I have gained a new title on the project: Master of Imperfections. It’s my job to insert some little stuff-ups into the fabrication of the window test unit.
The first fuselage plug is now all bonded (glued) together. The first two blocks of foam were levelled to within a hundredth of an inch – less than the thickness of a piece of paper. This makes a perfectly flat foundation for the other blocks. This is also the centreline of the fuselage so getting this line straight is necessary so that the other parts of the aircraft will fit and it will fly straight.
The other blocks were then aligned onto the first pair, using alignment rods and careful measuring before the epoxy resin was poured.
The first fuselage plug has been completely machined. Einar has come up to Bend to view the progress.
The next step is to sand the plug by hand to remove the tool grooves and then it can be sealed with paint and the molding process begins.
We may have found the perfect screen display to use in the Perlan glider. The Craggy Aero “Ultimate” computer is an exciting new development in soaring instruments.
The main advantage of this computer is the large sunlight-readable screen. We tested it outdoors in full sunshine against a conventional PDA. The Ultimate is the clear winner for readability, even though the PDA had a new “transreflective” screen.
The first pieces of the actual, final shape of the glider are comming off the CNC machine now. These pieces will be assembled together to make a “plug” which is used to make the carbon fibre mold, which is used to make the real fuselage.
For three separate reasons, the three Perlan Project principals are all going to be at the Red Bull Air Race in San Diego next weekend. See the Red Bull Air Race web site for information about the race.
The fuselage has been lofted (again.) I think the term originates from boatbuilding, where the pattern for a new boat was first created in the sailmaker’s loft. “Lofting” has a special meaning to an engineer because it is the process whereby lines on a plan are transformed into curves in three dimensions.