Lower cowl fine-tuning and hinge drilling

So this is another sort of carryover post; some of this work I did over the weekend, plus a bit more tonight. Basically, I finally talked myself into sitting down and sanding on the aft edge of the lower cowl. I didn’t go to the trouble of getting the gap exactly right like I did with the upper cowl, though. My reasoning is that things are still going to be somewhat in flux until I have the cowl join line and hinge in place; I don’t want to spend a bunch of time on this edge and then have it distort a bit when I bring everything together. So I just sanded until the cowl was able to slip in place and not overlap the fuselage.

With that done, it was time to work on the attachment hardware. I started by drilling pilot holes for the future screw holes on then bottom flange; for now these are just #40 holes with clecos in them, but later they’ll get upsized for screws. Next, I laid out the rivet holes for the hinges along the sides of the cowl, and then went to town getting those drilled and clecoed.

Once I had that finished up, I was able to remove the top cowl and, for the first time, see the lower cowl supporting itself on the fuselage:

It’s worth noting that all this time I’ve been fitting, I’ve been putting the cowl on backwards. Normally, the lower cowl goes on first, followed by the upper cowl, but since the upper cowl gets fitted first, things have to go in reverse order. The good news here is that now putting the lower cowl on/off should be easier, since I don’t have to figure out ways to hang it from the upper cowl or prop spinner.

Anyway, next on the docket will be replacing the upper cowl and using it to mark the horizontal cut line where the halves join, then I’ll get to make yet another Big Cut and spend a bunch of time sanding.

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