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Project Log
Aircraft Construction - Pitts 14 Prototype

Fuselage Formers, Skin and Wing Details
Pitts 14 Prototype
Created: 12/10/2003
Updated: 04/08/2004
Link(s): N/A
Article by Mike Whaley
To assist with creating the side formers and the side panels, the lower wings and tail were attached to the fuselage while posterboard templates for the side panels were attached to work out the panels and how they would overlap and intersect adjoining structure. Suspending an old Yak cowl in front for fun really made it look like a Golden Age racing monoplane! Curtis visited early in the month to make progress on the upper wing center section and cabane system.

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Posterboard is used to work out the panel boundries and shape fuselage skin will take. It's a lot cheaper to work in posterboard than in 2024-T3.  
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The penetrations for gear legs, cabane tubing, etc. all present challenges. The goal here is elegant symplicity, ease of construction, and low weight.  
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With the lower wings and side panel templates temporarily mounted (not to mention the spoof Yakolev cowl), it really looks like a Golden Age racer!  
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The gang gathers round the plane for some hangar flying. Jere and Paul are behind the wing, with Curtis and Chris standing in front. When Curtis walked into the high-bay and saw the shape and form for the first time, he just beamed.  
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The wingtip bow carries has a lot of stress both from the fabric and from ground handling. Here is the tip brace truss structure.  
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J.C., Barrett and John conference on the wingtip.  
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The fuselage former bulkheads have been made in aluminum and fitted. Production parts will be cut on the waterjet and will incorporate lightening holes.  

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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