Not only has it been a while since I have been in the workshop, but my regular helpers have been missing in action for a while too. Both due to their own reasons. But today, both Jon and Greg were able to be in the Garaggio with me. It really jumpstarted the return to progress on the Long Ez.
We divided and conquered today. Jon started by putting what we are hoping to be the final coat of primer on the bottom surfaces of the wings. We rolled it on, so we have to sand again, but we are optimistic that the surface will turn out well. In addition he put another coat of primer on the ailerons and rudders.
While Jon was working on that, Greg continued working on contouring the elevators. They still had a thick coat of micro on them, so there is a lot of sanding to do. Greg was able to get one surface of the right elevator really close to final contour. We still have a lot of work to do on the elevators.
While the two of them were working on their tasks, I continued on the canard. I was able to get the left top surface contoured. Now the whole top surface is ready for epoxy wipe. I then turned my attention to the bottom surface.
I took a lot of micro off the bottom, and am getting pretty close to breaking into structure. The contour is getting closer to the desired contour as checked withe the Eureka CNC templates. The difficulty is that the canard is too thick and we cannot get the templates to meet at the leading and trailing edges. What we are going to have to do is accept the canard is thicker than it should be, and modify the templates to ensure that we have a consistent cross section across the span of the canard. We will get to this next workshop session.
Lastly, Jon has been tired of working with fiberglass for quite some time, so I had to promise him some non-fiberglass work to get him here today. So we decided to start on engine baffling. I had previously ordered the Vans Aircraft baffle kit for the Lycoming 360. I think it is going to save us a lot of work.
We were only able to use the forward (accessory case) and side pieces from their kit. I knew that when I bought it and even so, the price is cheep enough that it is completely worth it. The pieces are CNC punched and accurately bent. They fit like a glove. Jon spent quite a bit of time trimming them down to roughly fit the contour of the Long Ez cowl.
Jon and I then used the paper clip trick. Basically you put paper clips on the top of the baffle pieces. You then put the cowl on and the paperclips displace to exactly match the contour of the inside of the cowl. You are basically making a custom contour gauge the exact size required. You can then measure and mark a set back from the paper clips to give the gap you want between the cowl and the aluminum baffles. There are many detailed descriptions and photos of this process on VansAirForce.net, and regrettably, I did not get any photos of the process. However, here are some photos of what the baffles look like. I am quite happy with how they turned out.
I know some people spend hours on just making one of these pieces of the baffle due to the holes that have to be located precisely and how many bends are required. There are 7 pieces shown here. We only have to fabricate the aft most baffle from scratch. Then we can work on stiffening the aluminum pieces and joining them together. Not bad for half a day’s work.
Thanks to the Gang for making up for my nibble yesterday with a full on feast of elephant!