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156. Elementary, my dear Watson

06/04/2015

We’ve been puzzling for a while about how the fuselage fabric is attached to the ply cover.

The bottom edge of the ply has to be fastened to the fuselage longeron, and you also need the hooks to which the fabric will be laced.

Photograph from the parts list, showing a piece of reinforcement along the bottome edge which doesn't appear in the drawing or parts list

Photograph from the parts list, showing a piece of reinforcement along the bottom edge which doesn’t appear in the drawing or parts list. This is an early example of photoshopping, since the cupboard at the back was a completely separate construction, and you can see the fuselage longeron inside the cockpit!

The photograph from the parts list shows some reinforcement – probably a piece of half round moulding – which doesn’t appear on the parts list.

This photograph, probably of 1264 itself, shows the edge reinforcement and the lacing of the fabric.

This photograph, probably of 1264 itself, shows the edge reinforcement and the lacing of the fabric.

A photograph, either of 1263 or 1264, shows the edge reinforcement and the fabric lacing.

The reinforcement wasn’t shown on the parts list, and we were a bit puzzled about how to (a) fix the ply to the fuselage, and (b) attach the lacing hooks.

In the end, I decided to use little no. 3 brass woodscrews through the centre of the lacing hooks which would do both jobs at once, which they did, but we were left with another tricky problem. If we ever wanted to remove the ply cover – to get access to the petrol or oil tanks or the pipework and valve actuating linkages for instance – we’d have to unlace the fabric before taking the ply cover off. This is something to be discouraged, because the dope will continue to shrink the fabric throughout its life, and if you leave it unlaced for 24 hours, you may never get it back on again!

So I took another look at the drawing.

2015-04-06 Ply cover drawing

This showed that there was a part 17 – edge strip, and when I checked on the parts list, part 17 was shown as made of fabric.

I’m still not 100% clear how it was all done, but we’re going to use a piece of ordinary half round along the bottom edge of the ply, which has been shortened to finish about halfway down the longeron, and the fabric edge strip will be glued to the longeron itself, under the ply cover, with the lacing hooks riveted to it exactly as they will be to the fabric cover itself. This will look pretty exactly as it does in the photographs, and will have the added advantage of allowing us to remove the ply without disturbing the fabric.

 

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