6.10.0 Canard Reinforcements

Per the notes on the right, you can see that this template spans across both the top and bottom of the fuselage. In any case, with the fuselage leveled front to back and side to side, this template is also leveled using the level line on the template. You can’t see it in this photo, but there’s another reference mark on the bottom that lines up with the front surface of the canard bulkhead. Once the template is aligned with that reference mark and leveled, I simply mark an outline and use that to cut this shape into the side. In reality, it turns out that the template is undersized so while test fitting the canard, I had to grind out more than shown here.

Fuselage - Dog House Template

After leveling the fuselage I can then level the template that's used for cutting the canard opening curves.

This is the initial cut for both the template and the dog house cover. The factory pre-marks the cut lines, but they weren’t as accurate as I’d like them to be. The front cut line used the nose of the template on each side, along with a string line, to create a nice, straight cut. I also used the nose access cover and a tape measure to check for accuracy. The rear cut was a bit trickier. I generally used the factory-marked cut line for that, but adjusted it a bit to get it straighter. I used the nose access cover as well as the front cut line and a tape measure to adjust my string line. In the end, after probably an hour’s worth of measuring and adjusting, the end result came out nice. (Measure ten times - cut once!)

Fuselage - Canard - Dog House

This is the raw dog house cutout for the canard. There's a lot more work to be done here!

Fuselage - Dog House Cover

Just a photo of the raw cover after getting cut out of the fuselage. There's a lot of work to do on this yet!

The rough canard opening is now being refined. The template does not place the opening for the elevator torque tubes, so that gets measured, then cut separately. You can see one of the openings in the photo below.

Fuselage - Canard - Dog House

More trimming and adjusting! The slot for the elevator torque tubes is now open.

The photo below shows the canard in place. Placement of the canard is tricky. First of all, the fuselage needs to be level. Then, the canard itself must be level left to right. Using the incidence gauge, the canard also needs to be level over the chord line. Finally, the distance from the upper wing bolt holes to the edge of the leading edges of the canard need to be equidistant. It’s a real 3D puzzle. Once all of that is accomplished, the holes are drilled for the bushings that get mounted in the canard bulkhead. Those bushings are then epoxied into place with structural epoxy. It’s all really tricky. My wife and I had to remove and reinstall the canard dozens of times before everything was correct.

Canard - Test Fitting

The dog house is opened and trimmed so it's time to test fit the canard in the opening.

There are inevitable gaps that occur while trying to get the canard as level as possible. Those gaps are filled with EZ-Poxy plus Microballoons. In the photo below you can see the just applied mixture before reinstalling the canard. The canard gets bolted into place while the epoxy cures. The bottom of the canard is covered with duct tape so that it releases from the epoxy mixture. We don’t want the canard to be permanently mounted! It has to be removable!

Fuselage - Canard - Epoxy Fill

The canard needs a flat surface to sit on so once everything fits properly, a layer of EZ-Poxy plus micro balloons is placed on the surfaces. the canard then squishes it all into place!

Although I didn’t take a photo, the end result from the photo above is a nice, hard, flat surface for the canard to rest on. Once I got everything aligned properly, it’s amazing how easy it is to attach or detach the canard!

After spending a few hours trimming the dog house cover, it’s time to start making the mounting tabs that are used to attach the cover to the canard and fuselage. You certainly don’t want that flying off in flight!

The duct tape you see in the photo below is temporarily applied so that the fiberglass and epoxy used to make the tabs and attachment points don’t stick to the cover.

IMG 2141

Prepping the dog house cover for installation of the mounting tabs on the canard.

This is just the begining of this process. I’ll shoot more photos later showing the tabs and how everything attaches to the canard and fuselage. Since building the attachment points is somewhat detailed, I’ll discuss that whole process in the next section, 6.10.2.

ui© John Trautschold 2018