Covering – Fuselage Bottom

by | Apr 6, 2020 | Rans S20 Build, Rans S20 Fabric

Now with hundreds of hours experience with laying fabric, the fuselage bottom was fairly easy. Early on, my decision to lay fabric on the wings, starting with the the small control surfaces, was a great decision. Working on the small parts allowed me to develop some basic skills without a low of small and detailed cuts. Moving on to the wings, there were a lot of cuts but gluing the fabric on the main and rear spars was relatively simple because of the spar size – easy to get the fabric on and glued properly.

The fuselage was much more complicated because of the small steel tubing and all the little cuts around the cross tubes and tabs. Getting the fabric ready to lay took some effort as well. The length of fabric was 176 inches and required a decent amount of maneuvering in my kitchen to accurately measure and cut. I was going to attempt to save some fabric (because I’m running very low), but ultimately decided to not worry about it. I need to place an order with aricraftspruce.com today.

Below are the steps I took to get the fabric glued on:

  1. Spun the Fuse upside down on the rotisserie.
  2. Measured length of fuse where fabric is required. This included measuring the width as it narrowed.
  3. Rolled out fabric on the kitchen floor, marked with pencil, and then cut. Per the manual, I increase the measurements by approximately 5 inches on all sides.
  4. Taped off the edge along the frame where I knew I did NOT want glue, around the bottom quarter. This way, I did not need to worry about glueing the wrong area.
  5. Laid the fabric on the length of the Fuse and centered. I used clamps to position and hold the fabric (pictures below).
  6. Once the fabric was in the location I wanted, I used a pencil again to basically trace the bottom of the frame, which included cross frames and formers. Doing this allowed me to know how to lay the fabric back on the frame once I had the glue on and was ready to place fabric on permanently.
  7. After the glue was dried, I went back over the frame with the hand-iron to make sure there were no bubbles or other issues.
  8. the last step was to glue the front of the fabric to the frame

6 + 9 =

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