The Corsair82: 82% F4U-1A Corsair

In early 2006 I jigged up the fuselage (I call it my engineering mock up, because this fuselage was never meant to fly) in a level flight attitude. I wanted to make markings on the fuselage that would make it easy to reproduce the level flight attitude. I also wanted to be able to find the mounting points for the empennage and wings. It is also important to be able to set the engine square and plumb. Once all of these markings are made I intend to put the fuselage back in the molds and transfer these markings to the molds. This way all future fuselages will already be marked and ready for assembly.

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The "engineering mock up fuselage" has been disassembled to some degree. The damage shown was done during a very successful drop test.
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Finding a level point for the roll axis was the hardest thing to do in this process.
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I also need to set a datum point. I will use the bulkhead just behind the pilot seat for now.
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The laser is giving me a plumb line as I mark the fuselage with a vertical line at my datum point.
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Each point must be drilled to facilitate marking through the fuselage when it is placed back in the mold.
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The wing center section will now be mounted.
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The skins needed trimming first.
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The left wing center section is hoisted in place and supported from below.
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Same for the right side.
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Attaching the "spar" on the inside of the fuselage.
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A view from the tail area.
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The fit is good. I want to fill the open space between the fuselage and the wing skin. Then I can put the wing back in its mold and mark the mold so I will have a trim point already made into each wing part.
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I want to set the angle of incidence and scribe the wing outline into the fuselage. Again, this mark will be transferred into the mold.
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Perfect.
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Now the left side gets the same.
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The next few pictures show the process of making a mold for the fairing under the rudder.
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Gel coat is applied.
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The vertical stab has been cut off so its location can be scribed into the mold.
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The new mold.
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The mold is removed from the fuselage.
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A view of the inside of the mold.
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The vertical stabilizer is replaced. An outline is added for its fairing.
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I will now make a mold for the vertical stab. I bent this plastic sheet over the stab and glued it in place with 3M super 77 spray adhesive.
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A pole goes through the plug to assist the mold making process.
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Here is the vertical stab mold.


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