Chapter 6 - Step 3

Step 3 involves building the fuselage bottom and attaching it to the fuselage.

Marking the Outline April 15, 2000. The three big sheets of 3/8" blue foam are being weighted down so the outline of the bulkheads and sides can be drawn.

Joining the Pieces April 15, 2000. The marked up pieces are now on the workbench and are in the process of being epoxied together. I actually need to make this from four pieces since I didn't have a single piece big enough for the aft third.

Building the Frame April 16, 2000. Here is the 1x2 frame being built for the fuselage bottom. I ended up not securing this frame to the foam. I simply layed the frame on the workbench and layed the foam on the frame. Gravity held it in place for the most part.

As I write this I think I may attach the foam from underneath in a few spots so it doesn't move around while glassing the foam later.

Landing Brake Cutout April 16, 2000. I was quite pleased with how nice the landing brake cutout came out. I used a sabre saw tilted at 45° to cut all the edges. The brake is sitting on a flat surface so it doesn't warp between now and when it is needed again.

Rough Cut Spacers April 16, 2000. All the foam spacers layed out after rough cutting them to size. Like the fuselage sides, I used a hacksaw blade to rough cut the bevel on all the pieces and then sanded then to the proper shape. This gave me nice transitions in all corners.

Finished Spacers April 24, 2000. The foam spacers are now complete. The next task is to glass it. I was very happy at how well this fit in place on the fuselage. I only had to make one small adjustment to make it fit just right.

Weighting the Bottom April 30, 2000. Here is the bottom being weighted down after being floxed into position. I'm doing the bottom in three steps as described in the FAQ. I did the BID layup on the bottom one night and peel plied where all the tapes will go. Then I floxed the bottom into place another night. Later I will do all the tapes.

Bottom from Front April 30, 2000. The bottom being held in position.

Taping the Bottom May 3, 2000. To start taping I turned the fuselage on its side. Tonight I did all the horizontal joints facing up.