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Steve's CH750 Cruzer (N750SB)
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Date:  6-23-2018
Number of Hours:  6.75
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Top cowl work

I got a lot done today. To join the top and bottom cowlings I used a couple of 2" piano hinges. I swapped the hinge pin out with a smaller size and shaved a bit off one end of the barrels on one half of each side to help reduce friction. There is no way the piano hinge would work with that dramatic curve at the front, so I cut each hinge back so it ends before the curve of the cowl gets too extreme. I kept the hinge pins at the full 3' for now so I will have something to push and pull on.

To lock in the positioning of the halves, I used some scraps of sheet metal with holes and clecos on each half to keep the positions rigid as with as good a fit as I could. The I took the cowls off the plane.

I pilot drilled and cleco'd the bottom half first, with the barrels slightly above the edge so solid hinge would be slightly exposed. This should also help with positioning the halves when re-attaching by providing a surface to push the top against.

Pilot drilled the hinge tops and inserted the piano hinges and positioned the top cowl, using the scraps and clecos to establish the correct positioning. Drilled through the hinge tops into the top cowling while keeping pressure to help with alignment. Without the airframe to keep the lower cowl formed, the pins were immovable, but slid when horizontal pressure was applied.

Reassembled the cowling on the plane and managed to get the pins inserted. With the cowling mated on the plane, I upsized the holes to #30 and cleco'd.

To install the NACA inlet, I pretty much followed the video on the Viking website. It came out pretty good, although I think I could have had it off center towards the pilot side about 1/2" and the dipstick hole would have worked out better. The dipstick is angled towards the center, and the ring gets too close to the side of the inlet.

I'll come back to the cowl later when I start the fiberglass work, but at least I have it roughly done and it makes the plane look much more complete with the engine enclosed.
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Piano hinges pilot drilled and positioned

Piano hinges pilot drilled and positioned

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Top and bottom joined with piano hinge

Top and bottom joined with piano hinge

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NACA Inlet positioned

NACA Inlet positioned

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