I next reinforced the foreward landing gear bulkhead areas. The plan's method of cutting out the fiberglass to size did not work well for me. Following the suggestion from another builder, I used a sheet of glass large enough to cover the area, and patiently worked it into place using a 2" brush and epoxy. It took me at least 2 hours to wet out the 5 plies needed per side.
The toughest layup was the area between the landing gear bulkheads. I made a paper pattern of the area to cut out the fiberglass cloth and did all the layups on the work table before patiently working the wetted out plies on the area.
The brake line conduit was made using 3/8" OD vinyl tubing as suggested by the FAQ. The tubing was scuffed and 5-min epoxied. The trailing edge support was provided by using 3 layers of aluminum duct tape. The 2-ply BID layup over the brake conduit area was completed without much ado. The entire area prep sanded for the final torsional layup.
After a lull, I began work on the gear tabs. The process was per plan without much ado. The outer tabs layup took about 3 hours. The 1/4" tab holes were easy with the air drill motor. Hole alignment was pretty good since the 12" drill bit easily span the holes and is 3/4" from the strut. Trimming the tabs is a snap with the Fein tool a palm sander with 36 grit sandpaper. Notice that I didn't trim the tabs full thickness to 3" wide across the strut, no particular reason except that I didn't want to risk cutting into the gear strut.
Be careful, the inner tabs layup schedule is exactly opposite from the outer tabs: 20 UNI and 25 BID layers. This step took a bit more time since I had trouble keeping the layup from sliding under the clamping pressure. They turned out OK with a few small gaps that I'll fill with flox after trimming. While waiting for the outer tabs to cure, I decided to work on the landing gear cover. Since I am concern that the foam stuffed inside the hell hole will shift if removed, I will wait until the the landing gear cover outer surface is glassed before continuing with the landing gear installation. Meanwhile, I made the MG-1s and MG-2s. They were easily made with the bandsaw and drill press.
After spending considerable effort and time wrestling with the gear leg, I managed to insert the 1/4" drill bits through the gear tabs and bulkheads. One of the aft gear bulkhead hole had to be elongated. The landing gear leading edges were off by almost 1/4", within tolerance, after the smoke settled. The forward pair of MG-2s were too long for the angled bulkhead section, so I decided to make a shorter set instead of beveling to fit. Drilling the 5/8" holes is an exercise in patience. I tried using the counter bore tool, stopping frequently to allow for cooling, was very slow going. The archives contained plenty accounts of hole saw usage so I gave it a try. The hole saw does cut faster, but it also gets hot and required frequent stoppage for cooling. Minor hole adjustments were needed to allow the gear stud to thread between the MG-4 bushings. A surprise was the 1/16" gaps on each end of the MG-4 sleeve. I got a few responses to my query confirming that any play in the gear sleeve is unacceptable, the standard AN washer is 1/16" thick and should help eliminate the gaps and gear slop.
Installation of the Matco wheel/brake assembly was straight forward. The fuselage was leveled longitudinally and laterally, gear strut was installed and checked for levelness. The axle center was identified and utilizing the axle template obtained from Bernie Siu, I determined the layout on the strut end. The fine Fein tool was used to rough cut the strut end and final shaping achieved with a palm sander and round sanding stick. The axle bolt holes and backing plate were drilled using a 1/4" bit. I followed the plan's method of bore sighting the toe-in alignment. After determining the aiming spot, I flox the backup plate and the axle (covered with packing tape) to the gear strut. Be sure to wax the bolts before installing lest you want to have a very bad day to follow. Using the flat end of the axle as the rest for the aiming tube, I adjusted the toe-in by tightening or loosening the bolts. After allowing a full day for cure, I removed the assembly and had a nice flox pad on the axle side that I'm confident is within the toe-in specification. This method seems a lot easier than the block clamping method described in the plans. My thanks to those who had documented this better method of alignment.
Mods: Following the suggestion from a builder, I extended the LB hinge to 16" long from the original 10" per plans. The added length added rigidity, strength, and a little weight to the structure. LB-19 was widened 1" laterally per the FAQ, and installation of the Wayne Lanza brake actuator.
created by Remi Khu
last modified: November 27, 2006