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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Main landing gear - part 2

“Wrapping things up” (6.8 hrs)

Last time, I wrapped the landing gear bow from the trailing edge forward, this time I will wrap it in the opposite direction. These layers of UNI cut at 30˚ add torsional stiffness to the gear bow.

Cutting more UNI

4 + 4 plies ready to go

Once again, I elected to pre-preg the UNI to make it easier to apply to the gear bow.


Pre-pregged UNI being applied to right leg (up is fwd)

Plastic wrapping being removed

UNI smoothed out by hand.

Later, I peel-plied the trailing edge, where an additional layup will be done to house the brake lines.

Trailing edge peel-plied

With the right leg completed, I repeated the steps for the left leg.

More pre-pregged UNI for left leg

Pre-pregged UNI applied to leading edge of left leg (up is fwd)

Gear bow curing after having peel-ply applied

In addition to pee-plying the trailing edge, I elected to peel-ply near the middle of the gear bow, where the gear tabs will go. These tabs will physically connect the gear bow to the fuselage, and will be made up of 72 layers of fiberglass. As you can imagine they will be the thickest layup on the plane. 

Trimming the trailing edge after curing overnight

Gear bow done, ready for fiberglass tabs.


  1. At first, I was thinking "72 plies?! This must be a typo!" Not only is it 72... it's 72 times 3!!!! A total of 216 f!@#ing plies for an attachment tab?! Are you kidding me?! I'm all about saving weight, but come on!!! Really Mr. Rutan?! Couldn't we just have gotten a prefab metal clip to attach the gear through the LMGA tubes?!

    1. Another way to look at it is that there are 72 plies per tab, and 36 plies on the strut between each pair of tabs.