9.2.4 Cut Out Lower Baggage Access Openings

The first step is to mark the location for the openings. The lower strake is placed into position and is used as a template. The upper strake is also temporarily  placed into position (which means all of the trimming and layups need to be finished - see Section 9.2.3). These markings need to align with the fuel tank baffles so those need to be marked on the lower strakes first.

IMG 2220

Marking the cut lines for the baggage compartment opening.

There are a lot of baffles that get installed for the fuel tank. You can see all of the lines marked on the lower strake. The aft end of the baggage opening needs to align with, or be slightly forward of the #2 baffle. Once that baffle is installed I’ll sand the end of the opening to get it all aligned since I need to do a layup there to lock it into place.

IMG 2227

Baggage access opening showing alignment with the fuel tank baffles.

And now we have an opening for the baggage compartment!

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The left side is now open. The bottom of the strake must align precisely with the bottom of the opening since a strengthening layup wraps around from the strake into the cabin.

Even though the manual suggests opening the baggage access area up to the carbon fiber beam (that supports the door frame) later in the process, I figured it was easier to do it now. I can do all of the necessary layups immediately, saving some time. There doesn’t seem to be any downside to doing this, so…

You can also see the transition from the strake to the side of the fuselage in the photo below. The inside part of the opening is actually sanded down to make a curve so that the BID nicely lays over it. If the transition was 90 degrees you’d never be able to get a smooth edge.

IMG 2224

The forward part of the opening butts up to the carbon fiber beam. Another layup there will strength that connection to the fuselage.

The next step in the process is to actually bond the strake to the side of the fuselage. See Section 9.2.5 for that process.

ui© John Trautschold 2018