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  #1  
Old 11-11-2017, 07:12 PM
Slipstream Slipstream is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 7
Default Wanted: Gear Leg Fairings for Dummies.

If there's a definitive, easy-to follow how-to on the gear fairings, I'd love to see it. In the entire build, nothing has confused and intimidated me more than these things..

The plans confused me because they seem to call for drilling the piano hinges of the gear fairings while the fairing is on the gear leg, weight on wheels. The plans don't mention jacking up the plane until it's time for intersection fairing alignment. Perhaps I totally read the plans wrong. Let me know.

So I figured I'd jack it up anyway, tried my best at getting perfectly straight fairings, and they still came out slightly warped. Argh. I'll be starting from scratch again, obviously..

So, here are my questions: Did you successful builders actually drill the trailing edges of the gear fairings on the leg itself, or did you drill on a nice, flat, easy to use table?

Why do the gear fairings come before the wheel pants in the instructions? It seems to me that getting the fairings trimmed up perfectly requires the wheel pants to be in place... right?

Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2017, 09:04 PM
davidkarlsberg davidkarlsberg is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: LA
Posts: 115
Default

I fit mine on the plane with it jacked up. Then i drilled the hinge on a table. They came out straight. Then back on to the plane to trim the ends. I left them long and trimmed the trailing edge after i started on the intersection fairings.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2017, 09:28 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 4,009
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
If there's a definitive, easy-to follow how-to on the gear fairings, I'd love to see it. In the entire build, nothing has confused and intimidated me more than these things..

The plans confused me because they seem to call for drilling the piano hinges of the gear fairings while the fairing is on the gear leg, weight on wheels. The plans don't mention jacking up the plane until it's time for intersection fairing alignment. Perhaps I totally read the plans wrong. Let me know.

So I figured I'd jack it up anyway, tried my best at getting perfectly straight fairings, and they still came out slightly warped. Argh. I'll be starting from scratch again, obviously..

So, here are my questions: Did you successful builders actually drill the trailing edges of the gear fairings on the leg itself, or did you drill on a nice, flat, easy to use table?

Why do the gear fairings come before the wheel pants in the instructions? It seems to me that getting the fairings trimmed up perfectly requires the wheel pants to be in place... right?

Thanks for your help!
I don't see how they can be fitted on the plane. I followed instructions, and made the end cutting templates so they would wrap around the fairings. I trimmed a little long for safety, Then I set them on a table, holding with the split side up and used a string and sometimes a laser line to ensure that it was all aligned, and straight. Then clamped the edges together with some binder clips and recheck that it was straight. It is easy to ensure the trailing edges are aligned, twist is really easy to induce. It will shear the trailing edges. So options are to file a small vee across the edge to make sure when the hinge is inserted that you end up with the edge aligned when done. When inserting the hinge, I put it so I had to squeeze the fairing together just a tiny bit. That ensures that when done there is not a gap on the TE from wedging with the hinge. Too little=gap; too much =gap, experiment a little you will get the hang of it.

After the hinge is installed, you can fit to the gear leg. I had to trim the length due to making a little long, Always trim more off the small end, it will fit better.

I hope this all makes sense.
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Last edited by BillL : 11-11-2017 at 09:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2017, 07:20 AM
Slipstream Slipstream is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post

After the hinge is installed, you can fit to the gear leg. I had to trim the length due to making a little long, Always trim more off the small end, it will fit better.

I hope this all makes sense.
Thanks Bill! That makes more sense than the awkward method I tried.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:03 AM
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bret bret is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gardnerville Nv.
Posts: 2,689
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ya these were fun, this is where I drilled my first finger hole....after doing the true up on the bench and installing tape and marking witness marks on the tape and cut the green tape open, I placed on gear leg to see where the hinge would go and have the trailing edge tight, marked the hinge location, went and riveted one side of the hinge then back on the plane and lined up witness marks and drilled other side of hinge on the gear leg.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:13 AM
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bret bret is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gardnerville Nv.
Posts: 2,689
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also added reinforcement tabs with a V cut to aid in future reinstall alignment after paint. zip tie here is temporary, used hose clamp for final, I plan on getting CV boot crimp type clamps later.
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2017, 08:57 AM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,173
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That task seems a looooooong time ago and I don't remember the precise details. But BillL's description recalls much, if not most of what I did. I can say I too found it nearly impossible to drill the hinges on the plane. That just made no sense to me, hence I didn't do it.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2017, 10:25 AM
dtw_rv6 dtw_rv6 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Martinsville, IN
Posts: 273
Default

I think I disliked installing gear fairings the most of all. In fact, I haven't liked them for the past ten years I've been flying my RV.

Earlier this year I rebuilt my fairings and used this little widget to lock the fairings in place on my gear legs:


You can only see the screw attachment in this view, but the fairing is held in place firmly. I use the slotted tab at the back as a receiver for a thin piece of sheet metal that keeps the back of the fairing from sticking together when the epoxy sets up:





Don
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2017, 01:41 PM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 281
Default Another method?

If you want to have the gear leg fairing removable, you can disregard this entire post.

We just completed the main/nose gear leg fairings and wheel pants installation this week at Synergy. I assume this technique was developed by Wally Anderson, as it is the standard method they have used for some time.

They do not use the hinge method, instead they bond the trailing edge of the fairing using epoxy resin (West Systems) using clecos at the top and bottom plus clamped straight edges (angled aluminum) in between. This is done first. Later, the fairing is permanently bonded to the gear leg using a two-part pour-able expanding foam. The foam is placed in front of and behind the gear leg from the top (near the fuselage) and at the bottom near the brake/wheel assembly. It's messy, but it locks the fairing tightly. This step is done after the step below, also using strings and plump bobs for proper alignment.

For drilling the wheel pants to the mounts, the airplane was "airborne" - suspended by chains from the engine lift bracket and a sling hoist at the rear. We found the centerline of the airframe using plumb bobs at the firewall and the rudder pivot brackets. A string was taped to the floor between these two points. All measurements are taken from this string to ensure the wheel fairings are mounted parallel to the airplane centerline. Clearance from tire to fairing was increased slightly (to 1 1/4") which will help us as we will operate for a while off a grass runway. I doubt there is much drag increase from doing this and wheel pant longevity is more important to us.

The fairings are nicely aligned, match left to right and the gear leg fairings are locked in parallel to the aircraft centerline.

I'm sure this method is not for everyone, but it has worked for a lot of satisfied customers at Synergy.
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DA20-A1 Katana "Princess Amelia"
RV-7A under construction
RV-10 under construction
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2017, 03:01 PM
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Weasel Weasel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brooksville, MS
Posts: 663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtw_rv6 View Post
Earlier this year I rebuilt my fairings and used this little widget to lock the fairings in place on my gear legs:





Don
That's handy right there!
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