|Cowling: Reinforcement Ring|
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Reinforcement Ring 8-29-04
Progress was been slow during the summer of 2004, but picked up in late summer/early fall. Ron assembled and fitted the cowling pieces together, as shown here. Notice the reinforcement ring on the interior rear of the cowling. This ring is built up from hat section that's rolled and then shaped into a conic section to fit the cowling's cone shape. With the hat section installed the cowling is very stiff.
The bottom section shown in these photos is a welded up piece made from spare cowling "bump" panels. But after fitup, Ron decided to make a new piece from scratch in order to get a better fit.
The leading edge of the cowling needs reinforcement to prevent accidental dings from doing a lot of damage, or the air loads from causing cracks. In one-piece cowlings there's often a "wire" installed inside of a roll of metal formed on the front edge of the piece. With sectioned construction like the Ryan cowling, a wire is more difficult and instead the Ryan uses a "bulb" extrusion. For the reproduction cowling, Ron has used a piece of Cessna flap trailing edge bulb extrusion, which is shaped pretty close to the original. This photo shows the extrusion and how it is shrunk in order to take on the curve of the cowling opening. It is installed by riveting.