Fuselage Painted

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Cascoat did an outstanding job and all the metal was evenly coated with no runs and a beautiful overall sprayed finish. Careful preparation and professional finishing should result in a 100 year airframe without rust or corrosion.  The two part urethane epoxy paint system is well suited for the attachment of the Poly Fiber Fabric system.  The Poly Fiber Fabric system utilizes solvents  that range from the mild 2210 fabric cleaner to the very aggressive MEK (methyl ethyl keytone) all of which have no effect on the Randolph epoxy finish.  You can brush MEK on the Randolph coatings all day long without ever damaging the finish.  The only way to really remove the paint is a torch.  During the build project I found it necessary to add a bracket or tab or make a repair on the painted tubes and the easiest way to do this was to burn off the paint in the weld zone, clean it with MEK and repaint it with the same Randolph coatings. It was almost impossible to see where these repairs were made.

Seaplane Preparation / Part 5 of 5

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The wings, tail surfaces, turtledeck, and fuselage were fabric covered at different times and each horizontal lower fabric covered  surface required the installation of drainage grommets. They are intended to drain away any water collected by condensation or otherwise from the lowest point in the airframe.  As an example, each pair of ribs in the wings has it’s own grommet on the bottom lowest portion of each rib bay.  An ordinary drainage grommet is the size of a quarter with a hole in it and is glued to the fabric.  Then you glue a larger diameter fabric dollie  over the grommet and then  take a soldering iron and burn a hole through both fabrics and through the hole of the grommet. If your going to put your aircraft on floats the Poly-Fiber Fabric Instructions advise you to use “Seaplane Grommets” which have a molded shroud that is open on one side.  These are mounted so the open hole or drain port points backwards thus avoiding the collection of water during take-offs and landings.

Another item unique for seaplane operations are flying dock ropes. These ropes are usually two to three feet long and hang below the leading edge of the wing tips. They help manipulate the seaplane while docking by providing a rope to grab and pull the seaplane to the dock. I reinforced the metal wing understructure and mounted 1/4 inch eyelets for the later attachment of the flying dock ropes.

The last and perhaps most costly item needed for seaplane preparation is a “Seaplane Prop”.  My 80 X 44 wood Sensenich will not survive the severe duty of water operations.  Water spray is like gravel and will quickly harm the soft wood surface. My hope is to use a Catto Composite 86 X 38 climb prop that is light weight with reinforced nickel edges .