The shape of things to come – Frame 11

Speak to Spitfire builders and restorers about a particular Frame and they immediately can visualise what it is and where on the aircraft it is situated. So it is now with us here at Heritage Flight Simulation 🙂

So when I tell you about Frame 11  many of you will know that it is the substantial frame right behind the seat. It holds such items as the headrest and armour plating on the front and it has aluminium cross members that form the support for the cantilevered seat. It is a substantial member of the fuselage and the one with the greatest cross-section.

Frame 11

It was therefore fitting and exciting to use it as a sample for the waterjet cutting procedure discussed in the previous post. We had the ten pieces cut a week ago.

Frame 11 components: 6mm outer plates and 22mm filler

First we needed to spend some time to repair the water damage but were able to lay the pieces up for gluing yesterday. We used a local epoxy known as Epidermix 372 but there are many suitable epoxies for wooden aircraft and boat building.

Frame 11 Test all glued up

We sandwiched the layers between two MDF boards with weights stacked on top to apply some pressure. This morning we took off the weights and the results are exciting. The frame weighs in at 3.42kg vs the predicted 4.6kg. It is a very substantial and sturdy construction and gives one a sense of the overall size of the simulator.

The cutting came out extremely accurately, but as mentioned in the previous post, we will be doing the cutting with a CNC router in future to avoid the waterdamage.

This little milestone is just one step closer to what is turning out to be a very exciting project.

Detail of the glued up Frame 11 showing the extreme accuracy. Every hole and edge lines up exactly over its multilayer 34mm depth.


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