The longeron twist!

Hours Worked = 5.75

More like the bend, unbend, rebend, bend some more, then twist. Today marked the beginning of section 29 of the plans: Fuselage Side Skins.

The first steps of this section have you cut to size and bend to shape four longerons. Van’s provides you with an aluminum template for these bends, and once you measure out and mark where the bends start and end, it’s simply a matter of putting the angle aluminum in a vice and pushing. Then you take it back over to the template and see if you have to bend more or if you’ve bent it too much. Eventually, it ends up being the right shape, but a side effect of curving angle aluminum, is that it starts bowing on the other plane. So you have to work that bend out so the piece stays flat, which also takes out some of the original bend that you want. Wash, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… you get the picture. That’s what I’m doing on the video when I’m just going back and forth at the work bench.

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I managed to complete the four longerons, and predrilled some holes that get laid out with the template.

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After most of my time was spent doing that, I started the next step which was to create some “roll angles.” These are pieces of angle aluminum that will get clamped to the outside of the lower skins to help bend a curve in them. (I’ll explain it better in the post where I actually do the roll) The instructions don’t specifically say which pieces to make these roll angles out of, bu after researching what others have done, I simple cut the 2 36″ pieces out of one of the remaining 6′ pieces of angle that I have from the kit. If this is wrong, I’ll come back and update this post.

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