Rotisserie Building

Before the sides can be covered, they need to be contoured.  Before they can be contoured, the fuselage needs to be moved from the table, onto a support structure that will allow changing the orientation of the fuselage easily.  This structure should also allow easy access for covering and contouring.  Here’s how I built my rotisserie.

I first built two tripod looking support structures, each on casters, as seen below:

Rotisserie End

Once these were built, I needed to decide how to support the fuselage while allowing it to rotate about its longitudinal axis.  The plans call for reinstalling the false firewall with a hole drilled in the center, and then drilling a hole in F-22 to be filled in later. I took the plans advice on the aft end, but didn’t like the idea of cutting holes in my bulkheads. Here’s a look at what I built on the forward end:

FWD Support

This support allows for a bolt to be used as an axle, but outside the forward end of the fuselage, so no holes in the fuselage are required. It is crucial in building this support to have the tolerances pretty tight between the top and bottom of the tub and the bracket, so that when the fuselage is rotated, there is no bumping it around.

Here’s a look at what the aft end looks like:

AFT Support

As you can see, the crossmember in the aft support is significantly longer than the forward support, this allows me to drill holes in either end, and match drill holes in the temporary firewall, allowing me to lock the fuselage in any orientation I desire.

You can also see in the above pictures that additional wood has been added to the rotisserie underneath the original strut design.  This consists of 2x6s providing additional structural support, while raising the structure up a bit higher, which provides additional ground clearance for turning the fuselage. You can also see I have slats running the length of the fuselage, tying the bottoms together.  This prevents the two supports from spreading apart at the bottom due to the weight of the fuselage.

And of course, I had to get Heather’s approval:

 

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