Back to the beginning: Project Tiger Cub Story part 10

Paper, paper! and a little bit of wood

Meantime on the SP front, the work carried out had been mostly paperwork. There had been a time that I had thought the old saying that “ No aircraft shall fly until its Maximum All Up Weight is equalled by the weight of its paperwork” was an exaggeration.

Not so, it seems if anything to be an understatement as I wade slowly though the textbooks and masses of web information to answer the points raised by the Tec Office the heap of paperwork!information and references steadily grows. The trouble with such searches is the time it takes. I can spend a couple of hours with the spanners in my workshop and achieve a fair amount, but 2hours of internet search or 2hours spent going though reference books and the end results are very small.

So recent events modified the intended work on SP in a couple of areas. The first one concerned the seat belts, with KT for the first time I was able to sit in a complete Tiger Cub cockpit, well, complete if you could ignore the instrument panel resting on your knees. The seat belt situation was far better than I’d have believed possible, mostly due to the fact that the seat was suspended on its own harness and so sat differently with somebody in it. Not having to alter that would save masses of work and potential hassle from the lads in the Tec Office. The other decision was to mount the fuel tank to comply with the mandatory mod on standard Tiger Cubs rather than stick with the Romain version for which I had no paperwork. I could foresee problems ahead if I stuck with the Romain mod that had pre dated the standard mod, but on the other hand I had the paperwork for the later mod and I had two examples of how it should be. So it would seem to be better to go with the flow.

For the sake of what little remains of my sanity I needed to take a break for the computer and books and with a feeling of great relief I took up my spanners again. I returned to the workshop and SP. Having made the decision to go with the standard tank mod rather than the Romain one putting that in place had to be the next job.

First I had to remove the front cockpit section that I had temporarily fitted for photos to show the Romain Mods of the side glazing of the cockpit and the bottom hung door. Interestingly the Tiger Cub as originally made had just a gap and no door was fitted then people started doing their own thing. Jim Romain had designed his bottom hung door; others had hung them from the side tubes. This in fact had been the cause of a fatal accident when a door opening to the rear had swung open on climb out and the aircraft had gone out of control. After that any doors fitted opened towards the front, as was the case with KT.

Anyway, photos taken and the front section had to be removed again to gain good access and the top of the blue foam that formed the top of the fuselage had to be cut back. Jim had fitted his inside the fuselage but the mod showed the tank top level with top of the foam so I had to comply with that. Next job was to make up the drip tray. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem as I had the drawings plus two complete ones to work from. The tray itself was made from thin birch plywood and coated with epoxy resin. Well that shouldn’t present any problems, resin I have and thin birch ply is available at any decent model shop.

It proved a bit fiddly getting everything to fit as the whole thing was mounted at a strange angle designed to tip any large spillage of fuel clear of the blue foam. Not a bad thing that though as petrol melts away the foam, and the idea of flying an aeroplane with its fuselage gradually dissolving is not attractive to say the least.

I worked away steadily with a very sharp knife making the peculiar angles that were needed to get a good fit. It was quite engrossing work and took for longer than I had anticipated.

Then, all the pieces lay complete on my bench and I made a crude jig to hold all the parts while they were glued together. Finally fixed into one piece I offered it up to the rear fuselage, success, it fitted just fine.

Drip tray in place Then I had to fit the forward bulkhead as specified in the mod, but as this was simply made from blue foam it was soon done. A trial fit of the tank, just to be sure there are no lurking snags then I will ready to fit the tray assembly. Then after resin painting the tray and fitting the polythene skirts to protect the fuselage sides and the rear bulkhead and I will be close to re-uniting both sections of the fuselage. That will be a great day.

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