Forward Assembly

Aug 23, 2015 2:00 Forward Fuselage

Mounted, drilled, deburred and countersunk the replacement F-719 skin stiffeners. Had to mount the side skins to get everything lined up to drill. I also drilled the ¾” and 1” holes in the side skin.

Aug 24, 2015 1:45 Forward Fuselage

Drilled the new rudder pedal blocks and attached them to the rudder pedal bars. I then created an I shaped jig in the same shape as the bottom side or the pedal assembly and used that to mark hole placements on the F-719 stiffeners. I marked 3 pedal positions. The holes aren’t drilled yet, but there is one hole that is really close to the edge, so I may push that one out 1/16” and adjust the depth of the rudder blocks to fit. I added an L and R F-972B skin stiffener to my order with Van’s today after I looked and found that the forward end of the inboard stiffeners as drilled aren’t flush against the firewall bracket. I’ll notch the replacements so they fit flush.

Aug 26, 2015 2:15 Forward Fuselage

I remarked the holes for the rudder bar assembly - 4 positions on 1” spacing. They turned out nicely centered so I drilled it out. I then drilled the center support to the firewall and marked and drilled the holes for the rudder support block in all 4 positions. Nice to get this done finally.

Aug 29, 2015 2:55 Skins

After a couple of days off, I got back to work today. I pulled the left side skin off, riveted the F-902H doubler on and set it aside. I then riveted in the seat side ribs to the bottom skin and riveted the center skin and aft skin together where I could reach, which is all but about 4 holes per side. I then clecoed everything back together, including the baggage bulkheads and the arm rest. It’s ready to rivet. I then did the whole process all over again with the right side. I’ll rivet what I can over the next couple of days, but then it will be waiting for the parts from Van’s.

Aug 31, 2015 0:40 Skins

Short riveting session with Andrew. Just did 20 or so rivets, of the tough variety, on the bottom left around the center/aft fuselage join and the baggage side rib.

Bringing it back together

August 16, 2015 0:40 Fuselage

Skins - Missed a pile of work time this weekend due to a run in with the flu. Got out for a very short stretch this afternoon to tape off, prep and paint the “visible” parts of the side and front bottom skins. Sure doesn’t take long to run out a can of paint.

Odd jobs

August 9, 2015 2:05 Fuselage

Skins - de-vinyled, deburred and dimpled right side skin. Also dimpled the baggage side ribs and the sides of the forward bottom skin. Tiring repetitive work. Another session like this for the left side tomorrow, then I’ll build my right side brake pedals. Then after a few more small tasks, I’ll be ready to prep and prime all of these pieces. Hopefully by the weekend I’ll be re-assembling.

Tear it all down

August 2, 2015 3:35 Fuselage

Forward Fuselage - Finished drilling floor stiffeners, including the holes in the firewall bracket and the cover ribs. Drilled out the bottom skin holes to the firewall and disassembled the forward fuselage in preparation for deburring, dimpling and priming. 1:55 on this.

Mid Fuselage - Clecoed the baggage side rib and bulkhead into place. Match drilled the 3/32” holes in the side skin. 1:40 on this.

More forward fuselage

July 26, 2015 2:50 Fuselage

Forward Fuselage - Fabricated F-996B and F-996C. Fit and drilled them to the F-9101 gear attach web. This took a little bit of figuring out, the instructions weren’t very helpful. I drilled the side skin and longerons to the F-9101 and that made it possible to follow the directions to drill holes for the F-996B/C piece. Those pieces get riveted to F-9101 as a separate unit, so I did the required prep, primed the sides of the pieces that will be hidden.

Build update July 25, 2015

July 19, 2015 3:10 Fuselage

Longerons - Quick 10 minutes to apply the twist to the forward end of the longerons. I just clamped them to the sawhorse at the back of the twist and applied the twist with the 12” adjustable wrench I purchased today.

Fuselage Assembly - Since is was in the mood for twisting, I applied the conical bends to the side skins. It didn’t go too badly and didn’t take all that long. I then spend some time wrapping my head around the F-623A baggage side rib straps. Once I finally figured out what was happening, I set out to drill the holes in the straps. I messed up the first one so I rebuild the strap. I then dimpled a few holes and proceeded to attach the side ribs. I riveted in the left one with the exception of 5 rivets which I can’t reach with the squeezer. I did leave the holes that the side skin tucks under open, as well as a few rivets that are close enough to that to possibly interfere with getting the side skin under the bottom skin.

Build update July 18, 2015

July 12, 2015 3:20 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Platenuts and more platenuts. Attached all of the 88 platenuts on the inside 8 seat ribs (except the 2 I did last time). Took about 2½ minutes each. Tedious and uncomfortable work, would have been better if the work was 3 inches higher so I wouldn’t have had to bend at the lower back to reach the forward platenuts. They’re done though. I’ll be able to continue with the rest of the center fuselage tomorrow. I’m off work this week so I expect to get a lot done.

Build update July 2, 2015

Jun 28, 2015 1:00 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Dimpled the ribs, as much as I could do with the DRDT-2

Jul 1, 2015 3:45 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Found a way to finish dimpling the ribs - I used the tight fit dimpling fixture for the female end, and built a small oak block with a 3/16” hole in it to receive the male die. I set the dimples with a few whacks with the rubber mallet. I dimpled the center lower skin and then prepped and primed the topside of the skin and all of the ribs and small pieces.

July 2, 2015 3:45 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Started assembly of center fuselage. Finished a few dimples on the aft F-904 bulkhead and then attached the seat ribs to that bulkhead. I drilled out the bolt holes for each rib and then riveted the rib flanges to the bulkhead web and the top hole on the rib to the flange on the bulkhead. I then installed the bolts and torqued them. I got the replacement part for my pneumatic squeezer today and got it working. Nice to have it back.  I went out after supper and dimpled a bunch of platenuts. Then I went to fit some on the ribs. I pulled out the floors and test fit them and learned that I’d screwed up. There was one spot on all of the ribs where I drilled for a one lug platenut only to find that the hole in the floor lined up for a 2 lug platenut. As it turns out, the #19 hole I drilled is still small enough that a #3 rivet doesn’t drop through, so I just drilled the middle hole and started riveting in a couple of 2 lug platenuts.

Going to be away for the next week, so there won’t be much more progress until weekend after this one.

Build update June 27, 2015

Jun 21, 2015 3:25 Fuselage

Aft Fuselage - It’s back, that big 7’10” long rear section of the fuselage. I reassembled the now primed parts of the aft fuselage - not a small task. It took a little flange fixing to get it fit together, just on the F-711 bulkhead where some to flanges got straightened when I dimpled. I got everything back and doubled checked with my plumb line - all square. I emptied all of my clecos on it (even the 100 more that I bought). No putting it off any longer - time to rivet. A lot of these rivets I’m going to need extra arms for, I just can’t possibly reach both sides. I managed to get the aft bottom skin riveted to the aft bulkhead and the aft side of F-711, 20 rivets, 600 or so more and I’m done!

Build update June 20, 2015

Jun 14, 2015 1:30 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Spent my time trying to get the bottom skin to attach to the assembled bulkhead and ribs. Got frustrating pretty quick and I gave in.

Jun 15, 2015 2:30 Fuselage

Center Fuselage - Disassembled ribs from bulkheads and remove the skin where I had it matched. I then went through and adjusted all of the rib flanges to be square with the exception of the outside baggage ribs which are at a pretty good angle. While I had it apart, I drilled out the step holes in those outside baggage ribs. This was not all that simple, the fly cutter I bought won’t go in quite that tight. I tried a regular hole saw, but all it would do was grove the aluminum. I finally used my dremel with a small cut off to cut out a good sized hole, added to it with my shears and then used a round sanding fitting for my dremel to finish it off. I then got back to assembling the mid fuselage. I started at the front and worked everything back just ahead of the F-705 bulkhead. I then clecoed that bulkhead to the seat ribs and work underneath from the right side to cleco the bulkhead to the skin. I got ¾ of the way across and then couldn’t make it close. Then I remembered what was wrong. My outside -R seat belt anchor - the one that gets trimmed to make room for the seat rib - was about ?” wide and was preventing the rib from contacting the bulkhead. I ground that down and fit it back in. This time I was able to get the rest of the bulkhead clecoed to the skin.