The Fuselage is Finished

The last day of 2017 and the weather is wild. Wind and rain makes it a building day, but I’ve finally finished the repairs to my autogyro’s fuselage.

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It’s standing on its own two legs again, in amongst all the left over debris from the crash in October. All I need to do now is a bit of final sanding and then cover it. What I’m going to try and do, though, is to recover enough of the metallic silver blue film to cover the inside surface of the left fin. This blue film was left over from my first electric model, a Galaxy Models Aerojet from about 20 years ago. I used the last of the left over bits on the original covering, so I’m going to see if I can use some of the removed bits to cover the fin, using a bit of extra adhesive applied to the balsa first. This is so I don’t have to re-cover the whole tail section, as the right fin still has the blue on the inside and I’d rather not have to remove it, but two different colours would look decidedly odd. On the outside left and right fin, I’ll probably use something visible and different, like a bright red. The remainder of the fuselage will get the deep blue left-overs from my Extra 300. Anyway, that’s this afternoon’s job.

Here are some of the inter-repair photos on the tail end:

 

After the ply doublers had set, I sanded them back to expose some of the grain of the ply, as I really loved the look of the spruce grain longerons that I had just covered up. The ply grain doesn’t look as good as the spruce, but it will have to do for now.

As for the main part of the the fuselage, I finally relented and added some sensible 1/32 ply reinforcement to the inside where the two side pieces are grafted together:

 

There, that makes me feel like the fuselage isn’t going to snap in two. Now I’m going to use my covering iron on a low setting to try and peel away some of that remaining silver blue film to see if I can recycle it for the fin. Just in case you’re wondering why I haven’t removed the film on the fuselage bottom and sides before this point, I’ve always found that it acts as a useful protective covering while I’m doing any major work on an aircraft. Leaving the covering on can prevent a lot of dents and scratches that the exposed balsa can pick up on the workbench if you’re not careful, and, when you know the repair is probably going to take months, it’s a sensible precaution to take. As for accidentally dropping glue on the fuselage while you’re sticking the tail back together, nobody would ever be that stupid, but we all know that the glue won’t stick to the film anyway.

OK, so let’s see what scraps of film are still usable.

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