Doors & Windows

doors-1The longwing ‘Coupes had a single door on the right hand side.  On some, over the years, a second door was added.  Since my fuselage has been “fattened up” per the Monocoupe 110 Special drawing I needed to fabricate a new door and while I was at it, I opted for the second door.  I’m just to big to crawl into that tiny door on the right hand side to get to the pilot seat.  Also, for me it is a safety issue.  Having the two doors will help with exiting the airplane.  I was able to use the original door as a guide for overall construction technique.

Lots and lots of clamps holding the newly fabricated right door frame in position with the fuselage.  At this point I’m actually installing some short tube sections that “box in” the door latch. You can also see the poster board pattern for the firewall.

left-door-2Left door pretty far along.  Bottom is skinned with plywood, top half is 22 gauge cold rolled steel sheet (per the original door and per the Monocoupe print).  Door hinges were copied from Jim White’s N501W and Don Schmidt’s N18629.  A major challenge with the door hinges is the curvature of the doors (roundness of the fuselage).  It’s critical to find a straight hinge line along the door curvature.

left-door-3Inside view of left door shows how the latch area is boxed in.  I’m making the plate removable, to facilitate future servicing of the latch.

Original door latch and the innards.  Pretty simple.  I had to replicate this for the second door.


Cutting out the window frame.






window-frame-7Finished attaching the sheet metal around the window to the door frame.





window-frame-8Begin working on the wood for the window frames and the windows.





left-window-11Inside view of left door latch, window and window latch.  Window latch made from original, similar dimensions and operation.  Still needs wood added.

Inside door handle and cover plate for the latch mechanism.  I made this cover plate removable (as opposed to being covered with fabric) so that the latch mechanism can be easily serviced (lubed) as needed.

Window latch made from 3/16”steel rod, and 5/16” 0.058 wall tubing for the pivot points.  I made about 5 of these in prototype fashion before getting a final design I was happy with.  They work great and have a very slight over center lock to them as the window is shut.