7 May 2010 Before I got started on the landing gear and fittings, I needed to make several small modifications to the fuselage to accommodate the brackets. I built the fuselage to plans, however there is a discrepancy between the location of the seats and the ash cross brace. So when I built the fuselage I tried to accommodate both measurements. Unfortunately, I did not stand back an use common sense and locate the ash block coincident with the side fuselage struts. Therefore, I went back and inserted small blocks and another piece of plywood to provide a good inside backing for the landing gear brackets. Hours: 1.0 9 May 2010 Made the forward inside landing gear bracket out of .063 413 steel (16ga), drilled holes using a home made flexible drill bit holder. I primed the bracket and fit (4) x AN-3 bolts thru the bracket. Hours: 2.0 10 May 2010 Made the outside bracket, also out of .063 4130 Steel (16ga). I originally made the bracket with the angles cut off on top and square at the bottom, which ran a little long (to be cut off when the legs were installed. However, because I cut the slot above the bracket bend line (instead of below the bend line), the bracket was too low. I inverted the bracket and again trimmed the corners off the top. After the legs are made and installed, I may go back and trim the brackets some more. Hours: 2.0 1 June2010 Made the rear inside and outside landing gear brackets out of .063
413 steel (16ga), drilled holes using a home made flexible drill bit
holder. Temporarily installed using (4) x AN-3 bolts thru the bracket. Hours: 2.0 4 June2010 I cut a 8' 2 x 4 in half, then measured from for the axle and drilled two holes 1 1/2". With the fuselage on its back, the measurement was from the table to above the fuselage assuming a 21" wheel and 3" tires, so a total of 21+3+3=27" divided by 2 = 13 1/2" above. I rounded off to 15" because on most Piets I looked at, the bottom of the fuselages sat an inch or two above the wheels. I then clamped the 2 x 4s to the sides of the fuselage and made them secure. Hours: 1.0 5-6 June2010 I cut two pieces of 2x4 to simulate the ash blocks and clamped them temporarily to a cross braced 2x4. Using orange string I determined the angle they needed to be and then cut the cross braced 2x4 to obtain the correct angle, then screwed the simulated ash blocks in place. I then began cutting the landing gear legs from 1 1/4" spruce stock. I cut out all four using the table saw and mitre saw, making numerous small cuts and sneaking up on the correct angles. All four come out quite good. One was a fraction off and I had enough material to give this one another try, and it came out much closer to what I wanted. I clamped all four pieces in place. and now have to find 1 1/4" ash, other wise I will laminate two smaller pieces. Hours: 6.0 7 June - 30 July2010 (Internet down during a majority of this time). Fabricated the landing gear lower brackets and started to make the fuselage brackets. Because the Jenny gear plans vary greatly, I decided not to utilize the design called out in the plans calling for the lower bracket to be cut thru the bottom of the fuselage. Instead I made larger brackets in keeping with Jack Phillips airplane, slightly larger then called for in the plans but much sturdier and stronger. The weight difference is only a few ounces each, probably less then a pound, but significantly stronger landing gear braces. Purchased several turn buckles at Oshkosh, but need to procure more. Hours: 6.0
1-20 Aug2010 I welded all the landing gear brackets and initially was not going to weld the two side of the bracket together where one side fits thru the other because of the difficulty in welding and the possible warping. However, I decided the bracket would benefit from it being welded, not s much for strength as much as keeping dirt out of the slot. I welded these pieces and they did turn out to be very difficult to weld, as they warped a bit. I had to take into consideration the amount of warping and compensate for this. Once welded, I primed the pieces.
20-26 Aug2010 I sanded the landing gear legs using the drum sander to start, then by hand the rest of the way. I started with 60 grit and worked my way to down to 360 grit. Once it was sanded, I mixed up the first batch of varnish, cutting it in half with reducer for the first coat, and applied. It takes much less varnish then expected and goes on quickly. On the next day, I applied a second coat.
27 Aug - 23 Sept 2010 Worked on landing gear legs. Sanded first coat with approx 320 grit, applied second coat of varnish. I rivetted on the lower brackets using steel rivets. They only had 1 1/2" long rivets, so I had to cut these down to approx 1 1/4" to buck correctly. The rivetting went pretty smooth. It takes off some of the paint and then the paint got scratched worse as I file down some of the rivet heads a bit. I then tapped them off and repainted the brackets. I then test fit the LG. I ran out of 3/4" tubing, so I ordered more and moved on to other areas.
15 Dec - 2 Jan 2010 Forned the two metal cross braces using 3/4" 4130 tubing. I bent the ends up and drilled the appropriate holes and mounted these with temporary bolts. I then started the cross brace wiring using 1/8" SS cable from Aircraft Spruce.
I added the inside cross braces as per the plans...
How I achieved my desired "Deck Angle"...
was very interested in determining the deck angle (the angle the
fuselage would eventually be resting in on the ground, determined by
the difference in the angle of the top longerons to the ground. In
order to do this I attached another small piece of wood on top of one 2
x 4, at the height the wheel bottom, and ran a line to a stick on the
farthest most point aft on the fuselage, this simulated the tail wheel.
On the stick I make points above the fuselage every two inches to
represent the possible tail wheel configurations. I then drew a string
from the top of the 2 x 4 piece to the tail. Knowing that the vertical
2 x 4 piece was perpendicular to the top longeron (90 degree right
angle), all I had to do was determine the angle the string made from
the 2 x 4 to the different heights on the tail wheel stick (80', 78',
76', 75', and so on. With these two angles it was easy to figure out
the third angle, which would be the deck angle I was looking for. It
turned out, my deck angle will be between 11 degrees and 15 degrees,
depending on the size of my tail wheel.
6 June 2010 I have not decided if I will use merely a tail skid or a tail wheel. Meanwhile I started cutting out the tail skid assembly and will look for a tail wheel to add, once I start welding the "A-frame" of the tail assembly. Hours: 1.0