Saturday, February 2, 2013

Belite Aluminum Cabin Construction #10

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Let's put in a map pocket.  This is perfect for sectionals.

Map pocket metal.

Map pocket with bend.

Map pocket riveted in.
Now, let's install the steel cross brace.  It attaches with AN3 bolts to holes formerly occupied by 3/16" rivets.

Steel cross brace on top of cabin.
Steel cross brace at the firewall frame. 
Here's a view from the front with the steel cross brace installed.

Front view with steel cross brace installed.
The small seat is clecoed in place, and the storage compartments are also in view in the following photographs:

Small seat clecoed in place.
Top view of small seat and cabin.
Do not rivet the small seat just yet.

Find the rear fabric skirt metal.  After making a bend along the slots, rivet the rear fabric skirt in place.

Rear Fabric skirt riveted in place.
Ensure that the bellcrank for the elevator is in place.  Note that it floats on a pivot pin, which is also on nylon bearings.

It is now possible to add dacron fabric and paint or fabric and vinyl Oracal of your choice to the rear section.

View of rear of cabin with fabric and oracal in place.
Top down view of rear of cabin.

Another view of rear fabric skirt.

Yet another view of rear fabric skirt.
Install the steel elevator torque tube.

Installation of the steel torque tube.
Now install the landing gear "A" frames and center links.

Use levels and squares to align gear.  You want some camber, about 3 degrees.
Verify level with cabin as well.
Use bushings on bolts to eliminate play and provide perfect gear centering.
Closeup of mounting point, showing multiple bushings.

This is how our plane turned out on the center cross brace attach point.  The spacing will vary by camber and setup.
NOTE:  You must use an extra plate on the front and the rear, as the aluminum DOES NOT have enough strength in tension to absorb a rough landing.  (The bolts will rip out).  Use 7075 aluminum .063 or 4130 steel.

The HDPE liner for the rudder cables is run through the square tubes on each side of the fuselage.

Then use some expanding foam to seal these tubes, trimming the excess.

HDPE rudder cable liner through tube.  Dead center of the photograph.
Now attach the rear fuselage to the cabin.  Two of the longerons must be trimmed to length.  Use a level on the cabin and on the rear fuselage to ensure that they are absolutely parallel.  The attachment at the rear of the cabin is a perfect 90 degree angle.  You may consider using a laser to ensure that the center alignment is perfect as well.

Center the dot.
When all is perfect, 3/16" rivets in place.  
Repeat view from the front.  The alignment is perfect.
Another view of the attachment points.  There are 6 places to rivet down.
A framing square proves it is square.
The rear deck is assembled.

Various gussets.
Rear deck.
Assembled with bottom supports.
Placed in position.
Rear deck riveted in place.

The cabin construction is nearly complete.  The following items still need to be done, and they will be covered in a future post:

A)  Finish riveting in the small seat.
B)  Construct and fit the main seat.
C)  Install the bottom strut attach reinforcement bars.
D)  Attach the seat belts.
E)  Attach the fuel tank.  As we do not supply a fuel tank, an example installation is shown.
F)  Attach the wings.
G)  Attach the top cabin windshield ribs.
H)  Attach the windshield.
I)  (Optional) Construct and fit the control stick skirt plate.
J)  (Optional)  Construct and fit a removable door for the right side of the airplane, for cold weather operations.
K)  (Optional)  Construct and fit a removable plexiglass window for the left side of the airplane, for cold weather operations.
L)  (Optional)  Add small windows to the cabin.

Let's do a photo review of where we are at:

Belite Aluminum Airplane under construction.
Belite Aluminum Airplane under construction.

Front view of aluminum ultralight airplane from Belite.
Rear view of aluminum airplane from Belite.
Rear deck of aluminum airplane from Belite.
View of cabin from Belite Aircraft.
 View of Ultralight airplane from Belite.

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