Chapter 21 Strakes & Fuel
The strakes were a big deal for us, first to finally hang our Infinity Aerospace main retracts, second to make our bathtub look more like a space shuttle. Along the way we had to figure out the bet way to run the hydraulic lines from the gear to the nose where the controls and the pump would reside. People have run them through the spar, we had provided passes for that possibility, other had run the lines up in the upper strake skins, and one by Phillip Johnson was a combination of the upper skin with the brake lines run on the strake leading edge. We liked Phillip's idea with the brake line so much we ran all four lines down each leading edge. This way there was no need to figure out how to run lines from all the way back in the spar through the cabin to the nose. One problem arose with that idea. The strakes ended well short of the instrument panel meaning that things were going to get ugly with line in the cockpit and I dislike scabbed on covers.. oh bother.But wait, what if we did sort of like the Long-Eze and Berkut and added an extended inboard cuff, but instead of ending the cuff midway to the instrument panel we go just up to it where the hydraulic lines can then come through the fuselage sides and the front side of the instrument panel.. Hazzah! the Cozy Girrrl StrakesTM (you know we are being facetious) are born.
Two by-products arose from this change, first it just looks so darn cool, everybody says "Yeah it's like one of those F-Something fighters" but the absolute best thing is comfort, both physical and visual.
Most normal bodied people get in a Cozy, close the canopy and become acutely aware of what Cozy means... sardines laugh at us. Do you realize that nowhere on earth except in a gay bar will you ever see two men voluntarily get so close together and smile? Your position is such that your elbow is solidly on the armrest and your shoulder is wedged under the canopy or longeron, the bones of your upper arm are vertical and direct coupled to the airframe by your joints.. ouch.
When we moved the leading edge of the inner strake to the instrument panel and opened up the "elbow room" in the cockpit the apparent room radically changed but when your elbow goes outward and your shoulder drops your relationship with the airframe also gets softer; you are not wedged in anymore... this airplane is going to be a lot more fun than we imagined.
There is a lot going on here so we decided to brake this down into four chapters:
21a Your Own Strakes Kit -this is a huge time saver.
Chapter 21b Infinity Gear Installation
Chapter 21c Cozy Girrrl Strakes TM Mod -what we did, how we did it.
Chapter 21d Fuel System -fuel for the fuel injected engine plus center sump.