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Randy Griffin
Jeff Jasinsky
Mike Robbins
 

 

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Copyright 1999-2005 by Randy Lervold, Romeo Lima Consulting. All rights reserved.

(click on a pics to see a larger version)

Gear leg intersection fairings - lower
After researching the subject, I learned that there are really three gear leg fairing alternatives for RV-8 owners. Potential sources are Van's, Tracy Saylor, and Team Rocket. All are made from epoxy and all are decent quality.  The real difference is in their chord... Van's are the narrowest, Team Rocket's are the widest, and Tracy's are about in the middle. I've always thought that a deeper chord leg fairing looked better so I ruled out Van's. I like the look of the Rocket fairings but I was a bit concerned about adding so much surface area on the forward area of the plane (yaw stability problems?), so I went for the middle ground. They sell for $95 and are now made by Tracy's daughter in Oregon. If you're interested in a set she can be reached at Powell's Premium RV Products, 541-258-3885.
Mvc-408x.jpg (102915 bytes)Mvc-409x.jpg (102270 bytes)Mvc-410x.jpg (78916 bytes)I decided to depart from the norm a bit with regard to my lower gear leg fairing intersections. Instead of molding the fairing in two pieces attached to each half of the wheel pant, I simply flared the bottom of the gear leg fairing onto the wheel pant. This seems simpler to me and should be prone to ripping off like the conventional method. To locate the gear fairing fore/aft I have put a screw hole in each end that matches a platenut in the wheel pants.
Mvc-421x.jpg (122082 bytes)Mvc-423x.jpg (108314 bytes)After trying several different fillers I've found that plain microballoons in West Systems epoxy works as good as anything. It's actually easier to fair into existing fiberglass because the density is similar. Super Fil for example is softer and sands down faster thereby making flush surfaces tougher the Super Fil sands down faster than the surrounding fiberglass. The first photo is after application and the second after sanding the first coat. Yes, it takes two coats usually to get all the voids out.
100-0011_img.jpg (255420 bytes)100-0014_img.jpg (252451 bytes)100-0016_img.jpg (281958 bytes)As mentioned on the Paint page, PPG K38 has turned into my fiberglass filler/primer of choice. The technique I've been using is to apply about three fairly thick coats about 10 minutes apart, wait 24 hrs, and sand thoroughly. All of my fiberglass parts have taken either 2 or 3 of these cycles to get rid of all pinholes and imperfections. This technique also allows you to do the final finish fairing on joined parts. If it's not the last coat I sand with Norton 120 grit dry paper, if it's the final coat I use 320. After thoroughly vacuuming and blowing with compressed air, paint is then applied.
Mvc-431x.jpg (75165 bytes)Mvc-430x.jpg (84002 bytes)
Gear leg intersection fairings - upper
After a year of working on other things on the plane, flying, and procrastinating, I finally got around to making and installing my upper intersection fairings. Waiting this long turned out to be a mistake these fairings do have an effect on flying characteristics. If interested on this issue check the story on RV-8 tail shake on the Flying page.

These fairings were constructed using the same method and materials as the lower intersection fairings depicted above.

 

 

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