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We are now in Oz after two amazing years of traveling Europe in our home built plane. We met many fantastic people who we are proud to call friends and have gained a much better understanding of the similarities and differences between the cultures of the different European states as well as the history and geography that have lead to these differences. We enjoy meeting people with similar interests to ourselves and learning more about other cultures. Please let us know if you're going to be in Queensland and would like to catch up for a meal and a chat.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Working on the plane's tail

Today was a big day of working on the hinges joining the two horizontal bits of the tail (horizontal stabiliser & elevator).  Getting the hinges exactly straight so that the controls move easily is pretty tough, as is the process of attaching them.  This is a process called flocking which I think we'll be doing a lot more of in the future: first you rough up the surfaces to be joined, then clean them down with acetone, then a thin layer of mixed up epoxy resin (e.g. Araldite) on both sides.  Then a really fine cotton powder (flock) is mixed into the resin until it becomes really stiff, probably a bit less like egg whites and more like really solid marshmallows, this is put on one surface and they are pushed together.  Of course that is not enough to adequately join a load bearing surface like a hinge, so we pre drilled holes on the hinge, plugged up the middle ones so that they didn't get filled with glue and bolted up the outer ones.  The resin dries overnight.  The following day the plugs and bolts are removed using either force or for the metal items a heat gun to soften the epoxy allowing them to be unscrewed.  Then rivets are put through the holes (hard wrist action) and the lot cleaned up and checked for clean movement.....  We shall see.

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