Covering the Bottom

So the last few posts have been building up to this point, covering the bottom!

Having reinstalled the landing brake, with a few dabs of 5-min epoxy, sanded the depression all around it, and built the duct tape buildup around the brake area… don’t remember if I covered that before or not.  Either way, I don’t have pictures of it.  I’d also completed contouring the sides and bottom, installed the step reinforcement, and installed the nav antenna, so I was ready to cover the bottom!

I mentioned my readiness to cover the bottom at an EAA Chapter 478 meeting, and had a couple volunteers to help me out.  Doug Crane, of www.craneplanes.com was quite interested in helping out. However, the very next day Heather and I got off work about the same time, and the weather was perfect, so we set about glassing the bottom!  It really isn’t a difficult layup, much easier than the inside layups, it just takes time because of how large a surface it is.  With both of us mixing epoxy and wetting out as quickly as we could, it took right about 3 hours.  Here’s a few pictures of the process:

Getting the cloth laid out

Ok, so I have ONE picture of the process, and a couple shots of the layup already peel plied:

I tell ya, the extra layups around the hardpoints for the landing gear and the engine mount were a PAIN.  It’s quite difficult to get the cloth to laydown straight around the bend of the corner.  Thankfully, I had rounded the corners off enough that we didn’t have any airbubbles form around the corners. Still, there was quite a bit of grumbling and getting frustrated involved in finishing these reinforcements.  Many thanks to Heather for taking over on the last one when I got too fed up!

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