Bulkheads

The placement of the firewall, gear bulkhead and the canard bulkhead are obviously critically important. All the effort to precisely level the lower fuselage seen in the previous section pays off here as the reference lines are used to place the bulkheads. This makes them as close to perfectly perpendicular and acurately placed along the length of the fuselage as possible. This ensures that the layout and fitting of the components to follow are precisely established.

Click on thumbnails to view larger versions of the pics!

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Firewall placed and made perpendicular to the fuselage. Holes were drilled for clecoes in the flange located on the forward side of the firewall. Firewall clecoed in position. Completed wire ducts seen in foreground. Canard bulkhead receives same treatment. the bulkhead was precisely placed, flanges trimmed slightly as needed for best fit and holes drilled. The bulkhead was then cleaceod in position for final check. View of the foreward surface of the canard bulkhead in position.
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Structural adhesive applied to the firewall flange and the bulkhead clecoed in position. The clecoes pull the bulkhead and fuselage tightly together for good "squeeze" and therefore binding. Here, Ruthie and I are peeling off the masking tape and cleaning up excess "goo" that had been squeezed out. Firewall bonded into position after cleanup. Good "squeeze" with the clecoes. Note line for gear bulkhead on floor of fuselage. The fuselage at the top section of the gear bulkhead had to be shaved slightly to allow for correct vertical orientation of the bulkhead. The aft surface of the firewall. I am pointing at the aft end of the pilot side wire duct. Gear bulkhead fitted in place. Note that the flanges of the premade part were shaved away to allow for perfect fit over the wire ducts and therefore allow flush fit to the fuselage. Note the small block of wood at left used to set the proper distance between the firewall and gear bulkhead.
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Canard bulkhead bonded to fuselage with structural adhesive. Cleacoes hold it in position until cured. Cleaning up the gear bulkhead after bonding it down. Gear bulkhead glued in place, ready for reinforcing layups. Strips of 2 layers of BID used to bond the gear bulkhead to the fuselage. Peel ply covers layup. We use peel ply in virtually all our layups to minimize amount of excess epoxy and facilitate subsequent layups.
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Gear "box" reinforcements with multiple layers of triax between the firewall and gear bulkhead. Note layers on side wall. These reinforce the area that is cut out for placement if the gear legs. Center spar in place. Remainder of gear box finished. Transverse bulkheads attach gear bulkhead to center spar and firewall. Keel laid into position but not yet installed. Detail of transverse bulkheads. Note use of 1/4" plywood rather than foam called for in plans. Heavy triax layup placed on either side of surfaces binding gear bulkhead to aft structures. Note notches cut in bulkheads into which gear legs will lock when in down position. Gear legs temporarily in position to check fit illustrating how they will fit into notched in bulkheads.
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Strips of 2 layers of BID used to bond the canard bulkhead to the fuselage. Peel ply covers layup.

Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome! email: rich@rguerra.com

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