Section 26 – dimpling

Today, I have been mostly dimpling. The centre bottom skin requires a lot of dimpling and there are differences between the nose wheel and taildragger variants. For the tricycle version the gear will mount through this panel so there are some holes that will need to be filled with rivets for us taildraggers. As most other builders have found out, the very centre hole is unreachable with the C-frame and, from my reading, also the DRDT2. I set the male part of the die in a block of wood and used the C-frame striker with the female part – seemed to work okay and the dimple looks fine.

The outboard seat and baggage ribs have to be fluted to match the curve of the bottom skin. This is the opposite to the norm where you flute to straighten out parts. I thought this would be difficult but it was actually a quick job and quite straightforward.

The centre section doublers require countersinking to take a corresponding dimple in the bottom skin. The doublers are not overly thick so the instructions suggest clecoing them back to back to give the countersink pilot extra support. I would say this is imperative as there isn’t a great deal of material left once countersunk.

The idler brackets require the flange to be bent to 45 degrees. I couldn’t see a good way to do this as the bracket won’t fit in the vice so I used the hand seamer as best I could.

Last up was countersinking the step weld attachments. I have it on good authority that even the taildragger requires quite a big step-up to get on the wing so I am going to fit steps which is an option on the taildragger. My wife will thank me….

Although powder coated, I will give the holes a quick coat of primer. One more step before I can prime and that is to trim the bearing flange (VA146) that fit in the idler brackets….when I can find them!

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