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Work has actually been progressing, but I haven’t been logging it well. I’ll need to go back and post pictures for items that are complete. Status now:

  1. Strakes are halfway done. Need to build the sumps, install plumbing, and seal them up.
  2. Main gear has the right-side fairing done a-la Wayne Hicks. Need to do the left side to match.
  3. Forward-hinged canopy is installed. Need to finish rear windows and do final tweaks.

I need to try to get out to the hangar more.

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Well, I’ve now been waiting for my main gear hoop for nearly 3 months, and have done as much as I can do without it. Chapter 9 is actually mostly complete – landing gear, reinforcement layups, etc., all done. I just have to do one little section – the main gear. Ummmm….

Given that it’s likely I’ll be waiting a while longer, it’s time to pick a new project. I don’t want to mount the spar and start the strakes, because that would be best done once the Cozy is on its main gear, and it also makes it much harder to work around. That means the next logical step is to start the turtleback. I’ll try to get by the Borg in the truck on Wednesday or Thursday to get the plywood I need to get this going.

If you need anything from Featherlite, make sure you order VERY early. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and they’ll have your part in stock. Other times, they’ll wait and get orders together before they do a production run, and you could be waiting a while. A long while. They DO eventually deliver, but you can’t count on their delivery times.

While waiting for the main gear hoop to arrive, I’ve been doing the bits and pieces one can do without it. Tonight I finished half of the last reinforcement layup between the forward and aft LG bulkheads. I might have finished both, but it took a bit to cut the glass and I had a time limit. I didn’t want to rush the other side.

At this point, I need to hoop to proceed any further. Until it does, I’ll probably start mounting the spar and working on the strakes. The other option is the turtleback, but I don’t want to install it unti I have some more interior work done. I may get its jig built, and do the off-plane layup just to get it started.

Tonight I cleaned out most of the hangar and got most of the workshop ready for business. John has already used the hotbox for a few bits he was working on. It took all night to get it ready, so I didn’t do much, but I did sand the edges of the firewall-to-aft-LG reinforcement in preparation for installing the mains. It was just a 5-minute job, but it counts as plane building, so I’m back in the saddle!

Tonight I watched John doing a short taxi test. It’s simply amazing how smooth and powerful the Mazda 13BT is. I’ve seen Lycomings, and they vibrate like hell – the Mazda is so smooth you can hardly tell it’s buzzing along. Moreover, in a Lycoming, the Cozy will strain against the brakes when you go WOT, rolling forward a bit even on Matcos. The 13BT? John wasn’t even giving it all the boost it could theoretically take, just doing a normal runup, and there was NO way the brakes could hold back – he was at walking speed before he let off. The brakes are fine, it’s just a powerful engine and an adjustable prop (that has a big impact, too).

Tomorrow John will help me flip the plane over, then I plan to fix a few undercarriage dings from the move, and do the LG bulkhead reinforcement that’s impossible to do with the plane on its belly. Hopefully the hoop will arrive soon…

Hangar Closer shot Couch and desk First restart job

Because I’ve been skipping around a bit, I’ve only recently started in on the main gear section. The hoop hasn’t arrived from Featherlite yet but I’m trying to get the prep work out of the way.

One of those steps is a layup between the firewall and aft landing gear bulkhead. This is supposedly complicated, but I suppose when you’ve already done wing skins, spar cap tape, and so on, this particular job doesn’t seem so hard. Time-consuming, to be sure (took about 3 hours to do all three pieces of the layup) but not particularly hard. It did get a little exciting because I was using all Fast hardener, so I couldn’t work the glass very much. Fortunately, I was careful to remove bubbles between layers as I went.

The big news is that we’re moving, so the office is in a state of total disarray. This will also tend to put plane work on hold. Check out our current disaster:

Office