Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2000 08

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1 Fit second 2 sections of ply floor in trailer. Takes less time even though I had to haul out (and later put back) the carpets and mahogany that were stored up front. Partly it is practice and partly the cross-members are fewer. Fit the whole sheet on the offside this time to stagger the joins. As the fuselage dolly tracks are 10' long, leave the rearmost 2 cross-members riveted as for the aft section. The rest get a full complement except for the centre one, kept clear for the tailwheel track. Find the air riveter works fine and snaps the stems on about the third pull if I set the regulator to deliver 100psi while the tool is connected (and leaking!). The pieces of wood under the ply joints are now twice the length so need 6 screws each side. Running low on 1" x 8 so use 5x30 Goldscrews instead. The points just penetrate the bottom of the wood if the countersink is too deep, but I don't think that is a problem. Note the trailer axle plate details before that part of floor goes in.
Peak Trailers Ltd, Waterloo Industrial Estate, Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire, England B50 4JH
Axle type [blank]
Capacity 1000
Brake size [blank]
EEC Approved No [blank]
Speed cat over 25km/h
Serial No 69902
Chalked on the axle is "Northwick 69409 10/99"

2 Fit another section of trailer ply floor. Nearside front, a full sheet which has to be tapered as well as notched.
4 Go with Tim Houlihan to see the Northwick trailer owned by Peter Davis at Kidlington. Look at his Europa too & note features such as push-button cowl access doors and control lock. The centre floor tracks in the trailer are the same heavy gauge as the fuselage dolly tracks, whereas mine are lighter. Also, I don't seem to have any of the central tracks to fit on the door/ramp, whereas Peter's has. The steel cross-member which fouled the handbrake on my trailer has been located slightly further back on Peter's. The wood braces at the joins of the ply sheets seem much smaller than mine. The brake cables from the balancer to the wheels are tacked up to the floor with rather crude u-clamps. There are 2 pairs of handling handles on the nosecone, but there does not appear to be any of the extra plies of glass mat around there as found on my trailer. Peter has the spare wheel at the extreme rear offside, with a couple of jerricans in front. He says they are all accessible with the aircraft loaded. The aluminium strip around the bottom edge is pretty much flush with the bottom of the steel chassis, and the glass has been trimmed back flush with it too (contrary to Roger's advice to me which was to leave a small width of glass underhanging to encourage rain to drip off rather than migrate in towards the chassis). At the change in chassis depth on the nosecone, the aluminium trim strip has been bent across its width to follow the line of the bottom edge, but without showing any kinks. Wonder how easy that will be to do.
5 Fit last 2 pieces of ply floor to trailer; half-sheet with taper at offside front, and small trapezoidal piece at front centre.
10 Buy 2 more wiring connection boxes from Gloucester Trailer Centre (for the front corner lights and the mudguard lights), and a compression gland for taking the cable through the nose-cone. Will probably need more of those for the mudguard lights and the tailgate lights.
12 Start to work on aluminium trim strip for lower edge of trailer nosecone. Shorten strips to provide offcuts which may be needed as spacers for mudguard mounting brackets. The GRP is proud of the steelwork quite a bit at the front and for a short distance on the nearside. Should I fill the gap with wood? Decide to attach trim with stainless M5x50 machine screws which I have in stock, but can find no stainless nuts. After fruitless attempts in Tewkesbury, the chandlers in Lower High Street has suitable nuts both plain & stiff. Get enough to allow 2 plain & 1 stiff per screw. First bend, for front end, on offside one is OK, but can't make it bend across the width where the chassis depth changes. Try offering up the mudguards and conclude the brackets will need to be above the trim strip (so the trim offcuts won't be needed anyway). That means the upper hole in each bracket will be opposite only GRP, not a chassis member like the bottom ones. Wait until dark and using floodlight inside trailer, trace outlines of chassis uprights and diagonals on outside of GRP above wheel.
14 Phone Northwick about various outstanding bits, and how to bend trim strip. Tony says it can be bent once first section is riveted on. Fit manhandling handle to offside of nosecone, in middle of lower reinforcing patch. To spread the load a bit, fit 3mm oval aluminium plate inside. Handle needs quite bit of work to get the holes suitable for rivets. Fit offside mudguard. Notch ply inside to make room for washers on rivets in upper bracket holes. Upper part of mudguard secured by one rivet to upright and one to diagonal. Clean off marker pen lines and apply silicon bead where mudguard is close to GRP.
15 Check number & length of steel angle for tracks and e-mail Roger Huttlestone with inventory. Looks like I need more small angle for the ramp.
16 Fit nearside trailer mudguard, as offside. For nose trim strip, decide not to use the stainless M5 screws, but to fit it with rivets and steel washers behind GRP in the small area at the front where GRP stands away from the chassis. That amounts to 2 positions on the front, and 1 on the nearside. First attempt to bend the trim across its width is nearly disastrous as the strip cracks beside a rivet hole on the outside of the bend. However, the other half stays together, so carry on. Repair the crack with "Chemical Metal" when finished. Other bends done with some effort but no further cracks. Add a few extra rivets adjacent to the bends, as the strip is tending to twist away from the GRP slightly.

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