Ted's Aircraft Shop
Step 9. Build Out of the Fuselage, page 1
Step 9. Build Out of the Fuselage

The home stretch starts now with the build out of the fuselage.  The wings and tail surfaces are done.  The engine is overhauled. I need a fuselage to hold it all together.  The fuselage as I bought it stayed at Cubs Unlimited, first at Finleyville airport and later at Rostraver Airport, while John Waltrowski cleared out other projects.  The fuselage was intact, but it was not straight. Some of the key frame tubes were too long and resulted in a plane that would fly sideways if at all.  Finding the wrong size tubes, cutting them out, and welding in the right tubes was a challenge.  John worked on the fuselage, off and on, for some time. We often despaired of ever getting it straightened.  Then John had an inspiration.  Two tubes were too long, and if both were replaced, the fuselage might—just might—spring back into its right shape.  (When fuselages are welded initially, there is often some memory in the welds that creates stress.  We speculate that in previous repairs, the corroded tubes were cut out and new tubes welded back in place without thinking that the stresses in the fuselage would pull the tube spaces apart.)  The dimensions are critical or the wing attach points will hold the left and right wings at different incidence angles.  The fuselage was a little rusty, but only on the surface.  As you can see, John had the fuselage in a frame.  On top of the fuselage is attached a specially made fixture that ensures the wings attach properly to the frame.  When John got done, the fuselage was absolutely straight—a job well done.  John is an artist with a TIG welder. 

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Fuselage Under Repair
Painted Fuselage Ready for Build Out
Restoring a Piper Cub J-3
1.  Picking a  Project
2. Organizing and Planning
3. Overhauling the Engine
4. Assembling the Wings
5. Covering the Wings
6. Covering the Tail Surfaces
7. Repairing the Ailerons
8. Painting the Wings
9. Build Out of the Fuselage
10. Covering the Fuselage
11. Assembling and Rigging
12. Flight Testing