I’m currently working on the left hand engine intake, one of the most difficult shapes in the project to form. Like the top engine intake, it’s a complex shape to construct out of aluminium sheet.
I thought I’d try a different strategy to form the compound curves for this intake. Instead of overlapping the sheets on the curves, I thought I would try stitching them together, having the sheets butt together and have a joining sheet underneath.
I had hoped that it would provide a surface needing less filler and finishing. My strategy works quite well, however it does take significantly more time. It will still need an amount of filler and finishing, so it may be quicker to go back to my original strategy and simply overlap the sheets.
To visualise how it all looks together, I positioned the intake in the approximate position on the left hand engine of the Viper. I’m happy that I’m on the right track as everything lines up as I’d hoped for and it faithfully replicates the shape pretty well.
Next up I’ll need to finish the structure of the rear section, bolt in the rear landing gear mounting frame, the wing mounting frame and install space frame diagonal angle for strengthening. I can then sheet the side adjacent to the intake and begin mounting the engine and intake.
I’m also very keen to put the front and back halves together to ensure everything aligns as expected. But I’ll need to build myself a trolley/dolly on castors before I can move the front fuselage.
So much to do, so little time… until next time.