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Friday, July 11, 2014

Nose and nose gear - part 14

Nose left side panel (8.0 hrs)

Luckily for me foam is easily repaired, because I had another “senior moment” while measuring the height of the left panel, and I cut the foam 1” (2.5 cm) short. I thought about cutting a new panel, but this foam is just too expensive to discard, so I cut the missing slice, then glued it back to the main piece.

Amount to add to the incorrectly cut side panel

Foam slice cut, glued, and pinned to the side panel.

After fitting and adding more scrap pieces to it, the left panel emerged just as weird looking as the right one did...

At least they are symmetric

... and since glassing it on the bench, then taping it to the nose when cured worked out so well for the right side, I decided to continue the same way.

Left panel glassed, and peel-plied.

I must have been very tired, because my quality control was terrible that day, and the next morning I found a bunch of medium to small air bubbles under the cured fiberglass (not good).

Air bubbles marked

Unfortunately there were just too many bubbles to just go drill and inject epoxy into. 

This situation was unacceptable. 

I decided to make a structural repair by sanding over the offending air bubbles all the way down to the bare foam, and glass over them with greater care.

Foam and fiber craters

2 BID plies over the depression

Peel-ply action

Peel-ply removed the next day

Trimmed, sanded, and ready for use

Waiting for the panel to cure again cost me another day of building, but I felt a lot better about the integrity of the construction, and I moved on to glueing the left side to the nose.

Very thick wet micro (to prevent running)

Left panel pushed in position

Excess micro overflow

Excess micro removed, panel shimmed and tied in position.

While the West System micro quickly hardened in the above 90℉ shop temperature (> 32℃), I got my BID tapes ready to go...

BID tape readied

... and got started on the flox fillet.

Flox fillet being applied to joint

Flox fillet following the joint

The last step of the day was applying the BID tape, and peel-plying everything.

BID tape application

Same thing looking forward

4 ply top corner reinforcement

Forward section peel-plied

A longer shot of the connections

The following morning I removed the peel-ply, sanded the leftover strands of Dacron tape off, and trimmed the excess glass.

Peel-ply removed, and leftover peel-plies strands sanded off.

Same thing looking toward F-22

So, this is what the nose looks like today (it will be shaped and glassed later on)...

Nose left side

Nose right side

Top view of both sides

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