7.2.0 Nose Gear

Not much to show yet, except for the hole that needs to be prepped before the keel is permanently installed. Here’s that hole! The diameter of the hole is smaller than the flange on the gear leg which is why those notches are ground out on the sides.

Fuselage - Nose Gear Prep

Yet another hole in the bottom of the fuselage - this time for the nose gear!

After installing the keel (see Section 6.2.0 and 6.4.0 for that process) it’s time to strengthen the opening with multiple lay-ups of triax. Once cured, I mounted the nose gear shock absorber. This was a really tight fit. Before doing the strengthening lay-ups it fit like a glove. But those lay-ups closed up the opening so I had to do a bit of grinding to get it to fit. And for sure it’s a very tight fit but it’s in there and working perfectly.

Here is the factory-supplied nose gear shock absorber installed in the keel.

After making sure the fuselage is back to level again, the manual recommends that the main gear legs touch the floor. The nose gear then needs to be 9/16” off of the floor with the end of the gear set at an angle between 2 and 4 degrees. Ok! That’s sounds easy enough. So, I used the long beam to find the center point for the gear and cut a couple of blocks of wood - one that is 9/16” thick for setting the bottom of the gear leg and another cut at a 3 degree angle (I split the difference) to set the angle of the gear leg. It actually worked pretty good. This gear leg is heavy (steel pipe) so trying to align it inside the keel while keeping all of the distances and angles correct was a bit of a pain. But in the end it all worked out well

Fuselage - Nose Gear Alignment

Using some wood blocks to set the height and angle of the nose gear leg.

Finally, here’s a photo of the finished installation of the gear leg inside of the keel. The top section of the gear leg gets attached to the keel via a long bolt that passes through a couple of bushings as well as the leg itself. A bracket is then attached to the shock absorber which locks the leg up tight against the absorber. Finally, the captivator plate assembly gets attached to the keel and the leg to help further lock everything into place.

To be honest, installing that captivator plate was a real pain. There’s no template for determining where the holes need to be drilled through the keel. It’s kind of a measure, guess and test drill some small holes to make sure things line up properly. I fooled around with this for hours before getting it installed. And even though the manual doesn’t say to do this, I milled some elongated holes in the bottom of the L-brackets so that I could slide them tight against the wall of the keel. Once everything was locked down, there’s no way that they are going to move.

The gear leg is now installed along with the shock absorber and the captivator plate.

Now that the mechanics are finished, we need to install the nose wheel itself. That happens in Section 8.2.0.

ui© John Trautschold 2018