After a very long time away from the project, I’m finally getting back on track with the F-15.  Rob has done an excellent job in cleaning up the canopy for installation.

The replacement trim has been rough cut and only needs final finishing and pilot holes drilled.  Then it can be installed & painted!

This past Saturday, I was finally able to get the ShopBot cranked up in order to start making replacement edge-lit panels that I needed, as well as some that Steve’s Kansas F-15A needed as well.

Here’s what it looked like right off the ‘bot:

  1. Replacement TEWS panel
  2. Fire Discharge Panel (A Model)
  3. Jet Fuel Starter placard
  4. Radio ID placard
  5. Landing Gear handle placard
  6. Steer Mode placard

These were cut out of a 12×12 sheet of .236″ acrylic.  The next step is to “de-panelize” them and prepare them for painting and laser engraving.  Unfortunately, due to my ONGOING shop furnace issues, I still can’t paint in the shop yet.

The material the acrylic is on is “Coroplast”.  It’s essentially plastic cardboard.  I use an aggressive double-stick tape to hold the acrylic in place while I’m cutting it.  The Coroplast is held in place by the vacuum system on the ShopBot.  I can cut through the first layer of the plastic without comprimising the vacuum seal.  This is the best method of cutting both acrylic and non-ferrous metals on the ShopBot.  It allows for a very good material hold-down without having to use traditional mechanical clamps that could be struck by the tool on accident.  It also allows for cutting very small parts that would be impractical to hold down any other way.

Right now, my Rostock MAX 3D printer is printing the first part for the new stick centering mechanism.  The part holds an LM8UU linear bearing and will act as the center of the new system.  I’m using Silver ABS.  This particular part is for the roll axis.  There are two different designs because the mounting points are a different size.  The space between the bracket arms on the roll axis are 14mm, while the pitch axis spacing is 12mm.  These are existing features in the underside of the cockpit that I’m using.  I don’t know their original function, but they line up exactly with the pitch and roll output arms that exit through the cockpit floor.




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