FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION - Page 26.
October 15, 2003: RIVETS! Many rivets
indeed. My neighbor Ray Johnson offered to buck rivets with me and today was our
first day working as a team. The entire forward section was completed in an evening
session. The floor and stiffeners and the forward side skins ahead of the F904
bulkhead were completed. It feels good to see the clecos out of there. The
clecos holding the main longerons at the bottom of this photo will be there for months to
come until the top skins are ready to go on. I see two clecos at the forward edge
of the firewall that can also be removed since the supporting angles inside are already
riveted in place.
October 16, 2003: The major amount of
riveting on the fuselage skins is completed. The steps are installed and the whole
thing is rolled over to the upright position. Tomorrow, I hope to have the time to
cut the legs on the saw horses down to size for the remaining work to be done on the
fuselage. The total construction time now stands at 814 hours.
October 17, 2003: A few more hours today to
cut two of the saw horses down to 18 inches above the garage floor and to work on the
airplane a bit. I drilled the two fuel line access holes and the fuel vent line
holes in the side of the fuselage. I also fabricated two spacers used in the tail
section. The fuselage is now level on the saw horses and the rear deck plate has
been clamped in place and match-drilled to the longerons. I still have to cut the
legs on that third saw horse "just a little bit" to get it under the tail where
I really want it.
October 19, 2003: A day with another
symbolic milestone - "The first fitting of the aft top skins!" It sure
felt good to have those skins on at the end of a 9-hour work session. Along the way
today, I also put in several key gussets and the vertical rib that secures the elevator
bellcrank assembly just aft of the baggage compartment. Plenty of match drilling
remains for the next work session. (I took Saturday off to
visit my mom and sister in the Atlanta area.)
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