At last the wings arrived. There was the usual confusion; Learned Counsel said I could use his home address for delivery as The Navigator was always at home – so I did. Then they went on holiday and wondered why UPS kept calling them in Spain.
A couple of bits of wood and some clamps holding the wings in more or less the right position showed that Blue Swallow Aircraft had got the spirit and the flow just right. All I had to do was finish the edges, join the panels and make a couple of brackets.
I fabricated the rear brackets to reflect the style of those at the front. This presented a couple of problems, not the least of which was trying to cut profiles out of a large sheet of 1.5mm steel with a jigsaw. I was always perfectly happy with Abrafiles, despite the time it took, but a jigsaw can get away with you if you don’t have the room or facilities to clamp everything down properly. I rang a few chums to see if anyone had a metal-cutting bandsaw with a deep throat and ended up with a plasma cutter. Frankly, with a plasma cutter, the world is your oyster; what a piece of kit!
The wing stays share the attachment points of the friction dampers (which saves drilling more holes in the chassis) and I may just get away with 3 fixing points but there’s quite a stretch between the front and middle stay. A small tubular support maybe necessary at that point.
The addition of the wings showed that the first colour scheme was not going to work so, after some time with Photoshop, the scheme above was decided on. The paint shop was going to need the car for at least 2 weeks and, because the wings were unfinished, I was beginning to get a bit nervous about having only 2 weeks, possibly less, to shake down the car before the off to France.
So this is the new scheme (the bonnet sides are away at the moment so they’re just Photoshop additions in the picture). The Ambassador’s Daughter sanded the body down first with a 180 grade paper and then a pad of Scotchbright slipped under an orbital sander. If I want to paint it when we get back from France I can but (and I suspect this will be the case) I’ll probably just wipe the brushed aluminium over with an oily rag and keep driving. There’s a nod to the BRG on the turtle deck. The other advantage of this look is that the blemishes in the bodywork seem to disappear with a matt finish. It also happens to look a jolly sight more racy than the previous idea.
It was a tricky old job getting everything to line up (especially after I’d done the return on the outer edge of the guard and ended up with propeller-shaped panels) and I used those self-drilling/tapping screws to join all the sections together with 2mm plates positioned underneath. That arrangement will hold the wings rigid for welding, then I’ll take them out and fill the holes.
As far as the schedule is concerned; I should just wing it…..