Aircraft Wheelpants, how to construct a nice pair

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The GeeBee shown here was built from drawings and old photos, but the pants were worked up from photos alone.

Working up reproductions from photos is a study in itself-unless you happen to have the latest technology for industrial espionage which allows you to run a photo or two through a program which reduces the photo to mathematics, enabling another machine to model the math in a physical 3D facsimile. All the fun of scaling out is taken away.

But anyway, we go from photos to a mockup, to a station buck, which is a 1:1 form to fit the metal to, much like the dressmakers form which is adjusted to match the person who is having the gown made.


This is the same GeeBee pant all finished, fit, and ready for paint.


These are the pants prior to final fit, and with a little metal finishing to do on the weld seams. Metal finishing is smoothing by removing metal, i.e.: filing or sanding.

C3 Aeronca Wheel Pants

These are wheelpants for a C3 Aeronca, made up from simple drawings which were dreamed up by looking at the airplane and imagining what it needed to have. They are ready to fit to the airplane, and then metal finish out for paint, black, in this case.

Cessna 195 Wheelpant

This is our subject: a Fiberglas buck for a Cessna 195 wheelpant, which will be polished. The pant is divided into workable panels, based on skill level, and tools available. In this case, I divided the pant along lines easy to weld for concealment, as I didn't want the lines to show. I'm too lazy to make one side in one piece or even three or four, so it will be five, as gas-welding aluminum is a non-event for me. I make these pants in a production environment, but for this demo, I will use simple hand tools, as well as the rapid movers. The buck or form is then papered over, and the paper cut into patterns-again like my granny used to make those dresses.

Cessna 195  Wheelpant

The paper dolls are the laid out on sheet aluminum (3003 alloy, 050" thickness, and half-hard temper). Marked for a bit of excess-3/8, and then cut out into blanks.




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