View Full Version : Covering fuselage

Ron B.
01-06-2005, 07:43 PM
Our second set of wings are ready for the spray booth, and it's time to start covering the first fuselage. My question is , compared to the wings, what time frame does covering the frame consume?

Ron B.
01-11-2005, 06:09 PM
I guess we'll find out on our own, as the wings are painted and we're about to start covering the fuselage.

01-11-2005, 06:20 PM

As far as going from bare frame to ready to paint, the fuselage is much faster! It only requires three stitches on the top rib of the fin.

Three pieces of fabric: left and right sides from top center stringer to lower longeron, and bottom. Probably the hardest thing is to get the fabric glued and tucked into the rear window channel (don't glue it to the "outside" of the "D" frame).

Remember to "tweak" your fin for trim (front top corner towards the left as seen from behind). If your fin is new make sure that the hinge on the fin and rudder line up!

John Scott

Ron B.
01-12-2005, 03:38 PM
Hi John
I thought the fuselage would be a bit faster, or at least was hoping! I'm wandering why not to glue the outside of the "D" section? We've already tweaked the fixed stabilizer,thanks.
Thanks for the tips
Ron Belliveau

01-12-2005, 03:54 PM

Well, simply put, it looks ugly! :D You cannot get a smooth even glue job and it will show very clearly. In his siminars, Clyde Smith, Jr. suggests using a small plumbers helper to make sure the fabric is pulled up in this area (after the glue is dry and you have a coat of something on the fabric to make it non-porus).

John Scott

Ron B.
01-12-2005, 05:23 PM
Thanks again John
But another question please, what do you call a plumber's helper?, and describe it's use.

01-12-2005, 09:51 PM

Well, I might call her baby, and as to her uses... :o :D

The tool is the plunger/suction cup on a handle.

John Scott

01-12-2005, 10:20 PM
I actually have three that I use all the time. A 4" diameter one with a thumb-release suction-breaker button that is REAL handy for checking out whether Martin clips or screws are still securing wing "stitches" and about a thousand other purposes I never realized I needed it for until I owned it! I think it was made for handling glass panes. And a couple of 19 cent "grab-barrel specials" from by the checkout counter at Sears Hardware (I'll "grab" a half dozen of each on the way to the checkout). Two inch and one inch diameter ones, primarily for "lifting stickdowns" on recover jobs. GREAT little tools to have around!

Ron B.
01-13-2005, 05:15 PM
Thanks Guys
I think I'll go out and buy a new one for this application! I don't think I would have thought of a suction cup to pull out the fabric, should be a great tip .

01-13-2005, 09:46 PM
My answer to your original question is, about the same time for one wing. I figure 40/ 50 hours.

Phil Kite
01-15-2005, 12:20 AM
Mr. Hinkle,

You forgot to say 40-50 hours once the fuselage is ready to cover! How many folks do you get in your shop that say "it just needs fabric" I here this all the time in my shop and just laugh! :lol:

01-15-2005, 12:51 AM
Phil, yep I agree, but the original question was covering the frame. Just covering the fuselage with no alterations, repairs or unusual stuff, I figure the same as a wing.
I've kept track of a few cover jobs, kinda/sorta, and I come up with 40/50 hrs each for 1 wing, fuselage and control surfaces. My Total time for a COVER job only is about 200 hrs. Minor clean up is included. Do you have any figures? Just courious.

Ron B.
01-15-2005, 02:48 PM
Starting with the fuselage ready is just what I was asking. I don't know what the difference to me is , it will take what it takes. Painted one wing cub yellow and attached the bottom fabric to the fuselage today.
Thanks Ron

01-16-2005, 01:28 PM
Ron, what weight fabric are you using on the bottom, also do you
know what the 5 tabs are for Smith has welded on each side on the
fuselage below the jack screw? Thanks, Jon

Ron B.
01-16-2005, 04:01 PM
I'm using medium fabric everywhere, I hope this is ok! That what I was told to use, I might have miss something?
The five tabs each side of the jack screw are for the strakes that accompany the BLR vortex generators. The six tabs below the jack screw on the bottom of the frame are for a alum. panel, so I'm told. If you what to be sure check with Smith's.

Ron B.
01-18-2005, 05:15 PM
We used up 21 hrs total time, just installing the fabric and heat shrinking, on the fuselage. It went OK I guess, had trouble around the tail section, looks good after a fair amount of work.On to Polybrush tomorrow

Ron B.
01-22-2005, 06:16 PM
After , believe it or not , 55hrs (app) we still have 2 or 3 tapes left to install on the fuselage! It takes a long time marking , wetting out then applying the tapes. Iron the first ones down, then wet out for the next tape, first thing you know the day's gone. Hopefully we'll finish up on Monday? Then on to the spray booth.
I'm just wandering as to how we're progressing according to other first time builders?