Cages, Mounts and Cowlings

This update is long overdue – but well worth the wait. Our welding, machine and fiberglass shops have been running non-stop and so much progress has been made!

They are DONE! The fuselage fixtures AND the Lycoming dynafocal mount. Beta builder Bob Woolley’s fuselage cage is shown in these photos – and goes to powercoat Monday.

Photos of the fuse cage:

PantherFuselage (5) PantherFuselage (6) PantherFuselage (8) PantherFuselage (9)

The tail cone is 98% matched tool now. You can take it out of the box, cleco the whole structure together and drill the longerons. Debur, updrill, rivet and you are ready to bolt to the powder-coated steel tube fuselage. Just think – in a weekend of light work you can sit in your fuselage and make airplane noises!

Photos of the tail cone:

PantherFuselage (2) PantherFuselage (3) PantherFuselage (4) PantherFuselage (10) PantherFuselage (1)

Photos of the Lycoming dynafocal mount:

LycomingMount (3) LycomingMount (6) LycomingMount (1) LycomingMount (2)

We have 15 fuselage tube kits that will start production welding next week. The tail cone parts are being run by the machine shop now.

The Panther Corvair cowling is back from the fiberglass shop and it turned out better than we could have hoped for! The prototype cowling was good, but it was a prototype nonetheless. It was heavy, bulky, the inlet holes were asymmetrical and the split line was not straight. Plus the proto type cowling was vinyl ester. The production cowling is straight, symmetrical, light and strong because it is vacuum bagged epoxy.

PantherCorvairCowl (4) PantherCorvairCowl (5) PantherCorvairCowl (3)

The fit on the cowling is as close to perfect as we could have hoped and the installation is scheduled for this week. The Panther has been grounded for just over three weeks – time to get back in the air!

Don’t forget – SNF starts April 1st – come see us! And join us for Dinner and a Movie on Friday the 4th. Our booth is N-032.

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  • Bob Woolley

    This is exciting stuff. Watching the Panther team welding up the front and assembling the aft section of the fuselage was very exciting stuff. This week Dan and Vern arrived at my hanger and put the 0320 engine mount on my engine. Except for one minor adjustment in one brace to give more room for the fuel pump, it fit perfectly. Last weekend I picked up the aft portion of the fuselage and started the final assembly. Future builders will be impressed with the fit and precise nature of the parts. I expect to have a rolling fuselage assembly ready for Sun & Fun for display. Things are happening fast due to Dan and Rachel’s long hours and hard work. Well done.

  • Mike

    Fantastic post! I’m excited by the news so I can only imagine how much it is for you, Dan and Rachel!! Good times ahead for everyone involved!