Sailplane Construction Project Session #66
Today I finished planking the cowl frame. The
picture below shows the bottom planking in progress.
This picture shows the bottom and the top of cowl
frame planked from the left side. Notice that the side planking pieces will
not come in contact with the diagonal brace.
Therefore, I added a partial bulkhead piece on
top of the diagonal and contoured it such that the side planking will now
come in contact along the diagonal brace as shown below.
I also had to add three pieces on the right side
as shown below.
The picture below taken from the front of the
cowl shows the planking complete.
This picture shows the cowl's finished planking
from the right side.
Once the barrel planking had thoroughly dried, I
removed the cowl from the fuselage and took this picture from the rear of
Next I trimmed off and sanded all of the planking
strip on the front. I cut out and sanded the cowl's front bulkhead as shown
This is another shot of the planked cowl from
the side. The cowl had become completely rigid once the glue dried on all of
the planking strips.
The cowl was then reinstalled on the fuselage as
shown in the front view below.
The cowl installation below showed that the snug
interface between the cowls rear bulkhead and the firewall was preserved
with no gaps. The effort and time required to build this cowl was
considerable more than what I had envisioned.
I am most pleased with the outcome of this cowl
so far and I am so glad I expended the extra effort to go back get it
aligned straight and symmetrical. Tomorrow I will glue two 3/16" balsa
sheets onto the front of the cowls, rotating each grain 90 degrees to the
other, to form the rounded front end of the cowl. Then I cut out the
openings for the engine's cylinder head and exhaust. I still have not
decided on the number and size of exit cooling air openings in the
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