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Old 11-10-2019, 05:01 AM
F1 Rocket F1 Rocket is online now
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melboring, FL
Posts: 164
Default Floating gear leg fairings.

When I originally built my rocket I made an aluminum tab on the bottom of each gear leg fairing that I then clamped to the lower gear leg with a hose clamp. These tabs have broken, allowing the gear leg fairing to “float” vertically. The upper/lower intersection fairings hold the alignment very well. I’ve flown this way for many hours but now that I’m getting closer to returning the airplane to flying status I’m wondering if I should leave the gear leg fairings floating or make some new tabs.
F1 Rocket #25
N14ZM "Dreamer"
Melboring, FL
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 4,575

The effective length of the gear legs change with bending, so the comparatively rigid fairing needs to float at one end. I anchor mine at the top with a tab and Adel clamp but let the bottom telescope in the wheelpant fairing.
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:14 AM
RV Jerry RV Jerry is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chino, CA
Posts: 202

I let my fairings float they are not anchored top or bottom the intersection fairings hold them in place
Jerry Scott
Rocket II
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:31 AM
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koupster koupster is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SLC, UT (KBTF)
Posts: 231
Default Semi-floating

I semi-floated the nose gear leg fairing. The bottom is clamped, and the top is secured by a double wrap of bungee cord. The idea was to permit some movement as the leg flexed, but prevent any flutter due to airflow. Seems to be working and no tabs have broken off.

Cheers, David
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:59 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 5,433

I affixed my fairings to a very secure clamp on top. I did crack one with a bounce (1/3 up from the intersection fairing) and have wondered if they are too rigid. It seems the only thing really needed is a suspender that provides a force to prevent it sliding down only, and even that is not rigid. Like a piece of baffle. An aviation designer told me once that if something breaks, try making it more flexible first. He had more success solving failures that way.


Last edited by BillL : 11-10-2019 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:03 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is online now
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,154

The plans that came with my RV-6 showed small springs holding up the gear leg fairings. The intersection fairings kept the gear leg fairings aligned.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:42 PM
F1R F1R is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: ____
Posts: 818

About 2004 plus or minus a year or two, there was builder group info online that somehow made it into my builders manual. One popular method was to hold the gear fairing in the desired location(by hand or with tape) then use a small amount expanding foam at both ends. That is the way mine is and it has worked quite well. After changing the axle shims to an improved wheel alignment it was easy to dig out the foam at the bottom and with the pants and spats in place re foam the bottom ends of the gear fairing. Snug enough to hold the fairing but just enough give for flexing.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:27 PM
bjkirby2000 bjkirby2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hernando, FL
Posts: 8

Mine on the -4 are that way with expanding foam top and bottom since 1996. No problems so far.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:27 PM
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rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 8,903

The problem with using expanded foam is that it adheres the fairing in place. The result of that is it doesn't get removed to inspect the condition of the gear leg.
That is a bad thing because it is common for the foam to retain water which causes the gear leg to rust.
If let go long enough the legs get pitted bad enough to no longer be usable.
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:43 PM
F1 Rocket F1 Rocket is online now
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melboring, FL
Posts: 164

Rocket gear legs are Titanium. I used expanding foam on the top of my gear leg fairings. But I applied some packing tape to the inside of the fairing before injecting the foam. The result is the foam helps to locate them but the fairings are easy to remove. I have a piano hinge on the trailing edge. I think I will leave them floating although I will look at a method to keep them from moving down too much.
F1 Rocket #25
N14ZM "Dreamer"
Melboring, FL

Last edited by F1 Rocket : 11-16-2019 at 05:48 PM.
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