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Old 09-22-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Seeking belly skin material

I have a 1975 im working on, 31 foot, any place i can order the belly pan and wraps from? Or maybe someone has the sheetmetal pattern?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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I have a 1975 im working on, 31 foot, any place i can order the belly pan and wraps from? Or maybe someone has the sheetmetal pattern?
There is no sheet metal pattern.

Your Airstream uses "underbelly" metal, that's 65.75 inches wide.

It also uses "underbelly wrap", which goes from the frame to the floor line.

They are available from a parts stocking dealer, or a drop ship from the factory.

Andy
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shadeemry
I have a 1975 im working on, 31 foot, any place i can order the belly pan and wraps from? Or maybe someone has the sheetmetal pattern?
If you have the original belly skin, you can use these as your pattern and just cut replacements out of a new sheet. The difficulty is that most places you can buy sheet aluminum from sell it in 4' wide sheets. When I replaced the bellypan on my 21' GT, I broke up the center section into various panels so that I could cut that greater than 4' dimension from the length of my rolled aluminum sheet. You can order sheet aluminum from Air Parts, inc., or from Aircraft Spruce. IF you can find it locally, you can save a lot of cash in shipping charges.

When you speak of "wraps," there are the curved sections along the sides, which are just flat sheet that has been wrapped over the curved outriggers. The four pieces at the front and back that curve from the belly to the walls, and make the "corner," are called banana wraps. I think the new ones you would buy today are made of plastic. Am not aware of anyone selling new aluminum ones, so if you can straighten out your old ones, you should try to.

I used .032" 6061 aluminum for my replacement skin, which worked pretty well, but was tough to wrap over the outriggers. The original was something thinner, maybe .025.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:36 AM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In

There is no sheet metal pattern.

Your Airstream uses "underbelly" metal, that's 65.75 inches wide.

It also uses "underbelly wrap", which goes from the frame to the floor line.

They are available from a parts stocking dealer, or a drop ship from the factory.

Andy
Thx a bunch guys, this info was very handy, the as i got my hand on had corrosion holes and full sheets missing. Its good to know as still manufactures these.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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For the Aluminum, try an aircraft supply shop. Aircraft Spruce and Specialty for example.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:18 AM   #6
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For the Aluminum, try an aircraft supply shop. Aircraft Spruce and Specialty for example.
Craig.

We purchase aluminum from Aircraft Spruce, which happens to be 1/2 block from us, to make some of our parts.

However, they do not have any aluminum that is longer than 12 feet, or any that is prefinished, such as Airstream's underbelly wrap, which is a dark charcoal color.

Andy
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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Aluminum source

I had to replace the "trunk" floor on our 1974 Trade wind. The local fabricator/sheet metal shop was able to get some 0.040 material, shear it to size and put a couple of 45 degree bends in it to match the frame - worked very well. It was a little thicked than the original which was OK given the location. I expect that shipping a bent piece of aluminum about 5 feet square might be a problem. Anyway, the local source worked for me.

Good luck,

Whit Nash
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Andy, do you know of any good shops I can buy this from, the sheets and belly wraps?
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:46 AM   #9
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I just ordered some 4x12 from Aircraft Spruce. It will be at Peachtree City facility (south of Atlanta) next week. I also talked with Aviation Metals north of Charlotte. Prices were about the same. It's an easier trip to ATL and was hoping to pick up tomorrow but they only had 3 sheets in yard.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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The belly skins are common aluminum sheet metal. 6061-T6 or 5052-H32 will work fine. Anything from .025-040" thick material should work. I would go with thicker on the belly skins and thinner on the wraps portions. If you have to go with thicker material because that is what you can find local stay with the 5052-H32 alloy what will bend around the sides better. The 6061-T6 is a bit springy for the side wraps but it can be done. Just get on the phone and start calling metal supply houses. I know there is something in Raleigh that can supply you metal. You will have to get 4x12 sheets most likely and they are probably going to be around $80 a sheet. You will have to make your belly skin in 4 ft long sections and either splice it or make a seam at a crossmember. The frame rails are about 5 ft apart so you will have to cut that sheet up into 4x5 sheets or smaller to make it fit. It helps to have some experience with sheet metal or at least some mechanical skills before taking on a job like this. I know there are sheet metal fabrications and even better yet aircraft sheet metal mechanics in your area that can do the work for you. Open the phone book and start calling.

Perry
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #11
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Unless Aircraft Spruce has changed there policy they can roll any length of material up to 0.40 for shipping.
On my 1975 31 footer the first cross member is 36" from the front hold down plate, the rest are 2 foot on center more or less.
Perry I hope you DON"T get chastised as I did a week ago for suggesting an airframe mechanic replacing a flat panel on the rear of a late model airstream.
By the way my Wife was born and raised right off the South Parkway, and I lived in Elkmont for years. Spent alot of time at Moon Town Airport great place to hang out. Sure do miss that Tennessee river.
Good Luck,
Jack
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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Can Aircraft Spruce provide you with panels that are 5 ft wide? The length is not an issue as much as the width. I like mine being in segments and bolted not riveted for easy access.

Look me up if you are ever in Huntsville. We usually go to the Moon Town Fly-in and a guy that use to own the airport died in a Russian made YAK during this years fly-in. We were not there to witness it and I am glad for that. It is not something you want your 6 yr old to see.

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/09/...er_george.html

Perry
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #13
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I spoke with both Aircraft Spruce in Atlanta and Aviation Metals in Charlotte about 5000 series in 60" width. Aviation metals quoted $330 per sheet for 5x12 sheet of 0.050 as that's what they could get in 3-5 days. The 4x12 sheets of 0.032 I'm picking up next week in Atlanta are a little under $80.00 per sheet. For a belly pan rivets are cheap.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #14
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Perry,

Sorry to here that about George . I have had a few dealings with him in the 40+ years of aviation. Is the airport going to remain open?
My Wife learned to fly there in a 1946 Aronca Champ, that grass strip was perfect for the old champ. She didn't need a long runway but with that tail dragger it needed to be wide. She sat on 3 Huntville phone books and could barely reach the pedals.
DG,
Wish I could get sheet metal that cheap out here on the prairie it cost 5 times what you folks down south can get it for. I have bought a lot of material from Aircraft Spruce out of Griffin Ga. Ron Alexander started that store in Griffin and Aircraft Spruce bought him out 15 or so years ago.
Are you going to try to over lap on the cross members or run a seam length wise.
Good Luck
Jack
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