Nov 30 2015

Lower Nose skin attached.

Today the nose skeleton was attached and the bottom skin was installed.

I did all sorts of planning for where the skin would go on the bulkheads. Later I found it was a complete waste of effort.


The pitot tube was a great support for holding up the skeleton while I installed the nose floor.



Nov 29 2015

Week 3 Report

Hours worked: 39.9        
Total hours: 117.7

Average hrs/wk: 37.2

Notes: none

Nov 29 2015


It was somewhat of a play day for me making templates and shop organization.

While, I trust myself to carve the nose by eye adequately by eye, but I have an old saying to: “trust but verify”. It really didn’t take to long to lay out the templates on some 1/4 luan plywood and cut them out on the band saw.

The new shape of the nose is revealed.


On the templates I drilled hose near each corner. After attaching the foam walls, if I sand down to the point that I hit a tattle tail hole in the corner, I will stop shaping the corner at that point. It will give me a 1/2” wall thickness.


Tomorrow I plan to pre-curve the sides, bottom and top prior to assemble. Another interesting day ahead.

Nov 28 2015

Assemble Nose Skeleton

Today’s 6 hr day, was focused on assembling the nose skeleton as I call it. It is the scaffolding needed to attach the foam on the nose.

You can see the structure of the nose inlet with integrated pitot tube I made yesterday. I came up with a much better way of making this part, but I think it will be good enough for me at this point and will be saved for my next plane.


The pitot tube will also act as a centering pin for the tip of the nose.


Two foam bulkheads were cut from 3/8” foam. The red marks the location of the 2” thick urethane foam cabin wall If I sand down to the inner lines, I’ll break through the foam into the cabin.

There is a mark in the center of the bulkheads for a 1” centering hole for the dowl.


Two urethane foam blocks were cut for the tip of the nose carving. The cone was easy to use as a drill to work my way through the soft foam. Took just a minute or so.


Using a 1” dowl through the centering holes, pour foam was used to glue all the components together.


The large bulkhead was glued to the NG’s and a nose tip support was made for the pitot tube, and everything was assembled with the laser.

I have earned a great deal of respect for the laser level, and pour foam. Amazing stuff!


These bulkheads when trimmed will support the foam fill blocks which will be quickly carved.


I really don’t think urethane foam gets the respect it deserves. Known as soft, easy to damage, nasty to work with.

While removing my old nose I found when glassed in properly the foam is amazingly tough. Mine was solid as a rock even after 3 nose gear landings (2 were my fault, one a inflight emergency and 1 a gear failure). Each time I really hit hard with the nose on the pavement.

When i disassembled the nose, I found the urethane foam was as good a new. No delaminations, no crushing, extremely good attachment to the fiberglass skin. The stuff is amazing.

In the future, where I can used the urethane foam I will. It is so easy to carve, it glues well with pour foam, and doesn’t change shape like a solid block of pour foam does over time.

Lessons learned:
Glue the end blocks together BEFORE drilling with the cone. When using pour foam to glue blocks together, be sure to tightly clamp or weight the parts down because they will spread apart from the pressure of the expanding foam.

Nov 27 2015

Glassing the Cone

Here you can clearly see the tearing of the foam from pushing the rod though. You can also see the pitot tube and how it will be mounted.


I added a small defuser after the Al pitot tube to smooth the air as it flows around the tube. Why? I don’t know, just a bit anal and it was easy to do.


glass was cut (1 layer bid) wetted out on the table using plastic on each side.


The part was glassed. When the foam is removed, I should end up with a defuser cone, with 3 ribs holding a pitot tube in the center. I won’t really know the final result will be until the the entire nose is build with the cone encapsulated in the glass….


Lessons learned:

I glassed the cone all at one time is a major PITA and I am concerned that the glass work inside (holding the pitot in place) will not be as straight or perfect as I want it.

Next time I would glass the ribs separately on the table (nice and straight), then flox the ribs to the pitot (using the foam a guide). Cure. Paint the ribs Black.

Mark and cut the ribs to the outside of the foam cone. Reassemble the cone, add a small amount of micro to the end of the ribs then glass the outside with carbon.. I would end up with a cone that all black.

It would add a few more steps but the end result will be perfectly straight ribs in the center and fillets on all the support ribs… and a much better looking product.

Build time 3.5 hrs.

Nov 26 2015

Nose Inlet Construction

The inlet will consist of 3 pieces of foam cone (expanding the air at 7 deg per side) holding the pitot tube in the center. The inlet will feed a preheater for the cabin. It is an idea I captured from the Cozy Girls and wanted to make it with out the work and the pitot heat they put into their system.

Templates were glued on to some 1/4 wood, I used the band saw to cut them out and to slot them (for cutting the foam.


A foam block was cut. A rod was PUSHED through the foam, then using the rod as a guide, the two wood templates were glued onto each end of the foam,


A quick trim with the band saw,


Belt sand the cone with to the wood template,


Using the slots as a guide the remaining wood was cut which split the cone into 3 equal pieces with a hole in the center. The only issue was I should have drilled the hole instead of pushing a rod though it. The rod caused tearing of the foam at one end instead of a nice clean hole.


Lesson Learned:

Drilling hole first, THEN cut out the foam block, then mount the templates, before shaping.

Nov 25 2015

Planning the nose

Today was planning for the nose modification. Using AutoCad, I drew it out till I was happy with the overall look

You can see the old nose and the look of the new nose. There is also cone shaped area in the nose.


Notice the cone shaped area in the nose. This will be the inlet for the cabin pressurization system, air preheater for the new oil heat system and hold the pitot tube.

Nov 24 2015

Noselift cover

I want to completely seal the nose lift area. This is a great opportunity too seal every holes since I have the nose completely opened up.

After making a quick cardboard template,


Foam was cut for 1/4” in sides and 1/8” top.


5 min epoxy the parts together, then glass


then 2 layers of BID.


My only mistake was I should have only used 1 layer of BID. The part came out at 9 oz!! yikes. Next time I’ll use 1 layer of carbon.

Nov 22 2015

Week 2 report

Hours worked: 37.3        
Total hours: 71.8

Notes: none

Nov 20 2015

Nose removal

Today, did something I wanted to do for years, but was truly reluctant to get started on. I had even delayed placing my order for foam and kept procrastinated about getting out the saw to get stared with the work. i have reached the stage where I need to just get it done.

This is how it looked.


When I shot the laser, I found the nose was actually constructed 1.5” below the point it should have been. The proper point is at WL 8” but was actually set at WL 6.5”


It really didn’t matter much because it will all be removed and rebuilt properly. With a heavy heart, I got started.


You definitely want to protect yourself from the dust generated from this urethane foam. I really like my hobby air system for supply clean air. A mask in this case would have worked just fine.


Total removal only took about 15 minutes. Wow, I could chop the whole plane up in an hour to so….


Not much left of the old nose.


Later in the evening I actually felt good about cutting the dam thing off. I am totally committed now and have now gone as far down the rabbit hole of total destruction with this plane as I had planned. Now to start with building her back up. After clean up the cut lines in prep for the foam installation, i will build a cover for the nose lift system to seal the area against air leaks since I have easy access to the nose lift now.