Every home builder, at some point, needs to create fillets. They are a pain to almost everyone, but not Jim Emons (CNO). He demonstrated a method that allowed him to create fairings easily.
Would you believe that less than 2 hours + less than $4 equalled 4 perfect fairings for his one design Zuni? It has to be the best trick that I have ever seen.
Step 1: Cover any surface that the fairing shouldn’t stick to with clear plastic packing tape.
Step 2: Cut out end shapes out of cardstock and hot glue them to the leading/trailing edge of the structure.
Trailing Edge Guide Installed
Step 3: Using a hot glue gun apply window screen to create the contour desired between the two surfaces. The glue will have to be applied slowly so that the screen will remain in the shape and place desired. If a mistake is made, a hair dryer can be used to loosen the hot glue for reapplication.
Wire Screen Attached to Create the Fairing
Step 4: Using a grinding tool, trim the applied screen to provide edges that won’t cut or be too difficult to smooth at the end.
Fairing Cleaned/Trimmed for Flox Application
Step 5: Mix and apply wet flox to the screen using a tool that allows the flox to be applied with just enough effort to penetrate the screen creating a holding force. Most of the flox needs to be left on the outside of the screen.
Jim Beginning to Apply Flox
Step 6: Finish up applying the flox with a smooth surface. (Jim uses a small spackling tool.)
Wheel Pant Fairing being finished.
Step 7: Apply one layer of BID to the wet flox. It can be made up of scraps of BID since this will not be a structural part. By the time the BID is properly smoothed onto the flox, most of it will already be wetted out. Mix up a small amount of epoxy and wet out the portion of glass that is not fully wetted.
Fiberglass BID being applied
Step 8: Allow the new fairing to dry 24 hours. At the point it will be ready for final finish work and primer.
Finished / primed fairing
Step 9: Fly that beautiful plane! Actually on 1/1/07 Jim Emon’s Zuni is ready for high speed taxi. This is one plane that I would love to own.
Zuni in Prime