Just because we haven’t posted lately doesn’t mean that we haven’t been working. It just seems that after the major progress of putting the fuselage together, the work that has been going on lately doesn’t make for very exciting pictures. The students are finding out about all of the hundreds of small parts it takes to attach the control surfaces, tail brace wires, control mechanism, and fuselage formers and stringers. Progress has been steady, even if it hasn’t been very picturesque.
Using cardboard to make templates for the cockpit floor gives the students an opportunity to check fit, and make any necessary adjustments, prior to cutting the plywood.
Under the watchful eye of project leader Marvin Story, Denise welds the tail feathers for the Morane. The tail surfaces are welded and being primed. The students doing the welding learned very quickly that this small tubing is much more difficult than the large tubes and flat stock they have been working with.
The fuselage formers were cut, fitted to the tubing, removed to cut out lightening holes, and then notched for the installation of stringers. They were reinstalled on the fuselage to begin fitting the stringers. It is funny how the formers that just looked like pieces of wood, became “airplane parts” after the lightening holes were drilled.
The creative eye of student Chris Atlakson captured this view down the inside of the fuselage. The formers had been cut and were in place to assist in fitting. They would soon be removed to cut the lightening holes.
Tunnel Vision Lite
In the second view, the formers have been removed, lightening holes cut, and notches made for the stringers. They are being put back in place to start fitting the stringers.
With the addition of the formers, the shape of the fuselage is being revealed. The students are now able to see why the Morane fuselage design has been described as an “ice cream cone with an engine.” When all of the stringers have been fitted, and dimensions for the tail cone taken, the former/stringer assemblies (the bird cages) will be removed for varnishing. While they are off, the fuselage can be primed.
As the stringers are fitted, the shape of the fusealge becomes more apparent.
On Thursday 5/17 we received the wing spars and plywood to build the ribs. It looks like it is time to get the tables laid out to start wing construction. The materials for the tail skid are in house, and some of the landing gear fittings are being built. We need to get the fuselage on its wheels to make room for the wing project. We hope to have it on its wheels and ready to show at the World War I fly-in at Gardner, Kansas next month.
Everybody has to have a goal!