Fuselage progress.

Post-War Aeronca Chief airplanes
mike danford
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Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Fri Mar 18, 2016 09:23

Thanks to folks here, things coming along well. Dashboard mostly done, controls done, headliner going in now... Nice bonding experience...

So, where's the best place to get an envelope for the fuse? Also, are there any upholstery kits for a chief?

Thanks!

Mike

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hangerash
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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by hangerash » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:37

I did an envelope on my Champ from Aircraft Spruce and was not that impressed with the fit. It is also very difficult to hold the seams on longerons as the shrink tightens the fabric. Give some serious consideration to using the blanket method.
Richard

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by MikeB » Fri Mar 18, 2016 16:49

I think the Millers (Jim and Dondi) can have one made for you but I also think you have to buy all the covering materials from them. Most that work with them like their service, etc. but I had trouble getting them to answer emails so I went elsewhere. No reflection necessarily just my experience and they are probably busy. They certainly know their stuff.
Mike

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by hangerash » Fri Mar 18, 2016 18:19

Similar experience MikeB when I ordered wing envelopes for another aircraft. Promised by date came and went. Phone call reassured me they would be done in two weeks. Then reassured they would be done in a month as soon as they returned from Sun-n-Fun. After waiting four months I politely called and canceled the order. Haven't been back since and found I could order the PolyFiber products in stock at Aircraft Spruce for the same price.
Richard

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Sat Mar 19, 2016 05:58

Wasn't sure the blanket method would since you technically can't put a non sewn seam on that center stringer... Although that was successfully done previously, just not legally. More so, it looks as though six foot wide fabric didn't quite make it and a triangular piece was cobbled in on top and at the. Dry front of the fuse.

I have a very good friend who just covered a champ with the full envelope and was seriously disappointed with the fit. She thought an envelope without the bottom would be a good compromise.

Although I did get all my materials, including enough fabric to do the fuse envelope style, from Jim and Dondie, I had heard they closed shop.

Mike

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by Red(neck) Barron » Sat Mar 19, 2016 08:37

I had a small fabric repair project that I used the Millers for my materials and resource. They were great to work with as long as everything was going fine but as soon as I had an issue, they dropped off the face of the planet.
Larry H
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Formally N84619, N84149 & N84069 - all1946 7AC's; also N57430 a 7ECA
Currently N91RA 7GCAA (Still a Champ, just grown up some)

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 21, 2016 17:37

I understand that the Champs and Chiefs were originally covered with the 'blanket method' by wrapping around the wood stringers. If you look at the factory video tape it's obvious and confirmed by Bill Pancake, even though the regs and most manuals say "solid structure". The Chief especially has pretty husky side wood stringers for whatever it's worth. On my L16 (Champ type) I wrapped the bottom around the lower tube structure and used an envelope over the top part and covered the lap joint with a 4 inch tape. I'd consider the envelope at 'fair fit'. My first cover job on a Champ used a complete envelope with the bottom sewn in. It work OK but I had a hard time holding the seams straight due to the amount of loose fabric. After that I always ordered the envelope without the bottom sewn in and did that with a separate piece on the bottom. I've looked at a number of cover jobs at Oshkosh and several were obviously covered using the blanket method. I've never used envelopes for wings, control surfaces, etc. as the blanket method seems to work well.

mike danford
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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Mon Mar 21, 2016 20:51

Ok, this is good info. What factory video? Thanks!

Mike

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Wed Mar 23, 2016 23:05

Does anyone know where I can find the covering video? I'd definitely rather use the blanket method which would be legal if done that way originally.

I agree the stringers are substantial enough, just worried about getting it all signed off.

Thanks!

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by hangerash » Thu Mar 24, 2016 09:43

Mike,

Discuss the process with your IA before you start and there won't be any issues. It is my understanding PolyFiber supports the blanket method despite statements to the contrary in the procedure manual. Apparently in the fine print if the original covering used the stringers then they agree their process can also use the stringers.

I believe Stewart's also has the same policy.
Richard

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:39

You're exactly right about the if it's original clause. Which applies to the PK screw spacing by the way.

So, just curious about the mentioned video to help my ia see the light! The covering I removed, while blanket applied, is clearly not original in any way. Found lots of other small things wrong too, so he's a little leery of the stuff coming off.

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by hangerash » Thu Mar 24, 2016 13:36

Hoping someone will post a link to any video. I have heard rumors, but have never seen any video specific to the Champ or Chief. Todd Trainor at http://www.aeroncamuseum.org/ might be able to confirm or deny the existence of any.
Richard

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by MikeB » Thu Mar 24, 2016 17:04

Sorry I don't check this forum very often but anyway the video is "Aeronca the plane you'll want to fly". It's available from the National Aeronca Association and probably listed in the "Aeronca Merchandise" in the opening pages. It's basically a sales tape that was put out by Aeronca in the 1940's and shows how the plane is assembled , etc. You have to look quick but you can see the fabric wrapped and glued around the stringers on a Champ so I'd like to think the Chief would be the same. I do agree with Richard though: run it by your IA so he's comfortable signing it off. Besides Bill Pancake I had another old fabric person "Dip" Davis tell me that he used to cover Champs with just three pieces of fabric as that's how it was done at the factory before envelopes.

Hope this helps!

Mike

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by MikeB » Thu Mar 24, 2016 20:17

Actually the DVD is not listed but if you send a request to NAA . I see Brian has his email listed in on the 'Aeronca merchandise' and he should be able to steer you to the right source. I think it's about $30 including shipping. Well worth it for the entertainment value if nothing else. I'd loan you mine but I already loaned it and it seems to be lost forever.

If you're on the NAA face book page someone may have one to let out.

Mike

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Re: Fuselage progress.

Post by mike danford » Fri Mar 25, 2016 08:33

Great info. I'll go poke around over there. Need to join anyway to get access to a few drawings for a couple of missing or damaged pieces of sheet metal.

Thanks!

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