Lama Continued

After a very long break, including a trip to England for 2 months, the building of a turbine EC135, giant R22, and a Robbe Cuatro, I am back in harness on the Lama. What neededto be done next was the cabin and I have been putting it off for some time as it is one of those frustrating jobs I really hate. What needs to be done is the preparation of all of the small items which ave to be fixed to the cabin, and all of their mounting holes drilled. Then they need painting. Finally the cabin itself gets painted and then I still cant assemble it to see how it looks as I have to have access through the windows for the interior!

As you can see fromthe picture, the cabin is now painted. The floor is in and painted. The decals are in and the whole thing is clear coated, about 3 months work. I havent shown any pictures of the build up, simply because they haven't turned out very well.

For example, there are several sub panels added to the front by masking off and spraying several coats of primer to build it up, but you can hardly see them.

A larger panel is underneath which on the full size, gives access to the control mechanisms and the wiring. There are a couple of other access panels riveted in place and a landing light to go in the large hole,

Finally the rivets down the side of the cabin to the access panel. There are so few of them, I actually put them in exactly the right place and the right number of them.

So, where did all the time go? Well, there's the brass mirror assembly to solder up and mount.

Then there's the side navigation lights to build and get working. These were a real pain and I knew they would be and that what was putting me off starting this part of the job. It took about 3 days to do each light and get it working and they were both made several times before I was satisfied

Then also under the cabin is a bunch of antennas. I even made a wingnut to fit to the one which is adjustable, and yes, it is adjustable.

Finally there are all of the small parts which fit on the front of the cabin which are part of the fresh air inlet system

Not much to show for all that time but each part has to be built, fitted and then painted and clearcoated or powder coated and it all adds up. Well, now that its done, I can get on with the cabin interior which I enjoy doing.

The first thing is the servo tray. The stock kit supplies a fiberglass seat to cover the servos which are mounted on the floor and are the big sailwinch type servos. I bought some 8511 digitals from England as Horizon haven't discovered them yet. They are marginally bigger than the 8411 but develop 50% more power.

I milled a 1/8" flat plate to take the servos upside down and also act as a gyro platform. It is very strong and wont flex at all.

It slots in the hole for the other servos and the actuator arms just clear the landing gear

This allows a completely flat floor so I can fit the correct rear seat.

The windows are in and the cabin is ready for fitting out

Well, I couldn't resist it once the mirrors arrived, so I just had to assemble the front end

I'll have to get the lights wired up and see if I can figure out how to take a night shot of the front end with the landing light and the nav lights on. Just to give you an idea, here's the real one from a similar angle

Next came the lower panel with the strobe light. This is a sheet of aluminum with the lamp made from thin brass all soldered together. The lens is the cap from a bottle of ZAP Kicker

The two oil tanks were fitted. They are from the original kit, embellished with a few bits of brass and steel from my scrap box to make fillers and outlets. The levels are pieces of aluminum with a slot milled in them, then filed to shape. The oil is a piece of orange plastic from a toothpaste squeezer I spotted while shopping in Albertsons.

The seats were hard to do and a lot of head scratching went into them. The Hirobo seats are wrong and cant have cushions added to them so the cushion area had to be cut out. Then I made some cushions by buying some doll house carpet of the right color and sticking it onto a piece of foam and gluing the whole thing into the seat frame. I added some bottom fixing mounts and some slider tracks and it looked good. The seatbelts were 1/4" ribbon with Vario ends and tensioners with a home made center buckle machined from Aluminum stock

The pilot seems to checking the map of the co pilot! He gets an extra, the small basket on the side of his seat for papers and you can see how he amuses himself. The basket is made from thing brass rod soldered together and the netting is from a swim kit and is designed to carry all of the parts to the beach. My Grandson now has his first swim kit and in about 6-7 years time he will be old enough to use it. I hope he doesn't notice the hole in the bottom of the carry bag

The cockpit assembly has to come apart to come out, so while I had it out for other work, I took some more pictures