Chapter 9 is where we put in the landing gear and wheels as well as associated reinforcements. Chapter 9 seems to be relatively independent of chapter 8 and therefore I will try to do both of them at the same time. Pictures to follow as soon as I get a real start.



Bulkhead reinforcements
Putting down the first layups in chapter 9 was about as easy as dancing with a greased pig. I layed up the initial three layers of BI on the workbench and then transferred them to bulkhead.Getting them to sit properly was very difficult and I ended up cutting two scarts. I did manage to get the correct overlap for the scarts and avoided having the scarts on the face of the forward bulkhead. I spent a long time chasing air bubbles. The cloth moved around a lot as I was chasing the air bubbles. I think for the next side, I will try to lay up the layers one by one on the bulkhead rather than on the workbench. The last two layers were a piece of cake. I tried to take advantage of the presence of the electrical conduit. I chased a lot of the problems to the electrical conduits knowing that they would be cut out.
Same area but after the removal of the peelply. These layups turned out a lot better than I thought they would. They also took a lot longer. This side took about 3 hours. A lot of that time was spent with a hair dryer chasing out bubles.
One more view but this time from the side. I was very happy with the way the micro fillets turned out as well. Probably the best I have had yet.
June 30, 2007: Here I have wet out the right side forward bulkhead and floor and side in preparation for applying the 3 layers of BI followed by the 2 layers of BI. In contrast with the left hand side, I decided to do the layups in place rather than on the workbench and then transferring. In the end, this seemed a little easier, mainly  because it was easier to cut the required darts.
June 30, 2007: Here the layers have been applied. The white color at the interface between the sides and the bulkheads is the dry micro to make the radius. It was hard to keep it from getting everywhere. Nonetheless, this had to be done to keep the strength.
Lots of delay in getting to the inter bulkhead reinforcements. In fact, this was done after the strut was wrapped.
Strut
I spent about 90 minutes removing the sheen from the fiberglass landing gear strut which I purchased from featherlite more than a year ago!  I have to stop this horrible tendancy of purchasing things to far in advance. Anyway, I stuck on a 40 grit pad to the fein multimaster and took the sheen off very quickly. I was very happy to note that this did not create a lot of fiberglass slivers with would then itch like crazy. However, I was very careful to wear a mask. Some backlighting showed just how much of these particles float in the air for long periods of time. Reminds me of the importance not only of wearing a mask (obvious) but also of using a fan to exhast the air and particles.
A close up of the above picture.
July 7, 2007: Here is my jigging system for the 8° cut on the bottom of the strut. Rather than have the leading edge vertical  and having friends hold things in the air while sawing, I laid the leading edge flat on the table and used some blocks that I had cut with my bandsaw at 8°. Worked pretty well actually. In the end, I ended up cutting 210mm (0.83") off of each end at the leading edge and of course a little more at the trailing edge.On the first side, my hack saw blade wandered and I ended up doing a lot of filing. On the second side, I used my jigs just for making the marks and then cut with the hacksaw but with no jigs. This seemed to work better although I can't say why. It is counter-inuitive because normally I used jigs to improve accuracy. I used a new bi-metal hack saw (probably one that is made by my company, Erasteel) and am happy to report that everything went very smoothly.
July 7, 2007: Just the comparison of the two ends that I cut off. They should be identical in height and engle and they appear to be so.
July 7, 2007: Here the strut has been marked with the 35° lines (using the leading edge as a reference) and mounted on the nails/screws prior to fiberglassing.
July 6, 2007: All the fiberglass cloth was cut using my dritz scissors and a bit of geometry. Still, it took a long time to cut. I only cut 10 strips instead of the called out 12-13 based upon  comments in the archives.
July 8, 2007: What a frustrating experience. I though that putting the first 4 layers of UNI on the strut would be easy. Not the case. I managed to get one layer on in about three hours. Of course it was really four hours since I had to go pick up my boy in the middle of the layup. Midway through the first layer, I remembered that I had forgotten to sand 1/8 of an inch off of the high spot. I was also having LOTS of problems getting the fibers properly aligned. I also should have given myself wider strips than the 12 inches called out for in the manual. Talk about having no margin!!! Anyway, I decided to pull the plug after one layer so that when I sand off the bump before continuing, I am along going to be removing 1 layer out of a total of 4 (or 8 if you include the next layup). I peel plied everything to allow me to easily continue in a day or two. A little frustrating not to have made good progress but, c'est la vie.
July 14: What better way to celebrate the 14th than by working on the strut. We took 5 hours to put on the next three layers of fiberglass. This airplane building can be tough. The results turned out ok.
July 20: Preparing the strut for the brake conduit. I just put on a bunch of tape to protect the strut from drips.
July 20: Here I have set up a guide from foam whch was taped to prevent the epoxy from sticking to it and held in place by clamps. You can never have enough clamps.
July 20: Holding the conduit in place with some more clamps. Per the plans, I made a mix of 5 minute epoxy and flox to glue it in place. Others have been glueing it in place with HotStuff superglue but I didn't have any on hand. I did not  use McDonalds straws for the conduit but rather used a larger ID tube from RC modelling (goldenrod pushrods) which Jean-Pierre found to be sufficiently large to pass braided steel lines instead of the nylaflow.
July 20: The final results were not so bad although the 5 minute epoxy-flox mix was not spread as evenly as I had hoped. This will, of course, be rectified with some dry micro as specified in the plans.
July 21: Here I have put the dry micro in place in preparation for building up the trailing edge.
July 21: I used some cardboard to ensure that the trailing edge had a shape which conformed to the strut. This made for a nice top surface but the bottom was not at all flat despite the fact that I troweled on a lot dry micro. The black marks were to help me ensure that I had at least one inch of BI beyond the brake conduit. One half of an inch would have been to short for me since I used a bigger conduit than normal. Despite the large amount of micro, further work was required to make the trailing edge acceptable.
Here is the strut after completing the trailing edge and working on the leading edge. The trailing edge was filled with flox to give the correct  form prior to putting on the final layers of UNI. This worked very well and I am pleased with the results. The leading edge was a real mess. Trying to precisely cut the UNI as you apply it so that it has a 1/8 inch seperation at the leading edge is nearly impossible. Mine was a bit of a mess so I sanded until I reached the strut. I then applied a layer of micro to fill any remaining holes.
August 4: Good preparation is a must: nothing is worse than being in the middle of a layup and not being able to find something. These strut layups definitely require more than one person; hence the second mask. Just the cutting of the UNI took over an hour.
August 4: Good light is also necessary. The yellow stand is supporting a 500 watt lamps and you can see the flourescent light hanging on the wall. All this in addition to the normal overhead lights and ambient light from having the garage door open. Here the strut has been finished after 3.5 hours of work. An improvement from the first time around. I told Maureen that the next strut would be faster but her response was "WHAT next strut!"

The results were really quite good.
August 4: The peel ply has been removed and the trailing edge needs to be sanded. The only problem that I can't seem to overcome with the peelply is how to avoid the little ridges at overlapping points for the peel ply. These will have to be sanded smooth.
After finishing the stut layups, it is almost obligatory to put the strut in place to see what it looks like.
August 8: Started building the jig. Floor was not even so I had to shim the pilot's side of the strut. Building the jig was not so difficult. Was the first time I used bondo and am not sure that I will repeat it since Bondo in France is very expensive. I noticed here that my trailing edge buildup was slightly mismeasured with one side being 1cm to close to the centerline. I cut the excess off. This  night I started to cut the strips for the landing gear tabs and was quite worried when looking through Marc's website in which he said that 15" strips were not long enough. Big panic. I then saw in his oaf's story that the 15" were adequate unless you misplaced the holes! Big sigh of relief.
August 10: In order to verify that things were really level I went and bought a mason's straight edge and used it support my digital level. Everything is within 0.1° of level. The stut is positioned with a tolerance of +-0,5mm. The sweep is identical on left and right sides. At this point, I am very content.
August 11: The big day! Time to make the tabs; or at least the first half of the tabs. I followed the plans to the "T" and everything worked out very well. The only real problem was in clamping and moving the plies around as well as clamping to a uniform thickness. As it is, although the same number of plies were applied to each side. The total thickness varries by 1,5mm between the left and right sides. 1/16" is not so much but... The picture to the left shows the layup with the first 25 layers of UNI. With the assistance of Maureen, this took five hours.
August 12: Woke up and went to take a look at the results of the previous day's work. The results were quite good and shown to the left in peel ply.
August 12: Here I have the same bump that everyone else seems to have.
August 12: It took about 3 hours of building jigs, measuring again again and again but I finally got the pilot holes drilled. The results were exactly 26" apart. The side to side level varries by about 1-2mm. I'm a little dissapointed here but I will just have to move the axle up a little bit one one side. (or even better to move up on one side and down on the other so that neither side is radically different from the other in terms of how much of the strut has to be removed for caliper clearance.
August 12: The proof that the holes are aligned with each other. A good point to call it a day.
Here is the strut fit into the hell hole.
My plane, which previously looked like a square canoe with holes no looks vaguely viking like. The holes lined up with very little mismatch. Now I have to get ready to install the MG1 and MG2 pieces.
The tabs have been shaped; the bolts have been persuaded to go in and I have rough cut the strut ends for the caliper cutouts. Getting the spot facing tool to remove the aluminum was a bit of a challenge until I followed advice from the cozy list and slowed down quite a bit on the rotational speed of the spot facer. This really did the trick. Strangely enough, I found that cutting through the fiberglass with the spotfacer caused even more buildup. The real lesson is go slow!
Setting up the toe in was a bit of a bear. I started by ensuring that the strut was well centered and perpendicular to the fuselage length. After that, I tried to follow some of the instructions on other web sites using a system of lasers. Of course the lasers are rarely well aligned within their protective casings so you must include a correction for this. In my case, the amount of misalignment of the laser was much greater than the toe-in that I was trying to adjust. Not a real problem but it needs to be included. To the left is my table setup upon which I shone the laser. This setup made my wife just about barf as she didn't find it very precise but in the end it seemd to have worked.
Here you can see my individual targets with my "visual math".The extreme right line in blue corresopnds to 0° toe-in. The second blue-line corresponds to the 1/4° toe-in and the third includes the correction for the laser being misaligned within its housing, the housing thickness and a total length correction for the misoriented laser. Very important to take it all into account. Of course, if it doesn't work well, I will just use a normal laser alighnment technique at our maintenance hangar and use angle shiims to correct the toe-in.
Here is what I have attached to the strut to hold the laser. It is essentially a pressboard which serves both to support the laser and also to give a flat surface under which I have but great globs of flox. This flox will serve as the base for my axles.
Here is the backing plate for the bolts that will hold the axle in place. Like many other people, I found the square design to be ugly and switched to a round plate. The caliper cut-outs are still rough.
Here are the axles in place.
Finally, wheels!!!! I don't know why, but the fact that it has wheels makes it begin to look like an airplane instead of who knows what. It's upside down, it doesn't even have the brakes on but it does look like an airplane. (sort-of)
Landing Brake
I made a couple of modifications for the landing break.
1. electric actuator: this makes for a simpler installation and adds to the cool factor
2. wider hinge: my hinge will go the full width of the brake. I don't think this is absolutely necessary but it adds so little weight that I might as well

I still have to put some pictures in if I can ever find them but for the moment I put in a couple of movies to show it operating. This really brings the kid out in me.
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