Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gaps in my reasoning

Frankly, I've been distraught over the poor fit of the right leg upper intersection fairing. To the degree, mind you, that it was this issue that gave me night sweats late Monday night, rather than the egregious failure of our formerly highly esteemed Buckeye football team in their ignominious loss to the lowly Florida Gators. How, I asked myself, could the right side fit so poorly when the left side fit as tightly as OJ's shrunken glove?

Finally it dawned on me that the problem was far more likely to be the result of poor alignment of the leg fairing than a defect in the manufacture of the fairing. Apparently the voodoo spell of jacking the plane and running parallel strings to the back did not sufficiently appease the gods of misalignment, and I had somehow managed to get the alignment perfectly wrong. Perhaps I was remiss in skipping the step that called for the sacrificing of a virginal free-range chicken upon an altar of discarded glass trimmings after all. Lesson learned, grocery list updated.

To validate this theory, I made some alignment marks on the leg fairing and fuselage side so I'd be able to return the leg fairing to the scene of the crime (so to speak) should it be necessary and loosened the hose clamp that held the fairing tightly in place. Upon rotating said fairing, I quickly observed that the intersection fairing fit somewhat better. Still, there was a noticeable gap between the front edge of the fairing and the smelly belly of the plane. This gap was a result of a mental block on my part: I had, for some reason, believed that the vertical cut at the back of the intersection fairing was sacrosanct, and that the edges would butt against each other perfectly without resorting to trimming. Such, alas, is not the case. Indeed, a little trimming back of the edges allowed them to butt together without inducing the offending forward gap.

You live, you learn. Once it gets a little warmer towards the end of this week, I will make the required changes to the fit. Next step: determine if the problem with the fit of the lower left fairing can be similarly resolved. I hope it's not a problem with the alignment of the already-installed wheel fairing! Maybe a preventative chicken sacrifice is in order...

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