Seat

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To the right is a photo of Harriet Quimby, America’s first licensed woman pilot. In 1912 she flew a Bleriot XI from England to France across the English Channel.

Her seat looks very similar to the one shown below.

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The photo’s below were posted by Steve Sneydes on the Yahoo Airdrome Builders website.

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I am thinking of making it from aluminium tube like shown below and possibly a aluminium sheet with holes at the back to mimic the idea of Harriet’s seat.

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I would need a nice soft bottom bit to sit on like shown above right, and maybe something in my back as well πŸ™‚

Now OK this is what I am making right now, its going to be like the aluminium frame above, but with a square seat.

As shown above right, I am planning to use wicker as the covering of the seat.

What you see to the right is only the bottom, no back yet.

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Seat welded

And here it is.

Just picked up the frame of the seat from the engineering shop. They welded the seat in two stages. First stage was everything except for top rail and 4 small braces, on the back side, above and below the sitting surface.

The top brace is there to create an opening in the side panel of the seat for the safety belt to go through.

The bottom of the 4 legs have been coped to sit on top of the bottom longeron’s

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First paint coat

First coat of primer on it. Wow, looks like a real one !!!! πŸ™‚

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Really like this one, found it on the web.

This is in the Science Museum in London.
It is very basic but that suits the plane well I think.

What you see here are the original controls used in those days.

DIY upholstery

After some shopping around I have decided that wicker is to expensive. Another idea I had was going to the local saddler to have a look and see if canvas was an option. But the same here, basically the time spend would make it to expensive.

So this is what I am going to do:

I am currently creating a base for the seat using 2.5mm polyester rope, and weave it “inside” my square seat.Β On top of that I use some seat stuffing material, and cover the seat with leader. The side bits, leather as well, will be sown to the seat, and go up to the top rail and attached there. To make it affordable, I/we will be doing all the work ourselves πŸ™‚

Frame in fuselage

Everything ready now for the last part of the seat, the leather seat covering.

Today I added a bend tube connected to the top longerons, creating a nice “opening” for the top of the fuselage. Only thing left to do is a piece of aluminium to connect the new bend tube with the straight bit, just behind it. That sheet will also have two slots in it for the top two belts of the safety belt.

Don’t look at the floor under the Bleriot. As its in an open shed, the wind is always blowing around creating a mess πŸ™‚

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I have finished the 4 gusset plates for attaching the seat to the two bottom longerons, but they are not shown yet. They go in last after the leather covering is fixed to the seat frame.

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Steel bracket

In the last few days I have prepared myself for this here. Made a steel bracket that the eye-bolt for the lap-strap of the harness bolts into.

At any time there is no real force applied on the bold through the lap -straps, apart from that one moment that should/will never happen, a frontal impact called crash. Stops me from flying out of the cockpit and hurting myself πŸ™‚

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Next is the support for the shoulder straps, but that might have to wait a week or two, haven’t got the bits of Chromoly steel for it yet πŸ™‚

Nice leather

Got some really nice leather today for covering the seat, about half a hide! Its chocolate brown, old looking stuff. Looks a lot better I think then what you see on the photo ! Its a bit darker really…….

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Cutting leather

Have cut the main piece of leather covering the seat tonight. Now looking into the shape of the two bits on the side of the seat, a bit more complicated with the opening for the lap-belt. All soon to be uncovered with photographic evidence.

Harness shoulder strap support

Started with the harness shoulder strap support.
It is going to lift up the shoulder strap so it run’s down from that support point to my shoulders.

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This whole structure sit’s on top of the spar carry through.

I still need to cut some of the vertical tubes, so that it’s flush with the top of the fuselage. I also will create some bracing with 1/2″ tubeΒ Then two, one size down, tubes go in the two verticals, high enough to lift up the shoulder strap. And when the plane is parked, I can just pull out the tubes so it’s not obvious it is there.

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Harness support in position

Yes got it back already. So as I said earlier, this is where it sits.
I will use some glue, and two clamps to keep it in place so I don’t need to drill into the carry through.
I am going to make two gusset plates with 1″ hole in it to support the top, and riveted in the alu tube just in front of it. And to finish it if, the bit sticking through will be cut of so its flush with these gusset plates.
So when the fabric is finished on the fuselage, all you will see is two 1″ holes.
Oh yes I will need two bits of 1/2″ tube to brace the two vertical bits.

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And then when I am flying, these two bits of tube slide in the two holes, and lift up the harness shoulder straps:

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Back coushion

More pictures of the seat in the cockpit page I think.
But today I did the sowing of the back “pillow”. Cut it out of the leader you see above, stitched it all together with sowing pins and sew it together.
Interesting thing is that this back pillow curves all the way around from one side to the other. This means there is less material on the inside then there is on the outside. So the inside was about 60mm shorter.
Sowing went well. Tomorrow night I will put the padding in. Hope it all looks good. It should !!!!
A few days later…
The front of the “pillow”, the back with the big “scar”, stitched up, and solid cable ties coming out, ready to tie around the tubing of the back of the seat πŸ™‚

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Back installed

This morning I “installed the back of the seat. Was just a matter of doing up the cable ties I had sticking out at the back. starting to look good, and feels comfy πŸ™‚
Only think left is the little bits of leather sticking out on the front to “tie” it to the side, but that should be done in the next few days.

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