Engine Off

Well, there have been no posts for the last few workshop sessions. I made many missteps in fabricating the engine stand, most of which were due to my poor geometry and lack of ability to cut compound angles in steel. I only have a horizontal band saw for making semi-accurate cuts and it only does a single angle. After spending 4 or 5 workshop sessions, I have decided that it was high time to get back to work on the airplane, and table the engine stand project. After all, I can buy one relatively cheaply.

So back to the airplane. We are trying to get the fuselage ready for finishing the bottom. The next step was to take the engine off to be able to have access to the cowl mount flanges and the aft end of the cooling intakes. So Rob and Lance came over and we were able to get the engine off. I was somewhat nervous about how it was going to go, but everything went well.

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I have been having problems with the gear door closing sequence. Originally they would not close fast enough and the doors would hang up on the nose lift foot. Jon, Greg, and I had been modifying the arrangement, and tried many things to no avail. We even tried nesting springs inside springs.

So, I picked up some new springs for the nose gear doors after consulting with James Redmon and Mike Beasley. Mike had a technical description of the spring he was using successfully, Thanks Mike! I tried using the spring that Mike was using, and it solved the retraction problem. It created a new problem. During extension, the doors didn’t open all the way. While lance was here, he noticed that the nesting springs were causing a kink because the outside spring was not the same length as the inside spring. The inside spring was not strong enough to overcome this.

So I used the new spring Mike suggested, and cut that to the same length as the  spring that fit inside. With a complete double spring in hand, I installed it, and tested. The gear doors were working almost properly. Better than they ever had.

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So I installed a wire hoop like most people use to stabilize their doors from swaying. By bending this the proper way, I have been able to have success in both the retraction and extension. The clearance is still less than ideal, but we are really close and on the right track.

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