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Aquabird Diary - November 2012

When cutting out the fuselage sides I allowed a bit of extra length on the nose to give some flexibility in positioning the firewall. Also, because I am not using the plastic 'cheeked' cowl, I made the sides a bit deeper too.

Mindful of the anxiety about water ingress around the aileron pushrod exits, I also made the rear section of the fuselage sides a bit deeper in the hope that the tail might sit a little higher in the water.

The plan shows the fuselage sides cut from Liteply, whereas I have used balsa. I wasn't sure whether to fit ply doublers around the wing seat until I started to think about the battery hatch, which of course was not needed on the original, being designed for i.c. power. I'm not sure at this stage how far back the hatch will have to extend but it seemed prudent to fit the doublers just to stiffen things up a bit. Formers are also from balsa rather than ply.

I fitted triangular strip to the bottom edges of the formers at the front and rear to enable the corners to be rounded off later. I also notched the front strips and steamed the sides to make it easier to pull them in on the firewall later. Unfortunately, one side seems to have retained its bend more than the other so there may be problems ahead!

My normal preference for wing fixing is one dowel at the front and two nylon bolts at the trailing edge. However, the Aquabird fuselage is very narrow at the trailing edge so I went with a single bolt and fitted two dowels to the leading edge.

When it came to building the second half of the fin, I opted to build it over the first half rather than bother flipping the plan. When the snakes were first fitted they didn't run very smoothly. This turned out to be because one or two of the holes in the fin ribs were a bit tight. All seems okay now. Let's just hope it stays that way when the fin is installed permanently and sheeted in.

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