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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nose and nose gear - part 13

Nose right side panel (5.6 hrs)

For the life of me, I couldn’t cut a piece of foam that would fit properly in the space between F-22 and the nose bulkhead, so I settled on an “incremental approach” where I would add scrap pieces and micro as needed to fill the voids, the less the better.

Minimizing the gaps

Foam scraps pinned temporarily

Testing a corner piece for size

Corner piece trimmed and pinned

I came up with a pretty weird looking chunk of foam, and I carved a small depression in the rear half of it to make it match the F-22 leg cutout. In the end the leftover gaps were quite minor, and were later easily taken up by dry micro or flox.

Final right nose piece configuration

To make things simpler, I decided to glass the panel on the bench, and let it cure overnight.

Going to work

Glassed and peel-plied

The next morning I glued the panel in position with semi-wet micro.

Side panel "microed" in place

Detail of the front side

Nails used to prevent the foam from sliding inboard

Clamp preventing the foam from falling out

Later, I used BID tape to make all the structural connections.

Cutting BID tape

Flox fillet

Bid tape connecting side panel to F-22

More BID tape action

"All you can eat" BID tape

After a further curing cycle, I trimmed off the excess glass, then decided that the BID tape overlap between the side panel and F-22 seemed to be less than 1 inch in a few spots, so I added a wider piece to make certain I tied the two vertical structures together.

Area to be glassed

2 plies of BID over epoxy and Cabosil, backed with plastic sheet.

Plastic removed and peel-ply added

Last but not least was another 4 ply BID piece that strengthened, and tied together the top corner of F-22 and the nose left side panel. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of that, but I will shoot some when I do the right one.

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