Now, with the four channels in place, we can start skinning the engine cowl. The first skin installed was the top center skin:
The 36" long hinges are drilled along with skin. I used 2" spacing for this application. The hinge is facing downward which hides the hinge but only allows the door to be opened a little bit past 90 degrees. Russ Erb turn the hinges face up, which exposes the hinge above the cowl skin but allows him to open the cowl doors all the way back and let them lay all the way down when open. Builder's choice on this one and both approaches are excellent.
The bottom skin of the engine cowl was fitted next. I decided to go with a split skin for the bottom cowl with a seam down the middle. This will make fitting the bottom cowl skin much easier. Since there is a tunnel on the bottom for the carb air box, only about 6" of the seam with show anyway.
To fit the skin to the nose bowl and firewall, it was first clamped to the side channel and four location holes were drilled through the skin and into the channel. The skin could then be clecoed in place in a repeatable fashion and always be located in exactly the same spot each time. This is important since you will be putting it on and taking it off numerous times while cutting the skin, to properly fit the nose bowl, the firewall and around the carburetor.
At this point the skin is about 2" past the fuselage center line on the bottom.
The right bottom skin was made in exactly the same way and overlaps the left
side skin at the bottom:
Where the two skins meet on the bottom center, I cut them to create a 1 1/2" overlap and will create a double row of rivets, 1" apart at the seam. The airbox cover and the channel at the aft end of the cowl opening will also hold the two cowl halves together.
Click here to go to Engine Cowling page 3
Click here to go to the Final Assembly Index page