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Glassing the Fuselage Bottom:
Workshop temperature 25 deg C and humidity 35%.
A small batch of flox was mixed and added around the perimeter of the NACA scoop to make “flox corners”.
Dry micro was mixed to fill in any divets and low areas.
The area to be glassed was covered with micro.
The first layer of uni-directional cloth was placed over the fuselage (30 deg orientation), trimmed, and wet out with epoxy. This layer went about 1″ past the bottom/side corners.
The 2nd layer of uni-directional cloth was placed over the fuselage in the opposing direction to the 1st layer (30 deg orientation), trimmed and wet out with epoxy. This layer went to the bottom/side corners.
Peel ply was added to the corners and over the landing brake.
While the bottom layup was still wet, reinforcing layups were installed for the landing gear hardpoints and the engine mount hardpoints (3 layers of uni-directional cloth over each).
Total time in the shop to complete these steps was 10 hours.
Project Mercury …. X15 …. SpaceShipOne … SpaceShipTwo …
Following the initial suborbital spaceflight programs in the 1960s all attention was on orbital and lunar flights. It wasn’t until the Ansari X Prize was announced in 1996 that attention returned to suborbital spaceflight. The prize was modeled after the Orteig Prize, won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927 for being the first to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. To win the $10 million Ansari X Prize, a team had to build and launch a spacecraft capable of carrying three people to 100 km above the Earth’s surface, twice within two weeks. There were 26 teams from 7 different countries competing for this prize. On October 4, 2004, the prize was won by SpaceShipOne, which was designed and manufactured by Scaled Composites. Similar to the X-15 configuration, SpaceShipOne was launched from a carrier aircraft and landed on a runway. With those X Prize flights, space was no longer the exclusive realm of government and a new industry was born. On December 13th of 2018, Virgin Space Ship Unity was piloted by Mark P. Stucky and Frederick W. Sturckow to an altitude of 82.72 km.
Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight test program is underway and other companies with varying technologies and configurations are not far behind to offer commercial suborbital spaceflights.
The 1st Edition was published in 2012 and the 2nd Edition has been updated to include exciting recent events.
Ensured the longerons are level side to side and front to back.
Placed plastic on the floor in preparation for glassing the bottom of the fuselage.
Cut 4″ wide strips of UND cloth to install reinforcing layups for the landing gear hardpoints and the engine mount hardpoints as per figure 19.
Preparing the fuselage bottom for glassing ….
The Dremel tool was used to remove foam around the edge of the NACA scoop in preparation for creating flox corners.
The top edges of the NACA scoop were sanded.
The edges of the F22, Firewall, and Landing Gear bulkheads were rounded to accommodate where the glass cloth will roll over the edges onto the bulkheads.
36 Grit sandpaper was used on the firewall and landing gear bulkheads.
The fuselage bottom, sides, and bulkheads were vacuumed.
Two 30 degree fiber orientation lines were drawn on the bottom of the fuselage for reference during glassing.