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Dave's RV-7A Builder's Log
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Date:  12-29-2017
Number of Hours:  4.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Cowl & baffles

Getting close to being done with the baffles and upper cowl inlet ramps. Today I finished up trimming the forward baffles to match the contour of the ramps, and then cut and riveted the new baffle fabric to the assembly. Had the builder’s manual given even a clue about the proper sequence of cowl and baffle assembly, I would have saved myself a lot of this work, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so here I am. During initial installation I had cut the forward baffle about an inch too short, and after installing the new fabric, it became pretty obvious that I would still have a gap at the top where the cowl curves outward as it opens up to fit the starter ring gear. To fix this, rather than trying to add to the baffles, I decided to add a small ramp between the inlets.

My previous posts detail some of the challenges with using the West Systems epoxy, and as I mentioned, the appearance is a bit odd as it assumes all sorts of red and pink hues depending on the application, but the functionality and relative ease of application is growing on me. I still wouldn’t want to build a fiberglass airplane, but the possibilities of fabricating assemblies quickly and easily is very handy. In this case I simply cut a piece of pipe insulation as a base, used some epoxy to attach it, and then laid up three layers of cloth over it. I then mixed up some very dry micro to fill in the low spots and left everything to cure. I may (or may not) sand and prime it to make it look a little more uniform, but it will live out of sight inside the upper cowling, so I may just leave it as is and move on to the next project.
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No prizes for beauty, but functionality is all that matters here

No prizes for beauty, but functionality is all that matters here

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New baffle around the front, fits very well!

New baffle around the front, fits very well!

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