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Thread: Aft fuselage metal belly

  1. #1

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    Aft fuselage metal belly

    Iím putting a metal belly on the aft 3í of my cub build. Iíve tried to find photos of how itís formed on the sides where it contacts the tubing but have been unsuccessful. If I roll the edges so it wraps part way around the outside of the tubing, water running down the sides will run into the belly. If I butt it up to the tubing, how could I seal it from water or exhaust fumes?

    If anyone has photos or drawings of what youíve done and ideas on how you would improve upon what you have it would be appreciated.

    Mr. Ed

  2. #2
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    you roll it up the sides some... you MUST also have front edge capture, if going to be used on snow, or it might bend down and shovel rear fuselage FULL of snow.....

    atlee sells a nice kit.. wow the price has shot up!$$$ http://www.fadodge.com/belly-pan-clean-out-kit/

  3. #3
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I was going to try and get a photo but my stupid iphone only takes these HEIC photos now that won't upload.

    Basically bring the sheet metal to the vertical centerline of the longeron and then roll the edge up slightly to keep the edge sucked up to the longeron. Don't wrap all the way outside, just bring the sheet to the middle of the tube or maybe just a hair past on the sides.

    Also, if you don't want to work too hard I know a place to get a prefabbed kit for a lot less than the Atlee kit and the sheet metal is way better built.

  4. #4
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I use a radius die in my press brake to form the edges to roll up the longerons. The center has a brake so anything will run to the middle and aft and I wrap my longerons completely when covering. Here is a picture and a photo album link to several. https://photos.app.goo.gl/22EGjpZB6fsPxYnL7
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Pierce

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    Thanks Mike. Since my fuselage is 4” wider and I carried the full width back another 3’, the taper of my empennage differs from the “normal”. Atlee kit probably wouldn’t fit so it’s “fun with the magnetic break” or build a roller for the edges. Do you happen to know the purpose of all the holes in the front end of the Atlee belly pan? Too many to be drain holes. Vent holes? Why would that be required?

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    Thanks Steve, I can see now that those are rivet holes.

    Mr. Ed

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    Steve,

    2024-T3 aluminum.......how thick are you using?

    thanks.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Pretty sure it was .020"
    Steve Pierce

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    Pictures. Any water that enters from the pan or above will drain out in 3-point.
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    I had considered doing this...but I couldn’t see the benefit in my case....it does give easy access to that section....what else do you guys consider a benefit? Is it for ruggedness in the Bush?

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Most of the corrosion I find is the bottom longerons in this area. It gives you access to clean the grit and grime that accumulates in this area and it gives you good access to the trim system and tail spring attachment.
    Steve Pierce

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    ...but I couldn’t see the benefit in my case....it does give easy access to that section....
    Wouldn't access for cleaning/maintenance be a benefit? Even if you're not the one doing the cleaning/maintaining, 'easier' equals smaller bill from your A&P.

    Web
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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Makes it easier to find and remove the the pens/pencils, lens covers, batteries, shotgun shells, etc that find their way under the floorboards and bounce back towards the tail of the airplane!! Being able to stick your head in there and take a good close look at everything is also kind of nice.

    Jim
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  14. #14

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    For me it's the access to the electric trim actuator.

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    Dave Barras's Avatar
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    For me its access to the pitch servo plus what Steve said.
    Dave


    YOU NEVER KNOW

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    Besides excellent access it's a great place to mount the transponder antenna and get that blooming noise generator away from the coms
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    That was you?

    Web
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  18. #18

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    Thanks to all you folks that responded. Fabricated and installed my version of the metal belly. I did the leading edge a bit different than Atlee or other folks photos. I formed something similar to the D window channel, only deeper. Both edges are rolled and it’s 1” deep. The vertical piece that attaches to the horizontal belly tube was then tig brazed to the U channel. I welded in tabs with nut plates (the long screws are temporary).
    Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19

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    would it work to make a little thicker and a lot larger aluminum rectangle grommet like these or even triangle shaped, could even make a 8 shaped grommet with a center web for added strength.dosent have to be as large as the belly pan is, leaving the bottom stringer in, and just large enough to get both hands up in there to work on stuff. then make a cover to fit like a inspection cover and fasten with screws and clip nuts or screw right into the grommet. if your not in brush i think these pans are a little overkill. was thinking in my allready covered airplane that i might do that. could run a couple L brackets off each side of the bottom stringer with nut plates also for a little more support for the cover.wish i never would have put those round inspection covers on the side under the stab.
    Last edited by tempdoug; 10-29-2020 at 08:17 AM.

  20. #20

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    Got it!!!...actually that all makes sense, I started down that path and must have gotten lazy...my fuselage was primed and I really didn’t want to tig the tabs on....I put the elevator trim in too so I used that as an excuse to be lazy. Yours looks really nice Mr. Ed! Now I have regrets. Oh well, maybe on the next one.

  21. #21
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Thanks to all you folks that responded. Fabricated and installed my version of the metal belly. I did the leading edge a bit different than Atlee or other folks photos. I formed something similar to the D window channel, only deeper. Both edges are rolled and itís 1Ē deep. The vertical piece that attaches to the horizontal belly tube was then tig brazed to the U channel. I welded in tabs with nut plates (the long screws are temporary).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    what's your plan for the center belly stringer? i don't see it in that front piece..??

  22. #22

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    Mike,

    I hope to have the stringer in place in the next few days. My elevator cables will run under the fuselage tubing. I want to get the fairleads in place first.

  23. #23
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    ...and just large enough to get both hands up in there to work on stuff. then make a cover to fit like a inspection cover and fasten with screws and clip nuts or screw right into the grommet.
    Are you a mechanic? How will you see what those hands are doing?
    N1PA
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Are you a mechanic? How will you see what those hands are doing?

    nope and the same way as i do it through a couple of 3 inch inspection holes
    Last edited by tempdoug; 10-29-2020 at 08:16 AM.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    steve, would it work to make a little thicker and a lot larger aluminum rectangle grommet like these or even triangle shaped, could even make a 8 shaped grommet with a center web for added strength.dosent have to be as large as the belly pan is, leaving the bottom stringer in, and just large enough to get both hands up in there to work on stuff. then make a cover to fit like a inspection cover and fasten with screws and clip nuts or screw right into the grommet. if your not in brush i think these pans are a little overkill. was thinking in my allready covered airplane that i might do that. could run a couple L brackets off each side of the bottom stringer with nut plates also for a little more support for the cover.wish i never would have put those round inspection covers on the side under the stab.
    I guess I need a drawing or something but get the just of what you are saying. I have threatened to install a pan on my covered airplane but just haven't figured it was worth the effort just yet.
    Steve Pierce

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  26. #26
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Having one of those square inspection holes onthe tail of my cub I would never do that over having a full tail pan to remove. Trying to fiddle with trim cables and stuff without being able to see much and with limited ability to move your hands up in there is the worst. I can't imagine you save much weight putting a couple inspection plates in versus just putting a tail pan on.
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  27. #27
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Whenever I'm considering the weight of inspection panels for easier maintenance as being excessive I push back from the table and skip pie.
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  28. #28
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    Mike,

    I hope to have the stringer in place in the next few days. My elevator cables will run under the fuselage tubing. I want to get the fairleads in place first.
    One trick I do if running cables down by fabric is make the cable go ABOVE the center pully, an below the other ones. Keeps cable from slapping the fabric and cutting a hole


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Having one of those square inspection holes onthe tail of my cub I would never do that over having a full tail pan to remove. Trying to fiddle with trim cables and stuff without being able to see much and with limited ability to move your hands up in there is the worst. I can't imagine you save much weight putting a couple inspection plates in versus just putting a tail pan on.

    not trying to save weight, and i will not cut up a covered airplane to put a belly pan in, and will not put the 2 round inspection covers on the side like piper did again either under the stabilizer. PO
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  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I guess I need a drawing or something but get the just of what you are saying. I have threatened to install a pan on my covered airplane but just haven't figured it was worth the effort just yet.

    going to have to lay underneath with a tape measure some day and do so measuring, these grommets you offer how thick are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Whenever I'm considering the weight of inspection panels for easier maintenance as being excessive I push back from the table and skip pie.

    your not getting it.

  32. #32
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    One trick I do if running cables down by fabric is make the cable go ABOVE the center pully, an below the other ones. Keeps cable from slapping the fabric and cutting a hole


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    Is that a clearance thing or a way to get a little tension between the pulleys?

    Web
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    see the 2 round ones, my OPINION is dont do it, a bitch to work through. or put them in but dont cut them out, would way rather work through the bottom.
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  34. #34
    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    I moved my elevator turnbuckles to under the rear seat from the tail location. Always hated working in the tail to adjust stick position. And safety wire back there.
    Last edited by AkPA/18; 10-29-2020 at 12:28 PM.
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  35. #35
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Totally agreed, the round inspection panels on the side are unsightly and of marginal utility. Didn't catch the part where where you were talking about modifying a covered fuselage.

    I think that you could probably install a full tail cleanout pan on a covered fuselage but it would certainly be difficult. Gluing grommets in is for sure a simpler arrangment.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Totally agreed, the round inspection panels on the side are unsightly and of marginal utility. Didn't catch the part where where you were talking about modifying a covered fuselage.

    I think that you could probably install a full tail cleanout pan on a covered fuselage but it would certainly be difficult. Gluing grommets in is for sure a simpler arrangment.
    Make one grommet but just thinking 9x15 with a web in the center. havent measured it.

  37. #37
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post

    I think that you could probably install a full tail cleanout pan on a covered fuselage but it would certainly be difficult. Gluing grommets in is for sure a simpler arrangment.
    a nice clamp in kit would probably sell well.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    Having one of those square inspection holes onthe tail of my cub I would never do that over having a full tail pan to remove. Trying to fiddle with trim cables and stuff without being able to see much and with limited ability to move your hands up in there is the worst. I can't imagine you save much weight putting a couple inspection plates in versus just putting a tail pan on.
    WOW!!!! Did we just enter an alternate universe or did you just post you would choose to add weight to a plane for maintenance reasons? I will send you some info on 4 cylinder EGT/CHT insterments. Welcome to the dark side and feel the power of a well cared for aircraft!!

    DENNY
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  39. #39
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    going to have to lay underneath with a tape measure some day and do so measuring, these grommets you offer how thick are they?
    .025" 2024-T3 aluminum.
    Steve Pierce

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  40. #40
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    WOW!!!! Did we just enter an alternate universe or did you just post you would choose to add weight to a plane for maintenance reasons? I will send you some info on 4 cylinder EGT/CHT insterments. Welcome to the dark side and feel the power of a well cared for aircraft!!

    DENNY
    And I'll send you my 4 band CHT that I tore out and you can keep it! I think you get me all wrong, I absolutely will add weight where needed (throwing a belly pod on this weekend). Those EGT/CHT/WTF monitors on the other hand...

    Not sure how you would accomplish a bolt in cleanout cover kit. Definitely something to look into though.
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