22nd July 2012

Prickly pants

Hours: 7.4 | Posted in Endgame, Gear & Fairings

Most of the day was spent working on wheelpants, but before that, I temporarily attached the underwing inspection covers with screws — more prep for weighing.  This also necessitated drilling out and replacing one nutplate that had no threads.

Set up the strings and lasers to align the wheelpants, and worked through the right one first.  With the process understood and completed once, the left pant went significantly faster, as it’s basically just the reverse of the right.  I opened up the tire gap to a finger’s width all around.


The front wheelpant was a different trick, and I did eventually get it satisfactorily drilled.  The instructions have you putting on and removing the aft pant by sliding it over the brackets…because the front of the pant is tapered down (unlike the mains, where the split line is at the widest point), you have to stretch it out to fit it over the brackets.  This went fine the first several times, but eventually, I stretched it and a big vertical tear zipped open in the left side.  So, after finishing the fitting of the pant and nose cap, and making sure it was able to pivot with freedom, I pulled all the pants and did some glass work.  Patched the nose pant back together with glass tape and epoxy, and added some buildups on the inside of the main pants, to fill gaps between the pant and the brackets.

I need to bring a larger step drill to finish the towbar holes (3/4″ isn’t big enough for the bar to enter through).  Then, all the nutplate work has to be done on the pants and brackets.  After that, leg fairings…  No word on an ETA of the intersection fairings yet.  I did some internet digging and the data indicates that the pants and leg fairings make up for most of the speed increase (10-15 kts), with the intersection fairings contributing just a couple kts of that.  I’ll weigh with the wrong fairings taped in place, since the replacements should weigh about the same; any difference ought to be negligible.

And, I still need to bleed the right brake.  I would have done it today but it always seems to make a mess; I want to pick up a foil pan to catch the drips under the caliper so I don’t make a big mess of the hangar floor.

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