Last weekend, daughter Alia and I flew down to see the completed portions of the forward fuselage molds. We rented a Cessna 150, and had a nice VFR flight. The only problem was that the 150 was excruciatingly slow. While no cars on the freeway passed us, we weren't passing them by any great margin.
Oh - and there was also the part where I pulled open one of the "juice can" air vents, and a big ol' yellowjacket wasp plopped into my lap. I did keep flying the airplane, but I must admit I didn't fly it any too well until I'd managed to get rid of that wasp.
With the molds, everything looks good. We're proceeding with other parts of the forward fuselage, including the cockpit rail details, the canopy transparency frame, the canopy transparency plug, and the interior structural bulkheads.
About the only thing I saw that I didn't like was how the masonite templates in the plug showed through in the molds. Of course, we expected this, so it's no real surprise. And besides, the mold embodies the two factors that make things like this look much worse than they actually are: it's black, and it's shiny. In actuality, the scallops are only a couple thousands of an inch high, and they'll sand out with relatively little difficulty.
Looking at the fuselage molds, it's quite clear that this is going to be a really roomy and comfortable glider. I'm looking forward to having a demonstration article that I can have people sit in and try on for size.
Next weekend, I'm going to get to work on some more of the wing tooling, so we can get started on fabbing the Block I wingset.
Below are some more pictures of the forward fuselage molds. Again, no comments; they pretty much speak for themselves.
page updated 22 April 2002 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2002 HP Aircraft, LLC