Sunday, June 27, 2010

Skinned alive

A busy day today.Guys were great getting motivated and learning all about the gentle art of skinning an aircraft.Problem is keeping the frames square and in line.Unless you want a line of rivets that looks like a worm down the aircraft.Trick I found was to draw the rivet centrelines on the skin to match up with the frames flange rivet centrelines.Just line up the lines through the holes and drill,skin pin and repeat.
another job we were umming and ahhing about was the cockpit coaming angle that goes around the windscreen opening.After looking at factory drawings and mucking around with 3d designs we bit the bullet and worked it out by hand.The shape is cut out to the s shape and the flanges hammerformed.The stretchers,shrinkers were then used to match the shape up under the coaming skin.Just hope the windscreen matches ..Eeek...
Well next weekend is QAM Open Cockpit weekend up at Caloundra so we will have a display up there.Not sure if I will be due to work but if you see the crew there say hello.We do have some nice stuff for sale...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Switch of plans.

Only a couple of weeks to go till the QAM Open Cockpit day so thought we would spruce up the cockpit ready for the event.Even though we are missing a couple of frames I thought having some more skin on the plane would make things more attractive.The side skins are going over the coaming skins and at a later stage the belly skin will overlap the side skin.Being a MkV only the datum longeron rivets are countersunk.
Also some more machining is being done on the cockpit door latch assembly.Also I took a quick piccie of the fuselage frames in the jig now they are all in place.More stuff to do yet :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another day..

Continuing on from last week is the positioning of the frames on the jig.Today was frames 16,17 and 18,s turn to be located onto the datum angles.No pics as I wasnt there but thanks to Neale for getting the job done.Also in progress is a guard to place over the cutaway Merlins propellor for safety and servacability.For some reason the clutch disengages on the supercharger and we think kids are pulling on the prop causing it to unload the assembly.See how it goes and this is being made by Geoff.Next week hopefully we can start on the restoration of the MkVIII engine frame...Watch this space..

Monday, June 7, 2010

Math make head hurt..

The numbers go round my head nurse....Was a quiet day at the hangar so a good time to put the brain (scotch deadened) into gear and start working through the numbers.With a lot of toing and froing between a Pc screen,a calculator and a pen and pad I started working out the frame positions in regard to the jig datum and centreline.
Continuing on from last week we continue to setup the jig in preparation for the frames.Frames back to frame 14 have a cutout for the datum longeron and from frame 14 back there is an intercostal.Using CAD we have worked out the rivet holes for these brackets and using those we have transfered them onto the angles from the centre point.This means the frames will be level with the angles and on the centre of the aircraft.Don,t want a bannana shaped Spitfire do we :)These frames are pinned to the angles using 3/32" skin pins. Here are some pics of the operation.Many thanks to one of our SuperCAD guys Neale for working out the rivet holes and brackets in 3D for us..

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bit to the left...

A busy day today.Dragged out the lazer levelling equipment for a realignment of the jig.Have been quite worried about the main beam not being straight enough for to be used as a datum plane through the um,errr plane :)Step one level F5 datum,step two level F19 datum.Hmmm the beam is twisted.Oh sh1t!!!Step three,shim F19 so datum is level with F5.Ahh now we are cooking.Step 4 use lazer gear to level beam,it should be same measurement front to back,hmmm 40mm difference...Bl00dy floor!!Step 5,use blocks of wood,shims and adjusters to bring both ends level.Then check beam along length for beam sag.Cool only a couple of mill drop.A screw jack will prop it level...
Sweet now where to next.Step 6,every frame station has to be level with F5 and F19,oh thats right..The twisted beam....Every angle leveled and shimmed so datum plane is level now..
Next week is getting the frame datum angles parallel to F5 which should be 90 degrees to the beam centreline.The F11 formers are being reserected as a straight face to measure and build the skeleton back to the tail.This will allow us to get everyting solid and drilled off so skinning can commence.
Small stuff is the manufacture of the lower longeron brackets.These are now being drilled off the frame rivet patterns.
Homework is to locate the intercostal bracket holes to be drilled accurately on the jig datum angles for each frame.Hmm need scotch..Anyway here is a couple pics..