Next step was to permanently install the NG 30s. I did machine a new set of mounting plates for the retract which included the radius corners in the pockets and all the 0.25 holes drilled. I back drilled the hole through the hard points on the NG 30s
In this pic you can see that the holes are not centered to hard points. Not a problem, there is still plenty of edge distance. When I machined the new mounting plates I made sure there was plenty of edge distance on the 0.25 holes in the plates so this contributed to the miss alignment of centers.
The NG 30s were assembled using only spacers and the mounting plates. I checked for squareness and alignment and snugged it all tight.
In this pic you can see that the F22 bulkhead has a bit of a bend in it. When I bought the plane it had the original NG 30s clamped to the bulkhead and the front of the plane was supported by a sawhorse under the NG 30s and not the front of the fuse. I suspect that over time it warped. It did not take much of a force to straighten it so I clamped a piece of aluminum onto it while I bonded on the NG 30s
I pulled the peel ply from when the nose was glassed to the fuse. Everything was sanded down and all the up coming bonding areas were scuffed. The bulkhead got one last alignment check and then was given the green light for bonding.
Even though I had just peeled the peel ply off I still gave a scuff to all the bonding areas of the bulkheads.
Next step was to wet out of the bonding surfaces with flox. I had run out of my MGS epoxy and decided to use the E-Z epoxy that I had. I like the MGS epoxy way more.
The NG 30s are set into place and I got lots of squeeze out from all the bonding surfaces. One think about the contrasting colors of the epoxy is you can sure see your mess.
All the excess flox was cleaned up and radiuses put in.
All the seams were glassed with two layer of Bid and then peel plied. Because the nose supported the NG 30s and they are held in place by the nose I was able to bond and glass all the seams in one go. That meant everything was wet on wet so there was no sanding between the different steps of bonding and glassing.
I could also glass all the joints in continuous strips and not have to worry about clamps being in the way.
After it was cured I pulled the peel ply and gave everything a light sanding. I installed the retract and the nose gear to do a check on alignment. Everything went in without any problems. I also have enough clearance to remove and install the through bolt on the NG6 so pulling the nose gear or installing it is no big deal.
What I was really anxious to see was the fuse standing on its own legs. It is officially is no longer a rectangle that you have to convince everyone is an airplane 🙂
And with the flick of a switch she takes a bow.