Electronic navigation and communication require antennae. The great thing about composite, or plastic, airplanes as they are called, is that you can embed many of the antennae under the skin of the aircraft. Since ATC radar can see right through foam and fiberglass, it doesn't matter that the antennae aren't mounted on the exterior like they need to be for metal aircraft. The benefits are a nice sleek looking airplane with no unsightly antenna protrusions and less drag since there's nothing hanging out in the air stream to slow this bad boy down. It's certainly not much drag but you would be amazed at how all the small sources of drag can really add up.
|RST Antenna Kit|
I'm installing the following systems that will have antennae "buried" into the structure.
- Dual radios - 1 antenna in each of the vertical winglets at the end of the wings
- Dual Navs - 1 antenna in the canard, 1 antenna in a wing
- Marker Beacon - 1 antenna on the fuselage bottom
- Glide Slope - 1 antenna on the fuselage bottom
- APRS - Automatic Position Reporting System used for flight tracking via the internet - 1 Ant in the wing
Other non-copper tape antenna that will be installed...
- Transponder - Installed in the nose
- GPS - probably in the nose
|MB Solder Joint|
|MB & GS Antennae trial installed just before|
permanent install and fill.
|GS Solder Joint|
Note the oogered channel running diagonal back to the front of the IP...I changed the routing of the MB coax to keep the appropriate distance from the tip of the GS antenna and any metal. I'm not sure if I had to do this with feedlines but I figured I would play it safe. You can see the re-routed coax now comes toward the front more and then over to the punchdown.
TIPs: You'll need some tools. Based on a recommendations from an RV builder site, RST, and other internet locations, here are the tools I purchased. Coax stripper: I bought a Paladin 11255-LC CST and it worked great. BNC crimper: I purchased an Eclipse Lunar 300-054 crimper frame and the 300-038 die. For soldering supplies I got Kester 44 63/37 solder.
Now for the fun...time to glass the bottom. Onward. cab