Upper Fuselage Joint – Part 2

The last part of the fuselage joint, at least the inside work, involved the hatch area up in the nose.  This panel will eventually be cut out and turned into a removable access hatch to get to the electro-mechanical equipment that will be installed up there.  Or a jacket.

The process here was the same as before.  First a single ply across the joint, then some foam core to fill the joint, then 2 plies over the whole mess.  The only difference in this area was the use of 1/4″ high density core instead of the 3/4″ core I had be using.  I like this 1/4″ stuff better anyway since it’s easier to shape.

After the basic layup was complete, there was an extra step to build and attach 2 stiffening ribs to the inside of the hatch.  Since it will be removable, these will allow the hatch to keep its shape.  The stiffeners were built out of the same 1/4″ high density foam core, then bonded in place.  The edges were rounded off, and the joint radiused with an epoxy micro mixture, then 2 plies of S2 glass were added over the top.

The S2 glass is a special weave that allows it to form nicely over tight areas and compound curves.

Overall, I think the installation came out pretty good.  In the below photos, the fuselage is upside-down for the first 3 photos, and upright for the last one.

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