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Jul 13, 2019, 12:58 PM
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Fixing Mis-matched landing gear


Wings for my P-51B were done or so I thought. I placed them side by side and saw that the left wing struts were 3/8” taller than those on the right side.

I’m building this warbird from plans, so I got lots of counsel on ways to even up the fixed landing gear:
:: make a smaller wheel for that side
:: tear out the gear and do it again
:: bend the strut wires forward and backward
:: just be prepared to hit the rudder when landing
:: buy retracts and install those
...and my least favorite:
:: throw away the whole wing half and make another one.

Now, which strut to fix—long one or short one? Someone said these planes are notorious for tip overs and you want the LG as far forward as possible. Check. Fix the short one.

I decided to tear out the landing gear, bend the 1/8” galvanized wire straight, then elbow 3/8” in a new place, and re-install.

Here’s a few hitches that I encountered:
:: I was out of 1/8” wire, so I had to stay with the short one.
:: everything shattered. It came out in pieces. I was able to glue the rib. Thankfully, I did have some bass 1/16” sheet.
:: the LG strut wire inside the plane was now 1/4” short of the basswood doubler. I had to make a shelf on which it could sit.

The fix went well. I had to make new basswood braces, add a new basswood panel, epoxy in the supports, and re-sheet 1/16” balsa.
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