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Stay InspiredEAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.
Sonerai Cowling Rebuild Project
By Bill Evans, EAA Chapter 266, EAA 794228
April 2020 - The lower cowling I made for the Sonerai now takes the better part of a day to install, and the result leaks so badly that I need to tape it up, which looks unattractive.
Sonerai cowl fitted.
I found the mould and firewall template I used to make the first cowling. My friend Gord's idea is to use a full-length, say 2-inch, piano hinge to attach the two halves and abandon the Hartzell latches, which works, but bends the cowling, resulting in air leaks.
This is what Jabiru does: piano hinges. So does Van's. — Ed.
Top cowl mould.
Bottom cowl mould.
I am seeking advice of chapter members near me as how to proceed to prepare the mould to lay up a new cowling. I'm no expert in composites.
There will be changes:
- The NACA (carb air) duct will be scrapped. The new SS duct/filter will be just aft of the firewall and have a scoop inlet above the upper cowling.
- The cowl flaps will be scrapped, and I'll go with the blister Gord used for the Jabiru kits he built
- The facing angles glassed into the edges of both cowlings will be removed, since piano hinges will also provide sealing.
- I may retain the liquids drain mast, but it could be moved to an angle on the firewall instead of the lower cowling.
- The oil cooler will be removed from the lower cowling and installed with rods to the lower engine.
- The eight Cam Lock fasteners I used to close the cowlings will be replaced by the piano hinges.
Stay tuned for this adventure.