|Mark's Mustang II Project Pages|
After 4 years of flying i finally decided to install wheel pants.
It is alot of work...i'm not going to kid you....but hey maybe
because i was out of building mode it just seems like more work.
It took me 5 weeks of part time work.
I just hate to bring the plane down for more work...but the speed increase was tempting. I was hoping for 8-10mph increase...i was in for a surprise.
I was able to get a mold from the Cozy group through a friend of mine (Rick) to make some pressure recovery wheel pants. (Well Rick did the lay-ups...i added moral support and some epoxy brushing).
Click on any pic for the full size view....hover mouse over
picture for description.
Wheel Pant Installation Details.
1. Lay-up the wheel pant halves from the mold. I used 2 layers of bi-directional glass....and 4 layers where the 8-32 screws when through to the bracket.
2. Joint the halves, split them vertically and cleco them together. I used a spacing of 2" around the halves with 6-32 screws holding the halves together. and 8-32 screws holding the pants to the brackets.
3. Make the wheel pant brackets for inside and outside of the wheel. Note my inside bracket is on the outside of the gear leg. I used 0.063 2024T3. Stainless would be better...but i didn't have any and it is harder to work with. I'll keep a close eye out for cracking of the brackets.
4. Put the pants on the plane. I put the plane in a level flight attitude and centered the pant at 37.75" from the aircraft center line. This is not in the center of wheel, it is about 1/4" to the inside of the wheel because the wheel pant just fit better like that. The wheel pants have a 4" ground clearance because i still want to terrorize people on grass strips as well as paved runways. I also made sure i have a 1" clearance between the top of the tire and wheel pant.
5. White knuckle a test flight and hope they stay on the plane. Record new speed.
My initial results are @ 1500MSL / 55˚F at full power holding the plane as steady as i can i got up to 228mph indicated. I plan to do more testing and will post the results. I was very surprised as before installing the wheel pants i would get at most 207mph at full power @1500MSL / 70˚F.
Climb was much smoother and landings felt better...but hey this all could just be a feeling (i'm starting to sound like a chick).
Next step is to make top of the gear leg cuffs and fair the tailwheel...now i'm hooked on speed improvements and i only cuss a little bit now when doing fiberglass instead of all the time....i still can't stand the epoxy cure time...seems like i'm always waiting for something to dry before moving to the next step...plus that crap stinks.
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