Port Engine Intake

I’ve been working from home during the pandemic lockdown.  Unfortunately this hasn’t provided me with any more time to work on personal projects, but I am at least grateful to still have a job and full pay.  There are many millions that have not been so fortunate.

Lately I’ve been concentrating on the completing the port engine intake and how to successfully mount it.

I spent the best part of a couple of days completing the sheet metal work for the compound curves at the front of the intake.  Quite laborious and monotonous, drilling, dimpling, riveting and repeat for the many required strips of sheet aluminium.  Maybe it would have been easier with an English Wheel to form the curves, but without any experience or access to one, I had little choice but to push on.

I got there eventually and am satisfied with the end result.  Plenty of filler will still be required to achieve a smooth finish, but the basic shape is there:

Next I had to figure out how to strongly mount it to the rear fuselage.  I ended up using two primary cantilever spars and then stitching the inside wall to the fuselage.

Then I had some details to finalise before the final permanent mounting.  The inner walls had to be filled and primed before mounting, as there would be no way to access the tight spaces afterwards.  I used a combination of fibreglass and body filler to smooth it off and then coated it with primer.  The finishing coat will happen when I’m done sheeting all the aluminium.

I also did some detail sheeting around the bottom of the top intake.

Shaping up nicely

Next up I’ll be mounting the main port engine housing and the exhaust nozzles for the top and port engines.

Stay safe out there everyone.