Reinforcement plates and whatnot

First up tonight were some reinforcement plates for the center section. These will (presumably) go under the skins at the center section to provide some additional structure and help distribute the loads from the main spar carry-through. These plates are provided as flat stock, but they need to be bent to match the curve of the bulkhead ends. Before bending, I went ahead and filed and polished the edges of the plates; easier to do that when the stuff is relatively straight. Next I set up the bending jig, basically just a pice of lumber set on 1/8” spacers and clamped to the bench. The plate is bent by slipping it under the lumber and applying downward force. By doing this at ~1/2” intervals in the upper part of the plate, the result is a nice gentle curve.

The bending jig:

IMG 6020

Next up are similar reinforcement plates for the gear towers. Here again, these plates will go under the side skin, and here again, they need to be bent to match the curve of the upper fuselage. These were made if thicker material than the center section plates, and thus bending them was a little more work. Always fun trying to balance “this takes a fair amount of force” with “no don’t put a big crease there.” After this, there’re two gussets that go at the top of the center section area to help tie it into the upper longeron. Once again, these guys need a curve bent into them.

Finally, after lots of filing, polishing, and bending, I had all these various pieces clecoed in place. Which is probably not strictly necessary, as I’ll soon be fitting the longerons under some of this stuff, but it’s as good a place to store the parts as any, I guess.

IMG 6025

And that’s it for tonight.

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