While we have been remiss about posting our progress, the Morane AI has been moving steadily toward completion. The fuselage is essentially complete, and covered. The engine has been fitted up and then removed to allow us to make the necessary plumbing connections. The wing has been constructed, but is still not quite ready for cover. The wing was fitted to the fuselage to allow us to get accurate measurement for the bridgework of struts used on this aircraft. The struts have all been been cut and fittings installed, but we have not yet started the wooden streamlining that will eventually go on them.
While the engine is off we have been making some changes based on what we have learned so far. Both the oil tank and the fuel tank will be replaced with a newer design. The first oil tank we built did not provide clearance for the proper location of the filler neck, and the capacity was reduced. We have also decided to change the fuel tank design to increase its capacity. While the original capacity may have been enough for combat use, we need a little more fuel to get to fly-ins and show off our work.
The wings were disassembled to allow a final coat of varnish, and to paint all of the metal fittings. They are back together and we are installing the wooden leading edges. Students have expressed amazement at how much difference there is between plywood and laminated wood when it comes time to bend it around the leading edge.
The wings are nearly ready to cover, and everyone is getting excited about that project. Hopefully we will get more frequent updates started as this project moves steadily toward completion.