Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ch 9.5: MLG Access Close-Out

Thinking Ahead for Access

The last thing to do is close-out the top of the MLG area.  The plans have you leave two small diameter holes for inspection access to the MLG.  Since I routed the brake lines on top of the MLG, I needed slightly bigger holes to ensure I could get to the brake lines if needed.

Trace out the round corner rectangles using a template
So, rather than the plans round inspection holes, I built rectangular holes to give me more room.  I also wanted to build access hole covers to help muffle any noise coming from there.  With these, I can access any of the adel clamps holding the brake lines if I needed.

After following the plans to glass one side of the PVC foam, cut it to shape, and fit the pieces to the MLG bulkhead area, I traced rectangular panels symetrically on the port and starboard side of the horizontal panel.

View of bottom of panel with inspection panels cut out
at a roughly 45 degree angle before installation in fuselage.
These covers were then cut out with an angle inward from the top such that they would be self supporting when laid in place.  The top and side panels were then floxed in place in the fuselage.  Then, with the covers laid in place, I glassed the entire thing per plans.  Before it cures solid, I was sure to cut the inspection panel covers lose...it would have been much harder after cure.

After the the full panel is fitted and floxed in place and
inspection holes are taped up with box tape. 
After the MLG close-out was cured, I removed the panel covers that I had already cut lose and did some clean up work to make sure the openings for the inspection panel covers were nice an symetrical. Then I placed box tape all around the area were the inspection panel covers will go.

Glassed 2xBID over the inpection panel covers in place.

I placed the inpection panels in place with dry micro around the edges to help create a nice clean and gapless seal.  After cleaning up the excess micro that squeezed out the top, I glassed over the panesl with 2xBID extending past the edges of the panels approx 1".  I peel ply'd and allowed it to cure.

Inspection Panels, one trimmed up, one not, after being
removed after cure.

After cure, I popped them lose and trimmed the edges of the covers to approx 1/2" wide and cleaned up the excess micro.  I think the only thing I'll do to secure them is maybe use a dab of clear silicone sealent in a few spots.  That should keep them in place with no rattles.  In theory, I'll only need to remove them every once in a while to inspect the top of the gear or brake lines.

Inspection panels fit nicely !

Finished !  Nice MLG inspection panels that provide access while helping keep out unecessary noise.

Chapter 9 Complete...On to the first airfoil !

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