Archive for the ‘Forward Fuse’ Category

Fun with Bolts

October 28, 2011


With the sun popping out and a day off from work, I primed the last side skin and reassembled the fuselage. I decided to go ahead and install and torque the eight AN3 bolts that attach the bottom of the firewall to the fuselage structure. It’s much easier that trying to convince bolts and nuts to line up in the tight corner after forward bottom skin is fitted. Since those were reamed holes the fit is tight. I could still push the bolts on by hand but there’s no wiggle room for misalignment which is the way it should be.



Almost Ready to Rivet

October 24, 2011

Today I finished deburring and dimpling the left side skin. Now I just need one more decent weather day to go prime it and we can finally get this “canoe” riveted.

Here’s the other fuse parts waiting to be installed.

The left skin goes here. In other news I also removed the F-715 outer ribs in order the install the nut plates on them after running an 8-32 tap through them per Van’s recommendation.

Still prepping fuse parts

August 29, 2011


For your viewing pleasure here’s the boys enjoying the Blues over Lake Washington earlier this month. As for the project, i’ve been working on it I swear. It’s really just a 1000 little tasks without much visual payoff so I’ll spare you the pics of pretty countersunk holes in a neat little row.

I’m still slowly working through all the final steps before starting the riveting on the main fuse. I’m excited to see if I got a the puzzle pieces made correctly! All the deburring, dimpling, and countersinking including the longerons is done on the internal structures. I’ve primed about 2/3 of these parts. The left forward fuse pieces still need to be etched and primed. The skins still need to be prepped but that should be kinda fun as imam trying to “eat my vegetables”‘first. Also, I have to go back and find a solution for one hole I doubled drilled on a bulkhead. After that I’ll be reassembling the canoe! Work is going to take over this week so hopefully I can hit it hard next weekend. I’m aiming to flip the canoe this fall and order finish kit before the end of the year.

Deconstruction Part 1

July 20, 2011


No airplane pics tonight but it was Cam’s birthday, so he gets a guest¬†appearance¬†on the blog instead. After the sugar addled kids went to bed, I started taking the fuselage apart. There’s LOTS of pieces to keep track of! Also its a challenge to figure out which holes get countersunk, dimpled or left alone. Time for the zen-like trance to take over while prepping a thousand little holes.

Fuselage Drilling Complete!

July 18, 2011

All the drilling is finished on the fuselage now and it’s ready to be taken apart! The last week was spent confirming all the holes are drilled to final size, opening up various holes for fuel lines, vents, and wire runs. Technically I still need to drill the bottom of the 902 bulkhead flanges, but not until I remove the bottom forward skin. A lot of edge prep is done for the interior parts so I hope I can get through the prep process quick enough to start priming in the next couple of weeks. I’m not looking forward to countersinking the hundreds of holes in the longerons!

Below are examples of some of the extra holes drilled during the fuse prep:

A bulkhead flange in the baggage area drilled to the longeron

A countersunk hole for a #10 screw on the forward fuselage.

This photo shows the 1 inch hole for the fuel line pass through. The actual fuel line is only about 3/8" but its held in place by a 1 inch rubber grommet that shields it against vibration.

Prepping the Rudder Pedals and Final Drilling

July 10, 2011

Last weekend the rudder pedal assembly was finished as well as getting the last two floor stiffeners drilled. This past week I spent drilling out all the leftover holes in the fuselage in preparation of taking it all a part for final parts prep.

Here is a close up of the pilot side brake pedals temporarily fitted to the rudder pedals.

The rudder pedals are mount to the frame using plastic friction blocks bolted to a stiffener on each side of the fuselage. The extra holes are there so you can adjust the pedals forward or backward. Since the seats don’t adjust forward or backward, this is the best/easiest way to fine tune the fit in the cockpit.

Here is another view of the rudder pedal mount.

Here is the middle brace that helps the rudder pedals from flexing.

The brace mounts onto a stiffener on the firewall.

I also went back and drilled some holes I skipped like this one.

More Forward Fuselage Work

June 21, 2011

Work travel, a renewed interest in running and enjoying the weekends with the family put the project in low gear for most of June. I have been working on a number of tasks in parallel. It’s definitely not the most efficient way to do things, but kinda of fun to change things up from one session to another. Tonight I finished the preliminary drilling for the Tank Attach Bracket. I spend the weekend making the F-796B angle 4 times (you only need two of them) because I kept screwing up the dimensions. The bolt holes look like they’ll be drilled later.

On the rudder pedal front, the brake pedals are ready to be riveted now. Then I can prep the rest of the rudder pedal assembly and drill the mounting holes in the F-719 forward skin stiffeners. Finally, on the floor stiffener front, the two center stiffeners, are all drilled except for the aft most holes on the cover support ribs. That leaves the two outer stiffeners to take care of once I get the floor skin back in place.

Latest Progress

June 7, 2011

The airplane factory is closed for a couple of days while I am in LA for work. So it’s a perfect time to take stock as we close in on flipping this fuselage over soon. Above is a pic from the factory on Sunday. I need to finish installing two more floor stiffeners, locate and drill the rudder pedal mounts, mount the baggage compartment stiffeners, and finally finish drilling numerous holes throughout the structure.

Once that is complete most of what you see in this pic comes apart for deburring, countersinking and dimpling where needed before getting primed. Then all of it goes back together for riveting once and for all. Sounds easy right? One step at a time I guess.

Before I left town, I started on fitting the rudder pedals in the forward fuse. First step was to make the brake pedals out of the pieces above plus some spare angle. I am only installing the brake pedals on the pilot’s side to keep things light and simple. Fewer hydraulic lines means fewer points of failure as well.

And here are the brake pedals cleco’d together in position within the rudder pedals. I’ll rivet them together when I get back and move onto actually mounting the assembly in the airplane for final drilling of the position holes. I am thinking of having the brake pedals powder coated for a nice color accent in the cockpit.






Started Floor Stiffeners

June 3, 2011

Not much time for the project tonight, but I did start to fit the floor stiffeners. The center stiffeners needed to be carefully fitted as there’s not much wiggle room with the rivets on either end of the angles. Also you have to notch the forward end to fit around a firewall angle. I didn’t have time to drill them tonight. I’ll have to wait to drill later in the week. Bummer.

Here is the forward end with the notch cut out to fit around the forewall angle.

This last hole on the aft end of the stiffener is going to be challenging to drill and rivet. Yeehaw.

Weekend Update

May 30, 2011

Nothing better than a three day weekend with good weather! In addition to lots of outside time with the fam, I got to dig into the forward fuse some more. Friday night I went through a the forward fuse progress and made a laundry list of to-dos including a drilling sequence for some of the critical drilling on the firewall angles. I did not want to screw those parts up and the instructions in the manual at this point are, shall we say, not explicit. They tell you “what” to do but leave the “how” up to the builder.

First I tackled the connection of the 719 stiffeners to the firewall. I had fabricated the 719B bracket a while ago but waited to drill the holes here until I looked at how others had done it. I ended up using Mike Bullocks method of a 12″ drill bit to drill the two holes in the stiffener and then a angle drill for the hole in the firewall flange. After some careful double checking of measurements, everything came out perfect.

Here’s a shot at the two holes I used a 12″ bit from above (below) get to. Some folks have removed the stiffener and drilled on the bench but I was worried about keeping everything aligned.

Next up was to finish the gussets at the intersection of the lower/auxilery longerons, the firewall mounting bracket and the vertical firewall flange. This must be the most complex intersection yet on the aircraft as three axes converge at the bottom of each side of the firewall. With the gussets I had two rows of rivet holes remaining to drill. I also has already cut the part out according to the plans. Saturday I spent the afternoon with my micrometer and files tweaking the edges until each gusset fit snuggly in place I felt good about all the edge distances.

Here’s a detail of the other gusset. The notch in the gusset is what allows it to fit inside the steel engine mount bracket but ouside the vertical firewall flange. However you can’t let the notch get too big in order to keep your edge distances tolerable. Confused yet? Me too. I took my time and drilled the vertical flange with the skin peeled back. Then used the skin to match drill through the bracket at the horizontal row above. It all turned out good and I’m very happy to move on.

On Sunday I prepped and installed the 902 bulkhead and the 7101 Gear Attach Web. There was a small gap where these parts meet up (see the four copper clecos in the pic above). I added a .020 shim between the parts for a better fit. The foward fuse with the bottom skin cleco’d back on is pretty stiff now. I am going to skip ahead and fit the floor stiffeners next before tackling the fuel tank attach and the rudder pedal install.