Nose and Canard Cover
is really Chapter 13 and 24 stuff, but I'll record it here since I did
the entire top at one time. I glassed the nose and canard cover first,
then removed them to gain access to the inside of the fuselage to release the
drywall screws holding the forward deck foam into place.
Fabricating the Nose Door
fabricated the nose door differently than plans. I didn't like the idea of
making the door first, then carving a recess into the nose before glassing the
entire nose. My process sounds more involved, but it's actually simpler and
there's less margin for error. Here's what I did:
first glassed the entire nose top and canard cover with 2-BID per the plans.
I cut away the nose top as per plans. I used a template to ensure the
line between the canard cover and nose top was cut out symmetrically.
drew the outline for the door onto the nose top, then used my dremel tool to
cut through the nose skin along the outline. But I didn't cut it out all the
way. I'd cut for a bit, skip 1/8th inch, then cut for a bit, skip
an 1/8th, and so forth. In this manner, the door stays
to the nose top during the remaining layups. Thus, its shape is
guaranteed to fit the rest of the nose! You can't
really see the cuts in the pictures below, but you can hopefully see the
nose door outline, as well as the small tick marks that show where I made
the serrations by skipping the 1/8th inch segments. By the way, I
didn't like having the aft edge of the door secured only by the canard
cover, so I'm making a joggle for the aft edge of the door.
flipped the nose door upside down and removed the foam down to bare glass
around the inside perimeter of the door outline, one inch to each side of
the cut lines. (Two inches total width removed.) Unlike the
plans I shaved down the foam over
the inside of the door, leaving about 1/4th inch for stiffness. I carved and
shaped the rest of the inside surfaces as per plans, slurried the foam, and
glassed the inside surfaces with 2 BID. (I used 2 BID instead of the 1
BID as per plans.)
cure, I glassed a 3-BID, 1.5 inch wide
layup over the inside perimeter of the nose door. The purpose of this
layup is to add
stiffness to the opening in the nose top and add thickness to the door
accepting the screws that secure the door to the nose top. I made a
paper pattern first, as shown in the picture below. The dotted lines
represent the cut lines. The darker, shaded part along the outer edges
of the pattern depicts the 1.5-inch total width of this 3-BID layup. I
wet out the 3-BID on the bench, cut out the 3-BID, and applied the layup onto the
inside perimeter. I centered the layups over the cut
lines -- one half onto the inside of the nose top and one half onto the
inside surface of the door.
cure, I used my dremel and cut through the 3-BID layup along the existing
cut lines made in step 1. I
applied duct tape (for mold release) onto the inside perimeter of the door, being very careful
to get the duct tape right up against the cut lines. I
created the joggles by using the pattern and once again glassing in
another 3-BID layup -- half the width onto the inside nose top, the other half extending onto the duct tape on the nose
- After cure, I used a
razor knife to very carefully cut the little 1/8th-inch
serrations. (Don't cut through the joggles!) The door popped right
off. I trimmed the joggles to 0.8 inches wide as per plans, put the
cover back into place, drilled the holes in the front corners of the door
and joggles, and installed the nutplates. That's all there is to it!
the nose top gets installed for good (floxed and 2-BID taped), I'll
complete the aft joggle by taping the inside aft edge of the door (for mold
release) and applying a 3-BID joggle from the smaller bulkhead ahead of F22
onto the underside of the nose door. That will occur further down the
road, so check back in a year or so.
next step is to fit the canard cover to the canard, but I'll postpone doing that
until I can fill and contour the canard.