We know this is the foremost question on everyone's mind, particularly our earlier customers, and we really do have good news for you all.
We won't go into too much detail about broken promises from suppliers, or the amount of material we reject and thereby further delay packages going out of our warehouse. (But we refuse to ship you faulty materials.)
What we are going to do in the coming months is get all materials to you, one way or another. We are now shipping "Supplementary Package No. 4", for instance, and our customers with the very highest numbers will receive the package within the next five to six weeks.
Supplementary Package No. 4 contains the horizontal stabilizer and remainder materials for the fuselage. It also includes two fiberglass wing root fillets and a lot of hardware. (Incidentally, .063" materials for the FU13 belly-doubler in the fuselage is in this package.)
We're also planning another package (we might as well call it Package No. 5) which should contain your complete cockpit -- i.e. seat, side consoles, instrument panel, center tunnel for nosegear, etc. But, more details next Bulletin.
All other materials -- for the landing gear, control system, drive system, etc. -- are now being obtained and we have placed top priority on getting all materials to you as soon as possible. We have now finalized all parts of the aircraft (and further development of the BD-5 during the last few months has changed a few things in the drive system, control system and landing gear geometry to make these systems the most fantastic mechanisms you have ever seen), and our engineering department is now completing the plans on these sections.
Speaking of plans, you will all be happy to know that all drawings for the BD-5 will be completed by Engineering by January 15, 1974, and this means that we will be working really hard to complete the "Construction Profile" as quickly as possible. We are, in fact, employing a layout artist full time as of December 20 to work on nothing else but the Construction Profile.
Horizontal stabilizer plans are in preparation right now and we will mail these to you as soon as we can. Immediately following these are Canopy plans and all drawings relating to the complete cockpit area. Incidentally, just a word of explanation as to how the construction plans reach the final stage of preparation. Our engineers work to blueline drawings and after all development work (and changes, if any) have been made, final detailed drawings are made on special Mylar paper. These are then photographed and a black and white print made. These black and white prints are then used by our art department to create the plans you receive. Instructions also have to be written and typeset before final layout of the plans, ready for printing, can be accomplished. So it does take a lot of work.
In summary, here is what you can expect to receive in the way of materials in the future. In January we should be shipping out Package No. 5. Between January and March we hope to ship all control system material and landing gear materials, and by March/April at the latest you should have the engines and complete drive system. These shipping schedules are very realistic and we will keep you informed further in future Bulletins.
Package No. 2B (Long Wings) is being shipped again now that we have spar tubes in stock.
This has now been finalized and is being completed ready for printing. Should go to the printer within about 10 days. You will automatically receive a copy in the mail.
1. By now, everyone should have received PCN's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 7 ,8, 8A, 9 and 10. If you haven't received them or you know someone who hasn't, please have them contact us so we can bring them up to date. As soon as you receive a new PCN you should turn to the appropriate pages in the plans and make the corrections in red ink. This way you will be sure not to overlook any changes during construction. If you have not already done this with the PCN's you have received so far, do so now. It could save you some rework later on.
2. Some of you will by now have received your long wing main spars that have been sized by a new swaging technique. These spars have a small ridge around them about 8" or so from the inboard end. This ridge is perfectly acceptable and no attempt should be made to file or sand it down.
3. You will find that the forward rivet attaching the sheet metal flap and aileron ribs to the heavy nose pieces does not reach all the way through the heavy material. Although it is not necessary, you may wish to counterbore the side opposite the sheet metal with a 3/16" drill to allow the rive to form a butt end. The depth of the counterbore should not exceed 1/2 of the material thickness.
4. We have received wing ribs from two different suppliers. They are the same except for the W1, W2, W13 and W14 ribs. These are the ribs that form the ends of the fuel cell. You may find that some of these have vertical stiffeners pressed in them while others do not. This is not cause for alarm, they both are acceptable.
5. We have received about twelveteen hundred letters from builders who can't seem to find the vertical stabilizer skin. I'll have to admit, the first time I saw one I didn't think it was the right piece either. It looks like it's only half as big as it should be. However, the skin that measures only 13"x 44.63" (+ or - .03) will fit. Try it, it's amazing.
6. Having a little trouble using the dimple dies? It's a good idea to grind down the female dimple due so it is thinner and has one edge rounded off. This will allow the die to set close to the radius of a part without cracking it. It will also make them easier to use in tight areas such as the holes in the wing rib close to the main spar.
You can also save a lot of time by modifying a pair of visegrips so they will hold the dimple dies or buy an extra set and braze them to the visegrips. This will really speed things up when dimpling around the edges of the fuselage skins, splice strips, wing ribs, rear wing spar, etc.
7. You may have some difficulty forming FU14 around the form block. If so, it is permissible to make tabs in the bulkhead similar to those on FU60. The tabs should be made in the same location as the five scallops in each corner. A PCN covering this modifications will be sent later.
8. By now, most of you have already discovered the best way to get Pro Seal all over your body. However, you may not have discovered an acceptable method of removing it. The best way is to rub it off with a coarse, damp cloth. Don't try to wash it off with Ketone, it will only make matters worse. For really tough cased you might have to soak your hands in a strong solution of warm water and soap for a few minutes then rub them with a coarse cloth.
Of course, for those of you who want to miss out on all the fun, there are several commercial compounds available that can be rubbed into your hands before you start to prevent this problem altogether. Your local druggist should have them in stock.
Frank Andrews, BD-5 Sales Manager
Last Update: 5/29/97
Web Author: Juan Jiménez
Copyright © 1997 by Juan Jiménez - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED