The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cornell Cowl Completed

I completed the work on the Cornell's cowl. I have to say it came out pretty darn good for a newbie. I learned a few things I would do differently next time, but all in all, nice look! And it was a real pain in the ass...

This is what the cowl looked like after the crash. The small openings in the front are cracked and broken.

I didn't need a fiberglass repair kit, but some Bondo might have done nicely. But I would only have needed a small amount. It seemed to me that some spackle combined with epoxy might give me the strength of epoxy with the sandability of spackle. I thought, what the heck and mixed them 1:1:1, with a little more spackle.

I spread it using a popsicle stick, and let it dry overnight.

Then sanded it smooth, or as smooth as I could. There were some areas I couldn't get completely flat, hard epoxy from previous repairs. Worked awesome!

Primer gray. 

Coated with the blue paint that comes pretty close to Hanger 9 Midnight Blue.

I also did the gloss black on the hatch and the top of the cowl. You can see the imperfection where the low tack painters tape pulled off some paint on the side, even though it had dried overnight. I spackled it, painted over it later, better but not perfect.

I couldn't find any 1" tall Collegiate font sticker numbers, so I decided to use the pirate flag with the white border cut off, and used the P-touch printer to make the 87 with a collegiate font.  I covered the entire cowl with clear enamel. The cowl looks pretty darn good!

The problems came from trying to get the previous epoxy repairs flatter and smoother, and making painting mistakes (low tack tape pulled day dried paint right off the cowl, not waiting long enough for touch ups, mistaking  the need to smooth out fine bubbles in the clear enamel that would have resolved on their own had I not tried to use the foam brush I found...that sort of thing). I have extended its life again, which I hope I am done with, as a new one is still not going to be available until 1/20/12. Letting everything dry overnight, then I will re-install it on the aircraft and post pics!


  1. The flags are cracking me up! How good are you at fixing dents in an old jeep?

  2. Bought a pack of 60 pirate stickers! Got to find some locally, maybe Michael's (didn't see any at Hobby Lobby). Don't know nuttin' ' bout fixin' no jeep!

  3. aww, c'mon. My darling George has never adopted my habit of parking in Goofy 6 and hiking to various shopping establishments, so his jeep has a few dings. I mean, fill it with the poxy-spac you made and paint it blue!