Steady As She Goes.
It took about three days before I could walk from the crew room to the rear deck with the ship rolling and pitching without spilling my cup of tea. I have acquired my sea legs! The antics of the ship have also intruded on my dreams - the other night, wrestling with uncommanded pitch and roll inputs from a faulty autopilot, I managed to land safely, a 737.
I don't know why, but there's something almost Athenian about this sunrise. If I half close my eyes there's an amphitheatre with a hint of the Parthenon behind.... Looking through the build pictures of the A7, I've jumped the gun a bit.
Before the stringers and the first layer of ply, I tackled the bonnet, cowl and side panels. I spent quite a lot of time working out the height of the side panels in relation to the top longerons and making sure that the bonnet panels would close flush with the wooden structure. It drove me a bit nuts and in the end I just went for it.
A detachable panel for easy access to the starter motor was pressed with a couple of bits of plywood and attached with Dzus fasteners.
The height of the bonnet was 2" more than standard so I let in a piece either side of the cowl....
... and hammered out the dents in the top before finishing off with lead.
After a lot of huffing and puffing - I had only some bits of wood and a piece of scaffolding pipe - I managed to get two bonnet panels almost exactly mirrored. The bending wasn't particularly difficult, it was cutting profiles, setting them up, clamping them down (and rejigging them when it all collapsed under load) that took the time.
Similarly, the bonnet hinges were a bit of a trial and only successful when I made up a jig to go in the vice to get the right clamping radius.
The battery box turned out rather well after I'd worked out how best to fold it up and a friend in the village obliged by welding up the seams for me. At this stage, I didn't possess a welder of any sort. The farm had an ancient arc welder that I'd put to good use (though I hadn't a clue what I was doing) when exhausts fell of tractors and farm implements needed patching up. It wasn't until some years later that I went on a welding course and learnt some of the basics of TIG which in turn helped me understand something of stick welding and subsequently, MIG.
The surrounds that finished off the floor mats were fun to make. A pair of roller bearings arranged on separate spindles and overlapping each other did the trick. With the gap set at the thickness of the aluminium strip the overlap was gradually reduced as the joggle began to form. The curved corners were cut to shape before forming the joggle and overall, the results were better than I had expected. Taking your time is the key.