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Saturday, May 24, 2003
Armadillo Aerospace News: Big vehicle work
The big vehicle will be hover tested hanging from four climbing ropes under a big crane. We usually lift the cabin with chains through eye nuts on the seat belt harness backup plates towards the middle of the honeycomb bulkhead, but for load points that may take a pretty good shock, we want to feed directly into the cone metal. If we just grabbed at the top, it would certainly bend the metal on a hard hit. We have some 2” square blocks of milled aluminum already welded in up there as a secondary catch in case the main bulkhead bond ever lets go, but it took some work to arrange for lifting points from there.
If we had thought it all the way through earlier, we would have drilled ¾” holes in each of our bulkhead backup blocks before we welded them in, which would have let us just tie the rope off around a bolt through there, but we can’t get a big drill in with them already mounted. We turned some little bars that we carefully welded in with lots of back-side water cooling to keep from cooking the nearby epoxy bond, but we were still a bit unsure of the joint strength. We decided to drill a hole through the bracket from the outside of the cabin, and thread the rope through that, then tie off to the bar, so it is pulling into the block instead of out of it. There is a danger of cutting the rope like this, so we are going to smooth it out pretty carefully. Read More
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