Gear Well Progress

Today started with prepping the nose gear well (strut area) for bonding. There was lots of sanding and rounding over corners etc. Then I released the new SC from the mold, the part of the gear well that houses the gear strut. The part turned out well. I cleaned off all the foam mold materials from the gear strut and it was reinstalled. Gladly, the fit is looking good.

The process went trim, fit, check clearances; trim, fit, check clearances; trim… well you get the picture. It was a tedious process, but eventually, I was able to get everything fitting to where I was happy, and was able to verify full travel of the nose gear. Finally, the gear will fully retract. After all, that is what this rework is about.

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The SC was bonded in with flox and 2 plies of bid. Everything was peel plied. While bonding in the SC, I also closed off some foam that I exposed along the areas forward of the nose gear pivot.

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After that was done, I started working on the nose gear bowl area. First, I trimmed out foam in the areas where the hinges will be mounted. These pockets were created to have an area for the hinge to actuate and to allow access to install the bolt. After the foam was removed, the areas were sanded down to bare glass. The angled sides were an after thought, but will allow for better cloth “flow” as well as more room for hardware installation.

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Another area that required attention was the very aft part of the gear well. The tire hits here when retracted. This is not ideal, so I sanded off the fiberglass to thin out the bulkhead. It is only just barely touching, so I didn’t even remove all of the core foam. This will create the space needed for clearance on the tire. The sight window for the gear well will have to be replaced.

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During all of the sanding operations, some of the foam got dinged up. I added some pour foam, and started sanding it to final shape. I had the best of intentions to get this area laid up, but it was getting late, and I decided that it was in my best interest not to attempt it. I am sure I would have found a way to foul it up, and have to redo it again. Rework once is annoying, rework twice requires a new hobby. Oh wait, I did that once with the winglets already.

So I had a beer and cleaned up some of my mess in the shop. Good night.

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