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Sills Aviation Services

Europa Tri-Gear Modification

The Europa motor glider is a kit built experimental two seat aircraft powered by a Rotax 912 engine . It was built with a retractable mono wheel and retractable out-riggers on the wings and a tailwheel. The aircraft kit manufacturer offers a "kit" to convert to a tricycle type landing gear configuration and the aircraft owner opted to have this kit installed.

Europagearconversion014.jpg

We adapted our holding fixture to take the Europa and got it bolted in level.

Europagearconversion014.jpg

I will omit the details of removing the mono wheel and associated mounting hardware and systems as it is very straight forward and not complicated.

Europagearconversion014.jpg
Europagearconversion014.jpg
Europagearconversion014.jpg

Next we have to remove a few items and clean out the coating that was sprayed in the interior when the aircraft was built. The pictures are of the future main gear attach bays.

Europagearconversion014.jpg

We discovered that several items were stolen from the "kit " the owner purchased from the Europa Distributor in Florida. We postponed the main landing gear part of the modification and went on to the finger brake mod.

Europagearconversion014.jpg
Europagearconversion014.jpg

Below we had to remove the mono wheel retract lever and move the center throttle lever to the left a bit. WIll glass up the holes.

Europagearconversion014.jpg
Europagearconversion014.jpg

Brake masters assembled and test fitted in position.

Europagearconversion020.jpg

Another step in the main gear mounting process is to apply fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin to the bays to reinforce the area. Here we have done that step and peel ply covers the work while it cures.

Europagearconversion020.jpg

Below we have applied the reinvorcement cloth and resin to the outer fuselage skin where the main gear legs will pass thru.

Europagearconversion020.jpg
Europagearconversion020.jpg

Above , we have closed up the hole made when we removed the mono gear retract lever and also closed up the slot where the center throttle lever was . We opened anohter slot a few inches to the left.

Europagearconversion027.jpg

Here the gear legs & fittings are test fit and templets made for the first bulkheads.

Europagearconversion027.jpg
Europagearconversion027.jpg

Now the first bulkheads have been epoxied to the gear leg fittings and peel ply has been added during curing.

Europagearconversion027.jpg
Europagearconversion026.jpg
Europagearconversion032.jpg

Peel-ply removed from the cured epoxy. Next bulkhead fabricated and fitted into place.

Europagearconversion032.jpg
Europagearconversion032.jpg

Second bulkheads potted in with the epoxy adhesive .

Europagearconversion036.jpg
Europagearconversion036.jpg
Europagearconversion036.jpg

Next comes another layer of epoxy resin and glass cloth.

Europagearconversion041.jpg

Epoxy resin and glass cloth added and then peel ply on top of that.

Europagearconversion041.jpg
Europagearconversion041.jpg

The last of the bulkheads are fabricated and in place. Cloth & resin applied and setting up with peel ply on top.

Europagearconversion041.jpg
Europagearconversion041.jpg

We continue to pick at the brake mod.

Europagearconversion049.jpg

In the above picture , all that is left to do here is add the cap strips of glass & resin to the bulkheads and install the gear legs.

Europagearconversion049.jpg

Bulkeads are capped and the gear legs are installed, wheels & brakes installed , brake lines plumbed and the system has been serviced.

Europagearconversion049.jpg
Europagearconversion049.jpg

Here is a look at the brake masters & levers and below is the parking brake valve.

Europagearconversion049.jpg
Europagearconversion060.jpg

Zolatone paint to try and match the old interior paint.

Europagearconversion060.jpg
Europagearconversion060.jpg

Brake levers on the far right , throttle , flap switch and just forward of that is the parking brake valve.

Europagearconversion060.jpg

Replacement flap attach brackets where the outriggers were on the wings.

Europagearconversion061.jpg
Europagearconversion061.jpg

Wheel pant & fairing installations.

Europagearconversion061.jpg
Europagearconversion061.jpg

Flap attach fairings installed.

Europagearconversion054.jpg

Looks pretty sharp sitting on three !

Europagearconversion054.jpg

Finished Project !