Annular cowling the fix

Well I was so pissed off about the cowling and frustrated that I didn’t go to the airport yesterday and gave myself a day to figure out what to do about the cowling.  It seems that my airplane is either off by a 1/4″ or the cowling is not quite right.  Either could be true and the airplane isn’t going to change very easily and so far I can’t find out where the engine is on wrong or the fire wall isn’t right or what. I do know Kevin Kimball has stated that an aircraft built to 1/4″ is as good as another problem is the cowling just doesn’t leave room for 1/4″ of issues.  I knew at this juncture if I wanted the cowling on the plane I would have to do a little surgery.  I was really trying to avoid any surgery since the cowling has a very nice finish of gel coat but it just had to be done.  I stewed over how to do this all day Sunday and finally came up with a solution this morning.   I decided to use modeling clay to build out the bulge of the cowling and match the profile the best I could.   Tonight I did just that.  I used some poster board and taped it to my fuselage to transfer mark the cylinder heads exact location on the outside of the cowling so I could start with the clay.  I then started laying the clay and shaping it to match the contours the original bulge for the cylinders.  I bulged it out about 3/8″ which will give me about 3/8″ or maybe a bit more room between the cylinder heads and the cowling so that will match the other side.  It’s not the best solutions but it is the best solution with still keeping the cowling.  I finished the clay and then used my angle grinder and removed about a 1″ wide strip of gel coat passed the clay for the fiberglass to adhere to.  I got everything done and two layers of 9 oz cloth laid tonight.  Tomorrow I will cut the inside out and remove all the clay and lay to more layers of cloth on the inside for more structure if necessary.  We will see.  Below are some pictures.

Time Spent 3.5 hours total time spent 21.5 hours.

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