Nose Strut Door

Today started with cleaning up after yesterday’s layup. The nose gear was also reinstalled to ensure I still had full retraction and all is well. Now for gear doors.

I already had made one strut gear door for the previous installation. I decided that the exterior of the door was good, but the foam/glass rib on the back side was not. So I sanded off the foam, and basically we were left with the exterior layer of glass.

Then Greg came over and we got started preparing the gear leg itself for the layup. We added the AN-3 bolt through the NG-3 to secure the pieces to the gear strut. It is also floxed in place, but the bolt is added security.

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I decided to apply a technique that I saw from Wayne Hick’s website. The lower 10″ of the strut gear door is not bonded to the gear strut allowing the door to flex when the nose gear absorbes shock. There is a track and a “belt loop” that retains the gear door in against the strut. You can read Wayne’s description and see a diagram here.

This added some difficulty since I wanted to do it in one layup, and wanted glass on all foam surfaces. So I devised an order of operations that allowed me to: 1. layup the track and belt loop over release plastic, 2. then micro on foam held in place with 5 minute epoxy, 3. Sand the foam to fair in with the fuselage, 4. Micro and 5 minute on the gear door exterior, 5. Add bid tapes on the interior, 6. Peel ply, and 7. Put the gear in place to ensure cure in the proper position.

I didn’t get any pictures of the process, but here is the layup curing. It was subsequently weighted in place. Also note the use of a lamp and foil as a heat source for cure, it is located inside the gear well.


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