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Project Log
Aircraft Construction - Pitts 14 Prototype

Fuselage Basic Structure
Pitts 14 Prototype
Created: 12/10/2003
Updated: 04/08/2004
Link(s): N/A
Article by Mike Whaley
The prototype fuselage was built during the month of June. Curtis returned late in the month to continue the refinement of the design. Things are progressing well... the fuselage is recognizable and on track for an Oshkosh debut.

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The fuselage box is taking shape. The completed side panels are jigged level and plumb. The longerons are heated and bent inward at two stations to join at the tailpost.  
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Many clusters are tack-welded until the basic structure is complete, then they're finish-welded in schedule order.  
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Here is the cross-truss for the new oleo gear, oriented inline with the load.  
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Curtis isn't one to just sit back and watch... here he is laying out a full size template for a construction jig. His pragmatic approach to layout and construction has been optimized over the development of many prototype aircraft.  
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Mark Eckenrod tacking-up the fuselage while Curtis works the design. It is an honor to work so closely in the prototype development, and to learn a from his lifetime of experience.  
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Rule Number 1 in airframe construction: Do not weld yourself inside the fuselage!  

Other entries in this series:
     Construction Begins    May 2003
      » Fuselage Basic Structure    June 2003
     Fuselage Basic Structure Completed, Engine Arrives, Steve Culp Helps Out    July 2003
     Pitts Model 14 Introduced at Oshkosh    4th week of July 2003
     Curtis Visits to Continue the Design, Wing Construction Begins    August 2003
     Wing Construction Underway    September 2003
     Lower Wing Basic Construction    October 2003
     Lower Wing Details and First Fuselage Formers    November 2003
     Fuselage Formers, Skin and Wing Details    December 2003
     Fuselage Side Panels and Upper Wing Construction    January 2004
     Wing-Root Fairings, Fuselage Skin Panels, and Upper Wing    February 2004
     Fuselage Side Panels, Wing Rigging, Engine Arrives    March 2004
     Sun N 'Fun 2004    April 2004
     Summer 2004 Status Update    May 2004
     Aluminum Turtledeck    1st week of June 2004
     Sheet Metal Work, AirVenture    4th week of June 2004
     Adjustable Seats, Part 1    August 2004
     Adjustable Seats, Part 2    December 2004
     Wings    December 2004
     Throttle Quadrant    December 2004
     Spring 2005    March 2005

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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