I left Oshkosh and flew down to Lexington, KY to visit family. There was a line of storms between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, so I had to deviate a bit west to clear them. I also popped up to 15,500 so I could get over most of the clouds.
I crossed the line through a low spot in the clouds.
It’s pretty dark under those clouds…
…as you can see on the weather display. It shows yellow right where I am, but that’s below me. If I had been in IMC, I wouldn’t have come through here. You can see a really large buildup ahead and to the left.
You can see that buildup just to the left of the propeller tip in the distance. I gave that a wide berth and then turned on course to Lexington.
Greg and I flew into Oshkosh today as part of the Bonanzas to Oshkosh formation group. They fly as elements of three planes with about 1/2 mile spacing between elements. We were the photo ships for the flight, so we flew along the outside of the line of elements, slowing down to around 125kts at each element to take pictures then speeding up to around 175kts to catch the next element. It was a blast, and I’m sure we had way more fun than the rest of the formation.
I headed to Oshkosh as a four-ship with Greg’s RV-8 and two Bonanzas. We headed out via the southern route through Albuquerque, NM to pick up a friend. Here we are passing Edwards Air Force Base and the famous dry lake bed.
We started running into some buildups over Arizona.
We ran into a line of storms before our planned stop in Winslow, AZ and had to do an end run around them.
Here’s the four ship on the ground at Winslow in line for gas.
I was doing an inspection on the plane before the big trip to Oshkosh, and noticed that I’d never turned my ELT on! I took care of that and then installed the safety cap that will prevent the switch from moving in an accident.
I used some sanding paper wrapped around various diameters of PVC pipe to sand the filler down and create a smooth transition across the gap.
There’s still a bunch more filler that needs to be applied before these are ready for primer, but I’m pretty happy with the basic shape.
I trimmed the flanges so that there is only 1/4″ of underlap on the aft half of the fairing.
You can see in this picture and the one above that the aft intersection fairing doesn’t extend far enough forward in some spots. I’ll take care of that with some filler.
I applied a couple of layers of electrical tape to the aft edge of the forward half of the wheel pant and then installed everything to lock it into position.
I mixed up some lightweight filler with flox for strength and filled in the low spots.
I squeezed some into the gap on the underside since the gap was uneven.
Here are the cured flanges on the inside of the right wheel pant. I still need to trim these so that there is just 1/4″ of overlap or so.
On the outside, you can see how I let the glass run long so that I can make a nice straight cut along the upper edge around the gear leg fairing.
I needed to create some overlap on the flanges of the lower intersection fairings to prevent them from lifting in the slipstream, so I taped up the forward flange and then laid up some glass over the joint so it will bond to the aft flange.
On the right forward pant, I needed to extend the flange before I can create the overlap. I taped up a piece of thick paper and then attached it to the flange. I then laid some additional glass over the paper to form the extended flange.
I ordered a set of cowl inlet plugs from Bruce’s Custom Covers. They look great and fit like a glove.