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Baggage Area

January 22, 2009 1:00 pm

And now to the baggage area. Once the tailcone interior was painted it was time to fit it out the baggage compartment. The lower portion of the compartment was where the old vacuum tube radios were located. For now that area will remain empty. Above is the baggage compartment. Unfortunately for me, there were a few parts missing, namely the baggage floor which defines the bottom and most of the forward end of the baggage compartment.

 Here is that part as I received it from Lance Aircraft:


Interestingly enough, the floor included an interesting pouch with the ominous inscription, “CRASH INSTRUCTIONS.”


As a bonus, inside the pouch was the weight and balance information from the plane the floor had come from as well as an official looking wax sealed envelope:




April 20 1960


And here is the floor after a strip and paint with a polish performed on the latch. The pouch was hand washed in Woolite.


There is a small open area on the forward wall of the baggage compartment that gets filled with this little door assembly:


On the backside of this door you can see the clips for holding the Very Pistol (distress flare) Cartridges:



Simple! All we need to do is to insert the pin in the hinge and we’re done….NOT!!!! Of course the hinge doesn’t line up. 


The hinge pin is now temporarily attached into place for test fitting:



The door doesn’t latch however. I guess they didn’t build all of them exactly alike! I had to bend the hinge flange on a bending brake as indicated by the red line to tilt the door a bit outboard:


You can see here (hopefully) how the hinge centerline tapers from the bottom edge of the door from side to side:



And here is how everything looks all painted, stenciled and assembled:



And here is a view looking aft from the passenger’s seat area:


And finally from the outside with the N.O.S. (New Old Stock) baggage door temporarily installed…

Tail Stand

July 21, 2008 8:36 pm

Here is the tail stand I just completed. It will raise the tail of the plane 38″ and will put the cockpit in a relatively level orientation which will make it easier to work on. Once installed, I will put a strap over the top of the tailwheel to make sure it can’t come out, although I doubt it will. It will give me some peace of mind in case of an earthquake I guess. The cross piece on the base slides off from the bottom so I can disassemble the stand for storage against a wall or under a shelf when I’m not using it. The wood came from the trestle I built to put under the center section wing when I was stripping the wheelwells and overhauling the landing gear.

Tail stand

Next, we need to build a small stairway to make it easier to get onto the wing with the tail so high in the air.