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Q-talk 135 - How to find Level in an airplane you didn't build

It seems this question comes up on the Q-List from time to time and I thought it worth publishing here.

I'm trying to set the level attitude of the airplane and I cannot find the original water level position. Is it safe to say it's one of the armrests or is there another location for the level to be placed?

Jim Patillo answered the question this way.

If I remember correctly, the lower fuselage shells were originally set in the fuselage jigs which were bondo'd on a flat table. The shells were then bondo'd to the jigs. The arm rests were set and glassed in level and the firewall was set and glassed in vertical.

A "Bulls Eye" level was bondo'd "0-0" on the main fuel tank or canard for future reference before being removed from the jigs. The problem is, you can't ever count on that work being done as described above because the builder may or may not have followed the plans correctly.

Try raising the tail until the firewall is vertical and then check the arm rests for level. If you find this to be correct, the canard should be installed at 7.5 - 8.5 degrees when measured at BL 48 while sitting on all three wheels. Hope this helps.


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