Cargo Door Gas Strut

I cleaned up and primed the fuel line support that I welded on last time:

Bottom Fuel Line Support

Bottom Fuel Line Support


Then I made one just like it and installed it on the right. While I had the primer out I sprayed a coat on the intake scoop to see how my fiberglass work was coming along. Sometimes it’s hard to tell without a coat of paint.
Fiberglass needs more filler

Fiberglass needs more filler


As you can see, it needs more work.
Intake Scoop

Intake Scoop


This is one of those areas where the part is certainly airworthy, but if I spend more time sanding and filling, it will look much better. Next I started working on the gas strut that will hold the forward cargo door open. The aft cargo door is held open by gravity, so it doesn’t need a strut. I found some threaded balls to use on the ends of the strut, and though the front ball will bolt onto the door sill, the rear ball will have to attach to the door frame somehow. I didn’t want to weld the ball on, since there’s no telling what kind of metal it’s made of. This seemed like a good job for brazing. Being that I haven’t ever brazed before, I tried a practice joint with some exhaust scraps.
Practice brazing

Practice brazing


I heated both parts until they were just starting to glow, then applied the fluxed brazing rod as I would solder. It seemed pretty straight forward, so I moved right on to the real parts.
Brazed on ball

Brazed on ball


Here’s the end result:
Cargo Door Strut Installed

Cargo Door Strut Installed


Cargo Door Open

Cargo Door Open


I used a 10-pound strut, which was the smallest that I could find. So far it holds the door open, but that’s without the skin or window. If it doesn’t stay open with the extra weight of those items, I’ll get a 20-pound strut instead. Both have the same external dimensions.
Here's how it falls with the door closed

Here’s how it falls with the door closed


I’m planning to use a small section of aluminum between the skylight and the windshield. I cut the piece out of .020 sheet, and installed the GPS antenna.
Roof Aluminum

Roof Aluminum


I’m planning to bend the sheet at the red line, then insert that tab into the windshield channel. The back of the aluminum piece will go over the skylight front and will be secured by the same screws that hold down the skylight.