9.2.3 Lower Strake Alignment

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series 09 - Fuel System

Once at the shop in Friedens, PA the wings (both) were attached and the plane was raised up and leveled.

Left side

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Right side

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Then it’s time to determine how far forward the strakes will join to the fuselage. This is one of the factors that determine how much fuel you’ll be able to hold. The farther forward, the more fuel. A limiting factor is the door latching mechanism. This assumes that the door is opened up where the strakes are (which they will be). Some builders have modified the door latch they can put the strakes even farther forward. I decided to skip that modification. I am hoping for 44 gallons of fuel per side. That will give me about 1,000 mile range (5 hours). Which is much longer than I can usually sit in an airplane.

One of the critical factors is getting both side IDENTICALLY positioned.

Here are the markings on the pilot (left) side.

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And on the co-pilot (right) side.

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The lower strake skins are temporary put into position and the location at the center spar is marked.

The strake skins  are manufactured at the factory. They’re made of 1/4″ sheet of Divinycel foam with fiberglass cloth on the top and bottom. Where the strake skins attach to the center spar, the foam has to be removed and the foam is beveled and then covered with a layer of fiberglass.

Here’s a strake skin with the foam and inside layer of glass removed.

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The inside of the strakes had to be sanded, filled and recovered as they were not smooth enough.

Inside of one of the strakes after sanding.     

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This is the bottom left strake skin after sanding with a layer of BID and peelply. At the bottom of the picture you can see where the foam was removed.

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The top and bottom of the center spar (which is the structural component that the wings mount to) has to be prepared.

Left side of the center spar being prepped.

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Right side of the center spar finished and ready for the strake.

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The left side lower strake skin mounted in position.

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Right side lower strake skin.

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