Full Steam Ahead!

Work continues sheeting the left hand side of the nose section of the Viper.

Starting from the bottom, I begin cutting, drilling and dimpling the sheet aluminium panels.  The panel lines are very similar to the right hand side, but there are some differences.  Again, most of the sheet aluminium is 0.6mm, with a few of the smaller sections fabricated from 1.0mm sheet.



The following photos show the rough placement of a panel, which needs to be properly sized before being drilled and dimpled.



The photo below gives an idea of the size of the nose section, around 2 metres in length.


I also started on the development of the remaining fuselage, from the nose section back to the cockpit.  I started with the front and rear bulkheads/formers and using a straight section of pipe, spanned the distance between them.  The remaining profiles of the formers could then be determined, by measuring the distance from the centreline to the stringer locations at 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 degrees.

The former half profiles are then cut out and spaced along the centreline.
Stringers are then positioned to ensure profiles are accurate.



But my immediate goal is to complete the sheet metal panelling of the nose section, before applying filler, blocking and painting.

Until next time…



4 thoughts on “Full Steam Ahead!

  1. Dear Sir,
    I hope you are still making progress on this Viper build! Your work as seen here is amazing! I just wished I lived nearby, so I could offer my assistance! I am the fellow who could fit out your cockpit, as I do custom dashboards for replica and kit cars, complete with wiring harnesses! I very much look forward to your next update, and hope that I can come to see the completed project some day!
    Best Wishes – David


    • Hi David, thanks for your great feedback and encouragement! Progress on the Viper build is a little slow at the moment as I’m sidetracked by other projects and real life. It would be great to have your expertise for the cockpit fitout – my knowledge of electrics is sadly lacking. Hopefully I can take the Viper on a world tour when she’s done 🙂


  2. As someone who has kicked a plan around for years to do this, I am very impressed. My plan is simply to do the cockpit and the fuselage around it, using mostly plastics and wood. What you have done is nothing short of spectacular.

    I have collected most of the controls, instruments, dials and switches, and have created various layouts for them, depending on which control set you are building (they changed in various episodes), as well as several that were designed for a fan film project. When I finally do get around to building it out, I plan on making the various panels replaceable so I can swap out the various configurations.

    I look forward to seeing your progress, and am particularly interested in how you are solving some design dilemmas. Again, awesome work. — Bill


    • Great to hear from you Bill, appreciate your feedback. I think it’s brilliant you’ve collected all the cockpit controls, gauges and switches and I’d love to see your cockpit build progress.
      I’ll have to replicate the controls as best I can, as I don’t have any of the original components. Just one of the many challenges with the build!
      Stay in touch and let me know how your project goes.


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