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Dave's RV-7A Builder's Log
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Date:  1-21-2018
Number of Hours:  6.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Wheel pants

It’s been awhile since I posted anything to the log, but I’ve been busy flying and doing other odds and ends. With the weather turning Kansas IFR this morning, I decided to dive into the installation of the wheel pants. This was a process I’d sort of dreaded, but it turned out to not be that big of a deal. To properly fit the wheel pants and gear fairings, you have to have the aircraft in a flight position, so this means jacking it up to allow the landing gear to swing down as the weight comes off. After the aircraft was ready, I established a fuselage centerline and used that to reference when the wheel fairings were in trail.

The process of fitting the pants is typical fiberglass work: sand for fit, initially fitting on the aircraft, remove for trimming, back on for adjustment, more trimming, etc. Lots of sanding dust and fiberglass scraps later, I was ready to actually drill the brackets. To do this I used an LED shop light inside the fairing and drilled the top two holes in the outer bracket to establish the trail position, then turned to the inside aft bracket and drilled one hole to establish the vertical position. With that, I moved to the other side and repeated the process. The remaining holes can now be drilled with the aircraft off the jacks, then nut plates installed, and a bunch more sanding & filling.

Before I did the nose wheel fairing I installed a new Matco wheel axel I had purchased. The installation was pretty straightforward, but messy due to my ability to get grease everywhere. Once that was finished, I worked on getting the nose fairing initially fitted. Before I left the hangar, I added a couple of layers of fiberglass to several areas on the cowling where I’m going to do some sanding to improve the fit. Lots more sanding in my future.
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Here's one way to get 1

Here's one way to get 1" spacing

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The low tech hole finding method...doesn't work so well with metal

The low tech hole finding method...doesn't work so well with metal

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Wheel pants fitted

Wheel pants fitted

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