It has been about three months since I updated my blog, but I have been very busy on the build, with lots being achieved.
The main sides, belly and exhaust ramp are all done. The ramp was a nightmare. Lots of stretching and shrinking for the panel was required in order for the compound curves to sit down correctly. After many attempts and wasting aluminum sheet, I decided to get help from a local Hot Rod guy in Austin. This guy actually trailered his English wheel up to the airport so we could work on problematic piece. The price wasn't too bad either! With his guidance and intervention, we managed to finally get everything looking right. The exhaust ramp saga really was an experience in tenacity - I think it must be right up there with a canopy build... Most sheet metal is now done. I have 3 pieces to do. 2 are the canopy combing panels that go from the longerons to the canopy frame, these will have some funky compound curves in them in order for them to flow along the fuselage, since the longerons taper-in on the Skybolt. I might use Mr Hot Rod guy again..... The last panel will be from the top of the firewall to the PAX instrument panel. To fit this, I need a nosebowl on the front of the plane so I can obtain a straight line from A to B, to fit a nosebowl I need an engine on there. I don't have one. What I needed to tide me over was a temporary core that I could throw up there. I thought I had a lead, but time was ticking by with nothing materializing, and I needed to get moving on this, so luckily, I have managed to find a Lycoming 320 damaged core locally that someone kindly loaned me. This will allow me to get 'close enough' with regards to obtaining that visual line across the top of the cowel...