Reinforcing the Glass Strut Fabricating NG-30 Installing Worm Drive Assembly Box Assembly
Nose Floor & Sides Rudder Pedals Master Brake Cylinders Completing Nose Gear
Pitot & Static System Closing the Top Nose Door
I floxed in the nose fork in Section 3 of this chapter because I needed the wheel axle position for locating Jack Wilhemson's actuator mounting holes.
The next step is to cut out a cavity on the fuselage bottom to accommodate the retracted nose wheel. Its a bit intimidating to take a jig saw to the work you've tried so hard for perfection ...
Since I know the location of the center line of the fuselage, I placed the nose wheel cover (Feather Lite) and traced an outline of the nose wheel cover onto the bottom of the fuselage. Then I retracted the nose wheel as close to the surface of the fuselage as possible. With a pencil and triangle, I traced the outline of the nose wheel and strut onto the fuselage bottom as well. This showed me how the two match up.
I started cutting from the strut end towards the wheel end. By going further (towards the wheel) and lowering the wheel a bit at a time, I was able to cut a tight fit cavity for the nose wheel. I repeated this back and forth until the actuator (EZ NoseLift) reached its retraction limit. This limit was preset from the factory and my wheel was protruding about 1/4" above the fuselage bottom - just as the plan says !!! This is the first confirmation that the alignment procedure (as discussed in Section 3 - locating the EZ NoseLift actuator mounting bracket holes) worked!!!
The final cut comes when I made a compromise between the shape of nose wheel cover and the nose wheel. I ended up with what's shown in the picture. I also took a 3/8" router and rounded off the edges of the cavity for subsequent glassing.
I got my strut cover from Feather Lite and it fits onto my NG-30 reasonably well. It took me several trials to cut the hole for the EZ NoseLift actuator. I ended up having the hole too big and I had to patch it back up later on, but all is well. I performed several trial fits by exercising my EZ NoseLift and did not notice any interference problem. Then I proceeded to flox the strut cover in place. As you can see, I used screws to hold the edges down when I floxed the strut cover onto the NG-30.
To my surprise, I found the strut was rubbing against the strut cover after the flox cured. The rear sides were too wide for the slot and got pushed in/up a bit. I think during the trial fit earlier, the strut cover was moving around a bit, therefore, I did not notice the interference. I ended up taking a router to shave parts (rear & top) off the strut cover. If you look close at the top left of the strut cover (shiny strip part) - that's where it sticks up above the strut and had to be shaved off.
I also bought the nose wheel box from Feather Lite. Its BIG and has a 1" lip all around it. The first thing I did was to trial fit it between the Instrument Panel and F-22 - it was too long and I know I have to trim it shorter.
I went ahead and installed a Lexan window on both sides of the cover. I decided to put a 2"x4" window vertically instead of horizontally (as suggested by the plan). I was concerned that I may not have a clear view of the nose wheel if the window is set horizontally.
I decided to mount the Lexan against the inside surface of the wheel cover so that the pane is flush at the pilot/passenger sides. I cut the Lexan a bit larger (2 1/2" x 4 1/2") than the hole and secured the Lexan with flox and a 2 layer BID frame. I was glad that I took time and placed a nicely trimmed packing tape on the back side of the Lexan pane because epoxy from the BID did ooze out to the pane. The packing tape protected the Lexan. Surprisingly, the packing tape stuck to the Lexan too well and I had a heck of a time removing its glue residue off the surfaces - took me at least a couple of hours. I tried soap/water, alcohol, Windex, vinegar, (razor blade was not an option) - none worked. It took good old rubbing with a glass cleaning cloth (to prevent scratching), patience and lots of !@#$% .
The nose wheel box does not fit well with the center 'ridge' inside the fuselage. I eventually had to trim off ALL the flange material from the nose wheel cover. In addition, I have to do quite a bit of filling (with micro) the gap between the nose wheel edges and the bottom of the fuselage hole. Regardless, I rounded up the edges of the wheel well so that I can put a nice rounded edge for the glass tapes (both inside and outside).
Here's a picture of the nose wheel cover after it is glassed in place. You can see the nose wheel though the Lexan window.