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REFLECTOR: Twisted fuselage

Cowan wrote:  While my brother was in town this week we decided to level and
bondo my fusalage onto sawhorses. Two days ago we laid up 6 plies of triax to
form cradles to go between the sawhorses and fuselage. They seem to spread the
weight of the thing out across a larger area. Initially the fuselage seemed
pretty close to level.. A popsicle stick here and there and it was pretty

I believe it is a mistake to bond the fuselage to the saw horses.  If you
start this way, I think you can twist the fuseage.  I started out by building
a sturdy platform to get the fuselage up to the right building height then
glued on chunks of rigid extruded polystyrene foam on the four corners.  The
foam blocks were shaped to the contour of the bottom of the fuselage.  The
fusleage shell was then laid in the cradle in a completely relaxed state and
shifted slightly in position to make it level.  The position of the blocks
relative to the fuselage were marked on the fuselage and the position of the
platform was marked on the floor of the shop.  From then on, minor adgustments
in level could be made by moving its positon slightly.

This worked well for me, but then again, I'm not flying yet.

Jerry Teitsma
Denver, CO