It was time to see how accurate the alignment of the strut was when installed in the fuselage. This is the ultimate test of how well I performed the previous steps. I leveled and aligned the fuselage per the plans, marking F.S. 124.25 (firewall) and 108.25 (leading edge of the main gear strut) and ensuring everything was square and straight. In fact I did it multiple times using my large squares and a laser. This is not the step you want to screw up because some major holes get drilled based on this alignment that would be difficult to correct.
|Starboard (Copilot) Side|
|Port (Pilot) Side|
After leveling the fuselage, I centered the strut between the bulkheads and dropped plumbs from the strut leading edge. I found both sides a little forward of where there were supposed to be...one about .15" forward and the other about .25". After a little adjusting of the bulkhead holes, I was able to bring both side to almost perfect. You can see in the pics the plumb basically dead on the line...just hope my line is actually correct :-).
After getting the the alignment set, I rechecked the level of the gear...amazingly still level !
|Rechecking strut level after everything is aligned|
(Truth In Lending Statement: This pic is actually from a prior set up...
I re-did the entire thing because the saw horse legs would move to easy
when bumped and would mess up the entire setup.)
|Digital level showing strut|
still level after alignment
The last step is the installation of the mounting hardware to the bulkheads & the gear attachment tabs.