|Initial assemply of fuselage formers
(bulkheads) and sides. A fair amount of trimming was required to make a
good fit. The templates (especially the cutouts for the front seat)
where not precise enough to ensure a good fit without further
adjustment. Unfortunately, F-22 has a very slight bow that needs to be
corrected. Less than 1/8" total bow, but still like tight underwear:
|Just another view of the initial fuselage setup. It doesn't show well here but I am actually pleased with the fit of the bulkheads to the fuselage sides. F-22 is held in by the usual 3mm nails (1/8" for the US). The piston in the background is from an old 18 wheeler diesel engine from when I was a metallurgy student. Never thought that it would one day be used essentially as a paperweight. You can also see my oil heaters to keep the garage warm during the winter months. This year has been a kind of cold winter in France.|
|Same as before but from the other side. I guess like most other builders, I have the ubiquitous fein multimaster which seems to be everpresent.|
|At long last, beginning to get rid of the fuselage side jigs. They've been with me for almost a year; glad to see them go. It will also be nice to reclaim a large, flat table for other layups. In a limited basement space, every little bit helps.|
FINALLY, SOMETHING THAT IS BEGINING TO LOOK LIKE IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME A COZY!February 22, 2006, the first trial assembly of the fuselage. Things went together surprisingly well.
I thought seriously about building the fuselage upside down on the table as so many others have done. A very logical way to do it but unfortunately for me, the table in the background is so beefed up that cutting out a hole in the table for the instrument panel is virtually impossible. I' decided to use the plans technique. Seems to have worked for a lot of other people.
I first measured the gap between the transverse 2x4s and had a huge shock, 7mm of difference between the left and right sides. What in the name of hades have I done. How could I be so stupid. This will never fly, I am a complete failure. Wait, maybe the sides are right and the frame I put together in one night is slightly off. Bring out the measuring tape, breath a big sigh of relief, it is only the wooden holding frame which is off. It turns out that I missed my 90° angles slightly and instead had 90.0° on one end and 89.66° on the other end. OOPS! Easier to fix the frame than lengthening or shortening the fuselage.
|No cozy web site is complete without a least one picture of the builder hamming it up! It does seem to be a 'cozy' fit. One more reason to keep on losing weight. (17 kilos in the last six months)|
|During the construction of the bottom, I took no pictures! It turned out very nicely. Here is a picture of the tub bottom prior to putting it in place. I made one modification, instead of using the 'last a foam,' I instead used the same divinyl cell that I used elsewhere in the fuselage sides and bottom. (I ran out of the 'last a foam' and having a small piece shipped from the US to France just seemed like a waste of money; particularly in light of the fact that Nat has said that the choice of 'last a foam' was motivated by price)|
|Seat back in place.|
|Heating duct in place.|
|The manual said to use lots of flox.|
|STRAIGHT and LEVEL.
(The SmartTool is very reassuring)
|I didn't like the idea of adding lots of weight to compress the flox so I instead used a lot of clamps. Worked very well but now I have enough clamps to last a lifetime.|
|Bottom in place, no major problems found after the resin had cured. Subsequent checks verified that everything was still 'Straight, Level and Square'|
|Beginning to round the fuselage in preparation for chapter 7. (sometimes it is impossible to resist moving ahead a little bit)|
|Out of sequence, but the lower firewall is finally in place. I had a slight problem in that the landing gear bulkheads, while seperated by exactly 8 inches were actually 6mm to far back. A call to Nat was in order. I asked whether it would be better to preserve the 5 inch dimension between the firewall and rear landing gear bulkhead and the expense of a 6mm longer fuselage or instead reduce the 5 inche dimension. Nat said it didn't really matter; either choice was good and that the original cozy had a 3 inch separation which was later increased to 5 inches just to ease the building process. I decided to reduce the 5 inch dimension by 6mm. (I know, I'm mixing units but it is a hasard of building an American design in France)|