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Make gear doors for an ESM P-40

Old 12-30-2018, 11:16 PM
  #1  
ho2zoo
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Question Make gear doors for an ESM P-40

Howdy! I am working on an ESM P-40 Warhawk and would like to make some functional landing gear doors. The kit just has a cover on the bottom of the gear "pod" with a slot for the strut to move through. I've got some pretty good pictures of P-40 landing gear and it looks like there are basically 2 doors- a large, curved rectangular one and a smaller one.

I tried making some out of fiberglass by layering epoxy, fiber glass, and thin plywood strips on a cardboard tube. Then I cut them to shape and epoxied hinges to the side. Trouble was, after laying on my workbench for a couple months one of the doors warped significantly. I tried to bend it back to shape and broke the corner off. Seems they came out very brittle.

So I was wondering what other materials and methods do modelers use for gear doors? Perhaps a thin sheet of aluminum or brass? Something that just occurred to me was to lay a piece of plastic on a tube and then heat it with a heat gun to give it a curve.

What works for you?

Last edited by ho2zoo; 12-30-2018 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:11 AM
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RBACONS
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Fiberglass is the preferred method of making landing gear doors. Your problem with the warping may be that you didn't lay up enough thickness of fiberglass (you need something like 3-4 layers of 2 or 3 oz/sq yd glass totaling 8-10 oz) or you possibly used regular epoxy rather than laminating epoxy when doing the lay up. Laminating epoxy cures harder and less flexible than regular epoxy. Also, you should not need any wood as part of the lay up. They wood likely contributed to the warping, particularly if you did not lay up enough layers of glass.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:44 AM
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Default P-40 gear door pics

Here is my first attempt at the large gear door in fiberglass. It is 4 or 5 layers of fiberglass, but I did use ordinary epoxy. It's nearly 1/8" thick in places. The one I broke was the other one. The piece on the right is the factory-supplied piece.
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