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Corsair Information | Airframe | Body Group

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Alighting Group
Engine Section
Wing Group
Body Group
Tail Group
Structural Repair Manual Illustrations

Body Group Description

Skin | Stiffeners | Longerons | Frames | Bulkheads | Tail Wheel Doors and Access Doors | Floors, Radio Deck and Control Shelves | Tail Wheel TrussCockpit Enclosures | Radio Mast

The fuselage is of all-metal, semi-monocoque construction and is assembled in three sections: front section, mid section, and aft section. The front and mid sections are bolted together; the mid and aft sections are spliced together with rivets. (Fig 104)

The semi-monocoque skin plating is reinforced transversely by channel formers and bulkheads, and longitudinally by stiffeners and longerons. (Fig108)  The primary bending loads are taken b the four longerons which extend the full length of the fuselage aft of the firewall. They are bolted together at splice sections by heavy fittings. A triangular truss made of square tubing reinforces the tail wheel cut-out and assists in transmitting the tail loads through the aft section. The cockpit, tail wheel well, and the many fuselage access doors enable one to reach the interior of the fuselage with ease.

Skin - Body Group

The skin plating is divided into panels within the front, mid and aft sections to facilitate assembly. In general, the side panels extend from the upper to the lower longerons The bottom panels extend from lower longeron to lower longeron. Forming a part of these bottom panels are the two access doors. In the front section the top skin panels fit over the gas bag and around the windshield, from upper longeron to upper longeron. In the mid section the upper skin panels fit over the turtledeck aft of the sliding section of the cockpit.  The main upper skin panel of the aft section extends along the bulkhead. Aft of the bulkhead is a removable access door (Fig 105).

Stiffeners - Body Group

There are three reinforcing stiffeners spot welded and riveted to each front section skin panel. They are located just under the upper longerons and extend from bulkhead at Station 138.6 to bulkhead at Station 186. The fuselage mid-section skin is most strongly reinforced with stiffeners between the bulkheads at Stations 186 to 218. The stiffeners reinforce the entire side skin panels between bulkhead at Station 186 and the frame at Station 205 1/2. The stiffeners in the mid section are located, in general, below he upper longeron, and at least two stiffeners extend from the bulkhead at Station 186 to the frame at Station 274. a portion of the turtleneck skin is reinforced with stiffeners. They are located above the upper longeron, and extend, in general, from just aft of the bulkhead at Station 218 to Station 274. The shape of the stiffeners is clearly shown in the figure above. Only the portions of the stiffener which rest flush against the skin pass beneath the frames. The top portion is cut out for the width of the frame flange.

Longerons  - Body Group

There are two upper and two lower longerons which extend the entire length of the fuselage. The primary bending loads are taken by these four members. The longerons are bolted together through heavy fittings at the front and mid-section splice, and at the mid and aft section splice. A heavy extruded longeron also extends from Station 186 to Station 288 at the top of the turtledeck.

Frames  - Body Group

The frames provide fuselage reinforcement between bulkheads. They are spot welded to the skin panels and are divided into the same four general sections: an upper panel frame extending from upper longeron to upper longeron, two side panel frames extending from upper to lower longerons, and a bottom panel frame extending from lower longeron to lower longeron (Fig 108).

Bulkheads  - Body Group

The bulkheads are actually beams with stiffened or reinforced webs an flanges. The bulkhead flanges are riveted to the skin.

A member of vital fittings attach to the bulkheads. Four heavy fittings attach the engine mount structure to the firewall. The tail wheel attaching fitting is bolted to the bulkhead at Station 288. The fin is attached to the fuselage by means of a fitting at Station 310 11/32. The stabilizers are rigidly interconnected by a fitting on the bulkhead at Station 346 5/32.

Tail Wheel Doors and Access Doors - Body Group

There are two access doors in the fuselage which extend across the bottom panel between longerons. The front section access door fits against the frames at Station 138.6 and at Station 160. The door is hinged under the left longeron and is secured to the fuselage by four latches. The mid-section access door fits against the frames between Station 226 and Station 246 and is attached to the fuselage with Dzus fasteners. Both bottom access doors are of reinforce pan ("cookie tin") construction. The inner reinforcing pan is spot welded to the outer skin.

The tail wheel doors are divided into a front section and an aft section, both split at the center of the fuselage, making two principal folding hales interconnected with a joint mechanism. (Fig 117)  The front tail wheel doors extend from Station 288 to Station 329 1.2 to Station 359 1/2. Attached to the aft tail wheel doors is the tail wheel fairing. Both front and aft tail wheel doors are constructed of alclad sheet reinforced by a hat-shaped stiffener extending their entire length and by an inner pan spot welded to the outer skin.

Floors, Radio Deck and Control Shelves - Body Group

The cockpit floor is located between Station 130 1/2 and Station 165 1/2 (Fig 118). The fixed portion is located forward of Station 149 and consists of a right hand and a left hand half. The fixed portion of the cockpit floor is reinforced with channels. The removable portion of the floor is centered in the cockpit and located aft of Station 149. It laps over the front portion of the floor where it is fastened with screws. It is also screwed to a support bracket at Station 165 1/2. This bracket consists, in general, of three channel-shaped members extending across the fuselage, riveted together and to the frames. The fixed portion of the floor has a reinforcing pan skin spot welded to its underside and bent up flanges which are riveted to the fuselage skin. The floors are constructed of alclad sheet.

Around the stick and under the pilot's seat is a canvas floor buttoned into place with snap fasteners.

The radio deck extends completely across the fuselage and from Station 186 and from Station 186 to Station 218 (Fig 118). It is cut out to fit around the frames and is riveted to the fuselage skin. The radio deck is stiffened by six channels which attach to the bulkheads at Stations 186 and 218.

The right and left hand control shelves are constructed of alclad sheet, and are located in the cockpit between Station 148.25 and Station 186. The left hand control shelf consists of a horizontal panel section, and a vertical panel section. Both horizontal and vertical sections are supported by brackets and attached to an angle which is riveted to the fuselage frames. The right hand control shelf (or radio and electrical control box) consist of six Government furnished electrical panels, in addition to the alclad sheet panel sections comprising the rest of the box. It is supported by bulkheads, brackets and angles, and is attached to the fuselage frames with screws and rivets.

Tail Wheel Truss - Body Group

There are two access doors in the fuselage which extend across the bottom panel between longerons. The location of these doors is shown on Fig 105. The front section access door fits against the frames at Station 138.6 and at Station 160. The door is hinged under the left longeron and is secured to the fuselage by four latches. The mid-section access door fits against the frames between Station 226 and Station 246 and is attached to the fuselage with Dzus fasteners. Both bottom access doors are of reinforced pan ("cookie tin") construction. the inner reinforcing pan is spot welded to the outer skin.

The tail wheel doors are divided into a front section and an aft section, both split at the center of the fuselage, making two principal folding halves interconnected with a joint mechanism (Fig 117).  The front tail wheel doors extend from Station 288 to Station 329 1/2. The aft tail wheel doors extend from Station 329 1/2 to Station 359 1/2. Attached to the aft tail wheel doors is the tail wheel fairing. Both front and aft tail wheel doors are constructed of alclad sheet reinforced by a hat-shaped stiffener extending their entire length, and by an inner pan spot welded to the outer skin.

Cockpit Enclosures - Body Group

The cockpit enclosure is divided into two sections, an attached windshield and a releasable sliding section (Fig 119).

Sliding Section:  The sliding section consists of a heavy frame fabricated to receive the bubble canopy as illustrated in Fig 119.  Retaining strips are attached to the framing members over waterproof tape to keep the Plexiglas in place. While repairs are being made, the sliding section may be removed for greater accessibility.

Windshield: The frame of the windshield which fits against the sliding section consists of a heavy gage former to which a lighter gage alclad bumper is spot welded. The windshield is equipped with laminated non-shattering plate glass and a bullet-proof glass behind the front glass panel. The Plexiglas and plate glass are held in place by retainer strips, sealed with waterproof tape, and the entire assembly is fastened together with CVC-141 screws. The windshield frame which fits against the cowl consists of a light gage former, with tape and retainer strip as noted above. Two posts made from 3/8 inch x 3/4 inch aluminum bar stock further reinforce the windshield (Fig 119).

Radio Mast - Body Group

The two radio masts are attached to the fuselage at the forward face of the firewall ad at the aft face of the bulkhead at Station 218 (Fig 120). The radio mast at the firewall is riveted to a fitting which bolts into channel supports on the front face of the firewall. The mast is constructed of formed alclad sheet and its trailing edges are riveted together. The radio mast at Station 218 is attached to the fuselage through a supporting ring which is fastened to the fuselage skin by screws. Alclad channels riveted to the bulkhead and steel sheet clips bolted to the channels complete the mast support. The mast at Station 218 is constructed of impregnated maple and has a metal plating.

Up ] Alighting Group ] Engine Section ] Wing Group ] [ Body Group ] Tail Group ] Structural Repair Manual Illustrations ]

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Last modified: September 18, 2012

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