down but after that the sun came out, and we decided this was a photo opportunity. Accordingly we turned it back upright again, added the axle (temporarily fixed by a couple of luggage straps) and the wheels.

We knew the wheels had seemed large in the living room, but the effect, when attached to the fuselage is to create a MONSTER! Even without the cabane or rear fuselage, it still towered above us, and we attached the tailskid and rolled it carefully outside on the lawn for pictures. Both of us felt pretty pleased with ourselves after that, and having spent much of the previous week fretting about the amount of work left to do, suddenly it seems distinctly manageable!

Theo standing beside the monster we've created. Of course the whole thing has to be this size, because of the gigantic propeller fitted to the rotary engine.

Theo standing beside the monster we’ve created. Of course the whole thing has to be this size, because of the gigantic propeller fitted to the rotary engine. NB. The undercarriage struts nearest the camera are the temporary ones we made up to check the fit…

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