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68. Serendipity and Crossed Wires

14/08/2013

We have our fair share of things that don’t work out quite as well as expected, but there are a number of things that strike one as being strangely serendipitous.

The first think has been the rubbing strakes. As you will know if you’ve read earlier posts, this was made up from two standard sections we bought in 2.4m (~8ft for the Americans and Liberians) lengths from DIY supermarkets. Normally you’d expect that the particular pieces you want wouldn’t fit exactly into those lengths and you’d end up with some left over from each. Not so this time. There were a couple of usable lengths of around 600mm and 900mm left over, but the only other cutoff was precisely 13mm (1/2”) long!

The second thing over this fortnight (two

The tarpaulin I borrowed fitted absolutely perfectly!

The tarpaulin I borrowed fitted absolutely perfectly!

weeks for the Americans…) has been the weather. The UK has been blessed with one of the best summers in living memory, but here in Dorset we seem to have been particularly blessed; it’s rained a couple of times, and always at night.

Which leads me to the third thing; knowing we’d want to be working outside a lot, I borrowed a tarpaulin – and found that it fitted over the fuselage and tailplane as if it had been made to measure.

And finally, take a look at the wings stored in Theo’s living room, and tell me that the room wasn’t made to measure. Even the picture fits like a glove.

The wings fit into Theo's living room absolutely exactly, The overall length is about an inch less than the length of wall available, and even the picture hangs in the gap for the ailerons. Theo simply has to sit about a foot nearer the TV...

The wings fit into Theo’s living room absolutely exactly, The overall length is about an inch less than the length of wall available, and even the picture hangs in the gap for the ailerons. Theo simply has to sit about a foot nearer the TV…

Astonishing!

But not everything has gone completely smoothly. We had the opportunity to rig up the control lines for the tail surfaces at least temporarily to see how they worked. The rudder cables are reasonably straightforward and don’t get in the way of anything too vital, but the elevator cables are another story.

http://youtu.be/HMsibXTA9mw

 If you watch the video below you will see the problem. Bear in mind that the stick is original, so that’s obviously correct, and the turnbuckles and fairleads are exactly as the original drawings.

It’s clearly a nonsense, so what’s the right solution? Bristol were clearly aware of the problem; they came up with two later designs of fairlead under the seat, though only the latter one would have sorted the problem out. We wondered if they’d fitted shackles between the stick and the turnbuckle, though the witness marks on the stick would seem to indicate not. At the moment we are inclined to use Bristol solution no. 3 as being the most authentic solution that works. See below.

http://youtu.be/YAayQpXzB9I

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From → Building, Technical

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