CH-47 Chinook Body Assembly Notes

Thank you for purchasing the CH-47 parts pack.  Here are some notes to aid in cutting out and assembling the body parts:

1. Trimming the Body Shells:  The best way to trim the body shells is to lay each shell on a flat, smooth surface, and to block up a pencil on a wood shim (or use a surface gauge) so that you can mark around the perimeter of the shell about 1/16" above the parting seam between the shell and the riser (about 5/16" above the work surface).  

Marking body shell for trimming.

Once you've marked around the shell, use scissors or aviation snips to carefully trim away the flash.  Small and/or curved scissors are a real help in working around the inside corners at the fore and aft pylons.  Take your time here.  Once trimmed, you can lightly sand the edge to make sure there are no nicks or sharp corners; these nicks can propagate into cracks if left unattended.  Note:  Cracks can be repaired with a small patch of 1.5 ounce glass cloth CA'ed to the inside surface.  This can also be used to reinforce any thin spots before they crack.

2. Body Support Keels:  The lower and upper mounting keels are fabricated from 1/16" ply and 1/8" balsa.  The lower keel tilts the heli's main truss 6.5 degrees.  With the lower keel in place, you can check the fit in the left and right body shells.  Now is the time to mark and trim the 1 3/8" diameter semi-circular cutouts for the rotor heads. 

Test installing the frame in the right body shell.

The upper support keel is added next.  This too is fabricated from 1/16" ply and 1/8" balsa.  The body shells are mounted to the keels with small screws.  I used #0 X 1/4 pan head sheet metal screws from MicroFasteners. 

The upper support keel is screwed in place.

3. Balsa Corner Gussets:   1/8" balsa gussets are added to the nose and the corners of the front and aft pylons.  These gussets have rare earth magnets inset into their corners.  The magnets clip the shells together.  Note the round holes for the landing gear struts. 

Balsa gussets are added in the nose and at the corners of the pylons.

4. Final Assembly:  The shells are installed by threading them over the bare landing gear struts and are screwed to the keels.  The rare earth magnets in the gussets clip the halves together.  With everything checked over, the body is ready to paint.  

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