Archive for the ‘Aft Fuse’ Category

Aft Fuselage Finished!

January 30, 2011

Paul came over on Sunday and we whipped out the final rivets in about three hours. Other than Paul walking into the corner of the center section skin (guess who won that battle), we finished up unscathed.

Here’s a new view from above. The 706 Bulkhead is not riveted until we marry the aft fuse and center sections. Now back to the center section.



Aft Fuse Riveting Part 2

January 12, 2011

Here’s the project progress from the last couple of weeks. I’m including a lot of pics as these are some of the more interesting sections of the fuse to put together. My friend Paul came over for round two of riveting the aft fuse. We got all the rivets at the far aft end done. We had to drill out 3 or 4 along the way. There’s just a few left on the 707 and 708 bulkheads and J-channel. Another couple of hours should do it.

Next up, I’ve started the initial assembly of the center section after prepping all the ribs (did I mention how tedious that is?). It’s quite the Rubik’s cube to get everything in the right spot. The 776 skin and right side baggage space ribs were just not going together. After silently cussing out Van’s CNC machines for a few hours, I discovered I had the 725R and 726R swapped. WHOOPS. Now everything is clecoed together waiting to be drilled, deburred and dimpled.

One thing I overlooked in my excitment to get the aft fuse together was prepping the rudder cable exit. That little hole to the left of the pass through hole above is for the screw mount. It should be drilled for a #8 screw and dimpled BEFORE the skin is assembled with rest of aft parts. Now I need to get clever about how to dimple the hole.

All the ribs except the 2 outside 715 L and R ribs cleco in place. After everything gets put together, I will need to come back and drill out the front of the 715 ribs using the 704 bulkhead as a guide.

This is the outside intersection of the F-715R rib and the F-705 bulkhead. The bottom flange gets drilled out for a bolt.

Here are the 716/715 ribs and the aft part of the F-704 bulkhead. These will be a mixture of -4 sized rivets and bolts. I’ll need to be ginger while drilling this stuff.

Finally here’s a close up of the last couple of bulkheads in the aft fuse after riveting. The seams on the skins are all tight and I am really happy how it all turned out. The only cosmetic issue is a slight smile on one of the rivets that sits under the HS. I actually think its awesome. I see it as a signature that no other kit will have. However, one signature is enough! Onward…

Meet PDub

December 20, 2010

I can finally put an end to the Hellraiser Pinhead comparisons when showing pictures of the aft fuse. I can also get my clecos back to start putting together the center section.

My coworker Paul (aka Pdub) came over for 3 hours to help rivet the aft fuse. We finished up all of the bottom rivets except for the 706 bulkhead which will be removed a couple of more times. We only had to drill out one rivet dinged up when I pulled the bucking bar away too soon. Paul’s a natural with the gun. He has uncles that work for Boeing so I guess it’s in his genes.

We were shocked at how much lighter the assembly was with even just the bottom clecos out. We’ll do a rivet session after the holidays to finish off the two sides. Meanwhile, I’ll prep and prime the center section.

Aft Fuse Riveting, Part 1

November 8, 2010

This weekend I reassembled the tailcone and riveted F-711 and F-712 to F-779. The first few rivets look a bit footed on F-711 so I need to go back and redo them. The rest are A-OK. Also, I need to confirm with Vans that I can use a couple of pull rivets next to the weldment where I can’t buck or squeeze.

The rest of the aft fuse is clecoed and awaits me to recruit a partner to shoot and/or buck. I have to travel next week so this might be couple of weeks away from happening. Onward.


The first few rivets on the tailcone in place.

Looking down the aft fuse at all the bulkheads


Gaining Momentum

June 7, 2010

This weekend was very productive. I took care of everything on my punch list and more. I match drilled and prepped the pitch servo mounting for priming. All the parts were dimpled except for the left skin. I held off on the bellcrank as the instructions don’t call for it until much later in the fuse build.

The plan this week will be to get that final skin done and maybe prime a few parts if I get some decent weather. Later in the week I will start to reconfig. the shop to start the QB wings this weekend.

Keeping Track

June 4, 2010

So far I have finished deburring and dimpling the aft floor skin, the F-779 tailcone, and all the bulkheads except 706. That leaves F-706, the J-stringers and the side skins left on the to-do list. After all the deburring and dimpling is done, I can prime and touch up parts as needed. There’s also a punch list forming of a few little things I need to stay on top of:

  • Match drill the 4 holes I missed in the aft floor skin.
  • Drill out rivets to attach the pitch servo mount on F-729B.
  • Match drill the holes for F-729 that attaches to F-707 bulkhead.
  • Go ahead and make the bellcrank and mounting hardware.

I’d love to finish up all the prep leading up to final assembly and riveting by the time I hit my vacation in a week. That would allow me to concetrate on getting the QB wings done or nearly done in a concentrated week of effort and pick up the fuse again by the end of June. We’ll see.

Better than finding that 10 dollar bill you left in your pocket is finding the $50 Aircraft Spruce gift card from Christmas that you thought you lost. It was in my wallet the whole time. Duh. So I guess I’ll have to do a little shopping soon.

Debur, dimple, debur, dimple, debur, dimple...

Some parts ready for primer or touch up.

Plenty more holes to go. Ugh...

This is the approximate location for the pitch servo mount.

Parts Prep

May 31, 2010

I am starting the dreaded edge prep, deburring, and dimpling of the aft fuse parts. Nothing exciting to report other than I missed match drilling 3 holes on the floor pan.

One final note regarding the match drilling. I didn’t like how some of the holes became elongated near the tail end of F-779. I decided to drill and ream the holes out for 1/8 flush rivets instead of the standard 3/32 flush rivets. I’m including picture showing where I am talking about exactly. This was a very difficult area to get to line up even with the pre-punched parts so take your time.

I’ll be spending the rest of the Memorial Day weekend near Anacortes. I’ll pick it up again Monday night. Hopefully I’ll get some decent weather this week so I can get some priming done.

I will be using 1/8 rivets in 8 spots total way in the back underneath the tail. I doubt any will notice the different size rivets unless I point them out.

Aft Fuse Drilling Parts 2,3 and 4

May 23, 2010

Drilling the countless holes took about 3 more sessions this weekend. It was pretty tedious. I took my time on the rear most bulkheads as well. I am pretty sure all the holes turned out well. I am still debating whether to drill the F-711 and F-712 holes to #30 and use -4 rivets. I’ll inspect if any of the #40 holes got elongated in the match drilling process.

I was not looking forward to crawling around on my back to get to the bottom holes or flipping over the whole shebang without the longerons in place. When I stopped at sears to pick up a couple of punches, I almost tripped over one of those auto mechanic’s dollies that let them slide under the car. I took it as a sign and picked one up for $30. It certainly made the bottom holes easier to get to!

Next up is to take all this apart; debur it; dimple it; prime some of it; and put it all back together.

Tweaking The Fit

May 23, 2010

I made final adjustments to the aft fuse assembly before match drilling.

Aft Fuse Drilling part 1

May 15, 2010

I started drilling on the aft fuse tonight. I was tired already from taking the family to GA Day at Paine Field, So I only got part way done with the J-stiffeners. I’ll hit it again tomorrow. I looked at the side skin, F-779 and J-stiffener interfaces and decided to wait on those holes. I am going to remove F-779 and drill those holes separately. I’ll match drill the J-stiffeners in place and then put it all back together.

I didn't like trying to line up all three pieces in these holes, so I will be drilling F-779 separately.

J-stiffeners and F-711 interface. Line up worked out very well.

I was concerned these flange tab holes wouldn't line up when drilled but they turned out pretty well.