G-UFOX - Three Prop Blades, Two Wheel Spats and a Turtle Deck and Prop Spinner

OK, yes the title is a little sad, but Christmas is coming.

It's also getting quite cold - the dirt road down to the airfield has been completely white. We have invested in a propane space heater. However the first attempt at using it (was on a rather humid day) and produced quite a lot of condensation - in fact it was a bit like rain inside the hangar. The next time we tried it, we left the door slightly open and worked a treat.

Fitting the turtle deck (the sort of rear window to the cockpit) has involved making the glands for the flapperon control and fitting the camlocks. A degree of fettling required.

I think there is an unwritten rule that you are obliged to mess-around with some of the fairing parts. We now have that box ticked, with Tom sporting the wheel spats and the prop spinner. The spats have been drilled and the brackets fitted. They are now ready to be fitted.

A start has been made on the doors and the holes have carefully been made for the (optional) vents.


The big news is the stuck bellcrank. We have tried various methods of extracting it. Trying to tease it out with WD40 and a spanner simply sheared the bolt head off. G-clamps were not effective. Using the nut to drive it downwards just stripped the thread. We looked at drilling it out, but the proximity of the crossmember prevented getting a drill in - also we are just too scared to damage the the bracket. In the end, we decided we had to bite the bullet and cut it out using a dremmel and hacksaw. Lots of hard and careful work later, we had it out with no damage to the precious holes in the bracket. Phew!

The bolt was well-and-truely jammed in the tube of the bellcrank. We believe that the bearing tube was not completely reamed - as the nut was tightened it pulled the bolt down into the slightly tapered bottom and became an interference fit. To be fair, the manual does say to check the reaming, so just because all the other holes are reamed, don't assume that they all are!


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