FINISHING KIT - Page 42.
April 24, 2004: Today was another one of
those milestone days. I had a visit from my local EAA advisor on the evening of
April 22nd. After he had a chance to inspect my fuselage and we discussed some of
the assembly steps, I am finally ready to put on the aft top skins. And here is a
photo of the first one going on in a short session on Saturday, April 24th.
You can see in the photo above that I have riveted the last skin attachment bulkhead to the rear deck plate and the aft top skin. I also got two rivets into the left side skin through the longeron. That was about all the time I had before a dinner guest arrived Saturday evening.
In the photo below, you can see where I put in some additional plastic bushings
in a couple of bulkheads. This will allow electrical cables to go aft for tail
lights/strobes, etc. And of course, there is the green elevator trim control cable
lying on the bottom deck until it is time to mount it to the horizontal stabilizer and the
elevator trim tab itself.
May 2, 2004: Ray Johnson came by to help me finish
the top skin riveting. He climbed inside to use the bucking bar while I was on the
outside with the rivet gun. Needless to say, ear plugs were the most important tool
for both of us. This was another MILESTONE DAY for me.
After today's session, I can get serious about fitting the sliding canopy
components. Here are the day's results in the photos below.
Here was Ray's work area inside the fuselage with some padding and a back board
to distribute his weight across the bulkheads. There was a second cushion, but it
got moved before I took this picture. I went in there earlier in the day to inspect
some of my riveting and to be sure how to get into and out of such a tight place.
The static air vent line was also hung from the LEFT longeron with some aluminum clips
that were riveted in at the same time. That wooden board is from one of my Van's
Aircraft shipping crates.
Here is the fuselage after I finished riveting the skin to the F-706A baggage
bulkheads. The fuselage is VERY STIFF now as it should be!
And the last part of the skin installation is to put in a pair of F-611
stiffener ribs ahead of the baggage bulkheads. That is the RIGHT side of the
fuselage with the F-611R rib temporarily clecoed in place. It has to be cut to fit
the curve of the skin, then drilled and dimpled to match the existing holes in the skin.
The total work time on the airframe is now at 1042.5 hours.
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