The bottom cowl is a very tight fit. Two people is the minimum. We find the following works fairly reliably:
- with one person on each side, hold the cowl level with final position about 4-6" low, and slide rearward until the aft edge is aligned with the final mounting position, using the aft-most hand (each person, each side) to hold the top edge out about an inch from the fuselage
- raise the cowl straight vertically behind the spinner (it helps to have a cardboard or thin plastic protector taped to the back of the spinner to protect both the cowl and spinner, and to reduce any edges from catching)
- the baffle seals around the inlet will resist, but the cowl can be raised into position with a little jockeying
- attach one side (aft edge piano hinge, if standard install)
- the now freed up person (or a third person if you have one) then uses a suitable prying object (we use tongue depressor sticks) to pry the baffle seal from below the inlet where it naturally goes, to on top where it needs to lay. This is done first on the side of the cowl that is not yet pinned in place - you get some movement by flexing the forward edge near the inlet downward and forward
- once that side is oriented, pin it at the aft edge
- move to the other side, removing the pin and holding the cowl in place as done on the other side (an inside out from the fuselage), now allowing flexing on that side and a repeat with the tongue depressor
- finally pin the remaining aft edge
We have also observed some tearing of the baffle seal near the inlet, but the cowl has been on and off a lot since it's the first year and I'm at 140+ hours.
YMMV - I hope this is suitably clear to make some sense.
RV-14A Builder - kit #136
N314KC - First flight Mar 8, 2017, Phase I compl Apr 3, 2017, >180 hrs
Sport Pilot (weight-shift control) - Airborne XT912
Dues paid 11/2017